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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Type 9s,

I am a very anxious type 6 who really admires the healthy 9's ability to be calm and collected all the time. I wanna know, what is your guys' secret? How do you deal with stress? And what keeps you calm in stressful situation.

I am a way easier person to be around when less anxious, so yes, I want to learn from you guys. Many of you seem to have the answer (or multiple answers). So, how do you stay calm when stressed? I want to learn from you guys- you seem like great teachers.

Respectfully,
LittleB81
 

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As you may know, as a 9 I become a very anxious type 6 under stress. I know how it be. :/

9's are notorious for being calm and collected to the outside perceiver, though it often is accomplished with a fat price tag attached. 9's will repress and ignore in lieu of confronting fear, anger, or any undesirable emotion. This strategy does result in a collected outlook and presence, though it is not authentic and is not recommended by me.

It is my understanding that a healthy 9 has the ability and will to confront stress(es) and know that the pain involved in doing so is temporary and worse in the mind than in reality. Reminding myself of this aids me in staying cool and placid in the seemingly dire times in a healthy manner. The 9's I know seem to understand that it is ok to "go with flow" and live with a certain elasticity that allows them to be flexible with time, obligations, others and themselves. Receiving any information in the most positive light also helps me to approach life optimistically without any expectations. I think many healthy 9's live knowing that it is necessary to relax and hold their own personal space at times.

I am not quite sure how I personally stay calm. It is more of a lifestyle or default approach to life I suppose. I hope you can gather something helpful from the little that I do know about the subject. :)

EDIT: This has become maximally important for me as of late as well: the human mind generally does not deal with the unknown very well. The unknown can send the mind spiraling in anxiety. Knowing this has taught me to identify what is known (not making assumptions) and what is unknown, then focusing on what I can control. Things that are out of ones control can fuck ones shit up. Focusing on what you can do instead of what you cannot do is very helpful.
 

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If you figure it out, let me know? :tongue: It always surprises me when people say I'm laid back. I look that way on the outside, I suppose, because I'm very patient with circumstances (far less so with people). I used to handle stress far better than I do now, but even then it was sort of like I could handle more than the average person, but when I did hit the tipping point, I sort of fell apart far more than the average person.

As @Cloudlight said, my experience as a Nine is that I'm finding that the more I face what's stressing me out, the more I stand up for myself in what I perceive as conflict, the less stress I experience. It's counterintuitive to how I normally operate, but I'm making progress, bit by tiny bit. And I would like to reiterate something else he's said that's become something of a mantra for me when I need to deal with things:

It is my understanding that a healthy 9 has the ability and will to confront stress(es) and know that the pain involved in doing so is temporary and worse in the mind than in reality.
So many times I tell myself that I don't have the strength, courage, or - most often - energy to deal with things, and I allow myself to believe that lie. It's a struggle every day to overcome that, but each small victory encourages me to take the next step.

This may be more helpful to Nines than a Six, however.
 

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It probably has to do with which type of 9 someone is. I'm an INFJ, so I'm able to internalize via Ti and Ni and work most issues out on my own. It probably also helps that I've got Fe over Fi, as I tend to feel more strongly for others than myself, so even if I weren't a 9, I wouldn't be excessively angry/anxious/etc.

And I find that defeating hordes of Reapers in Mass Effect 3 at home after a rough day at work can be very cathartic and calming. ;o)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone. Maybe I have been seeing an illusion of what many of you are actually like, anxiety-wise? I have a lot of admiration for people who know how to stay calm most of the time. After 30 years of this life, I still have a lot to learn.

As for the MBTI comparison mentioned, I am less familiar with this system (but have taken it before and always come out ISTJ- not sure if that is accurate or not).
 

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I'm not sure if this is a 9 thing but there are times when I feel that I'm about to be provoked emotionally, I close down. It's an instinct for me. I suddenly become indifferent which may come across to others as being calm. I'm stubborn when it comes to appearing emotional. It's a bit strange considering that I'm an INFP. It's as if I'm fighting something that's supposed to be natural.

