The Extroverted 9

Each type on the Enneagram has a certain lean towards being more introverted or extroverted, and the Nine is no exception. A Nine’s propensity for merging with the people around them often requires a Nine to be alone to know what they think and feel apart from others. Nines also tend to have the lowest energy of all the numbers on the Enneagram. It isn’t a surprise that so many Nines would call themselves introverts, getting energy from being alone. In our rather unofficial Instagram poll on @9ish_andiknowit, a few weeks ago, 80% of our Nines (of the almost 900 who participated) said that they considered themselves introverts. But that leaves us with our 20% of those who call themselves extroverted Nines!

I hope this snapshot of life as an extroverted Nine, offers some insight as to the strengths & the unique challenges that come with both. I’m so grateful for those who shared what it’s like to be them, adding their voice to the chorus of complexity for what it means to be an Enneagram Nine.

Is there a perception of being a Nine that doesn’t resonate with you?

I’m an extrovert, and every book, podcast, and instagram post I see always talks about how 9’s are so introverted! -Emma

I don’t resonate with the perception that we don’t like social gatherings. I’m extroverted, and hosting people at my house is one of my favorite things. -Anonymous

Being introverted. I’m really an outgoing person and LOVE meeting new people! -Terri

[I’m] not at all introverted. Also, my 8 wing makes me assert myself a lot, or speak up for others more than I feel like most people think 9’s do. (Then I dwell on that for days. 😂) -Tracy

I feel like I'm a really good people person. I'm not super outgoing, but I certainly can't be alone more than 40% of the time. -Kathryn

What does it look like for you to be a Nine and an Extrovert?

I sincerely believe I can be friends with everyone! I get energy from meeting new people and experiencing what makes them unique. -Crystal

I’m an extroverted 9!! I loooove people and seek out interactions. I can be the life of the party and I’m very energetic. (I think I’m a 9w8, SX.) -Gayle

I love it. My favorite thing is finding shy people and making them be friends with me. I am able to be patient with them and listen and hear them like other types can't physically do. I can be friends with EVERY group of people because I feel like I can see all of their perspectives. I can merge with all of them. I also get so energized when I'm around other people, it moves me into my healthy place. I turn into a healthy 3. -Anonymous

As an extroverted Nine, I find my mediator/peacemaker tendencies come out in my desire to make sure everyone is entertained. For the most part, this means I love being in the spotlight making people feel amused or relaxed; sometimes it means I notice that others would be good at entertaining at that moment and I'll try to encourage them to share the spotlight for the same goal of bringing joy/amusement to the group. If not everyone is having a good time, I feel pressure.

As an extroverted Nine, I can meld with any group and have a conversation based on their interests etc, even if I would prefer to be with another group. -Bethany

For me, I just feel my most “on” when I’m around people doing things I love or meeting new people. I regularly neglect much needed alone time to hangout with friends/volunteering/doing anything with people! I think it has to do with me being a SX 9 so I crave having intimate connections with those closest to me more than having time to myself. -Anonymous

What does it look like to meet your socializing needs?

I need to go outside, and just be around people, even just shopping (I talk to anyone), or going to eat, spend time around friends or at church. Even conversation with my husband somehow feels more refreshing at a coffee shop than at home! I mostly just have to talk; it can be anyone/anywhere really. Working in an open office where I can chat with another extrovert all day definitely helps too. -Megan

I seek people out, almost always want company. I find great joy from being with friends and in social situations - I LOVE parties. But I can definitely feel kinda shy sometimes, especially if I feel forgotten, and then I want to leave and regroup. -Gayle

I’ve always gotten in trouble for talking. ALWAYS. I made a friend no matter where I went. I befriended everyone. However, it makes it harder because I want nothing more than to please them. It does get overwhelming but I’ve dealt with it. -Sloan

I LOVE hosting people. Dinner parties, grill outs, movie nights, whole neighborhood block parties, etc. Also, when out and about and I see people I know it fills my heart with joy and is often a highlight of my day. I feel exhilarated from these experiences. -Meg

What feels uniquely challenging about being an extroverted Nine?

