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Social 8 In Detail

Lust in the Social Sphere

When lust meets the social instinct, it manifests as passionate and possessive nature of bonds with others, attempting to keep those they consider weaker happy. However, this isn't a necessarily sweet character, the SO8 often feels as if it's tasked to be the protector of the weak, they also idealize the idea of trust and friendship and once that bond is broken they might not ever forgive and turn to aggression. They are often compared to a person standing up to a higher force to protect those below. Some SO8s can also get lost in this idea of revenge that they forget that those who they are protecting are, in fact, people, and because of that can end up using those "below" as justification for their outbursts. They are also hypocritical in a sense that while they claim to go against conflict, they can produce more of it. In short, this subtype sees themselves as a protector or a buddy, using that as justification for their actions.

Ichazo titled SO8 "Social relations", attempting to keep everyone happy[1], putting their aggression at the service of protection or justice.[2] Naranjo explained social lust as someone who wants solidarity with the oppressed, putting his vigilante vengeance at their service.[2]

Claudio Naranjo's Social 8 Description

Social E8: An Antisocial Solidarity with the Oppressed[3]

Ichazo's term, in this case, was “friendship,” which seems to me relevant to the friendly attitude of such people, even in their aggression, since it is usually expressed as a demand for justice implicitly in solidarity with the mistreated. Personally, however, I prefer to limit the use of the word friendship to healthy friendship, and alternatively use terms such as “complicity” for the manipulative friendship in which ties are established aimed at power.

Social lust wants to show solidarity with the oppressed, putting its righteous revenge at their service.

This is arguably the least psychopathic subtype of the E8, and often comes off as more of a strong good person than a troublesome person; but it is also true that in this character a whole range of manifestations can be recognized that includes quite aggressive people, particularly due to their rebellious and righteous spirit.

In literature, we find the social E8 in Razumikhin, Raskolnikov's friend in Dostoevsky's “Crime and Punishment,” where he appears as a very friendly and protective character.

Somehow, Razumikhin holds Raskolnikov's life cross. He protects him, takes care of him in moments of maximum devitalization and turbulent, feverish confusion. And he protects him beyond Raskolnikov's distrustful, ambivalent, rejecting, and even hostile attitude.

The faithful friend, that man of iron will and unbreakable tenacity, whose bond is maintained in a granite way, even deploys, in the trial phase, a whole series of activities in his favor, looking for people who have been helped in some way by Raskolnikov to find mitigations. He also devotes himself to the service and care of his sister (with whom he falls in love) and his friend's mother.

Razumikhin performs a whole display of physical care; brings the doctor, buys clothes, supports him, accompanies him, confronts him, but, above all, he does it with enormous dedication and a radical presence, showing a friendship that is proof of all kinds of obstacles by Raskolnikov. Delivery and fidelity without limits. Maximum loyalty.

Faced with Raskolnikov's mental escapes, Razumikhin responds once again with his incessant rooting presence, connecting him again and again with reality. Supporting him and confronting him with his usual vehemence, decisive energy, talkativeness, and cunning. And, above all, with a great capacity for action. A type of energetic action, well conducted and executed, which offers a continuous anchoring to reality and constant support. The display of delivery and presence made by Razumikhin is enormously impressive and moving, not only in practical matters, but when it comes to supporting his friend and his heavy internal cross.

In later literature, the benevolent vigilante reappears in the writer Jack London, whose success derived not only from his ability to express himself, but from the richness of his life, characterized by a great spirit of adventure and the corresponding taste for risk.

Jack London tells at the beginning of this story about his life how he felt motivated to build a yacht and embark on it to explore the world, and in its pages a passage caught my attention in which he declared that his most satisfying experience was of going through a storm in which the energy and sagacity with which he served at the helm of the ship led him to feel like master of a very risky situation. I think that the spirit of adventure of the social E8 is an expression of the pleasure that lustful people generally have in feeling like masters of the situation in cases of risk: powerful in a sense of the word that has nothing to do with narcissism or the judgment of others.

I believe that it is the social aspect of lust, which comes to us as a friendly attitude towards others, and an interest in the common good, which makes reading Jack London so pleasant, whom we perceive not only as an exceptional being, but as intrinsically good: a brother.

The Social E8 likes to explore and feels good in situations that would distress more fearful people, although he has problems with loneliness, being such a friendly and outgoing person.

Idgie's personality, from Fried Green Tomatoes, is typically that of a social E8 by combining antisocial rebellion with great benevolence. She is strong, unconventional, independent, protective, but above all she is animated by a deep sense of friendship, which is the best thing in life, as she declares to Evelyne at the end of the film. Such a friendship has been shown in her acceptance of being suspected of a murder she knows was committed by Big George's mother, who would have been sentenced to death on the slightest suspicion in those Ku Klux Klan days.

