Enneagram as Mirror to the Soul: Type Seven

A place for those with the type seven enneastyle to discuss personal growth.

Rumi Poem | Type 7

I looked inwards

And the beauty of my own emptiness

Filled me until dawn

~ Rumi

Why is this an important poem for type Sevens to use for reflection? Sevens search for continual external stimulation to fill the emptiness they feel inside. Their emotional passion of Gluttony is one way they do this, but Gluttony only satisfies for the moment and then the sense of being full is gone. It is the inward journey that truly satisfies.

By Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD. Visit: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

22 Comments on “Enneagram as Mirror to the Soul: Type Seven

  1. I think my parents would have loved me to be a five. My dad is a five and my mom is a very delicate nine. I wonder if I rejected my five qualities because I wanted to be noticed. It’s interesting to look at the possibility of rejecting my own needs to be “loud” enough to be heard in a very quiet home. Do any sevens have insights about this idea?

    • It is very interesting Gwen. I am a one and I remember wanting to play and be noisy as a child but my parent were always telling me to be quite and as I was the eldest of three children I was told to keep the other children quite also. So I took on this responsibility and became serious etc and left my seven Soul Child behind. Its good to see this now.

      Thank you for this insight.

  2. I clearly remember the moment I decided to reinvent myself. It felt like a conscious choice. I was probably eight or so. I just decided I would be more outgoing. I was somewhat successful in this venture- holding many school offices and being voted the “most friendly” by my high school class.
    While never the “life of the party”, I am definitely a seven. This need to be acknowledged and noticed likely emerged very early. When I was three months old my four-year-old brother died during a routine surgery. In her grief, my mother could no longer nurse me. I must have felt neglected. I intimately know the process. Many years later I lost my first husband in the Vietnam War. He was listed at MIA for four years before being declared dead. The news was brought to me as I was in the hospital having just given birth to our son. I know first hand how sudden grief can stifle feelings. I loved my son desperately, yet I felt the need to cut off emotion for fear of “bleeding too much- It was survival- I couldn’t allow myself to feel anything too much. ( seven’s reaction to pain?) Years later in a conversation with my mother, I mentioned that she probably felt she’d traded me for my brother, Shocked, she asked me how I knew. I knew because I’d been there.
    I would like to ask other sevens if they strongly feel that five pull. For many years I felt that duality. My daughters maintains I’m a “closet introvert”. I have no problem mixing in groups, love talking to random people, speaking my mind in gatherings, facilitating meetings, yet need to recoup by myself. While outgoing, I definitely need my alone time. I certainly have most of the seven attributes (especially the negative ones!). At times, other than both head types, fives and sevens seem polar opposites. Does anyone else struggle with this?

    • Hi Tami,
      I’ve been working with the strange dichotomy of both desperately needing connection but also completely withdrawing from people if they don’t seem “safe” AKA might hurt me. I’ve wondered what’s going on with that. I’m realizing that’s my five soul child coming through. I need to see feeling of five “withdrawal” as part of my journey. If I work with it I can get to the good parts of my five-ness as well. It’s the way I hold both seven and five energy (even though they seem very different).

  3. HI. I would love to talk to other 7’s out there. I did not write last month as I had had a very “hard” time in Jan and Feb with lots of social isolation. I am walking through grief issues (many people died in my life last year….closest being my Mom in July). In Jan/Feb I found myself lonely, isolated, feeling unloved (though i KNOW I am beloved).
    I did not WANT to be busier to just make myself feel better. I was very happy being quiet and reclusive. It is often hard for people to believe that I can be very quiet and love reading etc.
    I started to judge myself that I was feeling my feels because i was reclusing. After the month one webinar on Enneagram I started to look at my number 5 inner child. I did NOT like her at all and blamed her for what I was feeling Jan/Feb.
    I realized that as a child I was VERY shy and quiet. Never went to daycare, never did sleep overs except with very close cousins, never went to a camp where I would need to sleep there or be away from family.
    Can anyone else relate?
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE books. Loved being quiet as a child. Piano player. Anyways, will quit rambling and see if anything comes out of this.

