Eights in Psychotherapy - Enneagram Monthly
Enneagram types aren't going to give you a horoscope reading, your find and nurture healthy relationships—especially in those early phases of connection. TYPE EIGHT: The Challenger. TYPE NINE: The Peacemaker. Enneagram type 9 can have a good relationship with any type. Specifically for the 8–9 relationship, it is one of impulse-inertia and dominance-compli. Riso & Hudson have excellently described the Levels of development in their book The. In relationships they can be controlling and sometimes overwhelming . At a different life stage, supportive talk therapy can be exactly the right medicine for an Eight. . An Eight described the type of dialogue her therapist effectively used under . Type 2 >; Type 3 >; Type 4 >; Type 5 >; Type 6 >; Type 7 >; Type 8 >; Type 9.
Key tasks for development In working with these key aspects of relationship development, do keep applying the steps of the Universal Growth Process [link goes here] as these underlie each of these practices. Daily practice is the key. Take time each day to preview the aspects you are working on and at the end of the day, review how you are doing.
What to Acknowledge About Self This is about what each individual needs to take responsibility for that contributes to difficulty and distress in the relationship. What to Appreciate About the Other This section elucidates the positive attributes and qualities each individual needs to acknowledge, appreciate, and support in the other. Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship Here I provide the key specific recommendations concerning what each individual in the relationship needs to start doing, stop doing, work on, or accept to improve the relationship, enhance satisfaction, and ultimately create a relationship that truly flourishes.
Criticism, counter-criticism, and grievances can build over these differences. Since they often suppress needs and desires, perfectionists may find it difficult to initiate activities designed to enhance pleasure. Because of the focus on error and mistakes, they can also fail to acknowledge successes and offer praise.
This can all culminate in angry battles, rigid holding onto positions, cold disengagement, and ultimately, even alienation and separation. Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Perfectionists: What to Acknowledge about Self: What to Appreciate in Other Perfectionists: High standards, devotion to practical virtues and fairness, courage of convictions, industry, support for improvement.
Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship: Practice accepting and appreciating standards with different content. Realize that correcting mistakes in others easily gets misconstrued as criticism. Allocate time for pleasure, desires, and relaxation. Assist each other to release from the dominance of the judging mind. Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 2, the Giver Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Perfectionists offer steadfastness, dependability, and industry, while Givers offer emotion, optimism, attention to the relationship, and pizzazz — a good combination.
The Perfectionist, however, can experience the Giver as being too tied to the relationship and even dependent and unnecessarily helpful.
The Giver, in turn, can feel unappreciated, judged as being hedonistic and giving too much, and therefore not acknowledged by the emotionally restrained Perfectionist.
A cycle of heightening conflict can manifest with criticism and counter-criticism about what is wrong, who needs help, and what constitutes care. This can lead to estrangement, especially since neither type is good at expressing desires and needs even though Givers can be on the hedonistic side in the service of others.
As a result, estrangement and deadening can lead to disruption of the relationship. Relationship Development for Perfectionists with Givers: What to Acknowledge about Self.
Disowned judgmental tendencies, under-acknowledgement of positives, suppression of pleasure and desire, inflexibility. What to Appreciate in Givers. Helpfulness, attention to the relationship, caring, exuberance, adaptability. Key Tasks for Building and Sustaining Relationship. Devote time to pleasure and relationship building. Relationship Development for Givers with Perfectionists: What to Appreciate in Perfectionists. Commitment to improvement, restraint and self-reliance, high inner standards, consistence, devotion to practical virtues.
Practice steadiness and consistency. Welcome suggestions for improvement.
Type Eight — The Enneagram Institute
The Perfectionist, however, sometimes may become critical of the way the Performer discounts important details, cuts corners, speeds through things with their fast pace, and making changes to suit circumstances. This pattern can become compounded since both types tend to avoid feelings, which eventually leads to alienation and separation. What to Appreciate in Performers. A can-do attitude, positivity, shared value in work and competence, goal focus, efficiency.
To reduce the emphasis on minutiae and correctness. To moderate the intensity embedded in judgmentalness. To make time for the relationship, pleasure, and relaxation. Take time to slow the pace and encourage the Perfectionist to do likewise. Allow in more receptive force.
Pay more attention to details and underlying principle. Make time for the relationship, pleasure, and relaxation. A cycle of escalating conflict and blame can materialize, characterized by complaint and counter-complaint and even withdrawal. Neither then feels supported or worthy and both feel estranged and alienated, which ultimately endangers the relationship. What to Appreciate in Romantics.
