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All about Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

All about Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

Updated on Jun 20, 2022 | Published on Nov 08, 2021

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

Enneagram 8 | Personality Type 8 - The Challenger

Key Takeaways


  • Enneagram 8s are zestful, firm, and dominant personalities.
  • They put all their energy into controlling and dominating their space and inadvertently the people in their space.
  • Enneagram 8s does everything to avoid being weak, uncertain, and dependent.
  • At the core, ending up vulnerable and powerless is irksome.
  • Any kind of deceit, injustice, and manipulation makes them angry and defensive.

Have you learned to become strong and powerful by imposing your own truth in front of the world? Do you hide your vulnerabilities quite often just to protect yourself from humiliation and earn respect? Are you forceful and assertive? If yes, then you could be an enneagram 8.

You are the one who always prefers to dominate the space you’re in. You can talk directly and assert your opinions in front of others.

As you can handle conflicts well, you can protect the weak and the vulnerable. You want to gain respect and recognition by being strong and just.

Sometimes others may perceive you as ruthless and overly intimidating. You are inflexible and not open to questioning. People may not like your authoritative and controlling demeanor.

Here, we will describe your commanding presence in different aspects of life.

Read on……

Enneagram 8 Personality Infographics

Enneagram 8 - Definition, Signs & Famous Persons with Enneagram 8
Enneagram 8 – Definition, Signs & Famous Persons with Enneagram 8
Enneagram 8 - Strengths, Pitfalls & Hobbies
Enneagram 8 – Strengths, Pitfalls & Hobbies

Enneagram 8 – meaning and personality description

SUMMARY
People with enneagram type 8 are assertive and confident. They can voice their opinions easily and manifest a powerful and ego-centric demeanor. They are fiercely unconventional, unrestrained, and live with their own terms and conditions. Sometimes they portray dominating qualities because they live on their hump.

Enneagram 8s are resourceful and self-reliant. They prefer being on their own shoulders always and dislike taking help and assistance from others, until and unless absolutely necessary.

They are the ones who love straight talk, never get into nonsense stuff, and always show courage and outright determination in their personal and professional endeavors.

This is the reason enneagram 8s prefer to control the environment and feel less vulnerable. They feel the world is brutal and they need to be assertive and controlling in order to survive here with dignity.

Eights are the masters of their fate. Armed with determination and willpower, they act and make things happen. These people fight for the weak, they can challenge the protocol and remain tough amidst adversities.

These people are argumentative and they will go to any length to prove their point of view. They are motivated by self-efficacy and independence. Eights are known for their fierce outlook towards life. They keep themselves busy and have incredible energy and stamina.

Nicknamed as challengers, these individuals can become trailblazers for others. They take pride in their quick thinking and decision-making skills. If ever they fall in the pit, they know they will again rise up above, much stronger than before. 

Eights are direct and communicate with clarity and conviction. They are able leaders because of their assertive and authoritarian outlook. They never shy away from speaking the truth and as such are considered ruthless and cold. 

People with enneagram 8 personality types are headstrong fighters. They are considered bossy and dominating. Most of these individuals feel that they need to be strong in order to save themselves from any harm.

Challengers share the same body triad space with enneagram 1 and enneagram 9. But they are a little different from the other two as far as their emotional expressions are concerned. 

Enneagram 9 and enneagram 1 avoids or ignores their anger. But enneagram 8s are angry-prone and may express anger impulsively.

Enneagram 8s are morally strong and never avoid being in conflict. They can make their presence felt in any situation by their aura and optimism. They will stand up for their rights and the rights of others.

Enneagram eights are courageous and daring. They know how to break the wall and create space for themselves in this harsh and savage world.

Enneagram 8 – The Challenger
Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

What can you expect if you are an Enneagram 8?

If you are an enneagram 8, you will be like this – 

You would love to face challenges for yourself and others. Nothing can demotivate you and keep you away from realizing your goals. Being an enneagram 8, you are energetic and agile. Your abundant energy and prolific willpower make you a go-getter. 

Your vitality and willpower help you to exert influence on your immediate surroundings. You never want others to control you. Sometimes, you may appear harsh and defy social rules and conventions. There is a feeling of passive dominance that works for you always.

Enneagram 8s are ever-powerful. They hate being submissive and as such, they always want freedom of thought and expression. 

They never live under the influence of others. You refuse to ‘give up’ no matter how tough the situation may become. You will fight it till the last breath.

Being an enneagram 8, you have an innate need to protect yourself from vulnerable situations. You hate being weak and docile. Thus, you prefer to exert power and control over the situation. 

Though you appear tough and affectless, yet you may shower affection and care for people who matter the most in your life. Enneagram 8s may show their positive feelings to the world, only when they feel secure and sound emotionally.

Enneagram 8s prefer to do things on their own. For you, seeking help from others is a sign of weakness, thus you avoid doing that as much as possible. In times of adversities, you will hold your head high and do whatever you can to resolve the problem.

You may get bored or impatient quite often because of your impulsive and angry nature. People may not befriend you easily because you are perceived as haughty, arrogant, and unapproachable.

Being an eight, you fear powerlessness and lack of control against the perceived threat. Thus, you create a tough exterior that is hard and inaccessible.

Enneagram 8 traits (adjectives that describes you)

The personality traits that describe you are:

  • Justice-seeking
  • Direct
  • Strong
  • Declarative
  • Magnanimous
  • Assertive
  • Self-reliant
  • Confident
  • Intense
  • Protective of others
  • Heavy-handed
  • Action-oriented
  • Excessively demanding
  • Impatient
  • Tends to dominate others
  • Impulsive

Enneagram 8 – thinking pattern

Enneagram 8 are tough people. They perceive the world as insensitive, unjust, and harsh. Thus, only strong-minded people can thrive in this world, the weaker ones will eventually perish. This mindset leads to a thought process that makes them bold, arrogant, and headstrong. 

Their survival instinct tells them to confront the situation boldly and win over it anyhow. Enneagram 8s never want to lose, they feel winning is a way to become self-reliant and confident. 