It’s hard for me to balance constantly wanting to be around my people while also acknowledging that I could be using being around them as a way to escape the disruption within myself. Sometimes I recognize that, and so I’ll retreat to quietness for a few days and choose not to be with anyone. This raises questions among my people and they continuously ask me if I’m doing okay, which makes me question if I’m actually doing okay, which causes massive internal conflict within myself. That’s just a tiny sneak peek into being an extroverted 9! -Abigail

As an extroverted Nine, I’m constantly at battle with “do I say it?” or “do I not say it?” Because I want to be heard but I also don’t want to butt in and someone else to not get to speak their mind. I’m worried if I talk too much people will get annoyed and frustrated with me. So I’m constantly holding back thoughts and opinions despite wanting to run the whole conversation. I want the conversation to go how everyone else wants it to go, putting my own thoughts to the side. -Morgan

As I’ve gotten older and realized I’m a 9, I’ve been thinking about what my need for people and support means- do I seek them out to avoid time alone because it makes me uncomfortable to sit in my pain and anger? Somewhat. But I also just really love people. -Gayle

It’s very conflicting - I feel the desire to be around people and enjoy and find it life giving to be around people, but struggle to engage fully and tend to fall into the background because there is so much going on around me. It can be exhausting as well because of that. -Ashten

I've also noticed that, while I am very outgoing and friendly, I have a hard time making very deep friendships, and a lot of it is to do with my tendencies to not know what I personally want or really who I am, or I have a difficult time seeing how I fit in or feeling like I matter. Because of that, I tend to discourage myself a lot when trying to make new friends. That's when I have to force myself to get out there, because of my need to be around people and to make those connections. -Emily

As an extroverted Nine, I project (and actually have) a lot of confidence in myself as a person, but often when the moment has passed and I'm alone, I worry about how my words and actions are perceived by others and if they promote peace or may cause me future conflict (e.g. I can talk too much and slip into gossip to blend with that group, then regret the gossip when I return to myself OR I say something I really mean, but worry will be misconstrued). I enjoy the social, conversational part of parties in the moment, but will often spend the drive home questioning why I withheld my opinion on such-and-such topic or dealing with the emotions I ignored earlier for the sake of presenting my "best self" to the world. -Bethany

Since I love being around people and need it for my energy, it gets frustrating quickly to be overlooked when I do everything in my power to give everyone the attention I desire. -Sarah

Being an extroverted nine, I really rely on connection with others to get me through my day. It’s hard because I want to spend time with others, however I don’t want to insert myself into their busy schedule and be unwelcome or a bother. I often end up being isolated because it’s hard for me to reach out and ask people to spend their time with me. People don’t often reach out to me to spend time so I feel like my presence isn’t wanted. Isolation leads to “falling asleep”, which leads to more isolation and more feeling like no one wants to spend time with me. -Anonymous

Anything you want to add about being an extroverted Nine?

I'm sure this has a lot to do with my 8 wing. I have two good friends that are 9w1 and we've realized a couple big differences between us. Their ability to read a room and sense tension informs them who/how to avoid, while for me, being able to read a room informs me how to engage. I don't have a problem being social, engaging with strangers, being in a managerial position, etc. It gives me an opportunity to do something I'm great at - making others feel seen and comfortable! I am much more comfortable with the title of Mediator as a 9. I don't mind stepping into that role. My 9w1 friends identify more with the title of Peacemaker. They are much more likely to avoid to keep peace around them. -Melanie

I always say that being extroverted does NOT equal having good social skills. Being extroverted just means I recharge by being around people, as opposed to recharging by being by myself. So for me, if I don't spend at least an hour or two with some good, face-to-face, quality time with one or more people, then I'm gonna burn out real quick. I think, because of this, I tend to merge a lot more, and fit the "need of the group". So, for example, if I'm around people who are extremely tired and low energy, especially if we're doing something difficult like volunteering or hiking for a long time, I'll become much more talkative and energetic because I notice there's a lack of that. (It's not something I do consciously, I've just noticed that it's a pattern.) -Emily

Extrovert doesn’t mean life of the party- I’m not at all. But I ADORE being with people and watching people and talking to people, especially people I love the most. I get overwhelmed in cramped, loud spaces, but I truly get energized by being with others. I value alone time but when I’m alone too long I start to feel stale. -Katie

Post Written By: Alison L Bradley of @9ish_andiknowit

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