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Self-Preservation 8 In Detail

Lust in the Preservation Sphere

The SP8 has a drive for the type of life one deserves, their combination of lust with the SP instinct leads them to focus on getting what they need for survival. They are fixated on what they believe will bring them satisfaction of their needs, and they gobble up what they think they need, often at the expense of filling their real needs. The drive for satisfaction leaves little room to figure out what it is that they really require. Their insecurity about survival manifests in dominating and controlling behaviour, often getting the title of the least expressive and the most armed of the three Eight subtypes.

Ichazo called SP8 "Satisfactory survival", these people have a drive for the type of life they believe they deserve[1], an excessive selfish insistence on prioritizing their own desries without considering the good of others.[2] Naranjo explained that these people want what they want with excess so much that their egoism loses the counterweight of solidarity.[2]

Claudio Naranjo's Conservation 8 Description

Conservation E8: A Very Hard Demander

If the sexual E8 is a manifestly intense person who does not disguise his antisocial attitude and even seduces with his courage to be a bandit, and the social E8 is one who puts his power at the service of just causes, we can briefly describe an E8 of conservation as a hard person in his egoism—and we can understand something of the type thought of the aforementioned Henry VIII or Stalin, whose very nickname, which was given to him by his acquaintances in his youth, alludes to the hardness of steel.

The conservation E8 does not believe in evasions. Even murderers try to justify themselves and talk so much that people forget there's a dead body involved. If she could speak, everything would be seen in another light. Not that she takes pity on the victims, because how can a man allow himself to be murdered. But on the other hand it is good that there are crimes so that the murderers receive their punishment.

Like a nocturnal prayer, the conservation E8 makes her children repeat: “First my teeth are my relatives!” When they argue, she goads them until they patch up their argument over the violence. What she likes the most is watching them box; little interest in harmless sports. Of course, she's not opposed to boys swimming, but more importantly, they should box.

They must be rich and earn millions. No mercy for fools who allow themselves to be deceived. There are two types of men: tricksters and tricked, weak and strong. The strong are like conservation E8, nobody gets anything out of them no matter how hard they squeeze them. It is best to never give anything. The conservation E8 would have made money, but she had children. It's their turn to do it now. Work is brutalizing, she tells them daily. Whoever has sight makes others work. The conservation E8 sleeps well, because she knows that she does not give anything.

The conservation E8 has never cried. When her husband went bankrupt, she was very angry with him. That is why she has held a grudge against him for eight years and when the children asked about him, she told them: “Dad was an idiot. Only an idiot ends up ruining himself.” The conservation E8 is not considered a widow. Her husband, who was a complete idiot, doesn't count for her, that's why she's a widow. In general, men are good for nothing. They are compassionate and let themselves be fooled. She doesn't let go, nobody takes anything from her, she could teach men a lesson.

The conservation E8 does not love reading, but has inflexible proverbs. When something harsh is said to her, she registers it instantly and includes it among her adamant proverbs.

We also find a brief caricature of this human type in the character of Comefuego, in Pinocchio, who, upon seizing the animated and talking doll that is Pinocchio, locks him up and uses him in his shows. All of this suggests the operation of a great egoism and the harshness necessary for exploitation, which becomes explicit when the giant says that compassion makes him sneeze.

This type of rude, selfish, and distrustful person also appears in several of Chaucer's stories, and shortly after in Hamlet's King Claudius, who the spectators of the work (like Hamlet himself) gradually discover as the murderer. Claudius knows how to give the impression that “nothing is happening,” resorting a lot to laughter, parties, and pleasure to hide reality—so much so, that in La Roya! A Shakespeare Company T-shirt was being sold during a Hamlet performance I attended, depicting Claudius simply with a crowned, smiling face.

We would say that, apart from the selfish satisfaction of their desires, lust in this human type takes the form of this superficial intensity of pleasures, designed to divert attention from interiority, which in this case hides their guilt. The supposed relevance of celebration and laughter implies the irrelevance of grief and doubts that seem to obsess young Hamlet, and the king tells him in an admonishing tone that death is something that must be accepted without making a mistake on an object of pathological attachment.

Perhaps we could consider Kafka's father as a literary character, since the writer so richly describes him in the thick book entitled “Letter To My Father” (which he never dared to give to the one for whom he had felt crushed throughout his life). Dedicated to carnage, Kafka's father understood little of his son's motivations or needs, and it can be said that he crushed him without even realizing what he was doing, in such a way that Kafka would come to compare it to the way he crushes himself to a beetle. It is also through this crushing father due to his insensitivity that we can understand the monstrous and invisible authority that makes itself felt in works such as “The Trial” and “The Castle” as an omnipresent element that corresponds to that persecuted and impotent condition to which that we have come to refer to as the Kafkaesque.

