Bold and energetic, Eights are known for their self-reliance and determination. These types crave a life of freedom and enjoyment, but often feel restless. Today we’re going to explore seven unique struggles these types face in day-to-day life, especially when they are at average or unhealthy levels of maturity.
Not sure what your enneagram type is? Take our new personality questionnaire here!
Enneagram Eight Struggles
#1 – Intimidating People Without Meaning To
As an Eight, sugarcoating anything feels like having your nails slowly ripped off (or maybe getting a root canal). It hurts. It’s unnatural. And you just want it to be over. You appreciate straight-talk, both giving and getting it. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes you inadvertently offend someone you actually really like. You sometimes feel torn between being your bold, direct self and having to walk on eggshells so you don’t lose relationships you deeply value.
#2 – Impatience
When you have a course of action in your mind, you don’t want to waste any time making it happen. People who procrastinate, get distracted or otherwise waste your time make your blood boil.
You’re also probably someone who makes sure to turn off the microwave RIGHT when the timer hits zero as well.
You want to make things happen and see your goals accomplished. You only live once, and wasting any moment of your time with indecision feels like a cardinal sin.
#3 – Putting too Much Pressure On Yourself
You have so many goals and possibilities that you want to see realized. You also don’t like asking for help, because it can make you feel weak or imperfect. Because you always have to feel in control of your own life, you tend to struggle with delegating, admitting vulnerability, or doing anything in a less-than-perfect way. Your need to always “run things” can become exhausting, not only for yourself but for others at times.
If only you could just take a nap and let someone else do the work.
But that would make you weak, right?
Wrong. Please start asking for help! The people who love you WANT to support you. It might hurt the first time you as. It might feel weird and uncomfortable. But the more you do it, the better you’ll get – and the closer you’ll get to people in the process.
#4 – Holding Onto Injustices
In some ways, you’re really a gentle giant. You hate nothing more than bullies and oppressors, and you’ll go above and beyond to bring them down. Because your core fear is being controlled, you’ll remember past offenses to circumvent getting hurt again (or to get even). You may find yourself getting worked up repeatedly over something that happened a long time ago. Or you may even find yourself tense and irritable if someone even hints at trying to control you or someone else. You feel like it’s your duty to protect yourself and the underdogs you value. While this is an admirable trait, it can also be a huge weight to carry on your own. It can also make you hyper-vigilant and defensive – wary of people who might be really beneficial to you.
#5 – Struggling to be Vulnerable
Having heart-to-heart conversations about your mistakes and heartaches is probably tantamount to watching a horror movie for some types. Independent and strong, you don’t ever want to feel vulnerable around anyone. What if they use your weaknesses against you? What if you’re rejected? What if they share your secrets with others? Because trust can be so hard-earned with you, it can be difficult for you to open yourself up to others and get close to them. While you crave intimacy and tenderness, you worry that if you are vulnerable you’ll face disaster.
Here’s something to remember: You will go to great lengths to be the “strong one” for others. You’ve been doing this since childhood. The people who love you WANT to do this for you. Being vulnerable is one of the only ways you’ll strengthen your relationships with your significant other, friends, and family. It can be scary, but it’s worthwhile.
#6 – Expecting Rejection
At average to unhealthy levels, you feel suspicious that other people will double-cross you or reject you. Worrying that people are turning against you means that you can never feel 100% comfortable in your relationships. You become self-protective, distant, and more confrontational than usual. You may even lash out at others before they have the chance to reject you – leaving relationships, quitting a job, or even packing up and moving to a different state or country.
#7 – Feeling a Ceaseless Need to Win
You’re someone who embraces competition and craves the feeling of coming out on top. You’re not content with just skating through life and being part of the status quo. Similar to the Three, you want to be exceptional, but for different reasons. Rather than being admired by everyone else, you want to prove that you can succeed on your own terms, without anyone’s help. You want to prove that you’re fully capable of handling life on your own without being under anyone else’s thumb.
5 Ways for Eights to Get Help With Their Struggles:
- Go through the hard work of getting in touch with your feelings. I know at first it can seem lame to do this. But keep with it. Let your deeper feelings surface, and allow yourself to be vulnerable. This lets other people know that you value them and that they matter to you. It also helps you to further establish who you can trust. Denying your hurt will only lead to resentment, pain, and confusion.
- Get quiet time each day to restore your energy and get in touch with nature. Meditate, go for a run, swim, walk the dog. This quiet time can help you to sort through your thoughts and feel more clear-headed and calm.
- You’re an intense individual, and this can be a good thing. But it can also mean that you overdo it! Question your need for intensity. What would happen if you or your life were a little more calm and balanced? Would you be healthier? Less stressed? More grateful?
- Resist dismissing or invalidating other people’s experiences or views. Pause before critiquing someone or confronting them. Realize that by being direct you might unintentionally intimidate others. How could you phrase your words in a more conscientious manner?
- Beware of setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. You’re only human. Don’t spend so much time trying to do everything that you never experience the fullness and joy of resting in your accomplishments.
Want to Know More About Your Type?
Check out this video I made with more fun facts about your type:
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you have any suggestions or ideas for other Eights? Let us know in the comments! You can also read more in the Enneagram Eight Type Profile.
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Want to discover more about personality type? Get the inside scoop with Susan Storm on all things typological, along with special subscriber freebies, and discounts on new eBooks and courses! Join our newsletter today!