Skip to main content

Social 9 In Detail

Sloth in the Social Sphere

Social sloth can be simply described as the need to be in the group. Sloth here manifests as a constant merging with the group, emulating socially acceptable forms of behavior and communication in hopes of gaining acceptance, making superficial contact with others. They lack a sense of ease in social situations, because of their sensitivity to whether they are really welcome or not. Often they replace bonds by acting as if the group values and wants, or values of anyone else, are their own, often accepting these social norms without questioning them. This can manifest as a compulsive doing for others. By postponing their own needs and doing what is expected of them they make their psychological inertia stronger, making it harder for them to come in touch with themselves and know who they truly are. Everything being said, SO9s tend towards modesty and discretion and will do whatever as long as the group is in harmony.

Ichazo titled SO9 "Participation", these people need to be in the group[1], they desire to feel part of it, be it a group on their job, a family or a community, however they wish to do this without perceiving their own experiences of alienation (this is more of a disconnect from themselves rather than actual alienation).[2] Naranjo described it as someone who would never be confused for a lazy person, someone who is hyperactive and very hard working, almost like a workaholic, but this is just a front to disguise their psychospiritual laziness, a laziness of not knowing how to access your inner depth, your inner self.[2]

Trait Structure[3]

Social and Friendly

The Social E9 makes friends easily. However, there is always a feeling of precariousness in his belonging to the group. He feels good in the company of animals and children, for they are very accepting and honest.

Good host

The Social E9 likes to organise informal meetings with friends, and is a very good host. In the same way, he is a very attentive guest who is always willing to lend a helping hand with preparations. In addition to partaking in all kinds of groups and hobbies, the Social E9 likes to go out to parties and to travel. Participating in social events satisfies the need to belong.

Emotionally intuitive

The E9's emotional intuition often allows him to be an emergent of the group. He is easily able to express and verbalise the attitudes or movements not expressed by others.


These people are often very talkative in group settings. When they do not feel fully merged with the group, they can be quiet, but still attentive to what others want from them. They have great senses of humour, and frequently crack jokes and recall funny anecdotes. On the other hand, this humour can also be used to soften contact between others.


Activity and over-availability can lead to depression and even physical illness, as the Social E9 continues to live for others while neglecting his personal needs.

Tendency towards addiction

In the Social E9, there is a tendency to be addicted to drugs like alcohol. It starts off as a social disinhibitor, which makes conversation easier and acts as a means of narcotisation. This type also finds pleasure in sports, especially during youth, and so it is much more athletic than the other subtypes of E9. But it can also be obese. The weight of the Social E9 will reflect his mood, gaining weight when depressed.


They are hard-working and tend to do more than is needed of them. Responsibility is lived through a commitment to the tasks at hand. At the same time, they want to take care of the whole world and make them happy, taking on requests from others without judgement or opposition. Their identification with the task, their desire to be useful, the emphasis on efficiency at work and the desire to be recognised for what they do will sound like the Conservation E3. Both subtypes are quite extroverted and both are indeed workaholics. There are also Social E9s who try to take care of their image, seeing it as important to gain social acceptance. The basic difference between these two is that the Conservation E3 hopes to shine through his efforts and persona, whereas the Social E9 hopes to receive a sort of metaphorical membership. Another difference is that the Social E9 has less foresight compared to the Conservation E3, and is more likely to think after acting.

Impatient and Impulsive

This character may be too quick to jump into action without reflecting or considering problems or issues. This impulsiveness allows the E9 to be out of touch with his emotions, and also let him rush away from his inner world as fast as possible.

Responsible and Collaborative leader

Social E9s tend to hold positions of responsibility, but because they do not fully believe in themselves, they will only hold a position of authority if it matches with the will of those "beneath" them. They usually assume a kind of horizontal leadership, since its tendency is naturally collaborative and includes others in its projects. They are often practical when solving problems and always try to find collaborative solutions. They like working in teams and believe that competitiveness, envy, and squalor are bad things for practicality. In work they are very good companions to their peers, but will be hesitant to help their inferiors.

