The Enneagram Type 8 (The Challenger)

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Ennegram Type 8 archetypes. From definition of the ennegram, examples and why it is useful.

What is The Enneagram Type 8? (The Challenger)

The type eights is known as the Challenger and is defined by the desire to be powerful and a determination to avoid any form of vulnerability.

The type eight will present themselves to the world as a confident and assertive individual. They are decisive but also argumentative, and can be intimidating to those around them.

The type eight person finds it hugely important to protect the weaker in society and to stand up for the things they believe in.

However, they fear a lack of power, and the appearance of vulnerability, more than anything else.

Their coping mechanism for their fears is to always be in control of themselves and their circumstances, and to be strong physically and mentally at all costs.

How do Enneagram Type 8 individuals act?

The type eight personality enjoys nothing more than to challenge themselves as well as giving others the opportunity to challenge themselves too.

The innate charisma which they possess, their physical abilities and their psychological capacity all enables them to persuade others to follow them.

They can, as a result, lead others into a whole range of projects and activities, whether it be something as simple as starting a family to something as epic as fighting a war.

Enneagram Type 8 individuals and vitality

The type eight individual possesses high levels of vitality, feeling at their most vital when they are able to put their abilities and willpower to real use in the world.

They have capacities and energy which enables them to make a real mark on the environment they exist in, but they can also apply their energies to prevent others or the environment from creating harm to them and those for whom they care.

They learn early in life that they need to develop physical and mental strength, persistence and endurance if they are to succeed in doing so and set about consciously fostering these qualities in themselves.

Darkside of Enneagram Type 8 personalities

The type eight personality fears allowing other people or institutions to have control or power over them.

The power and control they fear could take any form – social, financial, sexual, emotional or psychological.

As a result of their fear they behave in a manner designed to retain and increase their own power levels in any way and for as long as possible.

They, more than any other personality type, are determined individualists with an innate desire to stand on their own.

They are adamant that they will not be in debt to anyone and seek independence from all.

This desire for independence causes them to reject social convention.

They are more often than not all too aware of the opinions of other people about them but not concern themselves about this or let what other people think change their own thinking.

Their determination to be themselves and go about things their own way can be both inspirational and intimidating for observers.

Enneagram Type 8 individuals and fear

The fear of physical harm, whilst real to a type with personality, is certainly secondary to the fear they have of losing control or disempowerment.

They are tough and resilient, able to take an excess of physical suffering without complaining.

However, whilst this can be a positive it can also allow them to neglect their own health and wellbeing in favour of their own concern for other people.

They also nurse a deep-seated fear of being emotionally hurt and are willing to employ their physical strength in order to prevent this from happening, keeping others at an emotional distance which they consider safe.

They hide their emotional vulnerability deep beneath the surface.

Enneagram Type 8 Growth

The type eight personality is very hard-working and industrious but this often comes at a cost.

Their focus on work can cause the people they are close to, such as family, to become unhappy with the situation as their emotional needs are rejected.

This in turn causes the type eight person to distance themselves even further as they nurse resentment and feel misunderstood.

Whilst they are likely to hide it, underneath they often feel rejected and hurt but unwilling to admit this to anyone, even themselves, because of their fear of vulnerability.

They often protect themselves from this rejection by rejecting people in their lives first, unable to continue to give emotionally to others as they feel this gives other people power over them.

Building themselves up to protect themselves in this way only makes them more sensitive inside to any slight and in turn they then shut down even more emotionally.

When the type eight personality is healthy and in balance though, they are tremendously resourceful individuals with great drive who can really make things happen.

They are natural leaders who act in an honourable manner with common sense and decisiveness. They are able to use their abilities to look after other people and make the world a better place.

Enneagram Type 8 Characteristics & Traits

  • Loves to be challenged and challenged others
  • Charismatic
  • Leaders
  • Independent
  • Self-sufficient
  • Industrious
  • Honourable
  • Fierce
  • Determination
  • Endurance
  • Vitality
  • Willpower
  • Has stamina
  • Energetic
  • Busy
  • Fiery natured
  • Power
  • Stubborn
  • Persistence
  • Headstrong
  • Controlling
  • Powerful
  • Dominating
  • Self-confident
  • Decisive
  • Willful
  • Confrontational
  • Fear vulnerability
  • Stand up for the things they believe in
  • Defend the weaker in society
  • Reject social convention

Enneagram Type 8 Examples

There are numerous famous examples of type eight personalities throughout history, including:

  • Richard Wagner
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Winston Churchill
  • Oskar Schindler
  • Fidel Castro
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Golda Meir
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Toni Morrison
  • Serena Williams
  • James Brown
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Jack Black
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • Pink
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Bette Davis
  • Paul Newman
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Sean Penn
  • Matt Damon
  • Barbara Walters
  • “Dr. Phil” McGraw
  • “Tony Soprano”
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