Enneagram 8w7 vs 8w9: Understanding Their Unique Differences

Ever found yourself caught in the Enneagram crossroads, scratching your head over the difference between an 8w7 and an 8w9?

You’re not alone! These two Enneagram subtypes can seem pretty similar, but they’ve got their unique quirks that set them apart.

Diving into the world of Enneagrams, you’ll find that the 8w7 and 8w9 personalities are part of the ‘assertive triad’.

They’re both driven, determined, and not afraid to take charge. But that’s where the similarities end.

Enneagram Type 8

As you may have guessed, the folks in the “Assertive Triad” of the Enneagram system are no wallflowers.

Type 8 individuals are no exception.

This type is often referred to as The Challenger—a fitting title, don’t you think?

They’re known for their commanding presence and natural authority, and their approach to life is a hands-on, direct one.

Don’t you love those fearless ones, who are not afraid to step up and take control when needed? That’s your Type 8.

They face life and its challenges head-on, never backing down.

However, even among Type 8 folks, there are variations. Like coffee, they all exude their own unique blend—and that’s where the theory of subtypes, such as 8w7 and 8w9, comes into play.

A man and woman stand back to back in a fearless stance. The title reads 8w7 vs 8w9
8w7 vs 8w9: What are the differences?

Core Characteristics

Let’s get to know Type 8s a bit better, shall we?

Bold as brass and just as shiny, Type 8s have a strong instinct for self-preservation. They will defend themselves without hesitation—and their loved ones too. They’re fiercely loyal.

Type 8s value honesty. Not just a little—100% undiluted, straight-up honesty is what they respect and love.

They loathe weakness. Not intolerance for those who are physically weak, no; but rather, they have no patience for weakness of character or a lack of backbone.

Another key feature of this Type is their desire for control. It’s as intense as it is consistent. They fear being controlled by others and will do whatever it takes to keep that fear at bay.

You might think that they’re hardcore, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But remember, these Teflon-coated individuals also have their own vulnerabilities—you just gotta hit the right spot.

Enneagram Type 7 Wing

What if we told you that your core Enneagram Type 8 isn’t the whole story? Cue the dramatic music because it’s time to delve into the realm of wings.

For our purposes, we’re starting with the Enneagram Type 7 Wing. Remember, the concept of “wing” refers to how a person’s primary Enneagram style is influenced by their adjacent numbers.

a cartoon graphic of an enneagram 8w7 man
understanding the 8w7 man


Just as its name suggests, when your Type 8 borrows characteristics from Type 7, you’ve got what we call an 8w7.

The 8w7 type is distinct from your core Type 8 personality in several fascinating ways.

Imagine being that commanding, assertive Type 8 but spiced up with a joyous, spontaneous Type 7 — sounds like a fun ride, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s what 8w7 individuals experience. They bring in Type 7’s outgoing and vivacious nature, adding another layer of depth to their personality.

Key Traits

Despite being under the broad umbrella of Type 8 “The Challenger,” 8w7 personalities show some unique attributes. Curious to know more? Here goes:

  • Self-confident and Assertive: Just like your core type, you didn’t lose that intimidation factor. But instead of using it for firm control, you utilize it to seek new experiences and express your vivacious personality.
  • Action-Oriented: Remember, action speaks louder than words for you. From the decision-making process to execution, you’re all about moving swiftly.

But remember, while these key traits provide insight into how 8w7 shows up in the world, they don’t define them entirely.

There’s always more to explore, understand, and appreciate within the wide spectrum of the Enneagram.

Enneagram Type 9 Wing

Imagine combining that natural ‘type 8’ zest for life, assertiveness, and desire for control with the Type 9’s love for tranquility, contentment, and peacekeeping.

Known as 8w9, these individuals reflect a unique combination of both these traits, making them an interesting subtype to study.

Unlike their 8w7 counterparts, 8w9 individuals lean more towards a calmer, more grounded presentation of power. They might still possess the force and intensity of a Type 8, but they also bring in the peace-loving, zen attitude of a Type 9.

  • Balance and Harmony: The 8w9 subtype exudes a balanced vibe, aligning their desire for independence and control with the need for inner and outer peace. They’re not fond of conflict, and they’ll often seek to create harmony in their surroundings.
  • Assertiveness with moderation: 8w9’s possess the assertive nature of a type 8 but in a moderate fashion. They enjoy being in leadership positions but without the aggressive, domineering behavior that can be associated with Pure Type 8’s.
  • Grounded and Steady: Typical 9’s characteristics such as patience, acceptance, and steadfastness merge seamlessly with 8’s strength to create a grounded and steady personality unique to the 8w9 subtype.
  • Subdue Reactions: Due to 9’s influence, the 8w9 personality has a tendency to subdue or minimize their reaction to negative events. They have an inherent need to maintain their inner peace and personal equilibrium.
A cartoon graphic of a powerful woman depicting the 8w9 personality type
understanding the 8w9 wing

Similarities between 8w7 and 8w9

After diving into the unique characteristics of both 8w7 and 8w9, let’s identify some common ground. It’s important to remember that both these subtypes are derivatives of the Enneagram Type 8.

