Enneagram Type 7, The Fun-Loving Enthusiast - Karen Armstrong - Inside Out - Newmarket Ontario
For most of my life I was relatively unaware of the many sensations associated with the arising of emotion. The agreement in zazen to attempt to remain still helped me learn to be with .. so that the situation and the relationship get resolved in a harmonious way. I married at twenty and had four children in seven years. Enneagram Type Seven (the Enthusiast) Fours and Sevens bring to their relationship the charge and mystery of their differences—that they think so differently. Type Seven can be called the Enthusiast, The Epicure, The for what they are really looking for” (Wisdom of the Enneagram, Riso/Hudson). Sevens at their best in a relationship are lighthearted, generous, outgoing, caring and fun. . Today I am married to one, have a major consulting contract with a.
We bring all three of our instincts into our relationships, yet one of these is central. Over the past 30 years of Enneagram work, many people have found that subtype in a primary relationship is more important than personality type itself when it comes to daily life. There are many decisions and habits in living together that are shaped by our instincts and emotions.
What are our expectations, personal habits, and rhythms of coming and going? Who cooks and cleans? Who initiates physical contact and how much? How do we include friends and family, or not?
I am not suggesting that the basic Enneagram type is unimportant. As we travel the path of intimacy we follow the basic needs and longings of our deepest selves, we rely on the strengths and capacities of our type structure, and we are confronted with the issues and limitations of our defense systems.
But in living together on a daily basis, much of our relating is heavily influenced by our subtypes. This is the realm of instinct and emotion, ruled by our mammalian limbic system, not entirely a function of our rational mind. Understanding subtypes is a way of bringing this to our conscious attention and having a language which describes it.
Fortunately, there are practices to develop new skills and mediate subtype differences and similarities in relationship. We can appreciate the different subtype priorities which need attention in order to establish security and rapport for each partner. We can track rhythms of contact and withdrawal without taking it all so personally. We can find ways to balance all three instincts, each of which plays an important role in home and family life.
Whether you are new to subtypes or an old hand, you will find your experience reflected and informed by this material — at least in part. We can find ourselves in all three subtypes, depending on our circumstances and our path of development, so we may have all three subtype styles at different moments.
Still, most people have found or will find that one of their instincts is predominant, and they can see how their subtype affects relationships. I feel well informed about subtype patterns through 30 years of personal experience and counseling practice with the Enneagram. I have learned about each of the 27 subtypes embodied by friends, colleagues, and students in countless workshops, private sessions, and spirited discussions in locations around the world.
Helen Palmer has been a consistent mentor, challenging us to discover how the activity of the subtype expresses and obscures the passion lower emotion of each personality type. At this annual meeting, Terry Saracino and I made a short presentation on subtypes in relationship followed by subtype groups which reported back lists of valuable observations. This chapter is informed by these reports as well as those from other AET conferences and years of subtype workshops with Narrative Tradition panels.
Although the Enneagram lends itself to many interesting theories, teaching or writing about the system is most accurate when it reflects the personal experience of those who live there, those who know the type and subtype from the inside out. Same subtypes, different subtypes The first thing that needs to be said is that all subtype combinations work! Just as all type combinations can work. Forget about computer generated, Enneagram dating guides. If you have loved more than one person in your life, more than one type, you know the truth of this: This person has a similar world view, similar areas of interest and activity.
There is often a quicker, better rapport based on a shared language and subtype style of relating.
Enneagram 4 and trying to make this relationship work : Enneagram
The Self Pres types can relate more to the same issues, the same anxieties, and the same security operations. This assumes that the One-to-ones can negotiate their natural competitiveness! When Social types connect, we easily fall into synchronistic patterns based on our shared outlook and rules for group interaction. Each subtype has an inherently different set of personal boundaries. Self Pres people have a warm quality about them; the One-to-ones run hot; and we Socials are accused of being cool I hope not cold!
This is not meant to put us in a box. But I know how my style contrasts with the others, and their way is often challenging to my comfort zone.
Can I maintain that direct eye contact with a One-to-one type and raise the energy level? Am I willing to pursue a conversation with a Self Pres type about family matters or home projects?
I might want to adapt or I might resist, depending on the situation and my internal state. In spite of having an easier rapport with people of the same subtype, we value the people in our lives who have different subtypes. Love, attraction and friendship do not stay within the boundaries of subtype.
The point is to recognize both advantages and challenges that accompany subtype issues and styles. Is it easier if we share the same subtype with our partner? For one thing, we can miss out on aspects of relating that other subtypes bring.
We can end up in long term collusion patterns which lead to deficits in other areas of instinctual life, and we may not develop our full capacities under the influence of largely unconscious agreements about what is possible, or what is permissible. When people in a primary relationship have different subtypes, they can bring different resources to their relationship, complementing one another with their strengths and expansiveness in their favored territory.
For example, a traditional pairing is illustrated by the One-to-one or Social spouse who is out in the world doing all the things that they like, yet at the same time happy to come home to their Self Pres partner who is keeping the household and children well organized and cared for. Or perhaps the Self Pres spouse leads in working and making money, or taking care of the family business, while the One-to-one partner keeps the home fires burning. Granted, in modern life this separation of roles is not as common as it used to be.
