Discover everything you should know about the Enneagram 8 personality type, also known as The Challenger or The Boss by reading this blog!
What Does It Mean To Be An Enneagram 8?
Being an enneagram 8 means that you were raised to believe you had to be strong at all times. In childhood, you grew up believing that no one was going to take care of you. So now, as an adult, you are controlling, assertive, and blunt. You easily control things because you’ve learned to manage others well and refuse to let yourself be taken advantage of.
If you are an enneagram eight, you are known as The Challenger. You are bold, assertive, and intense. As an 8, your core desire is to be in control because, in childhood, you were taught to believe that no one will protect you and you have to be an authority to avoid harm.
Enneagram 8 Description
The enneagram type eight is known as The Challenger. The 8 is characterized by their bold, assertive, and intense nature. If you are an 8, your core desire is intensity and challenge because, in childhood, you felt unsupported. this taught you to believe that no one will protect you so you must be in control to avoid harm.
Traits of an Enneagram 8
The Enneagram 8 is the most assertive person you’ll meet. With their core desire for intensity and challenge, these people say it like it is, take charge, and manage everything they can.
The Enneagram 8 doesn’t care about other people’s feelings, but they do care about protecting everyone. 8’s have big hearts that they keep hidden. So while they may not be the person to go to for empathy, the 8 will stand up and fight for you til the bitter end whether that’s about an unjust ticket or getting your order wrong at Starbucks.
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The 8 struggles to let go of control. Because they were raised to believe that they need to be in control for survival, they don’t let others take the wheel willingly. This can be a real struggle for people interacting with 8s because they seem to be control freaks.
With a core desire for challenge as well, the 8 challenges everyone they meet. Using words, the 8 will push you to think like you’ve never thought before and question why you do the thing you do.
Enneagram 8 In Stress
A stressed enneagram 8 is aggressive and withdrawn. Taking on the 5’s negative traits, the 8 maintains a feeling of control by taking in information and hoarding their resources. They become emotionless and avoid people.
Each enneagram type has specific signs that they are under stress! They take on the negative traits of a different number in stress.
The assertive and commanding type 8 becomes withdrawn, fearful, emotionless, and overwhelmed in stress.
8s, at their worst, feel like they lack control are start to isolate themselves to maintain it. They will either control their closest loved ones or shut them out entirely.
The 8 starts taking on the unhealthy traits of the Enneagram 5 in stress, meaning that they’ll hoard resources, spend more time alone, and research obsessively to feel a sense of control and competence.
This stress response comes from the fear of vulnerability. So an 8 at their worst will also be emotionally closed off, bitter, blunt, and heartless. Instead of using their protective nature to help others, they spend all their resources and energy on protecting themselves.
Enneagram 8 In Growth
The Enneagram 8 in growth incorporates compassion, vulnerability, and rest in their being. They take on the healthy traits of the Enneagram 2 by releasing control, speaking with kindness, and allowing themselves to be vulnerable and accept support.
Each enneagram type has specific signs that they are in a healthy state of growth! They take on the positive traits of a different number in growth.
When the enneagram 8 steps into their growth, they learn how to surrender control. Not just of others, but their harsh control on themselves. Because being vulnerable feels like a lack of control, an 8 at their best will allow themselves to be soft and be taken care of.
The 8 at their best will also be compassionate towards others. They realize that helping is more about how they say things rather than what they say. An Enneagram 8 will pause and listen to what a person is feeling and thinking, pause and notice what’s going on around them, and pause to take care of themselves.
Enneagram 8 Common Mistypes
Some of the Enneagram types are very similar to one another. This is why it’s important to take your time and learn about each type before you type yourself!
Enneagram 6s so commonly think that they are 8s. This is because both are moral, both are controlling at their worst, and both want to protect others at all costs. The main difference is, 6s care how people feel, whereas the 8 just does what is most efficient. In the end, the 6 wants to take care of people so they can be happy and the 8 takes care of business.
8s can also see themselves commonly as 5s, 3s, and 1s.
Enneagram 8 Subtypes
In the enneagram, there are three variations of each type called Instinctual Subtypes.
These 3 subtypes are determined by the 3 major survival instincts we operate on.
The SX Enneagram 8 (Sexual 8)
SX 8s confidently assert their beliefs and want to use them to have control over others. The SX 8 seeks to have power over their closest loved ones whether it is their partner, family, or friends. They do this by manipulating them into believing that they are lesser for not believing the same things they do. But at their best, the Sx 8 is loyal to their one-on-one connections to the end and can open up more easily when given space to express who they are.
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The SP Enneagram 8 (Self-Preserving 8)
The SP 8 resembles their 5 stress number the most. They seek to feel a sense of control by accumulating resources, territory, and assets. This subtype is very intolerant when it comes to obstacles standing in the way of them attaining what they want. They believe any boulder can be moved. This 8 cares the least about “fitting in”.
The SO Enneagram 8 (Social 8)
On the other hand, the SO Enneagram 8 seeks to have power and authority in a social circle or community to maintain control. If they cannot be the center of control in this social group, they will seek to be surrounded by other powerful people who, through association in alliance, can bring them a better sense of power. The S0 8 can also closely resemble the Enneagram 6 because they want to protect those with less power from injustice unfairness or harm. The most friendly of the 8’s subtypes.
What An Enneagram 8 Needs To Hear
Dear Enneagram 8s, we are sorry we taught you to believe you weren’t protected or loved. We are here for you, you can put down your swords and shield. We promise you won’t be taken advantage of.
Enneagram 8 Romantic Compatibility
The Enneagram 8 will get along the most with enneagram 2s, 3s, and 5s. 2s support the 8s growth. 8s enjoy the 3’s driven and unemotional nature. And 5s help 8s remember to slow down.
The Enneagram eight will be drawn towards other Enneagram types that allow them to be in control, seek, intensity, and want to challenge themselves alongside the 8.
Enneagram 8s can enjoy the company of the Enneagram 2, which is their growth number. The 8 needs to learn how to soften and trust other people. This comes more easily when in a relationship with the 2. The 8 may be frustrated at times by the 2’s caring nature but the Enneagram 8 also knows that they benefit from this type 2’s consideration. The 2 can also appreciate the 8’s assertive nature
8s can also end up with 3s. The Enneagram 3 is highly driven and ambitious. The 8 can enjoy the 3’s competitive and goal-oriented nature that is similar to their own. 8s will also appreciate their ability to read other people’s emotions and be diplomatic at times.
And finally, the 8 can commonly enjoy being with Enneagram 5s. Both of these people are rational and have the capacity to be assertive. The 8 loves to take action. By being in a relationship with the 5, they can remember to slow down, think things through, and not do too much too fast. 8s can also inspire the 5 to take more imperfect action and put themselves out there.
Find out more about the Enneagram 8 Compatibility (coming soon)
Best Careers For An Enneagram 8
Because Enneagram 8’s core desire is control, the type 8 can do well in careers that involve managing others and leading. They also hate being controlled.
Potentially fulfilling careers for the 8 would be…
- Project Director
The Enneagram 8 do best using their blunt and controlling nature to be a leader in a career. They make great CEO’s, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and Strategists. A job where they are using their analytical 5 growth can serve them well.
What questions do you still have about the Enneagram 8? Let me know in the comments below!
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