Type 7s are the Enthusiast of the Enneagram. They are the carefree optimists of society, ready to dive headfirst into any new experience.
Enthusiasts are outgoing and make friends easily. They draw people in with their infectious good mood and love of adventure, ensuring they are always at the center of attention. Because they prioritize a good time over everything, they remain ready for anything and will immediately drop their plans if they’re not getting what they want out of an experience.
While they genuinely just enjoy a good time, Type 7s can also use pleasure as a diversion from the darker facets of existence, ignoring and repressing negative emotions even when doing so doesn’t serve them. When their pleasure-seeking becomes a form of avoidance, it can ultimately be deeply counterproductive and harmful.
To learn more about the Enthusiast, see below for an overview of Type 7 characteristics and the type’s variants, wings, and directions of growth and stress. We’ve also included information about the ideal work environment for Type 7s, the types they are most and least compatible with, and a list of some notable 7s.
Below, we’ve listed some of the key traits of an Enneagram Enthusiast.
Type 7s are:
- Type 7s structure their lives around fun and excitement.
- Type 7s are gregarious, likable, and always the life of the party.
- Type 7s fill up their calendars with social events and plans.
- Type 7s want to try anything and everything and need constant novelty to feel satisfied.
- Type 7s make constant plans for the future, seeking variety and luxury constantly.
- Type 7s change course easily to chase fun and pleasurable experiences.
A person’s Enneagram type stems from their core motivations, specific desires and fears that are at the root of that type’s behavior. A type’s desires represent their ideal existence, while their fear is of falling short of that ideal.
Each Enneagram type has an associated core fear. The traits associated with a type develop through their instinctive avoidance of said fear.
The core fear of the Enthusiast is deprivation and lack of excitement. Type 7s fear being trapped in their lives and limited in their options. Nothing is worse for a Type 7 than being unable to follow their whims and inclinations, and therefore missing out on the many experiences life has to offer.
Each Enneagram type’s core desire corresponds to and is an inverse of their core fears.
The core desires of the Enthusiast are excitement, freedom, and novelty. Type 7s are driven as much by a striving for new experiences as an instinctive avoidance of stagnation, boredom, and inertia.
Quick-witted and creative, Enthusiasts have a passion for experiencing everything there is to experience in life, and they’re well-adapted to chase this passion. They’re interested in everything and anything, and because of their intelligence they can pick up new skills easily. They move through the world fluidly, responding to whatever life throws at them and rolling with the punches, and they’re rarely thrown by sudden changes. Type 7s are also often fantastic leaders, able to bring people together and inspire them to be the very best they can be. Their optimism and lively energy draws people to them wherever they go.
While the wide-ranging interests of the Enthusiast can be a strength, it can also make it difficult for Type 7s to sort out their priorities. Though they are filled to the brim with enthusiasm and energy at the beginning of projects, they get bored easily. As the work becomes less novel, they begin to overlook important details, become less reliable, and they may even jump ship well before a project is complete. For the people around the Enthusiast, this scattered energy can become deeply tiresome, earning the Type 7 a reputation for being self-centered.
Directions of Growth and Stress
The nine personality types of the Enneagram model are not rigid descriptions of behavior. While a person’s base type does not change, their personality evolves and even takes on traits from other types in response to changing circumstances in their life.
In the Enneagram diagram, each type is connected to two others which represent that type’s typical directions of stress and growth.
Growth Arrow to Five
High-functioning Type 7s may “move towards” Enneagram 5, the Investigator. This means that Enthusiasts going through positive growth may adopt some of the positive traits of the Investigator alongside the familiar positive traits of a Type 7.
An Enneagram 7 moving in the direction of growth will:
- Moderate their behavior and learn to sit with both negative and positive emotions.
- Learn to value spending time alone in simple pursuits.
- Become more responsible, organized, and able to prioritize.
- Grow less self-indulgent and hedonistic.
The Enthusiast will always be a Type 7 at their core, but a healthy 7 that is moving towards growth will be able to channel and make use of these Type 5 strengths in their own way.
Stress Arrow to One
When stressed, Enthusiasts may take on negative traits of an unhealthy Enneagram 1, the Perfectionist.
An Enneagram 7 moving in the direction of stress will:
- Become more erratic and inappropriate in their behavior.
- Escape from unpleasant emotions through self-indulgent and self-destructive behaviors.
- Avoid or be unable to focus on serious topics or conversations.
- Procrastinate and avoid important tasks.
Some variations on the Enneagram model refer to the three instincts, meaning the self-preservation instinct, the sexual instinct, and the social instinct. All three are inherent human instincts, but every person prioritizes them differently, with their main priority being their “dominant” instinct. Understanding the interplay between your dominant instinct and your Enneagram type can provide helpful insights into your personality and behavior.
The self-preservation (SP) instinct pertains to our need for personal safety and security.