    Oh…and on the other side….ZING!!!…the number 1 we also go to……I found myself using very dry sarcastic sense of humour to respond to a shaming comment at work yesterday. Sigh….teach me privately when we are nursing in this much stress.

    confessions day. Peace and love to all….and a bucket load of JOY should be found in there somewhere. Back to my self-isolation (except when wearing a mask at work because i am healthy).

    • Wonderful insight! I’ve been struggling to understand how I was denied my five-ness. My parents were both very quiet people and I’m sure they would have liked it if I was calmer and less exuberant. My mom had health problems and often needed quiet-time. My sister was extremely quiet. I realized that I felt I wouldn’t be noticed if I was as quiet as my sister or my parents. I needed to make a little noise if I was going to get my needs met. I think I’m responsible for “freezing” my soul child!

  4. A little surprisingly, this forced stay-at-home dictate has been quite pleasant. It is with a sense of relief all the activities on my calendar have been canceled. I garden and walk my dogs a couple of miles a day- think my five-child is loving it!

    I remember the first time I gave myself permission not to speak up at a meeting, not to offer my two cents. I actually told myself that I could just sit back, listen and relax. I had to sit on my hands. What a relief! Perhaps it’s age, wisdom, what-ever, but my soul child has been making herself heard more and more as I advance in years. I finally sense we are integrating or at least acknowledging and appreciating each other.

    • I’m also interested that my five soul child seems at peace with the quarantine. Work is still very busy, so it’s not like that aspect of my life has quieted down. The social aspects of my family’s schedule is, obviously, down to nothing. And that feels okay. Maybe I’m getting a chance to experience “enough-ness” – since my family is enough, my health is enough, my home is enough. It is perfect. I still get a little voice telling me I should be filling my time with a thousand different projects, but I’m pretty much ignoring them at the moment. Good lessons from difficult times.

      I love your comment about having to choose to not speak up in a meeting. I have to work at that and tell myself to hold back as well. I often have to silently say “my story (or idea, or opinion) is not essential in this conversation” and let it go. Boy, that’s hard!

      • I so get holding back in a meeting or occasionally even in a conversation- is what I’m going to say essential? I’m truly working on trying to listen more than I speak (and I do mentally pat myself on the back when I’m successful!) Certainly a work in progress.

        I also want to acknowledge Jean (see above) for her work as a nurse. Please know how much your actions are appreciated. I have a son who is an emergency room doctor, and I am so very concerned about his well being. I’ve reached the time in my life where I fall into that group of vulnerable citizens who depend on the likes of you. Thank you so very much.

        • Tami, thank you so much for your kindness. I pray often for the emergency and ICU teams. They are in the thick of things. Often weep when I hear that a medical person has died. phew…could be one of my friends or coworkers. They are in my heart.

          I am adjusting to not seeing a lot of people and not feeling lonely when I go home from work. I am blessed to be able to go to work. I have reached out in my 7 and planned a very fun dance party by FaceTime last Saturday. It was an attempt to pull myself out of the heaviness of being surounded by COVID. Am needing to every day take time to listen to the birds outside. To be still! To remember to breathe.

  5. I so get holding back in a meeting or occasionally even in a conversation- is what I’m going to say essential? I’m truly working on trying to listen more than I speak (and I do mentally pat myself on the back when I’m successful!) Certainly a work in progress.

    I also want to acknowledge Jean (see above) for her work as a nurse. Please know how much your actions are appreciated. I have a son who is an emergency room doctor, and I am so very concerned about his well being. I’ve reached the time in my life where I fall into that group of vulnerable citizens who depend on the likes of you. Thank you so very much.

  6. I remember well when, after my mother died when I was six, the mantra was – “don’t stay in here reading (or coloring, or playing with cutout dolls) go out and play with your friends. I quickly recognized that unless I was being active and socializing, I was not acceptable to those who mattered. I learned to put on a “happy face” and became the Pollyanna everyone wanted to see so they did not have to be concerned about me. This current enforced isolation is calling me back to more contemplative and solitary activities. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, reading, writing – these very mind-absorbing activities are again becoming a source of refuge for me. Perhaps COVID19 is reintroducing me to that inner child I have so often neglected.

