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Enneagram Type 8 Blueprint: The Aggressive Protector

awareness better life enneagram fear habits happiness online courses painful emotions relationships stress suffering videos Feb 02, 2022

(By Eldad Ben-Moshe)

❤ Hey there Better Lifers!


Welcome to another episode of The Enneagram Blueprint.

And this time we're going to talk about Type Eight of the Enneagram, The Aggressive Protector.


But before we go ahead and do that, as usual, two words of wisdom.

If you haven't seen it in previous episodes of this show, I want to recommend that you'll see the introduction video, that's the first video in this show.

This video tells you a lot about what is the Enneagram and how is it so successful in changing so many people's lives. It gives you a good breakdown of what it is, a little bit of how to use it, and how not to use it. Really good starting point.

And even if you already know the Enneagram, it can level up the field a bit as to what I mean when I say certain things and so on and so on.

The second suggestion I have is to watch the first five or six minutes of the video about type one. Because it was the first type that we discussed, I shared some general tips about finding your type and about the names of the types and stuff like that.

Of course, all the other videos are wonderful and great, but you would expect to see things about type two in the video about type two.

But these two things, if I don't tell you about them, you might not know that they exist and you'll just watch this type and that type and miss those two important things that I just mentioned, which is why I mentioned them.


So far in the Enneagram blueprint series, we had the introduction video - what is the enneagram; type one - the critical reformer; type two - the proud helper; type three - the self-promoting achievertype four - the dramatic creativetype five - the detached intellectualtype six - the doubting loyal; and type seven - the hedonistic visionary.


This is not my full online course or non-online, in-person course. This is a taste. So there's only so much I can dive into - even in an online course there's only so much I can dive into.

For more details about my Enneagram courses, visit E-School, our Enneagram school, at

But the important thing is that here, in the Enneagram Blueprint series, I'm going to give you the essential blueprint of the nine types. It will be a quick description of each type, and it is going to be beautiful.

And now, without further ado, and just like a good eight, let's go straight to the point and talk about type eight of the Enneagram, The Aggressive Protector.

Type 8's Blueprint: The Aggressive Protector.


1. Type 8's core belief.

So as always, we start with the core belief. Why?

Because that's where all the personality structures stem from. And again, go to the first video, the introduction video, I gave you a better explanation of why I started from there and how it all comes from the core belief.

But also throughout this video, I'll give you the pointers here and there to show you, that's why we do it in a structured, step-by-step way, and why we start from the core belief.

So even if you're not going to watch the introduction video right now, you'll have a few reminders here and there of why it's so important to start from the core belief and not, for example, from the behavior, which is what you see a lot when you read or see videos about the Enneagram.

So for type eight, the core belief is that the world is a jungle, or a battlefield, where only the strong survive. And it doesn't have to be that they actually believe that the world is a jungle because it is a metaphor. Get the essence behind it.

The world is a jungle or it's like a jungle, or like a battlefield, where only the strong survive. It's a harsh, cold place where the powerful get to rule and they get to live and the weak are the prey of the powerful ones.

The weak are being used by the powerful ones. They are at the mercy of the powerful ones. Or they might be even literally their prey if you talk about the jungle or what sadly sometimes humans do to each other.

So the world is a survival jungle. It's a survival war. It's not just a war or just a jungle. It's survival. The survival of the strongest. And the strong take advantage of the weak. And therefore I must be strong. I must be powerful.

I must be in control. I must show strength. I don't only must be powerful, I also must show strength. I can never, ever show weakness.

Nobody can survive in the jungle if they're showing how weak they are. The predators of the jungle will come and with their instincts, they'll know exactly which are the weak ones, the most likely to be successfully chased down and eaten alive. Because they're predators and that's their instincts, and that's the world we're living in.

If you're weak and if you're showing that you're weak, if the other people - especially the stronger ones - will know that you're weak, it's the end of you. So I must be strong.

I must be powerful. I must be in control. But I also must show that. And I cannot show that I am not strong, that I'm not powerful, that I'm not in control.


2. Type 8's core need.


Now, the two things that stem directly from the core belief are our core need and our core fear.

So if that's my core belief, my core need is control.

As I always say, all of us, no matter your type, have two core needs, which are to be loved and to be safe or survive. Safety or survival, and love.

On top of that, each type has their own core need that is unique for them. It's not unique in the sense that others don't want it or don't need it, but only for this type, it is the core need.

So if the world is a jungle where only the strong survive, I must be in control for my protection.

And in some types, we see more clearly the connection between the type-specific core need and at least one of the issues of survival and love or safety and love. In type eight, we can see it very clearly, right?

I must be in control not just for the sake of fun and having control. I must be in control for my own protection, for my own survival, because it's a jungle out there, and only the strong survive.

Now I must be in control and I have to be in control 24/7. I cannot be caught off guard.

If you are caught off guard in a war, if you're caught off guard in the jungle, it's the end of you. It's literally a survival battle. Life is just constant survival. And I must not just be in control, but I must be standing guard 24/7, not dropping my shields down at any point.

What does it mean, though, to be in control?

We understand that it's a metaphor - the jungle, and the battlefield, right? I'm not really looking around all the time, literally, to see if a tiger comes in or it's not always that I fear people will literally come and kill me. So let's talk about that.

So one aspect of it is that I have to be in control of my own emotions, of how I am and what I show to others. We spoke before not to show weakness, not to show my soft sides, because these are all dangerous things.

I must be strong so I must show strength. I can't afford to be weak or afraid or hesitant or not know what I'm doing or, again, to give an image that I don't know what I'm doing.

I must control my thoughts. I must control my actions. I must control my life.

But it doesn't just end with me. I must also control, or dominate, my environment. And that's conditions around me, and that's decisions that are made around me, and other people that I need to control.

I need to control all that and so much more for my safety. So I also need to control others and the environment and everything for the same reason I need to control myself. For my own protection, for my safety, because it's a cold, harsh world, a jungle where only the strong survive. It's a battlefield.

So with that sense of control, another way to look at it is that I must be the boss. I must be the Alpha. I must be the ruler because they are in control. The second in command is not in control.

So there is a war in this jungle. Only the strong survive, and I must be in control for my own protection.

Now, all this comes directly from what? From the core belief. It's not just a random need. It's based on that. This is what I believe about the world.

And the thing with the core belief, when I or other Enneagram people who work with the Enneagram, when we talk to people of the types, an eight or nine or whatever, and we speak about the core belief, many times what we hear is "what do you mean? It's not a belief. It's just the way things are."

"The world is a survival jungle thingy. Just look around you. The weak don't survive. It's a fact. Look at nature, look at humanity. The strong win, the weak loses. It's a fact."

When you talk to other people, you understand that it's not necessarily true. And that's a good thing, for example, that comes out from group works that use the Enneagram.

We have groups of people from different types or other things and events that we do in the Enneagram school, the E-School, which if you want to get more details about what we do there, go to, like Enneagram school.

So the point I was making, though, is it's so ingrained. It's like we have lenses or glasses and we don't know that we have them on us. So if the lenses are blue, and we think the world is blue. We don't understand that it's because of the lenses that we put on.

So that core belief is those lenses through which we see everything, and that paints everything and that's why we act and think and believe in certain ways, especially our automatic patterns.

So that's, again, why it's so important to start from the core belief and work through this methodically. It's not just a random core need. And now while we're going to speak about is the core fear you'll see that that's not random either. That comes directly from the core belief.

And if that's my core belief about the world, then my core fear will be being weak. If the world is a jungle and only the strong survive, the worst thing that can happen is that I'll be weak - because then I'm done.

If it's a war, I'm losing the war. If it's a jungle, I'll be eaten. That's what happens to the weak, right? So I can't afford to be weak or to be seen as weak.

And that part about "or to be seen as weak" is another way that I can demonstrate again why it's so important to start from the core belief, and to work methodically and step by step as we're talking about each type.

Because understanding the core belief helps us understand why showing that I'm weak is at least as bad and as dangerous as actually being weak.

And you can make arguments in both cases which one is worse, to be weak or to be seen as weak, but it's going to be a close call. It's not just about how I am. It's also how I'm seen and experienced by others.

Why? Because of the core belief. Because this is how the world is and this is the battle and the jungle. I'm protecting myself from others. So even if I'm strong, but they are thinking that I'm weak, I'm inviting attacks, and that's not good.

They'll come and eventually, even the strong fearless eight, eventually there's only so much you can do against the entire jungle coming at you because they see that you're weak, or at least they think that you're weak.

So again, I'm saying all that just to show how understanding the entire structure and doing that methodically step by step helps us get a better understanding as opposed to just reading, 'okay, the eights are acting like this and that, and they like these movies, and they have a tendency to speak like that and do like that.'

