Enneagram Type Nine

Type Nine

DIETnosis Enneagram Type NIne


MBTI Types: INFP, INSP…(IF Types)

Food Type: The Passive Palate, Oblivious Overeater Or Unconscious Gorger

Exercise Type: The Easy Rider

DIET Strength: Blending-In


Power Skills (Level 1): Realistic Expectations, Process Focus, and Contracting

Action Skills (Level 2): Contingency Planning, Rule Setting, and Decision Making

Maintenance Skills (Level 3): S.M.A.R.T. Goals, Framing, Visualizing, and Mission Statements


Trouble with Food (habit): Mindless eating

Emotional Eating Trigger: Conflict Avoidance, Passive Aggressive

Trouble with Exercise: Needs external motivator

Trouble with Body Image: Denies or ignores physical problems due to being overwhelmed by them. Overly humble and underestimate strengths.

Typical Fitness Excuse: Nothing will change, I will do it tomorrow




Popular Enneagram authors commonly name Type Nines as the Mediator or Peacemaker because they are accepting, agreeable and reassuring.  Reassuring, receptive and humble, Nines are the perfect constant companions.  Since Type Nine is the top of the Enneagram, they embody or mirror aspects of each Type depending on the situation.  They are unique, however, for their ability to blend in to their environment.  Nines are commonly described as easygoing, accepting, and diplomatic.  Nines are known to be pleasant, optimistic, and well liked for their ability to get along with others. They are highly trusting and supportive of others agendas causing them to get pulled away from their own priorities.


Type Nines value harmony and unity, and envision making the world a more harmonious or comfortable place.

Type Nines focus their attention on other people’s position or point of view.

Friends value them and seek them out for their acceptance and easygoing attitude.

You might be a Type Nine if you seek consensus, cooperation and avoid conflict.  You tend to see all viewpoints and prefer not to be in the spotlight.

Enneagram Type 9 Careers

Nines excel at adapting and coping and tend to be extremely flexible in their careers.  This can translate into Type Nines being content in most any career field, however, Nines tend to steer clear of high profile, stressful, or leadership jobs. Nines tend to look for careers that have a little conflict as possible like musician, writer, artist, school counselor or professor. Nines tend to serve certain roles for others include being a follower and willing participant, counselor, the “go-between,” a consensus builder and a steady worker.

Negative Aspects and Weaknesses

Type Nine’s weaknesses and negative tendencies center on how their fear of conflict conversely causes conflict in their lives through complacency and inability to make a stand.   Nines are passive aggressive and look for indirect ways to solve their problems.  They have a lack of passion that leaves them appearing numb, unemotional and unaffected by their environment.  They usually take the path of least resistance that makes self-development difficult.  Nines own priority or goals, if they have them, become swept aside for those of their peers or loved ones.



Style of Impulse Control

Although weight gain always has a multi-faceted cause, there are some typical behaviors of Type Nines, gleaned from the Big Five personality traits system, that encourage them to gain weight.  Nines score highly on “Agreeableness” and “Emotional Stability,” and low on “Openness to Experience,” “Extroversion” and “Conscientiousness.”  These traits tend to make Nines be at the mercy of their impulses or “go with the flow” when it comes to eating right or resisting tempting sweets.  Many Nines have learned to use food to numb their other urges and impulses and can go  “mindless” around food — zoning out and binging on sweets.

Style of Activity

Nines tend to be lethargic about physical activity – rarely initiating exercise, unenthusiastic and passive.  It is hard to get Nines to be passionate about anything and this makes behavior change difficult.  In this way Nines who are left to their own devices quickly fall into comforting habits that are bad for their health.

Other personality traits of the Nine that relate to fitness include their well-intentioned nature but general lack of organization and persistence, and an overall pessimistic view that they can actually make change in their lives.  This is not to say that Nines cannot become fit, it is that oftentimes they become out-of-shape unless their fitness is actively addressed or unless they are surrounded by others who are health-conscious.

Leisure Style

In terms of leisure activities, Nines tend to be unadventurous homebodies and enjoy sedentary hobbies. Their uncompetitive nature makes sport participation uncommon.  They may enjoy collecting or live in the fantasy world of intellectual ideas.



Enneagram Type 9 Fashion

Type Nines are chiefly concerned with blending in and also dressing for comfort. They do not want to spark envy or negative attention. They oftentimes let others dress them or be sure to dress like the group. Nines dress in a comfortable, casual and unassuming manner. They don’t want their attire to stick out. They choose muted colors and avoid flashy patterns. Type Nines also keep up with fashion just enough so that they fit in. Overtime Type Nines will usually stick to the same style unless they start to stick out. Their fashion statement is, “I am nothing special.”

