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Articles > The Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast

The Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast

Type 7s are playful, energetic, and talkative spirits.

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Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast
Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast

In this article

Overview

In the Enneagram framework, Type 7s — also known as Enthusiasts or simply Sevens — are playful, energetic, and talkative spirits.

Hook and colleagues (2021) describe Type 7s’ core desire as a need to avoid pain. At their worst, Type 7s’ frenetic energy leads to divided attention and an inability to persist on long-term goals. In this state, Type 7s struggle to invest the time and effort in any single endeavor long enough to reap the rewards.

This negative side emerges as a symptom of Type 7’s core fear of being trapped in boredom, pain, or deprivation.

Adjectives to describe Type 7s

Others might describe Type 7s as

  • happy-go-lucky: Carefree or untroubled
  • spirited: Lively, vigorous, animated, or courageous
  • independent: Not subject to bias or influence; self-directing
  • spontaneous: Arising from a momentary impulse; proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external or conscious constraint; self-active
  • expressive: Effectively conveying thought or feeling
  • energetic: Characterised by force or vigor; full of energy; lively, vigorous
  • talkative: Tending to talk a lot; Speaking openly and honestly, neglecting privacy and consequences
  • playful: Liking play, prone to play frequently; rather sportive; jesting, not serious
  • opportunistic: Prone to take advantage of situations to advance one’s own interests
  • dramatic: Striking in appearance or effect; powerful and expressive

The wordcloud below shows the top 100 words used to describe Type 7s. Bigger words describe the more prominent aspects of most Type 7s.

Words to describe the Enneagram Type 7
Words that describe the Enneagram Type 7

Type 7 Wings

Enneagram Type 7 with a 6 wing or 7w6
Enneagram Type 7 with a 6 Wing (7w6): The Performer

Type 7s with a 6 wing, or 7w6s, take on some characteristics of Type 6: The Loyalist, including a strong need for reassurance from their relationships. Type 7w6s often channel their social enthusiasm, wit, and creative energy into humoring and entertaining others.

Enneagram Type 7 with an 8 wing or 7w8
Enneagram Type 7 with an 8 Wing (7w8): The Operator

Type 7s with an 8 wing, or 7w8s, exhibit characteristics of Type 8: The Challenger. Type 7w8s retain the same drive for social engagement, but they have a calmer, more assertive interpersonal style. They are often less bubbly and agreeable than their Type 7 counterparts, and they excel at focusing their social skills to meet objectives in their social and professional lives.

Type 7 Integration and Disintegration

Enneagram Type 7 in integration and disintegration
Type 7s shift towards Type 5 in integration but towards Type 1 in disintegration

In times of health and security (i.e., integration), Type 7s shift towards Type 5: The Investigator. One indication of this shift is a slowing down of Type 7’s typical racing mind and behavior. Healthy 7s approach situations with calm, relaxed energy, and they are more likely to introspect and reflect rather than rush on to the next opportunity.

In times of stress (i.e., disintegration), Type 7s shift towards Type 1: The Reformer. Following this shift, Type 7s’ may attempt to rein in their attention with harsh systems and self-imposed rules. They may throw themselves into an unrealistically rigid schedule or routine, only to fall back out soon after, leading to a cycle of disappointment and frustration.

How rare is the Enneagram Type 7?

Based on their distribution of personality traits, TraitLab estimates that roughly 6% of people would be classified as Type 7s.

Type 7s and the Big Five Personality Traits

In studies of personality structure, researchers often use a trait-based approach to describing the differences between people instead of personality types. The most well-established method is the Big Five, which describes differences along five broad dimensions:

Personality types are far less precise than getting exact Big Five measurements, but knowing your personality type can give you a rough idea of where you fall on each dimension.

In the graph below, each dot is a Type 7, placed by where they fall on the Big Five dimensions. You can see that Type 7s can vary quite a bit on any single dimension.

