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There are about four 9s in my life right now and I'm trying to get to know them better but they don't really talk about themselves.
There are times where a conversation would naturally lead to them and they would speak a little but I still haven't found out much about them other than what the Enneagram has to offer.
I get the feeling that if I intentionally try to get them to open up, the attention makes them uncomfortable but if I give them space they melt in to the background.

Do you guys have any tips or suggestions as to how I could get them to speak about themselves or get them to feel more important maybe?
I care about them but it's difficult to really form much of a connection with them.
 

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Ask specific questions rather than open-ended questions-
an open-ended question gives the 9 the option to not really think about it, give a quick response, and then shut up- whereas a specific question requires them to actually think about the answer, which may result in digging up more actual things to talk about.

**For example- when I came back from studying abroad, a lot of my friends were just like "how was it?" which left me at a loss as to what to talk about - I just couldnt get going. But one friend was like "what kind of food did you have?" "what was your bedroom like?" "how far did you walk to work?" "what animals did you see?" etc etc etc and suddenly I was babbling away about all the experiences I'd had.
9's have trouble opening up, because they're not sure that anyone cares about what they have to say. But if you ask specific questions, they know for sure that you care about at least one small aspect, which gives them the excuse to connect that aspect to whatever else they actually want to talk about. The specific questions dont limit them at all, rather they open up the door to the actual important things.

Be responsive- whatever the 9 says, show that you're listening, nod, smile, etc- always make some kind of response. Getting no actual response will make a 9 shut up really quick.

Hope this helps! I'm actually not sure that I am a 9, I might be a 4, but nevertheless I think these are good guidelines for getting *anyone* to open up really.
 

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Hmm perhaps talking about a topic or opening up to the individual . A lot of times I find myself understanding another person and myself better after we share a long conversation - regardless what the topic is . To cheer one up - well genuine compliments or comfort is always nice :) as for answering questions i think that takes time . Perhaps try communicating through letters with them ?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Both of the above work, the specific approach showing interest, and the approach that allows time to think about responses.

Consider the opposite question: how do you make a 9 stfu, and the answer is simple, do something that sends the message we don't matter, you don't care, or you aren't listening. The reverse of that is the answer to getting us to open up, however the neurosis of 9s is the inner voice telling us "you don't count" so we are not starting from a neutral position. 9s as a whole are happy to open up to anyone who takes the time and shows via effort that they want to hear us speak authentically (for whatever level works for a specific 9) but we do not expect this and most people are happy keeping the focus on them, so it will take time to convince us talking to you is different and opening up will not ultimately end in that inner voice being told it's right, cause that last bit, that's the fear.
 

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I was going to say, if you manage to hit on the right TOPIC I will GLADLY talk and talk, but how would you ever guess the right topic before then? But charlie.elliot's answer in particular is perfect, and everyone else has added some additional good points, so I don't have much more to contribute!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Be responsive- whatever the 9 says, show that you're listening, nod, smile, etc- always make some kind of response. Getting no actual response will make a 9 shut up really quick.
Thank you for the tips, you make a good point. I realized that I tend to be a lot less responsive than I think I'm being. Usually when I listen I get very quiet, I actually notice some of the 9s wait for a response from me while I'm just waiting for them to go on. :/

As for asking specific questions, I'll make sure to make an effort but do 9s feel intruded upon when someone asks a lot of questions? Because I'd like to ask them many questions but I always feel nosy doing such things (it's probably the only thing stopping me).
 

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Thank you for the tips, you make a good point. I realized that I tend to be a lot less responsive than I think I'm being. Usually when I listen I get very quiet, I actually notice some of the 9s wait for a response from me while I'm just waiting for them to go on. :/

As for asking specific questions, I'll make sure to make an effort but do 9s feel intruded upon when someone asks a lot of questions? Because I'd like to ask them many questions but I always feel nosy doing such things (it's probably the only thing stopping me).
The best way to talk to a 9 is to be constantly present, alert, responsive, etc, but not aggressively so- just calmly so. Personally I LOVE when people ask me questions- it really flatters me that they want to hear what I have to say. But yeah don't ask TOO many I guess... try to judge by their body language if they like your questions or not.

People always say that to be a good listener, just shut up and pay attention... Personally I find that if I'm talking about myself and the other person is just being totally quiet, I get really uneasy, because they seem bored and they're not validated what I say. The best people to talk to let me talk for as long as I want, but they also do things every now and then to let me know that they're listening and that they care, i.e. nodding, saying "uh huh", "I know what you mean" etc, occasionally putting in comment or anecdote from their own life (but not taking over the conversation of course).

And while we're on the topic, I'll mention that the very WORST kind of person to talk to for a 9 (or maybe for anyone...) is someone who talks continually in a monologue so you have to fight to get a word in edgewise- and sometimes they change the subject without giving you a chance to make a comment about something on the last subject.
As a 9 I always thought I just had to wait for a natural place in the conversation for me to say something- I'm only just learned that I CAN actually stop them and say "wait let me say something before you change the subject" - I CAN actually just speak over them if I need to.

My absolute worst pet peeve has been when I'm telling a story or discussing something and I'm only in the middle of it, but someone jumps right in and goes "OH YEAH I know what you mean!!" and just takes it away, and thats the end of my story. It only occurred to me recently that I can actually say "wait, let me finish." (I try to use my tone of voice to make it sound casual and not rude.)
I've learned to sometimes just wave my hand around or something funny when I want to speak, because it actually gets peoples' attention. (I realize this has turned into advice FOR 9's and not talking to 9's, but maybe it would help you to know what our issues are.)
 

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There are about four 9s in my life right now and I'm trying to get to know them better but they don't really talk about themselves.
There are times where a conversation would naturally lead to them and they would speak a little but I still haven't found out much about them other than what the Enneagram has to offer.
I get the feeling that if I intentionally try to get them to open up, the attention makes them uncomfortable but if I give them space they melt in to the background.

Do you guys have any tips or suggestions as to how I could get them to speak about themselves or get them to feel more important maybe?
I care about them but it's difficult to really form much of a connection with them.
There's a lot of good advice so far. @Sonny took the words right out of my mouth.

Something else that might work, but it also might be pretty exclusive to me as I am a pretty empathetic individual...try opening up first. If I can relate to a person and what they are going through, I will open up and tell my own story...because I absolutely must make this person feel like they are not alone and I can understand. Honestly, the closest friends I have, I have ended up relating to them in this way and opening up to them this way and I have something special with all of them.

I don't know your 9s. They might not be like me. Sonny's advice is more reliable if it is 9 issues. I just thought I'd throw this out there because it works for me. :laughing:
 

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Biggest thing (although I'm 1w9 so this is probably worse with me) is to make sure you don't let anything that might look like frustration or annoyance or disappointment slip through. You can disagree, you just need to be a bit careful with how you come across emotionally when you disagree. If you're debating a 9 and they get very quiet or submissive or avoid certain details of the topic, you need to dial it back a bit. Or probably a lot.

I know I'm really bad for shutting down and not having anything to say. Text is easier for me since I'm less focused on the other person and I have the space to realize I've shut down and try to correct it. Going out of your way, to the point of almost being silly, to make sure the 9 knows you aren't upset/negative/whatever and oversharing, especially about how appreciated their opinions are, might help--those help me a lot.
 
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