Contrary to abuse of power

In vertical relationships, the Social E9 is often loyal and devoted to the authority figure. However, he is very opposed to the abuse of power and conflicts he considers to be socially unfair. They strike a chord with he who is guilty of abuse or hypocrisy, and will often position himself against it without considering the consequences.


The Social E9 will be unnaturally curious about what is going on around him, which can lead to being easily distracted. This is a reflection of his lack of inner experiences, something shared with all E9s. Everything is interesting in this world, of course, but the Social E9 supplements all kinds of introspection and inner experiences with an extreme curiosity about the outside world.


Forgetfulness is frequent in this type, which is to be expected as they cover so many activities in such a short period of time. It is very difficult for them to recognise their own limits. It is often difficult for them to admit that they don't feel like doing something, and this can often boil over into unconscious aggression that replaces the confrontation that they want to avoid. They may also withdraw and abandon people for seemingly no reason.


Closely linked to the unconscious feeling of exclusion is a distinctive strong belief in social justice. It is not uncommon to find Social E9s in social programs, taking up positions of responsibility to help society's most vulnerable. In his drive to improve the world and feel like he is a part of it, he can easily adopt and conform to external values. He can adopt the values of any group with sincerity and conviction, and he sees this as a way to channel his idealism. However, they will have difficulties in dealing with in-fighting, or may lack the ability to question the ideals of the group. Social E9 will often "Fight another person's war," sincerely endorsing the claims of others. Sometimes the curiosity, combined with the utopian idealism, lends this subtype towards esoteric paths or other outside distractions that lead the E9 away from himself. There is a tendency to get lost in the clouds, to converge with cosmic energies and to get lost in universal archetypes. A crazy idea of the Social E9 is that he has no authority over himself, that anyone may impose their will on him and he cannot say no.


If naivety is common in the Social E9, then this can lead to them often staying in situations they do not want to be in. Many Social E9s speak of their indecisiveness of when to create intimate ties and establish friendships, which is reflective of their deep need to belong.

Claudio Naranjo's Social 9 Description[4]

E9 Social – Participation / Belonging

The social nine is a good-natured person. And what moves a good-natured person? What is behind these cheerful and light-hearted people? According to this map, the passion of E9 social is participation. What you need is to feel part of it. But anyone who has an intense need to do, to become part of something, is a person who does not feel part of anything.

For the social E9, the experience of not fitting in, of feeling different, of believing that they do not have what it takes to be part of a group or a community, leads them to overcompensate, to express a kind of generosity, being very attentive to the others and the group. It is a character very gifted in satisfying the needs of others. And he becomes a good leader. The best type of leader, in the sense of being a good person, generous and sacrificed in the face of any type of responsibility that others want to give him.

His passion is to do what is necessary to pay the toll that allows him to be admitted to the group. But, for this, a lot of effort is needed: the social E9 are the workaholics of the enneagram. They feel that they have to give a lot, but at the same time they have to be nice and pleasant. His internal motto is: “do not show the pain, do not put weight on the mind of another”. His expression is more happy than sad, but that does not mean participation, but a kind of partial participation: a substitute.

Sandra Maitri's Social 9 Description[5]

9+Social – Participation

Social Nines have a drive to belong, lacking the certainty that they actually do. They lack a sense of ease in social situations, because of their sensitivity to whether they are really welcome or not. They often feel that they don’t know how to become part of the group, and, rather than being themselves, they try to fit in by emulating socially acceptable forms of behavior and communication. Inevitably this leaves them feeling that they are not really making contact, and so reinforces their sense of being left out. This attempt to participate through social conventions is how the passion of laziness manifests here, and in their resulting tendency to make superficial contact with others.

Beatrice Chestnut's Social 9 Description

Social 9 Subtype description (2021)[6]

This subtype devotes a great deal of time and energy to supporting groups of different kinds. They work very hard and tend to be more hardworking than any other type except Type 3. However, they usually don’t show their stress. They tend to be good mediators and make great leaders, because they tend to be modest and try to be of service to others. They often don’t feel as if they belong, no matter how hard they work. They experience sadness beneath the surface as a result.

