The Enthusiast

The seventh type in the Enneagram is the most common in our world. Many seven traits have been mistaken to pertain to other types. To a seven, personality and the way you play your role on earth, is very important. So you can be a seven an have your very own, distinct style, and still actually be one of many Enthusiasts all over the globe. A seven wants to be a good person, socially competent, popular, contribute, accomplish and make a good, positive impression.

Sevens are at bottom lovers of fun (fun equals freedom). It is natural for them to have fun and be curious and they turn most situations into something playful. Even when a seven is serious about something, she will make it an opportunity to play, and a seven typically has a tremendous ability to create and fantasize. She is also good at multitasking, she enjoys doing several things or think about several things at the same time.

We call this type the Enthusiast, for if you are a seven, enthusiasm is your normal mindset. A seven is often fast and energetic and always strong willed. She is so positive she often takes on other peoples problems and tasks, especially in intimate relationships, and this can lead to her being used by other people. Sevens are doers and want to fix people and their problems, they just can’t ignore suffering.

A seven who feels good has a “Yes!”, filled to the brim with curiosity and anticipation on her tongue at all times. She is typically kind and caring and tries to make everyone see the positive so that they, and she herself, can feel good. She is an uplifter and a natural born coach. She sees the silver lining in everything and the good in everyone. “If there is a will there is a way”, is her motto. She has high demands on herself (like a three and an eight who are also go-getters), so trying to improve herself and others comes natural to her.

Being a go getter type, a type seven does not easily let the negativity or slow pace of others become her. She is goal-oriented and wants to reach her goals (sevens often have several goals at the same time) as fast as she can. Neither does she take into account, the need to slow down, that her body may shout at her about. A seven tends to neglect her body, because she does not want to stop and risk missing out on fun or opportunities.

A seven loves to network and connect people with each other. She has a natural focus on who can help whom. She sees networking as being just as important as her work. Sevens look at the people around them as equals. They are the guys who walk up to the king and treat him like an old friend. And get away with it. A seven embodies the saying “I am ok, you are ok”.

A seven does not like rules, limits, boredom, conflicts, separation (=projects that end), negativity, pain, restriction or being deprived of things she wants. She wants freedom, many options, entertainment, variation, improvement, love, overflow, excitement and adventure. She likes to plan future adventures and fun.

Sevens are not very picky, but they like variety. Playing games at home or just hanging out is fine, as long as it is entertaining. Sevens are naturally drawn to places where there is a lot of people, variety, and a lot going, like amusement parks and parties. But not all sevens run around and do a lot of activities. Even when a seven is alone at home, she plays and entertains herself. She can be calm and still, as long as she does not feel deprived.

When a seven is in a playful mood she creates a party feeling around her. Sevens typically have a hard time leaving a party. Some sevens love to entertain and make people laugh. They are experts at making up games and stories. Other sevens are calmer and more careful. They strive to behave well in order not to risk disapproval.

Sevens are, like fives and sixes, head types and they like to play with thoughts and concepts. Sevens especially love to play with ideas and theories and see how things connect. This makes them feel secure. Unlike the other head types, a seven may use a theory without thorough knowledge about it. They tend to stay on the surface of theories and not really investigate. A seven may use a theory without grounding in experience. This tendency can cause her to be fearful and vulnerable to sects and persuasion, since she accepts the ideas as served to her, rather than finding out for herself.

Sevens are fear-driven (fear of pain and limitations) and sometimes this shows and sometimes not. A seven does not like the idea of being a scared person. Type sevens with a six-wing are more like Piglet (the little happy pig character in Winnie the Pooh), visibly and obviously scared. These sevens are more prone to look for security and might not be as adventurous and can be scared of change.

Then there is Tigger in the same stories of Winne the Pooh, who fearlessly jumps around and is very happy-go-lucky. He has an eight-wing and comes across as much more wild, fearless and strong than Piglet.

All types can change in the course of a life time as to which one of their two wings (neighbor types in the Enneagram) is the dominant one.

The helper/superhero image

Sevens are into helping people in any way they can. They cannot stand just watching people suffer. Let´s fix what´s wrong so you can be happy again, is their motto. They are the pep-talk experts. They want to improve situations for people around them, uplift them, fix them and inspire them (because it is also a lot of fun to help).

