Ali Wren

whole-hearted living, healthy-minded eating

Type Nine with Leslie Houck

Leslie Houck is an average Type Nine, learning how to be a healthy and happy Nine. She is married to an average Three, striving for his healthiest Three self.

She loves many things like art, music, yoga, the Alabama Crimson Tide (Roll Tide!) and the outdoors, especially the beach. In typical Nine fashion, she works for an amazing company that empowers women out of poverty all over the world through supporting social entrepreneurship. Leslie also serves as a social media specialist for a virtual school. She lives in an 1850’s renovated school house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her two children and husband. Moving from the Atlanta area to rural Amish country was initially quite the shock, but she now loves almost everything about it, except for the grey months of February and March, and in August when people start putting pumpkins out before summer is even over.

Learn more about Trades of Hope on her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter: @LeslieLouLa.

How long have you known about the Enneagram?

Only about three months. 

How long have you known your type?

I figured mine out pretty quickly after I read about the Type Nine. I was reading The Road Back to You, which I was introduced to on the Shauna Niequest podcast, where she interviewed Ian Cron. It took a while to fully digest and come to grips with the positive, but especially the more challenging aspects of being a Nine. But, it was kind of a good punch in the gut for me. There are a wide variety of ways that Nines manifest their traits, so I think it’s important to mention that although I may be a Nine, not every Nine out there will be exactly the same. There are definitely lots of nuances to every number to consider.

What do you wish people knew about being your type?

Although we are often called the peacemakers, Nines are also in the anger triad, which surprises a lot of people–I know it surprised me at first. But it made more sense once I dug deeper and saw that it’s really about the Nine’s inability to manage our anger as it arises in a healthy way. I know I tend to stuff down the anger, because, honestly, I’m often in denial about how much something bothers me. I want to have peaceful, drama-free relationships, so often my first instinct is to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or let it roll off my back. But it may only be later that I come to fully realize how much that incident or conversation affected me. I have real discomfort with confrontation, and will go way out of my way to avoid it–even to the point of screening phone calls or just allowing that relationship to drift away. It’s something I’m really trying to be more aware of, and to confront those feelings early on, instead of allowing them to snowball. If you’re getting anger from a typically peaceful Nine, it tends to come in the form of resentment or passive aggressive behavior. It’s mostly unconscious for us, so my advice would be to try digging deeper with them, to discover what that hostility may actually be about, while assuring them that they are safe to express that anger in a respectful way.

What do you like about being your type?

I love pretty easily, and I’m quick to lend a listening ear. I’m often drawn to hurting people, and that can be a great asset when used in a purposeful, healthy way. Nines can be great mediators because we can easily see many people’s perspectives. I would definitely want a Nine as a work colleague because we get along well with others, are optimistic, and are generally good team players. Nines have a real sense of justice, so it’s no surprise to see us in social justice organizations, non-profits, and service oriented professions.

What challenge(s) does being your type bring?

That’s the fine line all the types will tread, of course. Ian Cron says, “Our greatest blessing is also our curse,” which I definitely find to be true. It’ so easy to go into a co-dependent mode, and help in unhealthy ways. It’s kind of tricky, because I find myself drawn to help hurting people, while at the same time, I’m pretty allergic to drama. Also, Nines are sometimes said to not have a lot of direction or passion, which isn’t true for me. I have a lot of passions and interests. My challenge is in the follow-through when things become challenging, or when I inevitably begin questioning whether or not I am on the correct path. Unfortunately, my biggest struggle right now is being persistent to complete whatever passion I’m currently pursuing. For instance, I joined a yoga class which I love! I thought about training to teach, and actually had this great opportunity to start apprenticing with a teacher. However, it turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought, so I procrastinate studying, and then I’m stressed out because I’m not prepared to show my teacher what I’m supposed to have learned the next week. So I get anxious over going to my nice, relaxing yoga class! When class get’s canceled, I’m actually hugely relieved. And I haven’t discussed any of this with my very sweet teacher, because there’s a chance of conflict. So, I’m trying to work though some of these things. I just ordered the study guide for The Road Back to You, and I’m looking forward to not only understanding my type better, but equipping myself with the tools to grow in the gifts God has given me–to be a better, healthy Nine.

This is part of a 31-day series: The Enneagram. To read all posts, head here.


About Ali

I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.

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