Sunday, September 4, 2022

Enneagram Point Eight Patterns

"Even though one type will dominate as we begin studying ourselves using the tool of the Enneagram, all the fixations are present in every ego. . . if we are genuinely interested in spiritual learning and liberation though the Enneagram, we need to study all the fixations--their cores and their shells--as they manifest in our lives." A.H. Almaas, Keys to the Enneagram: How to Unlock the Highest Potential of Every Personality Type
The driving force at point Eight is lust/excess: feeling a responsibility to intervene in and direct situations, pursuing power and control aggressively. There's a value for justice--as self-defined--and we can take a bull-in-the-china-shop approach, speaking in imperatives, pushing our own way forward. 

When boxed in at point Eight, we can be power mongers or tyrants because it's difficult to acknowledge any vulnerability. 

When still at point Eight but more self-observing, we're able to shoulder huge responsibility without having to control everything. Right beneath the surface is a soft heart. When this is tempered with point Eight's self-confidence, one can truly move mountains. 

Typical Comments:

"I've always been very responsible."  "I have a hard time asking for help -- I'll just charge ahead and do it myself." "I can't think of a time when I was afraid." "I had to grow up fast." 

Engaging the Observing Self and Releasing the Eight Fixation:

It's important that we learn to see our patterns as they emerge, without judgment, to notice and accept as they come and go without shame or denial or trying to shut them down, to see how the fixed personality reactions show up and choose different behaviors. From this Observing Self we'll begin to see the patterns loosening and dropping away.

Within that context, some actions that my clients and I have found helpful at point Eight include:

  • enhancing our ability to ourselves in others' shoes, 
  • collaborative negotiation and active listening skills, 
  • respecting and mentoring others
  • becoming more compassionate and just, 
  • shifting to more altruistic and benign modes of operating, 
  • focusing on service to the world, we are compassionate and just