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Seem like they could be quite similar, considering both two wing contradict each other.
 

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Take a look at some of Condon's [8w9 exemplars](Changeworks Central- Browse The Enneagram Movie & Video Guide by Thomas Condon) (say, Johnny Cash, Michael Douglas, Ty Cobb) and contrast with eg. Clint Eastwood and Peter Falk. There's a sturdiness, heaviness to the 8w9 that's not quite there with the 9w8. More softness in the latter, Eastwood especially shows a bit of that sturdiness with clear receptivity in a way that's very unlike the 8 exemplars.
 
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I'm still a little confused telling them apart despite all my research (over my being 8w9 or 9w8 myself). I suppose that "way they carry themselves" is a good enough indicator, but not solid enough. Particularly the anger part is more confusing. The rest is pretty standard aggressive yet calm, but want peace and go about it in sorta reversed manners. The 8w9 "Bear" defends Territory and is defensive not offensive, and one would think the 9w8 does too. I sure do.
 

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I'm still a little confused telling them apart despite all my research (over my being 8w9 or 9w8 myself). I suppose that "way they carry themselves" is a good enough indicator, but not solid enough. Particularly the anger part is more confusing. The rest is pretty standard aggressive yet calm, but want peace and go about it in sorta reversed manners. The 8w9 "Bear" defends Territory and is defensive not offensive, and one would think the 9w8 does too. I sure do.
Characterizing Eights as particularily angry is probably a mistake, in a sense. They are the most emotionally stable of all the types, but are low on Agreeableness. Nines are more stable than average, but less so than Eights. Higher than average on Agreeableness, though.

What that jargon means is that Eights' and Nines' system for reacting to negative stimuli is underactive. The same signal can register as a dog tearing at their hands to a highly neurotic person, while a Nine might register a mosquito or horsefly bite and an Eight some insect buzzing around annoyingly.

The angry reputation comes from Eights being markedly uncaring about how others feel - not all the time or completely, of course, but they pay less attention and active weight to others' emotional response than the average person, which leads to a characteristically blunt communication style. Nines (9w1s at least) are more sensitive than average and more actively put weight on others' reactions. So if they happen to get mildly annoyed or even angry, they're more likely to swallow it up and not say a word. Eights might be less likely to care in the first place, but when they do there's less of a filter and less of an appreciation for how much others can take because of how much it takes to seriously wound the Eights themselves.
 
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Yeah... 8w9's don't usually come across angry to me, they come across pretty stable. They can certainly get fired up but it's maybe a little overemphasized in the descriptions. From what I can see the main difference between 8w9's and 9w8's is that 8's are more focused on being in charge of their territory so to speak, whereas 9's are more fixated on being left alone... 9's let a lot of external pressure build up inside and damn up their psyches I guess? so that it feels like repressed anger at not being left alone to pursue their real desires. 8's are more...aggressive I guess, like "don't even think about taking advantage of me" but that doesn't necessarily manifest as aggression in the most classic sense. Have you seen Rules of Engagement, the show? Jeff is an 8w9, he's actually really gentle but also a bully honestly, he's very much fixated on not being taken advantage of and being the "top dog" and all that. And then Stanley from The Office is a good example of a 9w8... He can come off really angry but it's actually essentially anger at not being left alone ("Leave me alone, goddamnit") and he finds little ways to withdraw from others' demands, like digging his head into his crossword puzzles and leaving the office right when the clock hits 5, etc.
 

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The difference seems simple to me. 8s and 9s are totally different. The wing always manifests less strongly than the core type, so what really distinguishes them is the core type 8 and the core type 9.
 

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One way to think about it is a balancing between the type and wing. If the type takes me too far the wing may have to step in to bring back some balance in the situation. As an example:

9w8 - tendency to give in and go along until you feel like you're being taken taken advantage of and type 8 steps in to stand your ground.

8w9 - tendency to be assertive and aggressive until you feel like you've gone too far and step back into type 9 to smooth things over.
 

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The 8w9 that I'm closest with had never any problems asserting himself. From his birth he strongly asserted his independence and pushed against anyone who attempted to control him. This mostly being his parents, for obvious reasons. Extremely aware of 'the stupid people' in his life (blaming others, not himself).

The 9w8 on the other hand grew up shy and over-attached to the people in his life, never had a bad word to say about anyone (it was a problem). It took him a long time to become assertive, well into adulthood. Nowadays he's a powerful person, exuding receptive autonomy and strength, but he's also about 50 years old and had to grow into this.