This origin shapes the core similarities they share.

The undercurrent of Type 8, well, it’s power. Not only do they desire it, they’re pretty darn good at wielding it.

Both 8w7 and 8w9 share this common thread. They have a knack for leadership and don’t shy away from taking charge. They see issues in black and white, deal with things directly, and won’t hesitate to challenge norms when they see fit.

Should you ever find yourself in debate with an 8w7 or 8w9, it’ll be a tough one.

They’re great at standing their ground and can be stubborn at times. There’s a fierce protection instinct too, especially towards those they care about. If an 8 has your back, it’s the safest place to be.

Now let’s talk about the trademark energy of Type 8s.

They’ve got an impressive drive and immense stamina, which is visible in both wings. No matter how draining the day has been, an 8 can still turn it up a notch when required.

On to personality traits, Type 8s are usually upfront and open, be it the optimist 8w7 or the calm 8w9.

They’re known for not mincing words and expressing their viewpoints without sugarcoating — a trait that, mind you, can be a breath of fresh air for some and a little too sharp for others.

There you have it — power, leadership, protection, energy, and direct honesty. These are the threads that bind the 8w7 and 8w9.

While the way they manifest these qualities might differ, they continue to share this Type 8 signature.

Differences between 8w7 and 8w9

Okay, so the similarities are pretty powerful, but how exactly do 8w7s and 8w9s differ?

Leadership Styles

An 8w7 leader is someone who’s all about the rush and thrill of the challenge.

They’re the risk-takers who love big goals, big stakes, and even bigger rewards. They’re comfortable in the chaos of a rapidly changing environment, and they thrive on getting things done with a speed that can leave their teams in awe.

On the other hand, 8w9 leaders are those who lead with a calm and assertive ease.

They’re the grounding force amidst a fast-paced world. While they are just as ambitious, their approach to leadership is more about balance and harmony.

With an 8w9, you’ll find a leader who’s not just in it for the win but the camaraderie and personal growth that come with the journey.

Communication Styles

When it comes to communication, 8w7s are direct and can come across as quite assertive.

They say what they mean and mean what they say. They don’t sugarcoat their thoughts or intentions, which while refreshing, can also be intimidating.

8w9s, on the other hand, have a more relaxed and patient style of communication. They are still straightforward – a trait commonly seen in Type 8s – but their words carry a gentler impact.

This softening in communication is often due to the influence of their 9 wing, making them more accommodating and considered in their conversations.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict is approached differently by these two subtypes. An 8w7 usually charges head-on into conflict. They view it as an inevitable part of life and they’re not afraid to face it head-on, using it as an opportunity for growth and forward momentum.

8w9s might take a more diplomatic approach.

These are individuals who tend to seek resolution rather than escalate the situation. They’ll try to achieve a peaceable compromise whenever possible.

Still, don’t be mistaken, when push comes to shove, an 8w9 isn’t afraid to assert themselves and take control of the situation.

How to Determine Your Wing

Start by understanding the hallmarks of each wing. The 8w7s are known for their energetic nature, extroverted tendencies, and fondness for indulgence. They’re the assertive leaders who love challenges and are hard to slow down.

On the other hand, the 8w9 type seeks peace and harmony. They combine the vigor of Type 8 with a more grounded, gentle nature, acquiring balance between assertiveness and calmness.

In order to determine which of these wings sounds more like you, you’ll want to do some introspection.

1. Consider your interpersonal style.

Are you the life of the party full of an insatiable zest for life? Or are you more of a peacemaker—someone who values tranquility and stability?

If you’re the former, you likely lean towards the 8w7 type. If the latter rings true, then an 8w9 wing may be a better fit.

2. Analyze your leadership approach.

No doubt you’re a leader as a type 8, but does your leadership style reflect the attributes of an 8w7 or an 8w9?

Do you forge ahead with blazing energy like an unstoppable force, or do you steer your team calmly through challenges while preserving harmony?

TL;DR: 8w7 vs 8w9

So there you have it. You’ve got the lowdown on the differences between the 8w7 and 8w9 wings. It’s all about your personal style and how you approach leadership.

If you’re more energetic and outgoing, you might be leaning towards the 8w7. On the other hand, if you’re assertive but also calm and grounded, you could be more of an 8w9.

It’s all about understanding yourself and what resonates with you. Now, you’ve got the tools to make that call. So go ahead and embrace your wing!

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