Inertia or passivity is one of the pitfalls of a having a Type 9 personality. As the core emotional motivation of this type, inertia could be seen as a kind of laziness—not in the usual sense of not wanting to do things, but rather a reluctance to take important actions for ourselves that are needed in the moment. This is usually an action that should be taken to support our own needs, but it can also be any first step that can change the reality around us. Through inertia and passivity, 9s consistently and unconsciously neglect themselves and their potential role in making a difference in the world, or in their relationships.
This happens because Nines have the tendency to pay attention mainly to things outside of themselves and to forget about their own inner experience, to the point that they have a hard time knowing what they think, feel, and want. When you ask them what they want, they often don’t know. They may have difficulty even knowing basic things about themselves, like what they want to eat for dinner. They can be very active in supporting others, but get caught in inertia and lose energy when it comes to acting in support of themselves. Their tendency to operate on autopilot and “forget” about their own priorities leads them to disconnect from their own needs, desires, feelings, opinions, and preferences, as well as their power to make change in the world. Under the influence of inertia, they deaden themselves—put themselves to sleep—to avoid having to “show up” and ask for attention in a world they believe sees them as unimportant. This drive to put the focus on others causes an unwillingness to have any kind of agenda at all. It expresses a kind of “giving up” on the effort to tune in to themselves.
Type 9s often take “the path of least resistance” when it comes to their own agendas—a reflection of inertia’s tendency to put out minimal effort. They “go with the flow” rather than assert their own priorities, often to the point of losing awareness of what their own priorities might be. They focus on making things comfortable and easy for others as well as themselves, which includes avoiding conflict as well as deeper engagements with people.
If you identify with this type, you might want to observe and make conscious these typical manifestations of inertia to move forward on your path to greater peace and contentment:
- An inability or unwillingness to attend to your inner world—a kind of laziness about being aware of what’s going on inside. A lack of interest in tapping into your moment-to-moment experience.
- Self-neglect and “self-forgetting” in all forms, including emotional, psychological, and physical.
- Doing more of the same and resisting any change when it comes to courses of action that are already in motion.
- Feeling unimportant and not putting yourself in the picture; not considering what you want and need as a consequence.
- Procrastination when it comes to big priorities, including those most important to you personally.
- Not knowing what you want; not having or expressing opinions or desires. Putting out a lot of energy to support others, but not having much for yourself.
- Resignation about getting what you need and want. Proactively giving up on receiving anything, while going along with others and helping them get what they want.
- A lack of emotional experience in your connection with yourself and others that is usually perceived only by people who are truly close to you.
- Discomfort with being the center of attention or drawing attention to yourself by asking for anything or expressing preferences.
To what extent do you do any of the above? In what ways does this work for you (how is it useful, at times, to allow your Type 9 inertia to be in the driver’s seat) and what ways does it cause stress and strain in your life?