The 9 Enneagram Personality Types as Children’s Books Series: Type 8 as OLIVIA

Enneagram Type 8: The Challenger= OLIVIA

Type 8: “The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational” as defined by the Enneagram Institute

It is no coincidence that type 8 was the biggest challenge to find a corresponding book. I wanted to find a character who fulfilled the Challenger traits, but who cast those traits in a positive light because I think Eights are awesome! Often times assertive or willful characters are painted as bossy or ill-behaved. As I am someone who struggles with decision-making and confrontation, I admire the moxie of the 8, and needed to find a character who showcased all that strength and independence with charm. Once I remembered OLIVIA, by Ian Falconer, the decision was easy!

Olivia is a piglet who has a mind all her own. She has many interests, opinions, and ambitions. She takes great pride in doing things for herself, and her own way. This mirrors the 8’s key motivations, to be self-reliant, to prove their strength and resist weakness, to be important in their world, to dominate the environment, and to stay in control of their situation. Olivia’s folks often allow her to be in control of decisions pertaining to her realm and routine, offering guidance but not in an overbearing way, which works well for Olivia especially because the 8 basic fear is of being harmed or controlled by others. Olivia is able to negotiate and have healthy discourse with her folks, which helps fulfill her basic 8 desire to be in control of her life, even if that means skipping her naps- though the sleep trainer in me is not crazy about that!

“More than any other type, they stand alone. They want to be independent, and resist being indebted to anyone. They often refuse to ‘give in’ to social convention, and they can defy fear, shame, and concern about the consequences of their actions. Although they are usually aware of what people think of them, they do not let the opinions of others sway them. They go about their business with a steely determination that can be awe inspiring, even intimidating to others.” -the Enneagram Institute

Olivia has healthy self-confidence, many interests, and seeks to excel at all the things. Whether building an Empire State Building-esque sandcastle, or wearing people out, she does it 100%. And her specific interests show her decisiveness. Our piglet protagonist has a favorite activity for any occasion or weather. She loves specific works of art, music, literature. She is also keen to learn new skills, even if she gets into trouble doing so, like duplicating Jackson Pollack’s painting style on her bedroom wall…

“When Eights are emotionally healthy, however, they have a resourceful, “can-do” attitude as well as a steady inner drive. They take the initiative and make things happen with a great passion for life. They are honorable and authoritative—natural leaders who have a solid, commanding presence. Their groundedness gives them abundant “common sense” as well as the ability to be decisive. Eights are willing to “take the heat,” knowing that any decision cannot please everyone. But as much as possible, they want to look after the interests of the people in their charge without playing favorites. They use their talents and fortitude to construct a better world for everyone in their lives.” -the Enneagram Institute

Olivia knows what she wants from life, but is always looking out for others too, whether her little brother, or the family cat, she makes sure everyone is cared for, and behaving. She also has a hero’s heart and insists on being center stage in the choices of her life. She is a problem solver and delights in answering her own questions. Her talents and ever-growing skill set builds her confidence, which aids in her decision-making; each Challenger trait begets another. Olivia is definitely an example of a great 8!

For more information on the Challenger, y’all head on over to the Enneagram Institute. Get to know OLIVIA and order her books online(they ship), pick up curbside, or grab one in(masked) person from Book People!

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