Tattoos and Accessories

Nines may be peer pressured into a tattoo and will often choose one that highlights belonging but is not terribly big or showy. They may tattoo names of family or loved ones.

Enneagram Type 9 At Home

When left to their own devices, Nines are unlikely to significantly alter or decorate their home. They tend to feel that such activities are too much to undertake. The inside of the home may be sparsely decorated but will usually have creature comforts such as lazy boys or comfortable couches.  When the Nine is living with someone their home décor is usually a reflection of the partner’s personality.  Nines private spaces are usually cluttered despite their frequent attempts to organize them.


Body Judgment

They are removed from the feelings of anger or passion and project a very stable or stoic personality. They ignore their own instincts and emotions as they project their minds into another place — like in a dream or fog. They set up a wall of unresponsiveness to the changing or hurtful environment. They are keenly aware, however, of how they stand out among a crowd and constantly look to be more alike their environment. In this way they judge their bodies based on how it affects their short-term feelings of harmony or peace.

Value and Self-Worth

When Nines look in the mirror they simply do not see problems with their physical body (neglectful, overly humble with a pathologically positive outlook). They ignore their bodies and ignore signals that they would have to lose weight or make changes. This may be because if they did focus on the problems it would be too upsetting, unnerving or overwhelming for the Nine. Instead they tend to be resigned to what life brings to them as opposed to going after what they want.

Type Nines merge their self-identity with their supporting group — taking on traditions, habits and beliefs of others. They evaluate their bodies as it relates to this group unconsciously fearing they will not be accepted. Despite being in a very uncomfortable situation they will “swallow their anger” as opposed to allowing it to translate into self-change or voicing their opinion. Instead Type Nines seek approval by being easygoing and not a burden on others.

As for their physical attractiveness Type Nines will underestimate their physical desirability. They will simply rule out partners if they think the partner will not be attracted to them.

They are neglectful and accepting of their self-image despite any limitations. This acceptance causes them to avoid self-improvement. In order to motivate Type Nines to be healthy, they must see the additional pain, stress and difficulties that they will have unless they change. Conversely, being healthy and physically fit allows for Type Nines to adapt to any situation, to feel light, harmonious and at peace with their surroundings.


Type Nines are out of touch with their instincts and food impulses. They unconsciously suppress their internal messages in order to maintain peace with their surroundings – especially in suppressing their anger and individuality. Type Nines use food to “go numb” or escape from their anger and stress. They tend to mindlessly eat and are unable to recall what they ate throughout the day. Nines choose foods in order to be like the group, and may actually start to forget their own true preferences.

Enneagram Type 9 Favorite Foods

Nines define their tastes based on others so that they often keep their true favorite foods hidden unless it does not affect the group. Nines may find themselves craving foods that that represent their individuality. They spend so much time eating foods that were not served with their tastes in mind, that they may go buy foods and eat them by themselves where their choice cannot be judged or does not affect others.

Type Nines’ problems with overeating tend to be couch potato eating, mindless grazing, and screen-time calories. (Careless Couch Calories) The online book, “Your Fat, Your Fault,” suggests that their food metaphor is that food is an easy, numbing and sedative escape.

Food Shopping Style

Nines have a hard time shopping. They dwell on a decision longer than most people and feel a greater sense of buyer’s remorse than others. This is because they have so many people in their minds that they are trying to please. They may think to themselves about whether the food will be liked by their spouse or the kids. In the end it is impossible to please everyone Nines constantly struggle with this tension.

Meal Setting, Preparation, and Presentation

When food choices are seen as contradictory to others likes and preferences then Nines will adapt their eating habits to others. Food is always shared in a family and their preferences often take a backseat to that of the more aggressive personality types in the family. They may project “I don’t care what I eat and I don’t want to argue about it.” When cooking for themselves, Nines are usually very lazy about food preparation — they may eat a frozen meal, or simply snack straight out of the fridge. They may forage for food and leftovers until they are full.

Food Decision Factors

Nines choose food based on the people they are with and when they are by themselves they just scavenge or mindlessly munch. They are oftentimes not concerned about the health consequences of their choices, seeing any bad outcome so far off that it is not relevant. They typically eat more unconsciously than other types – eating whatever is put in front of them. Because others dictate so many of their choices, Nines may actually go hungry if not prompted to eat by the group. In these cases they may find themselves accidentally gorging themselves.



