What Does An Enneagram 9 Go To In Stress?

This article will take a look at the type 9 enneagram and how they become when they experience stress. Furthermore, the article will also talk about the dark side of this enneagram and introduce it in detail to the audience. The article will then attempt to provide suggestions as to how it can improve and reach a healthier version of themselves.

What Happens When An Enneagram 9 Goes Into Stress?

When the type 9 enneagram goes into stress they disintegrate into the unhealthy 3 where they become quite panicky and worried. They are unable to control how they feel or think and will engage in harmful and worrying thoughts and behaviours to manage the stress.

They are of the belief that they have lost the walls that once ensured they were secure and they are an open target to others who can take advantage or exploit their vulnerability. This makes them panic even more. Their stress may become visibly apparent because they are not able to mask it like other enneagrams.

How they feel may backfire on others too and instead of becoming defenseless they will engage in behaviours that will possibly ensure their security. They will lash out at others in an attempt to increase their chances of ‘survival’.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Panicked
  • Volatile
  • Disparaging
  • Reactive
  • Inferiority Complex

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.

Before we take a look at these behaviours in detail, let us introduce the type 9 enneagram to the audience!

Enneagram Type 9 – The Peacekeeper

These personalities just want everything to be okay! They desire peace and justice and will do absolutely anything to obtain this. They avoid conflict at any cost and will prefer to stay far away from it due to the suffering and pain it causes as well as the unproductive outcomes that accompany it.

The type 9 enneagram is one that fears loss and separation and they do not want to be in the bad books of anyone. This is why they are generally quite accepting and agreeable because they do not want to clash much with others even if it means not getting their point across or effectively expressing their views and why they support a certain stance!

This enneagram type that is also known as the ‘Peacekeeper’ has a number of strengths. First of all, they can remain calm in most situations and not panic or get frustrated because they recognize conflict and know – or at least choose – how to deal with it! Hence, unlike others, they will prevent the situation from worsening. They are great mediators when it comes to helping two people calm down and end a fight between them; they will help them express their views and encourage them to let go of things wherever they can – they will not add spice to the conflict. Also, this enneagram type can see multiple perspectives because their aim is not to win the conflict but to end it and hence they will do just that even if it means listening to others and their own self.

However, with strengths there are weaknesses too! They have the tendency to minimize problems because they just want to get rid of conflict rather than truly face and solve it. Also, because they do not fully express their true feelings, they may become passive aggressive!

Type 9s & Stress 

In this section, we will take a look at the more frequent behaviours this enneagram exhibits when they are in stress!

  • Panicked: When the type 9 goes into stress they start behaving like the type 6 enneagram who is of the view that others are out to get them! They become panicked and will stay in a constant state of worry. They will easily be scared or threatened because they are already in a heightened state of arousal. They will get tired sooner because most of their energy is being used in keeping them alert.
  • Volatile: In the state of stress, the type 9 enneagram is quite volatile. They are doing their best to keep their composure but it is not always done so successfully. They may seem normal at one point but as soon as the tipping point is reached they will lash out or react to someone or something. They change immediately and will alternate between a calm and panicked appearance.
  • Disparaging: One of the ways they deal with stress and the idea that others may harm them is they become disparaging with regards to their behavior. They will try to make others or what they achieve ‘less’ so as to perceive their own selves in a higher or more powerful state. They will label people, call them names, make fun of their weak points or what they have so difficulty accomplished. Their main aim is to make others feel weak and show others that they are in a state of power. This is necessary because the type 9 enneagram believes their walls of security have fallen and they are indeed in a state of vulnerability.
  • Reactive: Don’t mess with the type 9 enneagram when they are stressed because they are highly reactive. Like before, they won’t let anything go unnoticed and react at even the slightest of mistakes. If you annoy them, they will definitely tell you and express their anger in an unpleasant manner. This is because they are so stressed out that they need constant outlets to vent out the fear and tension in them. Hence, anything in their near environment which serves as a good excuse will do and they will grab the opportunity and use it for their sense of relief.
  • Inferiority Complex: Because they no longer have the security they had, this enneagram feels weak and vulnerable and hence may develop an inferiority complex. They will consider themselves lesser than others and this is one of the reasons why they become so belittling in their manners and thus put others down.

How Can An Enneagram Type 9 Work On Self Improvement?

The enneagram type 9 can work on self improvement by focusing on the following areas:

  • Put Yourself First: One thing that ruins this enneagram is that they go along with the wishes of other people and hence not only put themselves in a bad situation but eventually realize that the other person will never be happy with them especially if they know they are giving the enneagram a hard time. The best thing to do is make sure you are comfortable doing what others need you to do otherwise say no.
  • Focus: When the 9 type enneagram enneagram loses focus, that is when they begin to drift away from their own self. Hence, they should exert themselves to stay in the present and be aware of what is going on around them.
  • Acceptance: It is important that the type 9 enneagram recognizes that good and bad emotions exist and hence they should not run away from their bad ones by numbing themselves and trying not to feel anything. Being hurt or in pain helps us grow and teaches us many lessons hence it is necessary to go through pain and heartache as well.
  • Exercise: By exercising, the enneagram can stay in touch with the real world and their body too. It helps them feel better and stay in control and hence develop a feeling of autonomy and presence. Physically, they will feel better because exercise has a good effect on the body and releases happy hormones. Hence, daily exercise will help this enneagram type on the road to growth and self care.
  • Analyze: It is important that the type 9 enneagram realizes how they end up in the problems they are trying to run away from! This is necessary not only to reduce the pain they receive from others but also to ensure they do not fall into such problems again! This will help them understand their own mistakes and how they can do better next time so they can live a better life with lesser problems and be satisfied with the decisions they make.


This article took a look at how the type 9 enneagram behaves when they become stressed out and also what they can do to deal with the stress. The article also introduced this enneagram in detail to the audience. 



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