“And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who will tuck me in at night. If you think I am having more fun than anyone on this planet, you are absolutely correct.”
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
― J.K. Rowling,
Radical honesty here, I want to be a Type Seven. Ohmagosh, Sevens seem to have so much fun and as a Type Five, fun is like the literal last thing on my mind! (But it needs to be.) Healthy Sevens, man they’re cool. They make even the most mundane thing seem as though it’s the best ever.
Okay, enough about my Enneagram crush on Sevens. Let’s learn some basic information about these glorious people — because I’m a Five and information is my superpower!
Enneagram Type Seven at Their Best
In their healthiest state, Type Sevens live life to the fullest. They suck every drop of happiness from each moment and, surprisingly, are totally present in that moment. They are the kings and queens of mindful joy and teach others how to appreciate the simple and even mundane things of life. Healthy Sevens truly enjoy life and they see the world through a lens of optimism. This Type is highly energetic and fast-paced, always going and doing and being everywhere all at once. They have a wide range of abilities and gifts that span many different areas of life. At their best, they use their brainstorming skills to come up with new, innovative ideas and enjoy the entire process of implementing their plans. Sevens can quickly derive associations and interrelation’s between things that others would miss — their sharp minds perceive patterns and deeper realities that are not readily apparent. Healthy Sevens are highly creative and love to have multiple projects going at once. They swiftly get others involved in these projects with their enthusiasm and genuine high-spirits. The most important thing to realize about Sevens in health is they are happy because they have learned how to accept the reality of pain — without trying to escape from it. This ability to endure pain makes them resilient. Then, crisis turns into a challenge to overcome, instead of something to flee. At their best, Sevens are funny, engaging, fantastic storytellers, charming, and delightful to be around.
Enneagram Type Seven in Autopilot
The first thing to know about Type Sevens in Autopilot is that they are in the Head Triad on the Enneagram. This might be surprising to some, but it’s not to Sevens. Their minds are constantly churning — just like Type Fives and Sixes — and they deal with the same core emotion of fear. The racing mind of a Type Seven is attuned to getting them the hell away from anything boring. They fear boring. Feeling bored means that they might have to stop all the fun and deal with some hard things — like pain. Sevens do not want to feel pain, this is why they plan and move so fast.
Having a constant baseline of happiness can begin to become a need for a Seven. Their thoughts turn to ways they can seek new and more exciting sources of stimulation. In Autopilot, they have to be free and independent, and when any kind of boredom sets in they start to feel stifled, becoming restless and scattered. They begin to do too many things, say yes to too many social engagements, take on too many projects, and go out every night. They are terrified of missing out, but what they are really terrified of is dealing with the difficult things in their lives. As they get more and more stressed, they lose focus and quit things. They start to live in the future (in their heads) and become persistently dissatisfied with the present. They get angry and frustrated and so plan more activities to make their happiness return — it becomes a cycle. Eventually, the Seven burns out or turns to addictive, self-destructive behaviors. At their lowest levels of functioning, Sevens can become childlike, impulsive, demanding, insensitive, and they rationalize their selfish, self-indulgent behavior with poor excuses or defensive criticisms.
Arrow to Five in Health
- Able to focus on one task and see it through to completion.
- Start to care more about deeper subjects like spirituality, the meaning of life, social justice, and so forth.
- The need to be the center of attention and action is lessened and they take time to withdraw and reflect in solitude.
- Lust for more is tempered and become satisfied with simple pleasures.
Arrow to One in Stress
- Optimism can start to tilt toward pessimism and their worldviews become more black and white — often as it relates to their own actions and choices. “I’m right, you’re wrong.”
- When bored they take their frustrations out on others with critical and judgemental comments.
- Restless and angry, feel like the world is trying to oppress them.
- Natural good humor becomes biting, harsh, and sarcastic.
- Can become perfectionistic about pleasure. What they expect of experiences and people in terms of how both will make the Seven happy becomes totally unrealistic.
Sevens appear smiling, engaged, and generally happy. Their eyes are wide and almost seem to sparkle. They talk with expressive hand and arm gestures and lean forward during conversations. They will crack jokes and have an animated energy to them, always moving about the room, always trying to find the center of all the action.