Enneagram 8 Profile
I’ve seen firsthand how the Enneagram has influenced my therapy practice, my clients, and my own personal growth. In order to better understand its impact, I interviewed a representative of each number to see the world through their lens.
What do you love the most about your number?
As an Eight, I have a lot of energy and can easily get recharged by just continuing to do things I deem important and worth my time. I love that being an Eight has empowered me to challenge not only the norms and constructs of people and the world around me, but also (when I’m healthy) my own thoughts, feelings, and constructs. I don’t have a lot of fear when it comes to pushing into confrontation with anyone if I think that it will be for the greater good. I have been able to easily serve in positions of leadership since I was a kid through adulthood because of all of the above. I love that my Eight-ness frequently drives me to seek justice and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
What is the hardest thing about your number?
As I think most women who are Eights would say, it is REALLY easy to be labeled as pushy, bossy, domineering, or a bitch. As a young girl growing up in a conservative religious environment… none of the qualities I love about being an Eight were very welcomed and they were usually shamed as just an outpouring of too much pride. I learned pretty early on that I needed to dampen my natural tendencies of Eight-ness to fit into the good Christian girl box. And lastly, in my friendships and close relationships, everyone seems to love having an Eight around until they don’t… and then everything they needed, benefited from, and praised is suddenly too controlling.
How have you used the knowledge of your Enneagram number to grow toward your best self?
Learning about the Enneagram, and specifically Eights, has facilitated a lot of growth by helping me understand the why and the motivation behind my behaviors. Understanding the motivation behind my unhealthy and healthy behaviors has lead to more self awareness than I ever thought possible. That self awareness shapes me, and as a result, all of my relationships.
How has the Enneagram been useful to you during the therapy process?
So much of therapy, for me, has been learning the why behind my feelings and reactions to different life experiences and then learning how to move through all of those feelings versus just trying to just get them to go away. The Enneagram has been a great tool to help understand why some life events affected me, as an Eight, in the way that they did. It has also shown me how my intuitive, gut, Eight responses protected me through some traumatic experiences.
What advice would you give to other people of your same number?
Don’t try to dampen your healthy Eight behaviors and instincts BUT take the time to understand how people of other numbers, in different levels of health may receive and perceive those behaviors.
Don’t avoid stepping into vulnerability because of the fear of someone taking advantage of it and hurting you. A vulnerable Eight is a powerful, passionate, beautiful person.
As a female Eight, continue to teach society about your strength and power. Teach them that allowing strong women in leadership and positions of power will change communities, cities, states, and so on. Do not back down just because you are worried that you will be perceived as bossy, bitchy, or controlling. Let your life and your work prove them wrong.
When your gut is telling you to burn it all down, take a second and try to check your motivation before you move forward... because as an Eight, you have the power to do it Mother of Dragons style.