No. I'm giving you the foundations so that all the rest will make so much more sense and it will also be easier to remember it.


3. Type 8's core fear.

So their core fear is being weak or being seen as weak. And weak it's one aspect of it. It's a generic name. We can also talk about being powerless or being vulnerable. Everything that will make it hard or impossible for me to survive in this jungle of life.

Remember, the weak get taken advantage of. The weak are the prey of the strong. So same for powerless, for vulnerable. I can't afford to do that. I can't afford to give that away, that impression away - that this is what I am.

So with that in mind, again, not everything really seems like a survival issue - while it's in the back of the mind and that's what operates everything, so unconsciously, it goes all the way as deep as the trigger of survival.

But at times I'll only be conscious of fear of being harmed or manipulated or being at the mercy of others. And it won't in my conscious mind go all the way to complete lack of safety in the sense of 'I won't survive anymore'.

'I'll be controlled, I'll be dependent, I'll be mistreated by others, I'll be humiliated.' But these are different versions of the same thing. And if you follow the rabbit hole or the thread deep enough, you'll see that behind them there's that same fear of not surviving.

So I must be strong. I must at least look strong because of all of that. And if that means in this case I can't afford to be humiliated or I can't afford to be manipulated or mistreated or dependent on someone, that still comes from the same core fear. These are different variations of the same core fear.

Same thing for not being able to be caught off guard. Same story.

So with that in mind, let's put another piece of compassion here. I'm saying 'another' because I'm referring to other videos that I've done. So many times, we think about eights as strong, fearless, invincible even.

You can't hurt them. You can't harm them. They're super strong, they can take anything. But once we understand what's behind it all, once we understand why they have to be so strong and why they cannot show weakness. And even as we go along this video, you'll see why they sometimes are aggressive or bullies.

We don't justify the actions, but we can have compassion for them from where it comes from.

If I understand that it's coming from a place of fear, if I understand that eights go around the world, consciously or unconsciously, with a lot of anxiety and fear and stress of being caught off guard or being eaten alive in this jungle if they dare drop their guard for a second, if they dare show weakness or vulnerability, or anything that might signal predators to come and get me.

You know how hard it is to live like that 24/7?

it's really hard. Now, again, I'm not saying we should be okay with aggression and bullying and stuff like that. But separate the action from the inner motivation and inner space, psychological, emotional, et cetera, that the action came from. Okay?

So I can have compassion for the person and disagree with the action. And that's a huge thing we can do with the Enneagram, is have compassion for people that we would not necessarily have otherwise.

Because if I see this bully there, I'll hate him and I'll think he's a horrendous person or whatever. But if I see what's happening behind that, I can say that the action is horrendous, but the person is just as wounded as hurt and everybody else, even if they seem super strong, super tough.

So it's hard to see it. But the Enneagram gives us the ability to see through it, see beyond appearances, and know what's really happening inside there.

So that's another piece in the puzzle that I want you to know. And another reason why it's important to, at least in my opinion, to be methodical and study this as a step by step kind of process and not just as a bulk of actions and behaviors and traits and slogans about the type.

4. Type 8's strategy and tactics.

So with that in mind, now that we know the core belief, the core fear, and the core need, as always, with all the types, the strategy is our desire to fulfill the need and avoid what we are afraid of.

That's true for everybody. That's the strategy. I want to fulfill my need and I want to avoid what I'm afraid of.

Now, the tactics is what changes between one type and another type. And that's how to fulfill the need and how to avoid what we are afraid of.

So for type eight, to be loved and to be safe and to avoid being weak and looking weak and being taken advantage of, I must be strong. I must be in control. I must display strength and control, and I must avoid displaying weakness.


5. Type 8's automatic focus of awareness.


And to do that and to serve that entire mechanism, the automatic focus of awareness for eights is power and control.

So I walk in this jungle and my mind has to scan all the time for danger because it's not safe here. And in that sense, danger doesn't come from the weak.

A lion is not worried about the ant, not that ants are weak, but you get what I'm saying, right? They have their strength, but not necessarily that kind of strength.

So my automatic focus of awareness has to see who is powerful around here, who has control - and that's why the automatic focus of awareness goes to power and control.

I'm going in the jungle, I'm seeing all these animals, and now I'm scanning automatically, unconsciously.

My mind tells me, okay, that lion there, he is the alpha Lion, he has control and power here. I'm going in this room, that's the boss of this group, and so on and so on.

Their automatic focus goes to 'who has control here? Who has the power here?'. And 'how do I get control and power in this situation, in this group, with this person?'

And not just how can I get it, but also 'how can I best show it?', show and display power and control in this environment, in this group, with these people, with that specific person, and so on and so on.

And it goes to anything. If I play basketball and I'm in the team, how do I display strength and control and grab them? If I'm just a newbie in the team, I just arrived, my first day, I'm looking around and my automatic focus, without me intentionally wanting that or consciously doing that, it knows, it feels, it senses who has the control, who is the boss here, which player calls the shots in this team.

So that's where the automatic focus of awareness goes to, again, consciously and unconsciously.


6. Type 8's automatic focus of actions.


Now with that, the automatic focus of actions goes to controlling themselves, which is again, controlling the emotions, controlling the actions, controlling - or dominating - others and the environment, and hiding their weakness.

And you can see how it all really lines up with what we said from the beginning, from the core belief through the core need to core fear. These automatic focuses are there to serve the entire structure. And the structure is there as a result of the core belief.

If my core belief was very different, if my core belief was that I must have fun, like the seven for example - it's a bit more complicated than that for sevenswatch the video of seven and you'll see what I mean, but the stereotypical understanding about seven is that I need to have fun, the world is full of adventures and I'm here to have fun and so on and so on.

Then I will have completely different focus of awareness and focus of actions because my goal will be different. My core need is not to have control, It's more about having fun. And again, I'm putting it very superficial right now. Watch the type seven video and you'll see.

But what I'm saying is that if your core belief is different, your focus of awareness and your focus of actions are different. And they are just like these bodyguards and automatic patterns that are there to serve the entire mechanism in light of the core belief.

Change the core belief, you'll have to change the focus of awareness and focus of action in order to get your core need and avoid your fear, what you're afraid of, going back to the strategy.


7. Type 8's self-image.


So another thing that is there as a result of it all is my self-image. If all that is true about me as an eight, if that's my core belief and core need and core fear and all that, I have to have a certain self-image.

For example, I cannot have a self-image of 'I'm weak' or 'I don't know what I'm doing'. With that self-image I won't survive at all in this jungle of a world.

So for eights, my self-image is that I am strong, I am powerful, I'm tough, I'm the boss. Now, you'll see, it might not necessarily be true. Not all eights are the bosses, right?

Not all eights are inside really feeling all the time that they're that strong. We'll get to it, there are levels of development and all that, but they need to have that self-image because of the core belief.

Because I cannot walk in this world, if the world is a jungle and only the strong survive, I cannot walk in this world believing I'm weak, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm powerless. You'll go nuts.

It's really almost impossible to live like that as an eight. So you have to have, to some degree, that self-image.

Of course, life is life, and sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down and in a certain day even an eight will feel like he's not strong today or get depressed, they are still humans.

But we're generalizing - throughout the life of an eight, that's a self-image you will expect to see from an eight: I'm strong, I'm powerful, I'm tough, I'm the boss, I'm direct, I'm bold, I'm decisive.

I can do anything and no one can stop me. I can overcome anything. I can achieve anything. I'll stop at nothing.

Why? Because I have to be strong. I have to be in control. I have to dominate myself, others, the environment. I might as well believe that I can do it because I need to do it.

I have no other choice. It's a survival issue. It's not like, 'okay, it will be nice to be strong. It would be nice to be able to do anything.'

No. Everything in me has to cooperate and be recruited for that strategy if I want to survive. So I have to believe that. Otherwise, I'm doomed.

Another aspect of their self-image, and that's where the protector also comes in when I call the eight the aggressive protector - there's the shadow aspect in the name, the aggressive, and the higher level aspect in the name, the protector.

So another part of the self-image is 'I am a protector of the weak, the disempowered, the underprivileged; and I'm compassionate, I'm just, I'm honorable. I have honor, my word is sacred.'

You can see a lot of activists, who unsurprisingly are the top of their group or at least very loud in their group, as eights, because we are the protectors of the week.

There's a super famous vegan activist in Israel. Her name is Tal Gilboa. It's a classic example of an eight. Speaks all the time how she speaks for the animals, to save the disempowered and the weak, they don't have their voice.

Whatever you think about veganism right now, it's not an issue. I am vegan, and I'm not discounting what she's saying or not saying she's right or wrong, I'm just giving you an example though about the protector of the weak.

