Enneagram Type 8 (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 8. We will explain their desires, fears, and response to emotions. We will also discuss their strengths and weaknesses along with their motivations, stressors, and possible areas of growth. Finally, we will discuss their job performance, romantic relationships, and early childhood. 

Enneagram Type 8

People with type 8 personalities tend to be confident and powerful in the way they behave. They have an assertive communication style which they use in discussions and hence are skilled in debates.  They are also good at decision making and usually choose the right option after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons of anything. They like their independence and hate the idea of being reliant on someone else. 


Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It was developed by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo. It has nine personality types that are split across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad

It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation based on the triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect, or instincts most characteristic of his or her personality. 

Enneagram Type 8: The protector

Basic fear 

Type 8 personalities are afraid of being controlled or hurt by people. So, they avoid situations where they are not in a dominant position. They stand up for themself in all situations and even guard themself against others.

Basic desire 

Type 8 personalities want to rule their own life. They want to protect their independence and seek control in everything they do. They fight for themself and stand up against injustice. They also advocate for the rights of someone who is weak. They are true protectors at heart who extend their protection to others who lack it. 

Type 8 and emotions

Type 8 personalities put up a strong front. They dislike being vulnerable or being perceived as weak. So, they avoid any situations that can make them appear helpless and lacking control. Their stance is similar with respect to emotions as they deny them to maintain their sense of control.

The Strengths of Type 8

Type 8 has many strengths. These include the following:

  • These people have the ability to clearly express themself
  • Their quick thinking allows them to make snap decisions and take quick actions.
  • They make good leaders and usually lead others to success
  • They are passionate about defending others and taking a stand for their rights. They protect the people they are close to. 
  • They maintain fairness in their behavior and make decisions that are logical and just. 

The Weaknesses of Type 8

Type 8 also has many weaknesses. These include the following:

  • Type 8 put up a strong front which can make them seem unapproachable to others. They especially dislike being perceived as someone who is intimidating.
  • At times, they can be inconsiderate and deny the opinions of others in their attempt to rule their own life.
  • They have a hard time with authority and following orders and rules.
  • They often take charge in their own hands in situations where it can be inappropriate since the real authority lies with someone else.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Possible areas of growth for Type 8

Type 8 can grow as a person buy the following:

  • These people need to learn how to listen to others with attention and be open to their ideas.
  • It is important that they start to learn to express their feelings and their emotions instead of trying to maintain control all the time.
  • Being able to recognize when to take the back seat and let others take the lead is an important lesson they can benefit from.
  • It would be beneficial if they learn the value of vulnerability instead of seeing it as a weakness

Source of Stress 

Type 8 gets stressed by the following:

  • Being under someone else’s leadership can be a difficult experience for them.
  • These people get highly stressed when others perceive them to be insignificant and not important.
  • Situations with a lot of emotional layers and where they are expected to be vulnerable can be quite hard for them to experience
  • When other people blame them or lie to them, they get upset
  • When they lose control or feel helpless, they get highly distressed.


They are energized by the following:

  • These personalities get motivated by leading others and holding authority.
  • Situations, where they feel respected, independent, and understood by others, can energize them.
  • When they make decisions that can help others, they feel quite important and productive.
  • Taking action can be good for increasing their motivation.
  • They like making decisions that are logical, fair, and oriented towards a solution.

Workplace and job

Type 8 works best in an environment that encourages them to be independent and take the authority to make their own decisions. Work that is fast-paced and action-oriented is quite suited to them especially if it allows them to did others and inspire them.

 Situations, where they are asked to make an important decision, can be quite motivating for them. Similarly, if their Boss respects their opinion and their colleagues look up to them as a leader these people may feel energetic at work. If direct reports about them deem them to be efficient workers, it can boost their morale. 

However, if they are overlooked or ignored by others, they feel of no use. If their boss does not give them authority or if their colleagues do not engage in a discussion with them, it can lower their mood. Reports that deem them needing consistent instructions in tasks may stress them out and drain their energy. 

Type 8 are independent workers who are unique and courageous. They can make difficult decisions in a logical manner. Furthermore, they maintain their fairness while doing so. They make good advocates and can work well in leadership roles. Jobs like lawyer, politician, sales director, director, etc. are well suited for them.

Romantic Relationships

In romantic relationships,  people with type 8 personalities make protective and dedicated partners. Spouses that are quiet, easy-going, and helpful can be good for them. It is important that they learn to remain calm in difficult discussions and maintain a power balance. 

They contribute their honest and direct communication skills to their relationship. Furthermore, they protect their partner from any kind of harm be it physical or emotional. They also give them complete independence. 

However, they can struggle with emotional vulnerability. Similarly, when they have to back down, compromise, or give their partner the control to make decisions, they can have a hard time. 

For the relationship to work, they need to be more flexible and emotionally vulnerable for more stability. 

Type 8 Childhood/development

During their childhood, people with type 8 personalities had ambivalent feelings towards the nurturing parental figure. They learned that by taking the patriarchal or strong role opposite to the nurturing parent could give them a position in the family. They took on responsibilities and grew up at a fast pace to avoid vulnerability and weakness. They viewed it as a way to get hurt and maintained the persona of a protector towards others who were tough and strong. Others started to rely on them for guidance and support. 

Losing this identity became hard for them so they started avoiding anything that would make them helpless or not in control. They anticipate threats from others and maintain an attitude of indifference with regard to the opinions of others. So, they protect themself from rejection by being more tough and controlling in their approach.

 FAQs: Enneagram Type 8 

What is the Type 8 personality?

Type 8 personalities are the protectors who like to rule their own life. They dislike being perceived as weak. So, they avoid situations where they are helpless or have no authority. They stand for the rights of the weak as well.

What is Type 8w9?

Type 8w9 or Type8 wing9 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type eight personality and complementary characteristics of type nine personality.


In this article, we discussed enneagram Type 8. We found that people with type 8 personalities tend to be confident and powerful in the way they behave. They have an assertive communication style which they use in discussions and hence are skilled in debates.  They are also good at decision making and usually choose the right option after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons of anything. They like their independence and hate the idea of being reliant on someone else. 

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊




Personality Types – Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Huds

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!