Enneagram Type 8

The Challenger

Explore the powerful and assertive world of the Enneagram Type 8 personality—discover the strength, leadership, and determination that define The Challenger.

Curious to see if you're a Type 8?

Enneagram Type 8 Illustration
Enneagram Type 8

Enneagram Type 8, known as "The Challenger," is characterized by a strong, assertive, and confident personality. Type 8s are natural leaders who value control and autonomy, often stepping into roles that allow them to make impactful decisions. If you identify as a Type 8, you likely have a powerful presence and are driven by a desire to protect and support those you care about, which can sometimes lead to confrontational or domineering behavior.

Despite these challenges, Type 8s contribute significantly to the world with their leadership and determination. Their ability to take charge and inspire others can lead to positive and transformative changes in their environment. By balancing their need for control with openness to vulnerability and collaboration, Type 8s can lead a more harmonious and fulfilling life, integrating their strength with empathy and understanding. Recognizing their need for both power and connection allows them to thrive and make a lasting impact on their community.


Strong Type 8s are known for their strength, bringing power and resilience to their personal and professional lives.
Assertive They maintain a confident and decisive approach, often taking charge and leading those around them.
Protective Type 8s are deeply protective of their loved ones and their principles, ensuring safety and justice.
Leadership Their natural leadership abilities allow them to guide and inspire others with authority and vision.
Resilient Type 8s are highly resilient, bouncing back from setbacks with determination and strength.
Passionate Their passion drives them to pursue their goals with intensity and commitment.


Control Type 8s often struggle with a desire for control, which can lead to difficulties in delegating tasks and trusting others to manage situations.
Confrontational They can be prone to confrontation, sometimes coming across as aggressive or intimidating when asserting their opinions and boundaries.
Vulnerability Type 8s may struggle with showing vulnerability, often feeling the need to appear strong and self-sufficient, which can hinder emotional connections.

Early Development

Enneagram Type 8 Child

As children, those who identify with Enneagram Type 8 often exhibit a strong will and a commanding presence. They are usually assertive and confident, eager to take charge of their surroundings and stand up for themselves and others. These children may appear determined and fearless, often stepping into leadership roles and confronting challenges head-on. Their interactions with the world are characterized by a desire for control and a preference for decisive and direct action.

This early inclination towards leadership and assertiveness can be both a strength and a challenge for Type 8s. On one hand, their confidence can lead to early development of leadership skills and a strong sense of self. On the other hand, their desire for control can lead to struggles with authority and difficulties in collaboration. By learning to balance their need for control with respect for others' perspectives and cooperation, these individuals can grow into powerful yet compassionate leaders. Encouraging them to embrace both their strength and their capacity for empathy can help them develop a more balanced approach to life's opportunities and challenges.

Young Adulthood

Enneagram Type 8 Teen

As they navigate their teenage years, Type 8 individuals often find themselves stepping into leadership roles and asserting their independence. This stage of life can amplify their natural confidence and determination, driving them to take charge in various activities and social circles. They may experience a strong desire for control and authority, sometimes clashing with peers or authority figures.

During this period, it’s crucial for Type 8 teens to find environments that allow for their need to lead while also encouraging collaboration and empathy. Engaging in activities such as team sports, debate clubs, or student government can help them develop their leadership skills in a constructive manner. It’s also beneficial for them to practice active listening and compromise to balance their assertive nature with cooperative habits. By learning to integrate their strong will with respect for others' perspectives, Type 8 teens can grow into powerful and compassionate leaders who embrace both strength and understanding.

Workplace Behavior:

Type 8 individuals excel in environments that value leadership, decisiveness, and strength. Their confidence and assertiveness make them natural leaders and effective decision-makers within a team. However, it's important for them to manage their desire for control and tendency to be confrontational to maintain a harmonious and productive workplace. By leveraging their strong will and resilience, they can help create a focused and driven work environment. Balancing their need for authority with an openness to others' perspectives enables them to be both powerful and supportive team members.
Explore further insights on Type 8s in the workplace.

Interpersonal Relationships:

Type 8 individuals are known for their strength and assertiveness, which are cornerstone traits in their relationships. However, their interactions can improve significantly by balancing their natural desire for control with moments of vulnerability and empathy. It's crucial for Type 8s to manage their tendency to dominate and embrace emotional openness to avoid seeming overly aggressive or detached. By actively participating in honest conversations and being willing to show vulnerability, they help create deeper and more fulfilling connections. Recognizing that they are valued for their strength as well as their willingness to engage in emotional intimacy is key to nurturing supportive and enduring relationships.
Discover more about Type 8s in relationships.

Famous Women With Type 8 Traits

Boudica A warrior queen of the Iceni tribe, Boudica led a major uprising against the occupying Roman forces. Her fierce determination and leadership in battle highlight the Type 8 traits of strength and resilience.
Sojourner Truth An abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth's bold speeches and unwavering fight for justice underscore her Type 8 characteristics of assertiveness and protectiveness.
Margaret Thatcher The first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher's strong-willed leadership and political acumen highlight her Type 8 traits of decisiveness and authority.
Betty Friedan A leading figure in the feminist movement, Betty Friedan's advocacy for women's rights and her role in founding the National Organization for Women exemplify the Type 8’s drive for social justice and empowerment.
Indira Gandhi The first and only female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi's assertive governance and impactful policies underscore her Type 8 characteristics of leadership and determination.
Queen Victoria As the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria's long and influential reign over the British Empire highlights her Type 8 traits of control and leadership.

Complex Figures with Type 8 Traits

Hatshepsut One of the most successful pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Hatshepsut's assertive and effective leadership exemplifies Type 8 traits of power and resilience.
Golda Meir As the Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir's strong-willed and decisive leadership underscores her Type 8 characteristics of strength and determination.
Ching Shih A powerful and influential pirate leader in the South China Sea, Ching Shih's authoritative command and strategic brilliance highlight her Type 8 traits of dominance and leadership.

Enneagram Type 8 Wings

Enneagram Type 8 wings are the adjacent types that influence Type 8, leading to two variations: 8w7 and 8w9. Type 8w7, "The Maverick," combines the assertive and powerful nature of Type 8 with the adventurous and energetic traits of Type 7, creating a personality that is both bold and dynamic, pursuing new challenges with enthusiasm and determination. In contrast, Type 8w9, "The Bear," blends the strength and leadership of Type 8 with the peaceful and accommodating nature of Type 9, resulting in an individual who is both commanding and diplomatic, balancing assertiveness with a desire for harmony.

Enneagram 8w7
Bold, dynamic, adventurous, and energetic.
Enneagram 8w9
Commanding, diplomatic, strong, and harmonious.

The 9 Types

Type 1: The Reformer
Principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type 2: The Helper
Generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type 3: The Achiever
Adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type 4: The Individualist
Expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type 5: The Investigator
Perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type 6: The Loyalist
Engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Type 8: The Challenger
Self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type 9: The Peacemaker
Receptive, reassuring, agreeable, and complacent.