Self-preservation Type 7s are considerably more practical and calculated than other 7s. Their sense of safety comes from other people, and they seek out community with those whose values and goals resemble their own and who will join them in the pursuit of pleasure and excitement. They’re great networkers, able to leverage their social cachet to put them in the way of huge opportunities and material gain.
SP 7s like to believe that everyone depends on them, and therefore work to foster a sense of kindness and generosity. However, their self-interest and cynicism may sometimes lead them to take advantage of the goodwill of others or believe themselves to be above the rules which govern everyone else.
The social (SO) instinct pertains to our need to be part of a community and to feel like we belong.
While Social Type 7s are just as prone to all of the appetites and pleasure-seeking desires that typify all 7s, they respond to these desires with self-denial. Suppressing their gluttony for life, SO 7s work to become an idealized version of themselves. They believe that they must give up their desires for the greater good of society and clear themselves of the guilt of seeking pleasure and self-indulgence.
Rather than looking out for themselves, SO 7s strive to deny themselves, take less, give more, and help others whenever they can. Their enthusiasm and good intentions are real, but they’re also bound up with a different kind of gluttony, one for recognition, admiration, and a purity of self that makes them “better” than others. Their idealism can make them difficult to deal with, especially when they’re unwilling to be unrealistic about what’s actually possible.
The sexual (SX) instinct pertains to our sexuality and our personal relationships.
Where self-preservation 7s are deeply grounded in the physical world, sexual Type 7s exist largely in the world of ideas. In them, the gluttony of the Enthusiast expresses itself as an excess of idealism, fantasy, and enthusiasm. SX 7s are dreamers, easily becoming lost in fantasies of a perfect future, a perfect world, their perfect relationship. They smooth over the flaws and problems of reality and escape into daydream, refusing to engage with unpleasant truths.
Because they can escape into their imagination so effortlessly, SX 7s can find reality to be challenging and tiresome. They often prefer to imagine rather than act, indulging their tendency towards a kind of worldly laziness. After all, languishing in beautiful fantasy is so much easier than the messy realities of actual action.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Enneagram 7s
Because people change in response to life circumstances, there is no single defined set of behaviors that mark out an Enneagram 7. Enthusiasts will display different facets of their personalities in their average state versus at times when they feel healthier or more unhealthy.
Signs of a Healthy Enthusiast
- They slow down and allow themselves to appreciate the small joys in life without constantly chasing new extravagant highs.
- They set priorities for themselves and impose limits and boundaries that allow them to live a more balanced life.
- They internalize and appreciate the richness and significance of their experiences.
- They make time for, listen to, and encourage their loved ones with genuine enthusiasm.
Signs of an Average Enthusiast
- They seek excitement in new experiences, new people, new skills, and new knowledge.
- They fill their schedule to the brim, juggling plans to keep themselves constantly occupied.
- They dive into escapism at the first sign of boredom, which they cannot handle.
- They amp up the energy around them with their liveliness and spontaneity.
Signs of an Unhealthy Enthusiast
- They don’t know their limits and indulge until their energy and health is depleted.
- They throw themselves into new activities impulsively without finding joy in them.
- They distract themselves from problems with hedonism and reckless pursuits.
- They have trouble regulating their moods, fall into self-destructive behaviors, and become depressed when escapism is no longer enough.
Personal Growth Recommendations for Enneagram 7s
- Practice mindfulness. You may find yourself so preoccupied with future possibilities that you ignore the present. This is doubly so when they’re something you’re avoiding feeling. Checking in with yourself regularly will help you cultivate inner contentment. Try to engage in mindfulness activities like deep breathing and meditation, exercise, or journaling to ground yourself in the present moment.
- It’s okay to pass things up. You worry constantly about what you’re missing out on, but just because an opportunity is available doesn’t mean it’s what you need or want. Most likely, that tempting new thing will still be around tomorrow. If you take the time to think and prioritize rather than acting impulsively, you’ll find that you’re pursuing things that actually make you happy.
- Observe your impulses instead of giving in to them. You have a lot of urges, but they’re not all serving you. Try actively choosing which impulses to act on and letting the rest pass. The more you can manage your urges, the easier it will be for you to focus on the things that are meaningful for you.
- Pursue meaningful relationships. You make friends easily, but your avoidance of difficult emotions and tendency to constantly seek novelty might mean that you don’t have a lot of very close relationships. Try going deeper with the people you like and admire. You might be surprised to find that those around you only get more interesting and exciting as you learn more about them.
Enneagram 7 Wings
The numbers on either side of an Enneagram type are known as the “wings” of that type. While people will display traits from all nine types at different types, their wings are particularly influential in their behavior. Most people lean towards one of their wings. Enneagram 7s lean either towards their 6 wing, written as “7w6” (7-wing-6) or towards their 8 wing (“7w8”).
