Nines have an innate tendency to remain calm and keep the peace, but oftentimes that is the opposite of what is going on in their head.
Most days I go through life projecting a face of peace while my brain is a jumble of anxieties and insecurities. There is so much more going on in my brain than what others can see. In my brain I am far from calm, but somehow I manage to present myself as calm.
Over the years I have noticed that when others are asked to describe me the word “chill” makes it onto most lists. I remember thinking “Me… chill? What? I have no chill”.
But why are people viewing me as chill when I feel the opposite? The answer can be found in the core desire of enneagram nines: to maintain peace. Like most things nines do, the way nines present themselves to others is motivated by maintaining peace. Because nines can not control other people, they appear to be over compensating and present themselves as always calm.
Last year my mom was driving me to physical therapy for my knee and the roads were fairly icey. We were on a backroad two lane highway and we came around a big turn that revealed a large hill. As we came around the turn, we started to lose traction and saw a nine of five cars at the bottom of the hill. We were not able to stop, so to avoid hitting the car in front of us my mom was able to maneuver the car to the wrong side of the road as a car was creeping down the hill at us.
Fear started to set in and my mom was starting to panic, but I just kept saying “It’s okay mom. It’s okay. You’re doing great. It’s going to be okay”. Thankfully, I was right, and there was a large gap between two of the cars lined up at the bottom of the hill and my mom regained control over the car, and we got back in our lane. Despite the fear I was feeling, I was able to present myself as calm and help my mom from losing it. Like in my story, being chill or calm is not a bad thing, but when it becomes the only face you show there is a problem, because no one is calm all the time.
The other day after my basketball game that did not go well, I went to my friends house. I was starting to get emotional about it, but I kept myself together enough to walk in and say hi. Upon asking how it went, I lost it and started crying. They were there to hug me and console me. I needed to be around good friends that I am able to let my calm face fall and lose my cool.
It is highly important for nines to find people they feel comfortable enough to lose their chill around because keeping up a facade is exhausting. The world needs nines calming, chill selves, but nines need space to lose their chill or that they can be a healthy amount of calm.