ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7
MBTI Types: ENTP, ENFP…(EN Types)
Food Type: The Hungry/Happy Hedonist
Exercise Type: The Player
DIET Strength: Versatility, Social Planning, Nurturing own desires
Power Skills (Level 1): Pleasure Principle, Distraction, and Rewards
Action Skills (Level 2): Self-Monitoring, Uncensored Journaling, and Cognitive Restructuring Maintenance
Skills (Level 3): Education, Teaching, Skill Mastery, and Decision Matrix
Trouble with Food (habit): Choice Gluttony, fearing hunger and deprivation
Emotional Eating Trigger: Claustrophobia, Anxiety, Hypochondria (feeling defective and limited)
Trouble with Exercise: Fears pain and boredom from the exercise program
Trouble with Body Image: Sees body as in relation to fun and pleasure, worried about physical pain and limits
Typical Fitness Excuse: Weight loss is painful, tedious or boring or I am no longer trying to reach that goal — changed path/goal
PART 1 – MEET ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7
THE ESSENCE OF ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7
Popular Enneagram authors commonly name Type Sevens the Epicure or Enthusiast, and less commonly as the Generalist, Optimist or Adventurer. Sevens earn these titles because they are fun loving, vivacious, versatile and visionary. Type Sevens are fun and exciting to be around. They have a unique ability to lighten up a room, be playful, and inspire others with their quick wit and high spirits. They are focused on the unlimited and exciting experiences that the future holds. They and engaging and spontaneous and are sought after in fields that require natural ability in marketing, communicating, and salesmanship. Seven’s versatility and enthusiasm for many different callings creates a person who is a “jack of all trades, but master of none.” Type Sevens value joy and variety, and envision making the world a more delightful place. Type Sevens focus their attention on the best-case possibility, pleasant plans, and additional options. Friends value them and seek them out for their optimism and vitality. You might be a Type Seven if you are enthusiastic, focused on the future and future possibilities, and avoid the nitty-gritty details.
Enneagram Type 7 Careers
Sevens are continually planning and enjoy looking at what lies ahead of them. Based on their future orientation, they enjoy jobs in the area of event planning or coordination. Their enthusiasm also makes them great sales people and they flourish in jobs that require their people skills. Sevens also have a quality of not wanting to be stifled or locked into one career path. They are affectionately known as storm-chasers because they may frequently leave behind one career to go after a new and exciting one. Examples of they many job types that Sevens steer towards include tour, travel or adventure guide, food critic, professional athlete, hospitality or entertainment field. Sevens tend to serve certain roles for others including the idea networker, the party planner, and the pick-me-up.
Negative Aspects and Weaknesses
Type Seven’s weaknesses and negative tendencies are related to their focus on avoiding pain and suffering, frustrations, boredom, and limits in their lives. This focus on avoidance tends to highlight or amplify their burdens so that Sevens are more sensitive to slight pains and annoyances than other Types. Sevens have trouble becoming quickly bored with their lives and start to feel trapped or claustrophobic in their current situations. They spend much of their mental energy thinking about the future and the next pleasurable experience, trip or even the next meal. This future orientation causes them to continually plan in order to escape from their inner anxieties and introspection.
FITNESS FACTORS (“THE BIG FIVE” PERSONALITY FACTORS OF ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7)
Style of Impulse Control
Although weight gain always has a multi-faceted cause, there are some typical behaviors of Type Sevens seen in the Big Five personality Trait system that encourage them to gain weight. Sevens score the lowest in “Conscientiousness” than any other Type. Sevens are not concerned with controlling their impulses and temptations and instead they embrace spontaneity and options. When faced with a temptation they simply rationalize their actions to fit the situation. They tend to ignore problems with their health and have trouble staying directed toward health changing behaviors. When they are told to limit their options, then they want them more. In this way they oftentimes require extra help in staying directed toward healthy behaviors. When faced with portion size vs. variety Sevens prefer variety and may get by with small portions of many foods.
