Understanding your Enneagram type isn’t always straightforward. You may take the Enneagram test and feel confused about your results because you share similarities with more than one personality type, which isn’t uncommon. That’s because some Enneagram types are more challenging to type than others. But what is the most difficult Enneagram type to type? The answer might surprise you.

What is the most difficult Enneagram type, in a nutshell

Not all Enneagram types are as difficult to type, but there’s one in particular that is harder to discern from the others. Drumroll please…..

Out of the nine Enneagram types, Type 9, “The Peacemaker,” can be the most difficult type to pick out of a crowd. 

Why is Type 9 a difficult personality to type? 

Type 9s are all about maintaining peace and harmony. As such, they spend much of their time blending in with others and prioritizing other peoples’ needs over their own — even pretending to like things they do not to help keep the peace and happiness of their group. 

The problem is, few Type 9s are aware of these innate motivational patterns. Because they understand the inner workings of other types and what it takes to keep the peace, they may answer test questions while thinking about the needs of others — and that can lead to a confusing, obscured result when Type 9 isn’t honest with themselves.

Are you a true Type 9 or something else? 

To determine if you or someone else is an Enneagram 9, the best thing you can do is to look at the main fear and motivation of Type 9. An Enneagram Type 9 is most afraid of coming across as needy and therefore pushing others away by appearing too clingy or dependent. Because of this fear, Type 9s makes themselves as agreeable as possible, avoiding any upset in relationships or disagreements, even when they feel neglected inside. 

As for motivation, Type 9 will strive to create peace in their environment and relationships, and they will not seek out or engage in a conflict where possible because they’d rather keep everyone happy.

If this sounds like you, you might be an Enneagram Type 9 — but you should also look at the other Enneagram types to be sure.

Could you be an Enneagram Type 2? 

Type 9 has a lot of overlapping characteristics with the Enneagram Type 2. Both types are kind and easy-going, and they also both put others’ needs ahead of their own. They are similar in their need to please others at the expense of their own needs and to maintain a level of peace and harmony. 

Like Type 9s, Enneagram Type 2s struggle with feelings of inferiority when they’re pushed away and unaccepted by others. However, their primary motivation is different. For Type 9s, the motivation is to have peace; they’re allergic to conflict and turmoil in relationships and at home, so they’re the most likely to bend over backward to prevent negative emotions from coming through. Because of this, the differences between Enneagram 2 and Enneagram 9 are an easy summary: Type 9 is more passive about things, while Type 2 goes out of their way to engage with people and provide an overall feeling of care.

While Type 9 cares for others, they aren’t as confronting about it. For example, a Type 2 will be the person mothering a group, making treats to send home with others, and asking if anyone needs help, seeking out their friends like a guardian. Meanwhile, Type 9 spends more time agreeing with others’ choices, maintaining a passive attitude, and trying to meditate on scenarios that have gone bad in their inner circle.

Heart versus Body types: how this can help you determine if you’re an Enneagram 9

The Enneagram Type 9 is a Body type, which may also help you discern if your typology is correct. As a Body type, you’ll be more physical in both your and others’ reactions. Physical comfort will mean more to you than anything else, which is apparent in your actions toward others and your desire to stay independent from the outside world. 

If, by chance, you’re a Heart type like an Enneagram Type 2, you’ll be more empathetic by nature and strive to understand your feelings and the others around you. Your emotions will rule you more than logic and physical reactions, and you connect more with people who also feel pulled by their hearts over their heads.

The Enneagram Type 9

To discover if the Enneagram Type 9 personality type fits you, you should look at the traits most of them exhibit. A true Enneagram Type 9 will have most of the following traits:

  • A talent for diffusing conflict among others
  • A cool and calm attitude
  • A relaxing voice and demeanor 
  • More than a few acquaintances and friends
  • A passive attitude when it comes to decision-making
  • A gentle, agreeable being
  • General avoidance of anger and ill feelings
  • Devaluation of their own feelings and qualms
  • An overwhelming desire to stray from negative emotions

Still having trouble typing yourself?

You may not be able to tell if you’re an Enneagram Type 9 right away. That’s because 9’s are great at sensing other peoples’ problems and are used to melding to whatever their friend group wants them to be to appeal to them as agreeable, easy-going individuals. 

However, if you think you might be an Enneagram Type 9, take a look at the main traits of this Enneagram type and think about what motivates you — what makes you seek out friendships, and how do you navigate those relationships? A straightforward answer will point to whether you’re a Type 9 or some other Enneagram type when you analyze your core motivations and fears.

The takeaway

Enneagram Type 9s might be the hardest to type in the Enneagram personality type system, but they’re valuable personalities who sacrifice their own needs to help others feel comfortable. Because it isn’t always easy to type an Enneagram 9, you should question your test results if you receive an answer that doesn’t sound like you. As with all personality tests, though, you should remember your personality type isn’t always infallible, and you can take your results with a grain of salt. No test will pinpoint every instance of your personality because all people have unique traits that shine through, whether they’re an Enneagram Type 9 or anything else in between.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.