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The Shadow of Enneagram 9 👹 What Triggers 9's? What do 9's envy?

Let’s talk about the Enneagram 9 through the lens of my “shadow theory”

As the vague, smooth, dissipated, unlocatable and withdrawn 9, who on either side can have an assertive/rejection 8 wing or a frustration/superego 1 wing…

8 - 9’s can be triggered or even on some level envious of the braggadocious, chaotic, brute force chonk energy of the 8. Wondering where this will to power comes from, as they may only sense it occasionally in some kind of fantasy narrative inside of themselves. 9’s don’t like being bossed around or told what to do and can quickly grow to resent people steamrolling them and not making space for them to speak and share. Some 9’s desire being more assertive but don’t feel the cost is worth it - because it usually creates too much of a stir in waters they like to keep still. They may see the 8’s assertiveness and feel lazy by comparison. As a reaction to wanting to assert their ‘yes’ and ‘no’ they can become immovable, blobby, gruff or deliver their iconic silent treatment via ghosting.

1 - 9’s can be triggered by self-righteous, rigid, criticality while simultaneously engaging in tone-policing of others and trying to control the vibe of a room by keeping the temperature on moderate and inoffensive, at all times. 9’s can be capsized by others bold certainty and broadcasting of their exact location. It can be overwhelming to the 9, when 1 or 1-fixers exert their certainty onto the porous 9, who already might have a bit of this superego criticism making little cuts in their back at all times. 9’s may also envy 1, as a competency type who is known for its discipline, concision, and decisiveness - whereas the 9 can feel they lack in this department.

  • 9 -line to 3 - much like with the other assertive type 8, 9 can feel somewhat envious or offended by the 3’s productivity, ability to grind and get after what they want, or their tasteless social-climbing, concern with optics and positioning and aggrandizing of their abilities, talents, financial situation or body count. While the 9 may excel in the same areas, it might feel kind of gross or dangerous to them to self-promote or dare to brag. They may feel getting overwhelmed and under delivering, even if they’re actually more talented, skilled or knowledgeable than the 3.

  • 9 line to 6 (reactive) - might feel like the 6 is always trying to draw them into some kind of misery, anxious spiral, argumentative stew, or drama and the 9 may disconnect from themselves in the 6’s presence, just to avoid disagreement or conflict or escalating hysteria. This can lead the gaslighting behavior 9’s are often known for because they can white lie themselves into oblivion to avoid setting off a reactive type like the 6. 9’s often become stressed out in 6’s presence, although they may also be attracted to the 6’s alert, questioning, and sometimes downright anti-authoritarian or rebellious energy, as it feels like something they lack.

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