E8 Social – Complicity[4]

The social E8 is a kind of social antisocial. If we want to use the categories of modern psychology, the eight responds to the so-called antisocial personality: more or less, a person who is against social norms. Or rather a rebellious person.

But a social eight is a type that is only explained in contradictory terms. It's like a child who became violent defending his mother against his father. His violence arose from solidarity. He has resonated a lot with the phrase of “thundering in the face of injustice”.

The central theme of the social E8 was named by Ichazo as friendship. I do not like to use words that have a universal meaning or that we can associate with great meanings to describe specific games of the ego, since many times we end up using those words to justify these same games. So I feel more comfortable with the word complicity. It has to do with the word loyalty, like that of a child who allies himself with the mother to confront the father and who develops a strong detachment from the paternal bond, for which he surely becomes a difficult child at school. He rejects school because the entire institution is associated with a father-like authority, and he comes to experience intellectual detachment because the intellect is equally part of the father complex. Not surprisingly, patriarchal culture is made up of intellect, authority, and impulse control.

Looking at the social eight with the mind of a Freudian, the concept of complicity will be better understood. We could speak of an Oedipus complex. We could say that the boy needs the love of his mother and that he has no hope of finding love in his father. Therefore, he concludes, “I am going to join with my mother against my father, I am going to protect mom, and I am going to get mom's love.” If we go into Freudian psychodynamics, we might also add that this mechanism is not, after all, composed of pure loyalty, but rather a matter of self-interest.

But, for any person of this character, it is very difficult to go beyond the felt experience of simple loyalty. If we were to ask Karl Marx about the nature of his solidarity with the exploited, I don't think he would be receptive to the Freudian reproach, that he would say that he simply ganged up with his mother against his exploitative father. Or that his affinity with his mother was Oedipal and he had something to do with his own need for love.

It is difficult to make an eight aware of his need for love. We are all moved by love. Each form of disturbed personality is an alteration in the way we act to find love. One acts too cute or too good at school, another is too perfect in his morality, and so on. In an eight, it seems that the main issue is renunciation, the abandonment of love. He thinks it's better to go for power, for pleasure, for what he wants, instead of waiting for love, instead of getting sentimental. For an eight, people who are looking for love are sentimental. So an eight is a character that veers towards the cynical, towards the rough, towards the harsh.

Incidentally, eights are not usually interested in activities related to self-knowledge, since it is a little harder for them to develop this type of insight in their own emotional life: they have a lot of repression from the soft side, as if they had had to bury their inner child to be able to go out to life in an armed way, towards a struggle for existence, red in teeth and nails, as the Darwinists say. An eight is someone armed to the teeth.

Sandra Maitri's Social 8 Description[5]

8+Social – Friendship

Social Eights attempt to resolve their sense of not belonging by maintaining friendly social relationships. Being a “buddy” is what Social Eights see as key to resolving their social insecurity. Friendship here is a very deep bond, one implying undying trust and loyalty, a sense of fraternity and being part of the same gang. An Eight’s domineering and controlling tendencies manifest in the arena of social relationships for a Social Eight. Breeches of trust or friendship might result in a vendetta and are not easy for a Social Eight ever to forgive. The passion of lust manifests here in the passionate and possessive nature of these bonds with others.

Beatrice Chestnut's Social 8 Description

Social 8 Subtype description (2021)[6]

This subtype exhibits some contradictory traits. They can rebel against social norms, but also offer protection, support, and loyalty to others. They appear more helpful and fight against injustice toward others. They take action to protect people who are being persecuted or exploited. They like the power that a group offers. They may look more mellow and friendly, and less quick to anger than the other Type 8 subtypes.

If this is your subtype, you often embody the archetype of the matriarch or the patriarch who takes care of everybody, although you may not see the cost of this. By disregarding your own well-being, you tend to sacrifice yourself. You may feel challenged when it comes to caring for yourself or allowing others to take care of you. You protect others, but don’t get protected—and aren’t always aware of this. You can’t stop yourself from intervening when you see others being mistreated by someone who has more power. And while this savior role can seem noble and brave, it may not be good for you or your growth.

Social 8 Subtype summary (2013)[9]

The Social Eight: “Solidarity” (Countertype)

Social Eights express lust and aggression in the service of others. A social antisocial person, this is the countertype of the Eights, a helpful Eight who appears less aggressive and more loyal than the other two Eight subtypes. The name “Solidarity” emphasizes their tendency to offer help when people need protection

The Social Eight is the countertype of the three Eight subtypes. Social Eights represent a contradiction: the Eight archetype rebels against social norms, but the Social Eight is also oriented toward protection and loyalty. They express lust and aggression in the service of life and other people.

This person is “social antisocial.” In contrast to Self-Preservation Eights, Social Eights are more loyal, more overtly friendly, and less aggressive. They are helpful Eights —people who are nurturing, protective, and concerned with the injustices that happen to people—yet they also display an antisocial aspect with regard to the rules of society.

