Enneagram Type 9 is called the Peacemaker or the Meditator because of their focus on harmony and their mellow, go-with-the-flow attitude. Peacemaker 9s are naturally able to understand multiple perspectives and are exceptional listeners. They offer a non-judgmental environment that allows others to be heard and often deescalate highly-charged situations. Peacemaker 9s are so good at understanding the position of others that they sometimes “forget” themselves and lose their own perspectives and agendas. Many Peacemaker 9s reach a point in their life where they look up and think “I never lived my life. I never did any of the things I wanted to do….” They are slow to change and tend to measure things in years and decades. Conflict is extremely uncomfortable for Peacemaker 9s. In order to avoid it, they often become passive-aggressive or stubborn.
Enneagram Type 9 Gifts to the World
Peacemaker 9s offer the world peace and understanding. They value a harmonious, smooth environment and will work hard to achieve that for the rest of us. Gifted listeners with a soothing presence, Peacemaker 9s can mediate and heal the most acrimonious situations. Sometimes described as the most powerful type in the Enneagram, when Peacemaker 9s find their own center and advocate from a point of personal strength, they can move mountains through their balanced, reasonable approach and influence on others.
Attention goes to harmony. Peacemaker (9)s see what it takes to maintain a smooth, peaceful environment and act to ensure harmony is maintained. Their attention moves away from creating a conflict of any type as conflict can be extremely anxiety-provoking for them. They want everyone to get along and for their environment to be happy and relaxed.
Type Nines Typically Report
1) They Really Dislike Conflict
Most Peacemaker 9s report conflict is extremely anxiety-provoking, and they may actually give up things that are important to them to avoid a conflict. To a Peacemaker 9, “it’s just not worth it.” They usually report that in the rare instances they are willing to engage in or even initiate a conflict, it is on the behalf of someone else.
“Conflict makes me anxious, and I feel like I almost vanish in the face of a serious conflict. Harmony, on the other hand, feels like security. I’m sensitive to it and try to cultivate harmony around me, even in situations that don’t directly affect me.”
2) They Procrastinate
Peacemaker 9s are famous for their procrastination and putting the unimportant things ahead of the important things. They typically put the needs of other people ahead of their own and engage in busy-ness but not “right action.” This dissipates and reduces their energy for their own goals. Sloth is considered the Peacemaker 9 vice, and Peacemaker 9s often need the pressure of a deadline to be moved to action on important things.
“I knew I was a Peacemaker 9 when I had a day with a long list of errands to do. I was really efficient that day and completed about 15 of the 20 things on the list. And when I looked at the last 5, I realized they were things that were just for me, no one else. It is really easy for me to put myself at the bottom of the list…”
“Doing things that are important to me is a real challenge. I know what I want, but I don’t take action to do it. When I really unpackage my inaction, I think it is a fear of disappointment. I’ve gotten so used to being ignored or not getting what I want that the thought of setting myself up for another disappointment is hard, even painful.”
3) They Rarely Feel Anger Real-Time
Peacemaker 9s experience a delayed reaction to anger and rarely get angry in the moment when something upsetting occurs. This doesn’t mean they don’t get angry—it just often gets repressed for weeks, months or even years. The expression of anger works differently for different Peacemaker 9s. Some don’t actually feel the anger until much later, and some feel it but repress it. Almost all Peacemaker 9s report a long delay in expressing anger about something upsetting to them.
“The anger needs to build up to a point where I feel like it is really worth it to say something. This can last for long periods of time. I recognized I was growing when I started to get angry a few days after an upsetting event. This was a big improvement as it used to take months or even years…”
Tools for Compassion If You Have Enneagram Type 9s in Your Life
1) Ask Them About Themselves
Peacemaker 9s have a soothing presence and a non-judgmental attitude that makes them gifted listeners. However, they rarely turn the attention back to themselves. It is important not to take advantage of their listening skills and to ask them about themselves.
2) Recognize Quick Decision Making Can Be Hard for Them
Peacemaker 9s consider many different perspectives when making decisions. As such, their decision-making process can feel very slow. They weigh the perspectives of all the relevant parties and try to judge the larger implications, always with an eye towards maintaining harmony. They don’t like to be pressured and pushing them to try to decide quickly is usually ineffective and counterproductive. They often become passive-aggressive.
3) Understand that Change is Hard for Them
Peacemaker 9s value harmony as the top priority, and they merge with their environment as a strategy to maintain harmony. Change involves uncertainty and inherently requires severing ties with at least some parts of the environment. This can feel like loss and is extremely uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking for Peacemaker 9s. Since it makes them so uncomfortable, they spend a lot of time and energy weighing the pros and cons of change, with a tendency to over assign importance to the elements that support the status quo. Many Peacemaker 9s will stay in dysfunctional situations (jobs, relationships, environments) much longer than other types. This is because the experience of change is so uncomfortable for Peacemaker 9s.
Subtypes for Enneagram Type 9
“Appetite” Self-Preservation Subtype:
The self-preservation Peacemaker (9) expresses a drive for harmony and merging through physical comfort. This is a person who enjoys food, drink, a comfortable environment, and regular routine activities. Self-preservation Peacemaker (9)s direct their attention away from their deeper needs and to a more basic, survival level. They tend to be concrete people more interested in the physical world than in abstract or metaphysical concepts. These are people who live life in a simple, direct way. This is the most introverted of the three Peacemaker (9)s. They have the title “Appetite” because of the way they merge their identity with the fulfillment of these simple needs.
