What is the stress and growth of the enneagram 8? Find out in this blog where we break down the enneagram type 8s stress and growth numbers!
What Is Enneagram Stress And Growth?
As you probably know, the enneagram is shaped like a clock with lines connecting each number to 2 others. These lines represent our stress and growth. When we are in stress, we take on the behaviors of a different type and in growth, we take on the behaviors of another.
Our enneagram type does not change as we move between stress and growth. Our core desire remains the same however, how we try to fulfill our core desire changes based on whether we are in a stressed state or in our growth.
The Enneagram Actually Grows Both Ways!
We actually are supposed to grow towards both numbers that our enneagram type is connected to, taking on the healthy aspects of both types. And vise versa, we can be stressed and take on the behaviors of either number we are connected to but there is a number that we need to reach into for more growth and one we reach to more easily in stress.
In this blog, we are covering what the stress and growth numbers of the enneagram 8 are including signs that you are in stress, signs you are in growth, and how to step into your growth. Enjoy!
Enneagram 8 Overview
The enneagram type eight is called The Challenger. Your core desire is to challenge and intensity.
Common traits of an 8 are…
As a 8, your core desire comes from the fear that you will be harmed if you show weakness, emotions, or any other form of vulnerability. Releasing control and expressing your feelings doesn’t come naturally to you.
Enneagram 8 In Stress
In stress, the enneagram 8 takes on the negative traits of the enneagram 5, The Investigator.
The normally bold and brave type 8 becomes withdrawn and reserved. They take less action and become focused on attaining more information that they seemingly don’t need whether it’s about their field of work, cryptocurrencies, or the best places to go on their vacation even if they already decided on where they are going.
Enneagram 8s are meant to be out in the world, leading and doing. But when the enneagram 8 goes into stress, they retreat into their mind and focus on research.
This is because the enneagram 8 is part of the Gut Triad. They are meant to act off of their instincts, in stress they go to the type 5 which is apart of the fear/mind triad.
Fear tends to be the trigger for type 8s to go into stress. Fear of not being capable enough or not being able to protect other. After all, the 8 is known for being a “mama bear” to some extent and when they feel that their ability to lead and protect has been threatened, they go into stress and focus on learning to feel competent. The type 8s stress also leads them to be more controlling.
A type 8 in stress also become more critical. Instead of embracing their compassionate side, they see everything as logic and facts, including other people’s emotions. The type 8 in stress is ruthless and harsh.
Signs You Are An Enneagram 8 In Stress…
- Over-consumption of news, articles, and social media.
- You feel stuck in your head and a sense of “brain-fog”
- Compassion seems impossible
- Working with others sounds like your worst nightmare
- Your physical body feels restless and stiff
- Pessimism becomes your default state of mind
- You’re pushing your loved ones away
- Constantly hyper-analyzing yourself and your actions
- Having trouble staying grounded
- You look for intensity in unhealthy forms
- You feel like you need to be more controlling of others
A type 8s goes into stress by having their childhood wound triggered. A situation happens (,or many situations) where their childhood belief of “I cannot be weak or incapable” is brought back to the surface and so they go into survival mode to avoid being harmed.
Should type 8s avoid situations entirely where this belief may get triggered? No, that would be ridiculous. Mindfulness is key here. If we can notice when our childhood beliefs get triggered and pay attention to the negative behaviors that we start using in reaction to it, then we can start healing ourselves and work on stepping into growth.
Enneagram 8 In Growth
In growth, the enneagram 8 takes on the positive traits of the enneagram 2, The Helper.
The bold and assertive type 8 embraces empathy, compassion, and vulnerability. An enneagram 8 in growth nurtures themselves and their relationships. (I know, barf, right?)
The word I often hear used to describe the type 8s growth is pause and I think this is a huge sign that a type 8 is in growth.
An enneagram 8 in growth will pause and listen to what this person is feeling and thinking. They stop to think about what you need from them, they pause and notice what’s going on around them. A healthy 8 is present, reflects on their actions, and realizes life isn’t meant to be lived in fast-forward.
By embracing this empathic side of them, the enneagram 8 finds more enjoyment in life. because they’ve created a space to cultivate closer relationships. They learn to be more present, rather than living “one-step-ahead” of everyone else. A healthy type 8 realizes that they are worthy of rest and they channel their intensity into the the things that really matter.
Signs You Are An Enneagram 8 In Growth…
- You can breathe fully and deep
- Relationships are thriving
- You make time for hobbies
- Controlling less, but controlling what matters most to you
- You can be vulnerable with those you trust
- In communication, you listen before you speak
- Healthy moderation
- You channel your intensity into things that benefit your health
- Resting daily
- There’s a sense of awareness for what others feel
- You wait until everyone else has shared their opinion before you share your own
- You feel a sense of peace and clarity throughout your day
Remember, this growth is just as much about treating themselves with empathy as it is treating others with empathy.
Stepping Into Growth As An Enneagram 8
So how can we move from stress into growth as enneagram 8s? To 8s, this growth number can sound ridiculous. “You want me to be a soft, compassionate type 2? No thank you!”
We think that our growth number means that we have to forgo our personality but this is not the truth. Type 8s, you are meant to be your bold and assertive self and it would be ridiculous to ask you to be any different!
Remember that growth for you, type 8, isn’t about just about the actions you do, it’s about the mindset you embrace.
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We can often think we are stepping into our enneagram’s growth number by doing different things on our reality when, in fact, we are just avoiding change.
Many type 8s are already good at logically seeing things from other’s point of view, but to understand someone’s emotions and show that person that they understand is something else.
The core of a type 8s growth means learning that our emotions control our perception of reality.
You learn to recognize emotions and say “okay, I already know what this person is thinking and feeling and I already know the solution, but I’m going to actively choose to pause, ask questions to help them work through these emotions, and give them what they need to feel understood.”
This can be applied to yourself too. Do this when you feel your own emotions.
Overall, growth for the enneagram 8 isn’t just about doing less, being gentler, giving to people, and hugging it out. It’s about embracing the power that’s comes from slowing down and cultivating presence.
Try taking all the advice you have and turning them into questions instead. It’s a miracle what this can do for communication and relationship health!
A type 8 can embrace their growth by journaling, making time to just talk with loved ones, doing restful activities, and taking time in the morning to just be.
Give yourself permission to find more enjoyment in the present.
When you are in your stress and becoming withdrawn, ask yourself “what if I treated myself like someone I loved? What vulnerability am I running from? How have my beliefs been triggered? What would it feel like to act from positive beliefs instead.”
How do you step into growth as an enneagram 8? Let us know in the comments. Hope this blog helped you understand the stress and growth of the enneagram 8!
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