type 7

Being a seven means looking for the bright and exciting side of life. If I am a seven then it is quite likely that I lead an active life, full of adventures and happy friends. I am good at enjoying life, and I know how to celebrate when the times are good. This is both a powerful talent and possibly the most dangerous trap I may face in my personal journey.

At my best, I experience each moment as if it were my first, thankfully receiving the universe’s gifts. I can see the magnificent, colorful glory of the world, and my childlike enthusiasm and boundless joy spread easily to my friends and everyone I see. When I am operating from my real Essence, I can become a brilliant beacon of energetic appreciation, generously sharing the abundance of life with all of my friends.

At my worst, I become overly attached to stimulation and excitement, causing me to lose sight of more important aspects of life. It might be tempting to ignore what is painful or sad in favor of some attraction of the moment — which tragically sacrifices depth of experience for temporary pleasures, thus preventing further growth. When my real Essence is clouded by attachment to stimulating experiences, I might fall into excess, indulging myself in food, drink, drugs, or sex as a way to escape from painful but important truths.


communication and orality
If I am a seven, I might be a rather oral person. I like to talk, I like to eat, I like to drink. I might be a heavy smoker. My mouth might be one of my most valuable assets. There are powerful talents associated with an oral nature, and one of the most useful is an ability to speak well.

If I am true to myself and honest about who I am, then my ability to speak in ways that are entertaining and interesting can be harnessed for whatever causes I support. I can become a consummate performer, effortlessly able to hold audiences rapt in enthusiastic attention. Once I have reached a stage where I am using myself as a tool for the improvement of the world, my speaking skills can become a useful adjunct to my other talents.

But the oral focus can be a problem if I am not aware of it. Talking (and being listened to) can become a dangerous addiction. It can take me away from connection with my real essence, by distracting me through the ego-pleasure of getting others to pay attention to me.

I might want to tell stories and entertain simply because there is a gap in the flow of the conversation. This “oral confetti” can get in the way of real interaction between me and my friends. If I can resist the urge to tell just one more interesting story, I may find that I begin to see new depth in situations where before I might have been distracting myself by talking.


Am I more oral than most people?

Do I eat, drink, smoke, and talk all at the same time?

Am I overweight?

Do I smoke too much?

Have I had a lot of dental work?

Do I have digestive difficulties?

Do I enjoy oral sex?

Have I spent too many hours using my mouth for talking when I could have been listening (and learning)?

If I am a healthy seven, then I am probably a person who lives in the moment. I value my ability to move quickly, deciding right now what to do in the next minute. If I am aware enough to avoid using this talent as a way to escape painful thoughts and situations, then my talent serves me (and others) well.

Living in the moment means being minutely sensitive to the shifts in energy that are happening right now within me. It means experiencing what is coming in through my senses at this moment, not thinking about what will be happening a minute from now, a week from now, or a year from now.

It means, for example, that if I am having sex I am completely centered in this moment’s pleasure, not planning what I am going to do next. When I am centered in the moment, each action flows naturally from the last one, with little or no thought or anticipation. By living this way, I open myself up to delightful possibilities that are not perceived by those who are busy planning the future.

When things are going well, I probably find it easy to be here and now, experiencing the moment. But if things become uncomfortable, then staying present can become much more difficult. If I am not totally self-understanding, then it is likely that I may fall into the trap of using my quicksilver mind to veer away from discomfort into more pleasant thoughts. My mind can step in before I even notice, deceptively pulling me into thoughts and plans, generating mental distractions to obscure the real issues, putting me to sleep by taking me away from the present moment.

I might find that suddenly a new idea appears. “Hey! Let’s go for dim sum!” The idea is the result of a desire to avoid the moment. This is the difference between spontaneity, which happens without any sort of advance consideration in the mind, and impulsivity, which is the result of a mental avoidance function.

How can I be sure that when I act in the moment I am being spontaneous, and not impulsive?

What is the difference between the need of the moment and my impulsive desire?

