Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm an 8

I am exhausted physically and emotionally. lots going on within the family & ALL is beyond my control. and as an eight (the challenger) on the enneagram (an ancient method of discovering your giftedness and your brokenness) i'm all about being in CONTROL!!!.....this poem from "The Labyrinth and the Enneagram" says it best regarding the way i tend to perceive life -

"It's not right," I rage, "Not fair!"
The familiar words leap from my belly,
my passion for justice roused up.
One more time I charge ahead,
confronting what needs changing
or extending protection
to someone oppressed.

Why is it then when the truth,
which is so obvious,
calls for strength and action,
I look around
and find myself alone!"

"Enneagram type 8 is characterized by being strong-willed, self-confident, and confrontational. Feeling strong, secure, and courageous is important. Energy is directed to fighting back to resist being controlled by others and to right injustice. Validation comes from being powerful, in control, and through effecting change in the world. When so much energy is focused on confronting the world, the truths about oneself, vulnerability, and emotional connection with others will be elusive." The Labyrinth & the Enneagram, by Jill Geoffrion & Elizabeth Nagel, p. 90

Any other 8's out there?
To get an idea of what # on the Enneagram you might be, determine where you would be sitting at the dinner party.


Linda said...


Life certainly does leave out all the challengers, especially when it comes to family. It is during a family crisis that the worst and best come from all directions (e.g. circumstances, family members and outsiders). I am much like you, I want to be in control and it is mind numbing when you realize…in reality we really aren't in control and must hand it over to a higher power. People who know me best have heard me say frequently "when I get to sit down with God, we are going to have a long talk about master plans." Indirectly, that is my way of saying "I am not control and I need to acknowledge that." Warmly, Linda

sandy d. said...

Probably a three. Not interested in control. You can do my share.


ROBERTA said...

sandy, here's your poem from the same book: Three Energy:
Running through my mental laundry list,
I review all those things
I need yet to do.
So much satisfaction derived
when I hit the bed at night
checking off the many things I've done.
Whatever would others do without me?

Then why this small gnawing voice inside,
surrounded as I am
by all my grand activity and successes.
This nagging disquiet
which eats away,
by saying
there must be more.

"Enneagram type 3 is characterized by pragmatism, achievement, and the need to get things done. Competing & winning, efficiency, & feeling worthwhile are important. Energy is directed to enthusiastic leadership, which motivates others to develop and be productive. Validation comes from accomplishments, status & success. The risk comes from the confusion of performance & production with who one is & how one feels." p. 76 The Labyrinth and the Enneagram.

Margaret said...


One of my favorite prayers from the BCP (p. 831, #54):

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessings and peace to you and all your dear ones,

your friend,
P.S. I haven't done the Enneagram to discover my type yet ... from the picture at the dinner table, I could identify with either #3 (Achiever) or #5 (Investigator), which is kind of interesting....

ROBERTA said...

Margaret, here is the 5 poem:
"Hungry to know, I read another book,
ask another question,
soak up more information.
At least I'm not compelled like some
to read cereal boxes.

It is easier to go on collecting knowledge,
losing myself i the grand pursuit
of others' thoughts and work,
so much there is to know.

Except sometimes I wonder why it is
The psalmist's cry is
for wisdom taught on one's secret heart.
Or why wisdom has its beginning
by being awestruck
with the Divine?"
from The Labyrinth & the Ennegram by Geoffrion and Nagel, p. 63

sue said...

usually I am an achiever - what does it say about me? But right now I am right with you about sending down the food! ah hahhha


ROBERTA said...

well sue, sorry but the food is all for me so i won't be passing any of it down to you!

Sophia said...

I love this cartoon! Is it from The Enneagram Made Easy?

I am a 2, which means I disintegrate to the negative side of 8 (and integrate to the positive side of 4)!

cheryl said...


As an 8, you are very aware of how you are approaching your circumstances! I am praying for you and your Dad right now.

I am a 2 but I loved all your info on 8 since my son is an 8 and I have a client who is an 8. Oh, how we protect ourselves!


kristin said...

