Eights in Psychotherapy - Enneagram Monthly
The Enneagram Type Combinations. No pairing Keep in mind that one can have a relationship with any type if the two people are healthy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 . If I meet a group of Enneagram aficionados and state my type when asked, I'm often met I guess they've heard that while the passion or vice of the Eight is lust , the problem of Eight's (for others) is anger. I experience pleasure in the flowering of your relationships. Right-wrong, helpful-not helpful – I said what I said. Type 9 has bits and pieces of every type in their personality so they easily relate to all types. Specifically for the 8–9 relationship, it is one of impulse-inertia and.
Nines genuinely admire the Eight's ability to make things happen and to fearlessly take on challenges. On the other hand, Nines bring a sense of calm and stability that Eights find soothing and necessary for their wellbeing.
They also bring to Eights a feeling of quiet pride in the Eight's bravado and more assertive qualities, encouraging Eights to continue in their take charge style. Even healthy Eights spend a lot of time overcoming obstacles and adversity; they are fighters trying to survive and make their mark on the world.
Nines are like a safe harbor, a respite, a person with whom Eights can let down their guard and relax. They tend therefore to teach each other what the other lacks: Eights bring Nines self-confidence and self-assertion, while Nines teach Eights which battles are worth fighting for and how not to push so hard.
Their roles are well-defined with each playing a parenting role toward the others—one is usually the daddy while the other is the mommy—although this does not go along gender lines as might be expected.
Both have powerful drives and strong willpower; both like comfort and simplicity; both want to create a safe retreat from the world. When these forces and their talents are harnessed together after the same goals, this pair can be dynamic and powerful but also comfortable and receptive at the same time.
Potential Trouble Spots or Issues One of the main problem areas for people of this combination is that, as they deteriorate, their defenses go in opposite directions: Eights tend to push harder, while Nines tend to increasingly shut down.
Nines can become unresponsive, or worse, energetically pushing away the Eight as a defense. Eights become more aggressive and belligerent, demanding that their energy be met. There are times when I find it very hard to watch the news on TV. I have a strong visceral reaction to what, in my perception, is an abuse of power. The greater the abuse, the stronger the anger and upset I experience.
Some things I just cannot watch. Examples range from people in authority using their position to contemptuously push others around to get their way, to the more egregious evils of child abuse, rape and genocide. There are a few people in the public arena that evoke very strong visceral reactions in me. Naturally I recognize them as Eights. But the bad news is also the good news. One of the goals of therapy is to make the unconscious, conscious. Awareness brings me greater freedom to choose both thoughts and behavior.
So what does this Eight do for a living? My job is to help you mine the treasure that lies within you so that you can tap into your own resources, get free of your distortions, misperceptions and the illusions that drain you of your strength and take charge of your own life. My job is to help you become more yourself and let me use a buzz word here to become more differentiated, so that you can have increasingly satisfactory and meaningful relationships with the people who matter to you.
I love watching you gain strength. I love using my knowledge and power to release the potential within. I experience pleasure in the flowering of your relationships.
Relationships (Type Combinations) — The Enneagram Institute
I love it when you get free. The path to higher functioning for Eights is to move toward Two, to become ever more aware of the otherness of the other.
We Eights need to stop acting like chimps and act more like bonobos. The more you come to my office or call me on the phone and trust me with your pain and confusion, the more my appreciation for what you have experienced grows.
My increasing respect for you allows me to hear you, to see you, to experience you with ever increasing clarity. You are not me and I am not you. But if a chimp like me is really going to be useful to you, I need to do more than just hang out with the bonobos at Two. This is where it gets interesting.
Eights naturally gravitate to Five. A good example of this is the late John Gotti. The Mafia Don contained his anger by wrapping it in strategies crafted by his cronies at Five.
He outsmarted himself, went directly to jail, and died in prison. They need to go first to Two and then take the bonobos with them when they make friends with the Fives.
Let me use an example to try to make this clear. An Eight has a beautiful knife. The knife is neither good nor bad. If the Eight acts on his anger, he many go directly to Five and scheme to use his knife to take a life. An Eight who is a surgeon goes to Two and then to Five. He uses his knife — scalpel — to save a life. How many lives were saved by his using his knowledge and skill when cutting into hearts?
Often, my respect, my care my concern for you counts as nothing. You challenge me to the contest. This is a power struggle and you know how we chimps respond to that.
I want to win and the only way that I can win is to beat you at your game. In order for me to win, I need to turn you into a winner. But I hate it when you beat me by managing to lose and mess up your life once again. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist whose prime was the third quarter of the twentieth century, was one of the founders of what is called the Family Systems Approach.
One of the main postulates of his theory was what he called emotional fusion. Was he ever right! You have demonstrated it for me time after time.
So what is this thing called fusion? On a number of occasions you even blamed me. I asked you how I had made you feel what you were feeling. Right-wrong, helpful-not helpful — I said what I said. Your feeling was real. Your thinking was nutty.
You were confused as to the emotional boundary between us. At that moment, you became more differentiated. You broke through your fusion with me and took back what was yours. An example of fusion would be for me to blame those few people in the public arena whom I mentioned before for my automatic, visceral reaction. They are who they are and did what they did, but my perception is my perception.
My emotional-visceral reaction is my own. My feelings are real. What I need to be aware of is the nutty thoughts that accompany those feelings and the idiotic behavior that can easily flow from those thoughts. I need to examine and challenge my thoughts so that I can act and not react. To choose the behavior is to choose the consequences. I will respect you and act in a caring and trustworthy way toward you and I will use all my smarts to make you a winner.
So, even though I will feel upset if you beat me and choose to lose once again, I will not take it personally. To do so would be to fuse with you. Healthy people have a personality.
But in the average and unhealthy ranges we have another example of fusion. In common parlance the term refers to strong sexual desire, but in this context it is much more. Because they are so afraid of being dominated in any way by others, Eights are strongly tempted to dominate.
This is serious business because Eights are tempted to treat others as objects, not subjects.