Type Seven: Fleeing Into Fun

fun

If you’ve seen Clementine in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” you’ve seen a Seven in action. Constantly changing her hair color, she is a party girl with tons of energy and lots of ideas – great fun to be around until the going gets tough. There’s a great scene where she’s very upset, and she suddenly blurts out to the person she’s with, “Let’s go dancing!” Clementine is fleeing into fun.

That is standard operating procedure for people with a Type Seven personality. A Fear type, the Seven looks the least fearful of the Head triad (5-6-7) because they always seem to be having such a good time. But underneath that façade of fun is a person deeply afraid that they will be trapped in deprivation or emotional pain. They will avoid conflict and other emotionally difficult events, and they don’t like to be around “downers” or “victims.” If they find themselves near these types, they will try to cheer them up and, failing that, they will walk away.

So, if you’re in a funk and just need to be heard, a Seven is not your best bet. If you’re in a funk and want to be cheered up, it’s on! Sevens have a positive outlook and tend to be natural entertainers; they can easily draw a crowd and are the life of the party.

The Seven fixation is anticipation. They literally can’t wait to do the next fascinating or entertaining thing. As a Type Seven myself, I remember not being able to enjoy the fun event I was at because I was preoccupied with thoughts about the fun event that I’d scheduled for immediately afterward. Sometimes Sevens will bail from one event if it’s not as stimulating as they’d hoped, or not show up at all, even after committing to something, if something more promising arises. This gives Sevens a reputation for being flighty and unreliable. But they are driven by FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Something better is just around the bend, and the Seven wants to be there when it arrives.

In fact, Sevens want everything, all the time. I laugh when I see the tagline for Lowe’s: “More of Everything.” That is the Seven motto. The cardinal sin for Sevens is gluttony. It’s not necessarily about food; it can be anything – collections, shoes, books, wine, and so on. A close relative who is a Seven fills her multiple pantries to bursting with canned and dried goods. They typify well the concept of the Hungry Ghost with a swollen belly that can never be filled. Sevens are out to prove, unconsciously, that there is no lack. Then their primal fear cannot come true, and they are safe.

Sevens believe that there is no one to rely on and that they must get their needs met on their own, which makes them inherently selfish. Sometimes that’s with things. In college, I would hide my cookies if a friend was coming over because I didn’t have a lot of money and those cookies weren’t easy to replace, and they were for ME. More often, it’s a general viewpoint of life. It’s hard to get your own needs met and avoid all unpleasant emotions if you actually have to consider others, so Sevens often don’t. This is not a choice; it is a way of being. They are following the Seven script.

Ironically, Sevens can be tremendous philanthropists and volunteers. I just saw in a news segment on the late Joan Rivers, a Seven, was very involved with a charity called “God’s Love – We Deliver.” Sevens do have a desire to help people they perceive to be in real need, but it is usually because they are trying to deliver others from the horrible fate of being trapped in the deprivation and pain that they so fear.

On the other hand, it is also because Sevens are change agents, masters of their destiny, people who make things happen. I read “The City of God” in high school and immediately organized a collection to send money to lepers’ children in India. Though Sevens are known to start many projects and abandon them as soon as they aren’t thrilling anymore, if they find a cause or activity that they feel passionate about long-term, they will go the distance and make a difference.

Our Biblical example of Type Seven is King Solomon. It strikes me just now that it’s no accident he asked God for wisdom, as he was a Head type who was facing a lot of responsibility as leader of his people and didn’t have a clear sense of how to go forward (the key question for Head types). Well, he got wisdom and everything else along with it – a Seven’s dream! 700 wives, 300 concubines, riches untold, fame, good food and wine. And ultimately, we see, none of it satisfied him. From the wisest man in the world we get the famous saying, “All is vanity.” He finally understood that all of the stuff of life was not really life. That’s a great lesson for the gluttonous Seven to learn.

Do know a Seven? Do you identify with this Type? Please leave your comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Sue Steckle on September 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I’m a seven, and most of this does resonate with me. I’m a single gal who shops at Costco to keep the pantry stocked, take on all sorts of projects in my personal life (such as creating websites for free if it sounds interesting) and which I rarely see to fruition, and have trouble addressing just what emotions I’m feeling. I was asked last night if I’m an introvert, so I must have been showing some wing qualities; it’s not all hair dye or tattoos with me! Thanks for the descriptive post!



  2. Heath on September 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks so much for your comment, Sue! I love to see how personality manifests in others; it underscores the fact that Type is not a cookie-cutter approach to humanity but merely an operating system that reveals itself in many ways. I actually AM an introvert, which no one believes because I am so gregarious. But I get wiped out from too much social interaction and spend most of my time alone at home (when I’m not working), and I like that just fine. Thanks so much for bringing that point up! Sounds like you have good insight into your way of being. Keep noticing your personality in action; it’s a great way to be objective about your impulses so you can begin to make choices more often that serve you and others better.



  3. connectdd on September 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    My husband has a lot of Seven Type characteristics and he is a load of fun to be around, and to plan anything with, his mind is amazing. He has worked at follow through which I really appreciate and to tone down some of his collections. But there is a reason we call him ‘Fun Daddy’ around here, God bless the 7s!



  4. Heath on September 30, 2014 at 2:34 am

    God bless them, indeed! Thanks for sharing your Fun Daddy with us. 🙂



  5. Greg on October 3, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Yeah. I’m definitely working “from the head”. Prob fit in the box more closely than any other.

    Trouble finishing projects?! Totally. Skipping out to find the funner thing? Not so much. Help others out of physical or emotional deprivation –yeah, that’s me. Life of the party, not really. Rather sit and talk meaningfully with a couple of friends.

    What type is disinclined toward extended introspection?!



  6. Greg on October 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Meant to say “probably fit into the Type 7 box better than any other.”



  7. Greg on October 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Just realized I forgot to include the smiley at the end if the comment.

    🙂

    Which would have been just enough to convey the self-sarcasm of the last sentence –that it was directed inwardly to the reader, not outwardly to the author.

    Which leads relevantly to another point.

    I thought I’d read your dissertation on Type 6. I missed it somehow.

    Yeah, I’m totally a 6. Fits like glove. Paradoxes and all.

    (Thought you might be glad to know that your descriptions . . . and especially the illustrations . . . paint a thorough and effective picture.)

    🙂



  8. Heath on October 5, 2014 at 3:03 am

    You said it, not me, Greg – but now I can agree with you! When you said you fit into Type 7 better than any other box, I was thinking, “Hmmm…I would think he’s a Six.” So there we have it. Doesn’t it feel nice to at least know? Now you can start catching yourself in the act of Sixness, with compassion, of course. 🙂 Just noticing is enough to create change. It’s so weird how that works, but it does. I am living proof!

    And THANK YOU for saying my descriptions paint a thorough & effective picture. That gives me such joy! Communicating esoteric-y stuff like this can be tough, but it’s so important. I need feedback so I can make sure I’m conveying this info properly.



  9. […] have a Type Seven personality, in Enneagram parlance. This is one of the Fear-based types. That means Types Five, Six […]



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