Aggressive Stance: Seven
All great models of human persons agree three basic intelligences give us modes of being in the world—thinking, feeling, and doing. All Enneagram types place thinking, feeling, and doing in one of the three categories—preferred/dominant, repressed, and supporting. The Enneagram’s Aggressive Stance is organized around their shared repression of the feeling center.
Unfortunately, your preferred center recognizes only one third of the human experience, and disregards the other two thirds. As you wear your preferred “lenses,” you neglect, to your own detriment, to see and develop the other two centers. Developing your repressed center is some of the most important and difficult Enneagram work. Therefore, this series of posts will focus on how the Aggressive Stance can nurture their center of feeling intelligence.
Sevens, like all Aggressive Types, you are oriented to your own actions. It is subtle, and you probably think it is the same with all people, but it is not. Dependent Stance numbers (One, Two and Six) are oriented to the actions of others. Take notice of how you are oriented to your own actions, and ponder the social consequences of this orientation. Interesting discoveries await you.
Sevens dismiss the importance of feelings in themselves and in others, and they deal with relationships superficially. Since Sevens prefer thinking, they have plenty of plans and like to explore and develop these plans. Their ideas are endless, and they are interested in many things.
Sevens express their feelings indirectly by texting or leaving notes and voicemails, instead of visiting others. They can completely ignore the emotional part of a relationship. They will charm their way out of a difficult situation or an emotional engagement. They will do whatever makes their lives easier.
It is vital for Sevens to think new thoughts and dream new dreams, and it is hard for them to stay with the same thing for a long time. They keep their options open, and when they want something, they can be insistent without being overbearing. Hurly and Dodson said, “[W]hen Sevens want something[,] it is like laying [sic: lying] beneath a velvet covered Jack-hammer.”
When Sevens are told their feelings are repressed, they are often surprised to hear it because they thinkthey feel. In other words, they easily mistake thinking for feeling, since they have no connection to the Feeling Triad through wings, stress, or security. They delude themselves into thinking they have a rich emotional life, while they instead have a rich imaginative life. They like challenges, but hate expectations. They like loose connections rather than commitment, but are usually dedicated once they commit.
Sevens, when you are most energized, take a deep breath and ask what is happening with you at that point. Is your fear present in this situation? Are you unhappy in some way? See if you can catch the trajectory of your swift thought processes as they take you away from your feelings. Merely noticing it would be a significant step forward. If you catch yourself in the middle of a flurry of thought that swings from idea to idea, ask yourself, “What’s up?” Boring is a watchword for you. If you catch yourself in boredom, ask yourself whether you are avoiding a difficult feeling or situation. Facing life’s darkness is the only way to pursue the full life you crave.