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Basic Instinct: The Gut Triad

Types 8, 9, 1 have fires in their bellies

Image by Dan Burton

Type Eight (Challenger)

Type Eights (Challengers) are typified by their quest for power. Hence, their mannerisms tend to be assertive, direct, and urgent. They take up space and radiate energy in every room they walk into.


For visual cues, picture the personalities of popular alpha leaders we know: Martin Luther King Jr., Donald Trump, every character coveting The Iron Throne, and Thanos, the Marvel supervillain who is hell-bent on accessorizing himself with the Infinity Stones.

Out of all Enneagram types, Type Eight may be the easiest to spot since they stand out from the pack – literally. These natural born leaders are motivated by their need to be stronger than others because this is how they have learnt to survive and protect themselves since they were young. They are independent and like to minimize reliance on anyone.

Image by Alonso Reyes

Type Nine (Peacemaker)

Type Nine (Peacemaker) personalities are warm and welcoming people, defined by their deep desires for harmony with people and the environment. Getting into repeated conflicts to get what they want is not their modus operandi – these peacemakers prefer mixing positivity with diplomacy.


Some of the most beloved leaders are known to be Type Nines, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Walt Disney.

While Type One perfectionists project their instincts inward to become idealized versions of themselves and Type Eight challengers direct energies outward to control externalities, Type Nines employ a mixed approach. To maintain their inner zen, they work on managing both external and internal dissonances.

Image by Markus Spiske

Type One (Perfectionist)

Type Ones (Perfectionists) are typified by their strive for perfection. But what are these ideals? They can range from religious principles and law of the land to personal ethos and dietary habits. In other words, it is whatever a Type One believes to be the right set of values, which is curated – consciously or subconsciously – over time, often in an arbitrary fashion.


Type Ones are sticklers for their own rules, and they push themselves hard to be on the ‘right’ side. But in doing so, they often need to repress their own inner urges and desires that do not comply with said standards. 

Compared to Type Eights (Challengers) who are assertive with people, and Type Nines (Peacemakers) whose outward actions can be disconnected from their inner intuitions, Type Ones direct their energies inwards to focus on what they themselves can do.

Find out what Enneagram Type you are

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