It's not just I love animals and I'm doing it for them. Of course it's there, but the narrative that comes there is "I speak for them. They're the weakened ones."

And you can just take any example. Martin Luther King jr. is a classic eight too. So just take any group, and many times you'll find activists, among the activists you'll find some eights coming from that agenda of being the protector of the weak. Whether they boldly claim it or not, that's a different issue.

Another part of their self-image is 'I'm honest and opinionated, and that's part of being strong. Only weak people are afraid to say their truth. I'll say my truth and I'll say it as it is. I'll say what I think. I say what I see, I'll call out what I think is real and what I think is bullshit.'

Only weak people are afraid to do that. And that's part of how I demonstrate my power, my strength. Again, consciously and unconsciously. It might not just be that I do it consciously because I want to show that I'm the boss here.

But it's also unconscious because I'm really not afraid of you. I'm really not afraid of saying what I think.


8. Type 8's gifts (“healthy”/ balanced/ high level of development).


So with all that, that's a pretty good segue to jump into the behavior part. We just talked about what I say and how I say it and all that.

That leads us into the behavior part, which by now I hope you understand why I don't start with it like many others do. It's usually sexier and juicier in a way to start there. But I have my ways and I hope you liked them.

So with the behavior, as always, we speak about a spectrum. There's the unhealthy or unbalanced or lower levels of development part of the type, and then there's the healthy or balanced or higher level of development of the type.

And of course, doing your inner work is one of the huge, or maybe the most important, factors of helping yourself move from the lower to the more balanced to the higher levels of development.

And you'll see it's kind of like many times two sides of the same coin. But I'll break it down to two zones of the spectrum, the healthy and the unhealthy, the high level or the low level.

And understand there's a spectrum. And we fluctuate also throughout the day or throughout our lives. Like any work, it's a process.

Sometimes you'll be here and then you'll regress and then you go back here and so on and so on. So it's not 'I'm high level of development, and that's it.' It's all much more alive and fluid than that.

But with that in mind, let's speak about the behaviors and start with the healthier part of the behaviors.

So eights are natural-born leaders. They're charismatic. They're strong. They're very confident. They're very powerful. They're very dominant. They have a strong presence. They know how to run a team. They know how to be a boss.

And by now I hope you understand also why.

And that's again and I'm saying that a lot in this video, but that's the way it is today, that's again showing you why it's important, at least in my humble opinion, to start with the building blocks of where it comes from, the core belief, core fear, core need and all that.

Because you'll see more and more as we go through the behaviors, how they are a result of that.

If I believe the world's a jungle and only strong survive and you can't be weak and all that, I have to be charismatic and strong and confident and powerful and dominant, or at least make people believe that I am.

My survival depends on that. I can't just 'I don't care. I don't know.' That's not me. That's not an eight - because I can't allow myself to be like that, for better or worse.

And we'll get to the prices that they pay for the strategy and you'll see there are prices for that strategy like any other strategy of any type.

So - natural born leaders and charismatic and strong and so on and so on. People trust them and feel confident and protected under their leadership. I remind you the aggressive protector.

They are strong, and that's also emotionally strong, which is huge and not always discussed about the eights so much. They are emotionally very strong.

They're human like everybody else. They can inside be less strong than we think, and we'll get to that, I have a metaphor for you about how they are with the strong and the soft sides of them. But they generally are strong emotionally too.

They can run things calmly even when things are getting crazy.

Even when we're in crisis mode they can run them calmly, courageously, efficiently, in an orderly manner like a good commander or a boss that's on top of the situation and knows what needs to be done and how to talk to people, and who needs to do this and who needs to do that.

They are great in that, again, in a higher level of development we're talking. When everybody else is panicking, they'll be there as the good strong leader to help make things right and take care of things.

So it's so natural for them to do all that and be like that - leaders, charismatic, strong and stuff like that - that even they themselves take it for granted, or mostly they themselves, others don't usually.

I had a client, one of my eight clients as a coach. She had a lot of confidence, and part of the way I coach is I talk to them and we deep dive into who and how they are and all that. I asked her, "How are you so confident? Where is your confidence coming from?"

Of course, within the context of what she wanted to work on, and we got to that - it doesn't matter right now how or why. But what was interesting was her answer.

"How are you so confident? Where did it come from? You always had that? Somehow you did something to develop that?"

And she told me - "What do you mean?" She was surprised. She didn't understand what I'm talking about, what's this question?

"What do you mean? Everyone has that. Everyone has confidence. It's like you'll ask me, how do I have eyes."

It's like for them, it's so natural that they take it for granted. They don't even notice that they have that.

They don't notice how strong they are and how powerful their effect is on people. They don't notice that it's actually not everybody is that confident or that strong.

With different things, not necessarily confidence but other things, it would be similar with other types.

They take some part of their behavioral abilities for granted because we feel, I go back to what I said about the core belief, it's like, "What do you mean? I don't believe that is how the world is, that is how the world is."

So we think everybody has the same lenses about the world. And out of that come the feeling, conscious or unconscious, that "of course, everybody has that confidence. Some have a little bit more, a bit less, but come on, it's natural. We're humans, we all have that." We don't.

So another part of their behavior - again, in the higher levels of development - they get things done. They make things happen. They can really overcome any obstacle, almost any obstacle, just like we saw in their self-image.

They love challenges. They're not afraid of them. They're super strong-willed. They're determined. They're hardworking. They're assertive, in order to get things done.

And let's make the distinction between assertive and aggressive, especially when I call them the aggressive protector. And again, remember, aggressive is on the shadow side, the lower levels of development.

In the higher level of development, they'll be assertive. They'll be good with their power, let's put it this way for now.

So they have that in them, too, as a classic pattern of behavior, automatic behavior, behaviors you can expect to see from a higher level eight or even balanced, not just the high level.

They are not afraid of conflict. They actually even see it sometimes as a good important thing for resolving situations and moving forward and overcoming obstacles.

And again, it's not true for all of us. Not necessarily at all and not necessarily in that level, to that extent.

They're great entrepreneurs. They're very independent.

They want that independence, It's part of their game in the sense of 'I have to take care of my safety here in this jungle', going back to what we discussed before about what's going on behind the scenes, where it's all coming from.

So that part about independence is a good place to open a little door to an important principle. I talk a lot about it, and you might remember that from the first video, the introduction video.

And that principle is that it's all about the motivation and not the behavior, which again, goes to why I start from core belief and core fear and stuff like that.

So, for example, both type eight and type seven want that independence. But sevens want that independence because it gives them freedom. If you've seen or you will see the video about type seven, you'll understand more about that.

Eights like independence or need and want independence because it gives them control and safety.

So you can see a person really clinging to their independence, for example, and you might think they're seven, you might think they're an eight because you look at the behavior and you maybe read about sevens that they need independence, or about eight, whatever you read and you just remembered.

You'll look at your girlfriend and you'll see, oh, she's just so hung up about being independent and you'll tag her or try to identify her Enneagram type and you'll think that. You might as well just guess. And it's okay to guess. But just remember you are guessing and you don't necessarily know.

The way to know is to deep dive into what's behind it all. What's the motivation? Why is it so important for her to be independent?

And that's where the answers about things like typing ourselves, or if you're a coach or therapist and you work with people, others - don't look at the behavior and think that you know the type. It's way deeper than that.

Another behavior that we can expect from them in the higher levels of development - we spoke about assertive before. Now I'll take it to the place of they know what they want, and they will do what it takes.

A classic way to think about eights is the sentence, 'when there is a will, there is a way'. That's a very 8ish sentence. I don't know who coined it, but it's a very 8ish sentence. When there's a will, there's a way. So they know what they want and they will do what it takes to get it.

And another aspect of their behavior, they're not afraid to do what it takes. They can take courageous actions and they can make courageous decisions. They can put themselves in danger.

They take life by the horns. They deal with life's challenges courageously, sometimes heroically even. They take necessary risks. And remind you again, we're talking about the higher level of development.

In lower levels, they might look like they're doing that, but they might do it from a very different motivation, and they might actually be not so heroic, but more of an unhealthy kind of behavior. We'll talk about that later.

So they're great at motivating and helping people do what it takes to overcome tough situations. On the higher levels, they can harness all those qualities they have to help others do the same, because we're not all the same. Right?

At the core of it, you can say yes, especially if you go spiritually, we're all the same. In some aspects of our psychology - we all run towards pleasure and run away from pain, what changes is our definition of what will bring us pleasure and what will bring us pain.

But there are some things that in the core of it we're the same, but in the form, in the way it manifests, the different forms and ways it manifests, we are different.

So some of us have less confidence and we are not really well equipped with doing what it takes to overcome tough situations. And eights, it's second nature for them.

They not only can do it for themselves, but they can help others do it too. And that's a beautiful quality that they have.

