At Best: Sevens show Sobriety (constancy of purpose) about what needs to be done, embodying the Higher Quality of Holy Plan (wisdom's inherent guidance system). Sevens turn needed work into play & are often uplifting, spontaneous, sociable trend-setters.
Habits: When driven by Gluttony (insatiable desire to consume new + experiences), Sevens start Optimizing everything: over seasoning situations or escaping to something better. Focus of Attention: idealizing positive possibilities, planning future fun.
Sevens Forget: Reality is now an optimal, self-luminous happening. Sevens guide self and others toward evermore light, seeking out pleasant experiences and new adventures. Sevens aggressively reframe all negatives to positives and resist wise learning. Sevens Believe: I must hurry to taste all the magic life offers before it ends; THIS is never it—satisfaction lies elsewhere. Sevens use a quick mind to persuade others to keep “fun times” going, while often being out of touch with others' needs & pain. Sevens enchant with self-absorbed stories and charm authorities. Sevens tend to avoid firm commitments and endings: they do not want to be left without options or trapped in discomfort. Sevens can be The (Too) Light One—fleeing to the bright side at the expense of remaining superficial. Sevens Excel: at bringing levity into any situation. Sevens tend to be comic, fun-loving, interdisciplinary, and optimistic about the future.
The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.
When two people love each other, they don't look at each other, they look in the same direction.
- Ginger Rogers
Type Seven Personality Reflections
Wisdom sees from beginning to middle to end. Yet, endings can be painful! The Type Seven pattern uses an agile mind to avoid painful reality by generating pleasure possibility. Gluttony, the Seven’s passion, is about tasting many things without digesting any of them fully. While it involves pleasant sensation, gluttony is fundamentally mental. Imagination and anticipation are used to escape present pain by manufacturing a kind of “virtual” pleasure.
Turns out, life cannot be cheated. Ginger Rogers, a likely Type Seven, wisely observed: “The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.” Earning it means doing the work of meeting both pain and pleasure on their own terms. Despite promises of techno-utopian fantasies, no virtual world will ever be more fulfilling than life itself.
Some Sevens experience gluttony in the form of opportunistic networking. These Sevens are the most physically gluttonous, the “party kids” of the Enneagram. Every new person is a new possibility for new adventure. One Seven uses the email handle “hookr” because she likes to “hook people into things.” She gets her friends to disclose “what percentage IN” they are with respect to fun plans, and then pulls no punches persuading them up to 100%.
Other Sevens express gluttony by idealizing intimate relationships. Highly suggestible, such Sevens are the flip side of the persuading Sevens. Indulging fantasies of how good it might be in myriad ways is far more fun than working with what actually is in the one way now manifesting One Seven reflected on his marriage ceremony as an “existential experience.” “All of the wedding planning choices kept getting narrowed down to the one point of time we said our vows. It was like passing through the eye of a needle!”
Sevens manifesting gluttony in the social arena are also idealistic. They are willing to forgo immediate sensory pleasure to feast on the pleasure of an idealized self image of their sacrifice. "Sacrifice is too strong a word for my veganism," one Seven reports, "because I still felt a lot of joy in being part of a group that was healthy, and helping animals too. That is, until I moved to a conservative state and stopped getting invited to dinner parties because of my diet. That's when I became a 'cheatin vegan.'"
Sevens gift collective consciousness with the willingness to experience the full measure of joy life offers. Cheap pleasure and virtual reality are no substitutes. Life's deep joy is present in every moment, even the painful ones, provided we are willing to do the work of staying present to experience it.
Type Seven Interview
This clip is from an interview with a representative Type Seven. For the full set of interviews with all 9 types (about 20 minutes each), along with downloadable charts, check out this online course: Enneagram Interviews.