Enneagram Type 7 - The Enthusiast
Pleasure seekers and planners, in search of distraction
People of this personality type are essentially concerned that their lives be an exciting adventure. 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.
Sevens are practical people who have multiple skills. They know how to network and to promote themselves and their interests. They often have an entrepreneurial spirit and are able to convey their enthusiasm to those with whom they come in contact. When they are able to focus their talents, they are often highly successful. Focusing does not always come easily for Sevens, however. Their tendency to believe that something better awaits them, makes them reluctant to narrow down their options or to pursue their aims with true devotion.
The central problem for Sevens is that their pursuit of pleasure is compulsive. Sevens are fear types who are specifically afraid of the power of negative states of mind. These they avoid by seeking distractions in the external environment: by multi-tasking, by keeping their options open, by engaging in stimulation seeking of all kinds. For this reason, Sevens are more prone than most to addictions of all sorts, whether it be to shopping, gambling, drugs or whatever.
Sevens usually have a high opinion of themselves and their talents; they tend to focus on their strengths and virtues and to downplay their flaws and vices. They are often a bit self-centered which manifests in an unfounded feeling of entitlement. As Sevens don't want to confront their own darker emotions, they also have difficulty acknowledging the pain that others experience, so that they sometimes have a hard time seeing the reality of other people. The extent of the Seven's flight from negative emotions is really a measure of the Seven's mental health; the more that the Seven flees from them, the more their strength grows and the more likely they are to erupt into consciousness in the form of an anxiety disorder or a severe depressive episode.
As they are outward looking and not especially prone to introspection, it is not uncommon for Sevens to mistype themselves. Sometimes they mistype as Eights, as Sevens too can be domineering, especially if Eight is the dominant wing. But Eights are not anxious and they lack the quick, mental energy that is charateristic of the Seven. Sevens can easily mistype as Threes, but Threes are much more single minded than Sevens and don't suffer from the desire to keep all options open. Surprisingly, Sevens can mistype as Fours. When they recognize the disparity between the optimistic, fun loving persona that they project to the world and their own, often anxious internal mental states, they can confuse their pain with the melancholia of type Four. Sevens are in flight from this pain however, whereas Fours often cultivate their negative mental states.