Tiffany McAnarney - Type 9

The primary and driving motivation for a type nine is to have serenity and peace of mind, to create harmony in their environment, to preserve things as they are, to avoid conflict and tension and to escape demands. Tell me how that resonates and how that plays out in your life.

My 9 spirit animal could perhaps be the chameleon. It seems like I unconsciously absorb sensory information and adapt to fit the environment — all the while being a separate creature in and of myself. This takes a tremendous amount of energy to constantly keep up with. So, creating stable, steady environments has become my love language. There is nothing more I love than to have deep conversations with a good friend on my couch as the golden light trickles across the various potted plants in the windows. I could swim in that moment for all eternity. As a child, I began to create places in my mind that could center me when my external world was chaos. If I do not want the environment to disturb my peace, I can change my skin to adapt and retreat to an oasis within.

What do you wish people knew about what it's like to be an nine? What do you wish people knew about nines in general?

Haha honestly, I can only describe my experience as a nine because I hardly ever recognize other people as nines. I think we are unique because we are dynamic in our ability to take on attributes of many other numbers. It’s hard to put my finger on naming someone a nine or identifying it in myself. I can’t ever imagine myself as being separate or unique from the other numbers because I feel sometimes like an enneagram smoothie. 

How has getting to know yourself better using the Enneagram affected your relationship dynamics?

The Enneagram laid new groundwork for how I understand relationships. It has given me freedom to know that I have a tendency to take on the personality of those around me, and now I am better able to distinguish myself. In a way, it has helped me to understand intentions so I consciously try not to take things personally as much. If someone is trying to drain my energy or drop-kick my peace, I am getting better at learning to set boundaries and protect myself from depletion. 

What is your relationship to your wings?

Nestled between control and perfection is a person that wants a healthy dose of both. I think my father is an 8, and my Grandfather a 1. I understand both and see both in myself at different points in my life. However, I feel settled in accepting 1 as my wing in my love for creating environments and conjuring impossibly small, important details that drive me insane to achieve. 

Tell me what it looks like for you when you access your growth and stress numbers.

For me, I see 6 as related to fear and sadness. She’s my defense mechanisms, mainly tied to my past experiences. I know I need to find someway to center myself ASAP when I feel the tug of 6 or find myself screaming at people texting on the highway. 

3 is related to my drive towards providing a future for myself. It’s the resiliency factor. I have had a tendency to be an over achiever since I asked my 2nd grade teacher for Mad Math sheets over the summer. 

3 and 6 in a constant tug of war; the head and the heart, balancing out in the instinctual and present moment of the 9.

What's something about you that's different than how nines are described? OR what's something in the nine description that you don't connect with?

I love the metaphor of every number as a different color, and each person is a unique shade of that color. Any description in general is bound to be off base from each person. 

Non-confrontational — that’s not always the case. I think that’s an immature characteristic of a 9 that perhaps doesn’t understand boundaries or lacks self-respect. I think 9’s only have a difficult time directing negative energy towards a connection they care about.