Today, we explore Enneagram 8. As I have said before, half of what I do in the office is to help people become more aware – more conscious. If they can become aware that what they are doing is counter-productive, they can then make different choices. I use myself as an example. In the first 15 years of our marriage, if my wife came on too strong I would shut down. When I stepped back and looked at that behaviour, it was pretty counter-productive, but I did it for a long time. Once I became aware of that pattern, I could then make different choices.
The Enneagram is just one tool to help raise awareness but it is a good one. It helps us see the motivation behind what we do. There are 9 different personality types described by the Enneagram. Today we are looking at Enneagram 8 – the Asserter or Challenger.
Eights are motivated by the desire to protect themselves and the environment around them. They uphold just causes and truly do fight for what they believe is right. Because they are fiercely independent and the captains of their own ships, their biggest fear is being controlled by others. Enneagram 8 doesn’t shy away from conflict at all. In fact, they often embrace it. They see conflict as a way of life and something that needs to be dealt with, typically in a timely manner. They are direct with their words and behaviors and know what they need to do to move on. A blind spot for the eight can be in assuming their truth equals the truth.
The three eights I know best are very much into social justice causes. The description “The Challenger” fits them and they truly do march to a bigger drum than I do. They are visionaries who support the underdog; they see injustice and strive to right it.
Enneagram 8 Wings
The wings for eights are 9 and 7. Eights with a more developed seven wing tend to be more extroverted, enterprising, energetic, quick and egocentric. Eights with a more developed nine wing tend to be more mild-mannered, gentle, receptive and quietly strong.
Enneagram 8 Movements
The movement for eights is to 2 and 5. When eights move toward the positive side of two they open up to others and reveal their vulnerability. They become more concerned for the welfare of others and become more loving and lovable; and are able to express their softer, more gentle sides. The positive move to five allows them to step back and see things from a more objective point of view and think things through more thoroughly before acting.
Remember this is just a quick snapshot of one of the Enneagram types. There is lots of information out there on the Enneagram. One place is my wife Crystal’s website Journey to Inner Wisdom. If you are interested in learning more, she will be doing some online workshops on the Enneagram in the fall. Check it out.