Notice if work too hard to avoid feeling sad when you do not feel included in the group. Notice how you lose yourself in activity and service to others as a way to narcotize (“go to sleep to”) your pain. You may sacrifice yourself to provide the group (or family) with humble leadership. You tend to be friendly and positive to avoid feeling or expressing anger. Notice if you mediate conflicts and support group cohesion to avoid feeling the discomfort of disharmony. Be more aware of how you focus on reducing tension in your environment so you don’t have to confront the ways in which you may disagree with others. It will be good for your growth if you can be more opinionated and stir up some controversy.

Social 9 Subtype summary (2013)[10]

Social Nines fuse with groups. They act out laziness when connecting with their own inner life by working hard to be a part of the different groups in their lives. Fun-loving, sociable, and congenial characters, Social Nines can be workaholics, prioritizing the group’s needs above their own. This high level of activity makes them the countertype of the three Nine subtypes.

Social 9 Subtype summary (2013)[10]

The Social Nine: “Participation” (Countertype)

Social Nines express the passion of psychological laziness (or sloth) through merging with the group, working hard in support of group interests, and prioritizing the group’s needs above their own. Social Nines are congenial characters with a need to feel like they’re a part of things—a need that expresses an underlying feeling of being different or not fitting in with the group or community. This person is a light-hearted, sociable, funloving character who expresses a driving need to be involved in the group.

The Social Nine’s need to participate comes from their deeper feeling of not belonging to the group. This feeling drives the Social Nine to overcompensate by being generous and sacrificing whatever is necessary to meet the needs of the group as a way of earning membership. They have an intense need to feel that they are a part of things, because they don’t feel that they are. They feel like they have to do something extra in order to be included in a group, so they work twice as hard to support the group to make sure they belong.

Social Nines have a passion for doing what is necessary to pay the ticket for group admission, for being one with that group—but it takes a lot of effort. Social Nines can be workaholics; they feel a need to work hard and give a lot. But it’s not just work—they energetically demonstrate friendliness and sociability; they don’t show their pain; they don’t burden others; and they don’t show people how much energy it takes to devote so much effort to the community. These are people who are generous and unselfish, mindful of the group, and gifted in meeting the needs of others to the point where they sacrifice themselves to satisfy the responsibility others want to put on them.

In contrast to the other two Nine Subtypes, who tend to be more subdued characters, Social Nines are very outgoing and energetic—this is what makes this the counter-type Nine. Social Nines have a special brand of strength because they feel motivated to fight for the needs of the group. Social Nines are extroverted, expressive, and forceful, and so they go against the inertia typical of Type Nine in some ways—but on the inside they still have a sense of laziness about their own needs and wants.

Social Nines make very good leaders—the best kind of leaders, in fact—in the sense that they are good, unselfish people who strive to satisfy the responsibility given them. They can be especially gifted mediators; they naturally want to translate differing opinions so that everyone is heard and conflict in the group is avoided. They put a lot of energy into their work as a leader. They have an ability to bear a lot, sometimes to the extent that they become a “human punching bag.” These Nines give of themselves unconditionally as a response to a deeper (sometimes unconscious) fear of abandonment, conflict, separation, and the potential loss of peace and harmony.

Social Nines like to control things, and they like to talk a lot. Because they work so hard for the group, they may have no time left for themselves. They tend to have very full lives—full of everything but themselves. And while Social Nines get their identity and their sense of reality from belonging, they often doubt their own existence, their own sense of self.

The outward expression of this subtype is more happy than sad, but theirs may ultimately be a kind of partial participation: underneath their cheerful exterior, their sense of not belonging persists and creates a kind of sadness that isn’t communicated to others. They don’t feel their suffering very much—but they don’t feel extreme, euphoric highs, either. They are more in the middle emotionally—neither hot nor cold—and they may be somewhat detached from their emotions and sensations.

