Enneagram Type 8 is called the Leader, the Challenger and the Protector because of their keen awareness of power dynamics: who is in control, who might need protection, who needs to be challenged. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 8 with a Type 8 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.
Enneagram Type 8:8 When In Balance
Two Leader (8)s bring energy, passion, directness, intensity and resourcefulness to the relationship. There is an unstoppable quality to this pair.
Both partners are strong-willed, independent, decisive and resilient. Like a veteran team going into combat, they are inspired by each other and also feel a sense of safety and security. They correctly sense the other has their back which frees them up to focus on external goals and achievement. They have high trust and confidence in each other, something Leader (8)s offer to a precious few. This allows them to come together with more vulnerability, strengthening the bond they already share. Communication between two Leader (8)s is generally direct and clear with no hidden meaning or subterfuge. At their best, this is a powerful, passionate, loving couple.
Enneagram Type 8:8 The Downward Spiral
The intensity that makes two Leader (8)s a powerful couple can also be what tears this pair apart. Issues of trust and control usually mark the beginning of the downward spiral and once breaches of trust enter the relationship, it can be hard to repair.
With tightening defenses, Leader (8)s become more controlling, more demanding and more uncompromising. Rational thought is clouded by intense emotion, and Leader (8)s who feel threatened typically go on the offense. Because both partners have an aggressive stress response, it can be difficult to de-escalate disputes. Fights can spiral out of control as backing down feels like defeat. Issues stop being about the issue itself as fear of vulnerability governs the picture. In this environment, behavior can become vindictive and threatening. Unless there is some mechanism for de-escalation, this partnership may end in fiery flames.
Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 8s in relationships with Type 8s
Enneagram knowledge can be transformative in improving your relationships and an important tool in cultivating compassion, both towards yourself and others. In my book, “The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” I explore intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
The Nine Keys
The Nine Keys is the essential encyclopedia of the Enneagram in relationships. This book contains Enneagram relationship theory for all 45 type combinations as well as personal testimonials all 81 relationship perspectives. Drawing on over 1,500 years of relationship experience from over 100 couples from around the world, the descriptions and testimonials are instructive, uplifting, cautionary, and sometimes scary and humorous – all real, all good. Browse the entire book here.
“This book has been so incredibly helpful. Not only has it given me a better understanding of the dynamics in my romantic relationships (both failed and successful!), but has given me insight into my familial and platonic relationships, as well.”– EVK
- Read more: Leader (8)s talking about their relationships with their Leader (8) at page 370
- Read more: Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for Leader (8)s at page 474