For many years, professionals from many spheres of life have employed Enneagram personality typing in order to better understand the people they’ve been dealing with. This is valid for employees, patients, and more.
Another area where Enneagram has become increasingly popular is relationship matches. People turn to the Enneagram system to discover their own type and their partner’s type with the goal of understanding each other better.
The following article focuses on Type Eight and Type Nine and their relationship. We’ll go over both types individually and try to explain why each act the way they do. Lastly, we’ll talk about the positives of the couple, as well as any potential issues they need to watch out for. Let’s begin.
Type 8 Compatibility With Type 9
The overall compatibility between Enneagram Type 8 and Type 9 is affected by their dominant wings, integration and disintegration states, attachment styles, and EnneaDyads.
With data taken from 324 couples, a Walden university dissertation discusses the consideration that men and women are compatible with, and prefer, differing personality types.
With so many influencing factors, it is wise to dig deeper into these than to base findings merely on the percentage of a core Eight and Nine match of 10% for Enneagram Type 8 and Type 9.
Although EnneaDyads may not impact relationships of securely attached individuals, it could influence mismatched styles. And it’s possible that only Allied and Integrative categories may modify the potential of insecurely attached partners in a relationship. Or, success might be found in the following order:
- Woman is 8 and man is 7/man is 8 and woman is 9
- Woman is 9 and man is 8/man is 9 and woman is 1
- Woman is 8 and man is 2/man is 8 and woman is 5
- Woman is 9 and man is 3/man is 9 and woman is 6
- Woman is 8 and man is 5/man is 8 and woman is 2
- Woman is 9 and man is 6/man is 9 and woman is 3
- Woman and man are both 8
- Woman and man are both 9
- Woman is 8 and man is 9/man is 8 and woman is 7
- Woman is 9 and man is 1/man is 9 and woman is 8
- Either the man or woman is 8 and their partner is 1,3,4,6
- Either the man or woman is 9 and their partner is 2,4,5,7
Anxiety and Avoidance in Attachment Styles
Two individuals with secure attachment styles are most likely to succeed in relationships. But couples may ‘earn’ secure attachments if they go through mutual growth or stress. Mismatched (one secure and one insecure) attachment styles follow closely.
In Enneagram Type 8 compatibility with Type 9, Eights, with high anxiety and high avoidance, have an insecure attachment style. However, Nines, if their dominant wing is One, have a secure attachment style. If, however, their dominant wing is Eight, then they too exhibit high anxiety and high avoidance.
Wings, Growth and Stress
The dominant wings will adjust Enneagram Type 8 compatibility with Type 9, and for Eights and Nines, these are Seven, Eight, Nine, and One. Of these, only Ones have secure attachment styles.
Personal growth and stress may also affect relationships, as both Eights and Nines will move along their integration or disintegration lines.
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
In Enneagram Type 8 compatibility with Type 9, the personality traits of Eights and Nines will affect the overall outcome.
Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger
Eights are normally those in the seat of power. They’re confrontational, sometimes aggressively so, and they do not entertain the opinions of others. However, they’re highly protective of those in their circle and compassionate to those in need.
The confident, charming, and engaging side of Eights sees them enjoying the excitements of life, and due to their inner rebel, this can sometimes lead to excess. They can also be unreliable since they change their minds on the spot with no consideration for others. And they usually take charge of all situations and people within their sphere.
Enneagram Type 9: The Peacemaker
Nines are well known as the mediators of Enneagram. Their relaxed, warm, compassionate, and unbiased natures mean people are usually willing to trust that they’ll help smooth over conflicts with others.
However, Nines pay little attention to their own needs and achievements and feel safe when nothing rocks their status quo. They’re reliable and optimistic but lack motivation, can procrastinate, and may need reassurance from others if they’re feeling defenseless.
Although they may not value their own opinions and can underestimate their value, they will usually aid those less fortunate than themselves and honor the beliefs and traditions of others.
Enneagram Wing Contribution
The dominant wings of each Enneagram type, as well as how influential they are, will probably adjust Enneagram Type 8 compatibility with Type 9.
Enneagram Type 8w7, Type 8w9, Type 9w8, and Type 9w1
Enneagram 8w7 will probably be less assertive than core Eights. They might be less driven toward success and may not experience as great a need to dominate. Also, they might be less inclined to philanthropy, but be more cheerful and likable.
Seven’s attachment style: insecure
8w9 Enneagrams could be more passive than Eights normally are. They will probably be less confrontational and might lack their natural prowess to take authority.
On the flip side, 9w8 Enneagrams will have the placid natures of Nines but may roll over to the demands and expectations of others a little less.
Eight’s and Nine’s attachment style: insecure
When Nines have a dominant wing in One, they will still be gentle in nature, but they could be harder working and seek to improve affairs and structures around them. Less engaging than Nines, 9w1 Enneagrams might be more inclined to criticize errors—both their own and those of others.
One’s attachment style: secure
Positives of This Pairing
Overall, these opposite personalities could find common ground in a romantic relationship.
Nines will probably prefer to hand the decision-making role to Eights, and this would suit Eights down to the ground. And when Eights observe the submissive nature of Nines, Eights may feel that the noncombatant and non-domineering disposition of Nines makes them less of a threat to their control. This may help Eighths relax into the leader role without fear of losing a tenuous hold.
As an extension of this, when Eights feel less of a need to dominate their Nine partners, Eights might even apply their generous side to this relationship. This could help Nines grow in confidence.
Eights and Nines are contrasting characters, which is often a recipe for a disaster.
Eights don’t need a mediator in their lives, since they usually dictate circumstances around them. They might think Nines are lazy and use their placid natures to avoid confronting issues and manipulate others into leaving them alone. Eights may be unlikely to give Nines the reassurance they so desperately seek.
Also, submissive Nines might fear the domineering Eights and might find they use their bullying ways simply to intimidate others into complying with their wishes.
Often, the mutual respect in their relationship suffers, once they both understand the motivations that lie behind actions and emotions. Eights will probably escape into a world of fun and excess, while Nines could regress to treating Eights with antagonism.
Lastly, we want to point out that men and women tend to match different personalities. If the female partner is Nine and the male partner is Eight, then the EnneaDyad Allied category comes into play. This could prove beneficial for the couple.
Once both partners have established their Enneagram personality types, they could use the information to help them grow. And in personal development, many couples find peaceful resolutions to any issues they may encounter.
To discover your Enneagram type, complete the Enneagram Personality Test.