For Eights this means that they can have a wing Seven (also known as Enneagram 8w7) or a wing Nine (Enneagram 8w9).
Below you find descriptions for each wing. We will explore how either wing can positively influence your main personality type as well as the specific challenges this combination brings with it. If you are new to wings and want to learn more about how they work, you can read our introduction to wings here.
The main thing you notice about Eights with a Seven wing is that they are much more extroverted than their counterparts with a Nine wing. That big chunk of energy and assertiveness you associate with Eights? Combine that with an outgoing, fun and impulsive personality, and you get quite the supernova of energy that leaves behind lots of its guarded wariness in order to enjoy life to the fullest.
The key motivation of Eights is acquiring, maintaining and projecting power, while the main interest of Sevens is incorporating new experiences into their life. So I guess that makes for – pardon the pun –, pretty powerful experiences Eights with a Seven wing are going for. With a kind of double dose of independence and the Sevens’ joy in risk taking, these Eights often thrive in entrepreneurial settings where they can combine their natural leadership skills with their strong visions.
Naturally, there’s also danger in throwing so much energy into one human being. If you look at the unhealthier sides of the coin of both types, they also reinforce each other – just not in such pretty ways. Take the natural bullishness of Eights, mix in the light-hearted carelessness of Sevens, and you can get people with an astoundingly small amount of compassion. Immature people of this type can become cruel, uncaring and oppressive, forcing other people to bow to their will and falling into rage when they feel threatened. At the bottom of the barrel, you get someone with the illusion of omnipotence who’s also a bit manic, and that’s actually dangerous.
But take it to the other end, the heights of maturity so to speak, and these Eights enjoy not only the best things in life, but help others to enjoy them too. With so much strength and vitality, the best work of these people can have lasting, sometimes even historical impacts. They’re truly not to be underestimated.
I guess for this type-wing-combination it’s pretty obvious who falls into it and who doesn’t: If you feel the strong will of the Eight type dominating your personality, but you get as excited as Sevens about the best life has to offer – this is your spot.
If you put Eights and Nines next to each other, they look almost like complete opposites: the assertive, strong-willed, confrontational Eights on the one side, the quiet, peace-loving, conflict-avoiding Nines on the other. As a wing to the Eight type however, the Nine type mostly has a soothing effect on the aggressive and intense appearance of Eights. They become more measured, cooperative and often more family-oriented. Like a big bear: Snuggly towards their own kind, but still equipped with claws that they are more than willing to put to use when necessary.
Depending on how strong their Nine wing is, these Eights are more oriented towards people than towards experience, as it happens with a Seven wing. They become more accommodating of other people’s opinions, while still very capable of defending and asserting their own. In general there is less of an iron-fist and more a velvet-glove dynamic going on here. As good as they are at projecting power, they also have a gentler way of calm and reassuring leadership available to them.
This split is often very sharp and goes along clearly defined lines: That usually means their calmer nature shows around their friends and family, while they turn on their aggressive mode at work. When veering into unhealthy levels, these two modes can even be used against people: Appearing calm and friendly at first, but with an explosive temper underneath that’s unpredictable. That’s the dark side of this coin. When you combine aggression with indifference, these types of Eights can develop a cold, depersonalized kind of violence. It’s by far not as destructive as the supercharged frenzy Eights with a Seven wing are capable of, but it can contain even less empathy and almost zero remorse, because this type barely has any anxieties.
Having no anxiety of course also enables this combination to go to the other extreme. Being healthy, they can develop a calm but no less invincible strength that they use to lift up and protect the people they love. There’s a wisdom available to them that can turn them into great and generous patriarchs and matriarchs, at ease with themselves, strong-willed yet mild-mannered.
If you are aware of the powerful forces of the Eight personality coursing through you, but you often feel them being tempered and subdued, especially when you are around the people you love, this type-wing-combination might just describe you.