Enneagram Eight

3 Poems for Enneagram Eights

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The Enneagram Eight is known as The Challenger. Eights are strong, unafraid of confrontation, and seek control in their professional and personal lives. Eights strive to exhibit willpower and strength through their actions. They sometimes hide behind a tough exterior because they fear being too vulnerable or relinquishing control of their environment. Eights can sometimes be loners, as they strive for self-sufficiency and independence—but when they truly let others in, they make brilliant friends. Poems that speak to the heart of an Eight most will address core vulnerabilities and the challenge of relinquishing control. 


1. Yung Pueblo


“loving yourself 

and others


is a balance between

protecting yourself 

and giving to others”


Sometimes, our Enneagram Eight friends struggle with finding a balance in relationships. They value being perceived as strong and reliable, and they are very hesitant to give up the reins to anyone else. They tend to protect themselves by distancing their hearts from others, but they will find that there is a healthier option. It goes against their instincts, but true love for oneself and others will require being vulnerable and giving to others—giving people a glimpse into your true emotions, and also giving them opportunities to help you and be there for you when you need it. This doesn’t mean you never protect yourself, but it does mean that you break down some of the walls you may have built as a defense mechanism. This poem is a great encouragement for Eights to find a balance for love to truly thrive. 


2. Nayyirah Waheed 


“you do not have to be a fire


every mountain blocking you.

you could be a water


soft river your way to freedom 





Eights pride themselves on their ability to get things done, but they will sometimes dominate situations and assert their plan as the best option before processing all other alternatives. Their passion sometimes translates into anger, but this poem is a lovely reminder for our Eight friends to pause and process. Often, upon further examination, we see better, softer, kinder alternatives to our original reactions. And taking the time to pause leads to the freedom of knowing you made a choice out of reflection, not out of reaction. 


3. Rupi Kaur


“when the world comes crashing at your feet

it’s okay to let others

help pick up the pieces

if we’re present to take part in your happiness

when your circumstances are great

we are more than capable

of sharing your pain




This piece by Kaur is the perfect encouragement to our Eight friends. Eights avoid vulnerability at all costs and have a hard time letting others share in their burdens. It’s important that the Eights in our lives know that they are more than the sum of their achievements and abilities. While they perceive themselves as strong when they are in control and emotionally distanced, their true strength comes from accepting the helping hands of others and allowing loved ones to share in their harder days. It is important that the Eights in our lives know that they have a safe place to be vulnerable and that it’s okay to not have everything under control all the time. 


Eights are also known as the Protectors, so it’s vital that they know they can trust the people around them to offer the same passion and protection they give to others. Eights are always up for a challenge. Accepting their vulnerability will be the biggest challenge of all, but it will be the most worthwhile, allowing them to open their hearts up to love, trust, and community.