This is a guest post from G of bone&silver, who shares her experiences of discovering her Enneagram as a 7, which is described as the Enthusiast by the Enneagram Institute. If you would like to share your experiences with self-discovery through the Enneagram, please message me through gmail at “Tiffanybeingfree.”
Thank you, G, for sharing with us your journey as a 7!!!
‘Do you know what Enneagram number you are?,’ I was asked. ‘Because I’m an Eight, and if you’re going to date me, you need to know what you’re dealing with, so take this book home today.’
Thus began my in-depth exploration of the Enneagram, which firstly saw me read the chapter about Eights and think ‘Phew, they’re a bit intense, I’m glad I’m not one of those.’
I skimmed through a few other numbers, got a bit bored, then asked a smart friend who used to teach Enneagram classes what he thought I was?
‘I can’t work out your number clearly G; you could be a Four, or perhaps a Two…’
I rolled my eyes, got super busy in my social life for a couple of weeks, then returned one quiet afternoon to that thick book.
Nope, not a Four (although perhaps my Mum is?). A Two? I don’t think I’m that “needy”- I’m a bit too selfish really. An Eight?? Surely not. But yes, I’m definitely self-driven and assertive/bossy.
I diligently decided to read each number, seeing facets of myself in each one, but nothing completely resonating… until I finally read about Sevens.
And then I almost heard a bell ring! There I was: easily distracted, a bit lazy, a happy social butterfly, superficial sometimes but bringing joy with me as my gift to others- it was oh so clear.
I was so impressed with the revelation that I attended a 3-day course with the Sydney Enneagram Institute, and easily recognized my fellow Sevens in the group: the ones who’d moved around a lot/changed careers more than once/not yet been long term happily married/made us all laugh/had interesting or unusual viewpoints/were a little impatient with the slow navel-gazing of some other numbers/were enthusiastic about going out for dinner afterwards/were at their best when grateful or generous.
With horror, I looked back on my 5 decades of living, and could see all the times where I’d run away, as a Seven determinedly fleeing a feeling of being ‘trapped’, including parenting, leaving deeply wounded hearts behind me.
In sadness, I reflected on my restless search for the next shiny toy, be it a lover, a new home, or even a whole new lifestyle. Variety please!
In humility, I learnt that I’m at my best when I practice gratitude for what I actually have, where I actually am, and with who I’m actually with, rather than always projecting forward into the fabulous future I am about to create, thereby missing the Now I’m truly in. That was a big revelation.
I also learnt that the bossy assertive side of my somewhat lazy nature comes from my Eight wing, which brought me back to thanking the original Eight who got me into this fascinating world in the first place.
I’ve since ‘tested’ most of my friends, using an online quiz if interstate, or my course notes if they live nearby, and am now pretty good at working out what someone’s number may be, based on how they tell some of their life story; or attitudes to events.
Knowing I’m a Seven, and that my teenage son is a Three, has smoothed many domestic clashes at home, while also providing an understanding of romantic challenges I will face if dating a Nine for example, or another Seven.
The Enneagram is fascinating; without doubt, it’s made me a better person, and given me greater compassion for the struggles and idiosyncrasies of my fellow travelers through this Life. It gave me the tools to catch myself in my patterns of reaction, whether positive or negative, and gain a little insight to allow a different choice; for this, I am profoundly thankful.