Enneagram Type One (the Reformer)
Enneagram Type Nine (the Peacemaker)

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

These types understand each other from the inside as it were, and for better or worse, can see many of their own traits in the other. On the positive side, each type brings a certain idealism and desire to change the world to make it a better place. Nines bring a more interpersonal orientation than Ones to their idealism, but both can be self-sacrificial and hard working, and willing to put their personal needs and interests aside for the welfare of others. Both are also able to delay rewards for a long-term good they seek. Ones bring clarity and rationality and the ability to articulate ideals and understandings. They strive to improve themselves and their environment, are conscientious, have high ethical and moral standards, and are fair and consistent. Nines bring a gentle, accepting quality that nurtures and supports others without as much explicit demand for self-improvement. Nines are steady, easy to get along with, feel uncritical and undemanding, and prefer harmony and smooth relations over the pleasure of being right or of having the last word in a situation.

In short, Nines tend to take a bit of the rough edge off of the criticality and seriousness of Ones, while Ones give clarity and direction to Nines. Further, Ones feel that they have a mission in life, and they are able to inspire Nines to become aware of their own purpose and to want to follow it. This can be a highly altruistic couple who balance idealism with humanity. As a couple, they are gracious company, hospitable and generous, but they also need time to be alone with each other as a couple. They have a mutual love of nature and animals that may bring them closer together, as well as their love of their children and family. Nines soothe Ones, while Ones remind Nines to strive for excellence.

Potential Trouble Spots or Issues

The main problem area for Ones and Nines has to do with the opposite ways that they deal with conflicts and rising stress. Ones tend to become more openly frustrated with themselves and others and with the feeling that things are not going as they should. They begin to exude a prickly anger, edginess, and dissatisfaction with everything and everyone. They become obsessed with finding who is at fault, and with legislating how things could be improved. By contrast, when conflicts and stress increase, Nines begin to shut down and withdraw. They become less effective at correcting problems and less able to speak about their feelings or discomfort. The worse things become, the more Nines attempt to tune them out while maintaining that nothing is the matter. Thus, judgments about the Nine’s judgment and competence and willingness to take responsibility taint the One’s dealings with Nines, while resistance and denial of problems (with a barely suppressed undertow of anger) infect the Nine.

It is difficult for Nines to step up to the plate and take the level of responsibility that Ones are looking for. The more Ones push Nines to respond in the way they want, the less Nines are willing and able to do so, and they retreat into more widespread passive-aggressive behavior. To Ones, this feels like willful resistance and culpable negligence. The quiet indifference of the Nine only infuriates the One all the more. In short, it is difficult for Ones to respect Nines, just as it is difficult for Nines to feel comfortable with (and able to express themselves to) Ones. Ones eventually become more self-righteous and intolerant while Nines become more uncommunicative and stubbornly unresponsive. Others find it very difficult to be around this pair because of the obvious, painful zingers pointed at the Nine by the One-and because of the aura of barely suppressed rage coming from the Nine. This couple gets frozen in their anger, with no way to melt the impasse.

For further understanding about this type combination, read more about the Stress Arrow and how types One and Nine behave when they are moving along it.