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Famous Enneagram Nines: Sandra Bullock and the Dalai Lama


WORLDVIEW: Everyone deserves to be respected and heard: I must enable this.

NINES seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard, and dislike conflict, tension, and ill will.

Relaxed, easy to relate to, and accepting, Nines see and honor multiple viewpoints and are usually excellent facilitators, drawing out the ideas of others so everyone gets heard. While they value harmony, seek comfortable ways of relating, and are often adept mediators of conflict between and among others, most Nines are extremely uncomfortable with conflict when it’s directed toward them and even more uncomfortable when they feel angry with someone else. As a result, Nines keep themselves from doing anything that might generate conflict or create disharmony – for example, not being aware when they are upset, not expressing opinions or preferences that could cause discord or disagreements, and diffusing their attention by engaging in activities that comfort them rather than focus them on their own desires or priorities. As examples, Nines may do some of the following: watch television for hours, flipping channels on a regular basis; cut the grass or garden when they have projects at work or home they should be doing; go shopping, walk the dog, or even do the dishes in an overly thorough way rather than have a difficult conversation with someone.

While Nines appear easygoing on the outside, many experience a high degree of internal tension, and they are not always as non-judgmental as they appear. In addition, some Nines tend to satisfy their desire for comfort through the satisfaction of their physical needs – for example, eating, sleeping, and/or reading; some Nines submerge themselves in service of group needs by working extraordinary hours, which allows them to forget about their own desires; and other Nines find comfort in fusing or blending almost completely with others who are important to them.

In the following YouTube segments, you will see short clips of two famous Nines: the actress Sandra Bullock and the Dalai Lama. These clips are excellent examples of the Nines’ interpersonal style. Agreeable and relatively unassertive, the Nine interpersonal style is non-intrusive but engaged, open and affable, and they often express themselves indirectly rather than boldly and directly.

Remember: While we can all prefer rapport and ease to discord, for Nines, the pursuit of harmony and comfort and the avoidance conflict is their primary, persistent, and driving motivation.

Sandra Bullock – Click here to see clip

In this interview with David Letterman, watch Bullock’s friendly and non-invasive interpersonal style, particularly the way she nods her head or says “yes” and laughs, as well as the timing of these behaviors. Letterman even describes her as “the kind of person who makes you feel better.”

Dalai Lama – Click here to see clip

Listen to the Dalai Lama discuss his views of conflict and human nature, notice his relaxing tone of voice, and watch how he creates rapport with the audience.

This is the last blog on the communication styles of the nine different Enneagram styles.

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