Relationship Type 8 with Type 9 — The Enneagram Institute
We have named personality type Eight The Challenger because, of all the types . to get their way: confrontational, belligerent, creating adversarial relationships. Level 9: If they get in danger, they may brutally destroy everything that has not . Enneagram Type Eight (the Challenger) with. Enneagram Type Nine (the Peacemaker). What Each Type Brings to the Relationship. Enneagram Eights bring. How about sloth (type 9) and lust (type 8)? There are better ways to talk the body-based types - Eight, Nine and One – have a key relationship with anger.
Nines genuinely admire the Eight's ability to make things happen and to fearlessly take on challenges. On the other hand, Nines bring a sense of calm and stability that Eights find soothing and necessary for their wellbeing. They also bring to Eights a feeling of quiet pride in the Eight's bravado and more assertive qualities, encouraging Eights to continue in their take charge style.
Even healthy Eights spend a lot of time overcoming obstacles and adversity; they are fighters trying to survive and make their mark on the world. Nines are like a safe harbor, a respite, a person with whom Eights can let down their guard and relax. They tend therefore to teach each other what the other lacks: Eights bring Nines self-confidence and self-assertion, while Nines teach Eights which battles are worth fighting for and how not to push so hard.
Their roles are well-defined with each playing a parenting role toward the others—one is usually the daddy while the other is the mommy—although this does not go along gender lines as might be expected. Both have powerful drives and strong willpower; both like comfort and simplicity; both want to create a safe retreat from the world.
When these forces and their talents are harnessed together after the same goals, this pair can be dynamic and powerful but also comfortable and receptive at the same time. Potential Trouble Spots or Issues One of the main problem areas for people of this combination is that, as they deteriorate, their defenses go in opposite directions: Eights tend to push harder, while Nines tend to increasingly shut down.
Nines can become unresponsive, or worse, energetically pushing away the Eight as a defense. Eights become more aggressive and belligerent, demanding that their energy be met. More importantly this denial keeps them from feeling their own vulnerability.
One Eight describes how she would deny her own doubt: Their capacity to handle pain without acknowledging it and the reinforcement they get from others for being strong steers them away from self-reflection. The most likely reason for an Eight to seek therapy is the threat of loss of significant others. I deny feeling really bad about hurting people, and this works until people who matter leave. I had always felt in complete charge of my life and I was depressed for the first time.
Eights in Psychotherapy - Enneagram Monthly
The relationship brought out my softer side. It turns out that relationships are important and I had not realized that. But, I thought no one could tell.
Any Eight knows when a fight is not real. I want to answer in a way that maintains my sense of control. I may give a quick B. It is just too safe. We can put things together and can stay there. I felt I was overwhelming her. The more I talked the more her eyes got big and she got quiet. I ended up feeling bad, like I had done something wrong.
I really want to help you. Defended Eights can test and challenge therapists with an impatient, contentious presentation. Some therapists may be intimidated and contract while others could be tempted to adopt a false toughness.
The therapy might have had a chance to succeed if the therapists had known how to read the Eight defense and the fear it covers. Here is how Eights say they act when feeling defended in therapy: I need to know. You need to understand, we want help more than we will indicate. Most talk of needing a strong, honest, smart therapist with whom they feel safe enough to be vulnerable. Therapists need to know it is hard for Eights to establish trust. Most recommend a forthright approach: Tell me the truth.
First he helped me find answers quickly, which was an intellectual hook. She gave me information, reading, and assistance with a plan. She kept focus, maintained just the right balance of emotion and direction. During various developmental stages and life crises, having a safe nurturing relationship can be critical for Eights. Teachers and mentors who took an interest in an Eight child can leave a memory of safety and growth through relationship.
Therapists can bring the memory of such people into sessions as allies in the current work. I think she realized I did not fit in and she just spent extra time with me. She was interested in my life and believed in me.
The same woman above continues: I drank a lot, was into a lot of sex. I hated my father and was angry. I could see this was taking me down a wrong path and I was afraid of failure and looking bad, losing it all. I began to see a counselor, just to let off steam. It was just talk therapy, a safe haven, but it re-directed some of the feelings causing the recklessness.
There was no real direction to it but I was in control, came when I wanted to and talked about what I wanted to, it got me through those three years. When I was young I was more shy, I had low self-esteem and withdrew and took care of other people, I let my husband control me. Despite their surface toughness, a surprising percentage had also been victims of physical and verbal abuse. Female Eights can also feel guilty about their own aggression and try to suppress it.
They often benefit when therapists help them identify appropriate boundaries and teach them ways to avoid getting caught in their own aggression. No way could I have gone to therapy with a woman first.
I idealized my father and did not respect my mother.
Eventually, though, I needed a woman therapist who could help me know feminine power — that it does not have to be weak. However, therapists sometimes minimize the risk of betraying the safety of the therapeutic relationship, something Eights are unusually sensitive to: I went along with it, and it was only for two sessions, but it was like my husband poisoned the space.
I just stopped feeling safe. I was far enough along so I quit. I might have done more and deeper work, but we never talked about what it was like for me to have had him there. If the therapist thoroughly explores the consequences of inviting another family member into therapy beforehand, it can prevent the client from feeling unsafe or even betrayed. In conjoint therapy, Eights can learn to listen and reflect before reacting: To me it seems black or white. Either no nurturing at all or you open the door to a vulnerability that is bottomless.
The technique helped this Eight to break through her anger and allow intimacy: The approach was very confrontational. It makes you look at your relationship with your parents. I really cried and looked into my sadness. The container exercise allowed me for the first time to have my anger, and it makes you relate this back to childhood. I always felt like my partner could not handle my anger. It allowed me to know that he could handle my anger and gave me parameters around the intensity.
I was made responsible for looking in my own self for the causes. Finding out about how to express it, without causing harm. And the vulnerability of asking for what I have never gotten was powerful.Making It Work With Enneagram Type 8
At first, however, they may seem to have no needs in a way that belies the actual work they do: I had to do this work alone, between group sessions. Otherwise I would have lost too much face. In groups, I have this image of being a leader. When I did finally do some work in my group and even cried, I was amazed to hear others say that they still saw me as strong. They thought I had more guts because of it. One highly experienced couples therapist — herself an Eight — noted that many therapists expect the Eight in a couple to be the one to change.
Several Eights were aware that their abundant energy allowed them to mask the side-effects of substance abuse and high-risk behavior. I rationalize it by telling myself that I am so intense and that few people can match my intensity.
The drugs numb the pain. She saw me as much stronger than I was. I had a panic attack for the first time ever when I was in therapy with her. I knew this was coming from my fear of the therapy relationship. When I told her I was feeling dependent, she said something about how smart I was, and assured me I was stronger than I thought.
She was admiring my defense. I felt shame for my vulnerability, wanted her to hold me, and I was ashamed for even having that thought.
She was clearly outraged and angry: And you trusted him.
Where were your parents? What did they do? I do not recall ever feeling stood up for, so protected before that. Needless to say, I cried like a baby.
With her protecting me, my profound vulnerability could be released and honestly felt. It was an amazing moment. I had no idea I needed that sort of protection.