Type Seven is called the Enthusiast, the Adventurer and the Generalist because of their enthusiasm for almost everything (especially new things), their adventure-seeking focus and their wide range of interests. Upbeat, high energy and curious, this is an action-oriented type who places a lot of focus on enjoyment, being happy and future planning. This is a person whose attention goes to what is fun, pleasing and enjoyable. Their attention moves away from anything that might lead to negative emotions.
These are the experience junkies of the Enneagram—curious, positive and often bold, they are drawn to try almost anything they haven’t done before. This person has a very easy time imagining what could go right and what could be amazing. He or she may have a very difficult time imagining what could go wrong. They frequently underestimate danger and sometimes get themselves into difficult situations because of this attention bias. Lack of focus and discernment is often a theme for Enthusiast Sevens. They typically avoid rules and limitations, and personal freedom is a big priority.
The magnifying glass goes to the positive.They see what is pleasurable, fun, positive and new. They are attracted to possibility, and their attention is often in the future, planning enjoyable experiences. Their attention moves away from anything negative, painful or limiting.
Gifts to the World
Enthusiast Sevens bring the gifts of joy, positivity, gratitude and playfulness. Naturally oriented to see the positive, they are capable of profound awe, delight and wonder of the world. Their upbeat energy can brighten even the darkest environment, and they are naturally uplifting to others.
Enthusiast Sevens Typically Report
1) Having Great Difficulty Narrowing Down Their Choices—They Want It All
Enthusiast Sevens are on an endless quest to find what will make them happy. Since they aren’t quite sure what that is, they want to try everything. The idea of missing out on something can be anxiety-provoking, as their mind considers “what if that was the thing that I was really going to love? ”
“I once stayed in a hotel that had a really big buffet. I literally ate until I was sick, because I had to try everything. I still remember feeling very full, but eating more and more because there were dishes I hadn’t tried yet…”
2) Disliking Limitations and Rules
Enthusiast Sevens want freedom so they have space to pursue whatever might make them happy. They gravitate away from rules, limitations and anything that might pen them in. Restrictions and limiting their options triggers an anxiety response in most Enthusiast Sevens.
“For most of my career, I’ve worked for myself or in environments where my bosses gave me a lot of freedom and autonomy. Having a micromanager and being in really strict work environments is awful for me. I feel like I’m running out of oxygen…I’ve had it happen twice in my career, and both times I quit the job within six months. It just wasn’t worth it.”
3) An Avoidance of Negative Emotions
“Why feel bad?” is the mantra of the Enthusiast Seven, and negative emotions can feel very threatening to them. This type generally avoids dwelling in the negative. If something unavoidably negative happens, they might acknowledge it briefly, but they quickly reframe the negative event into something positive. Underneath it all is a deep instinct that “if I start feeling bad, I may never stop…” Enthusaist Sevens can experience negative emotions like the threat of falling into a bottomless pit. As such, they work very hard not to feel bad.
“My mind can reframe anything, and it does automatically, without me even trying. Yes, I was fired from my job and that’s bad, but I didn’t like that work anyway and look at all the other options I have now.”
Tools for Compassion If You Have Type Sevens in Your Life
1) Recognize that staying with negative emotions is extremely difficult for them
Enthusiast Sevens have great difficulty staying with negative emotions. They automatically reframe the negative to positive, which can be frustrating to the other people in their lives. It is important to recognize they aren’t trying to be insensitive or to ignore the difficulty. They become anxious if they stay in negative emotions too long.
2) Don’t think that all their wild plans will actually happen. It is mainly a pleasant mental exercise for them
Enthusiast Sevens get great pleasure in planning future enjoyable activities. They aren’t famous for their follow through and don’t really expect all the plans to materialize anyway. It is the planning, imagining and discussing that they really enjoy. Understanding that many of the plans will never materialize is important, particularly for more serious types who might think they will need to be involved in the execution of some of the plans.
3) Personal freedom gives them a sense of security
Enthusiast Sevens feel secure when they have a lot of personal freedom. Strict rules, rigid limitations and anything that eliminates options can be anxiety-provoking and often cause Enthusiast Sevens to act out. They function better in environments where they are given a lot of free rein and flexibility. They can be extremely committed (to relationships, jobs, projects) but typically this commitment must also allow an Enthusiast Seven to continue to feel free and independent. The sense of freedom lowers the underlying anxiety in Enthusiast Sevens and counterintuitively, this sense of freedom makes it easier for them to commit.