Enneagram Type 8: Leader, Solution Master, Maverick, Protector or Intimidator
Overview You want to be open, honest, direct and straightforward. More importantly, you want to be independent, make your own decisions and direct your own course. You see yourself as assertive, decisive and resourceful. You would like others to see you as strong, fair-minded and magnanimous. Your idealized image is that you are protective and powerful.
You are charismatic and exude confidence. You have a take-charge, no nonsense, can do attitude. You have great pride in your ability to face, endure and overcome adversity, believing that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Your assertive stance and imposing presence make you a ‘force of nature’. You like challenges and usually overcome the kinds of obstacles that limit or deter others. You have a lust for life and want to experience everything to the fullest. You believe that ‘too much of a good thing is almost enough’.
Your word is your bond and you do not suffer fools gladly. People are occasionally intimidated by you and have a tendency to misinterpret your direct manner as insensitivity. Self-possessed, you easily speak your mind and can come across as too aggressive. You believe that being true to yourself means that you say what you mean and mean what you say. You stand up for your beliefs and perceive backing down as a sign of weakness – even though at times doing so may be common sense and in your own best interest.
Behind your tough exterior you are gentle, playful, childlike and innocent. Always one to laugh, you can see the humor even in the most painful and difficult of circumstances. You are also unusually devoted to and protective of those in your ‘inner circle,’ often secretly going without so that others will have what they need. Living by your own personal code of honor, you have a strong sense of justice which compels you to act whenever you see any kind of injustice taking place. This often inspires great loyalty from those who see you as a protective authority.
Need You need to be your own authority, and seek independence to be master and commander of your own life. You have the need to feel confident, self-reliant and in charge of your emotions. You don’t need to be liked, but you do have a strong need to be respected. You also need a sense of fairness and justice in your dealings with others, or you are likely to assert your willful and stubborn nature.
Avoid You avoid being weak, vulnerable, controlled or manipulated. Secretly, you fear being caught off guard, harmed and/or humiliated. Being mistreated and at the mercy of injustice are among your deepest fears. You resist and defy anything that is imposed upon you. Fearing deprivation, you avoid ever having to go without what you deem essential to your survival. You do everything in your power to avoid being dependent on anyone or anything. You have a distaste for mediocrity and anything that feels contrived.
Virtue Your greatest strength is your sense of justice and desire to protect the weak, vulnerable, down-trodden and under-represented. Big hearted and generous by nature, you willingly protect others even at your own expense. A person of your word, you stand up for what you believe in and deliver what have you promised. You have the ability to quickly assess a situation, cut to the chase and ‘call a spade a spade’, simplifying what initially appears to be complex and confusing. This ability to instinctively see the truth in any given situation and act decisively makes you a natural born leader.
Vice Your vice is excess and going to extremes. Whatever you like, you want more of and whatever you do, you overdo at full speed. Quick to respond, you can over react and come on too strong. You can be too much, too intense, and unwilling to self-limit. This can lead to escalating conflict due to an over reliance on your own truth and self-defined justice. Under stress you can become myopic, believing your truth as ‘The Truth’. Seeing life as a battlefield or a contest of wills, you can become confrontational and have difficulty backing down or admitting defeat. You have a tendency to push things to the edge and sometimes may run over others in the process.
Attention Your attention goes to issues of power— who has it and most importantly, if it is being used fairly. You instinctively sense a power vacuum and you often step in to fill it. You are not interested in subtle nuance but rather in the big picture, like a general surveying a battlefield. You can be relentless in your search for truth, justice, power and influence.
Spiritual Path Your spiritual journey is to reclaim your sense of innocence. Spiritual growth will come when you can acknowledge a higher truth and a higher power. As the king or queen of the jungle, you can either take advantage of others with your powerful and commanding presence or make the jungle a safe place for everyone.
Mantra True strength comes from surrendering the need to have power and control. Remember that sensitivity to others and acknowledging your own tender emotions is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Cynicism and insensitive teasing are red flags that you are feeling hurt and disempowered.
If you are the Enneagram Type 8 with the 7 Wing, you desire to appear commanding. You see yourself as outspoken, innovative, intense, daring, striking, attractive and tenderhearted.
If you are the Enneagram Type 8 with the 9 Wing, you desire to appear solid. You see yourself as earthy, simple, honest, practical, authoritative, solid, wise and considerate.
Famous Type 8s Afghanistan, Leslie Abramson, F. Lee Bailey, Joe Don Baker, Lucille Ball, Charles Barkley, Humphrey Bogart, Napoleon, Charles Bronson, Meredith Brooks, James Brown, Richard Burton, Johnny Cash, Fidel Castro, Sean Connery, Jimmy Connors, Robert Conrad, Brian Dennehy, Danny DeVito, Mike Ditka, Bob Dole, Sam Donaldson, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Milton Erickson, Indira Gandhi, John Huston, Chrissy Hynde, Joan Jett, Lyndon Johnson, Brian Keith, Nikita Khrushchev, Martin Luther King Jr., Evel Knievel, Bruce Lee, Rush Limbaugh, Mafia, Mao Tse-tung, Lee Marvin, Malcolm McDowell, John McEnroe, Golda Meir, Dennis Miller, Robert Mitchum, Judd Nelson, George Patton, Sean Penn, Fritz Perls, Julia Phillips, Julianne Phillips, Suzanne Pleshette, Queen Latifah, Ann Richards, Theodore Roosevelt, Axl Rose, Mickey Rourke, Colonel Sanders, Telly Savalas, George C. Scott, Maurice Sendak, Serbia, Tupac, Frank Sinatra, Grace Slick, Spain, Joseph Stalin, Donald Trump, Pancho Villa, Ken Wahl, George Wallace, Mike Wallace, Denzel Washington, John Wayne, Zorba the Greek.