The Healthy Enneagram 9 ‘Mediator’ – Master in Conflict Resolution
The healthy enneagram 9 is not meek, nor conflict-avoidant. The Enneagram Nine is principally a mediator. The position of a mediator is not the position of a martyr or a pushover. The type Nine is not someone who sits in silence and avoids conflict. The type nine is rather a group moderator, and someone who has a sometimes unhealthy fixation with compromise, harmony, and balance.
As a healthy enneagram 9, you are not averse to compromise. You will readily set aside your personal needs and wishes in order to come to a fair agreement for everyone. As a Mediator, you expect the same of other people around you. Some say the Enneagram Nine cannot feel anger, but as a healthy enneagram Nine you should recognise feeling upset and frustrated if other people around you refuse to seek a compromise. How to make the Enneagram 9 furious? Refuse to compromise. Treat their friends unfairly. Refuse to listen to the other side of the argument.
Because of this, the type Nine will seek to dispel conflict and disagreement in a group, asking and working together with other people to get rid of toxic jargon, unnecessary argumentation and discord, and group polarisation. Healthy Nines will pull other people aside to resolve conflict and tension when it emerges. That means actively being prepared to confront people who contribute to conflict and negativity in a group.
The Unhealthy Enneagram 9
What are some tendencies of unhealthy nines and what do healthy enneagram type 9 do in these situations?
1. Unhealthy Enneagram 9 types ignore tension in a hope it will go away on its own
You can avoid and ignore tension and disharmony in your relationships or in group settings, but unresolved conflict will keep coming to the surface over and over again, sometimes in increasingly high waves. Recognise when someone is speaking out in anger because they are simply having a bad day, and when there is legitimate issues that will keep coming up for the future. The healthy nine will address and bring conflict to the surface because that is the only way to find a solution.
2. Unhealthy Enneagram 9 types don’t know the difference between constructive and pointless conflict
Children of type nines may assume they are not allowed to show anger or to engage in conflict even if there are legitimate reasons to do so. Instead, your friends and family members may choose to withdraw inside. That means letting tensions and negativity fester to the point where it becomes bigger and more unhealthy. Healthy enneagram 9 types will accept and tolerate conflict and even engage in it themselves. All as long as they perceive the conflict as constructive.
3. Unhealthy enneagram 9 types assume criticism and negativity is a sign of disapproval
Many nines will assume that criticism is a sign of lack of love and approval from other people. I am being questioned because people don’t like me. Often, the opposite is true. People can love you and because they love you, they will question and criticise you, because they want you to improve and care about your success. Healthy enneagram 9 types will recognise the difference between being attacked because you are disliked, and being criticised because you are loved.
4. Know who you need to compromise with and who you do not need to compromise with
As an unhealthy enneagram 9, there can be an attraction to living your life in a way that everyone around you will find to be agreeable. This is why many Enneagram Nines grow up being jack of all trades, yet masters of none. However, too much compromise can be difficult and it is an impossibility to become liked by everyone. Instead, find people who have a lifestyle and interests similar to yours, and work together with them. If people expect things of you that are too hard, you may end up breaking your back, figuratively.
5. Know what you can compromise on and what you cannot compromise on
You should never compromise on your identity and who you are. Don’t try to be something you are not in order to gain the approval and support of others.
Ofcourse, you should not compromise on fundamental goals that you have that will be integral to you for a long part of your life.
You can compromise on values and interests that are of low importance to you
And you can compromise on less important needs and things that are not integral to your health, energy, or well-being
The Healthy Enneagram 9
So what lessons can you engage in as a healthy nine?
Always be clear with people around you on what your personal viewpoint and ambition is before you start seeking a compromise.
I see many Mediators will try to rush to a compromise and will begin to state their own viewpoint as whatever they think is a fair compromise between themselves and other people. Other people around you, however, will perceive what you state as what you want. They will then seek additional compromise, causing you to have to bend further than what is going to feel comfortable to you.
Always take time to explain your own viewpoint and arguments before giving up in a discussion
If you are challenged on something, rationalise and give an explanation of why you want a certain outcome and give people a chance to understand your arguments and thought process. Otherwise, you will feel that people do not listen to or understand you.
Do not rush to a positive outcome or harmonious accord
Give conflict time to resolve itself and give the other party time to process what it is you want and feel with what they want and feel. If they are not ready to compromise, and you have emptied out all arguments. Then let go and give the other party space to process the situation. See if you can resume the discussion at a later time.
Lastly, some people will accuse the type Nine of sloth. This is a misunderstanding and a stereotype. I see Enneagram Nines work very hard to meet the expectations of other people. Being harmony seeking means being comfort-seeking, and the type Nine is able to work very hard for the sake of maintaining comfort and harmony in their life. A lazy type nine is an avoidant one.
The misunderstanding of the type nine as lazy comes from the unhealthy Enneagram 9 has a tendency to take on more than they can handle. The type nine will overcommit themselves and take on more tasks than possible to execute. They will also not explain this to other people. Other people will then see that they have failed to carry out promised tasks. They will assume that this is because the type nine is lazy. More likely, it is because the type nine has become overwhelmed. If you try to lift a too big rock, you will find yourself unable to move. Remember that, and go find some smaller rocks.