And again, as the protector and the leader, they can help their people overcome obstacles and go through tough situations and do what it takes and get things done or get out of the situation they're in.

Now, something important to keep in mind when we're talking about strength and control and all that. Remember, like I said in the introduction video, this is a dynamic module and a complex module.

So the modality of the Enneagram, it's not like, 'okay, you're an eight, all the eight are the same. Whatever.' No.

If you put 1000 people with eight as their primary type, their dominant type, you'll still have a thousand different people - both because they're individuals, but also because Enneagram-wise, it's a complex dynamic model. It's not just the main type.

You have arrows, wings, tritypes, levels of development, instincts, and so on and so on. So you actually will have a lot of variations, right? Remember the nine rooms analogy?

So it's more of a complex of how much this person is in the eight-room, and how much is he in nine room and how much is he in the four-room and how much is he in the three-room and so on and so on and so on.

So there's going to be a lot of differences and variations, but behind that, the thing that operates the whole thing is the same.

So for example, I'll mention the wings, even though it's an introduction video. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just understand the essence of it and don't worry about the technicalities of what wings are.

If you want to know more about that, go to my Enneagram school, The E-School, at, and we talk about wings and arrows and other things.

But for the sake of what I was just saying now, an eight with a seven wing will have a very different display of strength than an eight with a nine wing.

The intensity, the amount, the ways and forms in which the strength will be displayed would be very different than an eight with a nine wing. You can expect the eight with a nine wing to be a softer eight in that sense.

Maybe, think energetically, It's not necessarily an introverted person, but just think of how an introverted power display would be like versus an extroverted power display would be like as a metaphor, as energy.

There are definitely eights with a nine wing that are extroverted and eights with a seven wing that are introverted, just feel the different energy.

Because I'm talking about strength, it's really easy to think about strong energy that is even exploding or like a tank or whatever, that kind of strength. But it's not necessarily that.

It can be a more quiet person that just says one word in the right time, in the right tone, with the right look, and everybody gets it.

So there are variations of that style, but it's still about the power, the control and all that. So that was important to me to say.

It's kind of like what I said about seven's fun thing that is personal, and the classic seven is party time and hedonistic and all that, the classic meaning of hedonistic, and high energy, but some sevens, for them fun is to read a book at home.

So it's still the same essence and motivation and idea - with a different manifestation, different form, which is another reason why we need to look at the motivation and not the behavior, to understand the people that we're talking with, or ourselves, or working on ourselves or where things come from.

Or if you're a coach or a therapist, another reason why you really want to know the Enneagram well and not just tag according to behavior, and I see a lot of therapists who are wonderful therapists and do a great job, but when it comes to the Enneagram, because they didn't bother really studying, It's just nice and 'okay, I'll get some from here and some from here, and I'll read a little bit here, a little bit here.'

And usually what you read in that level and what you get exposed to even in deeper levels is about how they behave - that's the catchy poppy part of it. And if you don't dive deeper into the Enneagram, you miss the whole motivation and why that's important, that's the key.

And many therapists and coaches mistype the people they are working with, and then they misuse the Enneagram, and there's all that stuff.

I just know many who do that, and I totally respect them as therapists, and yet, it needs to be said, and hopefully it changes.

I help therapists and coaches work with the Enneagram on their clients, whether I'm consulting them or I even do courses for therapists and for coaches and stuff like that.

So it's an important thing to do - educating professionals on how to use the Enneagram right as professionals.

But that goes again, the whole motivation is also for everybody. If you're working on yourself, understand it's not about your behavior, it's about the motivation and the reason why that behavior comes to play.

So back to business with the eight's behaviors. So another thing we usually see about eights, and I'll go back to something we said about the self-image and other things, is that I am very honorable.

I had a client, more than one, who literally says that - "My word is my honor and it's my strength. It's sacred."

And that's important to understand because - where is it coming from? Well, one aspect of where it's coming from is that most people will not follow a person that they can trust.

Even if they think somewhere in their mind that they can trust them and they want to follow them, they'll have to do some mind game and play and convince themselves that they can trust them.

Usually, if I know I cannot trust you at all, I won't let you lead me. So eights need that. They need to be the leader, the boss, because their survival depends on that. Everybody's survival. But I just know the game better than others, and I'm wired like that. So I need to be the boss here.

And those who don't want to be the boss or can't be the boss, it's their problem. They're going to be taking advantage in this jungle, unless they're under my protective wings.

But going back to honorable, that's one aspect of why they have that need to be honorable, and to show that. I can't break my word because it goes all the way back to my survival.

And of course, there's the authentic self. And from that perspective of the authentic self, spiritually and non spiritually, it can also come from there.

And I just don't want to break my word because I don't want to break my word. I want to be good to you. But we're talking now about the Enneagram part of it.

They're also very compassionate and big-hearted, and especially to people in real need. Now, that's an important thing to understand.

If you're in real need, if you're really in a tough spot here and I can see that, as an eight, there's a good chance I'll take you under my wings. It depends on a lot of things, but basically, strategy-wise, behavior-wise, it's likely to happen.

But if I think you're just 'oh woe is me, everything's so hard,' but I really think that you're just whining and you have nothing to complain about and you're just trying to get empathy and pity and stuff like that, forget it.

My radar will pick that up, whether I'm right or wrong, sometimes they're wrong about how they read the situation.

But if that's what I think, not only that, I'm not going to be compassionate and big-hearted and protective of you, I'll call out your bluff more likely. Either to your face or not, depends on the situation and many things.

But I won't be compassionate and big-hearted to that. My radar will distinguish, whether rightly or wrongly, between people who are in real need and people who are just wanting a pity party and are just feeling sorry for themselves and they don't want to do the efforts of doing what it takes to get out of the situation.

These people, they won't get my compassion and my protection. Eights don't like them. Really don't like them. Because look how much effort I'm doing. Just toughen up, do what it takes, stop whining and go out and do it. They can really despise people like that many times.

But again, for the weak, disenfranchised, and underprivileged, they can be great protectors for them. They can be great champions of them. They use their tremendous power and their sense of justice to help them, the ones in real need.

They become, again, in the higher level, they are the benevolent leader. In the lower levels, we will get to soon, it deteriorates to paranoid, ruthless dictator.

But in the higher level, it's the real benevolent benefit leader - think Martin Luther King Jr. Versus Saddam Hussein, at least what the media told us about Saddam Hussein. Who knows what really happened there?

And I'm not saying the media lied here. I'm just saying there are all sorts of opinions but let's stick to the image because we don't know the people.

So these are two examples of the high level of the benevolent leader and the lower level of the paranoid, ruthless dictator.

And that's a good metaphor and analogy, or representation, not just a metaphor and analogy, to that spectrum I was talking about, and how the same person can either go all the way up here, or all the way down there.

Who would have thought Martin Luther Jr. and Saddam Hussein, or just any classic ruthless, paranoid dictator, have the same personality type, have the same core belief, the same core need?

Who would have thought that if they didn't know the Enneagram well enough or any other system that explains that?

So that's one of the powerful things about the Enneagram. A super-accurate map of our psychology, our psyche, our behaviors, our motivations and so much more.

So they are protectors, benevolent leaders because we're still talking about the high level here - and also of their family, their partner, not just the weak people.

I'm sorry for saying weak, it's not necessarily politically correct. But that's another thing about eights. Right?

We're not really about politically correct here in our eight tribe. We are about saying things as they are. Some people are weak.

Again, some eights will not like this word still and will be more politically correct about it. It's nature and nurture. Maybe if you're living in some places like California, you might be more careful with your words.

But again, you're still an eight and you're probably going to be more direct than a lower level nine, for example, or unbalanced nine. Not to say that nines are lower levels than eights.

So I was saying they'll be a protector and benevolent leader also for the family and partner, not just for disempowered or weak people or weak people, or weaker people.

They will not be afraid to risk themselves to protect others, not just to get what they want to get done, but also to protect others.

They will help others develop the courage and the ability and the confidence to deal with things.

They are very dedicated to the role of a protector towards their loved ones.

You can say, with very much accuracy, it's of course a generalization and it's not 100% true, but just to give you the essence of it - you can say that you will never feel as protected as when you're under the wings of a healthy eight.

There's something about that feeling. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. If you've been under the loving, protective wings of a strong, healthy eight, that's really something to experience.

Again, think about being under the regime of a benevolent, caring, loving, powerful leader - how confident and safe would you feel?

So with that in mind, maybe I'll just say one more thing about the higher level: Justice, and that connects to the benevolent protector, justice is very important to them, and again, especially towards victims of real injustice.


9. Type 8's shadows (“unhealthy”/ unbalanced/ lower levels of development).


So with all that in mind, the flip side, the shadow aspect of all that, would be the lower levels of development, the unbalanced, the unhealthy side of the eight.

