How did you get introduced to the Enneagram?
My husband got really into it, which sparked my curiosity. I took one of those “find your number” tests, which I know is not the ideal way to figure out your number, but it was really accurate for me.
What is it like being a 7?
I think being a 7 is really fun. I’ve always been pretty extroverted and love spending time with friends and family. I have lots of energy towards social events and am always looking forward to something, whether that’s planning our next trip, a date night, or figuring out what’s next for our family. I love being a social orchestrator and hosting fun parties. I’m an eternal optimist. But, because I like living in the world of having fun, being spontaneous, believing everything will work out, etc., I try to stay there as often as I can. But that’s not real life, so when I can’t experience those things, I swing to being really sad or bummed out. So, to protect against that, I try to avoid my “negative” feelings and internalize things instead.
Can you share a personal story of your number in action?
This might be my husband’s favorite story. For those of you unfamiliar with 7’s, we’re fun, extroverted, optimists, etc., but we avoid pain. So, one day my husband and I were driving and he was sharing about how he was stressed out about money. I proceeded to ask him how much money we had in our bank account. He’s a 6, and was shocked I asked this question, since we have a joint bank account. My response was, “I never check our bank account so it doesn’t stress me out.” Classic 7.
How has the Enneagram helped you in the process of personal or spiritual growth?
The Enneagram has helped me understand a bit more about who I am and how I operate. It has also exposed growth areas for me. For example, my husband and I had a difficult time getting pregnant and had to venture down the road of infertility treatments and eventually IVF. During this season, my life was dictated by frequent doctor’s appointments so I had to keep my schedule wide open. There were times that I was going to the doctor’s office every day or every other day. The funny thing was, all the needles and labs didn’t bother me, but I started getting really frustrated with how many things I had to say “no” to just in case I had to have a procedure done that month. I remember thinking it was silly that I was so annoyed that I was missing out on things like trips, because we really wanted to get pregnant. But I was frustrated. For over a year I felt like my life was on “pause.” It was then that I dove back into the Enneagram and realized that of course I’m feeling frustrated by this experience. 7’s love being spontaneous and looking forward to the next thing, but for me, that had to be taken off the table for a season. The Enneagram gave me permission for some of my feelings that I thought were not valid, and also exposed areas of growth that I could press in to.
How has the Enneagram impacted your relationships (e.g., spouse, kids, friends, colleagues, etc.)?
The Enneagram has definitely helped my relationship with my husband. Knowing he’s a 6 and I’m a 7 really helps us navigate hard conversations or decisions we need to make. It has also helped me empathize more with his positions, as I recognize his need for safety and security versus my optimism or “everything’s going to work out” mentality.