Eight - The Challenger

enneagram eight

(Aka "The Boss", "The Protector")

General

The focus of awareness for an eight is a preoccupation with power, dominance and control. They are concerned with strength and protecting the weak. Eights like confrontation as it usually leads to the truth. They enjoy a worthy opponent. They gain respect through assertive action that is expressed directly and often without restraint. The eight can have a fixation with vengeance so that justice will prevail. Anger comes up in response to hurt, injustice or unfairness. Eights, in expressing their big energy and truth, are not often aware of their impact on others. Respect is gained by becoming strong and powerful and by hiding vulnerability. They are self-confident, strong, assertive, protective, resourceful, straight talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. As children, they took charge because they perceived themselves as the strongest, or grew up in abusive or difficult environment. Eights can be charismatic and have the capacity to persuade others to follow them. They use their abundant energy to take charge and keep other people from hurting them and those they care about. They resist being indebted to anyone. Although they are usually aware of what other people think of them, they do not let opinions of others sway them. They have learned to stand up for what they need and want. Eights are direct and to the point. Their attention naturally goes to perceived injustices and to whatever demands their attention right now. Eights are courageous, fair, magnanimous and intense. They want stimulation and excitement. They are concerned with strength and protecting the weak.

Strengths

Eights are natural leaders and filled with gusto for life. They are fierce and loyal friends. You can count on them to the bitter end. Eights can be honest and direct and yet gentle with the weak. They are independent and self reliant. They meet challenges head –on. They support and empower the people who are loyal and close to them. They use their strength to improve others' lives, becoming valiant, magnanimous and inspiring. They take the initiative and make things happen with a great passion. Eights are authoritative, natural leaders who have a solid and commanding presence. Their steadfastness gives them abundant common sense. Eights are willing to "take the heat" knowing that any decision may not please everyone. As much as possible, they look after the wellbeing of the people in their charge.

Difficulties

Eights will avoid weakness, and powerlessness. They can be aggressive, intimidating and impulsive. They deny their own emotional needs. Eights can overwhelm people with their bluntness and scare them away unintentionally. They can be impatient with others' incompetence. They will put too much pressure on themselves. Their basic fear is being harmed or controlled by others. Eights often take their health and endurance for granted. They are afraid of being wounded emotionally and can keep others at a safe distance. Eights often feel misunderstood. When they feel hurt or rejected, they will rarely discuss it as they have difficulty admitting their vulnerability to themselves, let alone anyone else.

Key Motivators

The key motivators for the eight are to be self reliant, prove their strength, be important, dominate their environment, and to stay in control. Eights have the belief that truth and justice should prevail.

Famous Examples

Mike Tyson, John Wayne, Barry Bonds, Grace Slick, Susan Sarandon, Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pablo Picasso, Sean Connery, Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Ann Richards, Lee Iacocca, Donald Trump, Frank Sinatra, Better Davis, Roseanne Barr, Courtney Love, Leona Helmsly, Sigourney Weaver.

Typical Things Spoken by an Eight

"My way or the highway."

"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

"Bring it on!"

"Don't tell me what to do."