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Enneagram type 8s are protective, energetic, decisive, loyal, resilient, and direct when at their best and living in healthy levels. Sometimes called the protector but I did a poll and the majority preferred Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger!
How Do You Know If You Are a Type 8?
As is true of all enneagram types, your type is determined by core motivation. Yes, there are traits that are more common to type 8s but traits are not what determines your type. (You could be an introverted 8!)
So if you are trying to figure out if you are a type 8, you’ll want to look into the core motivations to see which one resonates with you.
Enneagram 8: The Challenger
Core Motivation of Type 8
Core Desire: to be independent/ to protect themselves
Core Fear: being controlled/harmed
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to be vulnerable.”
Core Longing (what they wish they believed to be true):“You will not be betrayed.”
Core Weakness: Lust (better known as “excess” to 8s)
Positive Traits of Type 8
Protective, energetic, decisive, loyal, resilient, direct, empowering.
Negative Traits of Type 8
Confrontational, insensitive, manipulative, controlling, possessive, intimidating, rebellious.
Type 8 Wing Options
Type 8s have wing options of 7 and 9.
Keep in mind that while most people have one dominant wing (hence 8w7), but some people find they have balanced wings, and some find that they do not make use of their wings.
Type 8 Stress Number
In stress, 8s take on the negative traits of type 5 (detached, cynical, secretive).
Check out Enneagram Types Under Stress for more info.
Type 8 Growth Number
When 8s are growing they take on the positive traits of type 2 (more compassionate, more open-hearted, more caring).
Triadic Groups of Type 7
Center of Intelligence: Gut/Instinctual Center
This means 8s take in and process the world through their gut instincts.
Check out my Centers of Intelligence post for more info on the Gut Center.
Hornevian Group (also called “Stances”): The Assertive Group
The assertive group means that 8s move against people in hopes of earning what they desire (autonomy).
Check out Enneagram Hornevian Groups for more info.
Harmonic Group: The Reactive Group
Harmonic groups explains how the types deal with conflict and 8s are in the reactive group meaning they react to conflict with strong emotions and assume others should as well.
For more info, check out my post on Harmonic Groups.
Harmony Group: The Relationist Group
Harmony groups explain how your type relates to the world.
Type 8s are in the relationist group because they relate to the world by asserting to others their strength and protections.
My post on Harmony Groups has more details.
Levels of Health for Type 8
Depending on their level of health, a type 8 can look a bit different from another type 8. The three main levels of health are Healthy, Average, and Unhealthy.
8s when healthy: are courageous and willing to place themselves at risk for their vision and those close to them. They are generous and loving with their loved ones. They make things happen and are a natural leader that others easily look up to.
8s when average: avoid showing vulnerability and weakness. Can be competitive and may compete against others in both the work and relationships. May be boastful and forceful of their ideas and opinions. Can become intimidating in order to get their way.
8s when unhealthy: become more ruthless and antagonistic. May become addicted to their power and strength and thus not willing to let anything stand in their way. They disregard others’ feelings and emotions and become hard-hearted.
These are just the three main levels of health. There are actually a total of nine levels of health; three levels in each of these main levels.
If you want the full break down with all the details for the levels of health, I highly recommend picking up Riso and Hudson’s book: Personality Types.