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Trigger Series: Type Seven

Updated: Apr 14, 2023






We've all done it. Started a casual conversation with someone that suddenly turned into an all out fight. What happened? If you TRULY don't know (and it wasn't one of the usual suspects of sex, politics, and money), then you might have stepped on a Trigger for this Type. Read on for tips on how to translate the conversation in a Type Seven's language and better understand how to navigate a path forward.


Scenario 1:

What you said: "We really need a long talk about this (super negatively charged topic). "


What they heard: "You are going to be trapped in this emotional pain and it will swallow you whole."


Why do they hear this?

At their core, Sevens fear being trapped in situations, painful emotions, relationship, or really anything that does not allow them to find stimulation, distraction, and fun. Sevens need this diversion because experiencing boredom allows their overactive minds to bring up anxieties and pain from the past that they have shoved aside (and there's a lot).


Sevens feel that they would not be able to handle this onslaught of emotions which is a result of not feeling "seen" by their Nurturer figure during their ego development (see the Object Relations post for more information). This "miss" with the Nurturer caused the Seven to take it upon themselves to "see" themselves which they do with fun experiences, friendships, and constant stimulation and avoiding the "bad" at all costs. Though this sounds like a party (and sometimes it is), many times Sevens run from pain because they truly don't believe anyone would be there for them if they did allow themselves to feel dark emotions.


When Sevens are faced with the position of being trapped in a painful, boring, or repetitive situation, they will likely first use all the charm, energy, and positivity they have at their disposal to improve things or extricate themselves. When this doesn't work, they can either move directly to aggressive mode (remember, these delightful darlings are in the Aggressive Triad)--i.e. moving against people to get what they want (escape!!)--or they might first make a pit stop at withdrawal. Regardless of the trajectory of their escape, be assured that Sevens will not stick around for a forced, unpleasant conversation without the necessary parameters in place to do so safely.


How can you dig yourself out of this hole:

If you have triggered your Seven by accidentally trapping them in unpleasantness, the best way to approach the situation is with positivity, energy, warmth, and a commitment to keep anything unpleasant as short as possible. No one wants to wallow in sadness, but Sevens are almost allergic to it so keep things brief, positive, and open to possibilities.


If you truly have something that requires real opening up, know that Sevens have a built in belief that no one will be around to help them when the pain starts to roll in, so establishing a trusting relationship with them beforehand will be of utmost importance.


Just like their fellow Head Types (Fives and Sixes), Sevens have an overactive thinking center--meaning they have an ability to really overthink situations. Sevens hide this ability better than their counterparts though as they are usually decisive in their actions and keep a positive demeanor even when things fall apart.


That being said, their overthinking situations (especially conflict and stress) usually catches up with them in the wee hours of the morning (a classic Seven phrase is "I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about....."). I mention this overthinking tendency to alert anyone who has crossed a Seven to make reparations quickly and assuage their fears clearly just as you would Sixes and Fives. Left to their own devices too long, Sevens can think mountains out of mole hills.


Scenario 2:


What you said: "We had the BEST time! Wish you were there!"


What they heard: "I missed out on something that could have made me feel satisfied and whole!"


Why do they hear this?

Sevens are classically known for their severe case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Though no one likes to miss out on a party, Sevens see fun/stimulation/distraction as a lifeline to feeling truly satisfied and whole. As part of the Frustration Triad (Object Relations), Sevens did not feel seen by the Nurturing figure so (instead of becoming angry or depressed like their counterparts One and Four) they looked to the future as the place where this ideal--the ideal amount of being seen and satisfied--could be reached. They believe that once they reach this ideal, they will truly feel content, but as soon as they get the puppy, have the party, go on the trip, or eat the cookie they realize that it doesn't fulfill them and they start planning for their next super fun thing that will ultimately make them feel content.


As a result of their intense FOMO (and what it represents for them), Sevens will frequently bristle at missing out on something fun and may start planning right then to do something more fun and more exciting than what they just missed out on. When feeling really trapped, Sevens may even withdraw or become aggressive in their pursuit of something stimulating to assuage their feelings.


How can you dig yourself out of this hole:

If you accidentally triggered your Seven by pointing out something that they missed out on, spend some time connecting with them and engaging with them on fun things you will do with them in the future. Let them run with their active imagination and try not to shoot down their ideas (even the impractical or unlikely)--just let them dream of something wonderful and try to participate. Sevens know (deep down) that not all of their ideas will likely work out, but they certainly do not want to be shot down during a great brainstorming session.


More than anything, establish a relationship with your Seven outside of their positive, energetic side. Allow them to be sad or anxious without anything being "wrong" with them and give them space to work through issues at their own pace and time. Approach them with genuine warmth and allow them to direct the flow of the conversation without any agenda. In the end, true connection is really the only way Sevens will feel satisfied and content.


Other Triggers to Avoid:

  • Being limited in what they can do.

  • Being dismissed and not taken seriously.

  • Being required to do mundane tasks (especially for long periods of time).

  • Being criticized (especially if they perceive it is unjust).

  • Being forced to deal with negativity, negative circumstances, and painful emotions that might not be resolved.

  • Being with negative, pessimistic, or overly critical people.







For Private Coaching options, contact Kimberly at enneagramreflections@gmail.com

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