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  • Writer's pictureAmy L. Sullivan

A Letter to My Fellow Female Enneagram Eights and Those Who Love Us

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Dear fellow female Enneagram Eights and those who love us,

The day I took the Enneagram and discovered I was an Eight, I railed against the descriptions, characteristics, and overall validity of the indicator for two solid days. Insert a massive amount of eye rolling and heated discussion with anyone who displayed mild interest in the topic.

This is typical Eight behavior.

After all, Eights aren’t called Challengers for no reason. We like to question. We crave intensity. Bring on the fire. Is there zest? Please tell me there will be zest because life without zest is like a piece of plain toast. No butter, no jelly, no sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar, just toast, and if you know anything about Eights, you know we are not built to live a life resembling plain toast.

There are things you need to know about life as a female Eight. These statements are about me, and although I obviously don’t speak for every female Eight, my hunch is the following contain truths that ring true for many of the female Eights you know.

Let’s get to it. As a female Eight…

  • I love empowering people. I want to support you. I am jump-up-and-down-beyond-pumped-excited to see you get to the next place God is calling you. I will happily and repeatedly point out your qualifications and do anything in my power to clear a way for you.

  • I can be intense. It’s difficult to dim that. I used to apologize or try to mute my energy, but when held back, it seeps out as one-liners (at best) or lengthy rants (at worst). Sometimes what feels like passion to me feels like intimidation to you. Please know that’s not my intention. Ian Morgan Cron, author, therapist, and Enneagram leader says female Eights are the most misunderstood number on the Enneagram. Truth, Ian. Truth.

  • I get things done and people follow me. In some settings my Eightness is valued, revered, and I’m seen as a natural leader. However, in other settings my Eightness is seen as “too much,” bossy, or flat-out ignored. The task of switching myself on and off depending on the setting is exhausting. You know I detest calling-in favors (asking for anything is so un-Eightish), but I need your help. I need you to help me transform culture and make a place at the table/meeting/brainstorm session for females. I realize this is a big ask, but I can’t do it by myself (again, very un-Eightish of me to admit I can't do something).

  • I see and believe in the underdog, and I care deeply about injustice. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because my brain is spinning with questions and potential answers to seemingly unsolvable problems. Women's roles in church, illiteracy, racial reconciliation, clean water, foster care, anyone who is marginalized.

  • I am highly intuitive and believe wholeheartedly in the gift of discernment. I use this gift often, and although I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and protection, I also find it heavy and often wonder what I’m supposed to do with the insight I’m given.

  • I confuse vulnerability for weakness. I know this is false, and although I tend to apply this way of thinking to myself, I don’t apply it to you. I like you more when you are vulnerable. Thanks for modeling what healthy sharing looks like. I’m practicing.

  • I fight for and with people I care about. This means if I love you, I have your back, but it also means we will have conflict. Please know when I push into you, it doesn’t always mean I’m angry. Instead it means the opposite. If I’m willing to engage in conflict with you, it means I trust and care deeply for you. If I don’t like you, I won’t push at all.

  • I want to grab life and squeeze out every drop of goodness. Each day I wake up in awe of this life God has given us, and I want to engage it in the fullest way possible. Not engaging in life brings me down.

  • I want you to correct me when I’m out of line and be okay with the fact that I might come back at you. I don’t always have people who question me, but I need them. We all do.

  • I appreciate people who are straightforward. Dancing around hard stuff makes me anxious. Bottom-line it for me. I value truth, even hard truth.

  • I need people. I know it doesn’t look that way, but it’s true. I’m better when I’m real, and I’m thankful when I don’t always have to be the strong one. So, if I could ask for one more favor, (as if helping me transform culture isn’t enough), I need you to remind me I don’t have to hold so much, and then I need you to take the weight from my hands. I know I look like I want to hold it, but I don't. Just go ahead, grab it from me.

To my fellow female Eights, I'm in your corner. I see you. Always remember intimacy is different than intensity and that unhealthy Eights can be suspicious steamrollers, but healthy Eights are good, loyal, and true. Let's work hard to be healthy. Deal?

To the people who love us, the rowdy bunch of Eights that we tend to be, thank you for understanding Eights aren't capable of plain toast living. We know the ride with us is wild, and we are grateful to have you along.

Much love,


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What’s your Enneagram type? Find out here.


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