They perceive people as either ‘strong’ or ‘weak’. For them, the strong ones survive, and the weak ones fail and perish. They are just dusted and done forever. People with enneagram 8 as a personality type are goal-oriented. They are focused on the big picture and comprehend how things will take shape in the future.

As they hate being forced and micromanaged, eights prefer to work autonomously. They are the ones who never follow a rule book while thinking over important matters of life.

Eights use their talents and strong decision-making skills to overpower everyone and set their unique example in every sphere of life.

Enneagram 8 –Feeling pattern

Enneagram 8s are impulsive and impatient. Thus, they get angry much earlier than others. Sometimes they act fast and express their angry responses in an unhealthy way. You may seem to yell, fight, scream, or become arrogant in your attitude while being angry. 

Emotions make you weak and insecure. You may feel overpowered and tend to remain in a state of weakness and vulnerability for a long time. 

As you do not want to show that you’re weak, you may show your anger just to control the unfavorable situation you are in.

Your love for power is manifested in unhealthy ways.

Enneagram 8– Action pattern

Enneagram 8s are action-oriented and always on a move. They never sit idle and believe in doing rather than only thinking. People with enneagram 8 are dominating and influencing their immediate environment. 

Their assertive nature makes them influential leaders who can inspire and motivate others to perform in their best possible ways. 

Since they prefer to control others, they are less cooperative and helpful. They can even sort out things well by good planning and organization. Most of the time, eights act fast and decide logically. They never make hasty decisions. 

Enneagram 8s are performers in the true sense of the world. They dislike incompetence and weaknesses and never procrastinate. 

Moreover, eights love to fight injustice. They always prefer to protect and defend the weaker people who cannot voice their own opinions. These individuals actively work to remove wrongs in the community. Being driven by values, they often take a firm call against miscreants who harm the weak and the timid. 


15 signs of being an Enneagram 8 

Being an enneagram 8 means that you’re a bold, assertive, and powerful type. Your dominating aura radiates confidence and self-assurance. You are hard to be put down upon. Failures are the learning lessons that help you grow and evolve as a better being.

Before we move on to discuss the signs of an enneagram 8, it’s important to mention that these individuals show off their power just to hide their vulnerabilities. They do not want to show their weak ‘self’, the softer side that may be overtaken by the ruthless and unjust world.

1. Forceful social presence

Spotting an enneagram 8 is not difficult because of its dynamic and forceful social presence. They are the ones who never seek attention, rather dominate their social surroundings in such a manner that others are forced to attend to their presence. 

Their energy and command are easily felt by others. Actually, these individuals have excellent communication skills. They are powered with vitality that is forceful and unputdownable. Others respect and honor them naturally. They own the space they are in.

2. Action-oriented

Eights are the go-getters. They believe in taking decisive actions to realize their aspirations and life goals. They never sit back and wait for the right opportunity, and pursue the goal with vigor and determination. 

People with enneagram 8 personalities are proactive, energetic, and never hesitate to take the right action at the right time. They set out to do things that they wish to achieve and keep on doing it until it’s done.

3. Quick decision makers

Eights are quick decision-makers. They are focused on doing the right thing at the right time. These individuals never lose their focus in trying times. Armed with confidence, they know they will get back on track soon. 

Challenges and adversities can never make them weak, rather it provides them the energy to make important life decisions without hesitation. They know that they can deal with big problems easily without failing.

4. Eights are assertive

Enneagram 8s are assertive and bold. They stand up for what they believe is right. These individuals can express what they want. They prefer to earn social respect through their direct communication style. Sometimes they are pushy and dominating though not always aggressive.

5. Able leaders

People with enneagram 8s are able leaders. Their confidence and dynamic nature make them natural leaders. 

They prefer giving orders and they do it with upright conviction that others are forced to listen. These individuals lead from the front and dominate the social space wherever they go. 

They actually tell others what needs to be done and how.

6. Resistant to others’ help and support

Enneagram 8s are self-reliant. For them, seeking help and support from others is a sign of weakness. They never show that they cannot make it. 

Eights are fiercely independent and prefer to work alone and decide autonomously. Their intrinsic need to rule their immediate surroundings makes them follow their own path.

They resist others’ help because they do not want to be indebted to others. For them, autonomy is strength and they fear being called an ‘average’.

7. Eights can inspire and motivate the weak souls

People with enneagram 8 are born leaders. They are the saviors for the weak and the down-trodden. They can inspire the weak and help them grow and develop themselves. 

Eights can support others with energy, passion, and vision. They can inspire them to live a life of hope and happiness. Others are motivated and guided to become their best selves.

8. Tough exterior

Enneagram 8s have a tough exterior. They never allow others to mess up with what they believe to be right. These people prefer to rule and never show their weaknesses to others. 

They are fearless warriors who mask their insecurities and portray an aura of confidence all around them. They are always in denial mode about their blind spots.

9. Eights rebel against injustice

Being the protector and nurturer for the weak souls, eights always prefer to fight injustice. They act as saviors for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

Eights rebel against unjust social practices. They can defy pointless rules that are harmful and don’t make much sense. 

Enneagram 8s can dare to challenge, disobey, or go against societal conventions and established rules that cannot bring growth and development to the human race. In this way, Eights are the trailblazers who guide others towards the finest living.

10. Eights can face conflicts easily

Enneagram 8s never shy away from conflicts, rather they face them with courage and confidence.

They believe in solving the issue and not avoiding it, just to maintain peace and order around them. 

Eights prefer to confront situations and people if found problematic. These individuals want to communicate their feelings right away rather than avoiding them and letting them grow to a worse state. 

Eights can really get bad if they allow their emotions to internalize and stay with them. They are arrogant and aggressive, thus they prefer to solve the issue right away before resentments set in and make it nasty and terrible in the long run.

11. They’re the visionaries of the future

Enneagram 8s have a vision for the future. They prefer to see the big picture rather than living in the moments and seeing things from a narrowed perspective. 

These people are goal-oriented and thus they prefer to take every opportunity as a new learning experience. Even if despair and gloom set in, they work hard to overcome them and stick to their vision.

They believe in making things happen by hook or by crook. They have the ability to turn failures into incredible success stories. 

People with enneagram 8s are hardworking, passionate, and dedicated. These qualities make them exceptional visionaries for the future.

