Difficult People Decoded: The Optimist
The seventh personality type radiates joy. This personality is personified by the ‘60s hippie movement – always seeking pleasure, making love (not war), and always seeking pleasure. In modern day, the sensibility is called FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out.
This is the person in the office who hustles to get invited to all the parties. They tend to whitewash disappointing earnings. They also pride themselves on being busy. In my experience, these people tend to be drawn toward public relations, press, or lobbying careers.
They have problems with impatience. Everything has to be exciting…right now, otherwise they could’ve been elsewhere.
They get bored quickly and are often considered flighty or shallow.
As a result, their shadow is gluttony. More is always better to them. But in their pursuit to do everything, they become blinded to how all their decisions affect one another. A heartening example from the voice of a Seven:
“There wasn’t anything to do at home or in the tiny Southern town I grew up in. I was dying to get out of it and go someplace more exciting. When I was 16, I started dating, and before long I got pregnant, but the father didn’t want to marry me—which was okay since I didn’t want to marry him, either. It wasn’t too long before I found somebody else, and we got married, and I got to move to a larger city. But it didn’t really work out the way I wanted because after I had the baby, we broke up and I had to move back home. I stayed there for a year or two to get my feet on the ground. When things were looking bleak, I married someone else. I’m 19 now and I guess I’ve done a lot already.”
-Enneagram Institute, “Gertrude”
On the flip side, Sevens are naturally cheerful and upbeat. The opportunity for growth is a focus on moderation. Make a decision to stay in at least one night a week. Remind yourself that the present moment, no RSVP required.
It might also be helpful for them to find some Four-ish friends (“The Romantic”) who like to brood. You can find them at art fairs, writing workshops, or the marketing department. Together, assuming you don’t annoy each other, you can help each other see the reality that lightness and darkness help define each other.
- “Let’s consider all the options”
- “Why not?”
- Gregarious talkers
- Fear of Missing Out
- Coloring outside the lines
Examples: Mozart, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Sarah Palin, Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Suze Orman, Leonard Bernstein, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Fergie, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Russell Brand, Sacha Baron Cohen, Federico Fellini, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, John Belushi, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Mike Meyers, Bruce Willis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz, Paris Hilton
How To Work With A Seven:
- Jump into the fun with them
- Appreciate their positivity
- Listen to their suggestions
- Be specific about any requests (before they get distracted)
- Discuss priorities regularly