Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness.
All true about me.
At their Best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.
I don't think I've ever been good at that, really. I think I've helped heal individual people by having fun with them and taking their mind off pain, but I am not really a conciliator by any means.
# Basic Fear: Of loss and separation
# Basic Desire: To have inner stability "peace of mind"
I don't think either of those are true, really.
Key Motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.
In general, I like harmony in my environment, but I don't seek to create it really, and it's definitely not a key motivation. Some tension is a good thing, I would say I like to preserve SOME things as they are, but certainly not everything. I like change and variety and get bored easily with sameness. I'm pretty sure resisting what upsets or disturbs you is something everyone does.
Nines tend to adopt an optimistic approach to life; they are, for the most part, trusting people who see the best in others; they frequently have a deep seated faith that things will somehow work out.
They desire to feel connected, both to other people and to the world at large.
I'm not sure what "connected" really means here, but this could be true.
They frequently feel most at home in nature and generally make warm and attentive parents. The Nine's inability to tolerate conflict sometimes translates into an overall conservative approach to change. Change can provoke unpleasant feelings and disrupt the Nine's desire for comfort. Less healthy Nines seem incapable of motivating themselves to move into action and bring about effective change. When change does come however, as it generally will, Nines find that they are usually well able to adapt.
They tend to be more resilient than they give themselves credit for. In fact, Nines tend not to give themselves enough credit in general, and their self-effacing attitude often seems to invite others to take them for granted or to overlook their often significant contributions.
I think this used to be true of me when I was younger, but I've gotten better at giving myself credit for what I do well as I've matured. I do think I am often taken for granted and not appreciated by other people.
Jeffster, have you looked into the lines of integration/disintegration yet?
When stressed, 3s disintegrate (take on unhealthy characteristics of) 9s. Likewise, when healthy, 3s integrate (take on positive characteristics of) 6s.
On the other hand, 7s disintegrate to 1 under stress and integrate to 5.
So do you act more like a 1 under stress, or do you act more like a 9 (and when you're happy, do you act more like a 6 or a 5)? That might help you figure it out.
I have been trying to figure out my Enneagram type forever ... I'm kind of similar to you in that I relate most to a 3's key motivations, but behaviorally am more like a 4 or a 9 ... but I'm starting to think I really am a 3 because the 3's lines of integration/disintegration fit me spot on.
it's actually pretty simple : 3s care (at least a little) what other people think. 9s dont care (by caring i mean not wanting to be seen in neg. light, i dont mean "caring to have positive relationships with others" because most people care for that, especially Fs.)
I know I'm probably opening a can of worms, but the OP inadvertently demonstrated a main problem I have with the Enneagram. I definitely identify with Type 3 more than any other, but I identify more with Type 7 than I do either 2 or 4. (Identify with 4 somewhat, not at all with 2.) I've never really understood why I can't be 3w7 - I know there's a whole theory behind it all, but I just don't understand why someone's "wing" has to be from one of the two types closest to your own. It seems so arbitrary.
If you look at the types one at a time and go around the circle, you'll see how there's a sort of basic change that takes place from one type to the next on one parameter, but the more types you skip around the circle the more complex the nature of difference. For example, one is more deatached and objective and morality whereas two is personal about morality. A one with a two wing, and more so with a strong two wing, will make morality a more personal matter, and a two with a one wing, and especially with a one wing, will be more detached in their personal morality. The strong wings come close to blending in the middle without actually doing so; once you cross that line, you're in the realm of the next type. You could point out other type similarities, such as how fours and ones have a lot in common because both are in the frustration triad and both tend to be pretty serious people. However, in explaining these similarities you see that there is far more complex a difference than between one and two. Fours are an image-type, like twos. Once could basically say that a two is an image-focused one and a one is a gut-centered two. Take being image centered and take the locus off morality and onto internal feelings (how others feel vs. how you feel) then you have made a composite step from one to four. Further, the types are arranged according to gut, heart, and head triads along the circle. Looking at this, you can see you can be a three and have a seven in your trifix. Also, once you align the types in the circle, the directions of integration and disintegration also fit nicely into the enneagram symbol.
That's interesting. I hadn't read anything about 3's being chameleon-like. But then, I have still read a lot less about Enneagram than MB types, because the latter was so much more recognizable to me. I definitely fit the chameleon description (another SP trait) and even people who speak to me regularly will often say I don't "sound like myself." I go through phases of what is most important to me but there are a few constants through all of it
The ability to be malleable is extremely important for someone who's drive is success, admiration, and affirmation, if you think about it. The only way to attain all of those things is to be what society, your family, and your social networks find desirable, regardless of what you REALLY are. A 3 who doesn't have the chameleon-esque qualities would likely be quite miserable.