The Boss

Eights are body types just like nines and ones. When it comes to type eight, you can hardly miss that fact. An eight will talk loudly, often brag and also draw attention to herself with her intense physical presence. She is always forceful, and she always wants to be strong. She can be wild and active, or laid back and cool, but there is always power, always strong physical presence.

Eights come across as tough and self assured. They are always straight forward. They like to confront and measure their strength with others. With people near them they are loyal and protective, but their brand of care can often be experienced by others as a kind of dictatorship. They can be domineering and bossy and demand that others respond in their own style, that they not be sensitive, but strong.

At their worst eights can also be grumpy and aggressive bulldozers, since they put a lid on the more sensible and vulnerable aspects of themselves. At their best they can be intensely warm and loving, caring, protective and responsible.

If you are an eight you are a leader. You take initiatives, and you are not sensitive to resistance or failure to elicit the enthusiasm of others. You rather try to get that weakness out of them by force. While threes, who are also go getter types drive themselves to be efficient, eights often drive others, being leaders directly and physically. They enjoy brutal confrontation, for then they feel met and in contact with the other.

Believe it or not, eights worry that they are not strong enough. It is as if eights in childhood found it best to be the strongest. They do not want to contact the inner two child, emotional and soft, nor the introverted five weakling that is the stress point of type eight. Perhaps the eight did experience being weaker and at mercy of a stronger other as intolerable. Or she saw someone near her being weaker and controlled or abused because of it.

An eight defends those she chooses to protect and she is very loyal. She trust her gut, not her head or her heart, so allowing another to take care of her or guide her is not easy. As children eights need their parents to show them physically that they are bigger and stronger. Then the eight can relax and allow herself the tender feelings and the need for holding that is natural in a child and especially in her very tender inner two child.

The trap of the eight is her intensity. It is like she wants to taste life so intensely that she over doses and misses the experience. Eights may be more or less aware of the fact that this is a trap that keeps them dissatisfied. Most eights are aware that they are not all that right and not such a good leaders when allowed to domineer people around them. It is just that intensity comes so natural to them.

The gluttony of type seven is a taste for variety and intellectual stimulation. Eights are body types and their hunger for stimulation is more about intensity, like wanting to physically possess, “have” the world. This can be true of intellectual knowledge as well. The inner five aspect of eight (traditionally viewed as the so called stress point of this type) make eights interested in knowledge and reasoning, but with their own spontaneous and sort of wild touch to it. They can be intense eaters of knowledge as well as of food. And they do not have the barriers of a five when it comes to sharing their knowledge.

An eight under stress will go towards point five. She may become introverted and suspicious and believe that others think badly of her. The usually self assured and assertive eight will argue strongly for her point but tend to withdrawl instead of go forward and seek intense contact.

This is the stress point, whereas point two is the inner child point. An eight in balance will have integrated the two. She will have a scientific bent and be interested in the true facts of the matter, and she will have a warm open heart that hold everything and everyone. She will be caring and soft as well as strong, and realistic.

Softness, tenderness and love

Knowing that you are an eight can help you become free. Understanding your pattern of intensity will make you see how your focus on strength really keeps you for being truly strong, that is integrated.

Leadership is and will be the talent of type eight. Without contact with your vulnerability she will, however be a bulldozer, disrespectful of the vulnerability of others. She needs to learn respect for other peoples preferences and wants. And this she will gain when she starts respecting her own vulnerability, and goes beyond the quest for intensity.

If you are an eight the direction of integration is toward point two in the Enneagram. Your inner child aspect is two. This aspect is within you, you need only listen to it and let it guide you.

These are aspects of type two that are helpful for you:

– Softness. Twos are very trusting and naive. Let you inner child come out and hug and cuddle. A two thinks the best of everyone. An eight will see the world more like a jungle. Abandon that  belief in the survival of the fittest to being more soft and caring, to yourself and others.

– Love. Eights have a contempt for love, and you inner two is all about love. That loving two aspect is the best direction for you. It will soften you to yourself and to the world.

– Tenderness. Everything soft will be a good direction for an eight. To take care of a pet or to be with small children giving them tender care, not trying to get them anywhere. The eight needs to learn how to stop herself and just be, to soften instead of hardening. That inner two child wants to hug and kiss and melt down into utter tenderness.

– Emotional intelligence. Many eights need anger management. They tend to express their emotions in a way that frightens others and turn them off. Your inner two is an expert on emotion. Let her teach you emotional subtlety and empathy. You will learn to feel into the other and know just how that person needs to be met in order to blossom. A two knows that attacks and roughness is not the way to teach people things.

– Put the other first. The tendency to put the emotional needs of the other first creates imbalance in a two. In you it will create balance.  Learn to be still and listen instead of striking out. When you stay present and vulnerable others will feel safe and open up to you.

Eights integrated this way are forceful and loving. They can make people feel safe and inspired by their leadership to do great things. Allowing your tender needs and vulnerability you will accept being loved and held by others and you will feel held and loved by life itself.

When an eight refrains from being bossy in relation to life itself she will stay in the present moment and connect. She will come to discover that she is strength. Not by herself, but as life itself. Then her own qualities can be put at service for the best of everyone and her need to domineer relaxes. She can rest in her own firm connection to everything, no need to attack life in order to assure she gets to taste it fully.



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