Depth of feeling, uniqueness, creative flair, idealism, empathy for others and especially those who may be suffering. Appreciate more of what is good and positive rather than what is wrong and negative. Disowned emotional fluctuations, difficulty accepting constraints and ordinary aspects of life, disproportionate idealism, a tendency to focus upon what is missing or lacking in the relationship, sensitivity to criticism.
Practicality, conscientiousness, commitment, holding to convictions, striving for improvement, attention to detail. Cultivate practicality, restraint, and steadiness even in the presence of strong feelings. Accept criticism as positive and not a reflection on self-worth.
Stay present and in a state of gratitude for what is. Encourage Perfectionists to express desires and acceptance. Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 5, the Observer Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts While both types share the qualities of restraint, control of feelings, rationality, self-sufficiency, and respect of boundaries, these same qualities represent challenges in communicating feelings and desires and for connection.
The Observer tends to retract and withdraw as a protection against the perceived intrusion. This, in turn, can invite further judgment and resentment or anger from the Perfectionist about what is wrong with the relationship and further angry retraction on the part of the Observer.
Both can turn silent and withholding, endangering the relationship. What to Appreciate in Observers. Work at sustaining non-judgmental and moderate engagement. Your sensitivity to intrusion and criticism, an avoidance of feelings and charged issues, a tendency to withdraw or take superior position by judging in an intellectual manner. Restraint, practicality, self-reliance, dependability, high standards, striving to improve things and relationships as a form of care, attention to detail.
Move forward and embrace feelings and charged issues. Find ways to enliven the relationship, including the physical relationship. Encourage Perfectionists to live and let live and in the process, to become more accepting of differences in others. Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 6, the Loyal Skeptic Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Perfectionists and Loyal Skeptics often work synergistically in the pursuit of making a better world and correcting injustice.
They are sensitive to each other and dedicated. A cycle of escalating conflict and blame can result when the Perfectionist becomes more critical and angry, feeling that nothing can make the Loyal Skeptic secure and certain. All of this can lead to pain and even disruption or an end to the relationship. What to Appreciate in Loyal Skeptics. Loyalty, endurance, warmth, intellect, healthy questioning, sensitivity to real issues.
Attune more to positives and encourage the Loyal Skeptic to do the same. Provide reassurance, not correction. Allow for more playfulness and lighten up.
Work at appreciating the differences between you. A disowned magnification of negatives and worst case scenarios, sensitivity to criticism, contrary thinking, a doubting mind, a tendency to mistrust, difficulty staying with pleasures.
Restraint, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, their striving for improvement, dependability, desire for the best, attention to detail. Pay attention to all the questioning and doubts in order to become more trusting. Attend to and savor positives and pleasures and encourage the Perfectionist to do the same.
Accept criticism without magnifying it. While these contrasting qualities can complement each other, they can also lead to a cycle of escalating conflict. This can devolve into explosive outbursts by the Epicure and righteous fixed-position anger on the part of the Perfectionist.
Ultimately, this polarity can become intolerable to both types and end the relationship. What to Appreciate in Epicures. Spontaneity, enthusiasm, optimism, flexibility, future orientation, a fun-loving quality. Practice lightening up and letting go of judgments. Grasp the polarity in styles. Make pleasure a priority. Resistance to limits, avoidance of details and ordinary life tasks, tendency to rationalize and reframe, an inclination to be self-serving.
Self-control, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, their striving for improvement, practicality, industry, attention to detail and ordinary life tasks. Become more grounded in the present. Hear and even welcome negative feedback. Maintain a healthy pleasure orientation and encourage the Perfectionist to embrace more pleasure. Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 8, the Protector Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Perfectionists and Protectors often join together in pursuing causes related to fairness, justice and shared interests.
However, conflict arises over their considerable opposite tendencies. When this interaction becomes polarized, it can lead to entrenchment, angry outbursts, withdrawal, and eventual destruction of the relationship. What To Appreciate In Protectors. Strength, leadership, decisiveness, directness, exuberance for life, pursuit of truth, generosity. Become more spontaneous and appreciate this in the Protector. Develop genuine flexibility, not just flexibility based on an internal standard.
