Type 9: Embrace Your Inner Troublemaker

English: Yin & Yang

Yin & Yang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When tempers flare, when sides cannot agree, when petty disagreements threaten to tear people or projects apart, you need someone to broker a peaceful resolution. You need a 9, right? 9s are not going to get caught up in the battle. They are going to focus on the bigger picture—on what is best for everyone. That’s why they’re called Peacemakers. They’ll see all sides and find a way to bring people together.

Maybe. On the other hand, they could as easily tune out the conflict and go about their business pretending nothing is happening. Or play the role of sacrificial lamb in order to appease everyone else (which no one ever fully appreciates, much to the annoyance of 9s). Or withdraw into passivity—or even become passive-aggressive.

But 9s really do want to know why we can’t all just get along. The fact that we don’t—and that getting along isn’t even a top priority for some of us—pains them a great deal. They place a high value on peace and understanding, which is why they make excellent mediators, counselors, listeners, and healers.

9s go to great lengths to maintain an attitude and an appearance of calmness. But what lies beneath that exterior of peace, serenity, and agreeableness? Their occasional passive-aggressive responses hint at the hostility that burns down below. Hostility is anathema to 9s, so they may try to deny they’re feeling it, or at least attempt to keep it from leaking out into the atmosphere where others can get wind of it. But feeling angry, out of sorts, or disagreeable once in a while is normal. Trying to repress those “negative” feelings takes a lot of energy, which may be one of the reasons naps are so appealing to 9s.

Thank you, Donna, for sharing this.

Thank you, Donna, for sharing this.


When 9s embrace their Inner Troublemaker, they can drop the other shoe that everyone has been waiting for them to drop. When they see that the world hasn’t stopped spinning, and they haven’t been ostracized from the tribe of humanity, they can finally exhale. They’re still standing. Still breathing. Maybe they don’t have to continue the futile pursuit of smoothing everyone’s ruffled feathers and trying to shield themselves and their loved ones from conflict. Feathers get ruffled. Conflicts break out. Such is life.

9s may discover that accepting and expressing their own hostility is quite freeing. First off, it frees up their own energy. (9s with an 8 or a 1 wing probably already have some experience of this.) It also frees the people around them to be a bit more authentic—and there could be some pleasant surprises there for 9s.

A mind that is always on guard against conflict and disharmony—whether internal or external—is bound to be an anxious mind. Harmony/disharmony is just like up/down, dark/light, happy/sad, yin/yang; you can’t have one without the other. Try as you might. So you might as well stop trying.


7 responses to “Type 9: Embrace Your Inner Troublemaker

  1. I think this is a nice balanced portrait of ennea-type 9. It drives the point home that TYPE 9 can be the most angry of the enneagram types. I also liked the points you made about “tuning out.” Yes, they can be peacemakers, but the average 9 has to stay present long enough to step into that role. When I think of a 9 with a 1 wing, I think of the Dalai Lama. He definitely embodies the characteristics of a 9 functioning at the highest level.

  2. I know this wasn’t supposed to make me laugh, but it did–because when I think of a 9 with a 1 wing who embodied the characteristics of a 9 functioning at a…um…not so high level, I think of my mother. Imagine if you will the relationship between an 8 with a 7 wing child and a 9 with a 1 wing mother. The contrast between Mom and the Dalai Lama just gave me a chuckle. (I wrote about her under the title “Remembering Mom.”)

    Thanks for that!

    • My intimate partner is a 9 with a 1 wing. I’m an 8 with a 7 wing. It’s the immovable object meeting the irresistible force. I’m sure you know what I mean.

  3. Wow. Yes, I can relate to that comparison. Sparks flew throughout my 18 years at home with my mother. The laughs made up for a lot, though. A good sense of humor is essential, right?

    • Absolutely. I don’t know if you are subscribed to my other blog “Meaningful Life,” but I just posted some Enneagram stuff and there is a great link embedded in it to many more resources. That blog is for a different audience. You will probably like it… Oh, I think that is the one you are subscribed to.

  4. You are now cross-linked on my menu.

  5. Thanks, Pat. I have a link to Meaningful Life on my blog, too. Good conversation.

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