Getting Out of The Box: A Conversation with a High-Mastery Type 9

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Getting Out of The Box: A Conversation with a High-Mastery Type 9

Relaxed and Easy-going, Type 9 people are the epitome of zen. Their energy exudes kindness and calmness. Also called The Peacemaker in the Enneagram, they desire peace above all else and avoid it at all costs. Got a conflict at work? They are the perfect mediators.

For a low-mastery Type 9, they might just operate in an auto-pilot mode in their day-to-day lives and are unable to get in touch with what they desire. They grew up thinking their voice or opinion don’t matter, so they usually end up going with the flow or just following the crowd.

For this article, I am beyond excited to talk to this Type 9 who re-discovered herself during a difficult time in her life. And now, she’s a badass entrepreneur and a community leader. Her goal is to empower other women to follow their passion and find their courage.


  1. Scheduling is key.

In times of stress, 9s would usually withdraw and numb themselves out by engaging in activities that are familiar, requires little attention and provide comfort to avoid dealing with a conflict or issue. This is their defence mechanism – narcotisation.

Back when she was less self-aware, she would get busy with other things to numb herself instead of doing the very thing that is urgent and required her attention. She’d also read books or watch dramas to avoid talking.

Numbing herself caused a strain in her marriage. Her husband didn’t have a way of knowing what’s on her mind, and they weren’t able to resolve issues as she would avoid addressing these problems.

She said having the awareness stopped her from mindlessly using this defence mechanism. And to have that awareness, she have to get in touch with herself and her emotions.

In order to fight her numbing tendencies, she would intentionally plan her day and stick to it no matter what. She pushed herself to learn to effectively manage her time and stick to her routine.


  1. Exercising helps in regulating your emotions.

Being part of the Body Triad that is associated with the core emotion of anger, 9s have a problem with expressing their anger. And when this happens, they can become passive-aggressive or may suddenly blow up.

Before learning about the Enneagram, she said that she gets really frustrated when she can’t decide whether to voice out her anger or not. She always has compassion for others and understands their point of view, which prevents her from expressing her anger.

The turning point for her was when she had a meltdown and attempted suicide because she was suppressing all the negative emotions she had for years. “I was almost drowned in a tsunami of emotions that erupted from within. Like a dormant volcano erupting with emotions.”

After that painful episode in her life, she decided to get better for her kids and for herself. She would put in the effort to get in touch and deal with her emotions and not suppress it. She figured that exercising really helps her regulate her emotions. This way, she’s able to focus on her body and release the negative emotions that she’s having. She also noted that her friends from church encouraged her to express her emotions without judgment.


  1. Be more assertive and show up.

Type 9s fixation is sloth. That doesn’t mean Type 9s are lazy – in fact, they can be the most productive people at your workplace. Sloth manifests in a self-deleting way for 9s, meaning their attention goes to others and not to themselves. And because of this, they might not be able to recognise their feelings, passions or goals. They don’t like rocking the boat, so they just keep things to themselves.

She shared that her indecisiveness frustrates her. It’s a struggle for her to always be assertive and decisive as she knows her choice or decision may not please everyone, and this may disrupt the peace. She acknowledges that her husband (who’s a Type 8) influenced her to become more courageous to go after what she wants and voice her concerns when needed. In the past, she would tirelessly support others’ goals and agendas and forget about her own. Now, she would evaluate every invitation that she receives and ask herself whether it’s aligned with her goal or with what she wants. She refuses to live other people’s dream and works on achieving her own objective.

She also learned how to show up by providing solutions and helping people solve conflicts instead of just avoiding it. It wasn’t easy for her to get out of her comfort zone. But because she’s dedicated to her mission of encouraging and empowering other women, she faced her fear of public speaking. And after that, she found herself being invited to numerous gatherings to talk about women empowerment.

She said Type 9s are like elephants, stubborn but extremely powerful. To encourage her fellow Type 9s, she said, “Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Although we may not be able to move fast, but once we move, it is a strong force.”



Curious about your Enneagram type? Here’s a quick overview of the 9 Types. I know reading through these descriptions can be confusing. So save yourself from second-guessing and figure out your type with the help of our online test.


Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
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