Enneagram Type Seven~ Polarities
Enneagram Type 7 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying to not to feel unhappy.”
The Polarity of the Type shows a movement towards a set of qualities and a movement away from its opposites. Like a pendulum in an old clock, the Type is sustaining this duality. Once the Type grows to its highest expression, the polarities collapse into natural wholeness.
This means that Type 7 is running from sadness and pain by being distracted by anything stimulating, interesting or fun. Happiness for Sevens means trying to keep their minds from fear and anxiety.
A few Secondary Polarities for Sevens at their lower expression:
- It’s often easier to be busy and entertained rather than be bored and fully present.
- Sevens chase freedom to avoid feeling trapped.
- They prefer to stay positive rather than see reality.
- They reframe experiences with enthusiasm instead of sober hard truth.
- At lower to medium expressions, they find it easier to run from sadness.
A few Secondary Polarities for Sevens at their highest expression:
- Instead of keeping busy and entertained they find happiness by being still and fully present.
- From preferring to keep their options always open they find freedom through finding more narrowed focus.
- Instead of trying to stay positive sevens see reality.
- From reframing everything with an enthusiasm that sweeps them away into spontaneous action, they look more objectively.
- At higher to medium expressions, they find freedom by fully experiencing pain to be released by it.
Enneagram Type Seven ~ Personality Pearl
Type 7 has the InnerLifeSkills Blue Pearl of Mind + Separation + Seeking Security + Fear Continuum.
This means that Type 7 is operating from a combination of mind, an unconscious running from fear (think about the sensation of seeking relief from anxiety through distraction), plus seeking ways to feel secure by separating and distancing from the still present.
Add this to the Polarities and you understand the REASON for the behaviors of Type 7.
Examples of reasons for behavior:
- Sevens use their minds to seek the happiness of an imagined tomorrow, running from the reality of today’s suffering.
- Sevens can feel separate from fun and joy, with FOMO (fear of missing out).
- Sevens fear being trapped, and work to keep their options open.
If you understand the Personality Pearl + Polarities, you understand how the Type arises. This forms a part of the InnerLifeSkills 8 Step Coaching Typing Test Method, where we teach you to use a narrative style to coach your clients to understand all 9 Types, and using trademarked worksheets of the Pearls, Polarities and Types, you help a client to discover their type.
Infographic for Type 7 Enneagram
If you look at our InnerLifeSkills Enneagram infographic, you’ll see the sunshine of happiness above the Seven, and the running from the present.
You’ll see the smile, with gratitude and youthful energy driving forward movement towards tomorrow.
The sun symbol is a reminder of the Primary Polarity.
Here are some voices for Type Seven (from our InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Coaches)
- “I don’t want to be frightened, but I love adrenaline highs.”
- “I look for ways to busy myself, sometimes burning the candle on both ends.“
- “I don’t like human ugliness.”
- “I hate being alone, it makes me feel anxious and bored.”
- “I’m filled with gratitude for even the smallest of things.”
- “People describe me as a breath of fresh air.”
- “It took pain to learn to be still and present.”
- “I didn’t recognize myself as a fear type because I’m brave enough to often do crazy wild things.”
Enneagram Type 7 Map for Growth
At the lowest expression Sevens have created a false sense of happiness by polarizing away from stillness and fear.
“It’s only at my highest expression that I discover what real happiness is, that real happiness is who I am, when I am fully in the present moment and seeing clearly.”
Sevens Lowest Expression
When our Enneagram Type is at its lowest expression, it tends to have a CLOSED door to its opposite polarized Type, denying the balancing qualities of that type, to restore wholeness. And it tends to have only one OPEN door to the other type, which because of the lack of balance, adds lower functioning qualities to the primary type.
- At Enneagram Type 7’s lowest expression, the energetic door to Type 5, which is their polarity opposite is closed. This means all the healthy functional qualities of Type 5 like detached clear seeing, focus, stillness, solitude and being realistic are denied to Sevens.
- Leaving the only energetic door open to Type 1 at its worst. This lets in the gut type anger, self-criticism, pedantic perfectionism, rigidity and righteous “parenting” of others.
“At my lowest expression, I tend to access the worst characteristics of Type 1, which means I get angry, hard on myself and others, become a perfectionist to the point of contracting into a spinning 7, dropping balls and feeling overwhelmed.”
“As a Type 7, when I go to 1, it’s a righteous irritation that borders on dogma.”
“It’s all right or wrong, no middle ground and feeling responsible for fixing the worlds pain.”
“Being hard and irritated at myself, instead of forgiving myself.”
Sevens Highest Expression
When our Enneagram Type 7 is at its highest expression, it tends to have a OPEN door to its opposite polarized Type, allowing the balancing qualities of that type to restore wholeness. And it tends to then also have an OPEN door to the other type, which because of the balance, adds more higher functioning qualities to the primary type.