Because their pleasure-seeking is expressed in their desire for meaningful social relationships, Type 7s that lean towards their 6 wing tend to be more devoted and dependable than other 7s. While they retain the 7’s excitement and enthusiasm, they temper it with a greater respect for their obligations and responsibilities. They’re better able to concentrate and plan, and have greater followthrough when they take on a new project.
7w6s are particularly social creatures, and they’re steadfast and kind in interpersonal situations. They’re great team players and strive to be productive and disciplined when others are depending on them.
Type 7s with an 8 wing are ambitious and goal-oriented, and their lifestyles are less hedonistic than other Type 7s, though not at all less busy. These 7s feel a constant need to be doing something, and it need not always be something fun. Work serves as another effective means for 7w8s to avoid negative thoughts.
The 7w8’s schedule is jam-packed, and they’re constantly hurrying from one activity to the next, to the point that it can be difficult to keep up with them. Due to their busy schedule, maintaining relationships with them can require a lot of work and cause a lot of frustration, as their loved ones will find themselves neglected while the 7w8 pursues their goals.
Enneagram 7 Careers
Enneagram 7s are always on the lookout for new and exciting experiences. They are outgoing and flexible, and always try to make the best of any situation. Their future-oriented thinking makes them great goal-setters, but they can also respond to setbacks with ease, brainstorming their way out of trouble with their creativity and elite problem-solving skills.
Because of this, Enthusiasts actually do very well in fast-paced work environments that are constantly changing. They’re at their best when their work allows them to interact with new people, think big, be creative, learn new skills, and have new experiences. Jobs that are simple and repetitive and don’t challenge them will only lead to the Type7 becoming bored and lethargic.
Enneagram Type 7s excel in roles such as:
- Interior Designer
- Event Planner
- Travel Writer
- Operations Manager
Enneagram 7 compatibility with other Types
Enneagram 7s are the most compatible with Type 3, the Achiever and Type 9, the Peacemaker.
Type 7s and Type 3s make for a highly complementary couple. Both types are confident, enthusiastic, and have a knack for socializing. In group situations, they’re highly sought-after companions, as they’re both likable and articulate. Type 3s and 7s feed on each other’s energy and enthusiasm. Together, they throw themselves into adventure with a youthful liveliness that they bring out in each other. However, they can also find stability with each other, as Type 3s can help temper some of the excesses that 7s are prone to when left on their own devices, while 7’s resilience and optimism can help 3s through more difficult times.
Having just the right amount of similarities and differences helps Type 7 and Type 9 work well together. While 9s tend to need a little more downtime than the active 7, the two are both very future-oriented social types who seek to avoid conflict or pain in their life.
Both types know how to bounce back from setbacks, which makes them good business and personal partners. They also bring different strengths to any relationship. While 7s bring their sharp minds, sense of fun, and natural curiosity, 9s bring their steady, grounded acceptance and open-hearted presence.
Enneagram 7s are the least compatible with Type 4, the Individualist.
While 4s and 7s are very different in a lot of ways, the ways in which they are similar can be just as much of a factor when it comes to the difficulties of this pairing. Both types tend to act on impulse and get angry with others when they are disappointed or when things don’t go the way they planned.
While Type 4s may admire their Type 7 partner’s vigor for life, they may soon come to resent the relentless slew of plans and activities that the 7 fills their time with. The subtext here, of course, is “fills their time with instead of spending time with their partner.” Meanwhile, Type 4’s tendency to dwell on and even wallow in their pain is something Type 7s can’t relate to and in fact actively fears doing. If they try to cajole their partner into being more cheerful, they’ll be greeted with hostility as their partner sees them trying to sweep important issues under the rug.
Famous Enneagram Type 7s
Type 7s are funny, charming, and friendly, making friends easily wherever they go. They’re constantly on the lookout for something new to occupy their time, and accumulate new skills and interests at an almost-frantic pace. Unsurprisingly, many of the famous 7s on this list have found success in more than one field.
Notable public figures believed to be Enneagram 7s include:
- Jim Carrey, Canadian actor
- Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright
- Freddie Mercury, British singer-songwriter
- Miley Cyrus, American actress and singer-songwriter
- Voltaire, French philosopher
- Usain Bolt, Jamaican runner
Enneagram 7s have a strong desire to live life to the utmost. Ceaselessly and sometimes naively optimistic, they live at the mercy of inspiration, seizing opportunities as they arise and flitting from experience to experience and from adventure to adventure.
While this restless striving energy can serve them for a time, it can lead them astray when they don’t take the time to pin down their priorities and reflect on their experiences. Hedonism can only get the Enthusiast so far – to understand true happiness, they must seek inner peace as well. It is only by taking the time to reflect on the beauty and abundance of life all around them that 7s can begin to move towards a healthier, more refined version of themselves. Their idealism can make them difficult to deal with, especially when they’re unwilling to be realistic about what’s actually possible.