Style of Activity
Sevens are full of vitality, action and enthusiasm. They enjoy living life to the fullest by welcoming new adventures and variety. They will drop what they are doing to participate in a fun activity or attend a party. They tend to cycle through fitness passions as opposed to having long-term hobbies. They find it taxing or boring to put time aside to learn skills that are too time consuming. Instead they will simply shift their focus onto another activity. In order to prevent lethargy in a Seven, they must have their exercise gear “at-the-ready” such as in their trunk, maintain a group of exercise teammates or buddies that they can exercise with, distract themselves from painful aspects of exercise with music, and minimize steps or decision points that impede the exercise process. Even though Type Sevens score the lowest on “Conscientiousness,” they have many traits that are helpful in the pursuit of fitness. Sevens score very high in “Extroversion,” “Emotional Stability,” and “Openness.” This causes Sevens to be very optimistic about setbacks, adaptive and creative when faced with problems, and highly interactive.
Sevens tend to shy away from goal directed behavior and look to making work as fun as possible. In this way they would rather combine their fitness goals with their leisure activities — disguise their exercise (8 colors of fitness). Sevens tend to like activities that are fast paced and exciting. They like group activities and they find that they loose steam when exercising alone. Sevens oftentimes participate in fast paced sports like basketball, racket ball or tennis. They also tend to prefer biking, skating, snowboarding and skiing for aerobics that tend to be more fun and engaging rather than simply running. Sevens are more successful maintaining fitness when they participate in mini-competitions where they feel like they have a chance of winning. During competition, however, they tend to “go-all-out” and can be prone to injury. Sevens look forward to social activities after games and may oftentimes schedule an after-party.
ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7 APPEARANCE
Enneagram Type 7 Fashion
Type Sevens consider how their attire makes them seem fun and exciting. Their claustrophobia and concern about comfort also shows up in their fashion as they would chose comfort over style if needed. Type Sevens may feel like their clothes are not exciting or new enough. Or they may focus on how they are deprived of options to wear based on their body type or wardrobe. Sevens follow the trends and keep their mind occupied with what is in fashion. They like to think about their next outfit or next event in which to get “dressed up.” Sevens welcome new styles and their fashion statement is, “lets party.”
Tattoos and Accessories
If the Seven gets a tattoo it may be bold and it may be on a whim. They may have many haphazard or unrelated tattoos as their lives change. Many times the tattoo may be changed or adapted from its original intent. Sevens are adept at forgetting the past and moving on.
Enneagram Type 7 At Home
Sevens want their homes to be ready for a party at a moment’s notice. Their decor will be colorful, warm and comfortable. Their public spaces will be presentable. They want guests to feel comfortable and in a lavish environment. They enjoy cooking and have a variety of spices available from their many dishes they have tried in the past. Sevens may like to introduce something new to their guests and describe why they think it is the best. Sevens have a low concern for neatness in their personal space but this tends to improve as they age.
ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7 BODY IMAGE
For the most part, Type Sevens do not want deal with or think about problems in their lives so that they leniently judge their bodies. They like to think that they have no burdens or limitations. They ignore physical problems or defuse it with a positive outlook – “I am lovable” or “the future is bright.” Sevens attempt to maintain this positive outlook through distractions and future planning. When their lives are full of distracting experiences they can be unaware of their bodies and unconcerned about their appearances or about healthy behaviors. As life slows down, however, they may find themselves worrying about their health as a limiting factor in their lives. They may have unrealistic fears that they are sick, or unattractive. In this way they can have strong anxieties about illness, being physically limited or burdened by pain. These worries make them feel claustrophobic or feel that they will be deprived of an otherwise happy experience.
Value and Self-Worth
When Sevens look in the mirror they see the fun and new experiences that they can experience with their body. Sevens merge their self-identity with their current fascinations and plans. They evaluate their bodies in terms of enjoying future pleasure and how they are going to experience it. They see themselves as fun, lovable, exciting, adventurous, quick witted, and a part of the social “In Crowd.” They worry, however, that they will be limited by their bodies, and unable to experience all there is in life. Other issues with Sevens are “ideal seeking” power orientation. This means that they are seeking ideal experiences, and this sets them up for dissatisfaction of the “grass is always greener” syndrome. They may sometimes worry that their looks are not good enough, or they are not physical enough to obtain their ideal experience. Type Sevens see themselves as very desirable people and due to their overall optimism, and social skills finding partners is relatively easy for them. Overall they tend to feel impervious to bad health and will not adopt healthy behaviors because they hate to deprive themselves. Motivating Type Sevens in regards to behavior change must be couched in terms of improving their fun and excitement, busting through limits, increasing freedom, and feeling good.
ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7 FOOD ORIENTATION
Type Sevens under-express rational thinking and may be seen to have childish desires regarding food and food choices. They oftentimes want “one of everything” on the dining menus and are more prone than others in estimating their hunger. They easily feel deprived and have a hard time accepting healthy choices that they perceive are less tasty.
Enneagram Type 7 Favorite Foods
Type Sevens are looking to have a cornucopia of foods at every meal. They want a variety of “Old Standards” that may be comfort foods and also like to throw in new delectable tastes when available. They are seeking new sensations but only those that are perceived as fun, snaky, salty or dessert like. They are not likely to try and cultivate a taste for vegetables that seem dull or like an exercise in deprivation. Their adventurous spirit does not apply to “yucky” foods. Sometimes this leads to their palate becoming constricted despite their sense of adventurism — “I just like these other yummy foods so much better and why should I deprive myself of them.” Food presentation is very important for Sevens, and good food that is not presented well or described in a tantalizing way will be avoided. They are quite brand conscious and loyal once they have made a connection — “I only eat JIFF peanut butter, because the other brands are not as good.” Type Sevens’ problems with overeating tend to be their “addictive personality” for sugary and salty foods, their sensitivity to their own hunger, impulsive eating, social eating, and ordering expensive foods. The online book, “Your Fat, Your Fault,” suggests that their food metaphor is that food is entertainment and adventure.
Food Shopping Style
Type Sevens are avid shoppers. They enjoy the variety presented to them and make decisions easily about what to buy. They like to buy several options as opposed to “pigeon holing” themselves into one flavor or type of food. They are prone to impulsive buying. They are also quite brand conscious and will not accept the generic brands. They feel like they are being deprived of the best.
Meal Setting, Preparation, and Presentation
Sevens favored meal settings is one of abundance, with multiple choices, large portions and exciting company. They enjoy eating out where they can enjoy the food and company and not be bothered with the preparation details (although they can be accomplished cooks). They want to try a little of everything including other people’s foods. “I’ll have one of everything!”
Food Decision Factors
For Type Sevens, travel and new experiences are calorie risky times. They may eat twice or stop in for dessert if they come across a better eating establishment. At home, snack foods are risky as they may be mindlessly munched during quite times at night when anxiety creeps in. When they are choosing new foods they may look to try standard foods that have been different spice or flare added. This way they do not run the risk of a totally unknown meal.
ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7 EMOTIONAL EATING STYLE
Emotional Eating Pattern
As stated above, Sevens tend to eat mindlessly when they are feeling deprived or board. They like to fill their minds with excitement and a snack food taste sensations are perfect distractions to the daily anxieties of their lives. This may happen as things quite down at the end of the day. When their minds are not distracted by other things, they drift to future meal plans or exciting places and the meals they will have there.
Common hidden calorie situations for Type Sevens are social events. At social events Type Sevens tend lose track of what they ate because the social interaction is distracting. A few bites from multiple plates can add up.
Sevens are always looking for a party or social gathering. They also often enjoy alcohol due to its anxiety relieving properties but this causes them to not be concerned with watching their caloric intake.
When eating out Type Sevens are quite picky about their orders. They describe how they want things so that they don’t feel stuck with a mediocre or boring meal. They may say “I would like my bacon extra crispy,” or “can you make the casserole without onions.” They tend to over order and try to influence the orders around them. They try to experience more in case their meal is boring. When the meal is not to their satisfaction they may choose to eat none of the meal and gripe about it. When a Seven sees you eating a certain way they may offer advise on how you could make your meal even more zesty or fun, “you should add shredded parmesan cheese to that.” They may become irate if another person orders for them because they didn’t get what they wanted.