12. Eights are intimidating

Eights are intense and fearless. They give an impression to the outside world that they can never be wronged. 

These individuals always stay in control amidst adversities and rule their surroundings. Eights can prove others wrong by overpowering them.

Eights can intimidate others by harsh talks and shake off their power and authority. Others may easily feel weak and powerless. They prefer to give orders and hate being ordered and guided.

13. Eights are impatient and angry

Enneagram 8s are impatient and angry. They tend to lose their forbearance and tolerance very easily. Anything that goes against their set beliefs can make them awry and angry. They want to do things very fast and never prefer to lay back and rest.

When eights feel that things are going out of their hands, they may become aggressive and explode. They tend to express their anger without thinking logically. This makes them say unfair things to others or do things that others do not like.

14. Enneagram 8s are workaholics

Enneagram 8s are known for their action-oriented mindset. They never sit idle and prefer to do things the way they want. Sometimes they may keep on working without rest and can get exhausted. 

Challengers always want to be productive. They may overdo things beyond limitations and others around them may not like this at all. They may feel anxious if they are not doing anything. 

15. Eights are dichotomous thinkers

Eights think that people can either be strong or weak. There is nothing in between. Thus, they prefer to protect and save those who are timid and vulnerable. 

On the other hand, eights may also think that weak people should do something to develop themselves, otherwise they should not be respected. This black and white thought process makes them think in two ways, depending upon the situation they are in.


Enneagram 8 motivations

Enneagram 8s are motivated by their need to control and dominate their social space, and inadvertently of the people and things around them. They prefer to talk directly and face situations boldly. Enneagram 8s also wants to gain respect by being strong and just. 

The motivations of enneagram 8s are those qualities that help them to view and understand the world surrounding them. You are wired to behave in certain ways and that is determined by the core motivations that you possess.

Your core motivations make up your unique enneagram number. It tells you why you typically think, feel, act, and behave the way you do. 

The core motivations of enneagram 8 are divided into

  • Core desires
  • Core fears or basic fears

Technically speaking, the core desires and core fears go hand in hand. It means you are doing something just to avoid doing something unfavorable.

The core desires of enneagram 8s are:

  • You prefer self-governance and independence
  • Your basic desire is to help and protect those people whom you care about the most in your life.
  • Being in control always.
  • You prefer to fight injustice for yourself and for others.
  • They wish not to look and feel weak.
  • Eights reject authority and pointless rules that feel heavy.
  • Eights desire perfection and dedication. 
  • They desire to push themselves hard to achieve what they have wished for.
  • People with enneagram 8 are motivated by an intrinsic desire to have faith in their abilities and stay strong amidst adversities.
  • Prefers to remain important to the world
  • Resists change that is meant to alter them.
  • They always wish to be impactful.
  • You are self-sufficient and prefer to remain a giver for those who need you.
  • Enneagram 8s are motivated to take charge of their happiness.

The core fears of enneagram 8s are:

  • Being weak, uncertain and dependent
  • Losing the regard of people they respect.
  • Fears being vulnerable, weak, submissive, and powerless.
  • They also fear being hurt or controlled by others.
  • Losing control over people and situations.

Core values of enneagram 8

Enneagram 8s prefer to remain powerful by imposing their own truth and by hiding their vulnerabilities in order to protect themselves and others. 

They desire to feel safe in their world of pride and arrogance. Eights are guided by power and control. They exert pressure on the space they live in, just to have firm control over the situation.

These individuals may get angry by deceit and manipulation and when they are unable to correct the perceived injustice.

Enneagram 8s are guided by a strong sense of values. Some of these values are:

  • People with enneagram 8 crave respect, much more than power and likings of others. 
  • They are guided by competence and hard work. 
  • Enneagram 8s are motivated to exert an influence or impact the lives of others.
  • Honesty and truth guides their life’s actions.
  • These people are brutally confident and never backs down when they have set their mind on doing something concrete.
  • These individuals have a strong sense of fairness and justice. They prefer not to do anything wrong. They do not allow others to make any mistake either.
  • Eights remain devoted towards those who are dedicated and have passed the test of time. They always support loyal people and will be with them thick and thin.
  • People with enneagram 8 are protective towards their loved ones. They value relationships and extend their arms to support those who are in need.
  • The three core values of enneagram 8s are bravery, challenge, and justice. 
  • Enneagram 8s defends the weak and challenges the protocol. They believe they are always right.

Healthy and unhealthy behavior patterns of enneagram 8

The enneagram type 8s are headstrong, just, and confident fighters. They support the weak and the timid. As they are bold and daring, they can take any challenges with ease and grace. 

However, all the nine enneagram personalities portray a distinct level of’ health’ and manifest their qualities as healthy, average, and unhealthy patterns. 

This means that these types are malleable and can change according to changing circumstances. During times of adversities, they may show a different behavior pattern and may act like some other type.

Under healthy growth levels, enneagram 8s may integrate and behave like enneagram 2. The direction of their growth reveals the personality traits of twos. Thus, they may become more caring and protective, forgiving and kind. 

However, during stressful circumstances, enneagram 8 disintegrates and takes the direction of enneagram 5 and may become more isolated and solitary. They may show aggression openly, intimidating others for small reasons. Sometimes, eights will turn vengeful and sour their relationships forever.

Now we will discuss the characteristics of healthy, average, and unhealthy eights in detail.

Healthy enneagram 8s

The healthy enneagram 8 shows signs that are in sync with the unique personality of this type. They show great confidence and willpower and function at an optimal level. 

Being a healthy enneagram means that you are generous and kind, helpful and caring. This means you are more grateful towards others for all the good things they said or did for you. The healthy eights are proactive and decisive. 

Signs of healthy 8

A healthy enneagram 8 behaves like this –

  • They will become more merciful and forbearing.
  • Usually shows self-restrained qualities.
  • May master their self-assuring skills by surrendering to someone more powerful and dominating than them.
  • Becomes assertive and prefers straight talk.
  • Ability to voice their needs and wants clearly.
  • Eights will show that they are resourceful and passionate about their work.
  • They will command and lead with authority and pride.
  • Eights will take initiative to pursue their life goals.
  • They will protect and care for those who are important in their day-to-day lives.