I'm beginning to be more open. It's difficult but it's better to be accepting of both the negative and the positive than shutting them both out. Instead of being in denial, I try to understand why certain things make me want to avoid them. I reflect on them and if confronting these things will grant me peace of mind, then I will confront them.
 

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Don't be fooled by the 9's outer demeanor. We may appear calm outside, but inside we have either shut down from the conflict to avoid being drawn out into the situation, or we are bottling up all the rage soon to be released by some future trigger.

Of course, if you're a healthy nine, you're entirely present to the situation using your incredible peacemaking ability to mitigate the conflict while at the same time being calm about inside and out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Don't be fooled by the 9's outer demeanor. We may appear calm outside, but inside we have either shut down from the conflict to avoid being drawn out into the situation, or we are bottling up all the rage soon to be released by some future trigger.

Of course, if you're a healthy nine, you're entirely present to the situation using your incredible peacemaking ability to mitigate the conflict while at the same time being calm about inside and out.
So most of you aren't like the Dalai Lama, then. :) He is the *epitomy* of calmness, imo.
 

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So most of you aren't like the Dalai Lama, then. :) He is the *epitomy* of calmness, imo.
lol I wish I was like the Dalai Lama, but realistically speaking, I don't come close to that yet. Though I may appear like that to the outsider. I can't count the many times that I've been asked the same question now asked by you as to how I can maintain such calmness in conflict situations, but the truth of the fact is, that I'm not really in the conflict, I'm million of miles away.

I don't do this as often as I used to, since now I'm a bit more present to myself to notice when I'm drifting away. But it happens on occasions.
 
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This thread has raised an important part of understanding 9s: Realising that the appearance of calm can in actuality be avoidance of disruption, or reality. Sometimes calm is achieved because we are not invested, we are not there. Do not pass over that point. We can tread water like no one else.

But that's not all of it. Something that goes with 9 imo is an element of modesty that is half linked to uncertainty, half linked to an understanding that our way is not the only way. For a 9 no way is "right", there is simply your way, and his way, and her way, everyone is different, everyone is of value, every idea you raise deserves to be heard, and if something works for you than who am I to judge you because I would do it different? And linked to that is "what's so special about the way I do it?". That results in a need to let things flow, as well as down play ourselves.

Selling our strengths is not the easiest thing for a 9 so don't leave this thread with the answer being that 9s are not calm we simply do not face anything. Calm is part of it, and avoidance when stressed can be one reason, but actually accepting is another part of it.

So in a generalist way, remaining calm when faced with stress is linked to our more global view of things:
  • We are generally optimistic, we have this innate knowing that things will work out.

  • We neither have great confidence that our way is absolutely right, or that another's would be wrong so we seek the middle ground more oft than not.

  • As keeping hold of inner peace is so important to us we seek to maintain outer peace, in moments of stress we therefore attempt to calm others, tone down the anxiety because frankly we don't like it when you rant and scream and emote, dammit!

  • We have this deep uncontrolled, untainted knowing within us that people have good intentions, tie that back to the believing things will work out and we're generally not wondering if someone's about to screw us over. This problem right now doesn't need to be personal. (of course as a T I may not be speaking for F's on that last point)

  • Following from that I read about this notion that 9s feel other people are similar to us, and so logically conclude from that they may not be, but I still feel they are. I feel somewhere deep inside of me that everyone has great value and everyone shares a connection, a similar way of being.

  • Because we don't see our way as the only way we do not presume to place expectations on others.

  • We see ourselves as flawed and as such accept other people as having flaws, it's something everyone has, so again: who are we to judge.

  • And we are normally easy going because we are totally happy being in our minds, it really is such a nice pleasant place to be so we don't want for too much so long as we have that.

All those things amount to an easily obtained patience and tolerance for different people and different way of doing things.

So if you take that more global view that a 9 has and take it back to a stressed situation you can see that the way a 9 approaches acceptance and calm is in a way that is right for 9s, the way a 6 would do it will be different. As a gut type our issue aligns with anger, not anxiety.
 

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Don't be fooled by the 9's outer demeanor. We may appear calm outside, but inside we have either shut down from the conflict to avoid being drawn out into the situation, or we are bottling up all the rage soon to be released by some future trigger.

