I may be the quintessential Renaissance man, a polymath, a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. That’s because I am a type seven personality. According to the Wisdom of the Enneagram I am ‘The Enthusiast’, the busy, fun-loving type who is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive and scattered. I’m enthusiastic about almost everything that catches my attention. I approach life with curiosity, optimism and a sense of adventure, like a kid in a sweet shop I look at the world in wide-eyed rapt anticipation of all the good things that I am about to experience. I am bold, vivacious and pursue what I want in life with a cheerful determination. I have chutzpah!
There is a down side. Apparently it is something to do with my mother. I have suffered from a largely unconscious feeling of disconnection from the nurturing figure which has left me sensitive to a very deep frustration. In response I seek to nurture myself by being self-motivated and learning to care for myself. I must say that it is not her fault. It is just the way I am.
I’ve lost touch with my inner guidance and the support of my ‘essential nature’ which has left me deeply anxious. I try and cope by keeping my mind occupied at all times with projects and positive ideas that keep anxiety and negative feelings out of my conscious awareness. I stay on the go, moving from one experience to the next, searching for the next stimulation. I must admit to getting bored easily but I am never bored as there is always so much more to do. For me the grass is a lush green on the other side of the fence and the glass is always full if not brimming over.
I recognise myself in many of the characteristics that define type seven. The book by Don Richard Riso and Ros Hudson is an interesting dissection of the human personality if a little new-age for my palate. It says that there are nine basic types of human personality. I took the test and it said that I was most likely to be a seven.
Not everything I it said was positive though. I do recognise that I can be all over the place with my head in the clouds and lacking in detail. I’m always on the verge of starting something new and not sure if I ever really finish anything. Of course I read into it what I wanted to read. I recognised those bits that support my belief of the type of person I am and discarded others that did not fit my model.
There is some b luring of the edges and the authors got around it by saying that our personalities overlap with other types. I may be a seven but could have hints of a four. I am a Gemini yet I am on the cusp of being born under the sign of Cancer which explains it all.
I always struggle with such classifications of people. Nearly everyone I know reads their horoscope when they come across them in the back of a magazine yet we know that the stars will have no effect on our lives. There are not twelve kinds of people as the zodiac describes, or sixteen as Myers Briggs would have you believe or even nine as in the enneagram but if these help you to understand yourself better then they all have a value. Just don’t believe your own hype.
The book is on the shelf in the Room for Improvement.