I am strong

Enneagram Type Eight

Type Eight

Protector / Challenger

People of Enneatype Eight are assertive protectors motivated by a desire to control their environment, seek justice, and take strong direct action.  They are no-nonsense robust people who are natural leaders and go after whatever they want.

Eights are competitive and decisive, typically possessing an enormous amount of energy and powerful physical appetites. When they want to get something done, they do it without hesitation! There is an unapologetically expansive quality to the presence of the Eight, which is easily sensed by the people around them. This self-reliant energy is experienced by others as naturally strong and sometimes intimidating.

Eights are wary about being controlled or taken advantage of, and thus are wired to take charge or put their guard up in order to avoid showing vulnerability or weakness. As they actively resist any semblance of being controlled by others, this can result in a compulsion to dominate, eruptions of temper, or trouble relating to the more gentle emotions of others.

At Their Best:

Confident, direct, courageous, determined, generous, and protective of their loved ones.

When Struggling:

Aggressive, confrontational, domineering, insensitive, lustful, and prone to excess.

What Type Eights say about themselves:

  • I am strong-willed and do not give up or back down easily.
  • I am assertive and have no problem giving direction to others.
  • I don’t have much sympathy for weakness.
  • I am self-reliant and don’t want to depend on others to meet my needs.
  • I am a straight-talker, no sugar-coating. I say the things other people wish they could say.
  • It’s completely natural to express frustration or anger when you feel it.
  • No one can control me; I make sure of that.
  • I have a lot of energy to push forward and make things happen.
  • I stand up for myself and for the people in my circle.
  • I have a tender/soft side, but I’m careful who I show it to.

We each feel that we must show up in a certain way in the world in order to deserve love.

These are internal messages that resonate with Eights:

BASIC FEAR: Of being harmed or controlled by others.

BASIC DESIRE: To protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny).

BASIC PROPOSITION: “You gain protection and respect by becoming strong and powerful, imposing your personal truth and hiding your vulnerability.”

AVOIDANCE: Vulnerability, weakness, or being controlled by others.

FOCUS of ATTENTION: Injustice, power & control (not being controlled by others), getting things moving in work or play.

  • Positive aspect: The ability to be decisive and direct with others.
  • Negative aspect: The tendency to overlook others’ feelings or lack some empathy in the desire to “keep things moving”.


Strategies For Growth:

  • Observe your habit of mind or focus of attention with as little judgment as possible. Ask yourself, when do I just go for what I want without thinking? In what ways do I assert control or power over others? Remind yourself that true strength includes the ability to slow down and to have empathy for others’ feelings/opinions.
  • Remember that the world is not against you. Many people are happy to give you their love, support, and loyalty, if you will soften a bit and let them in. Practice accepting affection and tender moments from others.

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