We perceive the conservation E8 as someone who, with great power, allows himself to do what he wants, and in whom, it can be rightly said that his passion to achieve what he wants is the constant of his life.

We see him ascend in his political career, in his social and economic level, going over any obstacle in the form of a person, political ideology, religious beliefs or affective ties of any kind. He lacks any type of complicity or bond of friendship and moves in relationships driven by his passion for power.

The family is a bargaining chip, it has a utility for him, it helps him make alliances or appear before public opinion in rallies and campaigns; they all play a role and are afraid of it.

We can say that he is a man who has managed to survive and enrich himself thanks to his strength, his ability to command and his emotional independence, “made from nothing with no other help than God,” but with a harshness that has made him implicitly cruel. He has possessed people and things without loving them.

E8 Conservation (Self-Preservation) – Satisfaction

The most armed of all the E8 is the conservational. The word that corresponds to it is satisfaction: “I have to have it. This is mine. I have to have it." It is more an intolerance of the frustration of what he wants to have than the actual having of it. In this sense, it is somewhat like a characteristic of the sexual E1, who is also obsessed in the desire for him. But an E1 is very different from an E8. E1 is hypersocial, while E8 is completely antisocial. E1 is too concerned with the rules and the other too little.

The E8 conservation pursues the satisfaction of your needs. He doesn't usually talk much. It is like the lion. A lion only moves when it is hungry. It seeks to satisfy its unsatisfied hunger and then sleeps for the rest of the day. Very majestically. It's like no nonsense, no words, no puns in a conservation eight.

We could say that his need is that of an exaggerated selfishness. They are the people who know how to do business and know how to haggle to get ahead of everyone. There is the expression: a used car salesman. That is the art or the talent of the eight conservation. But it is also his need: he is a survivor, a term that has been used for eights in general, but is more indicative of the conservation eight. He knows how to survive in the most difficult situations. He knows how to get things, how to get away with it.

Sandra Maitri's Self-Preservation 8 Description[4]

8+Self-Preservation – Satisfaction

Self-preservation Eights are fixated on what they believe will bring them satisfaction of their needs, and they gobble up what they think they need, often at the expense of filling their real needs. So the drive for satisfaction leaves little room to figure out what it is that they really require. Their insecurity about self-preservation manifests in dominating and controlling behaviors around what they consider their turf, and around sustenance and support—keeping watch over what and how much is eaten out of the refrigerator, for instance, or where exactly her husband is spending their money. The passion of lust manifests in the voracity of their drive for satisfaction.

Beatrice Chestnut's Self-Preservation 8 Description

Self-Preservation 8 Subtype description (2021)[5]

This subtype is the most practical and pragmatic, and feels a strong need to get what’s theirs and what they need for survival. They focus the most on material security. They excel at finding ways to get what they want to support their need to feel satisfied or secure. They may have a difficult time being patient and want immediate satisfaction of their needs and desires. They appear more reserved, guarded, or defended, and may seem more contained. They don’t talk much.

If this is your subtype, you tend to be overly pragmatic and can sometimes become selfish. You likely know how to do business, and you may barter and bargain to get an advantage over others to get a good deal for yourself. You prioritize your own survival. You may give up exploring more of life and opening up more to others in order to maintain a sense of security. You may focus more on access to money and other resources than on relationships. You may unconsciously disqualify any feeling, person, idea, or institution that opposes your desires. As the most armored of the three subtypes, you have the hardest time allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Self-Preservation 8 Subtype summary (2013)[8]

Self-Preservation Eights express the passion of lust through a focus on getting what they need for survival. SP Eights have a strong desire for the timely satisfaction of material needs and an intolerance for frustration. SP Eights know how to survive in difficult situations and feel omnipotent when it comes to getting what they need. They are the least expressive and the most armed of the three Eight subtypes.

Self-Preservation 8 Subtype description (2013)[8]

The Self-Preservation Eight: “Satisfaction”

The Self-Preservation Eight expresses lust through a strong need to obtain what they need for survival. The title given to this type is “Satisfaction.” This person has a strong desire for the satisfaction of material needs and an intolerance of frustration, and they have a hard time being patient when it comes to not getting immediate satisfaction of their needs and desires. This intolerance creates a kind of ruthlessness in these Eights about going after what they want and finding ways to get around people who might stand in their way.

