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  • Writer's pictureJessica Morgan McAtee

Enneagram 8: Challenger Protector

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

Enneagram Eights (and Nines and Ones) are in the Gut center which means they navigate the world primarily through their instincts or kinesthetic and physical sensations. They have a strong need for worth and respect. Eights have big presence that can be felt when they enter a room.

In order to avoid their greatest fear of being controlled by others, Eights attempt to protect themselves and determine their own course in life. They are strong, forceful and in control of their situation, at least in their minds. Challengers love to push themselves to their personal limits and can be enormously successful. They also strive to call out the good in others, challenging them to new levels of strength. Eights have an energy in their gut that pushes outward into the world around them with huge willpower and force. They have a vitality and a desire to be alive in the fullest ways.

They champion the cause of the underdog and will always use their power to help those who genuinely cannot help themselves. They bravely protect others. They will not, however, find sympathy for people who could help themselves and don't. Of course, this is all according to the Eights judgement, which can be tough and merciless.

Eights fully believe that they are the master of their fate. They are often hard-working, diligent and they push themselves to their mental and physical limits. They are incredible achievers and make big progress and advancements in the world. Eights ooze confidence and intensity. They know they will get things done. Eights love being Eights. They can take charge, take a stand and say what's on their mind regardless of who will be offended. They feel that they have the truth and they will speak it. They don't trust others easily, especially people who come across as weak or lazy. They intimidate others with their rash and loud presence. They are tactless and care nothing of convention. Of course, this is a ruse for their own feelings of weakness and vulnerability. Most Eights have experienced a childhood betrayal. To protect themselves from ever being hurt that deeply again, they use excessive control.

The passion for Eights is Lust. They are excessive and over the top. They become extremely controlling in order to mask their vulnerability. They don't realize that vulnerability is necessary for all genuine strength and relationships. When Eights exercise chastity or innocence, it moderates their force and allows them to trust. Only then can they open up to someone. They can practice thinking before acting.

Healthy Eights relax their energy in more thoughtful ways. They abandon trying to control the world, and let things happen naturally. They are magnanimous and champions for others. They let go of the idea that everyone is out to get them. They let truth surface naturally rather than believing they are the only ones who have access to it. The can calmly follow others, peacefully and with a smile. They slow down and soften their grip.

Trust takes strength

Jessica Morgan McAtee

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