Unhealthy enneagram 8

The unhealthy 8 will dominate, hurt, and intimidate others. They may become power-hungry and scare others around them. People with these personality types are overly aggressive and show irritation and vengeance if things do not happen according to their wishes.

Being an unhealthy 8 means that you will remain cold towards others’ emotions. You may become blindfolded towards your softer side and may start behaving with others very rudely.

If anyone questions your ideals, you may not like it. You will try to stay aloof from social questioning as you never want to answer those who do not matter in your life. This makes you arrogant and fiercely dominating. You may not be liked by many others around you.

Signs of an unhealthy 8

The signs of an unhealthy 8 are”

  • They will defy others who may try to control them.
  • Eights might dictate and dominate others.
  • Unhealthy eights are ruthless, headstrong, and pitiless. They may show signs of cruelty and others may get scared of them.
  • Eights are omnipotent and all powerful.
  • Being in danger, you will destroy things that no longer serve a good purpose.
  • The unhealthy 8 behaves aggressively and shows frustration and resentments quite often.
  • Under the unhealthy behavior patterns, eights may become physically violent as well.

Average enneagram 8

The average eights are competitive and bold. They take challenges happily and prefer to win under every circumstance. They never want to lose because they view their relationships and work habits as synonymous with a battle to be won.

The average eight is competent and aggressive. They strive to get better every day. When they find themselves in a pitfall, they readily assess their condition and try to improve their skills. They never show their weaknesses and try to remain strong in trying times.

Signs of average 8

The average eight may look like this –

  • An average eight is self-sufficient and prefers financial independence.
  • These eights are enterprising and take bold initiatives to pursue their goals.
  • They are risk takers and can deny their own emotions.
  • The average eight dominate their environment, and want others to follow them and acknowledge their efforts.
  • They are boastful and bossy, their word is the last saying.
  • These eights never see others as equal and may not give respect to others
  • Lives with pride and ego.
  • They may also use threats to manipulate others and make them do things the way they want.
  • An average eight is confrontational and never backs down in times of conflicts and disagreements with others.

Enneagram Type 8 wings

All the nine enneagram personality types described in the enneagram model have two wings. Each wing denotes two other enneagram types that are placed on either side of your primary enneagram number.

Your overall personality dynamics are dominated by the core enneagram number that you belong to. However, the wings are the second side of your main type. It actually complements or contradicts the main enneagram personality that you have.

It actually adds flavor to the main type. The enneagram model describes nine personality types that are interconnected. 

Thus, the wings refer to those enneagram numbers from which your main enneagram type borrows energy to manifest itself in diverse ways.

You will always possess the characteristics of your main enneagram number but you may toggle between the wings depending upon your life circumstances and overall psychological health.

For enneagram 8, wings are 8w7 and 8w9, because both enneagram 7 and enneagram 9 fall on either side of the challengers. 

Enneagram 8 wing 7 characteristics

People with an enneagram 8 wing 7 types possess all the behavioral features of enneagram 8 but share many attributes of type 7 also. These individuals are realistic and practical. Being confident allows them to take challenges easily and win over the situation. 

They are highly ambitious, dominating, and control their immediate surroundings more than the 8 wing 9 enneagram types.

  • 8 wing 7 types are scared to show their vulnerable self.
  • They defy authority.
  • Prefers to live alone and do things according to their own preferences.
  • 8 wing 7 can speak up for themselves and others.
  • They are dominating in their outlook and earn respect for being confident and assertive.
  • These individuals can solve problems creatively.
  • They hate losing their authority.
  • 8 wing 7 things big and looks into the big picture
  • Emotionally vulnerable and expresses their anger openly.
  • Has the ability to show their opinions clearly.
  • They tend to be impatient.
  • Less sensitive towards the needs of others

Enneagram 8 wing 9 characteristics

Individuals with 8 wings 9 personality types share many common attributes with type 9. These people are patient, resolve issues peacefully, and yet remain firm with what they believe to be right. They may appear more subdued, adjustable, and docile than the other eights.

  • 8 wing 9s fear losing control over the situation.
  • They hate being vulnerable.
  • They may want to guard themselves from threat and save their ego.
  • 8 wing 9s avoid situations that are less controlled because it makes them insecure and vulnerable.
  • These individuals prefer positions of leadership where they can exert their influence and authority.
  • They hate to follow the rules set by others. Tries to keep up only with their own inner calling.
  • Sharing their inner feelings with others may not appear easy to them because they prefer to keep them within themselves.
  • They dislike being controlled by other people or the situation.
  • 8 wing 9s are more peaceful than the other eights. They prefer to solve issues with poise and clarity.
  • They prefer to deny their weaknesses because it makes them appear anxious, fearful, and insecure. Losing control over the situation is their greatest fear.

Enneagram type 8 subtypes

The enneagram 8 subtypes refer to the instinctive varieties of your core enneagram type. All the nine enneagram personality types have three instinctual tendencies that determine how they’re wired or tuned to behave in specific situations. 

The enneagram subtypes are a combination of your primary enneagram number plus the instinct. The three instinctual subtypes for all the enneagram types can be categorized as:

  1. Self-preservation (SP)
  2. Social (SO)
  3. Sexual or one-to one (SX)

Let us see how enneagram eights are wired, connected, and bugged towards these instinctual tendencies.

1.Self-preservation  

The self-preserved eights are strong, direct, effective, and possess a go-getter attitude. Their primary focus is to remain confident and stand tall amidst challenges and adversities.

They act as pillars for the weak and the submissive. Sometimes, these eights take leadership roles just to protect the weak people and safeguard their interests.

The self-preserved enneagram eight is intolerant of vice. They are fiercely honest and have a no-nonsense approach towards life.

These individuals may become frustrated and angry if they do not get what they want. Sometimes, they may become too dominating and rude, just to achieve things that they have aspired for. It all happens without any guilt or regrets from their end.

2.Social  

The social eights are helpful and try to protect the needs of themselves and others around them. These individuals dislike the injustice and unfair practices of society.