Naranjo explains that, symbolically, this character represents the child who became tough (or violent) in protecting his mother against his father. This is someone who bands together with the mother and goes against the patriarchal power and all that is associated with it: violence out of solidarity. Archetypally, this character represents the child who has given up on getting love from the father and allied with the mother against him.

Social Eights are very sensitive to detecting situations in which people are being persecuted or exploited by others that hold more power. When they detect this kind of thing, they tend to act to protect those who are less powerful. Karl Marx, the champion of worker solidarity and outspoken critic of capitalism, may have been a Social Eight.

Overall, this Eight appears more mellow and outgoing and less quick to anger than the other Eights. They tend to rebel in less obvious ways. They are very active, and they may lose themselves through constantly being in action. They may display a disproportionate lust for projects or for collecting things.

Socially, Social Eights like the power a group offers, and they may have difficulty engaging in more “individualized” relationships. In extreme cases, this Eight can tend toward megalomania. In close relationships, they may display a lack of commitment to the partner that hides an unconscious fear of abandonment.

In becoming a protector at too young an age, these Eights typically lose consciousness of their own needs for love and care. While people with this Eight subtype develop a strong ability to care for and protect others, they unconsciously give up their own need for love and replace it with a compensatory movement toward power and pleasure. It’s generally hard for an Eight to make their love needs conscious, and while they can seem softer or calmer than the other Eights, Social Eights also have a blind spot where their own needs for love and protection are concerned.

This Eight often doesn’t look like an Eight. Ichazo called this subtype “Friendship,” but Naranjo uses the descriptor “complicity” or “solidarity” to distinguish the everyday, positive meaning of the word “friendship” from what he calls the “ego game” of the Social Eights’ unconscious personality pattern. According to Naranjo, this individual’s main drive is for something like loyalty. The Social Eight subtype is the most intellectual of the three, but these Eights also rebel against the dominant (patriarchal) culture. This rebellion necessarily involves a mixture of authority and intellect because the dominant authority in patriarchal societies tends to promote the intellectual control of impulses and excess. While the Sexual Eight is the most overtly anti-intellectual of the three Eight subtypes, the Social Eight goes up against the power of authority out of a desire to protect the oppressed and, unconsciously, a personal need for the nurturance associated with maternal care.

Male Social Eights can look like Type Nines, and female Social Eights may resemble Type Twos. However, these Eights can be distinguished from Nines and Twos because they act in more direct, powerful ways, engage more readily in conflict, and express more power and control in seeking to protect and support other people.

Haiki Social 8 Description[7]

Social Eight: Complicity

This is the Eight that is the most outwardly-focused of the three subtypes. To not be so frightening, they sweeten their image a bit, even though they are still a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Basically, they are antisocial people who try to be social.

If they see an injustice (not provoked by them), they can come to the rescue, but their intervention will always have an equally unjustly violent aspect. The passion of lust turns here into a type of complicity. However, it is not a delicate or sweet complicity, but rather a blood pact between brothers of taking a bullet for one another if something bad happens: an extreme loyalty that is so intense that it is harmful.

In love, this subtype still focuses on the ideas of abandonment, denying aspects of themselves, and jumping into action, all while being a cynical person. They show their harsher side and hope that it will work for the other person. They repress their more intimate part to portray themselves as supposedly powerful. Because of this, they can mistake love for hate in the moment (this is a brief hate, not like the hate of Sexual Fours).

All of this being said, if the Eight is able to look inside and leave this spiral of hate and maximum intensity, they can start a new life. If they are able to do this, it will be easier for them to take on their path of personal growth, being able to become good bosses. Even then, they will have a very protective style of leadership and they would take a bullet for their own. Whoever dares to harm someone in their close environment better start praying whatever prayer they know.

They have a tendency to especially protect the weakest people. With this approach, they can play the role of a sadistic leader. They want to lead, but at the same time, end up hating the people they lead, and may even pretend they don’t exist. It is hard for them to clarify what they mean and they tend to manage through chaos. These traits coincide with their antisocial desires and the attraction they can create in others. As we know well, strength without control is the most efficient road to the abyss.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Social 8 Description[8]

SO8: Complicity 

The search is for complicit friendships that support and sustain each other on the same principles, often unconventional, even marginalized. Friendships which ask for a total loyalty, through which this bond is legitimized. These bonds are stereotypical mafia bonds, where belonging is what makes you legitimate, and they demand any type of sacrifice and betrayal is punished with death. It is established like a blood pact, a friendship of a complicit and unconditional warmth, at the margin of whatever other social or moral principles. This orientation toward friendship gives them a more human, social, and seductive tint than in the other subtypes; these are fun people, with a great power to captivate.


[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. (2019). "Dramatis personae: Eneatipos, cine y literatura"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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