Sevens do this subconsciously to avoid their own suffering. In the end they can end up feeling they ignored themselves while helping and encouraging others. This makes for the confusion with type two in traditional Enneagram literature. Twos, however, are only helpful and supportive emotionally, it is their only focus.

Sevens are altruistic and helpful in emotional as well as practical matters, and they see the bigger picture. They can be into helping the one they love, strangers (to sevens there are no strangers, they are all possible new friends) or they might have a more global focus. Political activists and leaders are often sevens, like Obama and Jens Stoltenberg.

A seven often describes herself as a highly sensitive person. She picks up the pain of other people wherever she goes, even that of strangers in the street. It is very painful and it takes a lot for a seven to just ignore the suffering of others.

There is also a deep seated fear in this type that she is in fact not good enough or worthy of the same help, attention and love that she gives to others. This core belief keeps the seven giving herself away (often for free). Sevens need to value themselves and what they give, and most of all learn to kick their pride aside to receive help and love from others.

For there is an element of pride and control in this aspiration to help, for a seven cares very much how other people see her. She wants to give more than she gets, and it always easier for a seven to help than to receive help. A sevens feels vulnerable when receiving help form others. Being a go getter (type 3,7 and 8) she wants to be on top and therefor the celebrated superhero is a dream role/image.

Sevens sometimes dream (often in childhood) of having supernatural powers. A seven has a tendency to visualize herself as stronger than others and therefor willingly carries the world on her shoulders. This is also called “the Messiah complex”, it is all because of her if people suffer or not. This is of course a very painful illusion.

The solution for a seven is to be the most important person to herself and with love and care tend to herself. This way, she does not depend completely on others to validate her. She can slowly let go of her superhero-image and let herself be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a state that a seven can feel resistance about at first. She needs to let go of controlling her image, and this can evoke a lot of shame at first. When she does, she can let go of all her help-projects and rest on a deeper level.

Sevens in relationships

Relationships are key for a seven. If nobody mirrors her she feels like she does not exist. A seven would put it like this: “I see you and your potential but I cannot see my own at all”. This of course causes sevens to be very sensitive to criticism. Great fear hits a seven if someone is not happy or ok with her or, worst of all, rejects her. Conflict can make the seven feel guilty, ashamed and flawed. It makes her question herself in a harsh way.

A seven wants to team up with the perfect mate, someone who will accept her for who she really is. She wants her fairy-tale story and is looking for her own prince/princess. A seven often has a tendency to idealize her partner, and can have a hard time seeing the partner for who he/she really is.

She often ends up with a help-project, trying to fix the life of her partner, instead of their own. She becomes the typical co-dependent partner and in fact sevens are best off with someone who can take care of themselves.

When a seven wants someone or something she can be a charmer and a manipulator and have a strategic manner. A seven is very strong willed. She can tempt you with gifts, romance, adventures and flattery. The classic Don Juanita/ Don Juan is a seven. If she falls in love she can pursue that person for a long time, just to win the person over. This of course means fun to the seven and she likes the chase. This aspect has been attributed to type two, but twos do not like to chase at all.

Sometimes it turns out the seven does not even know who she is chasing, she just loves the chase and finds it exiting and adventurous. But when a seven does finds her true match, she holds on to this person with all her heart, and she is then a very serious, loving, loyal and devoted partner. She can have a hard time letting her loved ones just go, without trying in many ways to fix the relationship. She may find it difficult to let her children go, as well, despite the fact that she herself as a child may have become independent quite early.

A seven often has high expectations in an intimate relationship and will therefor experience disappointments in it, which can make her quite angry. If in balance, she will quickly find something else to be enthusiastic about, and get over it. If not, she will let the person involved know about her disappointment, in no uncertain terms.

Lack of discipline

Sometimes sevens have a hard time mustering the dicipline to do the less exciting tasks in life. If they do in fact neglect the practical matters that need to be attended to in order for them to have material security, that can make them afraid. A seven needs a safe base so that she can play without worry.

A seven also dislikes conflicts and many people get upset with sevens since they might not always deliver on time as promised. This can cause her a lot of stress and fear. Sevens often have a strong tendency to do things they dislike at the last minute. They are time-optimists, they think they have more time than they actually do.

Unexciting demands can cause a seven to feel bored, deprived, afraid or unhappy and this feels like a terrible thing to her. She may go to the other polarity and look for others to uplift her and to guide her if she feels lost.

