Type Eight, The All or Nothing Type on the Enneagram

You have big energy and passion for life, wanting to make a difference in this world. Truth and justice are extremely important and you are ready to take a stand and fight for what is right.  You know what you want and are always ready to take action towards it.  This is your life and you will take charge of it, there is no question of that!  If these statements resonate with you, then read on to learn of the motivation of Type Eight on the Enneagram.  Remember that we have a bit of all types within us, so look for the way Type Eight shows up in you.

Type Eight can be called The Challenger, The Boss, The Top Dog, and The Leader.  Out of all the types, it is our Eights who are ready to take on challenges in the world for themselves and will encourage others to stretch their boundaries. They have enormous willpower and vitality and they feel most alive when they are exercising these capacities in the world. They want to make a difference in their environment whether that be the community or the world because bigger is always better! They work hard, play hard and crash hard, hence the “All or Nothing”, persona that gets developed.  At a young age they decide that they will be in charge of their life and realize they have the fortitude to protect others if justice is to prevail. The basic fear of eights is of being harmed or controlled by others so they become masters of protection.  They have great capacity to withstand physical punishment without complaint; however they are more sensitive to emotional hurt and protect this vulnerability with a layer of emotional armor. This is a double edged sword because on the one hand it does give them a sense of safety and on the other, it creates distance from others and their efforts to show love through action can be misunderstood. As human beings, we want to experience intimacy which often requires seeing the softer more vulnerable side of another. It takes great courage and trust for Eights to show their vulnerable side.

What you see is what you get; they are honest, have abundant energy and are very hard working. They are independent and expect the same of others. We may experience them as hurtful or insensitive, but Eights have no idea how their enormous energy comes across to others. The passion they can bring to their work, relationships or causes can be incredibly rich and move mountains.  They do not give up in something they believe in, a noble trait to role model for others.  Generally they react rather than respond, which feels too risky.  These were children who kept on playing football with a broken foot, biffed the bully in the eye and in many cases, shouldered responsibility for their alcoholic/sick parents!

Eights like to elicit what I call the “shock factor” to stir things up a bit.  Whether it’s a practical joke with a friend, a comment that brings out a blush on another or a good raunchy joke – it’s all in good fun. I recall a previous Type Eight business owner who walked through his production plant one morning and announced that the company was sold and the new owners would be keeping only the best producing employees.  It was not true and he did tell them in good time, but in the meantime, he was able to observe how each reacted to the news.  Did they buck up to prove they were worth keeping, did they start whining about how unfair this was or did they start looking elsewhere to move on?  He wanted to see what they were made of!

Eights at their best in a relationship are loyal, caring, positive, playful, truthful, straightforward, committed, generous and supportive.  Eights at their worst in a relationship are demanding, arrogant, combative, possessive, uncompromising and quick to find fault.

Practical suggestions for Type Eight:

  • Develop a habit of listening to other people’s point of view.
  • Get feedback from friends and family on how forcefully your comments come across.
  • Look for what you appreciate in others and tell them regularly.
  • Find something that you can do when you need to release pent-up anger safely.
  • Start a pattern of relinquishing control in a small way, in certain areas of your life, and become accustomed to going with the flow.
  • Remember that the world is not against you. Many people in your life care about you and look up to you, but when you are in your fixation, you do not make this easy for them. Let in the affection that is available. Doing this will not make you weak, but will confirm the strength and support in yourself and your life. Also remember that by believing that others are against you and reacting against them, you tend to alienate them and confirm your own fears. Take stock of the people who truly are on your side, and let them know-how important they are to you.
  • It goes against the grain, but act with self-restraint. You show true power when you forbear from asserting your will with others, even when you could. Your real power lies in your ability to inspire and uplift people. You are at your best when you take charge and help everyone through a crisis. Few will take advantage of you when you are caring, and you will do more to secure the loyalty and devotion of others by showing the greatness of your heart than you ever could by displays of raw power.
  • Notice when lust or the need for vengeance arises, how it feels in your body, and what it makes you do, so that you can choose not to go with it in order to invite transformation to it’s opposite, the virtue of innocence.

Famous Eights:

Sigourney Weaver, Martin Luther King Jr., Glenn Close, Sean Connery, Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, Babe Ruth, John Belushi, Humphrey Bogart,  John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Susan Sarandon, Bette Davis

How about you? Do you resonate with an 8? I love getting feedback! Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a plug-in that allows you the opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.

Until next time,

Karen

 

 

1 reply
  1. Alan says:

    Ian a eight recently came across the enneagram interesting tool, although it wouldn’t have help a younger me I don’t think. It would only have been seen as a hindrance . Iam 34 now I see the world completely different. Anyway good work. Thanks

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge