Enneagram Type 8w7: Childhood (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 8w7 i.e. type eight wing seven ‘The Maverick’ and the role of their childhood in their personality development. We will do that by initially giving an introduction to enneagrams, their structure, and wings. This will follow up by describing the dominant type Eight personality and its triad. We will move on to giving an overview of its subtype i.e. type 8w7. Finally, we will discuss the detailed role of childhood in their development.  

Enneagram Type 8w7: Childhood

Enneagram type 8w7 has the primary characteristics of type 8 and secondary characteristics of type 7 personality. These people are social, confident, ambitious, and independent. They like doing things their own way and are less conflicted than type 8 with wing 9. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Rejection of childhood’. This means that they try to be self-sufficient and have difficulty depending on others due to their difficult early experiences. They want to take care of their own self to avoid getting hurt or controlled by others again just like it happened in their childhood.  

Introduction to Enneagrams

Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It has its roots in spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. Multiple people contributed to its development among which George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo are the most prominent. 

It is divided into nine personality types that are spread across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad. It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation in the form of good or bad traits and sees which triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect or instincts is most characteristic of his or her personality. 

An enneagram gives a personality type that is fluid and explains its change across time i.e. personality integration (during health, self-actualization) or disintegration (during ill health, neurosis). In other words,  a personality can become more healthy or unhealthy as it moves in different directions from its basic type. Enneagram also links one personality type with other personality types.

The structure of Enneagram

Enneagram symbol is a circle that has 9 points (each point is a personality type) present on the circumference. Each type is related to another as represented by the connected lines. Points 3,6, 9 forms a triangle. They are primary personality types that are blocked in some way from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Whereas 4,2,8,5,7,1 form an irregular hexagram and are secondary personality types since they are mixed and not blocked from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Each type is the result of a dialectic. In every triad, one type over-expresses its characteristic quality, another under-expresses it, and the third is mostly out of touch with it. 

Wings in Enneagrams 

The Basic Personality Type is the most characteristic of a person. Whereas wings add elements to the overall personality i.e. it is the second side of it. 

Example: If you are a personality type 8, you can have wing7 or wing9. So, such a personality can be understood by knowing the traits of the basic or main type and the secondary types. Usually, each personality has two wings, and both influence a person. However, at times people have one dominant wing along with their basic personality type.

The Instinct Triad: Personality Types Eight, Nine, and One

• The positive and negative traits of these personalities are dominated by instinct.

• When these types are healthy, they can relate to their environment with great wisdom from within. Thus, they can become good leaders.

• When they are unhealthy, they are out of balance and find it difficult to relate to their environment and people. 

• All three personality types have common problems linked with repression and aggression.

Enneagram Type 8: The Leader 

Key traits: Self-confident, dominating, decisive, competent/combative

Type 8 over-expresses instinct i.e. they perform actions immediately based on the hunches they have. They do not stop to think about possible consequences which can be harmful. It has two subtypes:

• The eight with wing 7 (Type 8w7)

• The eight with wing 9 (Type 8w9)

Type 8w7: ‘The Maverick’

Type 8w7 has basic traits of type 8 and secondary traits of type 7. They are aggressive, assertive, strive for power & autonomy, straightforward, realistic, and of extroverted personality. Their behavior, nature, and manner of presentation are consistent across situations and people. They are honest, vocal, and action-oriented.

Healthy versions of this subtype are energetic, social, practical, and confident in personal and professional life. They like starting independent business projects and don’t leave any challenging opportunity behind that would allow a chance of professional growth. They have a zest for living life and supporting others to do the same which makes them leave an impact on others. 

Average versions of this subtype are driven to pursue their work and interests. They are grounded, materialistic, exaggerate to get people involved in their projects, big-spenders, and least concerned about what others think of them. They are like an open book. However, they can be dominating, impatient, bullying, and aggressive. Sometimes they manipulate others as well but do not feel guilty later. Money and security are two things they center their lives around. 

Unhealthy versions of this personality type are impulsive, rude, tyrannical, harsh, and easily violent. They are easily deluded into believing they are omnipotent and attack others at a moment’s notice. They also feel easily betrayed and act out/strike at any chance they feel threatened by someone. Their life motto is to destroy before others destroy you. 