The foods or food settings that best represent Type Sevens are a fun variety of foods served at a new and exciting restaurant with entertaining people around them.
In regards to Types Sevens adopting food changes into their diet, they have a hard time depriving themselves or even getting up the concern level high enough to make a change. They soon feel deprived and go back to old rich calorie foods. The key for them is to stay sufficiently distracted, regularly satisfied with frequent savory and exciting foods.
ENNEAGRAM TYPE 7 EXERCISE PATTERN
Sevens fear being bored or deprived. If a Type Seven is overweight that may feel like their current state of health keeps them from doing the things that they love. They may feel claustrophobic within their own skin. In this way they may be literally scared into exercising. This type of fear-based motivation doesn’t last long, however, and Sevens that focus on the joy, satisfaction and fulfillment created by exercising are more likely to stick to a fitness program. Along with their fear of being deprived or bored, Sevens fear being in pain. This fear of pain may be a limiting factor in their pursuit of fitness. The key concept to keep a Seven going though the pain is the concept of distraction. That is way Sevens tend to be involved with exercises that are also entertaining. Another significant limitation is Sevens significant wanderlust. They have a hard time sticking to one skill or topic to master and move from one experience to another. Although this keeps them well versed in many skills, Sevens may become discouraged when they are not as savvy as the other players.
Baseline Activity Level
Sevens are always on the go. They are constantly thinking about and planning the next fun thing to do. They are usually busy doing things around the house such as cleaning, decorating or preparing for an upcoming social event. At work they enjoy multitasking and interacting with clients. Sevens might be making up lists in their minds on what to shop for next or where to travel. In this way Sevens baseline energy expenditure tends to be above average.
Favorite Exercise and Exercise Environment
Sevens enjoy exercise that is fun and exciting. You won’t see Sevens slaving away in some dungeon-like basement gym or performing solitary feats of endurance like cross country skiing or marathon running. Sevens like to be entertained and stimulated so that game play and sports is their forte. Sevens especially like the “pre-game” and “after-party” events. Aerobic events that Sevens enjoy may be guided aerobic dancing or classes. Sevens like to feel that they getting all of their needs met and they do not have to “go without.” In that way they enjoy the upscale workout facilities — gyms that are brightly lit, well staffed and have amenities like hot tubs and saunas.
Exercise Personality Limitations
Sevens do best with team sports or events. They are drawn to this exercise type more than any other. Sevens tend to fear the painful aspects of exercise but find that social interaction and game-play distracts them from their pain during exercise. The saying that “misery loves company” is quite true for the Sevens. As teammates, Sevens are eternally optimistic and keep other players cheered up during a lulls in the game.
EXERCISE VIGILANCE, VARIETY AND INTENSITY
Sevens love variety and may become annoyed or bored with routine. It is necessary to change things up a bit to keep Sevens interested and to keep their “mind in the game.”
If their team event starts to feel like drudgery or they start to feel trapped into a situation that is no longer fun, their head may be no longer in the game. They may abandon that situation and not look back.
Sevens are not know for their high pain tolerance and it is not typical to see a Seven in the throes of a hardcore solo workout. But Sevens have an intense sense of competitions can be formidable and tenacious opponent. The key difference is that the distraction offered by game-play masks the pain and allows the Sevens to achieve great feats of physical fitness without feeling deprived.
EXERCISE ANXIETY REGARDING PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE
During fitness prep Sevens are vary good about getting ready in terms of packing up their work-out bag in advance, letting loved ones and those effected know in advance, and not scheduling conflicting work during fitness time.
If Sevens experienced significant pain or drudgery in the past regarding a fitness event then they will likely unconsciously or consciously try to avoid it in the future. They may find themselves scheduling competing events or agree to other activities during fitness time.
Exercise Performance Anxiety
Sevens tend to be more self-confident than others in regards to their body-image and level of performance and so performance anxiety does not inhibit them as much as other types.
No matter what their performance, Sevens tend to think about the event positively and they look to do even better in the future. Sevens have a hard time dwelling on the past. If they did a poor job, they will simply laugh it off or drop it and move on.
Learn About Diet Strengths and Skills for Type Seven
By Dr. Scott Harrington