Fine Distinctions – Sevens – Tom Condon

Fine Distinctions – Sevens – Tom Condon


Self Preservation Sevens

• Self-Preservation Sevens are confusing since they tend to be highly sociable and gravitate toward groups like Social Subtypes do. Specialize

in “chosen family” in that they tend to create a network of people around them.
• They enjoy sharing on a circuit of interesting or like-minded people. Other people are a source of information and stimulation; interested in the latest gossip and everyone’s news.

• To the Seven, the group is a comforting barricade against the dangers of the outside world, a bulwark against an infringing universe.
• Can be loyal, if slightly detached, friends; protective towards those within their inner circle and good about staying in touch.

• Canny and practical, they look for the deals and the loopholes; can enjoy bargains, sales or getting something for nothing.
• Equally well-versed in and fascinated by a large variety of subjects. May lack depth but have a breadth of knowledge.
• Tend to depersonalize, talk in abstract or intellectual terms and don’t explicitly toot their own horn.
• This subtype is associated with the cliche of the “party animal,” compulsive socializers who want to enjoy perpetual good times.
• In NLP terms, Self-Preservation Sevens are “activity-oriented.” Sharing activity with others is a way to make contact or to avoid personal intimacy. • Can use people for stimulation and drop them when they stop being exciting.
• Some fear being alone and will use others as a protection against solitude.
• More likely to have an unconscious self-image of being abandoned, uncared for or left to their own devices. Abandon others out of fear of being abandoned.
• Can live beyond their means and be chronically in debt; self-induced cycles of bounty and scarcity.
• Could equate being disciplined and financially successful with being dull and stodgy. The Seven rebels by staying “free” (i.e. irresponsible and broke).

Intimate Sevens

• Intimate Sevens tend to have rich imaginations and are exceptionally creative.
• They embellish reality with fantasy; see daily life through a veil of imagination.

• Often think and communicate in stories.
• Can see intimate relationships as shared experimental adventures.
• Avid learners who are open to adventure and new experience.
• Dreamers in the best and worst sense of the word.
• Intimate Sevens tend to be suggestible and can be swayed in their positions and opinions.
• Trend spotters who seek the new with the enthusiasm of a faddist; they filter reality through fantasy and the fantasy is what they purchase.
• Sevens with this subtype are often more explicitly narcissistic. They tend to personalize their experiences, talk more about themselves and use the word “I” more than other subtypes.
• Can be tentative about commitments and have a wandering eye.
• May romanticize people outside their primary relationship as a way to avoid the limits and boredom of mundane life with the same old someone. • Can be more involved with their fantasy of their partner than with the real person.
• Intimate Sevens can easily move from relationship to relationship searching for the right person or an “all time high.”
• Sexual freebooters; Don Juan and Don Juaness patterns are possible.
• Some report having high expectations of their fantasized partner and being easily disillusioned.
• aware of putting too much pressure on the relationship.
• Some intimate Sevens do stay in long term relationships. They may be interested in the mysteries and vagaries of love as well as genuinely love their partner.

Social Sevens

• Healthy Social Sevens are notably steady, practical and accountable to others.
• This subtype brings Sevens more conscience and follow-through.
• When extraverted, they can enjoy social celebrations, fine wine and good food, storytelling, jokes, and travel, all with an obvious gusto.

• They can be unusually grounded and faithful in their responsibilities. They are relatively at ease with their commitments and are often stable and generous.
• They are sometimes motivated by idealism, serving something beyond themselves. This subtype can have a stronger connection to One.

• Protective of group members; want every member to have a good time. If someone causes trouble for the group, a Social Seven may react with a flash of temper against the interloper or troublemaker.
• Can be generous, protective friends.

• Feel torn between their duty to others and a desire to escape.
• Tend to feel codependently responsible for people close to them but experience that as a confining burden.
• Can be highly irresponsible, overpromise and underdeliver.
• A number of Social Sevens are firstborns or come from a large family where they were given a lot of responsibility and little guidance.
• Others recall having to compensate for codependent or unstable parents.
• Social Sevens sometimes resemble Sixes, because of their dutiful quality and their propensity for feeling guilty.
• Social Sevens with an Eight wing tend to rebel against their sense of burden and can sometimes act terse and angry toward those they feel burdened by.

Connecting Points: Seven with a Six Wing

• Healthy Sevens with a Six wing are responsible, faithful, endearing, and funny.
• More accountable to others, oriented to relationships; loyal friends.
• Steady in their commitments as the Six wing brings a longer sense of time and more continuity to their perceptions.

• They often have more conscience, are hardworking and idealistic.
• Often funny or enjoy a good laugh. An amazing number of comedians are Sevens with this wing. The humor can have a playful, subversive quality.
• Can be openly vulnerable and have an unguarded, tender sweetness. • Able to empathize with a wide range of people and experiences.
• Often late bloomers. Some stall at the gate of adulthood, avoiding expressions of their power or competence because they unconsciously doubt themselves.
• Some have trouble expressing anger even when they have been wronged.
• Might exhibit some of the doubting, ambivalent qualities of a Six. Can have surprise episodes of anxious insecurity.

