Misidentification: 7 vs. 9

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Hey friends, I’ve just finished uploading a new Misidentification video, this time on the differences and similarities between the Enthusiast and the Peacemaker!  Check it out and chime in if you have thoughts! 🙂

Be sure to check back in for my next video, on the wings of 4.  See you then!

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Misidentification: 7 vs. 9

Misidentification: 3 + 7

misid_37Enneagram 3’s and 7’s can have a similar energy about them– external, positive, fast paced and people oriented. I know a 3 who has called herself a “false 7” because it’s what many identified her as at first. At the core though, Achievers and Enthusiasts reasons for doing things could not be more different. 3’s seek love and approval, 7’s seek stimulation and distraction. If there were two Olympians that were these types, they would compete with different motivation– the 7 to see the world, and have varied experiences, and the 3 to prove their worth by winning.  One is driven, the other more happy-go-lucky.

Enneagram 3 is a heart type, and struggles with issues of identity– because they have always tried to live up to the expectations of others (donning masks to do so) they often feel that they don’t really know their true selves. It’s said that they sacrifice their heart’s desires at a young age to live up to the ideals of their culture.

Enneagram 7 is a head type, and struggles with issues of fear– specifically of their own deep or negative feelings, or those of others. Enthusiasts are the true optimists, and choose to distract themselves away from negativity by seeking constant positive stimulation. They are continually looking for things to distract them from their own thoughts and feelings. This, of course, is hard to sustain, so 7’s bounce from thing to thing, not staying focused very long on any one.

I actually often use the term bouncy to describe the physicality of Enthusiasts. There is an energizer bunny type of vibe, distracted, bright and effervescent. Conversely, 3’s lack the childlike, open nature of 7’s– coming across in a more polished, charming and salesman-like manner. Because Enthusiasts value experiences over appearance, their physical presentation is usually an afterthought– or if distinctive, adopted for the sake of novelty, or variety.  3’s on the other hand find physical presentation of the utmost importance. Achievers generally put a lot of thought into their appearance, modeling it after popular culture, or people they believe are winners— another product and manifestation of not really knowing who they are.

The sins (or passions) of 3 and 7 are also quite different from each other. The former struggling with Deceit (of self and others) and the latter with Gluttony– the overdoing of, and overindulging in all things: food, social activities, hobbies, you name it.

Clearly there are some surface level similarities between these types, but a lot of core differences.  For more information on this topic, check out the Enneagram Institute’s overview of the differences between any two types and misidentification in general (which can be very helpful when determining type).

Tune in next time for my next Misidentification pair: 4 and 9!

Misidentification: 3 + 7

Enneagram Photo Project {Part. II}

If you are just chiming in, check out Part. I of this project. 🙂

A note on seeing the images closer (to read all the quotes): click the image once, which should open a new page, and then click to see the full sized image.

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Today I’d like to present head types, the over-thinkers of the Enneagram. Coming alongside that analytical nature, though, are the themes of Fear and Anxiety– each head type struggles with their own, unique brand.

5

Investigators seek to know, and understand all things– they exist largely in their inner worlds to cultivate that knowledge, and fear sharing or releasing it to the world. It’s why 5’s are said to struggle with avarice, or greed, which applies much more to their space, thoughts and selves than to anything else. There are often themes of social anxiety with Enneagram 5, because the physical world is not their playground. Inner message: you are only safe once you learn everything.

You can check out my overview of 5 basics here.

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6

Loyalists are the classic Fear type– which I’ve often read is why they are the central head type. For a 6, this theme is much broader, and rooted in a quest to find security outside of themselves– loyalty, whether with friends, their workplace, church, family, sports team, etc. Because they are overly vigilant about their security (physically, emotionally, relationally etc.), 6’s often entertain worst case scenario thinking that can lead to anxiety, and indecision. Inner message: you are only safe if you have the consistent protection of others.

You can check out my overview of 6 basics here.

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7

Enthusiasts are most carefree when emerging themselves in the experiences and variety of the outside world. Fear for them, centers around addressing their inner world, and the pain or dark feelings that exist there. 7’s are natural optimists that use their busy schedules and event filled lives to distract from any inner turmoil– their tendency to be experiential junkies is mostly to push down a fear of pain, and to evade the quiet that might force them to hear their own thoughts. Inner message: you are only safe if you keep moving.

You can check out my overview of 7 basics here.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions or comments, and be sure to tune in for gut types (8, 9 and 1) tomorrow! 🙂 I’d love for you to share this project, but please do not use the images without my express consent. Thanks!

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So much thanks to all of my awesome participants, and friends who helped with interviewing! Photo credit for 1, 2, 4 and 7 goes to the lovely Jamie Gray, while 6 and 9 are the work of Tony Au. All quotes are the words of my participants, and the writing/artwork is my own. Thanks everyone, I couldn’t have pulled it off without you!

Enneagram Photo Project {Part. II}

Instincts: 7

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.

instincts-general

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.

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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.

Instincts: 7

Enneagram 7

We’ve made it to Enneagram type 7, usually dubbed the Enthusiast. Feel free to click for a closer look!

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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! 🙂

Enneagram 7