Of course, if you're a healthy nine, you're entirely present to the situation using your incredible peacemaking ability to mitigate the conflict while at the same time being calm about inside and out.
Completely agree. I know in my own experience as a 9, it's more of a denial of negative emotions than it is a calmness.
 

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Total agreement with pretty much everything that's been said here. I'm not actually calm when I appear to be calm in conflict. I just check out, close down, whatever. I put the problems into nice compartmentalized boxes and leave them to gather dust. It does result in occasional breakdowns, but it more or less contained. I simply appear calm without actually being that way.

I have literally had a friend tell me (when there was conflict going on in our group of friends) that he admired my ability not to give a shit and how I always had a smile on his face. I had to explain to him that I do give a shit, but being upset doesn't help anything, so I just don't.
 

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I too have received comments that I seem calm, though I was experiencing amazing inner stress. While I'll readily rant over daily annoyances, I do not like to emote *real* stress -- feels too much like spirally out-of-control, but this might be an INTP thing.

However, one main reason I am calm, even bubbly, in general is -- as Sonny outlined so well -- due to several prime assumptions: Everyone has their own opinions, and mine is no more important to others than theirs may be to me, therefore win-win or even compromise is best. When people are unpleasant, it tend to stem from the human foibles & anxieties we all have, therefore compassion & empathy is best. Life is full of the unexpected and uncontrollable, therefore flexibility is best. I rarely place expectations on people or events, therefore am rarely disappointed and always happily surprised by the outstanding and good. Tend not to worry about things out of my control. Tend to avoid dramatic situations /people and deflect /deflate conflict wherever it arises.

I like being intensely alive, but mainly through good food/ music/ exotic travels/ hobbies/ learning, while the fundamental of my life is kept very stable: relationships, job, finances, health.

At its best, E9 perspective verges on the zen. Expect much and be haunted by pain. Expect little, and a mote of dust can bring joy.
 

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I would say that it's a kind of humility in the face of insults, or rolling with the punches, or even just accepting the pain of a belly-flop in the swimming pool of life. It *does* hurt, it just doesn't show on the surface, and you accept it as the cost of doing business. So, if I could put what I do to stay so calm all the time into a single slogan, I guess I would say "accept the pain." Not sure if it's the healthiest thing to do, but it seems like that's what Type 9 is all about.

The way I react to stress is to do what I think of as rocking in the corner in fetal position, sucking my thumb, but to an outside observer, would just look like vegging out in front of the tv.
 

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Staying calm and appearing calm are two different things. ;)

I suppose how I stay calm is I take most things in stride. @crazyeddie has a good point, drama/trauma/hardship/conflict is a price we all pay in life. You just gotta roll with the punches.
 

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I used to get chills walking down to the basement in the dark at midnight... anxiety and getting out of there as soon as possible etc

I slowly got used to the idea that If the demons possess me, it would be too bad; i mean, there's not much use in fighting against...It's just a body after all.
The start of the revelation or awakening I hear about among type 9s I suppose. You know, with time I was in manifest with essentially an indifference to the outside world. More so now, I can say things like "I've never heard a song or watched a movie which I didn't enjoy" Maybe i'm just not phased by fearful or exciting stimuli, I'm not sure...But to justify my calmness is more of a mind over matter deal than anything else...Stress can either be something that instinctively belongs to my body or be solved in my mind; not a lot to worry about, right?
 

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Sonny has made a lot of great points. I only have a 9 wing but I could relate to several things that he had listed. My 9 wing serves as a vacation place for me from my primary type 1. For example, if I get into overly competitive mindset or I start feeling jealous of somebody else then leaning on my 9 wing I begin to see that everyone has their own road to travel, therefore there is no right or wrong way to act or to be and the incentive for being jealous or judgmental disappears. If I become too stressed or anxious, the 9 wing suggests that everything will be ok no matter what happens in a very positive light.

But there is a darker side to this: the price you pay for feeling that everything will be just fine. This is the feeling of your individual worthlessness and insignificance on the grand scale of everything. You can feel alright no matter what happens only you don't put much value on your own persona, your own goals and aspirations. You have to let yourself go, dissolve your ego, then of course nothing will bother you and you will remain calm in the most extreme situations. Death? No problem. If you feel that your being isn't worth much then you're going to be calm even in the face of dying. I feel that this is what fuels the core of 9's calmness.

