“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise [people] are able to understand them.” ―
Where I live, there has been never-ending rainfall… not fun. I have needed a dose of Type Seven optimism and energy! Good thing my little daughter is a Seven. She makes even the rainiest of days pure sunshine. I’m so excited to have another dose of bright sun this week on Enneagram Paths, Alleli Hull. As a refresher, Type Sevens are “future-oriented, restless people who are generally convinced that something better is just around the corner. They are quick thinkers who have a great deal of energy and who make lots of plans. They tend to be extroverted, multi-talented, creative and open-minded. They are enthusiasts who enjoy the pleasures of the senses and who don’t believe in any form of self-denial.” (Eclectic Energies, The Enthusiast)
This is just a quick look at basic Type, so let’s dig a bit deeper into the active minds (Head Triad) and deep hearts of Type Sevens, because despite being happy-go-lucky, they are very deep, complex people. Welcome, Alleli!
1. Sevens see and experience the world by trying to enjoy every particle, every second. Talk a little about how this shows up in your life.
I find a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment in noticing little details within the bigger picture. For example, in the song All Time Low by Jon Bellion, every fourth tambourine hit is pitched just a little bit lower than the first three. I am mesmerized that a producer’s brain can think of a detail that small! When I find moments like that in the world around me, I can’t help but share my experience with others!
The label I give this fascination is “simple joy.” I think if more people latched onto this label, we could become less frustrated with the world around us. Simple joy is going for a drive just because, playing card games with friends, making eye contact with a food service worker when saying thank you and watching their face light up. Honestly, it can be even simpler than that—playing my favorite song on repeat for the ninth time, taking my socks and shoes off after work, or even finding another clean shirt in the hamper so I can put off doing laundry for another day. Does simple joy make me a simple person? Heck no! I just like to take time to appreciate the little things.
2. How do you make decisions? From your gut, from your head, or from your heart? (Or any combination.)
The order is as such: Gut —> Head —> Heart
I have a tendency to want to make (and actually make) rash, impulsive decisions in both major and minor ways. But, if I give myself an extra 30 seconds, then I can keep the weight of the matter while getting rid of the emotional charge and make a more rational decision. BUT if I take too much time, then I’ll just go with whatever I feel like in that very moment.
When it comes to indecisive friends looking to me, I normally have our options put in alphabetical order in my head and pick a letter at random. Whatever I land on is the decision we collectively make.
3. What happens to your closest relationships when you’re stressed and go to Arrow Type One? What happens when you’re healthy and go to Arrow Type Five?
Moving to either One or Five brings focus and detachment to my scattered Seven brain.
When I go to Type One, rules become rigid. I hate when other people around me try to bend and break the rules while simultaneously exempting myself from them. Sometimes I’ll even make up rules in my head and expect people to follow them. I’ll start to detach from the people I’m closest to so I can justify putting my head down and getting through whatever situation I find myself in.
When I go to Type Five, my brain can slow down and focus in on one subject at a time rather than trying to multitask—thinking about how backpacks are made, what I’m going to eat tonight, and how to say anthropomorphize without stuttering over the word, all at once. I get to detach from the emotional charge of what people are saying and look beyond what I’m seeing and hearing. When I’m at my best and most comfortable, I can look like an extroverted Five—my favorite place to be!
4. How does Gluttony play out in your daily life? Do you find yourself lacking satisfaction with experiences, jobs, or people?
I have a massive tendency to over-consume. I’m the person who will eat the last slice of pizza because nobody wants to be “that person.” I like to drive just a little bit faster than the other vehicles around me and, unfortunately, have the driving record to prove it. I binge watched six seasons of Game of Thrones in less than three weeks. Why? Well, why the heck not‽ My reasoning for a lot of the decisions I make can boil down to this: Because I can.
The second part of this questions comes at a very transitional time in my life. Summer just ended (goodbye Six Flags), I recently turned in my two weeks notice and am switching jobs, and I’ve also recently cut out some unhealthy relationships. I’m always “lacking,” but I always find the silver lining to make the best of whatever situation is staring me in the face.