Neither of them are very talkative, but the 8w9 is extremely aggressive in regards to the world. Not angry (outwardly at least), but aggressive. Meaning that he -always- needs to take control of his circumstances and he easily challenges people, to see what they're made of and if they can stand their ground. He has the assumption that most can't. He's right. The 9w8 on the other hand, while he's a super hard worker and has a ton of energy, he gets stuck in the same place for decades. It's too easy for him to forget his own priorities. And as I said, he think the best of others first.


So, to sum it up;
Essentially, the 8w9 is an 8 first, with all of the type's difficulties. Hyper-awareness of people's vulnerabilities, thinking of others as weak-willed and spineless as a result (blindness to their positive qualities). Negative worldview. Excessive energy leading to domineering his environment from a very young age. Aggressive about their autonomy. Black and white worldview.

The 9w8 is a 9 first, and has issues with over-dependence, weak boundaries (especially when younger), sees the positive in people (blindness to their negative qualities), lose sight of own priorities. Extremely receptive. Shades of grey worldview.

Both of them are stubborn as all hell, quiet, need their independence. Curiously enough, neither of them can stand arguing.
 

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I hope this isn't too simplistic, it's actually couched in deep thought -

8w9 - making peace with their anger.

9w8 - angry about making peace.
 

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9w8 - angry about making peace.
I don't identify with this at all. In fact, I identify quite a lot with your depiction of 8w9 'making peace with their anger'. It's always going to exist at various points in my life, so I might as well manage and release it productively, say to get moving on that list of bureaucratic chores I've been putting off.


8s and 9s can both be quite deadened to the outside world but these come in markedly different flavours as the core 8 and core 9, as others have mentioned, are quite different. 8s according to Maitri build up layers of armour around their hearts and souls as a defence against a world that's out to get them. "I must be tough to survive." Consequently nothing much negative gets to them, but it's hard for positive emotions to slip in as well, like love and tenderness. To 8s, it's a worthy trade-off, at least until they get older.

Meanwhile as a 9 the line is "I must be calm/stable to survive." The armour is more diffuse, more welcoming to others. I don't weather challenges as well as an 8 would but at least I'm not emotionally ruined by them. If anything, it's anxiety that's worse than say anger and shame and my anxiety isn't bad enough to make a diagnosis on. The trade-off is that it's hard for me to take my own situation as seriously as the people around me think I should (in order to say, make big decisions about it) and I have been in some pretty bad situations over the years. Maybe that's my 7-fix shining through. There's a little dose of naivete I have that's been there all my life, no matter what happens.
 

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I'm being very general in empirical ways. It was food-for-thought.

I think we can safety agree that most 9's in our lives have little tangible experience with anger. You guys are downright polite.

Be that as it may, there is a tinge of annoyance in your text, particularly from the outset, and that is what I was referring to.

9 anger isn't going to surface. Well, not unless I'm watching the news about another mass shooting. (they're all 9's) You weren't designed to identify with it; you were designed to allow it to fester. Now that's a rather bold statement on my part, and it makes no allowance for your specific nature. But I wasn't laser-ing your specific nature. Or was I?
 

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Be that as it may, there is a tinge of annoyance in your text, particularly from the outset, and that is what I was referring to.
I'm sorry if I appeared that way. If it means anything, I'm in a whimsical mood today.

It's always a positive thing I find to think about these things for one's self. As you have been.

If the style of 9 you have been keeping in mind is passive aggressive (and many are), I do see where you are coming from. But resentment and internalised anger -- festering -- is a feature of 1s, not 8s. So maybe you are thinking of 9w1s? Anger might be externalised later, but it is going to be bottled up for some time first. Then again, I don't know any other 9w8s in real life, so I can't say for sure the difference. All I know is unlike fellow 9s I have known, it's much more cathartic for me to deal with anger straightforwardly through proper communication. It's then easy to forget about. (The other 9 I am thinking of gets mildly angry at someone else then feels guilty about it, and it becomes a recurring seemingly minor issue, and the problem is unlikely to be addressed. So like you are describing.) I do sound much like an 8 here but I embody the 9ish indolent inertia quite strongly when unhealthy and much less the 8ish lust.
 

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I'm sorry if I appeared that way. If it means anything, I'm in a whimsical mood today.

It's always a positive thing I find to think about these things for one's self. As you have been.

