Enneagram Type 8

The Protector

16 Personalities
Big Five
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What is an Enneagram Type 8 (The Protector)?
People with an Enneagram Type 8 personality tend to be self-confident, powerful, and assertive in their behavior. They love engaging in debates and are skilled at making difficult decisions. They are fiercely independent and dislike being reliant on others.

Enneagram 8 Personality Traits

Basic Desire

The most basic desire of the Enneagram Type 8 is to protect themselves and remain in control of their own lives. They seek to defend themselves and others from injustice. Eights often tend to advocate for the underdog, as they work to protect those they feel are unable to protect themselves.

Protectors defend themselves by avoiding and denying vulnerability. They believe, somewhat subconsciously, that vulnerability will make them appear weak; therefore, they avoid it at all costs.

Basic Fear

The basic fear of the Type 8 is that they might be controlled or hurt by others. They tend to avoid situations that make them feel helpless and stand up for themselves in all circumstances. When stressed, they may guard themselves more from others.

In summary, Enneagram 8 personalities tend to...

  • Stand up for themselves and those around them
  • Be skilled at making hard decisions
  • Fear being controlled and losing their autonomy
  • Struggle being vulnerable with themselves or others
  • Be perceived as argumentative

Enneagram 8 Strengths

Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems.

Enneagram 8 Strengths

Strengths that are typically associated with the Enneagram 8 personality include...

  • Ability to express themselves in every situation
  • Acting quickly and decisively
  • Effectively leading others to success
  • Defending and protecting other people
  • Fair and logical decision-making

Enneagram 8 Weaknesses

Enneagram 8 Weaknessess

Weaknesses that are typically associated with the Enneagram 8 personality include...

  • Being perceived as intimidating
  • Tendency to disregard others’ opinions
  • Difficulty following rules or orders
  • Taking charge when it isn’t their place

Enneagram 8 Growth

Enneagram 8 Growth

Growth opportunities that are typically associated with the Enneagram 8 personality include...

  • Listening attentively to and considering others’ ideas
  • Sharing and expressing how they’re feeling
  • Recognizing when to step back and allow others to lead
  • Understanding the value in vulnerability

How Enneagram 8 personalities like to work

Enneagram 8 Working

Communicating with an Enneagram 8

Be upfront and direct while remaining open to their ideas.
Enneagram 8 Meeting

Meeting with an Enneagram 8

Remain logical and practical, allowing eights to share new ideas or suggestions.
Enneagram 8 Emailing

Emailing an Enneagram 8

Avoid casual conversation—be clear and concise.
Enneagram 8 Feedback

Giving feedback to an Enneagram 8

Share feedback respectfully and constructively to avoid defensiveness.
Enneagram 8 Conflict

Resolving conflict with an Enneagram 8

Stand your ground and call them on inappropriate action, while also listening to and considering their side.

Enneagram 8 Motivations

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.

Enneagram 8 Motivations

Enneagram 8s tend to be motivated and energized by...

  • Taking charge and leading others
  • Feeling free, understood, and respected
  • Making decisions that help other people
  • Physical action and exercise
  • Logical and practical ideas and solutions

Enneagram 8 Stress

Enneagram 8 Stress

Enneagram 8s tend to be stressed and drained by...

  • Being controlled by or subordinate to others
  • Feeling unimportant or insignificant
  • Facing vulnerable or emotional situations
  • Others’ dishonesty or misdirected blame
  • Feeling out of control or helpless

Enneagram 8 Careers

Type Eights tend to thrive in an environment that respects their independence and encourages their advice. They enjoy fast-paced, energizing work that allows them to lead others.

Enneagram 8 Energized at Work

Enneagram 8s feel energized at work when...

  • They are asked to weigh-in on a decision.
  • Their boss respects their opinions.
  • Their peers look to them as a leader.
  • Their direct reports work efficiently.
Enneagram 8 Drained at Work

Enneagram 8s feel drained at work when...

  • They are ignored or overlooked.
  • Their boss demands complete authority.
  • Their peers refuse to engage in discussion about an issue.
  • Their direct reports need to be consistently guided in the task.

Eights are individualistic and courageous; they can make tough decisions while remaining fair and logical. They are consistently strong advocates and leaders.

Enneagram 8 Common Jobs

Common jobs for people with Enneagram 8 personality types

  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Director
  • Advertising Executive
  • Financial Advisor
  • Business Owner
  • Marketing Strategist
  • Sales Director

Enneagram 8 Relationships (Professional)

When type Eights work alongside people who are more relaxed and reserved, they can help them make decisions and advocate for themselves. If they work with another Eight, it’s important that they work together to effectively balance the power and avoid frequent clashing. 

Enneagram 8 Work Well With

Enneagram 8s tend to work well with others who...

  • Respect their opinions and ideas
  • Stand up for themselves
  • Remain open to new ways of thinking
Enneagram 8 Obstacles

Enneagram 8s may hit obstacles in professional relationships when they...

  • Defy or disrespect an authority figure
  • Feel unreasonably blamed for a situation
  • Need to be emotionally honest or vulnerable

Enneagram 8 Relationships (Romantic)

Type Eights can be dedicated, protective partners, especially to those who are typically quiet, laid-back, or altruistic. When in a relationship with another Eight, it’s important that they learn to de-escalate tense discussions and balance their powerful dynamic.

Enneagram 8 Romantic Strengths

In a romantic relationship, Enneagram 8s bring strengths like...

  • Dedication to open, honest communication
  • Working to protect their partner from physical or emotional harm
  • Giving their partner plenty of independence
Enneagram 8 Reomantic Troubles

In romantic relationships, Enneagram 8s may have trouble...

  • Being emotionally vulnerable
  • Allowing their partner to make decisions for them
  • Softening their approach when resolving issues

Famous Examples of Enneagram 8s

Enneagram 8 Example Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban


Enneagram 8 Example Dr. Phil McGraw
Dr. Phil McGraw


Enneagram 8 Example Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt


Enneagram 8 Example Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi


Enneagram 8 Example Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates


Enneagram 8 Example Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso


Enneagram 8 Example Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill


Enneagram 8 Example Donald Trump
Donald Trump


Enneagram 8 Example Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders


Enneagram 8 Example Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters


Enneagram 8 Example Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler


Enneagram 8 Example Rosanne Barr
Rosanne Barr


Enneagram 8 Example Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.


Enneagram 8 Example Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison



Enneagram 8 Wings

Click a link below to explore the wings for Enneagram 8




Enneagram 8 Slide Show

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Related Personality Types

Below are the DISC and 16-Personality types that are similar to Enneagram Type 8. 

DISC Type Dc, D, Di, or DI

16-Personality Type ENTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, or ISTP

You can find your DISC, Enneagram, and 16-Personality types by taking Crystal's free personality test.

Enneagram is a personality framework that can help you understand other people and why they behave in certain ways.
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