5. What do you wish other people understood about being a Type Seven? (And by the way, most of us want to be you!!)
SEVENS HAVE DEPTH!!! We are probably the most easily caricatured type because our natural disposition leans heavily into joyfulness and positivity, but don’t mistake our upbeat demeanor for an empty brain—when healthy, we work incredibly hard for depth and even harder for others to see it.
Sevens are also natural Jacks and Jackies of all trades. We have the intrinsic ability to pick up foundational skills on the fly but will rarely master any one thing. We fill skill gaps until a more qualified person can fill it. By then, we’re ready for more variety and a new challenge anyway!
6. Tell us about your Wing. Do you know what it is? How does it color your experiences as a Seven?
I am a 7w8. While my natural disposition is to be upbeat and positive, I can get set off pretty quickly if somebody tries to control my mood or actions without permission. I’m not great at being a “good soldier” because that means my decisions aren’t my own.
I also have a really difficult time with people’s opinions stated as absolute. Regardless if I agree or disagree with whoever brought up the statement, my natural bent is to be against it. What is great about sitting in the opposite camp from the other person is now we get to dialogue and dissect; an animated, cordial conversation gets to happen, and now we can bend and stretch the absolute statement to see what it’s really made of.
7. As a Type Seven do you personally connect to spirituality? Are there any spiritual practices you participate in?
I have to. At some point, the shallow reasoning I have for most of the decisions I make aren’t good enough, and I have to seek out something/someone bigger and wiser than me. While I grew up in church and still stand on the beliefs cited within the Apostle’s Creed, I do not currently ascribe to any spiritual practices.
8. How do thinking and planning show up in your life? Are you able to recognize all the thinking you actually do?
I might be a good future thinker and planner, but I’m a terrible implementer. My brain can only wrap around planning up to two weeks out at a time before I have to take considerable measures to keep my schedule organized. If there is no concrete timeline on future plans, the sky is the limit on what I can or want to do. I have aspirations of becoming a serial podcast creator, recording my own music, fostering multiple dogs at a time, and building my own gaming computer. Those are not difficult to plan and account for the logistical details. Implementing those plans are a completely different story. There are so many other easier events I can execute, so I put many of my aspirations on the back burner to take care of “tomorrow.”
I am constantly in my head, and there are a lot of amoeba-like thoughts and ideas floating around. I can typically track my train of thought, but sometimes I have to play catch up. I have gone from silently appreciating a nice writing utensil to blurting out “Can you shoot a gun in outer space?” thirty seconds later. I know all of the thoughts in-between that got me to that point, but I still have to catch up to myself. When I’m not in a healthy headspace, I’ll have full conversations/arguments with people I’m close within my head. I’ve learned to catch these earlier, so I can dissect why I’m doing this by myself and not with whomever I’m having the “discussion” with and redirect the thought pattern into something more actionable.
9. Talk about what the words Focus, Maturity, and Pain mean to you today.
Focus is selective and subjective. If I find a topic interesting, I will deep dive it until I hit bedrock. For instance: a friend of mine asked me if I could create a playlist for all nine types. I spent eight hours straight curating nine different playlists with songs spanning across different genres and levels of popularity. But if I don’t find the topic interesting, I have to work really hard to find focus and buckle down.
Maturity is a journey in a vehicle that only goes 10 mph to a destination 1000 miles away. Maturity has come really slowly and awkwardly to me. It means rising to whatever occasion is in front of me and embrace what’s uncomfortable. It means learning to minimize my foot-in-mouth syndrome and grow in empathy for the people I am surrounded by. It also means reining in my impulsiveness and owning my situation rather than running from it.
Pain is scary and inevitable. Sometimes pain doesn’t have a resolution—I’m learning that lesson right now.
Alleli Hull is a 31-year-old Midwesterner sweating it out in Memphis. She went to school for music performance and can play anything in your typical garage band. She enjoys a little coffee with her sugar and firmly believes the toilet paper roll should be over and not under. She also has a pup named Skander and can’t say no to him. She loves FPS games, and the Halo franchise was her first love. Her room and car might be disasters, but at least all the apps on her phone are in their rightful folders.
*Cover Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash