Type 9 Enneagram — Why Finding Internal Peace Is Difficult When We Want Group Harmony

Women looking over the horizon into sunrise (https://unsplash.com/@dingzeyuli)
Dingzeyu Li https://unsplash.com/@dingzeyuli

If you’ve stumbled upon this article about type nine enneagram, you might already know about enneagrams, or you yourself are a 9.

Enneagram test is a “system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions.” — truity.com

You can take your own here: https://www.truity.com/enneagram/what-is-enneagram

As a sociologist student I had always found it fascinating how we interpret the world, and how our minds and social interactions and learned behaviours differentiate us. Enneagrams are a deeper psychological view of how we experience the world, and to some degree ignores the sociological influences, but it provides us with a perspective into how we take our instinctive idea of how we view and experience the world.

For me, I want to delve into who I am as a type 9 enneagram, and how being aware of how our instinctive nature as a 9 can be harmful or beneficial to us if we are aware of them.

One of the very defining characteristics of a type 9, is the need to have and/or create harmony around us. I’ve written another article on how to choose yourself over others, https://medium.com/@julieehe/how-to-choose-yourself-over-others-expectations-of-you-d2b1033fe4e5. However, I never explored why instinctively for us this can be exhausting and mentally and psychically difficult for us.

One of the very difficult aspects of being a type 9, a peacemaker and the harmonious pillar of a group, is that our feelings are always the last to be heard. We never want to disrupt the person talking, the person expressing their feelings, providing their agenda because it would throw the entire experience off balance.

The difficulty for ourselves in this scenario is that, sometimes last never happens, and we never get to express our opinions, our thoughts on the situation or our plans. Over time the expectation is that we don’t care, it doesn’t matter to us.

That’s not always entirely true. As a 9 there are times where that particular things holds no significance to our life, and we’re okay with whatever has been chosen by others. For example where to go to eat, what time to meet, how many people will be there.

That’s not always the case though, and allowing ourselves to put the group harmony above all else, including ourselves can be harmful to ourselves. Have you ever thought, I would rather not appear at this gathering? Needing some time to recoup, recalculate and reharmonize your internal state, but appearing a that group event is important to your friends and family. In order to maintain that social harmony over the long term, you put them before yourself. THAT. That is what will become harmful for you longterm.

You will look around and feel like that is harmony amongst the group now, everybody is here, their expectations of you are met. Yet somehow we’re almost mad at ourselves for doing something we knew we didn’t want to do. That’s our inner conflict between our wants and needs. We want to put ourselves first, but our internal need for external harmony is taking over. This inner conflict isn’t good for anybody, not you, not them. Eventually it’ll be exposed to your friends and family, and as the pillar of the group, it can lead to some deeply distressing and unhappy times within yourself and the people around you.

Internal conflict is the opposite of internal peace, which is another aspect of the type 9 enneagram that is prolific. Your internal peace literally controls your way of life. Me for example, if I am not feeling quite like myself I can see it, I can feel it, I acknowledge it. I don’t let myself dwell on it, sometimes I ask myself if everything is okay? Whether there is something in particular that has caused it, and sometimes I cut myself some slack and just soak up the uncomfortableness of just not feeling myself.

As mentioned above, this not feeling like myself has sometimes occurred from putting group harmony above myself. I’ve let myself sit behind and not express how I’ve felt about the situation, letting it continue because if I raise the idea that anything might be wrong I’ll disrupt our time together and our future friendship. Instead of addressing these head on, it can lead to distancing of friendships over time, which in turn causes internal conflict about what I could have done.

Basically, to conclude, as a Type 9 enneagram, a peacemaker, a pillar you should attempt to balance your internal need for peace in yourself, and your internal need for social balance and harmony. Without you, a Type 9, the harmonious nature of your group can be disrupted, if you yourself are unstable and internally unstable, it will inevitably effect your external.

Personal Development Enthusiast. Sociologist.

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