Examples of Type 8w7: Donald Trump, Sean Connery, Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali

Strengths of Type 8w7

  • Inspirational leaders
  • Fair decision-makers supported by logic
  • Can connect with people
  • Can come up with innovative and positive plans
  • Verbally expressive 

Weaknesses of Type 8w7

  • Impatient
  • Over-indulgent
  • Insensitive with regard to feelings of others
  • Struggle to listen and follow authority figures

Workplace and job 

Type 8w7 likes being action-oriented and are pretty dedicated to executing their goals. They  

prefer to work in jobs that support idealism and give them the authority to make a difference e.g. lawyer, politician, entrepreneur, financial advisor, etc.

Source of Stress for type 8w7

  • Connecting with own emotions
  • Feeling unimportant or out of control
  • Being perceived as controlling
  • Seeing a lack of action from others
  • Self-pity of others

Basic fear 

Type 8w7 fear being controlled by an authority figure which is why they prefer to work alone.

Basic desire 

Type 8w7 desire to rule their own life and want others to be free as well which explains why they advocate or stand up for those who can’t. They pride the fact that they don’t rely on anyone. They deny their vulnerability and avoid situations that make them seem weak. 

Type 8w7 Childhood/development

We become any personality depending on how we have learned to respond to the world growing up. Our early childhood particularly our relationship with our parents governs how we unconsciously adapt to our family and the world. Genetics and temperament have their role as well. A person remains one personality type throughout life but may change and grow to develop healthy or unhealthy traits. 

During childhood, eights experience ambivalence for the nurturing parental figure (mostly it the mother). They can neither bond nor separate from them entirely. So, to maintain a connection, eights identify with a complementary role of ‘the strong one’ against the nurturing role associated with motherly qualities of warmth, care, nurturance, and approval. In other words, they think that if they become the protector in crisis on whom others can rely, they will be able to get nurturance and love.  So, they strongly identify with this role, try to be the big problem solver who is indifferent to suffering, and think this identity is essential for their survival. 

Healthy versions of this subtype make important contributions. However, fear/insecurity may obstruct them. They deny vulnerabilities since it threatens their sense of identity of being strong. Especially in highly dysfunctional families or dangerous childhood environments, eights needed aggression to protect themself. Whereas, accepting vulnerability meant you were weak. Thus, such defenses become stronger in them as adults to prevent others from hurting them again. Since type 8w9 faced a challenging childhood and had no one to guide or provide reassurance, they always anticipate rejection and betrayal. Due to this, they stop relying on others and become self-sufficient. 

If their childhood had even a degree of nurturance, they may adopt a protective role for loved ones as adults. Whereas no support meant survival of the fittest or in this case, the strongest who can survive on his own. 

 FAQs: Type 8w7-Childhood

What is the Type 8 personality?

Type 8 personality is aggressive, assertive, and powerful. They fear being controlled by others and strive to be self-sufficient. It is one of the types from the nine enneagrams.

What is Type 8w7?

Type 8w7 or Type8 wing7 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type eight personality and complementary characteristics of type seven personality. 

What enneagram is the most indecisive?

Type six enneagram i.e. ‘The loyalists’  are considered to be the most indecisive and cautious among the nine types.

Which enneagram has the most anxiety?

Type six enneagram i.e. ‘The loyalists’  are considered to have the most anxiety among the nine types. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed enneagram type 8w7 in detail and the role of childhood in their development. We found that enneagram type 8w7 has the primary characteristics of type 8 and secondary characteristics of type 7 personality. These people are social, confident, ambitious, and independent. They like doing things their own way and are less conflicted than type 8 with wing 9. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Rejection of childhood’. This means that they try to be self-sufficient and have difficulty depending on others due to their difficult early experiences. They want to take care of their own self to avoid getting hurt or controlled by others again just like it happened in their childhood

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

Citations

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-8-wing-7

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/03/10/the-childhood-wounds-of-every-enneagram-type/#

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 Hudson

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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