Self-Preservation Eights feel compelled to go after what they need very directly without talking about it much—they know how to get things done without a lot of fuss or explanations. These people are the least expressive of the three Eight subtypes: they don’t talk much and they don’t reveal much. This is a no-nonsense person who doesn’t bother with pretenses. Self-Preservation Eights are preoccupied with getting things—and getting away with things.

The driving need of Self-Preservation Eights can be described as an exaggerated ability to take care of themselves and find ways to meet their needs. In their focus on fulfilling their needs, they demonstrate a kind of exaggerated selfishness. They feel omnipotent in being able to satisfy and meet any need, and they disqualify any feeling, person, idea, or institution that opposes their desires. They will go against whatever.

These Eights are characters who know how to survive in the most difficult situations and how to get what they want from other people. Naranjo sometimes refers to SelfPreservation Eights by the name “Survival,” because they excel at generating the material support they need to survive and satisfy their desires.

Self-Preservation Eights know how to do business—according to Naranjo, they know how to barter and bargain and get the upper hand over anybody. Because they are strong, powerful, direct, and productive, they may generate dependency in others who come to rely on their control and protection.

The Self-Preservation Eight is the most “armed” and protected of all of the Eights— this is a more Five-ish Eight. They tend to possess a quiet strength; they are survivors who communicate strength without feeling the need to explain themselves. For them—at times, at least—kindness and good intentions don’t exist. In their need to be strong to meet their needs, they may devalue the world of feelings. And they may not be aware of the damage they cause to others.

These Eights may seek revenge without knowing why. In this way Self-Preservation Eights differ from the Social Eight or the Sexual Eight personality, both of which usually have a specific reason for acting in vengeful ways. This subtype appears more aggressive than the Social Eight (especially in men) and less openly provocative and charismatic than the Sexual Eight.

The Self-Preservation Eight can be confused with the Sexual One because they express a similar energy related to feeling an urgent need to “get what’s theirs.” But Naranjo points out that the contrast between the two types lies in the fact that the Self-Preservation Eight is fundamentally under-social, meaning they don’t mind going against social norms or breaking the rules, while the Sexual One is over- or hyper-social. Even though Sexual Ones are zealous in going after what they want, they still observe social norms, whereas Self-Preservation Eights care less about social conventions and will make their own rules to satisfy their cravings.

Haiki Self-Preservation 8 Description[6]

Self-Preservation Eight: Satisfaction

These Eights will always search for the immediate satisfaction of their desires. In this case, they transform the passion of lust into a passion for satisfaction. They are obsessed with their desires and do not take frustration very well.

As a good Self-Preservation type, they tend towards accumulating resources for themselves, especially given their passion for lust and wanting more.

As they do not care about fitting in anywhere and any social aspect is forgotten, they do whatever they want to do and pass on everything else.  They won’t talk in an elevator to fill the silence. They don’t care about talking much, as long as they can take out their claws and go after their prey. They will go from zero to one hundred in a second. Once their objective has been attained, they return to their den.

To them, life is a jungle, and those who survive are the strongest, not those who adapt best to change.

While Ones, their fellow gut triad members, are obsessed with following the norm, Self-Preservation Eights don’t even know what the norm is. They are not interested in what they are supposed to do. They do what they feel and validate it no matter what. They tend to have a strange conception of good and goodwill.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Self-Preservation 8 Description[7]

SP8: Satisfaction -> Intensity

Lust is manifested in the direct search for the satisfactions and type of life one deserves, with a complete intolerance for frustration. They cultivate revenge and vengeance in the name of their needs and childlike impotence, feeling righteous to the gratification of their impulses. There is a need for “Intensity,” which although common in the three subtypes, here it takes more relevance. The hedonistic tendency to attain satisfaction is due to this component of intensity, as if they intended to find a total and real satisfaction that fantasy could not cover. The strength of their impulses produce an uncontrolled realization that searches for immediate satisfaction, always justifiable in the intensity of their own needs which gives a special toughness to this type.


[1] "The Arica Training according to John C Lilly and Joseph E Tart"

[2] Naranjo, C. (2017). "Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos"

[3] Naranjo, C. (2012). "27 personajes en busca del ser"

[4] Maitri, S. (2001). "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram"

[5] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up"

[6] The Haiki Enneagram Website (Link To Subtype Translations)

[7] Durán, C. and Catalán, A. (2009). "Los engaños del carácter y sus antídotos"

[8] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Complete Enneagram"

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