So because of their core belief, because everything comes from that, they, as we said, have a constant need for control.

Now, when it's constant and compulsive, like anything else which is constant and compulsive, it becomes a problem. And ironically, their need for control can get out of control, you can say that.

Again, it goes all the way to survival. And that's why it's so strong and so compulsive. That's their core need. Control is the core need.

So in the lower levels of development, they'll do anything, anything not to show any sign of weakness, not to show any sign of not being in control.

In the jungle, the predator looks for the weak prey. If the lion is now looking at the herd, you look for the limping one, the young ones, the slow one, whatever one that is easy to catch, right?

It's actually the lionesses that do the hunting part. But get the picture, not the form, but the essence of it. So I cannot show weakness. Weakness means death.

So when they feel like they're losing control, they can have fits of rage, they can break things, they can go to things way worse than that.

Again, think the ruthless, paranoid dictator chops heads based on nothing but their own paranoid delusions about what people think or say or about to do. So their need to control can deteriorate into something horrific as that.

And if you take it not as extreme as chopping heads, still they can do really really really bad things.

Physical violence, other stuff, lying, manipulating, not caring about the results of what they're doing and how it affects others, creating real damage and real problems for everybody else.

Remember, also, we're talking about control of others. So it can be also control of other people's agenda and actions.

That control, if I can control you and your actions and everything, that can make me feel safer as an unbalanced eight. And that's a thing to understand about why they do it and where it comes from.

Also, another thing to understand about them in the lower levels they become aggressive in order to have control, to have independence, to get things done, to try to protect others.

So the motivation is the same. That's why I'm saying it's two sides of the same coin.

If I'm a healthy eight, my motivation is the same. I want to get things done, to protect and stuff like that, but I'll do the healthy things that can actually help me achieve that.

As an unhealthy eight I'll become aggressive in order to do that, in order to get those things done.

So, for example, I'll try to be a protector even when it's not needed or with the "protected" person, doesn't really need protection or don't want me to protect them or want me far away from them.

I'll do it for my own sake, not for your sake. I'm not really protecting you, when I understand what's happening in the lower levels, I probably don't understand that.

I do it for my own sake, not really to protect you. I do it because I need to play the role of protector, because I need to feel strong and safe with that.

So I can aggressively dominate my environment. I can dominate you.

I can impose myself on you, I can impose myself and my ways on the entire group with violence, with bullying, with all sorts of horrendous stuff - because that's what I do as a lower level eight. That's where it can deteriorate too.

And again, there's not just the extreme lower level, there are all shades of gray.

As much as eights don't necessarily like the shades of gray or don't necessarily see them sometimes, we'll get to that, but they exist.

So another thing about lower level eights is they can't be told what to do - I need to be in control. But I can't be told what to do even when the situation justifies that you tell me what to do.

So if you're my boss, actually my boss at work, or if you are my commanding officer in the army, as a lower level eight, I can have a really hard time dealing with that.

And I can explode in rage. I can do some unethical things. I can do all sorts of stuff just to get away from that situation and to assert my dominance and my power and my strength over you.

They might feel like it's them against the world: 'The whole world is against me. Look at this jungle. They're all out to eat me. I can't find one spot where I'm safe from everybody. Everybody is out to get me.'

The world is perceived as hostile, it's a cold and harsh jungle, it's a survival war and everybody is against me. All right, so there's that.

And with that in mind, also, because I must survive and I can't show weakness, another part of their lower level of behavior for them is that they can't ask for help. I can't say I need help because that is a sign of weakness and I can't afford to do that.

Now, going back to what I said a minute ago, as a side note, let's make it now not a side note - they can have a hard time seeing shades of gray.

It's black or white, right or wrong. There's no middle path. Because you can't have gray and feel safe with their strategy, with their perception, with their lenses, with their core belief.

There's no 'kind-of-safe.' This lion, this tiger, is kind of not wanting to eat me. You don't have that. It's survival mode. I'm either safe or not safe. I'm either stronger than you or you're stronger than me. There's no middle ground here.

There's no two bosses. Doesn't happen. So again, in the lower levels. In the higher level they can understand it. They do enough work, they get through it, they can see it.

But in the lower levels, they can have a hard time seeing things in shades of gray. Nines are very good at that, eights not so much.

And with nines, like every other thing, if you overuse your gift, it becomes a problem. Part of nine's problem is they see too much shade of gray and not enough clarity and discernment.

But for eights, the other side of the coin, the flip side of it. In the lower levels, they'll see black or white, right or wrong, not so much the middle path, even when the middle path exists and it's the best way and it's the 'right' thing.

Just because of automatic habits and automatic patterns running our decisions. "No, it's either this or that." And you're either friend or foe, for example. And we'll expand on that one soon.

So they can become, in a lower level, too direct, too blunt, and very, very insensitive in their actions and in their words.

Remember I said before about being direct? Weak people don't say what they think and don't say what their truth is and stuff like that. So when it deteriorates to a certain degree, it can be too blunt and insensitive in a bad way.

So they're not aware of how strong their impact is on people - and sometimes, again, the lower levels, they don't even care. 'You're just weak and it's not my problem, it's you. It's not me.'

So they also lose sight of the others and that others are not necessarily as strong as them. They lose sight that we are different. We are not all born the same, again except for some basic principles about all of us, but not all of us are as strong.

And it's not necessary that I'm better than you because I'm strong or that you're worse than I am because you're weaker, or at least weaker in that sense.

They lose sight of that and they think that 'you get hurt, you're weak - your problem.' No. So they lose a certain level of humanity and compassion and understanding of our predicament, of our situation.

And the way they treat the weak, again especially in the lower level, can be very problematic.

And go back to their core belief about the world and how the strong exploit the weak and stuff like that and what strong do to the weak, and the weak are the prey of the strong and stuff like that.

They actually become that strong person who exploits the weak in the lower level of development.

So these things can lead to being aggressive and to hurting people and not understanding what's happening.

'Why did he get so hurt? I wasn't aggressive. It's not my fault that you're weak.' You can actually hear them say these things with a strong conviction sometimes too.

So in the lower levels, they can close emotionally, they can deny their emotional needs, they can be over-competitive and too aggressive in their competitiveness to a place that, again, they'll hurt others emotionally, physically, be totally unethical and stuff like that.

They can become bossy, controlling, abusive, manipulative.

And again, in one side of the spectrum you got the benevolent leader, they become the ruthless, paranoid dictator - from Martin Luther King to Saddam Hussein. They can demand loyalty.

It is said that Saddam killed his own family or other dictators might have done that, I must have mixed out Saddam with some other person who did that, just because of the thought that they'll take the throne and take the reins from them and they'll take the power away, 'they seek to dethrone me' and all that.

Even if it's completely not true and that person was the most loyal to you.

They might get again in the lower levels of development to that thought and that paranoia and from that do extreme things like kill everybody.

They might feel betrayed even if the person was really loyal to them.

Just a state that you deteriorate into just like any other type can get into certain things - not these kinds of things necessarily, but they get their own basket of delusions and problems and misbehaviors, to say the least, when they deteriorate to the lower levels.

Another thing that can happen when the eights are in the lower level, they can do whatever it takes to get more of what they feel will help them have safety and independence and control.

And they'll just do really bad things for that. They'll use their power in bad ways.

They might brag, they might lie - it's a different thing, it's not the really bad use of power. It's bad, bragging and lying, but I'm not connecting the two. It's a different thing.

They might brag and they might lie and they might make promises that they'll never keep in order to get people to follow them and to be their leader.

Because again, the whole mechanism is such that they have to be the leader. Only the strong survive, only the leader of the pack will survive.

The weaker ones will be exploited, will be used, and so on and so on. So I need that power and control over people. Remember the core need, remember the automatic focus of awareness, right? Power and control.

So it can deteriorate from lies and promises and stuff like that, it deteriorates to threats and ruthless violence and vengefulness. And they can see themselves above the law and omnipotent and become self-righteous.

And they just do anything to avoid being controlled and subdued because that's a death sentence in the jungle, right? Especially in the lower levels, again. Higher levels, they can understand, it's not really like that.

They can't even understand the power of being soft and gentle and even the power of being weak in certain situations.

It's things to work with them as a coach or therapist. But we can get there and they can see that. And that's a huge breakthrough.

They can become extremely intolerant of people who they tag as weak, changing their minds, not saying what they really think, not knowing what they want.

Classic example - lower level nines, they can drive eights crazy. They need time to sort out things and emotions like fours sometimes can do. They're slow. Again, the classic eights and fours and nines, there's some...

Stereotypically, again, lower level eights have less understanding, less compassion. And lower levels of nines and fours who do their things - It stirs up some emotions. Let's put this way.

