Enneagram Type 9w8: Childhood (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 9w8 i.e. type nine wing eight ‘The Comfort Seeker’ and the role of their childhood in their personality development. We will do that by initially giving an introduction to enneagrams, their structure, and wings. This will follow up by describing the dominant type Nine personality and its triad. We will move on to giving an overview of its subtype i.e. type 9w8. Finally, we will discuss the detailed role of childhood in their development.  

Enneagram Type 9w8: Childhood

Enneagram type 9w8 has the primary characteristics of type 9 and secondary characteristics of type 8 personality. These people are social, independent, assertive and seek routine in daily life. They also have an adventurous streak in them. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Rejecting their voice’. This means that they do not ask others for anything and diminish their needs to almost nothing. They do this to prevent destroying or wreaking havoc on others in their surroundings and as well as themself.

Introduction to Enneagrams

Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It has its roots in spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. Multiple people contributed to its development among which George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo are the most prominent. 

It is divided into nine personality types that are spread across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad. It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation in the form of good or bad traits and sees which triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect or instincts is most characteristic of his or her personality. 

An enneagram gives a personality type that is fluid and explains its change across time i.e. personality integration (during health, self-actualization) or disintegration (during ill health, neurosis). In other words,  a personality can become more healthy or unhealthy as it moves in different directions from its basic type. Enneagram also links one personality type with other personality types.

The structure of Enneagram

Enneagram symbol is a circle that has 9 points (each point is a personality type) present on the circumference. Each type is related to another as represented by the connected lines. Points 3,6, 9 forms a triangle. They are primary personality types that are blocked in some way from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Whereas 4,2,8,5,7,1 form an irregular hexagram and are secondary personality types since they are mixed and not blocked from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Each type is the result of a dialectic. In every triad, one type over-expresses its characteristic quality, another under-expresses it, and the third is mostly out of touch with it. 

Wings in Enneagrams 

The Basic Personality Type is the most characteristic of a person. Whereas wings add elements to the overall personality i.e. it is the second side of it. 

Example: If you are a personality type 9, you can have wing1 or wing8. So, such a personality can be understood by knowing the traits of the basic or main type and the secondary types. Usually, each personality has two wings, and both influence a person. However, at times people have one dominant wing along with their basic personality type.

The Instinct Triad: Personality Types Eight, Nine, and One

• The positive and negative traits of these personalities are dominated by instinct.

• When these types are healthy, they can relate to their environment with great wisdom from within. Thus, they can become good leaders.

• When they are unhealthy, they are out of balance and find it difficult to relate to their environment and people. 

• All three personality types have common problems linked with repression and aggression.

Enneagram Type 9: The Peacemaker 

Key traits: peaceful, reassuring, content, and neglectful. They are mostly out of touch with their instinct. So their reactions are not instinctive. This is done to maintain inner peace. It has two subtypes:

• The nine with wing 1 (Type 9w1)

• The nine with wing 8 (Type 9w8)

Type 9w8: ‘The Comfort Seeker’

Type 9w1 has basic traits of type 9 and secondary traits of type 8. Type nine pushes such people to be passive and maintain harmony. Whereas, wing 8 pushes them to be aggressive and practice assertiveness. As a result, such people are receptive, not conscious of themself, agreeable but also set limits. They are social, easy-going, friendly, and rely on emotions and hunches. However, they can be grounded when required. 

Healthy versions of this subtype are strong internally, have good willpower, and are passionate. They can be powerful yet gentle, be assertive but with graciousness & concern, and be dominating yet submissive. Although they are easy-going in general yet on rare occasions they have tempers. They are open to socializing with people, unconditionally accept them the way they are, have a dry sense of humor, and know how to present themselves well. Their focus is on the present circumstances and needs. Professions like sales and helping services suit them greatly as they can utilize their skills of negotiation and can be supportive and helpful to others. 

Average versions of this subtype are able to disengage from their emotions completely. Others see them as peaceful. Although, occasionally they can be aggressive unknowingly. They are lazy about achieving success in some areas of their life and ambitious in others. 

Type 9w8 are intellectually average, need psychological and intimate compatibility in relationships, and see materialistic self-interest in relationships. They can be stubborn, defensive, and aggressive at times and may get set off by the tiniest things especially if their peace of mind is interrupted. However, right afterward they become calm and peaceful again. 

Sometimes, they can be protective of themself and their property and unintentionally hurt others in the process. Such fights may involve confrontation and a long-term resentment, especially if their family, lifestyle, or beliefs are attacked. Yet, they are always ready for a peaceful resolution if the opportunity presents itself.   