Emotional Eating Pattern

Nines fear conflict and seek harmony. One way to sooth their internal turmoil and unsettled feeling they have regarding conflict is to eat. The term “food coma” has a special significance for Type Nines. Nines will eat to numb all sorts of feelings or “passions” that they are experiencing. They withdraw into their “inner sanctum” and drown out external pressures, anxieties and conflicts through food.

Hidden Calories

Nines have problems knowing when to stop eating. This is because they have mental wanderings or daydreams that disconnect them from their physical experience. Therefore they have a hard time listening to their body’s fullness cues. Even when they are trying to avoid extra calories they tend to instinctively clear their plate before they realized it.

Lifestyle Eating

Type Nines merge with their environment and this causes them to eat when others are eating. For Type Nines cutting down calories, they must be careful that they don’t overeat during a party or social situation. Before they attend a gathering, Type Nines should eat a meal or set certain rules for smart food substitutions. The other option is to avoid the parties when they are dieting because Type Nines have a tough time withstanding peer pressure.

Ordering Style

When going to a restaurant with other people, Nines appear like they do not know what they want to eat. They have a hard time deciding. They may find themselves basing their order around what others are eating or other people’s preferences. Type Nines do not protest when others order for them. They generally accept any food given to them and do not complain about the food or the service staff.

Representative Meal

The foods and settings that best represent Type Nines are easy fast food without many choices (choice A or B), eaten without much thought, or because other people made the food choice.


In regards to Types Nines adopting food changes into their diet, it is highly dependent on their environment. Nines will feel fine with substitutions and can adopt these easily if it convenient and consistent with their “caregivers.”



Exercise Motivation

Nines want nothing to change. On a deep and unconscious level they fear loss and separation from their loved ones. In this way, Nines may be motivated to work out if they are no longer attractive to their partner, or if their job requires minimum levels of physical fitness. Fitness motivation for the Nine, therefore, is usually external and fleeting depending on the external pressure. Nines are better-off focusing on their desire for inner strength and peace of mind as a long term and effective fitness motivator.

Baseline Activity Level

On average, Nines are slothful creatures that abhor additional work and stress and are completely comfortable with the status quo. They tend to view their health optimistically despite being significantly out of shape. In that light, Nines have notoriously low basal energy expenditure.

Favorite Exercise and Exercise Environment

Type Nines are such a blank slate that it is difficult to pinpoint a favored exercise other than one chosen by their group. Although Nines are comfortable alone, they may take prodding to get them out and exercising. So in this way they are usually exercising with others. Type Nines unwillingness to make decisions limits them to workouts that are run and developed by others. Nines may be scared of the exercise selection chosen for them as it may be too intense for their fitness level. Their strong defense of the status quo makes it hard to even get off the couch to work out in the first place. Nines constantly have to fight their internal message that they should not put forth effort for something they cannot achieve.

Type Nines usually prefer non-judgmental and non-competitive environments. Others may enjoy competitions, but Nines can actually feel bad winning because of how it makes the other person or group feel.

Exercise Personality Limitations

Although Nines are comfortable alone or with a group, Nines tend to stick to workouts that involve others. They benefit from the routine of a sports team or club, military service, or a job that is physically active throughout the day.



If left up to their own devices Nines will continue on the same path of sedentary lifestyle due to their penchant for the status quo. Also, Type Nines are quite easily distracted. The closer they come to completion of an activity, the more distracted they become. It is very helpful if Nines have an external source that keeps them on an exercise routine and keeping them goal directed.


They are willing to try new things when others get them involved or bring them along.


Nines dislike exercise that is significantly intense or painful and become quickly agitated when outside of their comfort zone. They are more likely to benefit from interval type training to allow them short bouts of intense effort with periods of rest.


Nines tend to sabotage themselves with a poor plan, by not communicating with workout partners or thinking assuming that the plan and their willpower will be able to motivate them when the time for exercise comes.

Pre-Exercise Anxiety

Nines tend to fear the pain that they will undergo during exercise and may become filled with a significant dread. They start to look for ways to escape their commitment to workout.

Exercise Performance Anxiety

If the Nine is significantly out of shape, then they may feel awkward or shamed if they step into the gym that is frequented by very fit individuals. This is true for all types. Nines mostly defuse this feeling by being part of a group and then they do not feel singled out.

Post-Performance Guilt

Nines usually leave exercise with a strong since of accomplishment. They must harness this experience and feeling to help motivate them for the next workout.

Learn About Diet Strengths and Skills for Type Nine

By Dr. Scott Harrington

JUN 2012