Illustration of Enneagram Misidentifications for Type 9

Misidentifications

Common Mistypes for Enneagram Type 9

Since the Enneagram looks at much more than just how different personality types behave, some types can look very similar at first glance (because they behave similarly in some situations). This is especially true when only certain aspects of them get emphasized.

Yet in order for the Enneagram to benefit you, it’s crucial that you are sure which type actually reflects your personality and don’t end up mistyping yourself. This page is specifically for Enneagram Type Nines to have a quick check, whether they might have mistyped themselves.

If you want to know more about how and why misidentifications happen in the first place, you can do so here.

Illustration of Enneagram Misidentifications for Type 9

What are The most common Mistypes for Enneagram Nines?

Some Enneagram types are very hard to mix up, while others get misidentified more often. Let’s see how this looks like for Nines:

Often Mistyped

Type Nines quite often mistype for Type Fours, Type Fives or Type Sixes.

Sometimes Mistyped

Nines sometimes mistype for Type Twos and can also get confused about whether one of their wings, Type Eight or Type One, might actually be their main type.

Rarely Mistyped

Type Nines rarely get misidentified for Type Threes and almost never get misidentified for Type Sevens.

 

Below you find a description of each potential misidentification. You will learn how to distinguish Ones from all other Enneagram types. Note that all types are compared at an average level of health. Find out what that means.

To give you a quick indication on how likely certain types get confused with Type 9, we have created different bubble sizes for each pair of misidentifications.

Click on a bubble to read all about the reasons why these two types get confused with each other and what tells them apart.

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Illustration of Enneagram Type 1: "The Teacher"

Sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 1: The Peacemaker and The Teacher

As with all types that are next to each other on the Enneagram, Ones and Nines don’t get so much misidentified but rather confused about which one is their main type and which one their wing. Since we talk about wings in more detail somewhere else, we will just mention the main difference between the two types for now.

While both types share a sense of idealism and a discomfort with their anger, Nines clearly differ from Ones by their reluctance to enter conflicts. Maintaining inner and outer peace is more important to them than being right. For Ones, it’s the other way around: Principle always comes first, even if it risks an argument. Actually, that’s all that needs to be said here. There are more points of difference of course, but this should be enough to keep the two types clearly apart. Simply ask yourself what’s more important to you.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 2: "The Helper"

Sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 2: The Peacemaker and The Helper

Twos and Nines are another good example for types that may look similar at first but reveal their significant differences at a closer look. Both types are focused on others, putting the needs of others before their own and making sure people feel loved and safe. Nines especially may mistake the Helper type as the „loving“ type, and, because they think of themselves as loving, believe they must be Twos.

But while every type is obviously capable of loving others, they all express their love differently. And that also applies to these two. The love of Nines is quite selfless, unintrusive and accommodating: You can be yourself around them without them asking for much in return. Sure, they want to be loved too, but they can be patient and satisfied with waiting for it.

Twos on the other hand are very conscious of their feelings. Average Twos give out love in order to receive love and the confirmation that they are good and loving. While Nines put the needs of others before their own because they are almost asleep to their own needs, Twos do the same because they think that asking directly for something would be selfish.

To give it a positive spin: Nines make people feel safe without ever making them feel guilty or pressured to respond. Twos make people feel cared for and put in the practical work to actually fulfil their needs.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 3: "The Performer"

Rarely mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 3: The Peacemaker and The Performer

At first glance, the assertive, goal-oriented Three and the placid, self-sufficient Nine can seem hard to confuse. But since both are very adaptable and interested in being accepted by others, some Threes – especially those who aren’t sure who they really are or what they really want – can see that indecisiveness as signs of being a Nine.

In these cases it helps to remember that Nines and Threes are on opposite sides of the energy spectrum: Nines have the overall lowest amount of energy, while Threes are all the way at the top.

That’s why Nines are not only much better at relaxing and taking things easy – they also are much less comfortable with being the center of attention than Threes are. Their deeper motivation is to uphold the peace of the world around them. Even when a Nine is highly accomplished and successful, it was never their ambition to get there – whereas that’s the explicit goal of Threes.

Threes love their projects and get excited about them. Nines get excited about their free time. High energy versus low energy. Solar Flare versus Panda Bear.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 4: "The Romantic"

Often mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 4: The Peacemaker and The Romantic

There can be a certain amount of overlap between Nines and Fours that helps confuse the two. Both are withdrawn types with lower amounts of energy than other types. Both can struggle with procrastination, be detached from the real world and, on a more positive note, be highly creative (but that’s true for any type). So to tell them apart, we need to look at their underlying worldview, since that’s where the deciding difference is.

To say it with the smallest amount of words possible: Nines, called Peacemakers, live, as their name implies, in a world of tranquility, where comfort is their highest goal and peace needs to be maintained at all costs. Their glasses, so to speak, are rose-coloured.