Social Nines can look like Type Threes because they work very hard and accomplish a lot without showing the stress of it. But they differ from Threes in that they are much more reluctant to be in the spotlight and they don’t support the group to create an image or to win admiration from others. They may also be mistaken for Twos because they are active in meeting the needs of others, but they have much less need for approval and appreciation than Twos, and are generally more emotionally steady.

Haiki Social 9 Description[7]

Social Nine: Belonging

The Social Nine transforms the passion of sloth into the passion for belonging. They need to feel part of something better, and because of this, they become the biggest “nice guys” of the “nice guys.”

As opposed to other Nine subtypes, you can see them a little bit more, participating and trying to be useful in the world. In fact, upon first glance, they can seem a bit like Social Sevens.

They value friendship and tend to have a presence in social groups through participation.

In the words of psychologist Jordi Pons: “They can feel that if they are not part of the group, they lack their identity. They fuse with the group, its goals and ideals, and take the mission of the group to the point that their identity becomes the purpose or mission of the group. For them, it is very important to be on good terms with all of the members of the group. It is hard for them to say no or confront someone in the group. Their worst nightmare is the group turning their back on and shunning them.”

Because of this, they do not take control of the group, but they try to support it with their efforts. These efforts, combined with their tendency to not be seen, make them feel a constant frustration. This phenomenon makes them a bit similar to the Self-Preservation Three in that they want to be seen, but without others noticing that they want to be seen. Social Nines, similarly, want to belong, but they also try to make sure they will not be seen. If there is conflict in the group, they will avoid it.

Everything being said, Social Nines tend towards modesty and discretion and will do whatever as long as the group is in harmony. If they are part of the tribe, they feel they will be enough

When they get out of their neurosis, interestingly, they can go from not being seen in the group to becoming a good boss: a generous boss who is just and fair with their orders.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Social 9 Description[8]

SO9: Belonging

Belonging to a group becomes their most important search. To be accepted by the group, they would do anything. There is a strong need to participate, to be welcomed, not excluded, to feel part of something, and a high level of suffering upon not feeling accepted along with a real difficulty with integration. This difficulty with integration is related to the fear of being fully absorbed and submitted into the group, and then becoming disappointed. At the same time, this difficulty with integration is manifested through maintaining themselves on the margins of the group, in a form of self-exclusion, that is sustained through not being able to believe in their own belonging, in large part due to the sensation of inadequacy that makes them perceive themselves as different from the group. There is a facade, a hiding of who one really is, that originates from the attempt to adapt and makes them fear being discovered and rejected for their true selves.

La Mirada Libre's Social 9 Description[9]

E9 Social: Participation/Belonging

This subtype is called participation because they converge with the needs of the group and have a great desire to be accepted as compensation for not having felt sufficiently part of their own family and recognized.

He is the most outgoing and seeks to serve groups. He is also the most active and tends to become a workaholic (to earn the right to belong you have to do extra work and fend for yourself). He is the one who least seems 9 because apathy is camouflaged in his intense social participation. He shuts out praise and compliments, shutting out the appreciation he subconsciously seeks.

The movement of the social is "towards the other", always trying to please others. It is common for your group of friends to end up being the substitute for your nuclear family. It is the active-instinctive of the three subtypes.


[1] "The Arica Training according to John C Lilly and Joseph E Tart"

[2] Naranjo, C. (2017). "Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos"

[3] Naranjo, C. (2018). "La pereza psicoespiritual" (Translated by Allfather#7790 on Discord, Comment Link)

[4] Naranjo, C. (2012). "27 personajes en busca del ser"

[5] Maitri, S. (2001). "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram"

[6] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up"

[7] The Haiki Enneagram Website (Link To Subtype Translations)

[8] Durán, C. and Catalán, A. (2009). "Los engaños del carácter y sus antídotos"

[9] Psychology of Ennea-types Volumes by Claudio Naranjo Interpreted by La Mirada Libre

[10] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Complete Enneagram"

Written and maintained by PDB users for PDB users.