Enneagram Type Five relationship with Enneagram Type Eight

Enneagram Type Five with Enneagram Type Eight


Why the Attraction?

  • This is an attraction of opposites in many ways yet Fives and Eights do have many things in Bothare self-reliant and independent and give each other personal space. Both are unconventional, feel likeoutsiders, distrust authority and can’t stand being controlled. Both enjoy the energetic exchange of an intensedebate. Neither is in touch with deep feelings or demonstratively affectionate yet each has a sensitive, softunderbelly that each nurtures and protects in their own way.
  • Fives are initially attracted to Eights because of their strength, power, self-confidence, self-assertiveness,directness and instinctive energy – all of the things Fives would like to develop in Eights takeaction quickly and spontaneously without much forethought or analysis. Fives can learn how to take practicalaction from Eights rather than spinning endlessly in their mind and not acting.
  • Eights are initially attracted to Fives because of their insightful depth, intelligence, inventiveness, off-beat sense of humor, loyalty and Eights appreciate Five’s foresight, perceptiveness and ability to thinkthings through before acting. Eights appreciate that Fives respect confidentiality so can be trusted not to sharethe Eight’s private info.
  • Both are committed to the truth – Fives to understanding it and Eights to defending Each has much to offerthe other. This can be a nice, complementary relationship if each is able to appreciate the other’s gifts and talents.


Some Shared Positive Traits

  • Are independent, self-reliant and need personal space
  • Enjoy debating and respect honesty
  • Can be vulnerable with each other once they can trust
  • Admire people who stand up for themselves (Fives – intellectually, Eights – physically)
  • Set good boundaries and resist domination by anyone
  • Can endure their own suffering and forbear self-pity
  • Both can empower people with their insightful advice
  • Both can be extraordinarily observant of other people and their surroundings
  • Both question things to get to the fundamental truths
  • Both can be trustworthy, loyal and protective


Some Shared Negative Traits

  • Both can be out of touch with their feelings
  • Don’t deal well with intrusions from other people
  • Both can withdraw from the world until they feel safe
  • Defensively size people up by detachedly observing
  • Both can be intense, obsessive and arrogant know-it-alls
  • Both can feel like outsiders or misfits and be loners
  • Can be consumed by their obsessive, punitive thinking
  • Both can be impatient with other people’s incompetence
  • Both like having control over their own personal space


  • Both can be argumentative when they think they’re right
  • Both can have negative opinions of other people
  • Both can be possessive (sexual subtypes)


Differing Traits (and Potential Sources of Frustration or Balance)

  • Control by retracting (Fives) Control by confronting (Eights)
  • Move away from others (Fives) Move against others (Eights)
  • Self-Controlled (Fives) Hasty/Impulsive (Eights)
  • Think then Act (Fives) Act then Think (Eights)
  • Inhibited, Contracted (Fives) Uninhibited, Expansive (Eights)
  • Fear being weak/helpless (Fives) Deny being weak (Eights)
  • Cerebral, Intellectual (Fives) Instinctive, Pragmatic (Eights)
  • Minimalist/Want less (Fives) Materialist/Want more (Eights)
  • Quiet and Unintrusive (Fives) Loud and Intrusive (Eights)


Potential Problems

  • One of the main problems is that neither Fives nor Eights are much good at communicating with each other when relationship issues come Since both feel like isolated outsiders already they’re extremely sensitiveto rejection. As Eights become more insecure they become challenging, confrontational and threatening.Fives are a fear type so don’t like confrontation (although they often have a great deal of suppressed anger).They will stand up for themselves to a point but are highly sensitive to criticism and personal attacks so theirtendency is to retract from conflict. When under stress, Fives become more secretive, isolated, shut down,uncommunicative and emotionally distant. Fives can feel terrified by stormy, out of control Eights, who under-estimate how intimidating they can be.
  • Fives can see Eights as too: intimidating, aggressive, invasive and intrusive, combative, impulsive, unrestrained, lustful, confrontational, challenging, irrational, loud and offensive, and Under stress Eights can withdraw which will trigger Five’s feelings of rejection.
  • Eights can see Fives as too: retracted, secretive and withholding, detached from their instinctive energy, minimalistic, dry, boring, theoretical, standoffish, concerned about being overwhelmed by intense engagement, and Eights get angry and feel rejected when Fives withdraw from the Eights intensity or offensiveness. Eights like partners who will engage their intensity and challenge them.



For Fives

  • You are sensitive and don’t like confrontations but Eights like to have their energy met so hold your groundand set limits rather than withdrawing when Eight pushes or provokes
  • Help your Eight to think of consequences before impulsively


For Eights

  • Fives are extremely sensitive people despite seeming unemotional so learn to moderate your lusty Fives don’t like to be controlled any more than you do and they like their space and freedom as much as youdo too. So, try to be a little less controlling and overbearing and respect your Five’s boundaries more.