Enneagram Nine: The Peacemaker
Welcome, friend, to our FINAL week of the Enneagram series! Today we get to hear from my sweet friend Lizzy Cohen as she walks us through her experience as a Type Nine, aka The Peacemaker.
As with all of these Enneagram interviews, Lizzy helped me to really understand her type better. Type Nine's basic desire is wholeness and harmony/peace, and if you read question 5, Lizzy does a really great job of explaining what this may look like or how it may be misinterpreted by others.
If this is your first time hearing about the Enneagram, check out this post for an overview. If you've been here for the whole series, read on to hear from Lizzy!
1. When and why did you first learn about the Enneagram?
"I first learned about the Enneagram a couple of years ago. It seemed to be coming up in conversation all around me and I was intrigued why everyone was talking about themselves as a number! I found some test online and went from there to join in the conversation."
2. How has the Enneagram impacted how you see yourself?
"The Enneagram has helped me to see myself as not so alone in the way I take in and process life. There are many other people out there who understand desiring harmony and making decisions based on essentially narrowing things down that I don’t want instead of just being able to articulate what I do want. That is nice to know it isn’t just a character flaw."
3. How has the Enneagram impacted the relationships in your life and how you view others?
"It has given me some vocabulary to use, and also helps me to see trends in the types of people I am in relationship with. Once I found that a few of my longest friendships are also Type Nines, it was easy to say “Oh, yeah that makes sense.” Whereas previously things like Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder seemed to only show differences in those particular relationships.
"Also, it has helped me to understand how people different from me are wired. Once I know what number someone else is I find myself re-reading information about how that type interacts with the world and I think 'yes, like that time when...' and I have greater compassion and understanding for those different from myself. "
4. How do you most relate to your Enneagram?
"Let me count the ways I relate to being a Nine...
On the unhealthy side:
1. I can know that taking out the trash is THE most pressing thing to do but find myself starting a load of laundry, then maybe doing some dishes, oh and I just remembered that I was going to Marie Kondo my life so now there are clothes all over my bed. What was I supposed to be doing?
2. When I get overwhelmed or have 'negative' emotions, I have a pattern of numbing by becoming a vegetable. I know I am not in a good place after watching 4 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, when I had considered going to bed before even turning on the TV, but I was afraid to live with my own thoughts while falling asleep.
3. If people that I am close to are arguing or simply disagreeing, I either pull away from them or try very hard to recreate harmony, even if I am not involved in the dispute. I internalize it when those around me are upset, and want to resolve any negative feelings directed toward me immediately. This can often mean I have a hard time letting others grow in their own timing and exist autonomously.
On the healthy side:
1. I remain present in the moment and am usually content with present life. Whether I am going for a walk in a neighborhood I am familiar with or visiting a new place, I am just happy to take in the moment. I don’t often have very strong opinions on things like what to eat for dinner, which can be frustrating for others at times, but means I am generally easily pleased.
2. I can create a space for people to feel cared for in a special way. Often strangers tell me very personal things because they sense I am a safe and non-judgmental person.
3. I am creative! As I take in the world around me I try to connect with it through painting. This helps me to interact with all of the internal dialogue and hopefully expresses beauty to those around me. I’m not sure if this is a Type Nine thing, but am curious how other Nines deal with needing to harmonize everything when they are healthy!"
5. What's the biggest misconception about you or your type?
"This is a hard one! Not sure it’s the biggest, but perhaps that we don’t have any developed opinions? Even though I may say I don’t care where we go to lunch, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have any interest in certain kinds of food. It probably means some combination of things such as: I’m aware of your dietary needs and want you to have input, I don’t think it’s worth disagreeing on and I don’t want to suggest something that you might disagree with, or that I want to hear your suggestions so I can narrow them down. I am better at seeing a few options and crossing them off to help me get to a decision more so than generating new ideas."
6. Answer the following: I feel loved when ____. I feel unloved when ___.
"I feel loved when people take time to have deep conversations, invite me to join them in a plan, or give me a thoughtful gift. I feel unloved when I think someone is ignoring or overlooking me, confronts me very directly and expects an immediate response, or doesn’t listen well when I am trying to be vulnerable."
Do you see the world through the lens of finding harmony and keeping the peace? Do you know a close friend who couple relate to Lizzy? Share this with them!