Enneagram Type Seven: The Enthusiast
To be free to seek happiness and fulfillment.
The world can limit and frustrate people and cause pain that can be escaped.
Enneagram Type Seven Focus: Possibilities. They’re always looking for what’s next.
Many Type Sevens had positive experiences early in childhood; they remember it being worry-free and happy. In some cases, it’s a sudden, fear-inducing event that leads them to withdraw back into that earlier child-like state of enthusiasm, wonder and possibility. This becomes a lifelong coping mechanism: moving away from strife and unpleasantness and focusing instead on opportunity and fun.
The motto of the Type Seven could be “try everything.” Not wanting to miss out on what could be a pleasurable experience, they say yes to everything and often overextend themselves. This attitude means they’re often experiencing one thing while mentally already planning for the next thing on their list. Beyond that, the Seven can become paralyzed by options and left unable to make a decision for what is most important or what they most want to do.
Enneagram Type Seven Vice: Gluttony
Each Enneagram Type is associated with a vice, or passion. The vice indicates the primary emotional-motivational issue for a person of that Type.
Enneagram Type Seven’s vice is gluttony. This goes beyond the traditional definition of gluttony as it relates to food; in this case, it’s a hunger for all kinds of stimulation. Type Sevens want enjoyable experiences, meals, conversations, adventures and more. They have endless capacity for new and exciting, yet are never satisfied by that which they experience, therefore leaving them hungry for more.
Exploring Enneagram Type Seven Further
Centers, subtypes and wings help provide additional insight into how a person operates within their type.
Enneagram Type Seven Center
A core tenet of the Enneagram is that people are “three-brained,” meaning that we exist with three centers of intelligence: the body center, the heart center and the head center.
Type Seven is part of the head center, which regulates cognitive activities. These Types filter the world through their thoughts. Sevens have a unique way of thinking in that they can quickly switch from one line of thinking to another by forming unusual connections in their mind.
The issues of each center revolve around a mostly unconscious emotional response to losing contact with the core self. Type Sevens, as well as Fives and Sixes which are also in the head center, struggle with feelings of fear as the dominant emotion. The Type Seven avoids this fear by focusing almost exclusively on positive thoughts and fun experiences.
Enneagram Type Seven Instinctual Subtypes
The Enneagram system allows for three subtypes in each type. They are Self Preservation, Social and 1:1 Bonding.
- Self-Preservation emphasizes behavior related to safety and security.
- Social focuses on belonging, recognition and relationships in social groups.
- 1:1 Bonding concentrates on individual relationships and interpersonal attraction.
Self-Preservation Type Sevens: Keeper of the Castle
The SP Seven is practical and good at getting what they want. They have a network of alliances they can use to get what they need and rely heavily on those they trust. They are alert to opportunities and threats, and aware that missed opportunities may not present themselves again. While the SP Seven is cheerful, friendly, warm and chatty, they may also feel that the normal rules don’t apply to them which can be isolating.
Social Type Sevens: Sacrifice
Social Sevens desire to not act on their gluttonous impulses and hide them behind charitable behavior. They will deny themselves in order to provide more for others and are often the responsible figure or helper in a group or family. They are enthusiastic, joyful and idealistic, but also conflicted by their more selfish motivations for being altruistic. They may rationalize behaviors, telling themselves and others they behave a certain way out of concern for others.
1:1 Bonding Type Sevens: Suggestibility
A 1:1 Bonding Seven is a glutton for the idea of what could be. They are enthusiastic dreamers who can at times be naïve. Their constant focus on the positive can make them appear to be too happy. They fear pain and boredom which leads them to overcompensate with their optimism. The 1:1 Bonding Seven is imaginative, flexible, trusting and gullible.
Enneagram Type Seven Wings
Each Enneagram type has two wings, which are the numbers on either side of the Type. One wing is usually stronger than the other and its qualities are more likely to bleed over into the main Type.
A 7 with a 6 wing (7w6) focuses more on bringing fun to others. They are a bit more cautious, owing to the 6, but are still quite spontaneous.
A 7 with an 8 wing (7w8) focuses more on goals. They can be outspoken and less concerned by conflict with others.
Enneagram Type Sevens at Work
Enneagram Type Sevens are confident, skilled networkers and multitaskers. People look to them for their vision, inspiration and creativity. They are productive, action-oriented and get things done. Their strength lies in ideas, not details. Team members may see them as scattered or unfocused.
Sevens excel in roles with freedom—jobs without a micromanaging boss. They may gravitate toward entrepreneurship and other exciting opportunities with no set day-to-day schedule.
Type Sevens are gifted at motivating teams and generating excitement. They excel at inventing new opportunities for growth, success and innovation in the workplace. They are innovative, cheerful, adaptable, quick-thinking, inquisitive, playful and flexible.
The Type Seven leader is triggered by boredom. When faced with it, they have difficulty finishing projects, overlook details, and become generalistic, hasty, scattered and erratic.
Enneagram Type Sevens can be indecisive. Consistent with their passion for gluttony, they hate to close off an opportunity by choosing one thing over another. It’s important that they think to the future, envisioning how they want it to look, and make decisions based on that information.
Conflicts and Resolution
When faced with healthy conflict, Sevens are able to stay in the moment, listening to others without self-referencing. They can focus on the issues at hand, even if the discussion is emotionally charged. Unhealthy conflict pushes a Type Seven to jump from one point to another, putting a positive spin on problems and minimizing genuine concerns. They hope issues will resolve themselves. ITo resolve conflict, they must acknowledge the conflictual situation and stay focused on the present moment.
Giving feedback to a Type Seven requires the person to be direct. They must encourage the Seven to slow down and focus while allowing time to process feelings. It’s also helpful to double-check that the Seven understands the feedback and provide time to deal with the feelings and pain that may arise.
The Type Seven’s innate optimism and positivity is helpful when they must deliver feedback, but they have to remember to take their time as they explain. They should stay focused, objective, and acknowledge the recipient’s feelings and ideas.
Continued Growth and Development for Enneagram Type Sevens
Type Sevens bring enthusiasm and joy to everything they touch. Superficial experiences can be fun in the moment but it’s worth the effort for the Type Seven to explore why they try to keep things surface-level and what’s possible when tap into their emotional depths.
Beatrice Chestnut, PhD, suggests in her book The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge that each type can benefit from self-observation, self-inquiry, self-reflection and self-development.
For Type Sevens, this means:
- Monitoring the ways they focus on pleasure to avoid pain, and the future to avoid current tensions
- Understanding the reasons behind these tendencies and the emotions being avoided
- Taking steps to address what they’ve observed; Sevens should try to recognize the differences between love and pleasure and make room for the fuller experience of pain and other uncomfortable emotions
Enneagram Type Sevens can grow and develop by moving forward to their Type One “Growth-Stress” point and back to their Type Five “Child-Heart” point. This involves moving out of their fantasies and into realism with its standards and rules, or retreating from social situations in order to sit with their thoughts and feelings.
The Enneagram Institute suggests that Sevens can benefit from choosing quality over quantity, recognizing that anticipation of the future means missing out on the present.
Sevens can also connect more deeply with others by slowing down long enough to truly listen and develop empathy for someone else’s situation.
Type Sevens avoid feeling pain and fear, but with practice, they can connect more deeply with themselves and others. This cracks them open, giving them the opportunity to grow into a higher version of themselves.
Corporate Consciousness uses the Enneagram to help leaders and teams improve their emotional intelligence. Whether you’re interested in one-on-one coaching, building a high-performing team, mindful leadership or continuing your path of growth among others, Corporate Consciousness can help.