Spirit of the Enneagram: Type Eight Forum

A place for questions and reflections around the type eight enneastyle.

These are the best practices offered during the webinar:

What an Eight Can Do:

  • What can you do today to be gentle with yourself? Eights carry a moral imperative that burdens them with a corresponding anger that gives them the energy to bear it.
  • Eights profit from some kind of confession of their own faults. It eases their desire to punish others.
  • Nourish yourself by carefully studying nature this week. While the natural world is “red in tooth in claw,” also notice how many forms of life depend on or take care of each other.

3 Comments on “Spirit of the Enneagram: Type Eight Forum

  1. Hi. y’all – this is Marlis Beier and I’ve agreed to mentor this enneatype.
    I started out as a 3 for over 30 years (my mother introduced me to enneagram as a young person – she was a 3 (turned out to be a 7) and so I thought I was too. The reason I stuck with it was thinking that the worst in the world was to “fail” but really it was the vulnerability that “killed me”. I came out as an 8 at an enneagram contemplative retreat when a dear friend offered to me that I “might read 8′. I always avoided 8 because they were “arbitrary, mean and controlling”. Oi.
    My association with the childhood story of an 8 is feeling very young like I had no mothering and that I was on my own. I had to get very tough quickly to take care of myself, my mother and my siblings. Feeling vulnerable is so uncomfortable that I do anything to avoid it, like get in your face before you can get in mine.
    It’s been a long road to face into the shadow of being an 8 (like acknowledging that I can be vindictive) and also acknowledging my super powers. When there is a true crisis, I can hold the space for uncertainty, listening, leading people in a powerful way – I used to be an obstetrician. I know that for me to let go of my own agenda and listen to a Higher one, I want to slow down, let go of the intensity, lust, drive and be. Oh, it’s hard.
    So if you are on the 8 path or curious, send me a note and we’ll chat. love, Marlis
    p.s. I’m not one of those people who live on technology so it might be a little while before I respond to you, but trust the process – I will.

  2. Thanks Marlis for invitation. I am new to Ennea and found that 8 rather than 3 was probably my type. My childhood included as mentally ill mother and absent alcoholic dad. I recall early in life taking over meal prep and watching my siblings along with taking care of my mom. I would referee blow outs between my parents which sometimes were violent. This resulted in my drive to protect myself and others from any harm. I did this best in my professional life by being steps ahead of others unfortunately leaving others behind. The shadow side for me shows up as less than authentic with my intimate family and attachment to being right more than being graceful or kind.

  3. You describe a childhood that creates an 8. “Who’s the adult?” Is answered by – me at a way too young age. We become protected to survive an unsafe environment and decide that we better figure out how to take care of everyone else. Being vulnerable is not an option and offense seems much more tactical than defense. The challenge for me is letting love, nurturing in, trusting that I deserve the caring available to me. I’ve worked hard at becoming kind instead of controlling.