Palmer - The Enneagram in Love & Work

Point Seven: The Epicure

Seven in Love
Living with Sevens:

  • The main problem is getting a Seven to see the problem.
  • An ideal mate is someone who adores the Seven and will keep the Seven company while he or she has a good time.
  • Sevens want high levels of stimulation, adventure, and multiple options of activity. Because they have great difficulty staying with negative feelings, they'll want to diffuse disagreement and sweeten the situation. "Shouldn't we go to dinner and a show?"
  • Sevens want to be with partners who mirror their own high self-image.
  • Sevens are pleasant when you admire them. But they'll ridicule or discount you or the situation when they're challenged or placed in an inferior position. They make nice or make fun of.
  • Acutely sensitive to boredom and repetition in relationships, Sevens can adopt new interests and maintain a charming lifestyle to keep the spark alive.
  • Sevens go with the flow. They want to cycle in and out of encounters with people, to arrive on a high note, to leave with good feelings, to return when the flow brings you back together again.
  • Expect Sevens to get angry when the flow is interrupted. They don't want to be brought down by someone of lesser mind.
  • Sevens become acutely aware of the limitations when you call for commitment. They can live in committed relationships for decades and still be uneasy with the concept. Long-term commitments are "a process" and an adventure.
  • Sevens take a multidimensional approach to intimacy. They'll be fascinated by your various aspects. They'll want to do many different things with you and will support your dreams and activities.

Seven at Work
In the Workplace:

  • Offers a sweet solution to authority problems. Wants to equalize authority, which can come out either as a fair peer arrangement or as a situation engineered to ensure that no one is allowed to give orders. If no one gives orders, then people get to do as they please.
  • Can become insistent about impractical ideas and inefficient approaches. Prefers ideas and theory to implementation. Will open a task to new approaches rather than face routine.
  • Goes through the cracks rather than confronts. An antiauthoritarian stance that gets around the rules by broadening the definition of terms.
  • Excellent performer in open-ended projects that do not move into routine. Networks, plans, synthesizes ideas and approaches. Aligns the project with other areas of interest.
  • Has an inner sense of capability and high self-worth. Measures self against others to keep this sense of self alive. "Am I superior or inferior?" "Do I stand above or below?" "Am I on top of this project, or will it get me down?" Positive self-image can be punctured by negative feedback.
  • Has a tendency to bend people's minds in order to get their support. Reframes objections. Puffs the possibilities. Puts forward a lucid idea without considering backup. Offers convincing generalities with lots of little loopholes. Offers suggestions that sound like promises.
  • Delightful to work with. Can be forgiving and creative during hard times. The office person who wins the popularity poll.

Helen Palmer

The Enneagram in Love & Work:
Understanding Your Intimate & Business Relationships
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995, 417 pages