Enneagram Type Three relationship with Enneagram Type Eight

Enneagram Type Three with Enneagram Type Eight


Why the Attraction?

  • This is not a common When it occurs, Threes are initially attracted to Eights because they are self- confident, self-assertive, competent, successful and powerful. Threes can seem very self-confident on the surface but in truth they’re not (average to unhealthy Threes at least), otherwise they wouldn’t need to promote themselves or boast about their accomplishments. Threes feel more confident because of Eight’s strength and fearlessness. Like Threes, Eights go after what they want in life with single-minded determination and enormous energy. Threes and Eights admire that in each other. Eights don’t care as muchas Threes about what other people think of them. Threes find that attractive. Eights can be very generous,tender-hearted and attentive when in love (the Heart Point for Eight is type Two) and Threes thrive on that kind of positive attention. Threes also have a very generous, caring side (Threes have a Two wing) and, when they feel appreciated and safe, enjoy reciprocating the Eight’s love.
  • Eights are initially attracted to Three’s charisma, apparent self-confidence, drive, ambition, leadership qualities, public relations skills and Both Threes and Eights are work-oriented but Eights are not as diplomatic or as good team players as Threes. Threes help Eights become more tactful and work better with people. Eights admire Three’s flexibility/adaptability, so different from their own unyielding, all-or-nothing, excessive behavior. Threes and Eights can get along well because both champion, motivate and support each other.


Some Shared Positive Traits

  • Are self-assertive, self-confident and strong-willed
  • Have a strong sense of self; are larger-than-life people
  • Can be very supportive of others and each other
  • Are ambitious, goal-oriented and like to empower others
  • Have strong leadership potential; like to lead
  • Can be highly competent and accomplished
  • Go after what they want aggressively; love a challenge
  • Are grounded, pragmatic, action-oriented and self-reliant
  • Are efficient with time; can focus and get the job done
  • Are determined, decisive, persuasive and articulate
  • Can cut losses and change goals if things aren’t working
  • Can be entrepreneurial, daring and risk taking


Some Shared Negative Traits

  • Can be overly competitive; even ruthlessly ambitious (in relationship, tend not to compete w/ each other so much)
  • Can be workaholics; can be opportunistic, impatient and impulsive
  • Can be controlling or neglect the relationship altogether
  • Can be incapable of seeing the downside in a situation
  • Can be insensitive to people’s needs at times
  • Can be suspicious and untrusting


  • Can be seduced by wanting to be powerful and influential
  • Can be out of touch with their own feelings and real needs and thus not very good at asking for what they want; can avoid negative feelings


Differing Traits (and Potential Sources of Frustration or Balance)

  • Seek recognition/approval (Threes) Seek truth/justice (Eights)
  • Need to be liked (Threes) Don’t need to be liked (Eights)
  • Soften the truth, Conventional (Threes) Uphold the truth, Unconventional (Eights)
  • Socially appropriate (Threes) Socially outspoken (Eights)
  • Usually respectful (Threes) Can be disrespectful (Eights)
  • Image-conscious (Threes) Not image-conscious (Eights)
  • Diplomatic, Tactful (Threes) Undiplomatic, Tactless (Eights)
  • Avoid confrontations (Threes) Instigate confrontations (Eights)
  • Good team player (Threes) Poor team player (Eights)


Potential Problems

  • Trust and control can become major issues in this Eights can be jealous and possessive. To feel safe in the relationship, Eight tests the Three’s strength, loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, etc. The Eight wants to know the Three’s character before s/he is willing to be vulnerable, let his/her guard down and be open to love whole-heartedly. Eights are tender inside and fear having their heart trampled on (like happened in childhood?). Three’s don’t like the Eights control tactics and don’t like confrontations either. Threes deal with this by being evasive (throwing themselves more into their work), dishonest (out of fear of the Eight) or covertly controlling themselves. Any of these responses to the Eight’s control tactics just serves to arouse Eight’s suspicions and mistrust of the Three. Once Eight begins to doubt the Three’s trustworthiness the relationship starts going downhill. At this point Eight can become very controlling and ever more wary of the Three’s potential disloyalty. The Eight can withdraw attention, affection and support of the Three which makes the Three feel unappreciated. Three can also feel belittled and demeaned by the Eight’s bossiness,criticality and domineering ways. Neither Threes nor Eights are good at asking for what they need and both can become manipulative to get what they want. This doesn’t work and both become more suspicious of each other’s motives. Threes can see Eights as vengeful tyrants and Eights can see Threes as untrustworthy liars.An ugly, nasty breakup can be the result.



For Threes

  • You are sensitive to criticism but Eights are Learn to accept your Eight’s blunt style and don’t take itpersonally.
  • Your Eight partner is a big-hearted, tender teddy-bear inside but needs reassurance that you are loyal, supportive and honest before s/he will let his/her guard Once your Eight feels safe to surrender some control feelings will open.


For Eights

  • For you part, Threes long to be loved just for themselves and not their Once a Three knows how unwaveringly loyal, supportive and encouraging you can be despite occasional failures and/or humiliations, s/he will be able to open his/her heart too.