They may use their power and assertiveness to speak for those who cannot voice their opinions in social spheres.

They can shield others from harm and potential social threats. This is the reason that eights are highly skillful and able leaders who are just and fair. They hate social discrimination. 

3.Sexual or one-to-one  

These eights are rebellious and aggressive. They may defy rules and authority fully. They dislike being vulnerable and weak and never show their weak ‘self’ to others.

This subtype of enneagram 8s is more emotional than logical. They are outspoken, energetic, provocative, and try to decide emotionally. Uses less intellect and logic to decide on important life matters.


Enneagram 8 relationships

We have discussed what this Enneagram type is all about and got a fair understanding of various aspects. Now, it is time to see how they maintain and deal with different kinds of relationships.

As a partner or spouse

Enneagram 8s find it tough to maintain romantic relationships with their partners or spouse for a long time. They have two main problems. The first one is that they do not like to show any weakness or give their partners the impression that they are dependent on them.

They find it difficult to express their thoughts and ideas in front of their partners. Hence, neither a spouse nor a partner could understand their exact personality.

It can even make them resistant to getting extremely serious in a relationship. This resistance is because they fear that they might lose their independence.

Enneagram 8 personality type people often keep their partners away from them. It does not allow their relationships to grow and prosper as they should. Moreover, Type 8s feel that they are always right. They hold strong opinions and do not like to compromise their beliefs.

If a spouse or a partner fails to share Enneagram 8’s views, it can result in conflicts. It happens when Enneagram 8s become rigid and do not make a conscious effort to consider their partners’ opinions. 

If Enneagram 8 manages to overcome these issues, they can turn out to be great partners. These individuals would go to any extent to make their partners happy. A person of Enneagram 8 personality would put a lot of effort to help their partner out at home.

They would even offer a lot of encouragement to their partner and help them become the best version of themselves. If Enneagram 8s want to achieve the same, these individuals must remember to become vulnerable and open to differences of opinion.

As friends

As a friend, an Enneagram 8 will always be ready to take the initiative in arranging reunions or get-togethers. 

They would be upfront in helping their friends in times of need. These individuals have strong personalities and would always make their presence felt even no matter the size of the friend group.

Friends and family would always appreciate it if someone with Enneagram 8 personality is a part of their group. 

They always wish to lead, which does not always go down well with their friends. Under those circumstances, Enneagram 8 people can even get into arguments. 

This tendency to argue can create a long-lasting poor impression on the minds of other friends. It is especially applicable to those who are peace-loving. 

The bad habit of Enneagram 8s can convert them from being the most renowned member of a friend group to someone with whom most friends would cut relationships after another argument.

Still, if anyone is lucky to have an Enneagram 8 as their friend, he should realize that the individual must value their trust a great deal. 

Usually, these people don’t get close to others very soon. It’s a different story after gaining trust.

Once mutual trust develops, they do whatever they can to give power and protect you. Enneagram 8 personality type people also require a lot of independence. 

They might seem quite distant if they become overwhelmed by others’ level of expectations.

As a parent

Enneagram Type 8s are better known as Challengers. They are the powerful protectors who take firm decisions, have a tremendous amount of self-confidence, and will not shy away from getting into a confrontation. 

When it comes to parenting, Enneagram 8s are firm. They make their children learn the importance of self-responsibility and accountability. 

Children also realize that they also have the backing of their parents. As parents, Enneagram Type 8s encourage their children to become mentally tough while facing challenges.

They urge kids to be relentless while pursuing their dreams. Even though this Enneagram type possesses the requisite discipline, they become prone to keep themselves away during vulnerable situations. 

It happens especially when they have to raise their children in a safe emotional space. 

These people should make a conscious effort to use emotional vulnerability as the perfect example for their children. 

Enneagram eight parents might look at sensitivity in their children as a weakness or vulnerability rather than strength. The kids can feel overshadowed due to the personalities of eights.

If these people can encourage their individualities without passing judgment, it can go a long way in developing the right kind of balance in households.  

When Challenger parents healthily use their energy, they can protect, empower, and lead their children with the utmost kindness.

Moreover, they ensure to bring forth a lot of clarity and humor in their children’s lives. When these parents leave things to take their course, things can go haywire very quickly. 

They can become impatient, overlook their children’s needs and treat their feelings in an insensitive manner.


Enneagram 8 compatibility with other types

The nine different types of Enneagrams possess several traits, which set them apart from one another. Now, let us briefly look through a compatibility chart on how these types behave when they pair up with Enneagram 8.

Enneagram TypesWhen Paired With 8


Enneagram 1
This pair will bring in a lot of energy in their relationship. At their best, they are an extremely hospitable and family-centric couple. They exhibit a lot of vibrancy and love to focus on personal growth, travel, and fitness. 
As both these individuals turn out to be successful in their careers, this pair manages to shape the world in beautiful ways. Under those circumstances, when either of them feels left behind by the other’s fast-paced lifestyle, it can result in tussles.



Enneagram 2


Type Two with Type Eight create an energetic and passionate couple. They develop the urge to create fun and inject their strong sense of compassion into the whole world. 
Both these types love leading others to heal and offer tips on how to live right. They like to indulge and be spoiled by one another after a hard day’s work. 

Enneagram 3
When Enneagram Three pairs up with the Enneagram Eight, they create a cocoon of healing and safety for both individuals. An Eight would always care about the proper treatment of the Three and share their gifts with the whole world. 
On the other hand, the Three would make sure that the Eight feels respected. They tend to build momentum over time. 

Enneagram 4
Type Four combines with Type Eight to share a strong desire to protect their relationship, values, and tribe. As they can sense the world’s hierarchical powers to go with intense skepticism and rejection, it is innate and necessary to find love and support in each other. 
They would fight for their beliefs within the relationship, carrying various ideals. Moreover, they will also put in their effort to keep one another healthy.

           
Enneagram 5
This pair of Five and Eight creates the right balance of love and separation. When the situation is good, an intense undercurrent of love and safety runs through their relationship. An Enneagram Eight would leave aside their agony and feel safe with a Five. 
The Five will demand just the kind of emotion that an Eight is willing to provide. Moreover, the Five would feel challenged by an Eight in productive ways constantly.