Stand firm regarding core values. Express your own desires and needs. Develop comfort in expressing anger. Recognize and work with the polarity in the two types. A tendency toward excess, going from impulse to action, an all-or-nothing style of attending my way or the highway stanceinsensitivity regarding impact on others.
What To Appreciate In Perfectionists. Restraint, conscientiousness, high ethical standards, striving for improvement, industry, fairness, attention to detail. Practice moderating impulsivity and impact.
Type 1, the Perfectionist, and Type 9, the Mediator Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Perfectionists and Mediators often join together in attending to detail and leading an orderly, steady life. Mediators, however, can feel criticized and prodded instead of encouraged by Perfectionists. As a result, Mediators may end up feeling inferior. In attempting to please, they over-accommodate and build up stubborn resistance that annoys and frustrates Perfectionists.
A cycle of escalating conflict can follow, leading to further prodding of the Mediator, which creates a power struggle: This pattern is compounded since both types have difficulty knowing their real needs and desires. Over time the relationship can deteriorate to extinction. What to Appreciate in Mediators. Flexibility, patience, acceptance, adaptability, steadiness, genuine care, empathy.
To build acceptance and appreciation of your differences. Develop flexibility and patience. Supportive structure, clarity, industry and effort, conscientiousness, improvement and fairness in orientation. Pick up your own pace. Take positions and make initiatives. Face anger and conflict. Type 2, the Giver, with Another Type 2 Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Givers join together in valuing a focus on relationships and in appreciating the nurturing quality and sensitivity to feelings in each other.
Having little awareness of their own needs, however, they may become overly solicitous with each other, compete for approval, and feel unappreciated, unfulfilled, and ironically unconnected.
Failure to get into the natural flow of giving and receiving, can lead to emotional upset and to who is dependent on whom. Ultimately hurt feelings may then ensue leading to angry, emotional outbursts and ultimately to withdrawal or rejection.
There just may not be enough flow of giving and receiving to sustain the relationship. Relationship Development for Givers with Givers: Pride connected to giving leading to tendency to be overly helpfuldifficulty receiving, inattention to own needs, anger when needs go unmet or when feeling unappreciated, over-connection in relationships, and unhealthy focus on gaining approval. What to Appreciate in Other Givers. Helpfulness, relationship orientation, genuine care and support, positivity, flexibility, and sensitivity to feelings.
Express own needs and desires directly and encourage other Giver to do the same. Practice getting into the natural flow of giving and receiving. Conflict occurs when Givers experience Performers as discounting feelings and relationship issues, while Performers experience Givers as getting off task and wanting too much time and attention. A cycle of increasing conflict can result with the two types polarizing — the Giver feeling rejected, getting emotional, and emoting anger and with the Performer feeling unrecognized and impatient and then disappearing into work.
This pattern can result in withdrawal and eventually in alienation end to the relationship. Positive accomplishment orientation, enthusiasm, hopefulness, efficiency, and material support. Balance relationship and goal orientations. Moderate shared characteristics of intensity, positivity, fast pace, and active force. Directly express own needs and desires. Work on developing receptive force of simply being present in the moment.
Inattention to feelings, excessive focus on work and accomplishments, desire for recognition, and shared focus of wanting approval and constructing a good image. Support and care, relationship orientation, generosity, positivity, flexibility, and sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others. Balance goal and relationship orientations. Pay attention to own deeper needs and desires. Type 2, the Giver, and Type 4, the Romantic Synergies and Challenges Key Conflicts Givers try to satisfy the apparently needy Romantics, attempting to fulfill their needs.
They can get caught up in the emotions and intensity of Romantics and lose their own sense of separateness. This cycle could lead to an unraveling of the relationship. Tendency to overdo helpfulness, desire to keep life up, difficulty with deep and darker feelings, and need for appreciation, approval, and attention. Intensity, relationship orientation, idealization of what could be, depth of feelings, empathy, and authenticity.
Practice steadiness since both types fluctuate emotionally. Work on becoming more self-directed and holding ground, especially in the presence of strong emotions and dissatisfaction. Express own desires and needs. Remind the Romantic of what is positive and present.
Need to feel special, not feeling satisfied or complete resulting in fluctuating emotions, tendency toward self-absorption and amplification of feelings, and difficulty appreciating what is present and positive. Giving and caring quality, positive image, enthusiasm, desire to bring happiness, active forward moving energy, and flexibility. Work on assisting Givers in referencing to their own needs. Show appreciation and gratitude for the positives in life and for what Givers provide.
