Hello, friends. It’s Monday….feels like years and years since last Monday, doesn’t it? I read a FB post the other day from a parent whose toddler kept asking, “Is today a day?” Poor kiddo could not understand what was up. Why is everybody at home? Seems about right to me! I want to send all of you love and light and hope wherever you can find it, and permission to let the darkness feel as big and scary as it needs to at times. Allow it all and know you’re not alone. We’re all here with you, a Oneness of being that surrounds you with love.
Today, I’m excited to have Marisa and Jose on the blog, sharing with you about their experiences as Enneagram Type Eights. Thank you both so much for being here! Let’s dive into their juicy interviews:
1. In what ways do you use your easy access to anger for good? What are some healthy outlets (when not saving the world or protecting others) for your anger? Anyone who has any familiarity with Type Eights knows that when we’re angry about something, we don’t hesitate to jump into righting wrongs; whether they’ve been committed against us or someone else. I take care of myself all the time. But, I’ve also helped family and friends with financial, housing, healthcare, education, legal, personal, and local government issues, and made sure no one was taken advantage of. In a world where it’s every person for themselves, the folks who are most at risk seem to be the ones who have a harder time figuring out where to turn for safe, reliable help. That’s where Eights come in.
When I’m angry, I tend to have really good days in the gym. It’s a great catalyst for pushing myself harder than normal. Being active outdoors (hiking, biking, camping) has a very calming influence on me.
2. What do Eights look for in others? What do we have to live up to? Where do we fall short? As a Type Eight, I look for others to have strength of character and not shy away from me in timidity. I need them to understand that I crave opportunities to genuinely engage, especially with difficult but necessary conversations. I find this intense engagement intimate and vital to building strong relationships. I need folks to not betray me out of fear and throw me under the bus because they don’t have the courage to engage with me like a mature adult. As an Eight, where others see anger, I just see a normal conversation. I need people to be willing to explain to me how they’re perceiving me—what I can do to make the conversation safer for them and more productive for all of us.
3. What are three things you wished people understood about Eights?We’re passionate, not angry! We get worked up easily when it comes to injustices, but we’re not necessarily trying to steamroll anyone—we just want what’s right and fair, we want it yesterday, and we’ll do what it takes to make it happen. This urge is hard to temper. We’re eager to help, and that can sometimes come across as domineering, but that’s not at all the intent. Our passion for justice and helping lift others up tends to rev our energy levels, which is often interpreted as being controlling and dominating. We don’t mean it in a harmful way; we just have intense personalities. We are not assholes or dictatorial terrorists! We’re simply strong-willed and determined, and not about to sit down and shut up when we know we can do something to make a difference and help people. We’re really incredibly loving and nurturing, which is a byproduct of our inherent protective nature.
Bonus: The fact that I’m on fire about something doesn’t mean that I want to set the whole world on fire. I mean, I absolutely will if I deem it necessary. Without hesitating. I’m an Enneagram Eight, after all. But that’s not always the number one goal, or even on the radar.
4. Do you have any spiritual practices and does your Enneagram number influence what you’re drawn to spiritually? It’s my upbringing, really, that influences my spiritual practices. I don’t think my Eight-ness has much, if any, bearing on it. I pray, I reflect, I try to remain cognizant of the blessings in my life. That doesn’t seem too typically Eight to me…
5. What happens to your closest relationship when you move in stress to your Arrow of Type Five? What happens to your closest relationships when you move in health/integration to your Arrow of Type Two? When I move to Five, things get strained because I shut down and shut out. I withdraw, less to reflect and more to lick my wounds and cuss the situation (and often the other person(s) involved). When moving to Two, though, there’s an abundance of trust and openness and making space for those of us on each side.
6. Speak about what it’s like to be in the Body Triad. How does your body absorb and process the daily life of your existence? I get stressed when people won’t engage with me the way I need them to. When they won’t take the time to listen and understand me, and instead push me away thinking I’m being a jerk. When they won’t explain to me how I’m coming across and what I can do differently to engage with them in a more productive manner. The stress tends to hunker down in my neck and shoulders, so I feel it physically. I also tend to withdraw and shut down when it gets too intense, which negatively affects my mood.
7. What do you love about your number? What is frustrating about your number? I love that we’re readily willing to stand up for and protect not only ourselves, but others. I love that we’re loyal, often to a fault. I love that even though we run screaming from vulnerability, we still maintain the most incredible capacity for an intensely loving, protective nature.
It’s frustrating that my Eight-ness causes others to see me as intimidating and angry instead of passionate, strong, and determined. I dislike being so blunt; it hampers my abilities to hit pause and develop tact before proceeding. I dislike that my Eight-ness makes others want to distance themselves instead of (even just gently) stepping into the ring with me. I frustrate myself in terms of being so willing to jump in, instead of taking a hot second to survey the land and weigh possible options. I’m slowly learning to lean into my Nine wing to help in that regard.
8. What do you think would happen if you were to let the soft, loving, vulnerable side of your heart be known to the world at large? Folks might actually understand me better and not immediately conclude that I’m being a stereotypical Eight. But, vulnerability is scary and dangerous, and I was hurt horrifically the one time I dared to be completely vulnerable with someone. Because of that, I’m afraid I’d be hurt again if I took another stab at it. My girlfriend has been A-MAH-ZING in helping me process the trauma and damage, and slowly learn to let others in. It’s a work in progress…
9. What is your advice for parents of Type Eight children? (Totally selfish question!) Validate your kids. Allow them the freedom to live into who they are, their innate strength and desire to help and protect others, especially the younger ones. In fact, try to foster the Eight-ness in them, instead of trying to corral and control them. You’ll just tire yourself out and tick them off. In regards to the older, adult kids, don’t take us for granted. Yes, we’re always ready to take on a fight on your behalf, but it can be so exhausting. Be willing to take up your own battles and rely on us for support instead of dumping everything in our lap and sitting back to watch us work.
