Today the Enneagram series continues with the Enneagram Nine – The Peacemaker. Ruthie Gray dives deep into how she finally discovered she was a Type Nine as well as what this looks like in her life. I’m thrilled to have Ruthie here this week writing and helping us understand the Enneagram Nine. She is one person I would love to meet in real life. If this resonates with you in any way, please share in the comments.

Does conflict make you sick to your stomach? Do you go to extreme lengths to keep the peace – even when you know you should speak up? I feel ya, sis.  I’m a peacemaker from way back.

Some of my earliest memories surround this role, stemming from my third- grade advice “practice”.  Remember the Lucy lemonade stand in the Peanuts cartoons? Except she doesn’t sell lemonade – she sells advice for 5 cents?  I was Lucy, but without the stand.  Also, I didn’t charge for advice.  (Not that an eight-year-old should, but some are naturally money savvy from a young age – like my husband, The Eight, who hoofed it to the local hardware store to buy a pocket knife “on credit”.  He was FIVE).  

The Enneagram Nine

The Enneagram nine doesn’t voice her needs, in the hope that they will be “sensed”.  This does not bode well in the workplace, as the “givers” get run over by the “takers”, resulting in hurt feelings and displaced (or non-existent) boundaries. 

Even as a kid, I grappled with my identity, often feeling like the oddball, lacking witticisms and the typical chatter of the popular girls.  I felt out of place in social settings.  Like a weirdo.  

Hence, the advice/lemonade stand, so to speak.  When the girls had a spat, I played peacemaker, calming nerves and mending fences, all while remaining the outsider.  A tad on the chubby side, I yearned to cheerlead like the cool, skinny, pretty girls, so at recess, I practiced alongside them on the basketball court.  At home, I ran through the cheers, perfecting my flings, jacks, and general yelling.

I was such a loner that I suspected no one would miss me when I transferred to a Christian school in the fourth grade.  In my mind, this suspicion was confirmed upon reading the scrawled signature of a peer in my 3rd grade yearbook, “Ruth, I doubt I’ll miss you, but I might miss your advice”.  Nice. 

 When an Indecisive Person Seeks Her Enneagram Number

Fast forward to the year 2019 when I tried to determine my Enneagram number, but in true overthinker’s fashion, I decided I was all the numbers.  Literally every one of them.  Once I found out nines have the worst time deciding because they empathize with everyone else, it became clear.  I am the indecisive nine, who is the people-pleasing peacemaker.

I asked my daughter, the seven, to diagnose me.  She did it with great aplomb (as sevens are known to do).  We finally figured out I’m a 9w1 which makes sense, although some days I think I’m a 1w9.  I’m organized (when I want), driven, and rarely give myself downtime to just “do nothing”.  This may stem from my upbringing and modeled work ethic.  But I’m naturally someone who loves to be cozy and feel surrounded by warmth and calmness (like the nine).  

I don’t like stark restaurants like Chipotle or airport sushi bars with steel stools and cool lighting.  For me, it’s all about the atmosphere.  In fact, this is how I view work – emotionally bound to whatever task looms at the forefront.  (This is why I’ve learned to do the “worst first”, to avoid procrastination.)

My husband, the eight, is the Guy Who Does Everything.  We are polar opposites and 32 years in.  God gets the glory for that one because I’m The Gal Who Doesn’t Want to Do Anything (new or social).  I’d rather stay at home than attend the party.  Once at the party, I’m fine (mostly) but after conversing for a couple of hours, I’m ready to go home and not talk for the next twenty-four.

I recently read about the relationship between the eight and nine, stating that eights “encourage” nines to speak up for themselves, issuing challenges to step outside their comfort zone (#truth).  On the flip side, nines shut down if pushed too hard.

This has happened a time or two in my marriage.  LOL.  

Most people don’t view me as an introvert – probably because I was raised by an extrovert and married an extrovert.  I was challenged to do activities outside my comfort zone (like attend after school Bible club and summer camp).  These pushes turned out to be positive (eventually) because I learned to look outside myself and think of others.  As an only child, I tended to stay in my bubble, but mom was wise to this and, thankfully, drew me out of it. 

In true nine fashion, I’m a pleaser.  I hesitate to voice my opinion for fear of upsetting others.  My core fear of conflict keeps me from speaking up or resolving issues to gain deeper levels of intimacy.  In a way, the nine is considered slothful, remaining in an idealistic world of peace to avoid conflict. (OUCH.)

My God-given Personality

It’s taken me years to appreciate and view my personality as God-given, but I can honestly claim God-confidence in my 50-something season.  I’ve learned to appreciate my softer-spoken ways, yet verbalize thoughts when sensing God’s prompting. I realize that my voice, infused with Christ’s humility, matters, and that: 

  1. He has something important to say to the world through me.  
  2. God has completely and totally forgiven my sins, gives daily grace, and will do the same for others.  
  3. He can use me just as much as the loud, confident, and boisterous eight because He made me for such a time as this.  

According to Beth @yourenneagramcoach, type nine’s core longing is to let go of the false belief of insignificance and stop avoiding conflict because of the fear of speaking her mind. She says, “God wants to use your opinions, beliefs, and abilities to bless the world!”

With God’s help, we nines can stop avoiding conflict and begin experiencing relational intimacy and inner peace. Deep relationships will form as we “stop merging with others” and become confident in our own opinions.

If you struggle to speak your mind, grapple with thoughts of insignificance, and discord is your worst nightmare, you might be an Enneagram Nine. Join @ruthiegray123 this week on the blog to read more. #EnneaWhat #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet

If you struggle to speak your mind, grapple with thoughts of insignificance, and discord is your worst nightmare, you might be an Enneagram Nine.  Ask the Lord for boldness and confidence to speak with humility, yet confidence.  I’ve witnessed this transformation first-hand, and with God’s power, so can you!

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Don’t you just love Ruthie? I have a nine in my life so I found her words reassuring and affirming in what I know about my nine. **Next week, I am so pleased to tell you that our Enneagram Eight is Holly Solomon. Many of you know her already and have told me more than once that you miss her writing. The good news is Holly will be here next week. The better news will come when you stop by to read her words.

Here is a rundown of the Enneagram series so far and links to catch all the posts you missed.

Enneagram Introduction

Enneagram Two

Enneagram Three

Enneagram Four

Enneagram One

Ruthie Gray is a wife, Gigi, and recent empty nester, mentoring moms to make focused business decisions and boost Instagram marketing growth at Ruthie Gray.Mom.  Her hobbies include morning walks, RV-ing with hubby, and creating fun hashtags like #muffintopsrock and #Gigirules. Ruthie is the owner of Authentic Instagram Services, coaching clients to flourish on Instagram (and actually enjoy it).  Connect with Ruthie on Instagram because that’s the playground where she spends most of her days.

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