If the style of 9 you have been keeping in mind is passive aggressive (and many are), I do see where you are coming from. But resentment and internalised anger -- festering -- is a feature of 1s, not 8s. So maybe you are thinking of 9w1s? Anger might be externalised later, but it is going to be bottled up for some time first. Then again, I don't know any other 9w8s in real life, so I can't say for sure the difference. All I know is unlike fellow 9s I have known, it's much more cathartic for me to deal with anger straightforwardly through proper communication. It's then easy to forget about. (The other 9 I am thinking of gets mildly angry at someone else then feels guilty about it, and it becomes a recurring seemingly minor issue, and the problem is unlikely to be addressed. So like you are describing.) I do sound much like an 8 here but I embody the 9ish indolent inertia quite strongly when unhealthy and much less the 8ish lust.
No need to apologize, and I wouldn't disagree with anything you wrote. I have this habit of playing fast and loose with the English language, so you'll have to forgive me. :) That festering thing, I meant it only in regard between 8w9 and 9w8. And even then, maybe it's not the best word, I was merely going for the blur between two adjacent types.
 

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I would say the 8 has a clear drive forward. They are still trying to acquire, build, establish, be in control.

The 9w8 might be in power but it's likely just to keep things harmonized and peaceful. Less self-interest, more interest for the group. They are also proud people.
 

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Yes, with 8s, there's always a clear movement, an intentional pressing forward against the outside environment. 8's energy is fairly clearly delineated from the outside world, even the most gentle 8w9 - they are still actively, constantly steering their ship, no matter how placidly. 9 plays into the control - 8w9s enfuse calmness into their environments by virtue of their steady hand. Applying force is their nature; they do it easily and they do it well.

9s on the other had sort of seem to flow downstream, if you will, preferring for obstacles to naturally float aside with the current rather than for the 9w8 to have to actively push them - they sort of meld into harmony with the world until they have to apply intentional force to get back on course. I understand @Full_fathom_4's point in this respect. 9s always seem upset that they're upset, sometimes more than they're upset about the actual situation. It bothers 9w1 more than 9w8, because 9w1 has a harder time addressing it, but neither of them particularly wants to feel separate, and to have to remove themself from the unity-merge to restore harmony.

So then I suppose the easiest litmus test is whether the person exercises control and confrontation as a matter of habit or only briefly and then steps back. I have heard 9w8 termed the referee - uninvolved in the competition besides when there is a violation. 8w9 will always be involved, even if calmly, casually so.
 

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One way to think about it is a balancing between the type and wing. If the type takes me too far the wing may have to step in to bring back some balance in the situation. As an example:

9w8 - tendency to give in and go along until you feel like you're being taken taken advantage of and type 8 steps in to stand your ground.

8w9 - tendency to be assertive and aggressive until you feel like you've gone too far and step back into type 9 to smooth things over.
this is a great description. I personally think everyone uses both wings so the wing theory isn't that impactful for me. but I worked with a clear 8 (he actually leaned more toward 8w7) and this is a great description- when the mercy comes in.

the mercy is present first and foremost with the 9 but if boundaries are crossed, then comes the severity. the severity is present first and foremost with the 8s and then then mercy comes in when their soft heart comes across.

obviously balance is the key with any type. being a balanced person is close to maturity.

in response to the op, there is an interesting thing with the personality type people, they think they can't change. a 9w8 can be just as successful as an 8w9, and vice versa. there seems to be some weird idolization of 8s, 3s, and to a different degree other types, but "success" and fulfillment, and achieving one's aims- that isn't type dependent at all. all types can be admirable in their own ways and achieve great things. and really, we all have equal access to all types (archtypes of human behavior!) at all times. if we were to look at each type as a way of behaving, we all can behave in ways that resemble any type.

I hope this isn't too simplistic, it's actually couched in deep thought -

8w9 - making peace with their anger.

9w8 - angry about making peace.
Very interesting and profound! Would you expand upon this?
 

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I think @angelfish did a pretty good job already. :)

But yeah, it's the agitation of working back to/maintaining the ego-peace for 9w8, and the 'by the hand of an angry God' aspect of making people/things be peaceful for an 8w9 psychological kingdom.

Obviously these facets describe rather average states of being, and not accounting for an 8 being loving, generous, forgiving (2) or 9 not seeing these agitating obstacles (ppl, circumstances, the work required) as standing in the way of accomplishing whatever they're wishing to achieve. (3) In doing so, they will have both let go.

You can describe something similar with other adjacent types on the circle too, respectively.
 

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I'm sorry if I appeared that way. If it means anything, I'm in a whimsical mood today.

It's always a positive thing I find to think about these things for one's self. As you have been.
a 9w8 says shit like this. a 9 dislikes head on conflict. In fact, they REALLY avoid it.

An 8 doesn't mind conflict. Just another day. the 9 wrote what I quoted. I'm an 8.

See the difference?
 
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