Pathological Eights are hypercritical, possessive, unforgiving, and crudely insensitive. They bulldoze over anyone that gets in their way, leaving a string of antagonistic relationships behind them. Not only have these Eights long ago lost connection to their softer side, they go through life defensive and combative — exerting their power over others by arguing about everything. To supplicate their underlying vulnerability and — mostly due to their own bad behavior — susceptibility to betrayal, they constantly test others' loyalty by pushing their buttons to see how they react. They will also indiscriminately act arrogant, bullying, and intimidating simply to bolster their own sense of being in control. Eventually they believe everyone is against them and plot vindictive revenge.
According to The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Eights on a downward slide are confrontational to the point of vociferously bullying loved ones or coworkers. Their ego has a grandiose quality — almost kinglike. They actively seek revenge for perceived transgressions or threats to their authority. They resort to physical and emotional rages in a last-ditch effort to control. An Eight on the brink of total meltdown can literally go into a murderous rage and feel justified in doing so.
Pathological Eights are victims of their own inflated image. When their image implodes, they disintegrate into dictatorial sociopaths — dysfunctional to the point of breaking every moral and ethical code to get what they want or to maintain control. They become ruthless power mongers who use their negative power to control, dominate, and destroy anyone who makes them feel insecure or who gets in their way. At the farthest reaches of the scale, pathological Eights become megalomaniacal, sadistic dictators — on the level of Saddam Hussein or Idi Amin — who are capable of feeling justified in annihilating masses of innocent people.