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How to Express Love More Fully as a Nine

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

I’ve always envied Enneagram Twos for their ability to express how much they love, admire or appreciate people. This is one of their gifts. My husband is SO good at this.

AND…as much as I love people, this doesn’t come as easily for me. In fact, it can be downright hard!

I can tell people “thank you” but it hasn’t been until recently, since I’ve been doing work on my relationship with myself, that I’ve been able to tell people in detail WHY I love, admire or appreciate them. It strangely feels vulnerable.

Do you notice this?

How hard is it for you to come right out and express your love or appreciation in words with people that you do life or work with? What about your family of origin, that you don’t see on a daily basis?

We Nines don’t lack in the empathy department. We don’t lack in relating with others. We don’t lack in the ability to connect people. In fact…we really want people to feel valued, loved, and appreciated.

However…it can feel really clunky to share how we feel about them.

I once conducted a poll on Instagram about this topic. I asked my community if they feel nervous about expressing love, admiration or appreciation with people like friends and siblings as Nines.

78% of the Enneagram 9s that I polled said that, yes, they do feel nervous when it comes to this.

And when I asked them why, here’s what they shared:

They’re afraid that if they say it “wrong” or if they come on too strongly, or reveal how they feel about someone, there’s a chance that the other person will be turned off and subsequently not want them to allow them in anymore.

There’s that core fear showing it’s ugly head again.

That fear of loss of relationship or separation from others. UGH…why does it get in our way SO MUCH??

I often find this coming up for me when I’m communicating (either over text or in person) with my family of origin.

I’m number five of seven and the story that I adopted as a child was that I was somewhat invisible in the family.

It was like I was just there, and everyone knew it…but no one really cared one way or the other if I was part of things, or how I felt about things. (Relatable?)

Now, as an adult, I see that this was 100% my story, made up in my head. But even now as a 50 year old adult who has done a TON of work around self love, it still pops into my head and skews the way that I experience things.

Just for an example, the other day, I went out to lunch with two of my sisters, (who also happen to be two of my best friends.)

We are all busy moms and only get to spend time catching up every 3 months or so, when we’re celebrating something like a birthday.