If a seven has postpones things she needs to do for long and finds herself in serious trouble, she will tend to bury her head in the sand. She will simply refuse to be aware of it, or she will intellectualize and find a way of describing the situation that makes her feel on top. It is a sign of maturity when a seven can muster the discipline to do the job and create safety for herself.

Sevens and fear

Sometimes a seven will try to slow down and just stop, and fear will catch up with her. This is what she is basically running from. When she has the courage to stop and be still a seven may find herself asking questions like: “Can I trust what is, or will I be deprived and empty? Or even worse, will I be trapped in pain?!?”

Being a head type, the underlying emotional atmosphere in type seven is fear. Just like the other fear types (fives and sixes) sevens try to make themselves secure through thought. And, like the other types, she needs to do quite the opposite in order to find true security. Namely, ground herself in her body.

If she is under a lot of stress she will become suspicious and angry. Her thinking may become so intense and dispersed that she finds it hard to concentrate and focus. In a seven fear can come out as conflict avoidance, obsessions, compulsions (counting things to control thoughts), phobias and paranoia.

The stress point of type seven is at point one, and when a seven has a dip she goes in that direction and becomes self critical and perfectionistic. Fear or insecurity comes out as anger or impatience. She may also start complaining and feel victimized and weak. In this respect it actually can be hard to know if you are a restless type one who favors a happy go lucky attitude to life or a seven under stress.

Many sevens that are very fearful and negative have been hurt and scared so much that they lost fate in themselves and the world. They may also feel they have too many failed projects behind them. Then they loose their happy-go-lucky attitude because they are afraid they will end up wounded if they stick their nose out.

A seven, when unbalanced, can all of a sudden be quite a loner and hide form people around her. This is an attempt to still her very busy, frantic and overloaded mind. She tries to calm down, cool off and find focus and stillness again. It is like she in a constant alarm, and her nervous-system is overloaded with fear. Her fantasies might become very scary instead of amusing to her.

Sometimes of course these fears are justified and not paranoia, depending on the circumstances she is in. A seven tends to be very impulsive and sometimes that leads her down the wrong alley. This happens because she lost touch with her gut-feeling.

Just like the other head types, she needs to come down into her body and ground herself in firm reality, in order to feel really safe and good. And in the case of a type seven that takes discipline in the good sense of the word. Letting your will serve you, to create safety for yourself.

Sobriety and deeper joy

If you are an Entusiast you risk missing out on the present moment favoring the positive. You need to find the time and courage to be still and deepen. Your inner five child can guide you in this. This aspect is within you, you need only connect with it. It is often crucial for a seven to come down from the head into the body to become calm and centered.

These are aspects of type five that are helpful for you:

– Concentration. Fives know how to be still and stick with a subject that fascinates them. The five energy in you is about being still and going deep. Your inner child wants you to stay in your own inner world just like it is, and discover the wonders that await if you stay focused.

– Your needs first. Make sure you are ok before you go and save others. Have you eaten and slept well? Have you got money to pay the rent? Are you ok emotionally? Are you feeling secure? Have you listen to yourself lately or are you escaping your fear? These are good question to turn focus on your own needs. You are the one to save first. Others have to learn how to save themselves, it is not your responsibility. Learn to accept pain and suffering, your own and that of others, as parts of life. Be still and just watch your interiority, objectively like a five.

– Endurance. A five will not give up until she is done. She loves to keep on looking at the matter at hand until she has penetrated to its core. Your inner child wants that secure base of thorough knowledge. Then there can be fun and play.

– Make do with little. The tendency to reduce personal needs to a minimum will create balance in you. Fives only focus on what is really necessary and do not escape reality when it comes to consumption.

– Inner focus. Fives are introverts. Follow that energy in you and put your focus within. Go deeply into yourself. And when you have bravely endured that stillness and those emotions, and maybe that boredom, you will fall into a deeper place of joy.

– Respect for thorough knowledge. As much as the belief that everybody is equal and ok is a blessing, sevens do need to learn to bow to the authority of those who know more. Fives are objective in this respect. They are looking for the very truest version and they hang in there until the have it.

Sevens are looking for joy. When they are free, they embody it. No need to over consume nor look outside for kicks. When a seven overcomes her resistance to being still and concentrate, she deepens. Then she will contact that deep joy that does not come and go with events.

She will find that she herself is joy. When a seven is grounded that way she is fearless and she can inspire others with her natural joy.