Enneagram Type 8

Enneagram Type 8: The Protector

The enneagram 8 has a commanding presence, is self confident, and assertive. Eights tend to be debaters and love a good challenge. Eights are good at making difficult decisions even under pressure.

A type eight hates to feel dependent on someone else, so from an early age they’ll show signs of independence.

What Are Enneagram 8 Personality Traits?

Basic Fear

The enneagram 8 has a basic fear of being controlled by others or not having autonomy over themselves. Because of this, they’ll avoid situations where they may not have full control.

Eights that feel stressed will become guarded, not letting anyone in.

Basic Desire

The type eight has a basic desire to guard their emotions and remain in control. Eights will also advocate for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. They feel that everyone deserves the chance to have full autonomy over themselves.

The enneagram 8 will protect themselves by avoiding situations that could expose their vulnerabilities. Eights believe that vulnerabilities are a sign of weakness.

Unhealthy eights become aggressive or even violent when they feel too vulnerable or stressed. Healthy eights can acknowledge when they’re purposely avoiding situations.

To Summarize:

  • Stick up for themselves and others.
  • Are good at making tough decisions.
  • Fear being controlled.
  • Have trouble admitting their vulnerabilities.
  • Coming off as argumentative or combative.

What Are The Strengths Of An Enneagram 8?

When placed in a setting of various backgrounds- whether it be a diversity of beliefs or upbringings, a personality types’ weaknesses and strengths will be intensified.

An Enneagram 8 Personality Type Shows The Following Strengths:

  • Expressing themselves in different situations.
  • Making swift and rational decisions.
  • Natural leadership abilities.
  • Strong advocates for those in need.
  • Are fair and just.

Enneagram 8 Weaknesses

An Enneagram 8 Personality Type Shows The Following Weaknesses:

  • Coming off as intimidating.
  • Overlook the opinions of others.
  • Do not like to follow rules.
  • May try to take control when it’s not their place to do so.

Growth Opportunities For An Enneagram 8

An Enneagram 8 Personality Type Shows The Following Weaknesses:

  • Coming off as intimidating.
  • Overlook the opinions of others.
  • Do not like to follow rules.
  • May try to take control when it’s not their place to do so.

Work Life With An Enneagram 8

When Communicating With An Enneagram 8:

  • Be direct.
  • Listen to their ideas.

Enneagram 8 In Meetings:

  • Use logic.
  • Allow eights to share their thoughts.

Emailing An Enneagram 8:

  • Leave out casual conversation.
  • Keep the purpose clear.

Sharing Feedback With An Enneagram 8:

  • Eights can get defensive, so give any feedback with respect.

Conflict Resolution With An Enneagram 8:

  • Eights like to challenge and debate, stand your ground and call them out if necessary.
  • Show that you have considered their side and are willing to listen to them as well.

What Motivates An Enneagram 8

Each enneagram will have different motivators, since they are all driven by different value systems. The enneagram 8 is driven by control and power.

Here Are Some Examples:

  • Leadership or taking control.
  • Being respected and heard.
  • Helping others and building a better world.
  • Coming up with solutions to problems.

What Are The Stressors For An Enneagram 8?

Every Enneagram responds to stress differently and will have different triggers.

An Enneagram 8 will be stressed by:
  • Not being in control.
  • Being unappreciated or feeling insignificant.
  • Feeling vulnerable or facing their own fears.
  • Dishonesty from others.
  • Feeling helpless and letting things happen.

Enneagram 8 In The Workplace

Eights will do best in an environment that allows them to have full autonomy and encourages them to share their ideas. Eights find a thrill in a fast paced workplace and being in a leadership position.

Energizers For An Enneagram 8 In The Workplace:

  • Being asked for their opinion.
  • Having a boss that respects them.
  • Peers that see them as a leader.
  • Direct reports that are responsible and hard working.

Things That Drain An Enneagram 8 In The Workplace:

  • Feeling ignored.
  • Having a boss that has complete control over them.
  • Peers that do not want to discuss ideas or issues.
  • Direct Reports that need constant help in order to finish tasks.

Eights are independent and bold, they’re good at making difficult decisions that are fair and rational. They do best when they can advocate for others or use their leadership skills.

Jobs That Best Suit An Enneagram 8

  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Director
  • Business Owner
  • Sales Executive
  • Marketing Strategist
  • Advertising Executive
  • Financial Advisor

Enneagram 8 In A Relationship (Professional)

The eight personality works best with people who are calm and reserved. Eights like when their peers are capable of advocating for themselves and assisting in decision making.

If two eights work together, they’ll need to make and effort to respect each other and their ideas so that they do not clash. Two eights fighting for power can quickly turn aggressive.

An Enneagram 8 Will Work Best With People Who:

  • Respect and value their ideas.
  • Can hold their own.
  • Are receptive of different ways of thinking.

An Enneagram 8 Might Clash With Coworkers When They:

  • Challenge an authority figure.
  • Feel like they’re being blamed for something unrelated to them.
  • Need to share vulnerabilities.

Enneagram 8 In A Relationship (Romantic)

On average, eights build the best romantic relationships with partners who are quiet and calm in demeanor. In these types of relationships, the enneagram type 8 will be dedicated and protective.

If an enneagram type 8 dates another eight, they need to be cautious of their arguments. Two eights butting heads and fighting for control in a disagreement can quickly get out of hand. Eights need to be able to step back from disagreements so they can discuss with a calm and level head.

In A Romantic Relationship, An Enneagram 8 Brings These Strengths To The Table:
  • Are honest.
  • Will protect their partner emotionally and physically.
  • Will give their partner room for independence and personal growth.
In A Romantic Relationship, An Enneagram 8 May Have Difficulty:
  • Sharing their vulnerabilities.
  • Letting their partner make decisions for them.
  • Taking a calm approach to arguments.

Who Are Some Famous Enneagram Type 8's ?

Mark Cuban
Martin Luther King Jr.
Barbara Walters
Toni Morrison


The enneagram type 8 personality is self confident, a natural leader, power driven, and is the most controlling of the personality types.

Type eights desire feeling like they’re in control at all times and also have a passion for advocating for those who can’t defend themselves. Because of this passion for power, these enneagram personality types will avoid situations that might highlight their vulnerabilities (which is an eight’s basic fear).

An 8 personality is motivated when they can use their natural leadership skills and assist in making touch decisions. 8 enneagram types are stressed when they feel like they have no control and have to follow someone else’s rules.

An enneagram 8 has a lot of self respect, but they do have room to grow. An 8 personality needs to make time for self discovery so they can understand why they avoid showing their weaknesses. Type eights should find a way to understand that vulnerabilities to not diminish their value.

If you’re working along side an 8, they’ll appreciate it if you listen to their thoughts and ideas. An 8 does not like being bossed around, so you’ll want to consider your wording when assigning tasks or giving feedback.

Common jobs for eights usually involve elements of independence, leadership, and decision making. Work environments that offer these things will find their type 8 employees thriving.

In relationships (both professional and romantic) 8s will do best with peers or partners that are calm and reserved. An 8 likes someone who will show them respect, not challenge and overpower them. A happy eight will do whatever it takes to protect those that they care about.

The biggest struggle eights will face in both the workplace and their relationships is learning to share the control. Sometimes an 8 needs to step back and let someone else be in control, this usually very hard for them to accept.

My Own Terms

My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

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