And something I alluded to before: The whole 'friend and foe'. So they can live with that sense of 'you're either with me or against me.' And there's no middle ground. Black and white. I can either trust you or not.

This is a jungle. This is a war. I cannot be vague here. You cannot be vague here. It's either I trust you or not. Zero or 100. There's no 50.

There's no 'I can trust you 70%.' No, I either trust you or not. You're either with me or against me. You're a friend or foe, friend or enemy. It's just that dichotomy, which is very common for eights.

Even healthy eights would have an extremely difficult time forgiving someone who they see as 'They cross the line. They betrayed me.' And even if the person didn't.

In my mind, you crossed the line, you betrayed me, you crossed the line from friend to enemy - really hard to get back from that. Really really really hard to have an eight forgive you if they think you did that.

Really hard for them to take you back as a friend or even just forgive you and keep you as neutral or not see you as a threat, even that.

Beneath that, the core fears come again. The fear of being exploited, harmed, shamed, abused, used, humiliated, being weak or seen as weak, and so on and so on.

Understand why it's so hard for them to forgive you and bring you a little bit closer or put the guard down with you - because that fear of what will happen. I can't trust you.

This is jungle mode, this is survival mode. This is battlefield mode. No matter what you do or say, I can't trust you anymore.

So I won't forgive you. I won't dare have you back as a friend. You can't join my camp anymore.

And maybe the last thing I'll say about the lower level is that they can explode in rage, especially when you don't do what they want you to do. If you just disobey their leadership, it goes back to the sense of threat.

It means I'm not the leader here, I'm not the boss, I don't have the control, I don't have strength. I don't control you, I don't control the situation. I'm becoming weak.

If I don't set you straight, it's all downhill from me and I'm going to be eaten alive in the jungle. So again, lower levels go all that way higher level.

They can deal with it in a different way, healthier way. And that's what I help people do. That's what the Enneagram can help us do.


10. Famous 8's.


So with that in mind, let's lighten up again and talk about famous people. And as always - we don't really know these people, It's a metaphor, understand the energy of it. You know, the gist of it.

I might be wrong about a specific person, but understand even more so now that you got all this information about behind the scenes, and core belief, and core fear, and core need, and all the way it all stems into the behavior - take it with a grain of salt.

These are people who usually are considered to be eight in the Enneagram world. But it's not really about them.

It's about making it more alive for you so that you'll understand, have a better grasp of what an Enneagram eight can look and feel like. It's not about the person.

So we already mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. and Saddam Hussein.

Other famous people who are likely to be eight are Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, Lyndon Johnson.

Eight is usually very masculine energy considered to be, and it's very stereotypical, metaphorical.

Of course, there are many many women who are eight - so let's give some examples. Throughout these famous people I'll try to balance it up with a lot of women.

So we're talking about leaders in their role as leaders - You got Golda Meir, former Israeli Prime Minister.

In Israel, Prime Minister is the top tier, It's above the president, in case you didn't know. Indira Gandhi in India. We'll have more ladies coming up soon.

As far as political leaders, you can say there is an ongoing discussion in the Enneagram world whether Donald Trump is an eight or a three. Most Enneagram experts believe Donald Trump is an eight.

I'm not diving into it right now because it's not what we're doing here. In the Enneagram school we'll dive deeper into that.

And more important, which is what people to me are missing sometimes, is not to be right. It doesn't really matter in that sense. At least for me, when I go into these discussions, it's not about being right in typing the person.

Again, like I said, we don't even know the person. It's about learning, learning about the Enneagram so we can use the Enneagram to have a happier, better life for myself or for my clients or whatever.

So it's more important to understand what claims can support the thought that Donald Trump is a three and what claims can support the thought that Donald Trump is an eight than to be right.

If I can learn from these discussions about eights and about threes and how to differentiate between them, what's the difference, what's the similarities, I'll gain much more than just being right about Trump is an eight or Trump is a three.

I hope you understand that whether you agree with that or not, it's your choice. But in the Enneagram school, I go with that. It's more about learning and understanding and growing than being right.

As A Course in Miracles so beautifully says, would you rather be right or be happy?

So another example or other examples for eights are Gurdjieff, a very famous spiritual person, and Ernest Hemingway.

In sports, you have Serena Williams, you have Jimmy Connors and John Mcenroe, Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee.

And you can see a lot of individual sports here, right? I don't know if Bruce Lee is considered a person of sports with what he did, but kind of I added him to this group.

Now, of course, there are definitely dominant team players that are eights. But it's interesting to see how many individual sports successful, super, uber-successful athletes are out there.

As far as more artists and musicians and stuff like that, we got Frank Sinatra, which if you want another slogan for eights - "i did it my way", Frank Sinatra's famous song.

James Brown, Theresa Franklin, Queen Latifah, Pink.

If you want to go with other styles of music too you got Axl Rose and probably Tupac.

You got actors and actresses like Roseanne Barr, you got Rosie O'Donnell.

Just feel the energy I'm talking about, okay? You don't even need to know the person, just connect with the energy.

You need to know the person to get the energy, but I'm saying you don't need to know what they say and do and act outside of the screen. You can feel their energy as an actor, as an actress.

You got John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Sean Connery, Charles Bronson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood - a lot of classic cowboy movie heroes kind of thing.

That image of the strong cowboy that saves the day and takes control of the situation, kills the bad guy, saves everybody, the protector.

You got Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin.

And I mentioned it in other videos, but not many of them. I'll say it again here - I actually, as much as I like the whole famous people thing as a way to understand and feel the eights again, or the types, we don't really know the person, there's a limit to that.

How much you really know Jack Nicholson, right? We see what we see on the screen, you might have read some interviews or saw some interviews, but eventually only so much.

What I like to do when I go deeper into that in the Enneagram school courses, I like to use characters from TV shows and movies because they live only on the screen.

What you see is what you get. You can't sit with them one on one because they don't exist outside of the screen.

So I'll give you one example here. Think of Tony Soprano from The Sopranos, of course, if you've seen the TV show.

And it's also an example of, you know, also you can see there the way he deals with exposing weakness and his soft side.

It's interesting to see Tony Soprano for that lens.

If you see the show again, look for that. Or if you play now in your head, try to look for those scenes where he either needs to or is about to or does show his weak side.


11. Metaphors to their world.


And that part about characters is a good segue to move from the famous people to what I like even more - metaphors.

Metaphors really let us dive into the energy and the essence of it in my perspective, more than an actor or a person. More than a certain president that again, we didn't really get to know too well.

So obvious metaphors that I mentioned many times in this video are a jungle, right? The strong survive, the prey, the weak get eaten by the strong.

You got a battlefield, a war. The strong wins.

Speaking of war and strong, another metaphor is a tank, right? It's strong, it's armored, it can shoot shells.

It's a classic man-versus-tank image that the person or men standing in front of the tank. The tank can run him over if it just wants to.

The person can't really, what you're going to do, you're going to bang your fist in the tank? It's not going to do much. It's going to hurt you more than it hurts the tank.

So almost impossible to stop. It can overcome anything, again of course, metaphorically, but get that energy.

Speaking of Tony Soprano, another metaphor is the godfather, the head of the family. Takes care of things, takes care of his tribe, takes care of the family - in good and in not-so-good ways.

Another aspect of that same metaphor is the boss, the king, the alpha lion, the commander, even more than commander you have the general, the chief of staff, the head of the army.

And speaking of the chief, you have the chief of the Native American tribes. These are all metaphors for eight. And even, you know what? I'll go on a limb here - God.

God is a perfect ten, but think about the omnipotent. I can do anything. I'm strong, I rule them all. Certain ways that God is being seen sometimes are very eightish, let's put it this way.

And again, it depends on what you think of God and where you took your understanding of what God is.

And I'm not necessarily saying that God is like that, but let's talk about the Old Testament and stuff like that or any path that speaks of God as omnipotent and ruler and stuff like that.


12. The prices type 8 pay for their strategy (/automatic patterns of behavior).


Now with all that, as I mentioned way back, we got to the part in which we speak about the price that they pay for their tactics.

And like any other type, there are prices and they can get pretty heavy. That's a good thing because only when the price is painful enough do we actually want to change. But not just want to change 'I want to change' - actually do what it takes to change.

That's when the fruit is ripe to be picked in a way, because when it's comfortable and it's easy and it's nice, it's like a little thing bugs me, I'm not going to change now, it's a lot of work.

But when the price is really big, that's good fuel for real motivation, for real long-lasting change.

So as I mentioned when I spoke about the core fear, because of the eight's core belief, I must be strong or at least look strong at all times at all costs, right? I can't be caught off guard. 24/7.

No one survives in the jungle if they are caught off guard. I just can't just go to sleep, I need to do it in a safe place, safe environment.

