One of my obsessions of 2018 was the Enneagram. Anything and everything related to the Enneagram.
I first came across the Enneagram in high school, when we did a mini-study of the nine types. Back then I enjoyed it, but it didn’t really resonate with me. Looking back, this is because I very clearly mis-typed myself (as a type 2).
This past year I took an online test (this one) and discovered I’m absolutely a type 7 (with an 8 wing). Guys, I feel so known when I read articles or listen to podcasts about my type! I love learning about the types so much that I
forced strongly recommended that my small group do this book as a study so we could all learn each others’ (and our own!) types. I find it all really, really interesting and helpful in getting to know myself and others.
There are so many Enneagram resources out there that I won’t go into a description about the types here, but instead I want to share what I like and what I struggle with as a type 7.
Enneagram Type 7 – The Good
- Energy! I have a lot of energy. I mean, it’s not like I am energetic every moment of every day, but I find that I am generally a high energy person who truly enjoys doing things. I don’t get tired easily, even though, of course, there are seasons of life/motherhood when I am just as sleep deprived as everyone else. Even then, though, I still feel like I can rally when something fun presents itself and I almost never turn down a social plan/opportunity.
- Optimism! I tend to find the silver lining of just about anything and really don’t get very ‘down’ about life.
- A variety of interests and love of learning! The list of things I love and want to learn and do in a day is basically endless. I want to do and experience every single thing in life and become an expert in all of the things. Whether it be a language or photography or even the Enneagram itself, as soon as I hear about something I tend to want to get deep into it and learn as much as I can.
- Travel/Adventure! Along with having a lot of interests, I want to travel and see all of the places in the entire world (basically). I’m quick to say yes to an adventure or activity, and I get to experience a lot of things this way. I have had a lot of fun and have enjoyed a lot of experiences by seeking out and planning new places to travel.
Enneagram Type 7 – The Bad
- Distracted – I tend to bounce from one thing to another. This makes me seem scattered and unfocused and even in conversations I feel like sometimes it can be hard for people to keep up with my train of thought because I have so many random things happening in my mind at once that I just need to express. Also, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I have no less than a thousand career path ideas because I have so many darn interests! I know I just need to focus on one thing, but it’s hard!
- Not being in the present – It’s hard for me to really live in the present because I’m always thinking about the future and planning the next activity/adventure. I actually think I’m good at enjoying where I am on an hourly basis, but for life in general, I’m often thinking about the next phase. (For instance, instead of always enjoying my toddlers in this precise phase, I tend to want to plan what I’ll do with them over the summer or even in the next two-five years.)
- Fear of commitment – I don’t love commitment. Buying a house… not something I was comfortable with. Buying a car… nope. The thought of living somewhere for more than a few years… I hate it. Even RSVPing to events is stressful for me because I always think something else might come up that I’d rather do instead and I don’t want to limit myself.
- Anxiety – Type 7s are known for keeping themselves distracted/active/busy to avoid any unpleasant feelings, and this is true for me! I hate being alone. I hate being in silence. I am not comfortable with negative emotions… I am so not emotional! Even though I don’t necessarily suffer from a large amount of anxiety, I do feel anxious at the very thought of not having a bijillion things to do. A day to relax in a spa or in front of the TV? Nope. I don’t want it. I’d rather hike to a waterfall with a friend.
- FOMO – I want to be having fun every second of every day, which it turns out is not possible, especially as an adult. When I see other people doing awesome things on social media, or hear about others’ weekend plans, I get a pretty strong feeling that I’m missing out on the greater things in life. It makes it hard for me to enjoy living my own life, unless I’m having the maximum amount of fun at any given time. For instance, when we have a ‘boring’ weekend, even though that’s what our family needs, it drives me crazy, because I know there are so many other things in life that we could be doing. (Roadtripping! Visiting California! Hiking! Playing in the snow! Hanging out with friends! ALL OF THE THINGS – no matter how impractical.)
- Expectations – I drive Tim (and probably a lot of other people) crazy because I have high expectations about how I (we) should spend our time. I mean, see the example above. If we have a ‘free’ weekend, Tim would like to do housework and lounge around, and I have at least 80 activities I’d rather do instead. Of course, none of these 80 ideas can really happen easily with toddlers and with a limited amount of time and energy… but I still truly want to do them! It’s hard for me to relate to people with lower energy and interest levels in things. The word ‘homebody’ is like a foreign concept to me.
- Restlessness (as a SAHM) – I resent anything and everyone who limits my freedom and ability to have maximum fun. Do you know what babies and toddlers and kids in general are good at? Limiting freedom and fun! I’m really trying to work through this, but I’ve had an especially hard time being a stay-at-home-mom for the past 4.5+ years because it just isn’t that fun most of the time! Or at least it isn’t ‘fun’ the way I define fun. However, I tend to go on a lot of mini-adventures and rely heavily on playdates to get me through most days, and as my kids get older we’re able to do more activities together.
- Trouble prioritizing – If something isn’t fun, I don’t want to do it at all. I put off housework and errands and most ‘adulting’ activities because it just doesn’t seem worth doing to me if it isn’t super enjoyable. Of course, I realize that I also need to be a functioning person so I eventually do what needs to get done (most of the time), but monotony and boring tasks drive me crazy. I find myself wondering how most of my friends are so organized/on top of things, and then I realize that they just do the darn things instead of avoiding the grocery store for years at a time while going on playdates instead. (Shrug.)
I think that about sums it up! Even though there are more ‘bad’ bullet points than good ones, I actually love being an Enneagram type 7! I think the good are SUPER good, but I think it’s especially valuable to know what challenges about the type resonate with me, in order to work on overcoming them and continue to strive to be the best version of myself!