Home | Blog | Famous Enneagram Eights: Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump

Famous Enneagram Eights: Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump


WORLDVIEW: The powerful try to take advantage of the weak; I must change this.

EIGHTS pursue the truth, want situations under control, strive to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.

Assertive, bold, and confident, Eights are highly independent, with a tendency to both protect and control people and events around them and a deep commitment to truth, justice, and equity or fairness. Most Eights are excessive in some way, particularly when they feel anxious or vulnerable. Because they strongly prefer to not show this side of themselves to others, perceiving such reactions as signaling weakness, Eights mask their tender side by engaging in excessiveness in a variety of forms: over-work, too much or too little exercise, erratic or unhealthy eating, and other forms of over-consumption such as incessant shopping or the purchasing of highly expensive items that they don’t really need.

Eights want to get their needs and desires met, want to make big things happen quickly, much akin to moving mountains, and most have a big presence even when they are saying little. Eights can also appear somewhat different from one another. Some Eights are very quiet with a low threshold for frustration; other Eights are social rebels and protective of others to an extreme; and some Eights are highly emotional, extraordinarily passionate, and enjoy being center stage.

In the following YouTube segments, you will see short clips of two famous Eights: Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump. These clips are excellent examples of the Eights’ interpersonal style. They assert themselves using a voice modulated for effect. For example, Thatcher uses a strident voice and commanding eye contact, while Trump uses an assertive, even aggressive, voice to stake out his command of the situation. In both tapes, Thatcher and Trump are seeking to redress an imbalance, settle a score, and take control through their comments and tone.

Remember: While we can all highly value truth-telling and pursue justice, want to make big things happen, and have issues with not appearing weak, for Eights the pursuit of control and justice, and the avoidance of vulnerability, is their primary, persistent, and driving motivation.

Margaret Thatcher – Click here to see clip

In this interview (though you wouldn’t know it’s an interview until half way through), Thatcher has something she clearly intends to say; watch how she responds when the interviewer tries to insert a question of his own. She clearly doesn’t like the queries, and she uses a variety of tactics to make sure she’s in-charge.

Donald Trump – Click here to see clip

Watch Trump talk about his battle with Rosie O’Donnell. In this sequence of short clips, notice the following: Trump’s extreme language in describing O’Donnell; his unabashed comments about facing a fight; and how he suggests that his comments are a reaction to her accusations that he was going bankrupt.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Anthony C. Edwards Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Anthony C. Edwards
Anthony C. Edwards

Thank you for identifying Margaret Thatcher as an Eight. I see Don Richard Riso classified her as a One, but I think that is wrong. I taught a day-course on the Enneagram when at the University of Lancaster, and when I asked people to think of famous examples of the types, the first suggestion they had was that Margaret Thatcher must be an Eight.

Anthony C. Edwards
Anthony C. Edwards

I do not agree with the interpretations Riso has of the nine types. I see he has Friedrich Nietzsche down as a Five, but I would have thought of him as an Eight.