This relationship is truly an attraction of opposites. However, in wanting more connection and acknowledgement, Givers try to bring Observers forward into feelings and more sustained contact. Then Givers active energy can feel intrusive, overly emotional, and demanding to Observers, who then contracts and disengages. Angry outbursts, alienation, and even disruption of the relationship can ensue.
Tendency to overdo helpfulness and become intrusive and over emotional, need for appreciation, approval and attention, and difficulty sustaining a separate or independent self.
Develop own autonomy or independence and inner life. Work on moderating claims for time, energy, and connection. Encourage the Observer to move forward into life and feelings. Positivity and support, open-heartedness, engagement in life, social skills, generosity, and relationship focus.
Move into feelings and stay engaged in life. Allow for dependency and nurturance. Thus, while appreciating Givers support and care, Loyal Skeptics may back off from or confront what they experience as too much attention. A cycle of escalating conflict can result polarizing the situation with the Loyal Skeptic getting accusatory and the Giver getting emotional. Withdrawal can ensue as one or the other or both types attempt to reduce distress. Eventually, this pattern can cause a lasting disruption of the relationship.
Tendency to overdo helpfulness, intrusive behavior, need for approval and attention, hidden dependence, and tendency to over influence with emotions.
Questioning mind, healthy skepticism, loyalty, concern for underdogs, analytic skills, warmth, and endurance. Notice and moderate intrusiveness the big forward-moving energyemotional claims, and helpfulness. Practice directness in expressing own needs and desires. Positivity and support, open-heartedness, responsiveness, genuine caring, generosity, and sensitivity to others. Claim own authority and boundaries. State what actually is needed and desired.
Encourage Giver to express own autonomy, needs, and desires. Gurdjieff, Richard Wagner, Franklin D. Eights are charismatic and have the physical and psychological capacities to persuade others to follow them into all kinds of endeavors—from starting a company, to rebuilding a city, to running a household, to waging war, to making peace.
Eights have enormous willpower and vitality, and they feel most alive when they are exercising these capacities in the world. At an early age, Eights understand that this requires strength, will, persistence, and endurance—qualities that they develop in themselves and which they look for in others. Thayer is a stockbroker who has worked intensively on understanding her type Eight personality. She recounts a childhood incident in which she could clearly see the development of this pattern.
I learned to master my weaker side early on. At the tender age of eight, a huge horse ran away with me. When an adult caught the horse, I resolutely dismounted without a tear. I could tell my father was proud. Much of their behavior is involved with making sure that they retain and increase whatever power they have for as long as possible.
An Eight may be a general or a gardener, a small businessman or a mogul, the mother of a family or the superior of a religious community. More than any other type, they stand alone. They want to be independent, and resist being indebted to anyone. Although they are usually aware of what people think of them, they do not let the opinions of others sway them. They go about their business with a steely determination that can be awe inspiring, even intimidating to others.
Although, to some extent, Eights fear physical harm, far more important is their fear of being disempowered or controlled in some way. Eights are extraordinarily tough and can absorb a great deal of physical punishment without complaint—a double-edged blessing since they often take their health and stamina for granted and overlook the health and well-being of others as well. Yet they are desperately afraid of being hurt emotionally and will use their physical strength to protect their feelings and keep others at a safe emotional distance.
Thus, Eights are often extremely industrious, but at the price of losing emotional contact with many of the people in their lives. Those close to them may become increasingly dissatisfied with this state of affairs, which confounds Eights. I bust my hump to provide for them.
Why are they disappointed with me? In fact, beneath their imposing exterior, Eights often feel hurt and rejected, although this is something they seldom talk about because they have trouble admitting their vulnerability to themselves, let alone to anyone else. Because they fear that they will be rejected divorced, humiliated, criticized, fired, or harmed in some wayEights attempt to defend themselves by rejecting others first.
The more Eights build up their egos in order to protect themselves, the more sensitive they become to any real or imaginary slight to their self-respect, authority, or preeminence. They take the initiative and make things happen with a great passion for life. They are honorable and authoritative—natural leaders who have a solid, commanding presence.
But as much as possible, they want to look after the interests of the people in their charge without playing favorites. They use their talents and fortitude to construct a better world for everyone in their lives. Become self-restrained and magnanimous, merciful and forbearing, mastering self through their self-surrender to a higher authority.