- At Enneagram Type 7’s highest expression, the energetic door to Type 5, which is their polarity opposite is open. This means all the healthy functional qualities of Type 5 like objective thinking unclouded by enthusiasm, increased focus, healthy personal boundaries, wanting to dive deeply into knowledge and comfort while being still are now available to Sevens.
- The other energetic door being open to Type One now adds its best. This lets in responsibility, duty, structure, discipline and the stamina for diligent consistent work to meet deadlines and deliver quality.
“At my highest expression as an Enneagram Type 7, I become focused, using my mind to see clearly.”
“As a Type 7, when I access 5 I feel content.”
“I don’t often get carried away anymore by emotion and spontaneous even dangerous daring.”
“I still feel happy and I love fun but this feels like a healthy balanced enjoyment instead of wild chaos.”
Enneagram Type 7 Key Words & Voices
- I hate being bored, it makes me restless and anxious.
- In order to not face pain, I might indulge in pleasure.
- I love dreaming about the adventures I’m going to have in the future, but I’m afraid to fully commit to any path because then my options are limited. Ironically this often results in my not being able to make my dreams a reality.
- I tend to ignore my own pain and suffering.
- I don’t mind being invisible. In fact, sometimes I prefer it.
- If someone asks me to a party, I don’t like saying yes or no, I want to keep my options open.
- Why have 1 dream, I have a long long bucket list.
- I love telling people stories about the interesting things I’ve experienced and realized.
- Don’t tell me what to do, especially in a harsh controlling tone, I’ll just break your rules.
- We’ve done that already, let’s try something new!
Enneagram Type 7 Common Mistyping Misidentifications
Because Enneagram tests are limited, they are often unreliable, with a 50-60% accuracy. This is why we prefer a narrative, coaching approach to helping people to discover their types. Types share common behaviors, but differ in their Personality Pearl “grain of sand” hidden reason for behavior.
Here are a few common Type 7 mistypings showing what is in common and what ultimately separates the types. We train our Enneagram Coaches to use this type of thinking as a framework to ask clients enlightening questions, so that clients can weigh in on the coaching session to find their type (with the expert guidance of their InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Coach).
- TYPE 1 vs.7: Both can be perfectionists, 1 in favor of the ‘right’ thing and 7 when they are focused. 1 needs to be ‘good’, 7 needs to have fun even if it means being ‘bad’. 1 can be hyper responsible and controlled, 7 can be irresponsible and wild. 1 is an anger type who is learning to relax and let go, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 2 vs. 7: Both can be social and enjoy connecting, 2 to feel loved and 7 for enjoyment. 2 needs to be seen as your ideal someone, 7 doesn’t care about what others see, they need freedom and space to play. 2 can be emotionally needy, 7 wants freedom. 2 is a self-worth type learning self-love, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 3 vs. 7: Both can be competitive and have fun, 3 to entertain and 7 to avoid boredom and be entertained. 3 competes to avoid the shame of losing, 7 for the adrenaline rush. 3 can be focused on success 7 can be focused on enjoyment. 3 is a self-worth type learning humility and service, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 4 vs. 7: Both enjoy the creative drama of life, 4 to be different and special and 7 to be entertained and distracted. 4 needs to be unique, 7 needs to seek pleasure. 4 can be stuck in melancholy, 7 can be stuck in manic happiness. 4 is a self-worth type learning to be functional and ordinary, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 5 vs. 7: Both enjoy interesting things to think about, 5 in order to deeply understand and 7 out of enjoyment and wonder. 5 needs to be isolated, 7 needs freedom. 5 can be aloof and distant, 7 can be warm, happy and engaging. 5 is a fear type learning to be engaged and confident, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 6 vs. 7: Both are sensitive to the pain of others, 6 in service to fairness and 7 from a need to bring happiness. 6 needs support, 7 needs independence and freedom. 6 can be frightened to take risks, 7 can be a daredevil adrenaline junky. 6 is a fear type who is learning faith in self, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 8 vs. 7: Both are independent and seek pleasure, 8 seeks the indulgence of their likes and 7 seeks entertainment and fun. 7 needs to be happy, 8 needs to be powerful. 7 can be manic and careless, 8 can be bossy and direct. 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness, 8 is an anger type who is learning compassion.
- TYPE 9 vs. 7: Both are carefree, enjoy personal space and are not emotionally needy, 7 seeks freedom and enjoyment and 9 seeks peace and harmony. 7 lives in the imagined fun of tomorrow and 9 tunes out from the impact of today. 7 avoids pain, 9 avoids conflict. 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness, 9 is an anger type who is learning to be assertive and present.