Enneagram 6
This pair appreciates love and loyalty, which one does not find in any other Enneagram pair. They have the mission to give protection to the innocent from any evil. One can expect them to remain loyal to those who are not in the right frame of mind. 
Type Six with Type Eight helps lead work industries with order, innovation, and troubleshooting. Most importantly, they focus on building trust to back one another from all possible angles.
Enneagram 7Enneagram Type Eights with Type Sevens develop a lot of energy and good understanding. It comes from their passionate, dynamic, and assertive nature.
Initially, they can have a lot of anger, but luckily, it does not last. Therefore, they can soon reinstate the fun, even if there is an issue, provided both the individuals resolve and become ready to compromise. 
The pair shares an intense love for freedom and independence. Even though they move freely in the world, Type Seven and Type Eight can keep one another under check, thus helping balance things out.

Enneagram 8
When a couple is of Type Eight, it turns out to be one of the healthiest pairings. They understand the value of approaching one another to assert themselves healthily. 
The couple also realizes that breaks are required, withdrawing time can be very healthy, and the importance of working things out in love. Despite the strength that they possess, this couple can also adopt a laid-back attitude.

Enneagram 9
Type Nines combine with Type Eights to explore highly innovative and creative experiences. They enjoy each other’s company and the rest time spent together. In that process, this couple tries out new restaurants, visits different places, and takes care of children and pets. 
The couple also displays their interest in starting new ventures or even working to top levels in organizations with utmost ease. Both these types are witty, and together, they develop an understanding to create excitement for the long-term.
Enneagram 8 compatibility chart

Dating tips for enneagram 8

Challengers are bold and determined partners. If you are interested to date an enneagram 8, you will have to keep pace with their assertive and confident nature. Enneagram 8s prefer people who are down-to-earth and will allow them to remain who they are. 

Dating an enneagram eight may not be as easy as you think because these people are hard to deal with because of their propensity to rule the relationship. They may try to take charge of everything in the relationship.

Therefore, you need to learn some of the top-notch dating tips to relate with them at a deeper level and keep the relationship moving on smoothly for years.

  • Eights love to be listened to and supported by their partners. Thus, you will have to show your patient ears to them.
  • Enneagram 8s are prone to anger if someone tries to control their thoughts and actions. So just avoid doing that.
  • These individuals may get into conflict soon. Thus, if you are looking for a deeper relationship, have patience and be peaceful in your dealings with them. Always appreciate what they have done for the growth in the relationship.
  • Eights are self-sufficient and want their partner to be reliant as well.
  • Never use wishy-washy talks with enneagram 8s, as they do not like it. Be straight and direct in your endeavors.
  • You should never tell an enneagram 8 to consider their beliefs or compromise what they believe to be right. As they are stubborn, they may not like doing it.
  • They prefer partners who will stand tall with them thick and thin.
  • Enneagram 8s are honest and trustworthy. They prefer partners who are truthful and are not deceitful by any means.
  • Challengers can relate well with independent partners who can speak for themselves.
  • Never argue with an enneagram 8. You will never win the battle of words, rather may be pushed along the bush.
  • Allow them to show their softer and vulnerable side, they may feel wanted, loved, and cared for.

Enneagram 8 workplace habits

We have already discussed Enneagram 8’s traits, how they behave while maintaining different relationships apart from looking into the compatibility chart.

As far as the workplace habits are concerned, their high level of confidence, natural tendency to lead, and charismatic personality ensure that they can rise through the ranks of whatever job they take up. Enneagram 8s are not afraid to work hard when they feel that a worthy reward awaits them.

Let us now see how they perform while undertaking different roles in an office environment –

As a colleague

When an Enneagram 8 individual works as a colleague, they will help their co-workers to carry out their work as per requirement. Even though they love working independently, Eights flourish in those professional settings that are dynamic and challenging.

It is necessary for these people to feel that they are making a significant difference in their work. Otherwise, their motivation level takes a hit.

They are not those kinds of employees who would get satisfaction from scrolling across different social media forums at work. Things must go as per Enneagram 8s wish. In case that does not happen, then these people would quickly get disillusioned in their work.

Once that happens, their level of commitment will go down. Enneagram 8s would look for better opportunities somewhere else. It is why colleagues should look to keep these people involved at work. Then, they would not have time to think of anything else.

Their co-workers must share challenging portions of projects with those colleagues who possess the Enneagram 8 personality type. Then they would not only feel challenged but also help them become a driving force in the team.

When the work environment is supportive, an Enneagram 8 would often encourage his co-workers. He would lift their morale and allow them to perform better. 

These individuals can gain the trust of their co-workers through honest admissions when they make mistakes. It would not only show that Enneagram 8s are human but also, they will have similar expectations from their colleagues as well.

As a subordinate

When an Enneagram 8 works as a subordinate, the managers must imbibe a sense of purpose in their team. An inspirational style of management, which becomes essential to manage Type 8s effectively.

Managers must implement this particular management style because otherwise, Enneagram 8s can get completely disillusioned. It happens when people of this personality type feel that they are carrying out meaningless tasks.

Managers can make good use of Type 8s’ energy and a sense of purpose by communicating the organization’s long-term objectives with them. Once they do this, the bigger picture would allow these individuals to see good value in their role.

A competitive work environment will allow the Enneagram 8s to energize people who are working around them. Managers must reinforce the importance of good behavior and celebrate the success of their team.

This encouragement will motivate the Type 8s to work harder and ensure that your company can see the good times more often. Managers should provide complete independence to the Enneagram 8s. 

When people of this personality type work independently, it will help enhance their job satisfaction and productivity. 

Once this happens, their loyalty towards a company would increase substantially, and thus, they will refrain from looking for other opportunities.

Enneagram 8s, while working as subordinates, would not want their managers stamping their authority and giving orders. 

If they make their stand clear on who their employees are accountable to and avoid any confusion over the roles and responsibilities.

As a manager

For an Enneagram 8 personality type individual, the role of a manager suits him perfectly. It is because these people are natural leaders. He would always want things to remain under his complete control.

