Which Enneagram Type are You?

Find out which Enneagram matches your personality type, and gain deep insight on how to enrich your life, relationships, career and more.

Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation Subtype

enneagram 7

Enneagram 7 Self-preservation Subtype


The Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype is a fascinating blend of curiosity, enthusiasm, and practicality. Known for their zest for life and the desire to explore a multitude of experiences, individuals of this subtype also display a marked inclination toward ensuring their personal safety and comfort. Unlike other subtypes of Enneagram 7, who may leap without looking, this subtype is more likely to assess risks and benefits before diving into a new adventure.

These individuals thrive on excitement and the joy of discovery, but they also have a knack for resource management. Whether it’s managing time, money, or relationships, they generally like to ensure that their pursuits are sustainable in the long run. Their focus isn’t solely on the “here and now,” but also on how their actions will impact their future.

That said, they still retain the basic desire of Enneagram 7 to avoid pain and discomfort, both emotional and physical. The self-preservation instinct adds a layer of pragmatism to their avoidance strategy. Instead of merely seeking new experiences for distraction, they might also focus on creating a comfortable nest or establishing a safety net.

While they are typically outgoing and sociable, they are more selective in their relationships compared to other subtypes. They value connections that offer both emotional and material security, avoiding relationships that seem too volatile or demanding. This selectivity is both a strength and a limitation; it helps them form lasting bonds but can also make them miss out on some enriching experiences.

In a nutshell, the Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype combines the basic Type 7’s love for life and exploration with a heightened sense of caution and practicality. This makes them fascinating individuals who know how to have fun but also when to put on the brakes.

Key Characteristics

The key traits of the Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype revolve around a strong sense of individualism coupled with a desire for security. They have a keen understanding of their needs and wants and are generally good at fulfilling them without compromising their well-being. Their sense of joy and contentment often comes from a balance between new experiences and personal comfort.

An interesting characteristic is their tendency to be planners. They love spontaneous adventures but are also adept at making contingency plans. This is an instinctual response to their innate desire for self-preservation. They often find joy in the planning process itself, seeing it as another form of exploration and discovery.

Their practicality is evident in various aspects of life, from financial management to career choices. They prefer occupations that not only ignite their passion but also promise a stable future. This dual focus on excitement and security makes them excellent in roles that require both creativity and strategic planning.

Despite their planning and focus on self-preservation, they are not immune to the temptations of overindulgence. Like other Type 7s, they may struggle with impulsivity and the tendency to over-commit. The difference is that the repercussions of such actions weigh more heavily on them, prompting them to reassess and recalibrate more quickly than other subtypes might.

One of the most endearing characteristics of this subtype is their genuine enthusiasm for life. Whether they are trying out a new hobby, embarking on a trip, or starting a new job, they often exhibit a child-like wonder and eagerness that can be highly contagious. This enthusiasm, combined with their practicality, often makes them charismatic and influential individuals.

Coping Mechanisms and Stress Management

The Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype has its unique set of coping mechanisms, primarily geared towards maintaining a sense of security while also satisfying their need for novelty. One of their most common coping strategies is to have “backup plans” for their backup plans. They derive a sense of comfort from knowing that they have multiple options and escape routes.

However, the drive to secure their comfort can sometimes lead to materialism or excessive focus on accumulating resources. In such cases, their coping mechanisms might involve splurging on luxurious items or experiences that offer temporary relief but may not provide long-term satisfaction or security.

Another coping strategy is to keep their social calendar full. They love being around people and often use social engagements as a way to distract themselves from anxiety or discomfort. However, because of their focus on self-preservation, these engagements are usually well-planned and not overly taxing.

Exercise and physical activities are often employed as coping mechanisms. They find that physical exertion not only helps to keep them in shape (contributing to their self-preservation goals) but also serves as an excellent outlet for pent-up energy or stress. It helps them achieve a state of balance, making them feel more grounded.

When under stress, they might also resort to researching or learning about new topics as a way to distract themselves. The process of acquiring new information not only diverts their attention but also gives them a sense of accomplishment and growth, making it a double win for them.

Relationships and Interactions

In relationships, the Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype is often both exciting and reliable. They love exploring new avenues with their partners, but unlike other Type 7s, they are also

conscious of setting boundaries and respecting the limits of the relationship. This dual nature makes them intriguing and comforting companions.

They usually prefer partners who can match their level of enthusiasm and zest for life. However, they also appreciate qualities like stability and reliability, making them more likely to be attracted to individuals who can offer a good blend of excitement and security.

Being keen planners, they often enjoy taking the lead in planning trips, dates, or even simple weekend activities. However, they are also receptive to their partner’s ideas and suggestions, always looking for new things to add to their repertoire of experiences.

Trust is a significant aspect of their relationships. Because they value their own security so much, they are usually very respectful of their partner’s need for personal space and security as well. They can be incredibly supportive during times of crisis, offering both emotional and practical assistance.

Despite their strengths, they might sometimes struggle with commitment issues, primarily because they fear that settling down might restrict their freedom or options. Open communication about needs and fears is crucial for them to maintain a fulfilling relationship. Conversations about future plans and commitments often help them feel more secure and less anxious about the relationship’s direction.

