Kinkajou: What are other Enneagram behavioural traits?
Erasmus: Another example of the Enneagram traits in action is easily seen in a girl I went out with. She was a “social seven”. Full of life, full of fun, taken to doing things at the spur of the moment .Life was a drug meant to be enjoyed -with a cup filled to the brim, anywhere, anytime. Her social aspect meant that she was always optimistic about everything and everybody. She was always smiling. I would have to say, she was a good person to be with. I still would say it.
But the key question to finding a life partner is” would she be a good person to “live” with?” A very different question. Part of the answer lies within yourself, not within your prospective partner.
Unfortunately, for me, I am about as “unsocial” as she is “social”. I could have fun at parties and could often rise to the occasion, often at times becoming the life of the party. But, the reason I graduated well, from my University course, is that I always studied. I did not live my life as if it were an unending round of parties. While I enjoyed parties and functions, this was not really who I was. My entire life revolved around working, working at play for enjoyment and being focussed about events and circumstances, working for gain despite adverse consequences. I liked to plan. I liked being un-social. Not that I couldn’t do social and well. Just that I didn’t naturally live in social. Being social and being optimistic are parts of the same behaviour. I had absolutely no optimistic streak at all. Life had reinforced this perspective a great deal.
She was a lovely girl, but really who I was, in reality was substantially different from her in outlook. I didn’t think she was likely to change. I realised that so much change in life and outlook would likely be very difficult for me.
Carefree Beach Acrobat
With the benefit of hindsight, I think my assessment of the situation was absolutely right. She was a lovely girl, but maybe not who “my” girl needs to be.
There are a couple of Enneagram issues here. There is a substantial difference in subtypes here. I am “self- pres” while my girlfriend of the day was a “social”. This is probably a more important difference than just the Enneagram type .Much of the outlook and perspectives are very different indeed between social, sexual and self-pres.
Kinkajou: Is there an easy way to recognise enneagram socials?
Erasmus: I call “socials” smileys. It is probably the easiest way to recognize them. They can’t help themselves. They react to a smile. They love to smile. No matter what the news, no matter how disastrous the news, there will almost always be a hint of a smile about at least something. They can’t help themselves. They have a thick layer of optimism and opportunism. They just know that everything will turn out right and that people aren’t out to get you.
Enneagram sixes can have a smile as well. But this is more about seeing the funny side of a situation through contrasting the existing against the possible, and admiring the incredibility of it all. Nothing about happiness. Social is about optimism and happiness. Socials smile because they are optimistic and happy- nothing at all like why a six may smile in the same situation.
Smiley Girl, casually dressed.
So you can see how humour can be so many different things to different people. People smile for a number of reasons:
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- A contrast between what is and what could be and realising the improbable ridiculousness of it all.
- Sarcasm. Punning (Thinking of language permutations and descriptors with different meanings)
- Sheer happiness
- A quantity based ridiculousness appreciation: look at how bad it is or how improbably much of it there is.
- An appreciation of what the other person may be facing, but you thankfully are not.
- Its why so often humour only catches only part of its audience.
I particularly remember being on a plane watching an American baseball movie. One player was hit in the groin by baseball. The person near me watching the movie laughed uproariously. But disturbingly he continued to rough uproariously at this hit to the groin, every time it happened, even the fifth sixth and seventh times it happened. My sense of humour demanded novelty, and repeating the same situation again and again failed to provide it.
Kinkajou: Let’s keep on with social. Why mention social, when the webpage is meant to be about enneagram sevens?
Erasmus: Being social gives a substantial overlay to the personality of the enneagram. It makes the enneagram type much more energetic, much more outgoing, much more focused on partying and less focused on activities. In fact, no matter what enneagram type you may be, if you are easy-going if you are a social, you’re much more likely to be mislabelled as an enneagram seven.
Pham Trinli: ex-governor: going where none has gone before
Learn About Pham Trinli and the catastrophe theory of civilisation. WWW.ENKtechs.COM "Sci Fi"
Kinkajou: So what about enneagram sevens?
Erasmus: The enneagram types are numbered one to nine. I’ll briefly summarize what I believe to be some of their characteristics in the seven Ennegenes (enneagram gene) model. Now remember, other authors may have a slightly different point of view, because my view is based on what I believe the underlying genetics of the people involved are. If you have a particular gene, you will act in a way that a particular gene will program for you.
It is worthwhile understanding the genetics of the enneagram gives a much more intuitive and basic understanding of how personality works if you simply understand the mechanics of the three main type genes: serotonin, histamine and adrenaline as well as the main social genes: the opioids.
Sometimes Fools just rush in and get the job done: "Seven"
Sevens are one of the homozygotes of the enneagram. The presence of a serotonin gene converts you to an enneagram six phenotype. The presence of a histamine gene converts you to an enneagram four or perhaps an enneagram eight. The one thing that sevens have – is energy. Energy to do.
I have a friend who is a seven who organised a new business. When I came and worked for him, I was amazed at how he had ever managed to get to where he was. I don’t think with my planning and thinking perspective, I could ever have achieved what he did, simply by getting on with it.
Getting on with it can get you in some pretty strange places-
just ask Schrodinger's cat.
And history tells us the same lesson. The great civilisations of the world were Egypt (eight-ish) and Sumeria (seven-ish). And the enneagram seven civilisations of Sumeria could be regarded as truly the first of them all. It sprang from nowhere, filling the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys solving and creating and then solving more problems as it careered along. Many of the things that we accept as unique characteristics of civilisation today have their birthplace 10,000 years ago, probably engendered by enneagram sevens. And you can see the seven attitudes in every aspect of the civilisation they crafted. (See our webpage.)