Enneagram Personality Type Indicator Result:

The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram
Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
Type 2: The Helper. The caring, nurturing type.
Type 3: The Motivator. The adaptable, success-oriented type.
Type 4: The Artist. The intuitive, reserved type.
Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.
Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type.
Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.
Type 8: The Leader. The powerful, aggressive type.
Type 9: The Peacemaker. The easygoing, accommodating type.


Here was the order of my results (the first being the type most like me):

1. Type 2
2. Type 9
3. Type 4
4. Type 1
5. Type 7
6. Type 6
7. Type 5
8. Type 3
9. Type 8

Roberta, this was really an interesting "personality test", and IMHO, was pretty accurate.

Sometimes, when you know (in an honest, objective kind of way) that you lack the "personality traits" that might help you thru a certain struggle or challenge, it helps to seek out trusted family and friends who DO have those certain qualities.... see, I am pretty much the opposite of what you describe as your personality....even tho I am in management (on a daily basis), I don't need to be "in control", in order to function, or to feel fact, it's the opposite of that. God is in control, not me. (my mom used to say "let go and let God", when I was a little girl)... :)

However, the world (and the Kingdom) NEEDS people with your personality type, as well as mine...we are all members of the same Body...if it weren't for people like you (determined, go-getters), there are many things that would probably never get done! People (like me) would be busy just trying to "keep the peace", and tend to everyone's needs...instead of keeping our eyes on the "task at hand"...

When you feel your back against the wall, or you feel as tho the tide of stress is rising too deep, then seek the council of those people who swing to the other side of the scale...and then seek that "middle ground" (a place of "balance") will reduce your anxiety, and allow you to sleep better, and probably help reduce the stress-related illnesses... :)

In the meantime, you are in my thoughts and prayers! And thanx for sharing this w/your readers!

Jayne said...

Whew... my 2 and 6 were tied and I can easily see the pattern of when things are not going well. Fascinating stuff.

Jan said...

HOW did you get that cartoon up? I tried and couldn't, so I just wrote the dialogue down. Good post about 8's. Thanks.

Evelyn said...

Kinda tied between a 2 and a 9 --- I think the 9 might be a strength AND a downfall --- I've gotten myself on the outs with a friend because I refuse to let her think that I think her side of an issue is the "RIGHT" side without pointing out that the other side has some validity as well. Looks like an interesting book!

I definitely like your comment about seeking counsel from a person whose strengths match my weaknesses. That is a wise way to find balance!

Evelyn said...

Hmmmmm ..... I just read your description of 8 again. It seems that my friend is indeed an 8.
She feels that I have hurt her deeply, as she was shocked to see that I did not rush to her cause. I let her "look around and find myself alone".
I guess I'll just give it a little time, and pray for a way to acknowledge the pain I caused her.
You've given me food for thought, Roberta.

ROBERTA said...

i am married to a 9 - who does bring balance into my life (my understanding is that it is very common for 8's and 9's to be married!)

one of the wonderful things about the Enneagram is discovering where one goes in times of strength and in times of stress. for me i head over to 2 - the giver, which helps me live into my strengths of being an 8 and when i am stressed i head down to 5 where i retreat into my mind.

thank you for your kind words and prayers.

2's and 9's have similarities. Here's a quote from The Essential Enneagram: "The main differences are that Givers more actively focus their attention & energy on what others need and alter themselves to meet those needs, while Mediators are more reactive, allowing themselves to be pulled by whatever claims are made upon them. They blend in and disperse their energy to make things comfortable without changing their image." p. 61

The wonderful thing about the enneagram is that it lets you see how others organize their view of the world - which makes you more compassionate and understanding - and that is always a good thing! :)

Of course we can also start putting people in boxes and slap a number on top of their heads - he's a 5, she's a 3, etc. but that can occur within any typology test such as meyers briggs, the four temperaments and the zodiac :) these are all lenses with which to view reality - we are still called to love one another well - wouldn't it be interesting to take the enneagram test with your friend with the 8 tendencies in an effort to understand one another better? you both could benefit from seeing each other's strengths and weaknesses..perhaps she would be more understanding if she knew how you view the world?