Intro to Enneagram Type 8
A few weeks ago, I got great feedback on my article Enneagram Type 5 vs Enneagram Type 4. Everyone enjoyed it, and everyone complained that it was too long. So, this week I am breaking up the normally almost 2500 word blog posts into several 300-500 word posts. If you liked the long version, don’t worry I will release it at the end of the week. Since I am breaking up the posts into bite-size bits, you might want to check this one to get a better introduction into the series. Now here is the intro into an Enneagram Type 8.
Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger
Enneagram Type 8’s are known as the challenger. As part of the anger triad, you always know a Type 8 because you feel that they are angry at you. While Enneagram Type 4’s may be the most difficult to understand, Enneagram Type 8’s might be the most misunderstood. The Type 8 rarely holds onto anger or grudges. That is reserved for their fellow triad members the Type 9’s and Type 1’s. Enneagram Type 8’s are the prototypical boss. Strong-willed, capable, blunt and brash, the Type 8 orders people to lead them, follow them or get out of their way. The Enneagram Type 8 doesn’t just consistently challenge you for no reason. They actually enjoy and communicate best in the middle of a fight. For them, they are getting a view of the true you when all the masks and deceptions fall away in a brawl. For them, the anger subsides as soon as the brawl does. Oftentimes, they aren’t really angry anyways, just trying to communicate.
Type 8’s have this challenger mentality and approach because of a lack of trust. They don’t think you can do the job. They don’t think you will do the job, or you will use their vulnerabilities against them. All of these lead the Type 8 to consistently probe authority. If you can’t handle the probing the Type 8 will remove you from leadership and install someone with real gumption.
With a Type 5
What makes Type 8’s interesting to me is our Enneagram Line. Types 5’s are one of the few who not only confront the Type 8, they can handle their own. Our (Type 5’s) knowledge base gives a percieved high-ground to enter in the arena with a Type 8. From our point of view, facts are facts and they can slap anyone across the face no matter how loud or blustery that person might be. In fact, we get along great with Type 8’s. Core to the Type 8 is a strong sense of justice and Type 5’s can get on board with that because justice so often aligns with the facts and histories of the world. Type 3’s the other strong leader type can make us frustrated for their failure to account for all the points of view and research. A Type 8 wants the research and facts; they just want them now.
Our relationship isn’t without friction, but some of the best conversations and friendships can blossom between a Type 5 and Type 8. They just have to both stay in the arena and allow the other to remain in the arena. You see we both fight to win, Type 5’s with knowledge and Type 8’s with strength. (It makes for an interesting bout when the Type 3’s include their dexterity.)
So, enter into the arena this week ye Type 5’s and Type 8’s. Look to how we help, hurt and parent together. Then imagine a place where instead of fighting to win we welcome our sparring partner into the arena to achieve something we could not without each other.
Enneagram lines connect different types, so that in health or stress an Enneagram Type might acquire traits or appear like the Type they are connected to. This creates interesting relationships between the Enneagram Types and will help color the conversation around them. If you need more info about the lines I would go here.