Therefore, whenever Type 8 leaders feel that their sense of control is under some threat. Then they can resort to bullying tactics. They might even become demanding for the need to get things back under his control.

On the other hand, these Challengers can relax when they realize that they are taking charge and have complete control of the proceedings. It allows them to connect wholeheartedly and through all kinds of vulnerabilities.

When people of Enneagram 8 personality type are at their best, they can be strong leaders with big hearts. They can motivate team members to fulfill their assigned tasks and finish projects on time. 

These managers can challenge all those members in the offices who lack the motivation to work hard and achieve their tasks in the desired manner. Their excellent sense of intuition allows them to identify employees who are not honest about themselves.

It would lead them to confront an employee’s lack of integrity directly. While undertaking their role as managers, Enneagram Eights will always stand up for what they believe. These individuals tend to do complete justice to their teams and industry.


Enneagram 8 career choices

Enneagram 8 personality type people are assertive, powerful, decisive, and resourceful individuals. They love independence and look to protect themselves. 

At work, Enneagram 8s bring skills and qualities in the form of confidence in their abilities. They use their strength to stand up for themselves and others around them. Apart from these, Enneagram 8s have decision-making skills and keep control of their lives and different situations.

Due to this personality type’s nature, they turn out to be great leaders. Enneagram 8s flourish in positions of authority where they have the opportunity to take complete control and lead others. 

These people will only excel in authoritative positions if they feel that others understand them, giving them the respect they deserve and the subordinates are working efficiently.

Let us look at the career options that are suitable for Enneagram 8 personality type people, keeping in mind their assertive nature –

  • Lawyer
  • Director
  • Business Owner
  • Politician
  • Advertising Executive
  • Marketing Strategist
  • Financial Advisor
  • Sales personnel
  • Project managers
  • Executives
  • Athletes
  • Event manager
  • PR executive
  • Fire fighter
  • Social activists
  • counselors

Core strengths of enneagram 8s

Every individual in this world has some strong points that allow him to spend his life in the best possible manner and achieve the desired results. In every sphere of life, people need to focus on their strengths and sail through the challenges easily.

The same thing applies to people of Enneagram 8 personality type. Let us now discuss some of the core strengths that help them lead better lives.

1. Possess the ability to express themselves under all circumstances

It is not always easy for all individuals to express their points of view in different situations of their lives, but the scenario is different for Enneagram 8s.

These individuals have the innate ability to inspire and act as leaders. They can act promptly and decisively. Hence, they manage to express their thoughts and ideas under all circumstances.

Hence, their ability to come up front and not hide stuff can help them tackle life’s tricky situations in the best possible manner.

2. Lead others to success

Enneagram 8s are born leaders. An individual of this personality type tends to thrive under challenging circumstances and assert leadership roles. 

These people are confident, resourceful, and fearless in their approach to life. They can often lead others to carry out their tasks and responsibilities, hence resulting in success.

Their effective manner of leading others to success helps them get the best out of people and maximize their potential as individuals.

3. Defend themselves and protects others

People of the Enneagram 8 personality type always look to defend themselves and protect other individuals from any kind of injustice. 

They have the remarkable ability to back the underdogs. One can expect Enneagram Type eight people to offer protection to those they think would struggle to protect themselves.

These individuals defend themselves by avoiding and denying any vulnerability.

4. Ability to make decisions in a logical manner

Enneagram 8s love to take concrete action and move ahead in fulfilling their life’s objectives. Due to this reason, they are decisive and extremely upfront in their approach. They always want to make decisions that would help achieve their objectives.

The best thing about an Enneagram 8 personality is that they do this without either compromising their freedom or any other person’s freedom.  

These individuals ensure that they consider the well-being and input of others before making any decision.


Core pitfalls/blind spots of enneagram 8s

Now that we have discussed the strengths, which an Enneagram 8 personality type individual possesses, it is time to see their weak links or blind spots. Blind spots are the weakness that every person in this world has, and they can hinder one’s path to success.

Therefore, people must identify their weaknesses and work on them to lead meaningful lives by achieving their goals. 

Following are some of the weaknesses or blind spots of this personality type –

1 Seem to be intimidating at the first instance

Enneagram 8 personality type individuals look intimidating, and hence, people can get scared of them when they confront one another for the first time.

Other than this, they have the natural urge to chase power and lead others in achieving success. Enneagram Eights would destroy anything that tries to block their path to glory.

They can get rid of this problem by being a little more considerate, finding other ways to disallow their hunger for power to become so supreme that they fail to give attention to others’ feelings and emotions.

2. They tend to disobey others’ opinions

Enneagram 8s always take a firm stand on any issue that they need to tackle. Their ability to make prompt decisions makes them suitable for making appropriate decisions on time.

Now, this approach can turn out to be a route for arrogance. These people feel that there is no need for them to take others’ opinions before any decision-making. 

3. They face problems in following rules

As Enneagram 8s are born leaders, they always tend to lead others and get their work done in the desired manner. They will offer their assistance in making others successful.

Despite this quality, these individuals face tremendous difficulty in following rules and orders. They always wish to go by their thought patterns.

Enneagram 8s can work on this aspect. They can try to respect the rules and regulations in their lives, hence making their lives even more meaningful.

4. They take charge even when the situation is not appropriate

Another blind spot in an Enneagram 8’s personality is that their urge to act as leaders can cross limits and hurt others’ sentiments. 

They can even take center stage on those occasions when the situation is not ideal and does not warrant their interference. 

It upsets others and also creates a negative impression of this personality type person on their minds.


Stress triggers of Enneagram 8

Stress refers to physical tension that emerges from any thought or event, letting a person feel nervous. Even though it is a part of everyone’s lives, still the triggers can vary from one person to another.

It applies to Enneagram 8 personality type individuals as well. They come under stress from facing some typical situations in their lives.

Let us briefly discuss some of Enneagram 8’s stress triggers –

1. When anyone tries to control them

We have already discussed earlier that Enneagram 8s are natural leaders. They love to take charge of situations in their lives.

Therefore, they do not like it if anyone tries to control their approach or give directions on how to go about leading their lives.

