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Enneagram Type Seven

Updated on December 8, 2010

The world of the Seven

Sevens are easy to find. There are a number of them, and they, well, stick out. They are the ones seeking the new, the cool, the sublime, the hip. Sevens consume novelty and stimulation like others breathe air. They are one of the most physical types, using their bodies with vigor to get the sensation they crave. They often have incredible stamina and physical endurance and tend to age more slowly and to show their age less than any other type.

They are often found doing a number of things at once, or attempting to do so. In unhealthy Sevens this can become a kind of mania that can fulminate out of control into complete disorganization, or until they lock up in a kind of paralysis and become rigid and determined to put all in order.

Sevens make great companions as long as everything is going well and there is plenty of novelty. If things become tedious or dull, they will itch to be off to livelier pastures, probably riding away on a mountain bike spraypainted with orange and lime green tiger stripes and covered with silver glitter.

What motivates them

Sevens need all this stimulation as a diversion from introspection. I don’t know what it is they see if they slow down, but they are on the run from it.

What professions appeal to them

Almost all professional - and amateur, for that matter - comedians are Sevens. Sevens are also found in professional and amateur sports. There are probably a number of Sevens who are professional gamblers, and others who are race car drivers. The bicycle messengers who zip between cars in downtown business districts are Sevens. If it produces adrenaline, Sevens are there.

You might expect a lot of actors to be Sevens, but they are not competitive in the way that Threes are. Unless they are exceptionally healthy, their attention span works against a career in the sciences or arts, where long periods of preparation are only partially compensated by recognition.

Talents and Traps

Ones and Fives are considered the brainy types, but healthy Sevens can have a kind of analytic insight into physical reality that is quite potent and special. Because of their physicality, they can make brilliant engineers (such as Richard Feynmann) if they are stimulated by intellectual problems as other Sevens are stimulated by sex or drugs. Intelligent, healthy Sevens are often polymaths and autodidacts who pursue an array of interests and excel at many of them. They think extremely quickly, master subjects in a short time, and can apply solutions to the real world - this last being a point where Ones and Fives sometimes have trouble. Healthy Sevens are something to behold.

What they avoid

As mentioned, they avoid self-examination. Any situation that starts to stagnate, or in which the level of excitement begins to flag, is also dumped for the next stimulus. Boring people are high on the list to avoid. Negative people are almost as bad. Sevens are nearly perpetual optimists, anticipating the next new (by definition cool) thing.

What they seek out

A good example was the opening showing of the movie Jurassic Park I attended. From the body language, physiognomy, animation, and talkativeness of the audience I could see that it was mostly Sevens. This was also the first movie shown at the theatre with a digital soundtrack, and the sound was turned up to show it off. I was right; the Sevens had a great time and clapped, cheered, and made animal noises along with the movie. If you want to share a movie with an enthusiastic crowd, go to its premiere, or in the first week of its release. The demonstrative Sevens will be there.

How they handle money and resources

Sevens crave novelty and sensation, especially adrenaline flowing, or any strong emotion that can fill their minds and damp down self-awareness. They long for involvement, the more intense the better. One Seven explained his interest in S/M sex to me by saying that it’s possible to get into pain and pleasure as pure sensations. Sevens are at risk for sex, drug, and gambling addictions, or addictions to anything that fills the bill.

In today’s world novelty often means extremity, so you will see Sevens with the most extreme hair styles, clothing, toys, and behaviors. If marketers can offer them something new and more extreme than the last version, they will jump at it. They like to be seen with their newly adopted traits or styles, so personal items they can wear, brandish, fly, drive, or otherwise use are eagerly sought.

How you can spot them

Aside from the level of decoration and animation, you can spot Sevens by their aggression, especially the 7/8 subtype, which can be loud and in your face. There’s a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video full of tattoos, skateboards, loud music, shouting, moving, and piercings which is the very essence of 7/8 extroversion. 7/8s are one of the two most aggressive subtypes - the other being 8/7s, naturally.

The 7/6 subtype is less aggressive. They may seem full of nervous energy punctuated by moments of ambivalence or doubt from the Six influence. 7/6s are the comedians who can use their Sixness to relate to their audiences.

Some famous examples of the type

Robin Williams, Ozzy Osbourne, Mickey Rooney, Howard Stern, John Kennedy, Cher, Timothy Leary, Richard Feynmann, Mendlesson, Ted Nugent, Carole Burnett, Rhett Butler, Matt Frewer, Dennis Rodman, Errol Flynn, Ava Gardner, Penn Jilette, Clark Gable, Francisco D’Anconia, Lauren Bacall, Ann Miller, Sandra Bernhardt, Pat Travers, James Woods, Fred Astaire, and Eddie Murphy.


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