With time, they can become rigid about their safe routine & habits and stop listening to others. Depression, low energy, flat emotional affect, tremors, tearfulness, and anxiety can also build up with time. If the situation arises, they can be emotionally detached, impulsive, and violent especially if they are in an unstable state and not able to regulate their internal forces. This can happen in cases of intimate jealousy related to a spouse or being separated from a close person. In other words, their pride gets hurt in these situations. Psychological problems like chronic depression, extreme dissociation, and addiction may arise in such people. 

Examples of Type 9w8: Keanu Reeves, Ringo Starr, Gerald Ford 

Strengths of Type 9w8

  • Accepting of multiple perspectives
  • Assertive
  • Easily adapt to changing situations
  • Can connect with others
  • Easily connect with others and supports them

Weaknesses of Type 9w8

  • Avoids difficult situations
  • Minimize personal issues or emotions
  • Avoids difficult situations
  • May shift from assertiveness to passiveness 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Workplace and job 

Type 9w8 are assertive, adaptable, encouraging people who are able to see things from other people’s perspective. They prefer to work in jobs that allow them to closely interact with others and be independent e.g. counselor, judge, salesperson, social worker, etc.

Source of Stress for type 9w8

  • Major decision making
  • Being controlled by others
  • Being disregarded or ignored
  • Ignoring tension and conflict

Basic fear 

Type 9w8 fear being cut off from the world. So, they try to avoid it by preventing conflict. Yet, wing 8 pushes them to be assertive which creates an internal conflict in them.

Basic desire 

Type 9w8 desire to have balance and peace in themself. They distract themself with their routine and avoid negative emotions, to defend themself against internal struggles.

Type 9w8 Childhood/development

We become any personality depending on how we have learned to respond to the world growing up. Our early childhood particularly our relationship with our parents governs how we unconsciously adapt to our family and the world. Genetics and temperament have their role as well. A person remains one personality type throughout life but may change and grow to develop healthy or unhealthy traits.  

In their childhood, type nines are connected to both parents and internalize their psyche. Most of their time is spent keeping it in balance and harmony. As children, they absorb a lot of messages and feelings from the people in their surroundings. This could include pain and conflicted feelings especially if the family is dysfunctional; leaving them the option of dissociation to escape from the overwhelming pain. They also learn to tune out the family conflicts in order to survive e.g. blocking out the sounds of parent’s fight by singing happy songs etc. However, if the family is peaceful, they have more time to make sense of the world. So, they are sensitive, open-minded, and feel supported. 

With time, however, they realize that their identity is basically adopted and not who they are since it’s dependant on their parents’ agenda. Leaving no room for them. As a result, they try to find independence and autonomy. This leads them to spend time alone. They end up valuing their ‘me time’ highly. They spend their time in activities they feel strongly about and anyone questioning them makes them defensive and angry. With time, as they learn more about their inner self, they become calmer and start letting go of these activities and start to claim their needs. 

Since nines were subjected to discord or threat of parental separation, they are terrified by the idea of disagreement and strive to maintain harmony in life as a result. Even conflicts within themselves are scary, so they try to do good and feel whole. If they are less healthy, they imagine others as ‘well and whole’ even when they are not. Due to this, they start losing connection with the ‘real’ people they wanted to stay connected with.

 FAQs: Type 9w8-Childhood

What is Type 9 personality?

Type 9 personality is peaceful, creative, and hardworking. They fear wreaking havoc on others so they numb their needs to prevent that from happening. It is one of the types from the nine enneagrams.

What is Type 9w8?

Type 9w8 or Type9 wing 8 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type nine personality and complementary characteristics of type eight personality. 

Is Enneagram valid?

Yes. Studies conducted on The Enneagram Institute’s Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) is 72 percent accurate, reliable and valid,

Can your Enneagram number change?

No. Enneagram type or number remains the same as we have the same personality patterns ingrained in us. However, a person’s traits may change over time.


In this article, we discussed enneagram type 9w8 in detail and the role of childhood in their development. We found that enneagram type 9w8 has the primary characteristics of type 9 and secondary characteristics of type 8 personality. These people are social, independent, assertive, and seek routine in daily life. They also have an adventurous streak in them. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Rejecting their voice’. This means that they do not ask others for anything and diminish their needs to almost nothing. They do this to prevent destroying or wreaking havoc on others in their surroundings and themself.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊




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