Coping strategies: rationalization, keep moving, escapism, distracting themselves with activities, fantasizing
Fundamental needs: to be happy, keep their options open, escape pain and deprivation, avoid boredom
Other names: The Enthusiast, The Epicure, The Hedonist, The Escapist, The Optimist, The Explorer, The Thrill Seeker, the Adventurer
Just like other personality types, there is a good reason why Sevens behave the way they do. Their optimism and pleasure seeking behaviors are, in fact, a way to deal with anxiety and fear. They fear pain, deprivation and boredom. They are anxious about missing out on experiences life has to offer.
The Seven’s focus is on the outside world. The Seven knows that if his or her mind isn’t sufficiently distracted, it will turn against itself. To prevent themselves from overthinking and to escape boredom, they make sure to keep themselves busy with something outside themselves.
However, extroversion isn’t necessarily about being around other people. In the case of Enneagram type 7, they aren’t particularly people-oriented. Instead, they focus on things and experiences. This preference isn’t accidental either — Sevens don’t feel they can rely on other people to make them happy.
In fact, they often neglect personal relationships because other people may add negativity to their lives — exactly what they are trying to avoid! Sevens believe they have to provide their own happiness and fulfillment and don’t depend on other people for it.
Sevens dislike introspection and rumination because they believe it will distract them from taking action and living their life to the fullest.
Sevens always appear extremely energetic and engaged. They always have some exciting plans to look forward to. They seem to like what they do and get pleasure from it.
Healthy Sevens don’t just run around having fun. Learning new things is also a good way to distract their overactive minds and it doesn’t involve complicated personal relationships, which is ideal. As a result, they become competent in many different areas.
Learning serves another purpose as well: One of the Seven’s biggest fears is the fear of lack and deprivation. Because Sevens are very self-reliant, they understand that to ensure a good life for themselves, they need to stay productive. Being competent and capable is the best way to ensure they can obtain things they want.
Not only can Sevens do many things well, but they are also very creative. Innovation often comes from diverse areas and cultures when they all intersect in a unique way, and with the Seven’s generalist approach, they eventually accumulate enough knowledge and experience to come up with something new.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
On the negative side, when Sevens are unhealthy, they may dabble in many skills without becoming particularly good at any of them. Because they become bored rather quickly, they lack proper focus that is needed to gain expertise.
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With their positive approach and optimism, Sevens can lift other people’s spirits and make them feel good. This Sevens’ quality makes them incredibly attractive. They are so full of life that they appear young regardless their actual age.
Because Sevens are always young at heart, they stay curious about the world around them. They always seem to be in a state of curious anticipation of something exciting, as if they can’t wait to see how everything will work out.
Although it may seem like all they do is having fun, Sevens take a lot of time to educate themselves. Their minds are quick and agile, and they may surprise others with their original insights.
The Seven’s focus on the outside world helps them come up with lots of new ideas and not surprisingly so. Their familiarity with many different subjects and diverse life experiences lead to spontaneous connections that lead to new ideas.
It may seem like the pleasure loving Seven lives in the here and now, but in reality Sevens are very future oriented. Early on in their lives, they learn to deal with unpleasantness of the present by thinking about pleasant and fun things they can look forward to.
However, this may sometimes be a problem in unhealthy Sevens. Because they feel like they always have to look forward to something, they become unable to enjoy their present experiences.
Sevens are a good company, and other people enjoy being around them. Their non-judgmental nature, their sense of humor and their ability to dispel other people’s bad feelings make them very attractive to others. A typical Seven has lots of friends with whom they can go on adventures together or share special experiences.
Sevens use rationalization as their defense mechanism. Rationalization is minimizing the importance of upsetting events in order to feel better. For example, if you fail to obtain something, you may rationalize by saying you didn’t want it that much anyway.
In addition, Sevens always try to reframe negative events or thoughts and see them in a more positive light so that they can feel better. An example would be reframing failure as a learning experience and a stepping stone to future success.
Seven’s rich imagination is another tool they use to make themselves feel good. This is especially true when the Seven is physically or financially limited — they will daydream, fantasize about adventures and travel, write and read.
Sevens do not concern themselves with abstract concepts. If it’s not something that has practical application or something that they can immediately sense, chances are they won’t have much interest in it. However this doesn’t mean they are ignorant or unsophisticated — typical Sevens are well educated. In addition, they tend to read a lot because it provides them much needed stimulation.
There are few better ways to experience something new than traveling. If Sevens can afford it, they travel the world. If they can’t afford it, they focus on building up the resources they need to travel while consuming all the information they can find about places they would like to visit.
Type 7 Subtypes
Self-preservation Sevens are more concerned about their security and resources. Of all the subtypes, they are more likely to panic if they feel a sense of lack. They are also communication experts who are always on the lookout for good opportunities.
Social Seven is the most people-oriented type. What differentiates this type from other subtypes is that Social Sevens serve others to distract themselves from their own pain.
One-to-One Seven is the most imaginative subtype. They live in their fantasy world where people and things are better than in reality, and they appear almost too happy.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy
Another way to classify Enneagram type 7 is by their health level.
Healthy Sevens are very productive. They satisfy their needs without being self-indulgent and generally focus on being useful. Healthy Sevens are more self-aware and understand their own emotional needs better than unhealthy Sevens.
Unhealthy Sevens, on the other hand, are extremely self-indulgent people. Because acquiring material possessions doesn’t cure their emotional problems, but only distracts from them, unhealthy Sevens need a larger and larger fix. As a result, they may become greedy and selfish.
In the Enneagram model, there is no pure personality type as each type is affected by the two neighboring types. In this case, the type Seven is affected by the type Eight and the type Six. As a result, we have the Seven with a Six-Wing (7w6) and the Seven with an Eight-Wing (7w8).
Enneagram 7 and MBTI
Sevens with an Eight-Wing could be ENTJs.
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