It may help to focus my attention on the momentary thoughts and feelings that precede action. As difficult as it may be to keep monitoring my own thoughts, it is essential if I am to become an integrated person. I must be able to spot the difficult thoughts before I cover them over with impulsive acts. I must stop myself while I am in the uncomfortable place so that I can take the time to register and acknowledge the discomfort. I can use discomfort as a trigger to wake me up.

The more clearly I can see myself facing discomfort, the sooner I will be able to accept (and handle) uncomfortable thoughts, and the sooner I will be able to take charge of my life, finding deep satisfaction instead of swinging wildly from impulse to impulse.

Is it OK to consciously experience unpleasant (but necessary) thoughts?

This, too, shall pass.

depth of experience
Too much flitting around is counterproductive. I may have noticed how the pursuit of momentary stimulus only provides temporary satisfaction. Soon enough, the pleasure is past and I may well be left with a hangover (or worse). There is a cycle to this stimulus-addiction, and part of it is decidedly unpleasant.

The problem is in the focus of my thoughts. If I am always looking into the future, hoping for even more pleasure or excitement, then what is happening now loses most of its punch. My habit of distracting myself from difficult thoughts gets in the way, pulling me away from what I really want to experience. But there is a way out, although I might not want to try it at first.

The deepest way to experience pleasure is to think of nothing at all. If I can completely empty my mind of any sort of thought, something will change. It is not easy to find this emptiness, but it will be worth it.

When my mind is not pulled out of the present moment by thoughts about the future, the present moment expands and becomes deeper. I may feel new depths of experience, and reach new levels of satisfaction. I may discover that even comparatively small pleasures can be overwhelmingly wonderful if I really pay attention to them.

What am I actually thinking about when I am having a good time?

Can I move deeper, so that my experience becomes satisfying on its own merits, rather than being no more than a series of brief encounters with sensation and intensity?

When I am having fun, do I immediately start thinking about the next fun thing I’m going to do?

Do I always seem to look forward rather than looking at the immediate experience?

Can I see how looking into the future takes me out of the moment?

Next time I am in a pleasant situation, what if I think of nothing at all?

If I can stop the internal chatter, even for just a moment, what will I find?

shining through
If I am like most sevens, then I have a tendency to expect that inner growth will mean ever-increasing pleasure and ever-decreasing difficulty. But as I study myself, I might discover that I have grown the most during times of difficulty, especially if I was awake enough to accept the problems and try to deal with them as they occurred, rather than thinking of something else.

Why do I need hardship to grow? It’s because the ways that I protect myself from reality involve a denial of what is true about myself and the world. I use ineffective ways of feeling OK about myself.

It can be difficult to admit to myself that I have been wrong. Finding and correcting my mistaken views means waging an inner struggle. I must harness my sincere desire to be a better person, finding the strength to move deeper into myself. I must not be satisfied with a shallow life of deceptive fun and games. I must take myself seriously.

People who become deeply aware do not become excited. They become calm and serene and full of joy. If they were intense people before, they become deeply passionate. If they were excitable, they remain energetic. If they were lovers of stimulus, they remain connoisseurs of sensation. Because they live completely in the moment, they gain the most pleasure possible from every experience. But they are no longer addicted to ever-increasing thrills. They find new meaning in the experience of being embodied, because it takes on new depth.

Once I begin to accept the reality of pain on the path, somehow the path becomes easier. I am able to feel good about the progress I am making. Knowing that I am working toward healing myself helps me to have faith in the process. I am more willing to go through the experience of growth, knowing that pain is only a temporary phase.

Eventually, if I am patient and willing to experience myself fully, I will find a peaceful, centered place. The universe reveals its endless bounty, and I am free to share the celebration with my friends.

at their best
Healthy sevens are ecstatic and insightful. Because they don’t compulsively seek stimulation, the pleasures they experience are deeply satisfying and completely felt. They add value to the world by finding new ways to enjoy life, and sharing them with others. The ability to enhance experience by being fully present in the moment ensures that their lives are rich and rewarding. They undistractedly and gratefully contemplate a world that provides them with everything they need.