This is a person who gains satisfaction from basic, comfortable things: watching television, reading, sleeping or even working if working feels comfortable. Eating is often a source of great pleasure for these Peacemaker (9)s, and their relationship with a partner may include cooking and preparing meals, dining out together and so forth as a central shared and important part of the relationship.
On the positive side, these are loving people with a joy and zest for fun. They have a stronger presence than the other Peacemaker (9)s and can be highly protective of their inner circle.
On the less positive side, this is someone who has often subconsciously chosen to abnegate their own desires, believing they won’t get what they want anyway.
“Participation” Social Subtype:
The social Peacemaker (9) expresses a desire for harmony and a drive to merge through groups and group participation. To the outside world, this is a person who is friendly, talkative, sociable and who often devotes considerable time and energy into supporting their chosen group. Internally, this person often has a feeling of being different or not fitting in, so they feel a need to work harder and to be more supportive, almost as the price of admission. They have the title “Participation” because of a tendency to prioritize the needs of the group over their own needs and because of their drive to participate in their chosen group.
This is a person who is more outgoing and energetic than the other Peacemaker (9)s. Their focus is on the group, whichever group they belong to, and they tend towards workaholism, giving so much of themselves for the group, they often have little left for their personal life.
On the positive side, this is someone who makes a good leader and is gifted at seeing and meeting the needs of others.
On the less positive side, this is someone who can be detached from their emotions but still have a persistent feeling of not belonging.
“Fusion” Intimate Subtype:
The intimate Peacemaker (9) expresses a desire for harmony and a drive to merge through connection with a few intimate others. This is a person who uses relationships to get a sense of being or belonging. For this Peacemaker (9), it can feel threatening to be alone. To the outside world, this is a very kind, tender, sweet, and unassertive person. They tend to be very tuned into the needs, concerns and emotions of the people close to them. Internally, these Peacemaker (9)s can have a lot of inner confusion and a sort of melancholy. They struggle to find their own internal compass and can have a special sensitivity to the moods and emotions of important people in their lives. They have the title “Fusion” because of their tendency to fuse to important people in their lives.
These Peacemaker (9)s have their center of gravity in others and live in acute awareness of the wishes, moods, and emotional state of other people in their lives. Their sense of security comes from their connection with their intimate partner or “special person.” They can have a deep, subconscious fear that if they try to connect deeply with themselves, they will find that nothing is there.
On the positive side, these are people who are very supportive and available in their intimate relationships. They try to provide a lot and ask for little.
On the less positive side, because they don’t have a strong sense of themselves, they can develop unbalanced and unhealthy dependencies on others. They may have a subconscious tendency to copy the important people in their lives.
9w8: The Referee
Type 9s with an 8 wing are typically more action-oriented, aware of power and power dynamics and can be more blunt than their 1 wing counterparts. The 8 wing brings a directness, a pragmatism and a focus on goals.
9w1: The Dreamer
Type 9s with a 1 wing are typically more principled, simple, understated, and graceful than their 8 wing counterparts. The 1 wing brings a sense of mission, an orderliness, and a sense of virtue.
Enneagram Type 9 Levels of Awareness
Peacemaker (9) When Self-Aware
Peacemaker (9)s become autonomous, present to themselves, directed, clear and fulfilled. They become balanced in their relationships with others and are able to set clear boundaries. They are accepting, stable, calm, deeply receptive and caring. They are relaxed and expansive with an openness and curiosity that feels innocent and simple. They are able to hold multiple conflicting perspectives in their minds without judgment or criticism. Their presence can be healing and harmonizing. They are easy and enjoyable to be around.
Peacemaker (9) With Tightening Defenses
Conflict avoidance colors their behavior as they become accommodating and passive, agreeing to things they don’t really want to do. They may become indirect and vague, finding it difficult to take a clear stance, although externally, they seem easygoing and relaxed. Action replaces right action, and the Peacemaker (9) fills their days with time- consuming but ultimately unimportant tasks. Stubbornness and avoidance are present as problems are deflected, and important priorities are put off. Their energy drops, and lethargy and sloth enter the picture. Their thinking becomes hazy, and self-medication in its various forms may begin. Indifference and inertia characterize the Peacemaker (9) as they become frozen in their resignation. They try to convince themselves and others that nothing is wrong. A fatalistic stance is taken as change seems unattainable as an option.
Peacemaker (9) When Fixated
Their energy is drained, and they have great difficulty pursuing, or even knowing, their goals. They may fall into depression. Their ability to function in a healthy way is compromised as they disassociate from themselves and become obstinate in their dealings with others. They begin to check out of their life and from reality. They continue in a numb, almost zombie-like manner. Neglect of themselves and others may become apparent. They become almost catatonic and severely dissociated from themselves and reality. They have lost their sense of themselves and have lost their way out of their confusion.
For more information on Enneagram Type 9 subtypes, I recommend Beatrice Chestnut’s book “The Complete Enneagram.”
Enneagram Compatibility: Type 9s in Relationships
To learn more about Type 9 Peacemaker and what they are like in relationships, go to page 381.
Tools to Relax the Habit of Attention for Enneagram Type 9s
Video overview of Type 9
Overview of Type Nine (from an online training by Lynn)
Overview of Enneagram Types 8-9-1 from our Ikaria Surf+Enneagram+ Yoga holiday
The information on this page is excerpted from Headstart from Happiness and The Nine Keys by Lynn Roulo.