If you saw the movie “Stand by Me,” based on the Stephen King short story “The Body,” did you relate most strongly to the character of Chris Chambers, the peacemaker? If so, you might fall into the enneagram type 9 personality. These sorts want to maintain harmonious relationships within their circles at all costs — even to themselves.
Flexible and easygoing, you embody the “nice” stereotype and you dislike conflict. You’ll go to considerable lengths to avoid arguments, sometimes to the point that you tolerate behaviors you shouldn’t. You can also sometimes feel insecure, typically because you think that your contributions toward keeping the peace go overlooked.
Enneagram Type 9: The Mediator
As an enneagram type 9, your driving motivating force is avoiding conflict at all costs. This applies both to interpersonal and intrapersonal disquiet. You can sometimes seem a bit withdrawn, as it’s impossible to prevent disagreements and discontent entirely in life. If you’re wrangling a challenging problem, you might retreat into an inner world instead of seeking outside advice. Unlike type 8’s, you don’t do this because you reject authority or outside opinions — it merely doesn’t cross your mind to pull others into your troubles.
When it comes to your circles at home and work, preserving peace is your ultimate goal. This desire can spur you to subjugate your needs to those of others. You might do so willingly at first, but when it becomes a repeated pattern, you can grow frustrated with what you perceive as the complacency of others. Unfortunately, few people, if any, have psychic gifts. Your friends and colleagues hardly know all you’ve sacrificed to maintain harmony if you don’t express your needs to them.
Because you appreciate things when they flow smoothly, you can prove stubbornly resistant to change. Your motto is, “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” The idea of making things that work adequately even better doesn’t motivate you as powerfully as maintaining the status quo, assuming the way things are doesn’t cause conflict.
You’re one of the friendliest signs of all the enneagram types, and you probably enjoy a well-developed social circle. You express yourself well and you exercise a high degree of emotional intelligence in how you relate to others. However, you can sometimes feel like no one genuinely understands you because they don’t put the same emphasis on preserving harmonious relationships to the exclusion of all else.
The Mediator’s Strengths
If you’re an enneagram type 9, you’re the one others count on to smooth things over whenever overwhelming emotions arise. If you’re a parent, you’re the one your child runs to when another selects their favorite toy at playtime. You rule when it comes to soothing hurt feelings and explaining why people have to compromise at times when cooperating with others.
You’re a natural teacher, and you possess the ability to explain challenging concepts in an easy-to-understand fashion. You can see all sides of an issue, but you tend to stay away from heated debates. You thrive on civil discussions between adults, as long as everyone keeps their volume down and their tone polite. Even though you dislike incivility, you have an innate sense of fairness, and you will speak up for the more vulnerable.
The Mediator’s Weaknesses
While you treasure preserving harmony in your relationships, you sometimes sacrifice your individual needs to serve this purpose. When you neglect yourself for too long, though, you can grow resentful that your needs aren’t being met. Unlike type 8’s, though, you rarely, if ever, lash out aggressively. Instead, you tend to withdraw, leaving people to wonder what happened to the bubbly individual they knew.
You also tend to overcommit yourself — then you grow overwhelmed with all you need to do. This feeling of being swamped can also spur resentment. Furthermore, because you see all sides of an issue, you can struggle to make decisions and often opt to go with the flow rather than take a stand.
Relating to the Mediator in the Workplace
If you manage an enneagram type 9, you should harness their peacemaking powers without taking advantage of them. This individual typically performs well in a client-facing role because they can understand another’s point of view and respect their needs.
If they’re on your staff, they likely rank among your top performers — not only due to a desire to excel but also to avoid any disharmony between you. However, remain aware that using harsh, punitive measures like writeups will distress this person severely, and it may adversely affect their morale.
If you identify as an enneagram type 9, you probably feel drawn to the following careers:
- Teaching: You’re ideally suited to becoming an elementary school teacher because you enforce classroom rules with loving kindness instead of strict disciplinary measures. Children often gravitate to you, and you have a natural affinity for gaining the trust of even the most wounded little lambs.
- Counseling: The core of your spirit revolves around resolving both external and internal conflicts. You make an outstanding mediator as a couples’ therapist, and you can help partners to see the other’s point of view. You also do well with assisting others in sorting through challenging emotions, even though you tend to withdraw when yours grow overwhelming.
- Guru/meditation/life coach: You’re a natural at navigating the way emotions impact your decision-making process. Your gentle nature can lead a group through guided meditations and overcoming roadblocks to help them reach their dreams.
Relating to the Mediator at Home and in Love
If you’re lucky enough to fall for an enneagram type 9, you probably enjoy a peaceful home life. Your partner won’t start drama merely to provoke a conflict. For example, they won’t accuse you of cheating for no reason. However, your challenge involves remaining aware that your partner often sacrifices their desires to maintain harmony in your relationship. Don’t take their gentle nature for granted — they appreciate routine reassurances that you care and value them through displays of affection.
If you identify as a mediator type, your hurdle to overcome entails speaking up when you feel overwhelmed or have unmet needs. Remember that as much as you live to help others, it’s okay to ask for assistance when you need it, too. If you struggle to express what you require to stay healthy, remind yourself that you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. Self-care isn’t selfish — it liberates you to replenish your spirit so that you can give your best self to those you love.
Enneagram Type 9 — Promote Harmony but Set Boundaries
If you fall into enneagram type 9, rejoice in your peacemaking and mediation skills. Keep bringing harmony to the lives of others — but do the same for yourself, too.