If we're in the army, we need to put guards around, so on and so on. Army because of the battlefield analogy.

It's very, very hard to live like that.

Constantly maintaining a position of strength and control and keeping guards and never showing weakness, never dropping your guard, never dropping your shield, never asking for help, never exposing your true feelings when they are feelings that can show weakness in your belief, you believe that showing these will mark you as weak.

Even if unconsciously I'm walking like that, it's really hard to walk around the world and think life is a jungle and I'm in constant survival threat all the time and I have to be strong and on guard and I can't let it drop for a second.

So consciously and unconsciously, they live their life with the constant anxiety of being caught off guard, eaten alive.

And you won't see that on them because they can't allow you to see them. They can't allow you to see that. They can't allow even themselves to see that many times.

We bury and deny things, that's stuff we do. And for them, it's part of what they bury and deny, this anxiety, the need to be on guard all the time.

Some of them are more in touch with that, some of them less. But it's there.

Another way to talk about it is that they're always ready for war. Life is a battlefield, a cold, harsh jungle, a cold harsh survival war. I can't put my armor down for a second.

I go to sleep with the armor. I go to toilets with the armor. I eat with the armor. I swim with the armor. I have fun with the armor. It's always there, stuck to my skin.

I can't take it down. Sometimes I don't even know it's there anymore, which means I have a harder time, harder work to do, more work to do if I want to eventually be able to take it down because I first have to notice that it's there.

So, yeah, that's really a hard way to live in the world. It's really a big price to pay. You can't fully relax, you can't fully rest. You can't fully be calm. You can't fully be peaceful.

You can't really enjoy life all the way if you have to have your armor on all the time, right? It's not a relaxing stance. It's not a fun stance. It's a be-on-guard stance. It's hard to be like that.

Of course it's fun and stuff like that, but underneath it, it's there, this constant thing that keeps going there. You have to be alert.

And of course, the more you do the inner work, the more you can work on that and have more peace and more calm and more relaxed and more all that stuff. But it takes work. It's not their natural state.

And that's important because what's my automatic usual thing is how I'll be most of the time and what I need to deal with.

What we see, as we saw with other types, and I didn't always point it out, and when I pointed it out, I want to say briefly, I really go deeper into that in the Enneagram school, the E-School, you can see that their tactics that's supposed to give them safety and all that actually creates the opposite.

If I go with the armor on all the time, I'm enhancing my feeling of not being safe. It testifies to my feeling of not being safe, and it strengthens it out. If I felt safe, I can take it off.

If my strategy worked, I would have felt safe enough to take my armor down, take my guard down, to be able to show weakness.

Instead, it just feeds more and more of that belief that the world is not safe and I have to be strong and in control and all that.

Like all the other types, the tactics, eventually the strategy, they create what you're afraid of as opposed to keeping you safe from what you're afraid of.

It creates what it's supposed to protect you from. That's a beautiful thing to see. When I have coaching clients and they see that, that's a total game-changer.

It's not about me telling them that, that's nice. But when we can get to the point that they see that, it's that 'A-HA, oh wow.

That really works not only against me, it creates the opposite of what it's supposed to. It creates the danger that it's supposed to protect me from.'

Again, let's give you a small example about eights. Many times they create dangers and enemies for themselves because of their strategy that's supposed to protect them. It actually creates dangers and enemies.

But again, to dive deeper into that, this is really already a long introduction video and it goes deep enough, to go deeper into that aspect and other stuff there's the Enneagram school, the E-School that I have, it's www.BetterLifeAwareness.Com/Eschool, and we'll talk more about it there.

It's really interesting, really exciting, really beautiful. Even just to talk about and learn, even more so to experience and really feel it landing and sinking in and see that in your life. It's a total game-changer.

Another price they pay is that their need for control makes it really hard to develop relationships of corporation and equality because again, you're friend or foe.

And they either, many times, not always, but either become friends or partners, including romantic partners, with people who are in need of protection and are easily controlled and manipulated.

Of course, they can be friends with others, but their need for being in control many times will help them get attracted to people who are more easily controlled. You can't have two bosses. It's not going to end up well.

So this is not necessarily a real relationship, right? The ego of the eight is choosing the other person because it fulfills its needs or helps it fulfill its needs of being in control and in charge.

And it works the other way around. Too many times the other person, some types in certain levels of development, they feel the need to let other people have the power and control and run things.

It's easier for them that way. Theoretically easier. The ego's point of view is that it will be easier.

So there's that that it's not a real relationship, but also the eights don't really get contributed by that because you can't grow. You just keep perpetuating your pattern.

You don't go beyond your pattern, you don't expand and you don't go out of your comfort zone. Also, you don't expand your horizons, just like the usual habitual pattern. So there's that part of it too.

If the controlling part of them is the one that chooses the relationship with the other person, and the other person is standing up for themselves, their relationship can really easily come to an end.

We kind of touched on that before, but I want to put it out in the context of the prices they pay. They can lose friends, they can lose partners, they can lose loved ones.

Because if I'm standing up to you automatically, again, lower levels especially, but also mid-levels and stuff like that, it's an automatic pattern of behavior.

It's like the alarm is ringing strong and I have to stand up to that. I have to do something with that, that you stand up for me.

I have to gain back control. I have to gain back power. So it can end up great relationships, great friendships just because of that.

It just triggers the threat signals. You can hear things like "He's trying to take control away from me", either consciously or unconsciously they'll think that or they'll say that. The tension is immediate and it's going to be also in their body.

The eights, they're in the body type, the gut type, body type, again, to go into the centers and the different types, I talk about it more in-depth in the Enneagram school, the E-School.

But it's a thing. There are centers and body types and stuff like that, head types and heart types. So that's another beautiful layer of the depth and dynamic modality of the Enneagram.

They can have short-term relationships with strong people. They can even have long-term relationships with strong people. But they really need to do a lot of work to make that happen. It's not easy.

The ego is much more comfortable with the people who are easier to control If I'm an eight, especially if I'm not a highly-developed eight that doesn't do a lot of work.

Another thing is that because they are prone to attacking and being blunt and show strength and do anything to avoid showing weakness, they can cause other people to walk away from them. But not just other people. They can turn their closest friends and family into enemies.

They can hurt people tremendously. You cross the line, even if you didn't, we're done. Or they can just make the other person go away because for the eights I'm being direct and honest and you can handle it.

But for other people, you might not understand what you're doing right now. You might be over-reacting, you might be too blunt, you might be insensitive, and that's the kind of person you are. Maybe I was wrong about you.

So sometimes it can be really hard to be around them when they get to that place, and again, especially when it's combined with lack of compassion to people who get hurt, so even more.

So with all the types, with all the behavioral patterns, they get so strong and compulsive because they stem from the core belief and are connected to the core fear and core need. It's not just a little thing. It goes all the way to survival and safety.

And that's why it's so strong. So that's also why we can't help ourselves many times. And then we will drive away our loved ones, for example, in the case of eights.

So their compulsive need for control makes it very hard for them to create cooperation. And in the lower level it's also hard to create healthy relationships, right?

Because I need to control you. Control is not a relationship. Control is not togetherness. Manipulation and abusiveness is not a relationship. So again, this is lower levels, not healthy levels.

Doing the work helps with that tremendously. The good news is there is a way to deal with these things. Like any other type, we can deal with that. Some good guidance and good work and eights do know how to do what it takes.

And if they feel enough pain, that's again what's good about paying the prices - it helps you have enough motivation to make the change.

And when eights decide? We said before, "when there is a will, there is a way." You just need to have a strong enough will.

I have a client. She couldn't help herself from screaming at her husband. He was also a nine. I'm saying that a few times here - it's not just eights and nines, it's eights and whoever triggers those things with them, but nines are a classic example for that.

She couldn't stop screaming at her husband even when she knew he was doing nothing wrong.

And knowing the Enneagram and knowing how to work with the Enneagram - because it's not just reading the book. It's not "the" book but you know what I'm saying. Or hearing Eldad talk about it, it's not enough.

When you work with people, you also need to know how to work with people, how to use the Enneagram for working with people.

I'm trying to give you some tips, not tips, glimpses here, but there's a whole course I do about certification and helping therapists and coaches deal with specific people using the Enneagram.  It can happen through courses or just sessions with the coach or therapist.

So anyway, knowing the Enneagram and knowing how to work with that, I helped her have compassion for her husband and for herself too, and overcome that pattern.

So again, there's light at the end of the tunnel. If you hear that and you think you're doomed, it's an automatic pattern, it's strong and it goes to the core fear, it doesn't mean you can't overcome that. I'm just saying you can.

They want romantic relationships just like anyone else. But love is many times perceived as the thing that gives others the most control over them, which means it's the thing I will avoid the most.

