Summer Lovin’: How to drama-proof your life, part 8

Lovin’ Type Eight: In Pursuit of the Truth

You know that person you love to follow, but are loathe to cross? They may just be an Enneagram 8 Challenger.

On this week’s tour, we challenge our perceptions of these strong, intense types – and drama-proof our relationships as a result!


As an 8, you may already feel like you know how to drama-proof your life: Never. Trust. People. They lie, they manipulate, they’re weak or scattered or ramble on and on…

The only way to protect yourself is to make sure your armor is in place – the armor of strength, judgment, command, action. But even with your armor on, you may find that drama still follows you: The tougher you are on the outside, the more people become guarded and wary around you – and the cycle of conflict continues.

I challenge you to try something different: What if you owned your huge heart and the tough exterior you present to protect it? What if you let your team know that what is most important to you is honesty – right away? And what if you shared that it in the absence of truthful, straightforward communication, you assume you’re being manipulated – your biggest fear? Together, you could create a communication plan with even the most conflict-avoidant members of your team, so that everyone – including you! – feels safe and connected.


What stories have you told yourself about the 8s in your world? “They don’t like or respect me.” “They’re scary and intimidating.” “They’re testing me.”

As someone married to an 8, I clearly appreciate the strength, courage, leadership and protection these types provide when you’re in their tribe. I love their straightforward communication and knowing exactly where I stand.

Drama-proofing life or work with these powerful types means building – or, at times, rebuilding – trust with them:

  1. Do not take their four primary emotions – anger, irritation, frustration and disdain – personally. For the most part, an 8’s intensity isn’t about you personally – it’s a default response in the face of frustration or threat. But if an 8 is in fact irritated with you, it may be because:
  2. 8s just want the truth. They CAN handle the truth. This is what makes them trust you and feel safe and in control.
  3. When you tell an 8 your truth, do not use the sandwich approach, no matter how much you personally enjoy it (as I do). To an 8, softening a blow means you think they’re weak and need protection from hard realities. And roundabout communication violates Rule #4:
  4. Get to your point. Quickly. I’d love to explain more, but… enough said.

Would you like to activate the superpowers on your team? Are you looking for more insights and tools on how to motivate, engage and lead your team? I’d love to chat with you!

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