Enneagram Type 8
Enneagram 8s - Challengers. Bosses. 8s’ primary motivation is to be in control. This does not mean “to control.” 8s like their lives to be without chaos. They often don’t trust others which leads them to an instinctual desire to control. But, they will allow anyone they trust to take control, because they know they are protected and don’t need to step up. 8s do not like being controlled and actively resist it which can make them hard to manage. 8s are fierce protectors. They are the first to stand up to bullies and never the bully. They are passionate about justice. They do not fear conflict, and others earn respect from 8s when engaging in it. 8s get stuff done and cut out the nonsense. They are direct and energetic. They have zero time for anything that doesn’t pique their interest or that they think is dumb. 8s can be excessive.
In shadow, directness comes off as anger, intimidation, and sometimes, cruelty. They are not malleable with their beliefs. They dislike and almost fear vulnerability which makes them appear hard or invincible, and that can be exhausting, when they desire to be loved.
As children, 8s lose their innocence too soon, becoming too independent too early. They were probably bullied in some way, which explains their innate desire to protect - it’s a projection. 8s don’t have a lot of close friends - it’s hard for them to let people in.
Wing of 7 (the Enthusiast/Epicure) creates a strong Nonconformist, and Wing of 9 (the Mediator/Peacemaker) creates a strong Diplomat. 8s are members of the Body Center of Intelligence (AKA Gut Triad), meaning their responses and decision making comes more instinctually to them (as opposed to thoughtful [head] or emotionally [Heart]). In stress, 8s lean into shadow 5 (Investigator/Observer) becoming withdrawn and isolated. In support, 8s lean into 2 (the Giver/Helper) becoming generous and vulnerable servant leaders.
Common occupations of Enneagram 8s include (but are not limited to) entrepreneurs, executives, lawyers, judges, consultants, coaches, doctors, politicians and principals. Remember - this is the tip of the iceberg, folks. Enneagram 8s are some of the most incredible leaders.
Support them by reminding them it’s ok to be vulnerable and lovable too.
If you find yourself wanting more information about the Enneagram, consider taking my online introductory course which will give you a more in depth overview, and provide a path to help you discover your type!