While the core type 7 was described as a pleasure-seeker, Sevens with an Eight-Wing don’t live exclusively for pleasure and are more goal-oriented and ambitious. In fact, work is another great way to distract themselves from unhappy thoughts.
More than any other type, Sevens use the manic defense to deal with unpleasantness and anxiety. The essence of the manic defense is to prevent uncomfortable feelings from entering the conscious mind by keeping yourself busy and/or entertained.
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7w8 lifestyle is intense — 7w8 people spend their time rushing around from one activity to the next. They feel like they need to be doing something all the time, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be leisure activities.
Keeping up with 7w8 is not easy, and 7w8 tendency to be somewhat neglectful when it comes to relationships with their significant others, family and even friends makes it even more complicated.
When it comes to relationships, people who belong to the Enneagram 7 Wing 8 personality type are very clear about their needs and expectations. However, they aren’t very considerate of other people’s needs. They don’t make their own wishes known to make others comfortable to share theirs. It’s more like, “Here’s what I am about to do… Take it or leave it!”
It’s important to mention, that these negative characteristics will be more obvious in unhealthy types. Healthy 7w8 are typically more self-aware. They know their own blind spots, and make an intentional effort to slow down and evaluate their life.
7w8 (also known as the Realist) is an interesting combination: The core type Seven is all about experiencing the best of this world and avoiding unpleasantness of life while the Eight-Wing makes 7w8 very self-confident, assertive and driven.
In addition, the core type Seven is great at producing new ideas but doesn’t necessarily have what it takes to follow through. Having an Eight-Wing however, helps 7w8 reach their goals so that financial limitations do not stand in the way of having more exclusive experiences they crave.
In this sense, the 7w8 is similar to the 8w7 — both are looking for freedom, control and experiences. The difference between the 7w8 and the 8w7 is their core personality types.
The core personality type is like a filter through which we see the world. In the Enneagram model, the reason why we do things we do — our motivation — is defined by our core personality type, and our wings are just extra flavor.
So if for the 8w7 being invulnerable and desire to control their environment come first and experiences second, in the 7w8 this order is reversed.
Having said that, it’s easy for a 7w8 with a strong Eight-Wing to mistype as a 8w7. In some cases, finding the correct Enneagram type involves quite a bit of self-examination, which isn’t for everybody.
Understanding one’s inner world cannot be accomplished by only looking at outward expressions of behavior. Some personality types may look similar, however they do the same things for very different reasons. And sometimes we aren’t ready to acknowledge the truth about ourselves.
In this example, some 7w8 may prefer to think they are 8w7 because our society judges escapists and respects workaholics. And in all honesty, these two subtypes look very similar, and finding out the true type can be only accomplished by examining the underlying need that drives their behavior.
Because 7w8 are fundamentally Sevens, they appear more cheerful and enthusiastic than 8w7. A typical 7w8 is less rebellious and confrontational than 8w7. 7w8 people prefer diplomacy over direct confrontation, and unlike 8w7, are less likely to attack their opponents first. 8w7 are more protective of their loved ones than 7w8 who put themselves first and generally believe that others should be able to take care of themselves just like they do.
To sum up the difference between the two types, the 8w7 focuses on power and control while the 7w8 focuses on planning and play.
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