    • Thank you so much for sharing Maryhelen! Is anyone else finding five-like activities that are providing centering focus? I don’t know if keeping track of the Covid numbers count, but I’m finding writing down and charting the statistics is somehow therapeutic. Not exactly cheerful or fun, so maybe I need to expand my daily practices.

  7. I just did this exercise for someone who is an enneatype 2 trying to understand their harmony mantra and it seemed really useful. I thought I might try it for our type 7 mantra.
    Our mantra: TRUE JOY – HEALS – DEEPLY

    1) True Joy = our gift is our yearning for real, effortless joy but too often we substitute distraction for joy. (Moving from the Head Center to the Gut Center begins to ground the intellect in reality; you cannot find this harmony by staying in your home center.)
    2) Heals = We have to see the wound before we can heal it. By allowing a space to see what is wrong we can also see the possibility of that wound healing. We can now see the reality of the situation. Our gut can now tell us what is wise, not just what helps us escape the pain. (Once the mind is stabilized in the body – clearer, more objective thinking can result.)
    3) Deeply = our actions are now out of a deep love of ourselves and others. We can understand what is best for all – at the deepest level – rather than avoidance or blind pursuit of what is easy and pleasant for ourselves. (Then, the movement to the Heart Center can expand the limited self to begin including all essential relationships.)
    4) And we can return home to the head space with wisdom and true empathy. (Finally, the Head Space personality returns home having experienced Great Mind which allows for the gifts of the intellect to be clear, focused and of service).

    What do you think? Does that sound right to you all?

    • Great reflection, Gwen. I am doing the Soul of Wellness Track, and the work there is wonderfully coinciding with the work here on the Soul Child. Saturday Marlis led a reflection that took us to the basement of ourselves. Whoa… did I get a glimpse of where everything started for me. After much weeping I came to see how from infancy on my tendencies toward the inner life were thwarted to the extent that I am now afraid to go there even though I am intensely drawn to that deeper soul space. Going from head to gut to heart and back to head is a very long journey. When I first heard that 7s were “superficial” I resented that statement. I have learned to see that what I thought was “wearing my heart on my sleeve” was really hiding the inner me and only allowing folks to see the pain I could manage. The real pain was so deeply hidden that even I could not (or would not) see it. I am finally going deep enough that I can recognize the pain for what it is, and that is bringing out my vulnerability. I am better able to handle compassion from others because I am finally learning to be compassionate with myself. I have only begun to scratch the surface here, and I know that there is so much more to be revealed. Trying to hang on for the ride of a lifetime!

      • I love this Maryhelen. Yes, just sitting and looking at the pain is very overwhelming. In some ways it seems like I’m more vulnerable to drowning in pain because I start thrashing about instead of calmly treading water. I’m realizing how empowering it is to learn how to sit there in the suffering and have the grit to be quiet and thoughtful.

  8. Thanks for all this deep vulnerable sharing.

    Do others find they are labelled as not being able to go deep? That astounds me and also I become perturbed as I know I go deep deep in my mind as happily with do that with others.

  9. Do any other 7’s think they are extroverted introverts? Love the joy of being with people but love one on one deep. I love joy and fun and also love to go deep and calm.

    Thanks for listening. Am in a line waiting to go into a pharmacy.

  10. My daughter has accused (interesting I use that word) me of being a “closet introvert”. I so hear what you are saying, Jean. The balance has plagued much of my life, and I’m only now giving myself permission to accept and like the quieter side of me.
    Another observation- I am a hospice volunteer and have found many sister and brother 7’s drawn to that work. It has crossed my mind to wonder if we 7’s do better working with someone’s pain besides our own. Thoughts?

  11. Today’s reflection on love is perfect for me. I have been considering the idea of love most recently and have discovered that the pain I am in over COVID 19 when I am not suffering at all personally has to do with love. The concept “There is no longer your suffering or my suffering, but only OUR suffering.” explains why I am in such emotional distress. I am overhwlemed by the communal suffering of the world! At times like these I really need to nurture my soul child. I want to retreat to the interior world because the outer world is bombarding me with pain upon pain.

  12. I would be very grateful if any Enneatype 7’s would be willing to share with me what I can expect as an E1 when I encounter the passions and vices of my soul child E7. Many thanks.