Career and Worklife

In their professional life, the Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype often seeks roles that provide both intellectual stimulation and financial security. They are not the type to jump recklessly from one job to another. Instead, they carefully weigh the pros and cons before making any career moves, ensuring that they’re heading in a direction that supports both their long-term goals and immediate interests.

Given their penchant for planning, they excel in roles that require project management or strategic thinking. Their ability to foresee potential risks and come up with contingency plans makes them valuable team members. This foresight, combined with their natural enthusiasm, can also make them effective leaders, as they can inspire their team while also keeping an eye on practical considerations.

Their knack for balancing fun and responsibility also makes them great at client-facing roles. Whether in sales, consulting, or customer service, they can build quick rapport with people, making the interaction pleasant, but also know when to steer the conversation towards more pragmatic concerns like budget or timelines.

While they are hard workers and dedicated professionals, they also understand the importance of work-life balance. Unlike other types who might get consumed by their job, the self-preservation 7 knows when to switch off and recharge. This is crucial for their well-being as they need downtime to plan their next set of adventures or simply to relax and take stock of their resources.

However, they are not without their challenges. Their enthusiasm for multiple interests can sometimes make it difficult to focus on a single career path. They may find themselves intrigued by a new industry or role and struggle with the temptation to switch tracks. Their challenge is to find a career that offers enough diversity and learning opportunities to keep them engaged for the long haul.

Personal Growth and Development

For the Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype, personal growth often involves learning to temper their enthusiasm with a healthy dose of patience and introspection. While they are naturally inclined to explore and diversify, there are times when deepening their skills or relationships can be more beneficial than expanding them.

One area of growth is learning to manage their time and resources better. While they are generally good at this, there’s always room for improvement. Adopting time-management techniques or budgeting tools can help them achieve an even better balance between their desire for new experiences and their need for stability.

Developing emotional intelligence is another area where they can focus. Understanding their emotional triggers and responses can help them navigate social interactions more smoothly and make more informed choices. This not only helps in personal relationships but can also be a significant asset in their professional life.

Given their fear of missing out, they would benefit from learning to appreciate the present moment. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises, can help them become more aware of their current state and reduce their constant looking forward to the ‘next big thing.’

Another potential area for growth is learning to say no. Because they enjoy new experiences and hate the idea of missing out, they might find themselves overcommitted, both socially and professionally. Learning to prioritize and decline offers that don’t align with their goals can be liberating and contribute to their overall well-being.

Spirituality and Worldview

The Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype often has a pluralistic and inclusive approach to spirituality. Their natural curiosity and open-mindedness make them receptive to various spiritual practices and philosophies. However, their approach to spirituality is often pragmatic, tailored more towards what can enhance their quality of life here and now, rather than focusing on transcendental concerns.

Being inherently optimistic, they usually have a positive outlook on life, which extends to their spiritual beliefs as well. Concepts like karma, the law of attraction, or the idea of a benevolent universe often resonate with them. However, they may struggle with spiritual teachings that demand renunciation or the embracing of suffering as these go against their basic desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

Their practical nature might also lead them to explore mindfulness techniques, not necessarily for spiritual enlightenment but for the tangible benefits these practices offer, such as reduced stress and improved concentration. In this sense, their spiritual practices are often closely aligned with their self-preservation instinct.

Their spiritual journey often involves periods of exploration followed by periods of consolidation. They might delve into a particular spiritual practice with enthusiasm, extract what benefits them, and then either settle into a long-term commitment with it or move on to explore something else. This pattern mirrors their general approach to life and relationships.

One challenge they might face is that their desire for new experiences can make it difficult for them to stick with a spiritual practice long enough to delve deep into it. They may benefit from framing spiritual depth itself as a ‘new experience,’ one that can offer profound inner adventures, different from but equally fulfilling as their external escapades.

How to Best Engage with an Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation Subtype

Engaging effectively with an Enneagram 7 Self-Preservation subtype requires an understanding of their dual nature. They are both adventurous and cautious, so a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Whether you’re a friend, partner, or

colleague, recognizing this duality can go a long way in establishing a meaningful relationship with them.

Communication is key. Being open and honest about your intentions and expectations can help avoid misunderstandings. Remember, they appreciate security as much as excitement, so providing a reliable and transparent interaction will put them at ease.

Because they are planners, they usually appreciate it when you can match their level of preparedness. If they’re organizing an event or outing, offering to help with the logistics can be a significant gesture of goodwill. It shows that you respect their need for a well-planned experience and are willing to contribute to it.

If you’re in a closer relationship, like a romantic partner or a family member, understanding their need for personal space is crucial. Just because they’re enthusiastic and engaging doesn’t mean they don’t value downtime. Giving them room to pursue their interests or simply unwind is essential for the health of the relationship.

Finally, celebrate their successes and milestones. Because they are goal-oriented and love to achieve, acknowledging their accomplishments, big or small, will make them feel valued and understood. Whether it’s a job promotion, completing a personal project, or even just successfully organizing a social event, your recognition and appreciation will deepen your connection with them.