In the enneagram Seven: sevens” have a tendency to do, do it fast and do it now. They can open their mouths and say things before they have even thought of the consequences of what they have said. “Sevens” are into doing and movement. They read several books all at once. They start many jobs, often not quite finishing many. They do things fast. The best way to handle problems is to run and run fast. They can throw up a thousand ideas, but not follow the ideas through to their final conclusion and consequences. The streak of optimism can be strongly reinforced by “sexual” or especially “social” genes.
Erasmus: Back to the Enneagram Behavioural Types: Problem Behaviours
Enneagram “sevens” have a habit of starting lots of new things and running away from problems. This can create a life full of unfinished work, unresolved problems and unaddressed difficulties. Sometimes running away is not the best way forward, even if nature designs you to do this.
None of these behaviour patterns help to maintain the longevity of a relationship. So knowing enneagrams helps you to gain insight into your own emotions and behaviours. It may give you a chance to break the destructive cycle. In the enneagram seven, the tendency to movement allows escape from difficult situations especially since their fast histamine based brain works hard to create new places to go. Why stand and suffer when you can simply go somewhere else? As often as not these things can often be faced later, especially if things cool down.
Carefree smiley Family- in colour.
The tendency to run away can create substantial personality misfit scenarios. Enneagram “eights’ often resent weaker people or people who flee from their directness, such as enneagram sevens, (unless they have decided to bring them in under their wing and protect them). Enneagram sevens may begin to hate the enneagram eight people in the work place because they seem so hard, decisive and arrogant. Enneagram eights may well dislike you for being flighty, flicking between many issues and seemingly following very few through to completion.
This example shows the “square peg” in the “round hole” scenario, of personality problems. Workplace conflicts occur when the wrong personalities are juxtaposed and each of the personality types does not understand the behaviour of the other enneagram personality types. Human beings, being who they are, naturally see themselves as superior and naturally develop a critical manner to different behaviours that other people evidence in dealing with many different situations.
Kinkajou: It is however difficult to have the same attitude when one is dealing with behaviours that are substantially the same as your own. To criticise others in this circumstances then is to criticise yourself.
However, the truth when considering the enneagram model is somewhat different. Many of us have no control over our problem behaviours and no control over our reaction to these behaviours.
Alternate Scientist: going where none has gone before. (Parmitter).
Enneagram theory can help to break this cycle. Enneagrams give you a tool to understand yourself and others. Once you begin to understand how automatic the behaviours are that you do not like from other people, you begin to realise that they have just as little control over their behaviours and attitudes as you have of your own. Bad behaviour from other people begins to trouble you a lot less than previously. You don’t get annoyed. It’s not their fault. They can’t help themselves. It’s just how they do things.
In the genetic theory of enneagrams “sevens” are people who possess multiple noradrenergic genes. (These genes can affect either the brain receptors or brain pathways). This gene mix leads to a very distinctive behaviour pattern. Sevens maintain a high level of excitement through interest in many things. They see situations and maintain multiple options to deal with situations. However they lack the deciding genes (slow histamine genes) typical of the eight enneagram. Consequently there is a lack of decision or following through. “Sevens” often just don’t do things. It’s not so much that they maintain many options as a way of preventing commitment to a single action. It is more that they don’t decide to “do” a single action.
The Galaxy's ultimate Seven- Dr Who.
The seven behaviour pattern is distinct from the slow histamine behaviour pattern that is distinctive in the enneagram one, two, and eight. They spend little time and energy following through a single task. Yet however they address a large number of tasks sequentially, returning to previous tasks to carry them a small step forward each time. It is different pattern of activity to the slower types of the enneagram. Enneagram sevens do lots of things in cycles, carrying each of the many things forward bit by bit, iteration by iteration. Enneagram sevens, unlike the slower enneagram types, do not generally focus on a single substantial task from start to finish, preferring to undertake tasks in progressive rounds of reiterations.
Many traditional theorists describe sevens is having a great deal of energy which dissipates as soon as the interest fades. A Seven’s day is always full of interesting possibilities. They make mental lists of things that they might do or might want to do. Sevens are often described as escapists. Sevens are regarded as having minds that are flooded with mental associations and imaginative ideas that serve as the focus of their interest.
Alternate Mother Figure.
In the traditional enneagram Sevens are described as being outgoing community oriented and fun seeking. They are described as anti-authoritarians.
Erasmus: Again what bullshit. Are we to believe that everyone who has any choice in the matter would not avoid pain? Being community oriented and fun seeking is probably more an opioid gene behaviour, not purely typical of being an enneagram seven. However, if we are considering our options, it makes sense to focus on the good stuff. Many of us do not like being told what to do, especially if we can see better options for ourselves. This does not necessarily make any of us anti-authoritarians. They say sevens are afraid of pain. What personality is not? If you can think of alternatives, why would you deliberately face or undertake a path leading to misery. If your genes give you realistic working options to do something else instead of working through pain, why not?
Is this behaviour pattern really a successful and useful pattern? I think the answer is obvious. Remember that enneagram sevens built the first civilisation on the planet, with many of the things we know today as being essential to civilised life. They built the first civilisation when nothing had been before.
The first civilisation arose in the river valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates- Sumeria- where Iran and Iraq are today- and different problems exist in the civilisation.
Enneagram Sevens are human beings with simple basic drives based on the genes they have inherited. Their high level of adrenergic brain activity leads to consideration of many options and some focus on emotional consequences of behaviour. They share the same histamine genes of the nine enneagram type, leading to some diminution of volition and decision typical of this gene mix. There is a lot of energy driving lots of ideas arising from the fast histamine based consciousness.
Kinkajou: Go Seven!
Erasmus: Aptly put.