Do You Recognize These Behaviors In Yourself Or Others?
- You’re blunt and straightforward, but not in a cruel, demeaning, or unempathic way – usually, it is because you are being honest about what can be improved and are seeking fairness or to help others. Your honesty often alarms people because they are not used to people standing in their truth.
- Your ambition is tremendous: you have an endless drive and take-charge attitude to achieve your goals. Your determination and resourcefulness are top-tier.
- You are called “bossy” by people who misunderstand you (especially if you’re a woman) when you are being assertive about your desires or truthful about your accomplishments. People are used to women “shrinking” but you do not dim your light.
- You have a deep desire for justice: you are not afraid to stand up to people, no matter who they are, which can ruffle many feathers. As a truth-teller and changemaker, you can be polarizing.
- You build empires and change the world with your gifts and talents – and ferociously protect and defend the innocent while doing so.
Do you recognize these behaviors? If so, you may be an Enneagram 8 personality type.
What is The Enneagram Personality Test?
The Enneagram personality test has been used by psychologists since the 1970s. The elements of the Enneagram can be traced back to South American philosopher Oscar Ichazo and was adapted by psychiatrists Claudio Naranjo and John Lilly in the United States. You can learn more about the history and the validity of the Enneagram here.
Why Is Enneagram 8 The Most Misunderstood, Yet Powerful Enneagram Type for Women?
One of the most misunderstood yet powerful and influential enneagram types for women is the Enneagram 8 – The Challenger, also known as The Protector or The Leader. According to the Enneagram Insititute, “Eights are charismatic and have the physical and psychological capacities to persuade others to follow them into all kinds of endeavors—from starting a company, to rebuilding a city, to running a household, to waging war, to making peace.” Enneagram 8 types are confident, driven leaders with a need to control their environment. Yet there is a gender difference in the way they are treated by society. While Enneagram 8 men are expected to be and celebrated for being natural leaders, women with the Enneagram 8 personality type are often mischaracterized and feared due to gender stereotypes, assumptions and biases in society. This makes Enneagram 8 one of the most “dangerous” and powerful personality types for women, but in a good way.
Not only does the Enneagram 8 woman have the natural gifts and influence to create positive changes in her environment, she is able to potentially inhabit positions of power that might otherwise be denied to her due to her driven, passionate, and persistent nature, allowing her to create necessary and positive changes in the world. Yet what also makes this type dangerous for women is the way she may be mislabeled by society who is not used to seeing women exhibiting these characteristics. The Enneagram 8 woman defies gender stereotypes. Although she can certainly be nurturing in her own way, her motivation is to create change by “doing” rather than only validating and affirming. She may be told she is too “aggressive” or “intimidating” and other types may find her polarizing.
Here are some characteristics that makes this such an influential personality type, especially for women:
They stand up for what they believe in, regardless of the costs to their reputation or whose authority they may be challenging.
Enneagram 8 women have a reputation for being fearless and bold. This is what makes them astounding leaders as they are willing to bravely do the work others are too afraid to take on or say the taboo things most people will keep silent about. At the same time, they’re not afraid to speak up to people no matter who they are, which can ruffle many feathers. The decisive, straightforward, and truthful nature of the Enneagram 8 woman can be mischaracterized. Her passion is mistaken for intensity and her ability to tell it like it is can easily offend enablers and toxic people who don’t wish to be held accountable.
These types are the truth-tellers and the whistleblowers of the Enneagram and people who aren’t ready to accept responsibility for their actions or the truth likely won’t have the courage to face such a type head-on. The Enneagram 8 woman marches to the beat of her own drum without apologies – and observers of this type note that she is also seen literally “marching” even when she walks to her destination with purpose; this take-charge attitude is not only present in her spirit but the way she presents herself physically as she always takes up space in any room she enters. Many people are used to women people-pleasing, fawning, and shrinking themselves due to social conditioning, which is why meeting an Enneagram 8 woman can be disorienting for some people. Not only is she purposeful in her beliefs and strategies, she does not dim her own light. This can feel disturbing to those who have not owned their own power or are accustomed to women denying their strengths.
They are deemed domineering due to their natural assertiveness and confidence.
The Enneagram 8 woman, much like her male counterpart, has a need to maintain a certain level of control over her life and resists being controlled or harmed by others. People with the Enneagram 8 personality type have their guard up as they feel the need to protect themselves. One of their biggest fears is being exploited or taken advantage of if they show vulnerability; as a result, they take charge of all facets of their life to minimize this risk of harm. Enneagram 8s often try to micromanage their world so that it meets their high expectations and standards. This can often cause conflict with more diplomatic or avoidant personality types or people with lower standards who don’t wish to be called out or asked to do better. When people come across an Enneagram 8 woman, some may be tempted to typecast her as bossy, aggressive, lacking in empathy or arrogant even if she is behaving the same way as a man with the Enneagram 8 personality would and is simply exhibiting healthy pride in her accomplishments and is only asserting herself in a straightforward manner.
Granted, people can be arrogant and lacking in empathy while possessing any personality type. An Enneagram 8 of any gender is no different: if they are toxic or narcissistic, that is a core problem that goes beyond personality type. But a healthy, empathic Enneagram 8 woman who has empathy has usually earned her confidence. Her hard work, talents, and skill sets often speak for themselves. It is important to distinguish between healthy confidence which the Enneagram 8 woman has an abundance of and the arrogance that is projected onto her from insecure people.
They will fight on behalf of the vulnerable which can dismantle the status quo.
They aren’t called “The Protector” for nothing. One of the biggest stereotypes about the Enneagram 8 woman is that she is not emotional or compassionate because she doesn’t waste time on social niceties or political maneuvers just to get ahead. Yet she’s more likely to actually get things done than spend her energy not being authentic or kissing up to people. In reality, Enneagram 8 women have a natural instinct to protect the marginalized groups of society and defend their loved ones with a ferocity that shocks onlookers. They can be sensitive to the emotions, needs, and rights of others. If they are empathic leaders, they have a deep conviction and longing to use their power for the greater good. They are a force of nature that inevitably creates changes in the status quo, usually for the better. Since the Enneagram 8 woman goes through far more adversity due to the social stigmatization of her natural traits, she is uniquely positioned and prepared to handle anything that comes her way, alchemizing obstacles into opportunities and achievements. Whatever their “mission” in the world may be, rest assured the Enneagram 8 woman has the drive and the willpower to complete it.