Enneagram Pairing Type 8 & 8

8 - The Protective Challenger

Protector, Alpha Leader, Champion, Maverick, Commander, Negotiator, Boss

8 - The Protective Challenger

Protector, Alpha Leader, Champion, Maverick, Commander, Negotiator, Boss


Core Pattern

Eights are part of the Gut Triad, and they represent the boldest version of this typology cluster. In fact, the phrase “My way or the highway!” was probably invented by an Eight.

Eights can be intense and have a large presence that can be felt energetically in a room, taking up a lot of space. Uniquely, Eights can be unashamed of this aspect of themselves or just as easily not notice how powerfully they galvanize attention.

This strong Eight energy can also manifest as anger or aggression at times-which can be triggering to those around them. When wounded, the triggered Eight can remind you of a mother bear flying into a rage to protect her young. Because of this wounding sustained in childhood, Eights often need to take the lead in life to feel safe.

This is essentially a shortcut that works for the Eight. Their leadership can bring a deep passion and vitality to an Eight's projects and relationships. Here is a person that can take care of business! Eights can also easily step up and take charge when a situation is being poorly managed and take the director's chair. This tendency to lead can manifest as being territorial, and staking a claim to a particular domain.

Interestingly enough, beneath the surface of an Eights strong confidence lies a soft vulnerability. This gentle side is most likely to appear when an Eight feels comfortable and can relax fully in their environment.

Shared Values

As this is a double type combination, the values will be the same, influenced only slightly by each person's primary instinct. Eights value justice and defending the little dog, communicating emotions and facing problems head on, no-bullshit and real honesty, doing things properly, and anything FULL. Eights are intense, with a deep passion for experiencing all of life. They are often very embodied, with an innate sense of pleasure and instinct.

How You Complement Each Other

Two Eights in cahoots have truly met their match. Together they rival one another's intensity which can be extremely productive and satisfying. They understand and trust one another, creating a much-needed respite.

Side by side their shared zeal and passion for life can be parlayed into a productive mutuality that can accomplish a great many things. Whether conducting business deals or completing home projects, there is an air of true partnership that this pair exudes.

These two usually do not leave tasks undone or get lost in idle fantasy. If they want to do something, they take the necessary steps without overthinking them. Together, there is a real sense of “we've got it covered”, and these two usually do.

With another Eight, both parties can relax and ease into the natural flow of life. They can soften their habits of vigilance and see the beauty of the world around them together. This pair can really help one another to shine simply by being themselves.

How You Can Get Into Trouble

The intensity of an Eight can at times spur people to make sharp judgments about them. Most often the complaints that are levied against them suggest they are too forceful or just “too much”.

Naturally, two Eights together would also find themselves making similar judgments towards one another when in disagreement-whether personally or professionally. This is a painful predicament to be in, especially because when challenged or threatened their easy, trustworthy confidence can escalate into fierce anger quickly.

There is likely nothing so loud, heated, and unconcerned with pain as two Eight arguing. These two will almost always trigger an ego power struggle, and the need for control will be palpable. Additionally, Eights do not like to be seen as weak and vulnerable, and this defensive posturing only creates more possibility for accusations, volatility, and stalemate.

Despite being able to throw barbs with the best of them and to kick someone while they are down, Eights have remarkably thin skin. They feel deeply wounded at the slightest hint of judgment or meanness. Also because of their territorial tendencies, angry Eights will often lay claim to a particular domain or space for the duration of their upset-beware all ye who enter!

What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of

All Eights can identify with acting rashly or intensely as a cover-up for much deeper feelings of sadness, softness, or vulnerability. When working with or relating to another Eight, keep this at the forefront of your mind. Another Eight is gentle and tender on the inside, just like you.

In spite of understanding this deep vulnerability, acknowledging it formally can cause an Eight to feel threatened or called out, which can trigger aggression and upset. Finding clever ways to bond over this shared sensitivity can help ease possible tension.

Power struggles also come with the territory when two Eights are in relationship.The best way to avoid these power struggles is by thinking ahead of ways to share leadership or take turns being the decision maker in large projects and for making important choices.

Eights can also hold on to private injustices. These can be landmines in an Eight's psyche, leading to disagreements or triggering if not related to with care. It is best to make sure each Eight is aware of what the other Eight might qualify for inclusion in this category. The flavor of these injustices will be unique to each person, they can be things such as unfair situations or unrighteous behaviors.

It is also important to note that no matter how angry an Eight gets, there is always an opportunity for reconciliation as long as both parties are willing to soften and take responsibility for their words and actions. Generally, Eights desire closeness and intimacy, and they will often do the work necessary to repair their connections with others.

How You Can Support One Another

Eights can support one another by enacting thoughtful communication, directed action and achieving goals side by side.

Two Eights create a container of safety for one another. In this protected space, they can let their guard down and open their big (well-hidden) hearts. Listening closely to one another's grievances with care, speaking up in defense and including one another in conversations helps to make sure each Eight feels they are being treated fairly.

This prevents any situations of mistrust that might develop when an Eight has misgivings about the people around them. Eights are independent thinkers with high standards, respecting these characteristics and supporting one another's growth will help the Eights reach their true potential.

Direct action in the world for two Eights can be endless. Since there is an abundance of energy and vitality between these two, it should be harnessed. Eights are tough and no one can motivate an Eight like an Eight.

Each brings their own willpower and capacity for decisiveness to the partnership. Where other folks might bow out or buckle, the Eight perseveres. Two Eights can use this to their advantage.

This is a “minimal talk, mostly action” kind of team. Instead of daydreaming about building their house on the beach, Eights will have their Pensacola house built within the first year of their relationship. Achieving goals that might feel loftier in other partnerships, can be the main focus of this one.

In A Romantic Context

Two Eights in a romantic relationship feel safe to share their hearts and their lives with someone who truly understands their drive, and can match its intensity with equal force. Together, they are never “too much” instead they are motivated and inspired by the passion each individual contributes to their partnership.

This couple also tends to ground each other and help each other to relax in the world, which is not what you would expect from such high-intensity people. This comfortable emotional connection provides them with the essential foundation for creating all their future empires. Emotional security leads to natural confidence in one another that only grows over time.

Together they have what it takes to handle any situation, tackle any obstacle, or achieve any dream. Two Eights in a relationship can depend on one another for guidance in a way most Eights do not feel they can depend on anyone. This results in deep feelings of respect, which in turn means they want to settle disagreements cleanly and without complication.

Of course, Eights being Eights, this relationship also has tremendous potential to be volatile. With two strong personalities, power and control become weapons if either person feels they are being dominated against their will.

The quick to temper Eight can find themselves rapidly in an escalated battle of words with their equally matched Eight partners. Power issues with regard to money, career, and status are common ways this couple misaligns. Hurt feelings and insecurities can soon lead to paranoia, leaving the once vulnerable and open Eight couple closed off and shut down.

The rich intimacy that two Eights generate can also be lost if one or both become disjointed around sex and fidelity. Feeling rejected and hurt each Eight can retreat away from the partnership to steady themselves.

This tendency only further divides the union between these two. Once trust is lost in another and faith in their relationship is diminished, things will end quickly with pain and intensity.

It is imperative for those in this partnership to avoid power trips (unless consensual and conscious) and apologize to one another after each and every argument. By coming back to their hearts and their love for one another-rather than proving their rightness Eights will repair their connection to one another.

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Max Marmer

Max Marmer is a Multidimensional Entrepreneur, Investor, Writer, Coach, Biohacker and Systems Theorist dedicated to supporting and enabling the flourishing of humanity in the 21st century.


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