Eight Personality Developmental Pathway

Hardwiring : Instinctual Gut intelligence – seeking control – through taking charge and moving anger in the body

Life Strategy : Be Strong Strategy

Beliefs : The powerful take advantage , only the strong survive – so I must be powerful, strong, not weak/ vulnerable, respected, must meet my own needs, not be dependent

FEAR: being vulnerable/feeling vulnerable

Habit of attention : Controlling the immediate environment, exerts control via strength and personal authority, being invulnerable, noticing others weaknesses, taking charge, am I wielding power well, who has the power.

Self identity : strong, in charge, assertive, big energy, push to make things happen, high pain tolerance, ‘the rock’, in control, to be respected

“I am a strong person, in mind and physicality. I have a hard time tolerating weakness in people unless I understand the reasons for their weakness, or I can see they are trying to do something about it. I approach things in an all-or-nothing way; I am quite black and white in my thinking. I see things in terms of strong and weak. I am honest and dependable. What you see is what you get. I like people to be direct with me, and I know when someone is lying or trying to manipulate me. I don’t like conflict, but I don’t shy away from it. I may have been told I have seemed intimidating at times, but I’m just speaking my truth. Justice is very important to me and I’ll go into battle to protect my loved ones, and those who are being treated unfairly. If I’m angry I’ll tell you. I tend to have a high tolerance for (physical) pain. I have a ‘can do’ attitude. I’m very uncomfortable with feeling vulnerable. I have a need to be in control. I tend to have a bigger, strong body, and have a ‘gut sense’ of things. I have a take charge/big energy and look people directly in the eye. I appear fearless. I manage resources and people and tend to be extroverted.”

NeedsTriggers Strategies to meet Needs
independence, control,
‘respect’ autonomy integrity power
Feeling controlled by another, being taken advantage of, not being able to correct perceived injustices, trying to get to the truth, if betrayedmust be strong and in control, never weak, dominanceof space, establishing the truth, noticing justice/injustice, protecting the weak and innocent, Taking direct action and facing conflict head on, if unaware may lead toexcessive/lustful approach to life, too big, too much….can come across as intimidating (not their intention), resisting others, nurturing (can take care of myself!)

When Strategies to control don’t work:

Lust – feeling that I must push to make things happen – can become intimidating – scaring others away rather than connecting/ protecting. Controlling – the room, the conversation, the project – which can come across as taking over, and creates disconnection. Also the over – taking and pushing can result in important needs not being met. All of us need others to meet a variety of our needs, eg support, care, and so does the person with the 8 PDP, who can try too hard to be self reliant and independent. If flooded will shut down (move to 5) and become an immovable mountain and others cant penetrate the hard veneer – then there is no teamwork or connection.

Blindspots of the Eight PDP 

People with the Eight PDP respect strength and tenacity – therefore can be blunt, direct, and sometimes appear to lack empathy (“toughen up princess!” if they think the other is being ‘weak’). They don’t see that others may view their “straight talk and tough love” as aggressive. Although they claim that they are trying to help/protect by being honest and fair, they are often lashing out at the weakness and incompetence they see in others and that they fear seeing in themselves. It is painful for them to recognise their own vulnerability, which they unconsciously attempt to hide from others and themselves.

Their blindspot is their own softer feelings and needs – feeling vulnerable feelings – sadness, disappointment, hurt. It’s easier for them to mask these feelings with anger. They can find it really difficult to know what they need – believing unconsciously that if they have needs then they are dependent on others – which they deem as weak.

Growth – to reframe vulnerability as strength. There is emotional strength as well as physical strength. We are all interdependent, have universal human needs and need each other. 8’s need to access their softer feelings (underneath the anger) which will lead them to their unmet needs that are creating those feelings – then they are able to feel their heart more, rather than just go into protective angry mode which can damage relationships or intimidate others. Strength includes the heart.

Reflection questions

  • Reflect on the above information – when do the beliefs above help you in life, when do they help your partner? When do they not help you, or not help your partner? Could they potentially cause conflict? How true are they really?
  • Reflect on where your attention goes? ….and consider then where your attention might not go?
  • What situations most trigger you? How are your needs and triggers similar or different to your partners?
  • Can you think of times you’ve used these ‘strategies’ above and did they work? When did they not work?
  • Attempt to fill in your PDP Map, putting in just the information that it is true for you
  • Then compare the differences between your PDP Map and your partners – knowing each is an equally valid way to be in the world……and makes complete sense.