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Understanding the "passion" of Type 9 on the Enneagram

Updated on March 8, 2013

Passion of Type 9 - Sloth

The Enneagram is a personality typology system. It can tell you a lot about your personality but because it is a very vast body of knowledge, attempting to understand it in its entirety can literally take years. This HUB focuses only on what is called the “passion” of Type 9 – “The Peacemaker”– on the Enneagram system. I am also writing HUBs about the passion for each of the nine Enneagram personality types. If you do online research, you won’t find much written about the “passion” of Enneagram Types. Sandra Maitri’s book about the Virtues and Passions is overly technical, not an easy to understand book, and not helpful.

The “passion” of the Nine is called Sloth or Indolence. This does not mean that the Nine is lazy or slothful. In fact, most Nine’s thrive on action (the virtue of the Nine). They are at their best when they are moving at top speed and entering a flow of action. However, the “passion” of the Nine is called Sloth because they have an internal habit of self-forgetting, of not being able to find their internal selves in a way that motivates them. In a sense, Nine’s go to sleep to their life because it is hard to resist this internal insecurity of indolence. Their sloth is accompanied by a fixation of “merging” with others. The passion drives them to merge with others rather than act out of their own internal motivation. It is hard to get motivated to do things as a Nine unless they use another person to garner action.

When it comes to getting internal Nine’s will have an immediate passion driven reaction to be “lazy”. That is, they would rather find a comfortable bed and comfortable pillows to sleep on when work is at hand. It is hard not to procrastinate because finding that internal drive is hard. As a result of the Nine passion and their fixation of attention which causes them to ‘merge’ with others, Nine’s often feel they are sensitive to their environment. That includes merging with other people and things in the room they might be in. This merging is a manifestation of indolence also. Rather than understand what’s going on inside, the Nine tends to be more aware of what’s going on outside, in the environment. This results in a sort of mental checking out.

Nine’s aren’t lazy. But their passion causes them to self forget and makes it hard to go internal. The passion of the Nine grips them as much as the passion of the Five grips them and causes them to retreat. Everyone’s passion is hard to deal with.

The Enneagram is a very powerful tool for self awareness. Coming into awareness that you have a passion is helpful because it leads to a greater level of self acceptance, self awareness, and enables you to not feel badly about your passion. In the case of the Nine, knowing that you have a compulsion to self-forget internally, can help you to be more your authentic self. Knowing that it is because you and others who are also Nines have a built in need to experience indolence leads you to a different conclusion that you and others share the same sort of built-in insecurity. I encourage you to check out any number of Enneagram websites if you’re interested in the material. Typing yourself can be a fun process. Try


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