This kind of situation put Enneagram 8s under a tremendous amount of stress. They feel as if someone is stifling their freedom. 

2. Any situation which makes them feel unimportant

Enneagram 8s have a natural tendency to lead and hence take center stage on most occasions. Therefore, invariably they command respect from others and love to lead from the front.

Now there are instances when people might disregard the opinions and suggestions of Enneagram 8 personality type individuals. 

Under these circumstances, people of this personality type can come under stress and hamper their lifestyle.

3. When they have to face vulnerable situations

People of the Enneagram 8 personality type always want things to remain under their control. They are always eager to tackle authoritative roles, but life does not always give us what we want.

Therefore, these individuals also face emotional or vulnerable situations that are not ideally suited for Enneagram 8s. 

People belonging to Enneagram 8 have the lowest emotional index score. Hence, these people feel powerless and stressed out when they need to tackle emotional circumstances.

4. Feeling of helplessness

Enneagram 8 personality type individuals love to lead and have complete control over situations but things do not go as per plan.

They might come across certain moments in their lives where a sense of helplessness might creep in. Enneagram 8s might not fathom out what to do.

Thus, these people come under a lot of stress and put themselves in uncomfortable situations while gathering their thoughts.

How do enneagram 8s handle stress?

Stress is never a good thing for any individual to live. It can result in several health issues, which might hamper a person’s lifestyle. 

Thus, people adopt different relaxation techniques to tackle the problem of stress that help them come out of it to lead happy and healthy lives. Now, each individual has their way of handling stressful situations.

The same applies to people of Enneagram 8 personality type. Let us briefly look into those and get a better idea of what these individuals do to relax –

  • They can indulge in those activities that allow them to focus on their body movement rather than looking to achieve any particular objective.
  • Some might look to cook as cooking enables engaging all of one’s senses. It can help Enneagram 8s process their feelings and relieve stress while doing some productive work.
  • People of this personality type can involve themselves in creative activities. They enable the use of multiple senses and hence, help them to live in the moment.
  • Enneagram 8s can even look to visualize as if their worries are getting dissipated into thin air.
  • Telling positive things to themselves can also work wonders for them, as far as coming out of stressful situations is concerned.

Famous persons with enneagram 8

There are renowned personalities from different fields whom we have adored over the years for their work, which fall under the Enneagram 8 personality type. Following are some of the famous people who possess the characteristics of an Enneagram 8 –


What enneagram 8 hate?

There are various things, which people of the Enneagram 8 personality type hate in their personal and professional lives. They are as follows:

  • As Enneagram 8s are fiercely independent, they hate to rely on others.
  • People of Enneagram 8 personality type hate when they do not get the chance to lead.
  • They do not like taking suggestions from others.
  • Enneagram Type 8 individuals hate putting a lot of pressure on themselves.
  • Due to their straightforward nature, these people struggle when they have to sugarcoat anything.
  • They hate wasting time.
  • These individuals do not like holding onto injustices.

Hobbies of enneagram 8

Each individual has unique ways to spend leisure hours. The same goes for Enneagram 8 personality type people. 

Let us see the hobbies and interests that these people love to indulge in for spending their leisure hours:

  • They love to debate.
  • These people like playing video games.
  • Enneagram 8s engage in public speaking.
  • They even go-ahead to host events.
  • People of the Enneagram 8 personality type can involve themselves in doing anything that contains thrill and excitement.
  • These individuals even spend their leisure time doing some exercises.
  • Enneagram 8s also love to explore different activities like rock climbing, weight-lifting, and mountain biking.

How rare are the enneagram 8s?

Enneagram type 8s are fairly common and can make up to about 15% of the population. They are common among men and comprise about 18% of the population. However, women are only 12%..


Growth tips for enneagram 8s (How do you grow better)

Be sure that there is no magical formula for personality growth. Growth refers to some deliberate attempts that a person makes to enrich their strengths and remove their weaknesses. This can change their life in significant ways. Some of the growth tips for enneagram 8s are as follows. 

  • Accept yourself as the way you are and feel your inner feelings deeply. Be authentic and be you.
  • Face your deepest fears and vulnerabilities, as it makes you strong from within.
  • You need to learn ways to control your anger.
  • Remember to give space to people who surround you. There is actually no need to control everyone.
  • Being soft and kind is not a sign of weakness at all. Accept this fact as a part of your self-awareness.
  • You are impulsive and impatient and that makes you insecure when you find yourself under the grip of stress. Learn to control your impulses by practicing meditation.
  • Don’t push yourself hard to remain assertive and strong always. Pay attention to your emotional states and express freely to feel at peace with yourself.
  • Avoid making hasty decisions that may make you fall in a pit. Practice mindfulness and focus your thoughts in here and now, to gain more clarity and understanding of the immediate situation you are in.

Enneagram personality test

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, commonly known as the RHETI version 2.5, is the best enneagram test used popularly across the globe. This test is a personality profiling system that gives your core enneagram number and the wings that you are closely connected with. 

Moreover, it shows your connectedness with all the nine enneagram types. The test comprises 144 paired statements and was developed by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson in 1993. 

If you wish to know your enneagram personality type, you may take the test here.


The video link given below shows the characteristic features of enneagram 8. Do check out.


Parting words from “ThePleasantPersonality”

Thus from the above discussion, it becomes clear that enneagram 8s are strong and decisive. They love to take on challenges and prefer to view life in a straightforward fashion.

You love to protect and support the weak and combat oppression that may bother the weaker people living in this harsh world.

Being an enneagram 8, you are forthright and firm. Staying firm and keeping your head high always makes you appear bold and brave in social circles.

For you, the world looks unjust and improper. The powerful can take over others and that needs to be resisted. 

These unhealthy thought patterns are self-defeating and lead to exhaustion and alienation as you may try to mask your vulnerabilities as far as possible. 

Your outward power and mental tenacity are actually a manifestation of your need to deny weakness and stay strong always, no matter what happens in and around you.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”

 Ernest Hemmingway

Article Sources


1. https://www.truity.com/enneagram/personality-type-8-challenger
2. https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-8
3. https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/02/04/the-enneagram-type-8-the-challenger/
4. https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/introduction/type-8/

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