Now that we’ve discussed the basics of Enneagram 7, let’s talk about Instinctual differences among Enthusiasts. If you need a refresher on what Instincts are, check out my first post on the topic.
When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.
The pain-avoiding tendencies, variety seeking and bouncy nature of type 7 manifest with each instinct in a unique way.
Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones. As aforementioned, all 7’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two. This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need. For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”. I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.
Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).
Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you! Be on the lookout for my next post on the basics of type 8.
We’ve made it to Enneagram type 7, usually dubbed the Enthusiast. Feel free to click for a closer look!
The Enthusiast definitely lives up to its name and in my opinion, is one of the most blatantly obvious Enneagram typings to assign– this is because 7’s can truly be larger than life in their expression, enthusiasm and energy. They are outwardly joyful and fun-loving individuals who charm others and usually lead with childlike excitement! This usually stems from the fact that 7’s evade the darker side of life, fearing and desiring to be far away from pain. Because of this, Enthusiasts often avoid the inner self, turning instead to the physical world to distract them– 7’s I’ve known have said that they have very busy social schedules so they won’t be left with their own thoughts. Variety and novelty seeking is a large part of this, to maintain a constant feeling of enthusiasm and happiness. The negative side effect of this however is often a lack of commitment, or responsibility to the more serious parts of life.
Enthusiasts can often be found at the center of social circles, helping to draw people together and form community with their natural charisma. When health seeking, this can be a beautiful thing, as the 7 is able to acknowledge people on an individual level, slowing down to see depth and detail. When under stress or less healthy though, 7’s lose sight of depth and spread themselves too thin– valuing quantity over quality, and craving more and more empty experiences which never fully satisfy them. An ugly judgmental quality often accompanies this for 7’s because they have lost touch with who others (and themselves) really are, in their endless pursuit of distraction from pain. The key to growth for 7 is exactly that, slowing down to “smell the roses”, engaging with the broken parts of both themselves and others.
If you have any questions about Enneagram 7, feel free to ask in the comments. Otherwise, keep a look out for my next post on the instinctual differences among Enthusiasts! 🙂