Fours, appropriately called Romantics, look at the world like an outsider peering in through the window, where everyone else seems to be much happier, living the „normal“ life Fours feel they don’t have access to. Their glasses have a dark, purple tint; their world isn’t comfortable.

That’s why Fours are at home in their melancholy and pain (as much as they want to solve and overcome it), while Nines would rather dissociate from that pain in order to leave their inner peace undisturbed. When they both withdraw, they withdraw towards different places: The Four into brooding isolation and the Nine into their tranquil happy place.

Finding out what describes your reaction better will pretty quickly resolve this question – there’s not much overlap here.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 5: "The Investigator"

Often mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 5: The Peacemaker and The Investigator

This is a common one, although almost exclusively in one direction: Nines who mistake themselves for Fives.

This happens for two reasons: First, Nines in general are the type that have the hardest time figuring out who they are, because of all types, their sense of self is the least clear. Secondly, many Nines mistake Fives for being the „thinking“ type, and they believe that because they have quite a few profound insights and spend a lot of time thinking, they must be Fives.

A lot has been written about the difference between the two types. To keep it short, it’s enough to simplify it to one basic difference in their core motivations:

Nines strive for peace and resolution – their thinking usually tries to simplify and to arrive at a common denominator. It underscores their easygoing, patient and accommodating nature.

Contrast this with Fives, who don’t care that much about pleasant resolutions, because what they need is clarity, even if it comes at the cost of simplicity. Their thinking is complex, unresolved and relentless, and it shows in their strong-minded and argumentative nature.

Nines feel instinctively at ease in the world, and their thinking reflects their unconscious desire to merge with it. Fives fear to be overwhelmed by the world, and their thinking is an unconscious defense against it, to try to master the world with their minds.

Consequently, Nines like to think deductive: From the big and general to the small and applicable. Fives like to think inductive: From small pieces of fact to a unifying theory.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 6: "The Loyalist"

Often mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 6: The Peacemaker and The Loyalist

This misidentification is quite common, since both types are more on the introverted side and are usually humble, unassuming people. Both want to maintain security and the status quo of their situation. But their differences begin to show very clearly in how they go about achieving this.

Nines try to maintain harmony by not letting anything upset them. They are naturally trusting; they feel better the less they have to think about potential points of conflict.

Contrast this with Sixes, who try to maintain their inner peace by constantly looking out for any potential vectors of danger and guarding themselves against them. Logically, they have a much harder time trusting people, and they are much more easily upset by small things. The prospect of problems makes Sixes nervous, which can’t be said for Nines, who will resist being upset by anything as long as possible. A Nine will let their faucet drip for months before being persuaded to do something about it. A Six will lose exactly one night of sleep calculating how much higher the water bill will be before fixing it the next morning.

Status quo restored both times – but in very different ways.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 7: "The Enthusiast"

Rarely mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 7: The Peacemaker and The Enthusiast

You would think Sevens – one of the types with the highest energy, hyperactive extroverts – and Nines – low-key lovelies with the least amount of energy – are hard to confuse. If you look at it that way, sure. But not every type necessarily falls into the extremes of those behaviors, and there are some things that can make these two types look very similar, so let’s take a look nonetheless.

Both Sevens and Nines share the core behavior of trying to escape their inner worlds. But what they’re trying to avoid are different things, which is why they use different strategies to do so.

Sevens try to escape feelings of being bored or afraid, of having to look the darker aspects of life in the eye. Their response is to throw themselves into activity and (almost) constant (over)stimulation. The fewer chances to confront their pain, the better.

Nines on the other hand want to avoid their inner turmoil (as well as conflict with others) by trying to stay clear of anything that upsets them – and too much stimulation is a part of that.

So while Sevens become ever more active and restless the less healthy they are, Nines become ever more passive and indifferent. In that way, they are polar opposites – as happy and unfazed as they may both look on outside.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 8: "The Challenger"

Sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 9 And Type 8: The Peacemaker and The Challenger

As with all types that are next to each other on the Enneagram, Eights and Nines don’t get so much misidentified but rather confused about which one is their main type and which one their wing. Since we talk about wings in more detail somewhere else, we will just mention the main difference between the two types for now.

Eights and Nines, though lying next to each other on the Enneagram, are very different types. To be sure which one shapes your personality at the core, keep in mind what their deeper motivation is: Eights find conflict energizing and stimulating because it gives them a chance to protect their strongest desire of feeling strong and protected. Their Nine wing softens their intensity and makes them better at mediating instead of simply getting their will, but their main drive still comes from this desire to protect themselves through domination.

Compare this with Nines, whose core motivation is to be at peace with themselves and those around them. Open conflict is something they want to avoid as much as possible. Their Eight wing makes them more assertive and energetic, but it won’t change their fundamental gentleness into the intensity of Eights.