Big Five personality traits among Enneagram Type 7s
Big Five personality traits among Enneagram Type 7s

For example, on the Extraversion dimension, Type 7s tend to score much higher than average, so the High and Very High areas are very dark blue. However, there are still a few rare Type 7s in the middle of the Extraversion spectrum.

Below, you can see more detail on how Type 7s score on each Big Five dimension.

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Type 7s are typically high on Openness to Experience

As a group, Type 7s are typically higher on Openness to Experience. High Openness to Experience is related to strong need and preference for novelty across all types of experiences.

Type 7s and Big Five Openness to Experience
Type 7s and Big Five Openness to Experience

Like many Type 7s, highly open people tend to have diverse tastes in food, music, art, and literature, are intellectually curious, and often embrace unconventional habits, ideas, or beliefs.

Type 7s are often slightly lower on Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness describes one’s tendency to make detailed plans, be highly organized and systematic, and follow consistent, regular schedules.

The relatively low conscientiousness of Type 7s means that they more readily accept chaos and irregularity and may actively avoid what they perceive as being too organized or systematic.

Type 7s and Big Five Conscientiousness
Type 7s and Big Five Conscientiousness

Type 7s are less likely to be highly focused and dedicated to a single long-term goal. Instead, they tend to act more impulsively, happily bounce between smaller, short-term projects and goals.

Lastly, Type 7s will feel less obligated to carefully follow widely accepted social norms, rules, and regulations in several areas of life. They may opt for an unconventional or even rebellious approach.

Type 7s are very high on Extraversion

Type 7s stand out from all other types by their unusally high Extraversion.

Type 7s and Big Five Extraversion
Type 7s and Big Five Extraversion

Like many Type 7s, highly extraverted people tend to be more socially outgoing and talkative, and they often seek out more stimulating environments (think loud, crowded, or risky and exciting situations). High extraverts also feel and express positive emotions (e.g., joy, laughter, excitement) more intensely and more frequently.

Highly introverted people are more socially reserved and quiet. They have a lower tolerance for highly stimulating environments and often retreat to calm and quiet situations in solitude. They also experience positive emotions less intensely and less frequently. For example, others may notice that introverts tend to smile and laugh less often than most.

Type 7s vary widely on Agreeableness

Type 7s are not strongly differentiated by their level of Agreeableness. In other words, some Type 7s may be very agreeable, others are more demanding, and most fall somewhere in between those extremes.

Type 7s and Big Five Agreeableness
Type 7s and Big Five Agreeableness

Agreeableness describes your interpersonal warmth, politeness, and empathy.

Less agreeable (or more demanding) people are often less concerned with others when pursuing their own goals. They are more willing to create conflict or express disagreement across most situations and feel less discomfort during interpersonal disputes.

Highly agreeable people feel a deep need to maintain warm, friendly relationships and are naturally more hesitant to impose their will on others. They will be more considerate of how their actions impact others and try to reduce or resolve interpersonal conflicts when they arise.

Type 7s are often lower on Neuroticism

While Type 7s also vary in their level of Neuroticism, most Type 7s fall on the lower, more emotionally stable end of the Neuroticism spectrum

Type 7s and Big Five Neuroticism
Type 7s and Big Five Neuroticism

Neuroticism describes how we react to stress and our tendency to experience a variety of negative emotions. As most Type 7s are less neurotic or emotionally stable, they tend to have steadier, more predictable moods, and can more easily adapt to life’s sudden changes and disruptions.

Less neurotic people, like most Type 7s, generally experience less anxiety, anger, frustration, and sadness. They still experience these negative emotions, but less frequently and with less intensity than their more neurotic counterparts. Likewise, they tend to ruminate less on bad experiences and are less likely to doubt and second-guess themselves, resulting in a calmer, more confident style of thinking through problems and decision-making.

References

  • Hook, J. N., Hall, T. W., Davis, D. E., Van Tongeren, D. R., & Conner, M. (2021). The Enneagram: A systematic review of the literature and directions for future research. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(4), 865-883.
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