8s are pretty darn capable people. They will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Sometimes they will even do more than it takes. They are proud of being able to accomplish what they set out to do and of their ability to deal with adversity, challenges, and obstacles. 8s tend to feel as if they can weather whatever storm nature throws at them. If you are being treated unfairly—caught in a metaphorical or an actual storm—8s will also direct their considerable energy on your behalf.
But their tough exterior covers the same kind of fear every other type has, which is that deep down—or when push comes to shove—they are not all that. 8s whose identities are completely wrapped up in being a powerful force of nature expend quite a lot of energy proving it over and over again to themselves and to everyone else. Once is definitely not enough.
However, no man is an island—and no woman is, either. We are interdependent. We need each other. As far as 8s are concerned, it’s perfectly OK for someone else to be needy. But it’s definitely not OK for 8s to feel needy, actually be needy, or—horrors!—be seen as needy. It’s kind of the opposite situation to the boy who cried wolf. 8s do such a good job convincing everyone else of their hardiness and durability that others assume they don’t need help. Ever.
Notice that 8 over there who just fell through the ice? No worries. He’s got everything under control. See, he’s signaling that he’s just fine. Yes, he’ll be waving everyone off until the moment he slips under the ice and is gone, victim to his compulsion to always be the rescuer and never the one who is rescued.
It’s great to be able to tough things out, but it’s not so great to risk life and limb out of the compulsion to tough them out.
People…people Who Need People…*
One of the things 8s fail to recognize, in addition to the utter folly of their total commitment to their position, is that other people like to be needed. They appreciate being able to help each other. Another thing is that always being the one to lend a hand and never being willing to accept a hand creates an imbalance in all of one’s personal relationships. This ought to make an impact on 8s, who are greatly concerned with fairness and balance. Give and take—or give and accept—would make a good mantra for 8s.
When 8s embrace their inner Weak Sister (whether male or female), they can let down their guard and admit they don’t have every single thing under control. They may not be able to deal with a thing or two life throws at them. So once in a while, they could possibly use a little help from their friends. It’s OK to ask. When they do, they may be surprised to find out that expressing vulnerability does not knock them down a notch in everyone else’s eyes. It might even raise them up a notch or two.
*not an endorsement of the song
Who do you know that might b an 8
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Ah, so this is what brings you out of the woodwork. 🙂
Yes, I confess to being an 8–and to knowing quite a few other 8s.
I think you know one, too.
Marta responds “so true”. My other 8 friend responds “Oh I don’t know about this. I got a lot of mental support from you when I was dealing with Robin. You listened to me ad naseum”. Thoughts???
Thanks for sharing the blog! One of my thoughts is that I get a lot of the same kind of support from my friends that I think your other 8 friend is referring to. Not sure if this person is female, and at the risk of making another generalization, I think this is common among women, no matter what type because it’s cultural. (It’s probably especially UNcommon among type 8 men, however.)
My other thought is that recognizing and allowing for the fact that we do not always possess the strength and capabilities of superheroes indicates a healthy state of being for an 8. On the other hand, failing to recognize the tendency to tough things out when it shows up could be an example of denial. We 8s are incredibly good at denial.
Also, if your friend has a wing–especially a 9 wing–that would somewhat mitigate this particular 8 compulsion.
I was just thinking about you this morning, so how nice that you checked in. 🙂
Thanks, J. Yes, my friend is a female. I’m going to forward your response to her. Maybe she will chime in herself.
P.S. I don’t see any 9 tendencies in her. It’s more like she is in a “healthy state of being” as she pays attention to such matters.
That’s a good sign. The posts in this “fatal flaws” series are done in pretty broad strokes without a lot of nuance. But if nothing else, they are good points of comparison both between types and within each type.
Hey…. I resemble that! I’m waiting for more good work on Type 8. I can’t help but laugh when I read this.
Yes, I laugh at myself all the time–when I’m not intent on toughing it out, that is. 🙂