Even partners with the same subtype will tend to differentiate roles and take the lead in different domains. In time, however, partners may feel a need to branch out and participate in other instinctual arenas. Then the deal is off! How couples negotiate these developmental changes and life transitions is vital to the continuing relationship.
Sometimes new arrangements work, sometimes not. Many of us at midlife have the experience of children leaving home a major project coming to a close and how this shifts the dynamic between us and our partners.
Another example occurs when a One-to-one spouse suddenly realizes that their world has shrunk to the confines of the primary relationship, and other important needs for participation and friendship are not being met. A common belief of One-to-ones is that their intimate relationship should, or will, supply all the necessary love and attention to be happy in life.
MONEY, PERSONALITY AND RELATIONSHIP
What will happen when they no longer feel this way? How will the partner feel, whatever their subtype, when all that intense, one to one focus is no longer aimed solely at them? There may be a feeling of abandonment, or a feeling of reliefor both. These changes can lead to profound shifts in identity as people leave behind their earlier roles, projects, and attachments. These transitions and re-negotiations have a better chance of working out if we put the Enneagram to work, using both type and subtype to understand the needs of both partners.
With cross-type couples, there are more varied resources and there are also predictable conflicts. As David Daniels M. In my work with couples over the years I have heard many poignant stories of subtype misunderstandings.
For example, a Self Pres husband works long and hard on building a new addition to the house. Evenings after work and weekends are devoted to the project. Meanwhile, his One-to-one type wife feels abandoned and increasingly resentful. Fortunately in this instance, these two were able to work out a solution. In the process he had to deal with his own discomfort about just being there, not being physically active except for some fun ways in the bedroombut with practice he found that he liked it.
And his wife was able to forgive him, for the most part, by understanding his real love for her as demonstrated through his busy Self Pres style. This story illustrates how even with the best of intentions, our subtype style and major projects can lead us away from intimacy. She finally blows up at him when, with little advance notice, he once again invites friends to stay at their house for a weekend.
She feels both invaded and discounted. Her home is her place of refuge from a busy life, a place she depends on for privacy and rest. Is she trying to control him and limit his life? The specific issue of the friends coming to stay is now less important than the strong emotions generated by the lack of mutual empathy. Is the problem that he is socially excessive and inconsiderate, or that she takes on too much work and responsibility for providing meals, company, and a polished home environment?
By calming down and talking it over, and by remembering the subtype differences, this couple found the necessary compromises. Each person felt heard, and the problem became a practical one, not something that wreaked havoc on their sense of well being and connection.
Reviewing the nine descriptive terms within each subtype category: One way to enter a discussion of subtype relationship issues is to re-visit the nine words or phrases linked to each of the subtype categories, regardless of personality type.
These sets form a composite style, although some of the titles may have more personal resonance. This is most obvious with One-to-one subtypes - all of the terms can be seen as directly related to intimacy. The qualities represented by union, jealousy, seduction, strength, fascination, etc. For the Self Pres types, appetite, anxiety, privilege, security, etc. And for the Social types, participation, non-adaptability, duty, and friendship all combine in ways that influence their approach to intimacy, even though it may seem that these issues are not so linked to intimacy per se.
Relationships (Type Combinations) — The Enneagram Institute
Self Preservation Subtypes in relationship Most Self Preservation subtypes share a relational style that is characterized by warmth the Point Six word and the need to achieve a basic feeling of security Point Three through affection and nurture. Self Pres types like to do things together, accomplish tasks, enjoy life together.
Of course they can shift their attentional style to a one on one focus when necessary.Sex & Enneagram - Type 4
In fact, they may demonstrate talent and gracefulness when using their other instincts in relationship when they get to them, since these are not as implicated in their type structure and defenses. In other words, Self Pres types might find expressing their social instinct, or their one-to-one instinct, fairly simple and uncomplicated, once they get there.
The main challenge may be getting there. Boredom is not an option. Commitment can be a challenge when you never know what exciting possibilities could surface around the next corner. Thus we say our Sevens live by options, plans and possibilities and truly have fun allowing life to show up and making spontaneous choices in the moment.
They often live a very full life and have had more experiences at any given age than some of us will have in a lifetime. Some of the valuable things I have learned from my Seven friends are: Never play trivial pursuit with them — they know way too many odd facts and bits of wisdom on all subjects. Every cloud has a silver lining if you just look. Sevens at their best in a relationship are lighthearted, generous, outgoing, caring and fun. They introduce their friends and loved ones to new activities and adventures.
Sevens at their worst in a relationship are narcissistic, opinionated, defensive and distracted. They are often ambivalent about being tied down to a relationship. Practical suggestions for Type Seven: Focus on what you have, rather than on what you dream of getting. Negotiate quality time with your partner and friends, when you can chill.
Regulate your meals and sleep. Pay particular attention to this before exhaustion sets in. Recognize your impulsiveness, and get in the habit of observing your impulses rather than giving in to them.