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Compatibility of Enneagram Type 3 with Type 8: Challenging And Achieving Together

Corporations and mental healthcare providers have employed Enneagram personality modeling for many years. In more recent years, individuals have sought the tool out as a self-development method.

Since Enneagram personality typing outlines individual characteristics, it provides insight into why people react in specific ways to certain stimuli.

The focus today is compatibility in relation to the Enneagram system and specifically, how Enneagram Type 3 (The Achiever) is when in a relationship with Enneagram Type 8 (The Loyalist).

The following article outlines their personalities, the strengths within their relationship, as well as potential weaknesses, and how, through growth, Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8 may alter.

Type 3 Compatibility With Type 8

Many factors affect Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8. Wings and whether the partners are in phases of growth or stress are only two of these elements.

Compatibility Score

With an incredible 81%, it seems like Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8 is a match made in heaven. However, it’s important to note that this score is taken from the core Enneagram types. A Walden university dissertation analyzed the results of 324 couples in relation to EnneaDyads and secure or insecure attachment styles.


In relationships of mutual secure attachment styles, EnneaDyads have little influence. However, with pairs of mismatched (one secure and one insecure) or insecure attachment styles, they play a bigger part. In Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8, Threes have secure attachment styles, and Eights, insecure.

It may be possible that only the Allied and Integrative categories have any effect. However, it’s likely that success may be shown in the following order:

  • Ally
    • Woman is 3 and man is 2/man is 3 and woman is 4
    • Woman is 8 and man is 7/man is 8 and woman is 9
  • Disintegrative
    • Woman is 3 and man is 6/man is 3 and woman is 9
    • Woman is 8 and man is 2/man is 8 and woman is 5
  • Integrative
    • Woman is 3 and man is 9/man is 3 and woman is 6
    • Woman is 8 and man is 5/man is 8 and woman is 2
  • Matching
    • Woman and man are both 3
    • Woman and man are both 8
  • Shadow
    • Woman is 3 and man is 4/man is 3 and woman is 2
    • Woman is 8 and man is 9/man is 8 and woman is 7
  • Non-related
    • Either the man or woman is 3 and their partner is 1,5,7,8
    • Either the man or woman is 8 and their partner is 1,3,4,6

Anxiety and Avoidance in Attachment Styles

In Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8, Threes have a secure attachment style—low anxiety and low avoidance. Eights show high anxiety and high avoidance—an insecure attachment style.

Other than secure attachment styles, couples may ‘earn’ a secure attachment style. When partnerships are formed from insecure or mismatched attachment styles, such as Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8, they may earn a secure attachment style. This may occur when the couple is in a phase of growth or stress.

Wings, Growth and Stress

The additional characteristics in Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8 may arise through their wings, either one or both. These are Twos, Fours, Sevens, and Nines.

Also, changes in characteristics may occur during periods of personal growth and stress (integration and disintegration).

What Each Type Brings to the Relationship

When taking Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8 into account, the characteristics specific to each individual would be present.

Enneagram Type 3: The Achiever

Threes are intrinsically competitive and hardworking. Their drive is to show success in every sphere of their lives. They present themselves and their environments with style and panache and may reprove what they see as inadequacy in others. They would likely put equal effort into relationship success as they would in sports, hobbies, careers, and any other area of their lives.

Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger

Eights are considered the protectors, the leaders, and the kings of the Enneagram. They’re decisive action-takers who domineer and control in order to conceal their soft hearts. They may face confrontation aggressively since they often disregard the opinions of others.

Enneagram Wing Contribution

While the traits of the dominant personalities, being Threes and Eights, will have sway, their wings add attributes to a varying extent, thus altering Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8.

Enneagram Type 3w2, Type 3w4, Type 8w7, and Type 8w9

Twos, as the helpers of the Enneagram, are usually attuned to the needs of others. As a wing, the empathy and care of Twos may add a level of warmth and compassion to Threes. Their need for recognition may encompass acknowledgment of their successes and their assistance.

Two’s attachment style: insecure

With the Fours’ desire for profuse romantic couplings, they can be more aware of the deficiencies in their lives than of the good things. Insecurity and introversion could render Threes with this wing a little less self-assured. However, they would find a strong tendency to find impressive and distinctive answers to problems.

Four’s attachment style: insecure

The desire of Sevens for excitement and adventure can sometimes lead to a lack of commitment and an excessive lifestyle. Since they avoid confrontation wherever possible, Eights with this wing may be a little less confrontational.

Seven’s attachment style: insecure

Nines are tranquil and non-confrontational. Their compassion and submissive natures might influence Eights as a wing, in the sense that this Eight may be less domineering or prone to explosive confrontations. They may also gain the mediating ability of Nines.

Nine’s attachment style: can be insecure or secure.

Positives of This Pairing

In Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8, a pairing of Threes and Eights could be a force of nature if both parties don’t outmaneuver the other. Both independent in thought and action, they enjoy facing challenges. In joint projects, they would unite these qualities. For this reason, their lives and home would probably function like well-oiled machines.

While Threes focus on success and thrive on public acknowledgment, they may ignore their need for support—since self-reliance is so important to them. Eights, as the more powerful leader of the two, will provide Threes this protection. This might see Threes dropping their guard and becoming more sincere, and willing to share the emotions they try so hard to suppress.

Potential Issues

Some trouble spots may affect Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8. In leadership, disaster is sure to follow when there’s more than one captain on a ship. And since Threes and Eights are both natural leaders, neither may defer to the other. In this case, Eights will bear their immense psychological weight on Threes until Threes buckle under the pressure.

As Threes lose confidence, they may disintegrate into Nine. As they stop trying to assert their viewpoints, Threes may lose their inherent drive to succeed or their need to present themselves with style and grace.

Eights may either find this change in Threes as a weakness to exploit, or they may take to comforting and offering their Three partner protection and safety. Instead of making Threes regain their strength, it will make them more dependent on their Eight partners. And while Eights grow stronger in their position in the relationship, Threes may grow weaker.


While Enneagram Type 3 compatibility with Type 8 may be better than most types, they may benefit from employing Enneagram as a personal development tool.

The confidence present in both Threes and Eights may be manufactured. Threes present confidence as part of their successful image, though they fear failure. The confidence in Eights comes in the form of a dominant and decisive leader who conceals their soft hearts beneath a steel exterior.

If they work together, however, they could have an immensely co-dependent and successful relationship.

To discover your Enneagram type, complete the Enneagram Personality Test.