This is also what integration of type 9 to type 3 is about: the 9 sheds this sense of insignificance aside and suddenly acquires a sense of personal worth. Then the 9 comes out out of the woodwork to greet the world and accomplish something instead of feeling like a dust speck lost in the cosmic ensemble, paralyzed and inactive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I too have received comments that I seem calm, though I was experiencing amazing inner stress. While I'll readily rant over daily annoyances, I do not like to emote *real* stress -- feels too much like spirally out-of-control, but this might be an INTP thing.

However, one main reason I am calm, even bubbly, in general is -- as Sonny outlined so well -- due to several prime assumptions: Everyone has their own opinions, and mine is no more important to others than theirs may be to me, therefore win-win or even compromise is best. When people are unpleasant, it tend to stem from the human foibles & anxieties we all have, therefore compassion & empathy is best. Life is full of the unexpected and uncontrollable, therefore flexibility is best. I rarely place expectations on people or events, therefore am rarely disappointed and always happily surprised by the outstanding and good. Tend not to worry about things out of my control. Tend to avoid dramatic situations /people and deflect /deflate conflict wherever it arises.

I like being intensely alive, but mainly through good food/ music/ exotic travels/ hobbies/ learning, while the fundamental of my life is kept very stable: relationships, job, finances, health.

At its best, E9 perspective verges on the zen. Expect much and be haunted by pain. Expect little, and a mote of dust can bring joy.
That post....amazing. I wish I could adopt this philosophy. This is actually what I'm like when I'm in an altered state of consciousness. Very different person. Anxiety just....leaves.

I wish I could live my life in a state of trance. Unfortunately, that is not sustainable. If it was though...that would be *bliss*.
 

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The outer calm of the average type nine is an illusion, as others have said. Instead of true calm, it is silence. Nines seek peace, but the average nine will achieve this through subversion of the self, something that I'm so glad @cyamitide brought up. My girlfriend is a nine, and it's taken some time to demonstrate to her that true peace is achieved through conflict, rather than by avoiding it. She's been ignoring and denying her needs and desires since childhood. It has taken a serious toll on her self worth. We were just yesterday discussing her expectations for our relationship, and how she has not dared to hope for a relationship where she was valued and attended to in the past, even while she would dream of one.

I think I'm a six integrated at nine, and my calm feels very authentic. Through a feeling of preparedness, and an extremely pragmatic view on what really matters in my life, I've managed to reach a point where I know I can handle anything that comes along, for myself and for others. I've become a peacemaker. It's hard won though, and hardly bulletproof. I'm intensely invested in my relationship, and anything I see as a threat really puts me off balance.
 

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I wish I could live my life in a state of trance. Unfortunately, that is not sustainable. If it was though...that would be *bliss*.
Be careful what you wish for. 9s have been known to "sleep through" their lives, reaching an old age and realizing they never went after their true passions or desires. Just let everything slide until there was nothing left...

Anyway, I will reiterate what others have said:

My first reaction to a proposed stress is to stop caring, lower expectations, etc. For instance, I get much less nervous before tests when I feel quite underprepared. I figure there's not much more that I can do, and how much do grades matter anyway? I think of the worst case scenario, but it doesn't bother me because I don't care. Surely everything will end up fine anyway. It's easy to stay calm if I don't care to begin with.

I feel more nervous when I am well prepared because I don't want to mess up. I want to show what I can do. I care. In those situations, I can feel quite anxious, although don't show it on the surface. If I can't force myself to stop caring about it, I start getting very anxious. I often think of worst case scenarios at this stage, while I would remain optimistic at the previous stage. If I can't quench the thoughts and negative feelings, if I can't grasp onto some optimism, it turns into a downward spiral where I shut down. In these situations I may act impulsively, grasping at my "routines"/comforts and hoping they provide me relief. In very intense situations I may feel like I can't physically move. Calmness is synonymous with coma in this case.
 
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