• Aware of authority figures but tend to evade or finesse them. Can be unduly respectful towards traditions and authority structures.
• They can feel (neurotically) guilty more easily than Sevens with an Eight wing
• Can have distinct paranoid streaks that they are blind to; their self-image is of someone who is positive, forward-looking and adventuresome.
• Project their conscience onto others and then act irresponsibly; can display a frantic all-over-the-place mentality.
• Prone to codependence even to the point of enduring physical or mental abuse.

Seven with an Eight Wing

• Healthy Sevens with an Eight wing are often gregarious and expansive. • Self-confident in worldly matters and have few qualms about getting what they want.
• Often talented at creating something out of nothing – perhaps by inventing a successful persona for themselves or by creating a thriving career by accident after spontaneously seizing upon an opportunity.

• Exceptionally materialistic. “Living well is the best revenge” is one possible motto for this wing. In a hasty, rapacious hurry to get what they want.
• Loyal to their friends and can leap aggressively to their defense.
• Generous, often sharing what they have; want everyone in their orbit to enjoy their sense of bounty and range of interests.
• Sevens with an Eight wing are generally more kinesthetic and auditory and less consciously visual than Sevens with a Six wing.
• Can be demanding, impatient and self-centered.
• Thin-skinned; may require that the people in their lives candy-coat the truth, telling the Seven only what he wants to hear.
• Can be hypocritical – moralizing to others about behavior that they practice
• Some have hair-trigger tempers and can suddenly erupt. Their anger may pass just as quickly and the Seven then returns to a baseline of good cheer.
• Some tend to age-regress, sometimes to a very young age. Can have the quality of a small child stuck in the “terrible twos,” behaving like a demanding toddler who wants instant gratification.

• They unconsciously anticipate being frustrated and deprived and preemptively strike against the possibility.
• Can grow delusional and grandiose; may love to hear themselves talk about big schemes that never come to pass.

Seven’s Connection to Five

• The connection to Five brings Sevens sobriety, perspective and the power to integrate and internalize their experience – to digest what they have eaten.
• Helps Sevens become calm and detached, to see the Big Picture.

• More willing to accept the painful aspects of their experience; more likely to seek and find their own depths.
• An introverted need to spend time alone; may do this ritually or periodically.

• Sevens can also be bookish; may have distinct intellectual interests or embark on a search for philosophical wisdom.
• Some Fiveish Sevens have an almost aesthetic distaste for excess. They could, for instance, be offended by how much something costs.

• While Sevens tend to be naturally expansive and generous, they can have an incongruous cheap streak. Could be frugal and then go on spending sprees.
• The connection to Five supports escapism, stinginess and depressive tendencies.

• Unhealthy Sevens will check themselves out of difficult situations, withdrawing into their minds like a Five. Intellectualize their feelings out of existence.
• May detach from people and commitments with alarming speed.
• Defensive vanishing acts; can skate away when things get tough.
• Prone to withdrawn depressions, especially as part of a cycle of highs and lows.
• May have trouble handling and expressing their emotions or be emotionally dry beneath their high spirits.
• More likely to have mental addictions – to information, ideas, fantasies. Defensively retreat into abstraction.

Seven’s Connection to One

• Helps Sevens make appropriate, worthwhile, comfortable commitments.

• Brings discipline and follow-through; Sevens do things well and work hard.
• Oneish Sevens are often idealistic and can sacrifice for a cause or principle.

• Solution focused; search for “win/win” outcomes to problems.
• Oneish discipline helps Sevens give their lives a stable form.
• Helps with appetite, brings restraint and self-control.
• Oneish Sevens are good at sober, balanced critical evaluation; while they’re generous and sort for the positive they have a discerning, critical eye.

• Can begin to confuse discipline with repression, build a jail that they need to escape from, meanwhile blaming their confinement on outside sources.
• Some can be critical and dogmatic with a perfectionistic streak.

• Might start to think in black and white; may become obsessive about detail.
• The connection to One can also bring self-criticism and an overactive conscience.

• Sevens who project their Oneness can see Ones as oppressive symbols or foils. “They don’t want me to have fun.” May provoke judgmental reactions in others.
• Can latch on to a Big Idea, a future possibility or principle that the Seven is certain will resolve their present discomfort. The deluded, obsessed mentality of a compulsive gambler; excuse themselves from present responsibilities.

• Can be libertine in their youth and then adopt a pious, conservative lifestyle as they age. Try to rein in their appetites with rules and morality. • Might be drawn to religious or ideological fundamentalism. Could be preachy and self-righteous.
• “Do as I say not as I do.” Hypocritical.


Excerpted from The Dynamic Enneagram by Tom Condon

Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Available as an ebook serial at Tom’s website


Tom Condon has worked with the Enneagram since 1980 and with Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP since 1977. These three models are combined in his trainings to offer a useful collection of tools for changing and growing, to apply the Enneagram dynamically, as a springboard to positive change. Tom has taught over 800 workshops in the US, Europe and Asia and is the author of 50 CDs, DVDs and books on the Enneagram, NLP and Ericksonian methods. He is founder and director of The Changeworks in Bend, Oregon.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Skip to toolbar