Again, especially when we're talking about real love. When I'm really intimate here and I'm opening up and I'm showing my weakness, I'm showing my soft sides and all that. A relationship is different than love.

So where they can open up to another person, show weakness - they want to be able to do that but they're afraid.

We all can be afraid of that but for eights it touches the core fear. It goes against the survival strategy and stuff like that in a stronger way.

And I promised you a metaphor about the soft and the hard part of them. So there's the fruit that's called Sabres, It's the fruit of the Cactus plant. It's thorny on the outside and it's sweet on the inside.

I come originally from Israel, it's a symbol of the classic Israeli stereotype for better or worse. Thorny, hard, harsh on the outside, really soft on the inside, you can say that about eights very much.

Inside they have the soft, delicate, authentic self, the inner child that they don't want you to see at all costs because that's danger, death alert when it's there.

And if I'm in a real loving, authentic, intimate relationship with you and I feel I can trust you enough, slowly slowly I'll show you a little bit of that and a little bit of that.

I slowly test you because I can't be just sure 100% that I can trust you for that. I have to be 1 thousand billion, million percent that I can trust you to do that.

So anybody can have that issue of having a hard time opening up and trusting. For eights, it can be really really really more than most of us in that sense. It just goes against their "survival" mechanism.

See the introduction video, you'll see that it's not really keeping you safe, it does the opposite. But it seems like a survival mechanism. So it just goes against everything their survival mechanism says.

Like one of my clients told me, "I'd rather die than be in that state." Because in her mind she already saw how the person she was exposing herself to was using it against her eventually. Even if it didn't happen.

And that's the importance of doing the work, of working on our stories and differentiating the truth from illusions and stuff like that, reality check and stuff like that.

So another aspect of that is that in order to stay strong I have to oppress, suppress, hide, deny all of that, I have to do that to my softer side, my softer emotions - or even eliminate them, again, in the lower levels of development.

That's a huge price to pay. Nobody can live like that and stay healthy and stay happy. Nobody. Huge huge huge price to pay.

And it brings back compassion to them. We can have compassion for any other Enneagram type or any other person, thanks to the Enneagram and understanding of the types.

So you see this strong eight and all that, understand that underneath it there is the scared, soft young child that hides and oppresses and denies and even tries to eliminate, depends on the level of development, their softer side and their emotion and their touch with their authentic self.

So it's a huge price to pay. And now we know that we can have compassion for them, right? Or to ourselves if we're eights.

They believe that they are loved and appreciated because of their power. But it's not true.

So Ironically, they lose many people in their life by trying to win their love. Because how do I try to win your love? By being strong and powerful. So there's that too.

And last but not least, like other types, if you follow your type's tactics too often for too long, you start losing touch with what's really important and good in life.

So for eights, they might gain power and control, but lose joy, connection, intimacy, real freedom, closeness, relationships, all that - pretty big prices to pay.

So, understanding all these prices that they pay, and of course, there are more and more - these are typical examples, strong, on point, but there's always more.


12. Common things they ask to be coached about.


So now that we know all these prices, we're going to talk about common things that they asked to work on in coaching sessions. It's a natural segue to that.

So one thing that brings them to coaching sessions or they want to talk about or work on, is when they understand that a loved one, like a friend or a partner, is about to leave them. They're about to lose them.

The strategy, the tactic is creating the opposite of what they want. It's breaking down. I don't believe all the stories that I have in my mind anymore. I don't know what works then. If this doesn't work, what does work?

It's like the strategy is going bankrupt. It's not working. And I can't lie to myself anymore about it. The person is going to leave me. I can't deny that anymore.

Another example is when their parent or partner wants them to. In this case, they come to please the other though, not to do work.

Remember that doing the work can be very intimidating for eights because you have to be exposed and vulnerable and show your weak side. All the things you are not supposed to do.

For fours it's different, It's like their second language, they're going to do this stuff. For eights, the alarms are going on.

So with that in mind, they can come to please another person and not to do the work, especially with what doing the work means. So you have to be aware of that too.

But it also can be authentically because I love that partner, and okay, I'm willing to do the work. It doesn't mean that everybody as an eight comes because the partner wants to and they won't do the work. But that's a thing to be aware of.

Another thing that brings them and they want to work on is wanting to be able to trust people more because it's really hard to live life like that, 'I can't trust anybody.' Shields up all the time.

Another thing is wanting to be able to let go of their compulsive need for control. Again, it all goes to experiencing the prices that I pay for that.

When the price is strong enough, I can understand what's going on. I just don't want it anymore, It's not worth it.

I want to be done with that. I don't want to have a compulsive need for control anymore, and I don't know how to stop it because it's compulsive and I don't know what's at the root of that.

But the Enneagram helps us understand and overcome.

So seeing the prices they pay is critical. You have to have that if you want to make a real deep, long-lasting change.

And an important thing is that you'll have someone that can hold your hand as you're seeing these prices. Well, it's super painful. And making the changes, going against everything your "safety" mechanism tells you.

Another thing is when their life gets to the point that it's totally unbalanced and health problems and all that, again, they can think there's omnipotent and like a strong tank, superhumans, there's no limit to their strength.

There's that saying, "sleeping is for weak people." A tank just keeps going. Although it's not true. Even a tank or machine can't. But that's the feeling, that's the experience.

So at some point, it can get to deteriorate so much that they just can't keep going. Their life gets shattered.

People leave them, health problems, nothing works. I can't lie to myself anymore. I need help. So that's another thing they can come for.

Wanting to handle their rage, their anger, have more patience, more peace, be able to relax.

Again, if you know your Enneagram, they are in the anger center. So that's another thing they want to work on.

Another thing is wanting to have better friendships and to be more approachable. It's hard.

It's hard to want people to approach you, but they don't because they feel your shields and your guards and your need to control and whatever. People are not fools. Many people will feel all that.

And another thing is that they have a difficult time creating or maintaining real, authentic, intimate relationships.

We spoke about it in the prices thing. When they see that and they want to change that, they can end up coming to coaching and working on that.

So wanting to be soft and vulnerable and accepting, because it's against their defense mechanism they need help with that.


13. Type 8's ultimate mission for growth & happiness.


So with all that said, the ultimate mission for growth and happiness of eights is to discover the strength that lies in being weak. And I hinted that before.

That's like complete nonsense for eights.

What do you mean by strength in being weak? Maybe intellectually they can maybe understand that. But eventually, you're either strong or you're weak.

That's the law of the jungle. You're either a predator or prey. So there's that.

That's why it's the ultimate mission for their growth and happiness - to find out what it allows you, what being weak allows you, what it brings you.

And to choose it.
To choose to be vulnerable, to choose to show your weakness, to choose to show your soft side. 

That's where it's really at. Not just to discover and understand that, it's actually to choose that.

To know and really, really, really know, that you don't have to be strong and in control in order to be loved and safe, and to live life from that place.



So with that, there's so much more I can talk about, so much more I can say. And so much more I do say and talk about and help see and practice in the Enneagram school, the E-School.

We talk about the way the types creates their reality that aligns with their belief. How each type's tactics create what they are afraid of, what they're trying to prevent.

We talk about the traps of the type, the paradox, the turning points, the keys for growth, arrows, wings, centers.

We do exercises, we do group sessions. We have online courses at your own pace, certification programs for coaches, for therapists.

We talk about how to get along with the types. For example, with eight, with nines, with sevens, whatever. How the types show up at work. Instincts, tritypes, the whole thing.

There's so much beauty and depth and wisdom and fun in the Enneagram world. And we dive into all that in the Enneagram school. Go to

Of course, of course, how can I not mention the courses about relationships, communications, how to talk to them, so much more. So that can be your next step, going there.

Another thing that can be your next step is to watch the next video about the Enneagram nine, The Conflict-Avoidant Peacemaker.

And if that sounds like the opposite of the eight...

In the Enneagram we don't really have opposites, but I can understand how it sounds as the opposite of the eight, because it does sound like that. And in some ways it is.

But it's also in some ways exactly where the eight can grow to and where the nine can grow to. We dive into those relationships also in Enneagram school.

For now, I hope you had a wonderful time. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it was contributing, you were contributed by it, or it was contributing to you.

I hope that if you are an eight, you can see different things about yourself and work things out differently.

I hope that if you know eights you can have more compassion for them through that, more understanding of the situation.

Or if you're a coach or therapist, I hope it helps you work with your clients, your eight clients.

Share with me, share your comments, share your takeaways, share your A-HA moments in the comments below, you can send me emails  - or even join E-School, our Enneagram school at 

And that's it for now. Have a beautiful, beautiful day. I love you lots.



To your better life,
with tons of 💖

Eldad Ben-Moshe
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center