Seven in balance is joyful and calm. Here’s a person filled with love, humor and delight. There’s an aura of anticipation, but there is also patience. Everything is fine just the way it is, this moment is delicious beyond imagining. Healthy sevens are the essence of celebration and joy.

average sevens
When healthy sevens misuse or misunderstand their innate talent of enjoying life, they can begin to fear that their pleasure might be diminished or even taken away altogether. They may begin to use their talent compulsively, at times when it is inappropriate. In times of difficulty, they might use their pleasure-seeking as a way of distracting themselves from the important but painful truth. If it hurts, crack a joke. Let’s do something else, I’m bored with all this crying. Others may be forced to place limits on sevens as they become increasingly impatient and demanding, responding to fears of loss by reaching for more, right now, dammit.

Sevens often wear bright colors, usually within reason but sometimes to incredible extremes. Others dress more normally, especially if there’s a strong six wing. Most sevens like to wear lots of different kinds of clothes. Sometimes they change clothes several times during the day. The extreme dressers might combine their clothes in ways that seem designed to shock. They might wear starkly clashing patterns with bright, bright colors. Most sevens are either fat or thin, but seldom in between. I think there are more thin sevens. What do you think?

unhealthy sevens
The more compulsively they seek distracting stimuli, the harder it becomes for sevens to ignore the ever-increasing pain in their lives. They may bounce wildly from one momentary passion to another, racing panic-stricken away from anything that reminds them of the real problems they still have not faced. Whenever they find themselves suddenly face-to-face with their problems, they may project their fear out onto others, blaming them and then coming up with wild schemes to fix everything. They may make vastly unreasonable demands of others and then become violently judgmental and punitive (like an unhealthy one) when their demands are not met. Ultimately, sevens can fall prey to utter dissipation and sheer exhaustion from mania, panic, drugs, and other forms of excess.

When natural joy starts to become forced, sevens become scattered and distractible. Their movements might get jerky and unpredictable. Clothing might be poorly chosen. They talk and talk and talk, with great animation. They’ve always got something in their mouth. The hands never stop moving. What energy! Emotions are highly volatile and intense. They whirl faster and faster through their lives, and if it goes on they eventually flash into a white blur and explode. After that, there is a burned out husk. Unhealthy sevens are the essence of gluttony and mania.

questions for sevens

Do I value joyful celebration of life, sincere gratitude for good fortune, playful enthusiasm and the abundant wealth of experience?

Do I see the world as fun and games, food and drink?

Do future plans distract me?

Does immediate pleasure distract me?

How do I measure the value of pleasure?

Are there times when pain is healing?

Are there times when escape is entrapment?

Am I a fun-loving robot?

Do I entertain other people?

Do other people entertain me?

Do I make other people into providers and withholders?

Is it possible to love someone who bores me?

Do my role models welcome difficulties?

Do I find clarity through deep gratitude?

Do I find ecstasy through profound understanding?

Does not getting what I want make me intolerant?

Does judging others steal the joy from my life?

Do I deserve endless abundance?

Am I ready to acknowledge my pain?

Do I invent imaginary celebrations?

Do I test the limits of experience even if it means burning out?

Do I pretend to be okay even when I’m in a panic?

Am I here to party?

Am I here to entertain everyone?

Am I here to teach people how to celebrate life?

Is it okay if life is uneventful for a while?

Is boredom painful?

Do I distract myself from important problems by having fun?

Do other people’s needs seem excessive at times?

Are there any pleasures in my life that can be experienced while sitting quietly, motionless and alone, in an empty room?

Do I compulsively tell stories?

In a social situation, am I more comfortable if I have something in my mouth?

Is God the ultimate experience?

Is God out there in the world?



Next in Enneagram 101: type 7 with 6 wing

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