It Takes All Kinds    Type Nine

Some people are easier to appreciate than others, at least at first.

At times we think there is no way to value a certain person’s perspective. But when we get a glimpse into their world view we not only understand but begin to see the internal logic of their point of view. And when we understand our own habitual ways of thinking and feeling, we can see the pathways to healthier interactions.

In this column we are looking at nine archetypal personalities, one each month. Last month we talked about the Protector who values strength and justice above all. This month, as we tour the personality system of the Enneagram, we turn to the Mediator who values peace and harmony.

The first eight articles in this series appeared in the most recent issues of Mueller Living. You can find parts 1-8 at muellerpsychotherapy.com.

If I identify with the Mediator I’m agreeable, adaptable and easy-going. I value peace and harmony, often at the expense of my own needs. I don’t express much open anger but I can be stubborn and passive-aggressive because I avoid direct conflict. 

My attention goes to other people’s agendas. Sometimes I’m drawn to inessential distractions.

Somewhere deep inside I believe that in order to feel valued and secure it’s important to blend in and not create conflict. If I’m for myself I might lose everyone and everything. I like to blend in.

At home I’m nurturing and adaptable, usually putting my needs last. I’m in charge of peace and harmony in the home. I help people to see things from each other’s point of view. I may be drawn to food, TV, shopping or hobbies, repetitive tasks or collecting. Under stress I tend to numb out with these things.

At work I’m good at helping people see each other’s point of view. I lead by consensus and value everyone’s input. Sometimes it might be hard for me to see what I think is important since everything seems to have value.

In the community you can rely on me to consider everyone’s needs and see issues from opposing viewpoints. Some Mediators find a comfortable sense of belonging in community.

What pushes my buttons? Your pushing me to make a decision right now or involving me in conflict.

Something people who love me often say to me: Take a stand. Tell me what you want. Choose a restaurant for once! Did you follow through on what you said you’d do?

The things I need to be aware of so I can grow: It’s okay to take a stand and engage in conflict. People respect that and usually don’t leave. 

Don’t confuse me with the type who is giving but more energetic and strategic. They want to be seen as giving while I don’t really want to be seen.