TYPE NINE: The Mediator

If you are a Mediator, you are accepting, calming and steady with a strong belief that love and belonging are earned by blending in with other people’s agendas.

You habitually focus your attention on other people’s wants/needs and on environmental distractions.


You are driven by an inertia or sloth toward yourself and your own priorities. Challenges for this comfort-seeking type who considers all sides of an issue include being ambivalent, self-deprecating and passive-aggressive.

Each Enneagram Type has its own idealization, avoidance and defense mechanism which holds the idealization “in place”. 

IDEALIZED SELF-IMAGE: “I am peaceful.”

AVOIDANCE: Conflict and discomfort

DEFENSE MECHANISM: Narcotization or “numbing out;” to leave the present moment with its discomfort and conflict.

When conflict or an uncomfortable situation arises, the 9 may become physically tired, environmentally distracted or busy with inessentials in order to avoid the difficult matter.

9s may also use television, food, exercise, talking or alcohol/drugs to “numb.”

I’ll deal with this later. Time for ice cream and a movie…”


Make self important.

Set boundaries, limits, and priorities.

Love yourself as well as others.

Accept discomfort/pain as part of life.

Cultivate a mindfulness practice and notice the difference between mindfulness and numbing out.

VIRTUE: Right action; a state of being fully engaged and can take action in the moment with clarity of mind and purpose. It is the ability to intentionally focus on your own needs and priorities, and take action in support of yourself.

Remember a time when you felt engaged, a sense of inner aliveness and clarity, where you knew the action to take and took it with confidence and decisiveness.

Feeling grateful for something helps keep our focus and energy on it.

This is helpful when working with the Enneagram because gratitude automatically shifts focus away from those things which habitually grab attention to perhaps more productive or nourishing things. Intentionally cultivating a gratitude practice is an excellent way to broaden our focus of attention.


Cultivate gratitude for your unique contribution to a situation, project, and/or relationship.


When a Mediator doesn’t say “no,” it does not mean they mean “yes.”

Expect 9s to say what you want to hear, but it doesn’t mean that it’s what they want. Make sure you draw out their preference.

Appreciation is paramount.

Nines participate in other people’s lives. They need us to notice.

Your needs seem louder and more significant than their own.

Notice simple things that they like and participate with them.

Once a priority surfaces, it needs a clear way forward to succeed.

Choice surfaces by the process of elimination.

Nines know what they don’t want, not what they do.

Nines may forget themselves.

Under pressure, expect a retreat into the routine mechanics of relating which is often shaped to please another.

Learning to recognize the patterns of type, accepting them with compassion and learning to relax them, brings us to the present moment where life can be experienced more fully. Recognizing these patterns in others helps us understand and relate to them.


Watch Leslie give a short introduction and explanation of Type Nine, The Mediator:

Interested in learning how we can support you through Enneagram typing or coaching? Click here.

Sources: Helen Palmer; Type Nine panelists; Enneagram Studies in the Narrative Tradition

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