Exploring Enneagram: All Eight, No Chaser

This year, our Houston Moms writers will be giving you first-hand accounts of life behind their Enneagram type. For an introduction to the Enneagram, see this post, and then read on as Ashley shares her experience of living as an Enneagram Eight.

“The Challenger”.  You know that person in your life who seems to always take charge, says whatever is on their mind, and never backs down from a confrontation? That’s the Enneagram eight in your life.   

However, there are a lot of misconceptions going around about me and my fellow eights and I’m here to set the record straight. People say we’re aggressive, always yelling, and love conflict. They say we’re just “too much”. And the reality is, yes, we’re technically all of those things {I bet you didn’t expect that answer} and we have no problem saying it, but I’m going to “challenge” you, to shift your mindset. l’m not aggressive, I’m assertive. I’m not always yelling, I’m simply passionate about what we’re discussing. And, I don’t love conflict, but I know that boundaries make the world go round and most other people aren’t willing to put those in place, so I’m willing to take one for the team for all our peace of mind. 

Things You Need to Know About Being an Enneagram Eight

We’re passionate and intense

My husband and I have been married for seven years, and have been together for twelve. We have known each other for half of my life at this point, sixteen years, meeting each other when I was sixteen. We were foes, then friends, and the rest is history, but because of that, I didn’t have to deal with the small talk and surface level chat that often comes along with a new relationship. Y’all, I *hate* small talk. If I don’t have anything of value to say, I’ll save my words for when I do. Some people think it’s intense because when I do meet new people, I really don’t want to waste my time with trivial facts. Let’s get to the good stuff and asap. Tell me what inspires you and makes you who you are, and eventually I’ll tell you the same about me. 

We avoid vulnerability

I’ve been known as the ice queen a time or two or three. And I regularly have people tell me how it looks like I have it “all together” even with two toddlers {and a third due any day}, a full-time job, and a husband with an even fuller time job. The truth is I don’t, I just don’t feel the need to dwell on that with most people. For me, it isn’t about putting on a facade of a “perfect life”. But this is my life and it is what it is. If someone asks me about it, I’m happy to tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about any part of it {re: marriage, motherhood, etc}, but in general, I save my emotions for a select few people. Most often, my husband has the pleasure of experiencing those emotions, and at this point thinks I’m always a minute or two away from a meltdown, ha. 

We’re leaders and assertive

Let’s unpack this one. The thing is, I don’t have to be the leader. In fact, more often than not, eights don’t feel the need to be the leader. We are genuinely happy to show up and do our part and then leave. However, often times no one is willing to step up and be the leader and we know we have the skill set to do it. And if no one else is willing to do it or cannot do it well, we will step in and make it happen rather than letting whatever it is crash and burn. 

We rely on gut instinct

I love that I rely on my gut instinct for decisions. It means I don’t waste endless hours mulling over a decision. I look at something and whatever feels right, that’s what I go with. And honestly, I’ve never been steered wrong. I am always content with my decisions, even if they don’t pan out the way I expect because I know I did what was best for myself, my family, whoever, in that time with the information I had. It gives me peace of mind and the ability to shift to the next task quickly.  

We want to maintain control

There’s nothing that sends me over the edge like someone trying to micromanage me. If you tell me what you want, I’ll figure out exactly how to get there, on the fastest and best route, but I can figure this out by myself and don’t need step by step guidance, please and thank you. Also, I can always tell when I’m feeling out of control in my life in general or my stress level has increased because I start trying to control every other aspect of my life that I feel like I can, no matter how small it is. That’s when I step back, reassess what’s happening in my life and adjust as necessary because in general, an Enneagram Eight doesn’t have the desire to worry about the small details. We’re all about big picture; it’s one of the reasons we’re great at being leaders. The small focus is always a red flag for me to do a self check in.   

What we want you to know

So here’s what we want you to know about us: 

  1. Even if it seems like we don’t, trust me when I say, we care way more than you think we do about you and others.   
  2. I will always fight for the people I love and care about, but what really makes me happy is seeing that you can do it for yourself. But fear not, if you’re not there yet, I’ll step in and make sure no one is taking advantage of you.  
  3. I say what’s on my mind, not to hurt you or anyone else’s feelings, but because I believe in honesty and authenticity and I actually expect you to respect me enough to be honest with me as well.  Plus, I’m 99 percent sure that I’m saying the exact thing that everyone else is thinking, but too afraid to say, and who has time for that?
  4. I may seem like I have it all together, but I promise I don’t, and I’m happy to share that with you if I’m comfortable with you.
  5. I despise asking for help, you know that whole control thing, but I’m learning that no one can do it alone and if I trust you, I’ll ask you for it.  
  6. When I set a boundary, it isn’t to limit you, but rather to keep myself, or my loved ones, balanced and in a place of good mental and physical health.  

Are you an Enneagram eight or have any eights in your life?  What did I miss?


Exploring Enneagram:: Coming to Terms with My SIXuality

Exploring Enneagram:: Lucky Number Seven


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Ashley B
Ashley is originally from Dallas, Texas. She recently moved back to Texas and became a Houston resident with family after spending the last five years in New Orleans where she learned that Mardi Gras truly is the most magical time of the year. Ashley and her husband have two children (2017 and 2019) and will welcome a third in Fall 2021. She first dabbled into blogging back in 2014 while in graduate school as she documented her experiences of exercising every day for a year. Ashley currently works full-time as a project manager in managed care. During her free time, you can find her spending time outside with her husband and kids, attempting a new fitness challenge, or finding a new dessert – it’s all about balance - which she shares about over on her blog www.tennisshoesandtiaras.com


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