Enneagram Type 7 - The Epicure
Sevens are mental types who are forward thinkers and forward movers. They usually bring an optimistic and positive attitude to all of their activities. They are interested in many different subjects. They don't want to be limited to doing one thing and they prefer to keep their options and possibilities open.
Although they can be excellent communicators, they are less concerned with image and other people's approval than other types. It's most important to have fun (or get to do one's own thing), whether that's found in travel and adventure or more intellectual pursuits. They are enthusiastic consumers of new ideas, new technology, and pleasurable experiences. However, too much of a good thing can be a problem for them. Because their attention shifts so quickly, it's challenging for them to go into things in depth and to stay the course in work and relationships. Slowing down, being in the moment, and learning to tolerate their own and other people's suffering – all can bring needed balance.
Strengths: Adventurous, fun loving, quick thinking
Problems: Self-absorbed, dispersed, uncommitted
Speaking style: Personal storytelling, which can be either very entertaining or simply self-absorbed. They also focus on the positive, and tend to ignore or quickly "reframe" the negative.
Lower emotional habit: Gluttony, which is not just about food but rather a kind of intoxication or over consumption of ideas, fun experiences or substances
Higher emotion: Sobriety, which means both limiting consumption and calming the mind in order to be present in the moment
Archetypal challenge: To make idealism practical, integrating optimism and positive thinking with the shadow side or problems
Psychological defenses: Sevens use the defense mechanism of rationalization to avoid suffering and to maintain a self image of being "OK." (Rationalization is a style of explaining or justifying in order to keep away pain or refusing to take responsibility.)
Somatic patterns: For Sevens, energy and attention tend to go "up and out" rather than "down and in." In contrast to the Fives, energy moves to the periphery of the body and away from the core. Sevens tend to stay over-stimulated with ideas, substances, or adventures depending on their body type. They are known as big talkers. They are often quite loose and flexible physically. Instead of muscular tension, their challenge is "being in" their bodies and becoming grounded.
Tips for Relating
To create rapport: Appreciate their stories and positive ideas
Try to avoid: Being too negative or insisting on one way of doing things
Join them: Having fun and envisioning new possibilities
To handle conflict: Challenge them to take responsibility for their actions, while staying as positive as possible. Get them to stop talking and listen. Let them know what you or others need from them. Repeat it often.
To support their growth: Encourage their sobriety or constancy. Help them to get more "down and in." Support them in staying grounded, balancing their good ideas with common sense. Stress the importance of feedback. Be there for them when they begin to feel their pain.