10. What do the words yield, affection, and empowerment mean to you these days?
Yield: Pause, think, reflect, allow others the right-of-way instead of always charging headfirst into a situation. … It’s going. To be. OK.
Affection: This is the tender, often-unseen part of being an Eight that needs to be brought to the forefront. This will help others better relate to and understand us.
Empowerment: We are already empowered. We need to use our Eight-ness to empower others and support them in the process.
Marisa was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex and tended to be a strong-willed child, always taking up for others and going toe-to-toe with authority figures. She only started to learn about the Enneagram in the last year—and that she’s an Eight—so her past and present are starting to make infinitely more sense. It’s also become clear why she chased after a profession in the fields of law enforcement and public service. Marisa is proud to say she’s the first in her family to obtain a Masters degree (MBA) and is a rabid and unapologetic Shake Shack fan, having visited 30 locations in 22 cities across 9 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 countries (as of publication). She loves to travel, but a government paycheck just isn’t sufficient enough to pay for the amount she needs to support her wanderlust. With less than 7 years to go before reaching full retirement eligibility, Marisa is looking forward to a second career where she can put her MBA to use and make fat stacks so she can travel the world (and visit more Shake Shack locations).
Jose A. Noguera
1. In what ways do you use your easy access to anger for good? What are some healthy outlets (when not saving the world or protecting others) for your anger? I think I can summarize it in one word: Accountability. I think my access to anger allows me to hold myself and others accountable whenever I think we’re not living up to some standard. My ready ability to tap into accountability makes it easy to call myself and others out for being less than stellar— as well as standing up and fighting against things I don’t agree with.
2. What do Eights look for in others? What do we have to live up to? Where do we fall short? One of the most important things I look for in others is “effort” or “drive.” I absolutely understand that not everyone is capable of accomplishing the same things, but I think the one thing that matters most is that someone tried. I respect people who don’t make excuses for themselves, and I look up to those who are willing to try their best no matter what.
3. What are three things you wished people understood about Eights? I’m going to answer this from my perspective, but I really wish people didn’t think I was angry simply because I become very emotional in a conversation. I feel like my passion for things immediately gets received as anger, and that’s a little frustrating. I also think people don’t realize how unaware of ourselves we Eights can be. I always catch myself telling people “I really didn’t mean that that way” and I think part of that stems from how unaware I am of how I come off to people. Essentially, I wish people were capable of judging others based on their intent. Lastly, I wish others understood how self-critical we are. The one thing I find common about most of the Eights I know, is that we beat ourselves up endlessly, and I wish people saw that a little bit more.
4. Do you have any spiritual practices and does your Enneagram number influence what you’re drawn to spiritually? I’m not particularly religious, but I am absolutely drawn to things that make me feel more present in my body. Exercise and physical activity (hiking, jiu jitsu, skiing) really help me be present and help me be aware of myself in space. I think over time, as I’ve integrated, I’ve begun taking care of myself physically more and more, and that’s only helped me grow better.
5. What happens to your closest relationship when you move in stress to your Arrow of Type Five? What happens to your closest relationships when you move in health/integration to your Arrow of Type Two? My closest relationships take a beating whenever I stress out. I think one of our worst characteristics is how self-forgetting we are, and whenever I’m stressed out I typically become insufferable. Anyone around me could become an outlet for some of the stress I’m carrying, and that’s typically not healthy. Nonetheless, if I’m integrating, my closest relationships shine. I work tirelessly to raise the people around me up an to push them to be better versions of themselves. I like thinking of this internally as my own “amplifier” effect, since I’m capable of bringing out the best in those around me.
6. Speak about what it’s like to be in the Body Triad. How does your body absorb and process the daily life of your existence? The Body Triad is great hahaha! I love being so in tune with my self, and I think something in particular I like about being an Enneagram Eight is how I’m typically pretty self-aware most of the time. Nonetheless, being a member of the gut triad makes anger an accessible emotion, and I’d describe my typical emotional state to be “slightly annoyed at something all the time.” I feel full of energy, with a deep willingness to push myself to my limits, especially if I am passionate about what I’m doing. If lose faith or belief in what I’m doing, then I really struggle to invest in it.
7. What do you think would happen if you were to let the soft, loving, vulnerable side of your heart be known to the world at large? Hmm, I’m sure that would be good in theory, but that feels really difficult. I wonder what other Eights will respond to this, but damn, I feel like I can only do that with a select group of people that I trust enough.
8. What is your advice for parents of Type Eight children? Man, I think the best thing you can do is to invite them to own their little lives. My parents raised me that way, and even from a young age I was aware of myself. I think by tapping into that core desire and drive of Eights to be independent, you can help your Eight child move toward integration earlier in life by empowering them. We’re quite stubborn people, and if you work to steer the drive, the huffing and puffing, and the energy toward helping them grow that might reduce the amount of times you butt heads.
I am a 25 y.o. engineer working in the Energy Industry in Process Control and Optimization. I typically never back down from a challenge, and I love opportunities to demonstrate my skills (not out of narcissism, but purely out of enjoyment). I love pushing the limits of what I’m capable of, and that reflects in everything I do.
In my free time, I read, go to the gym, play guitar, cook, or look for new investment opportunities. In the past year, I started a nonprofit intended to teach people about economic freedom and the merits of capitalism. I recently took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to add to my physical training, and I absolutely love skiing and hiking. Relationships are incredibly important to me. I strive to be able to provide for my parents and my close family so that if needed, they don’t have to worry about anything financially. In the long term, my goal is to affect and improve my community and the people around me. I’d like to enable all of those in my life to be better versions of themselves so they too can achieve their own goals.