Can Sevens be serious?
Sevens are seen as the fun loving friend in the group—they’re the one who people turn to when they need to be reminded that there is always a silver lining, they are the one who is constantly cracking jokes, and telling stories with a uniquely entertaining spin. People see a seven as their vibrant, animated, charming friend. A seven is usually the life of the party, the biggest dreamer in the room, and the one who is full of laughs, smiles, and seemingly never-ending positivity and joy.
I’m a seven, and I’m here to bust a type seven stereotype—one that has been so pervasive and harmful in the community of enneagram enthusiasts, one that is harmful to sevens relationships with work, friends, and even with themselves.
The stereotype: Sevens are not serious, cannot be serious, and don’t have depth.
The truth: Just like any other type on the enneagram, there is so much more to sevens than what might be quickly perceived.
How has this stereotype started?
Just like most stereotypes, the label of always being fun and positive is rooted in a bit of truth. Yes, sevens are usually joyful people; they love to have a good time, and most sevens would rather go on a fun-filled afternoon adventure than sit around and talk about their feelings. The focus is usually on the outside appearance of a seven—the person who hops from one hobby to the next, always adventurous, always hopeful, and constantly pursuing a better future for themselves and those around them.
However, sevens are just as deep, emotional, and serious as many other types, it’s just often tucked under a couple of other layers of their personalities. Only a seven would know, and perhaps not even admit, that as they’re booking a flight, planning their next exciting career shift, or reaching out to a new friend—that they might be avoiding a much deeper pain. This might be their natural response to painful experiences, but it isn’t their response to every painful experience. Many sevens are growing, and desire to have deeper relationships and interactions with the more difficult experiences around them. As a seven grows, he or she really desires to be taken seriously, to be approached with deeper matters, and to be thought of as someone who can deal with a variety of emotions.
How can other types help their seven friends through this?
I have heard sevens in our community feel deeply misunderstood by this stereotype. Because they are deemed to be the “fun” friend in their group, they are the last person someone comes to with a deeper matter. This is hurtful to sevens, because they want to be trusted with all things their friends come to them with, and to be taken seriously even in the difficult things. Sevens are gifted at cheering others up, but they are also capable of empathy, and they want to hear about the painful experiences others have.
If you love a seven, invite them into the serious parts of your life just as much as the joyful parts of your life.
Be honest with the seven in your life, and be open to asking them what is hard for them. Often, a seven is looking for the opportunity to open up about the hard things to a trusted friend, but they aren’t the first person to pursue the conversation. Ask your seven what is hard in their life, be open to letting them be the “sad” friend if they need to every once in a while. Free them from the expectation of them always being fun and never being serious. Try not to see your seven in extremes.
How can sevens combat this stereotype in their lives?
So you’re a seven, and no one thinks you’re serious. I get it—I often am stereotyped that way and it can be so frustrating. But, there are ways you can begin to break that stereotype in your day to day life.
My first response to anyone experiencing pain used to always be “well look on the bright side…” and sometimes it still is. But, sometimes people just want someone to say, “Wow, that must be really hard” and to sit with them in the hurt. Don’t be afraid to be that person, even though you’re a seven, you can empathize with others, and you can approach their pain with the confidence you approach a new hobby with.
Ask hard and serious questions. It might feel easier, or more comfortable to crack a joke, but you can surprise your friends and others around you with asking them deeper questions and having more difficult conversations with them. It might catch them off-guard, because this stereotype is so real, but you can start the conversations and show the people in your life how deep and serious you can be.
On the same note, invite others into the more serious parts of your life. There are certain areas of my life I approach with a more serious demeanor than others, and showing other people that has let people in my life know that I am not always just a happy go lucky scatterbrain, but I can be really serious, incredibly thoughtful, and a really deep thinker. For me one of those areas is my faith, and when I start talking about how seriously I take my faith, I gain credibility in a room and show how I approach areas of my life with more seriousness.
Written by: Molly Wilcox of @7ish_andiknowit