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Self-Preservation Nine: “Appetite”

The combination of the passion of laziness and the dominant instinct for self-preservation in Nines results in a personality subtype that Naranjo, following Ichazo, calls “Appetite.” The deeper motivation of this subtype of Type Nine is finding a sense of comfort in the world through the satisfaction of physical needs. This personality finds satisfaction in activities such as eating, reading, playing games, watching television, sleeping, or even working (if work is a comfortable thing to do).

Whichever form of activity is chosen by a given Self-Preservation Nine, the key is that this Nine expresses his or her need to find protection and well-being by merging with an experience of the satisfaction of concrete needs. In giving their attention over to a favored activity in this way, these Nines simultaneously avoid or “forget” their own being—or the pain of not being connected to their own being—and find a substitute sense of “being” in the comfort of the fulfillment of routine, everyday appetites.

For Self-Preservation Nines, it feels safer to take refuge in physical comfort, or in a routine that structures their experience in concrete and familiar ways, than to have to show up in the world and risk potential conflict or overstimulation. It’s easier to erase yourself by losing yourself in comfortable activities than to reveal yourself or open yourself up to whatever unpredictable or complex thing might be happening in the outside world.

The name “Appetite” doesn’t refer just to eating, but also to the need to find a sense of well-being through the fulfillment of various physical needs—for food, for comfort, for restfulness, or for something interesting to pay attention to that provides a sense of support or structure or peace. Appetite also refers to concreteness, to the grounding aspect of fulfilling physical and material needs in simple, straightforward, tangible, and enjoyable ways. One Self-Preservation Nine I know focuses her self-care efforts on physical fitness and dieting in specific, routine ways. She belongs to a gym where she exercises with a close-knit community of people who all participate in regular early- morning workouts and support each other by going on periodic diets together based on the clearly articulated structure of a practical nutritional methodology.

Self-Preservation Nines are concrete people, oriented to immediate experience, who don’t relate much to abstractions or metaphysical concepts. With these Nines there is less “psychological mindedness” and introspection and more focus on tangible and immediate “things to do.” They find experience much easier to deal with than theory. They don’t always put their experience into words, however—they don’t talk a lot about what is going on inside them in general.

Naranjo describes the meaning behind “Appetite” as a kind of excessive “creature- likeness,” characterized by an “I eat therefore I am” or an “I sleep therefore I am” attitude that erases the question of “being” in a larger sense. For these Nines, the ordinary facts of life get in the way of thinking about abstract things, like what might be lacking in their experience. These are people who live life in a more simple, direct way.

More than the other two Type Nine subtypes, these Nines tend to want more time alone. Like the other Nines, Self-Preservation Nines habitually focus their attention on other people and on their environment, but Self-Preservation Nines can actually find it more relaxing and grounding to be by themselves, as it allows them to more fully relax into whatever activity they are engaged with. These individuals also tend to have a distinctive sense of humor characterized by a wry and self-deprecating attitude. Nines are very loving people, but deep down they usually don’t have the sense of being loved—it’s as if they have resigned themselves to not actively receiving love for themselves. For the Self-Preservation Nine, the search for comfort in pleasurable activities may reflect a desire for compensation for their deeper sense of abnegation, or a giving up of the need for love, with the fulfillment of other appetites. The jolliness or fun- loving spirit of this type of Nine, though it is a very real, very endearing characteristic of this personality, may be another kind of compensation for an early lack—they substitute fun for love.

Self-Preservation Nines tend to be active and intuitive, and they express a kind of subtle strength. This is the most “Eight-ish” of the three Nine subtypes. Their sense of inertia with regard to taking action places them firmly in the Nine type, so they are unlikely to be mistaken for Eights, but they do have forceful energy, especially in contrast to the Sexual Nine, which is a much less assertive character. Self-Preservation Nines have a stronger presence than the other two Nine subtype personalities, and they can be more irritable and stubborn. It can be very difficult for them to accept that another person is right. This subtype also lives a life of excess more than the other Nines, and while they don’t get angry very often, they can express the “fury of a peacemaker” when they get mad at people who cause problems.

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