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Enneagram Eight

The Protective Challenger.

At their healthiest, they are direct, authoritative, energetic, protective, and self confident.

At their unhealthiest, they are rebellious, insensitive, domineering, aggressive, and bullying.

At A Glance


Core Fear

Of being weak, powerless, controlled, harmed, and at the mercy of injustice.

Core Desire

To protect themselves.


Part of the Gut Triad, known as the Instinctive Center. 

Going Deeper

At their best:

Healthy 8s use their incredible intuition to see possibilities in situations and in other people’s abilities that are often overlooked by others.

The message an Enneagram 8's heart longs to hear:

"You will not be betrayed."

In stress:

Enneagram 8s go to 5 in stress, detaching from others out of frustration and self isolating.   This withdrawal can also be motivated by fear of being betrayed.

In growth:

Enneagram 8s go to 2 in growth, becoming more caring and open.  They tap into their desire for justice and engage with others with compassion and empathy.  

Ways to get along with a 8:

Stand up for yourself and for them.

Be confident, strong, and direct.

Notice that they are tender and have a vulnerable side behind their strong exterior.

Acknowledge the contribution that they make but don’t flatter them.

They often speak in a direct and assertive way.  Don’t automatically assume it is a personal attack against you.

Things that resonate with a 8:
People tell me that I am too blunt and often aggressive.
I like a little confrontation just to see the reactions of others.
In relationships that matter to me, I will insist on being brutally honest and staying in
the fight until it is “resolved”.
Trusting is hard for me.
I can spot people’s weakness when I first meet them.
Saying “no”is not an issue for me.
I make quick decisions from my gut instinct.
I don’t like it when people don’t just say what is on their mind.
I am suspicious of super nice people.
I can spot those in power the minute I walk into a room.
I like for people to stand up for themselves; it’s disappointing when they don’t.
“A good offense is better than a good defense” in my belief.
I know people respect me, but I also want to know I am loved.
I don’t have a problem confronting a bully.
I have a tender heart under my tough exterior.

Next steps



Life Coaching

To continue understanding your personality as an Enneagram 2, consider sessions with Angie. 

By doing so, you have access to personally developed worksheets and curriculum for each number.

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