Enneagram 9’s Under Stress
Healthy Enneagram 9: Healthy 9’s are some of the better mediators around. They are able to see the complexities of their surroundings. They are flexible, which may appear to aggressive Enneagram numbers as being indecisive. Rather, healthy 9’s are unattached to having it their way. They are good at knowing when they need to rest, recognizing when their energy is depleted.
Unhealthy Enneagram 9: Unhealthy 9’s may resist action and decision to the extent that they check out, choosing activities which help them stop feeling. They may have wide and sudden pendulum swings between their anger and their indifference. They are not conflict-wise; they are conflict-avoidant.
Healthy Stress Move to 6: In a healthy stress move, Enneagram 9’s trust themselves. Like a healthy 6, they ask hard questions and stay comfortable with a lack of certainty. They recognize danger and respond with their usual thoughtfulness and consideration.
UnUnhealthy Stress Move to 6: Nines who respond in unhealthy ways to stress are often overcommitted and distrustful of others. They tend to be reactive rather than carefully considerate. They may find scapegoats a bit too easily and assign them more power than they actually hold.
Grief may be difficult for an Enneagram 9 because grief is a conflict between what was and what is.
Enneagram 9 and Church Leadership
If you’re a church leader who’s flying on adrenaline right now, an Enneagram 9 may be the person you need to be present with. You need them to make sure you pace yourself and recognize when you need to do something besides act. They are a withdrawing number, and aren’t as likely to seek you out. You can expect them to respond to you (though it may not be as fast as more aggressive numbers–3, 7, and 8–would prefer). Look for them and ask for their participation; deep down they want to know that their contribution matters. They are happy for you to take the initiative.
On the other hand, our grief needs companionship and there are few better companions for grief than an Enneagram 9. Able to sit still while others squirm in emotions they don’t fully understand, an Enneagram 9 can be a place of stillness and quiet in an otherwise busy reaction to grief.
As an Enneagram 9 who is a church leader, know that we welcome your presence, even and especially when reactive aggressive numbers get in each other’s way. You matter. Please refill your own energy, because to the extent you make yourself available, it will be tapped often. There will likely be many demands on you that do not feed your soul. It’s OK to tell us that you just can’t right now. Despite pleas to the contrary, we need you to be our chaplains right now, not our organizers and activators.
Our new dependence on virtual meetings may give you safe distance that feels as if it is requiring less of you. However, It will also require you to come with your own energy, instead of riding the coattails of someone else’s. Set some good boundaries around time online as it will cost you more energy than most face to face interactions.
Here’s a few questions for you:
Are you expending more energy than usual? Where are you finding life right now? How well is that serving you? How are you numbing your feelings right now?
Are you hoarding your energy resources with others? Or are you sharing them? What might that say about the state of your soul?
Who is seeking you out for care? In what ways are you allowing their anxiety to affect you? Are you setting good boundaries on your availability?
Things have changed fast and we’re having to adapt. Are you being asked to organize or initiate more than makes you comfortable? Be thoughtful and aware of your energy level; feed your soul.