Enneagram Type 7w8 Childhood (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 7w8 i.e. type seven-wing eight ‘The Realist’ and the role of their childhood in their personality development. We will do that by initially giving an introduction to enneagrams, their structure, and wings. This will follow up by describing the dominant type seven personality and its triad. We will move on to giving an overview of its subtype i.e. type 7w8. Finally, we will discuss the detailed role of childhood in their development.  

Enneagram Type 7w8: Childhood

Enneagram type 7w8 has the primary characteristics of type 7 and secondary characteristics of type 8 personality. These people are passionate, dedicated, determined, tough, and protective in their behavior. They are pretty focused on their work. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Nurturing Deficiency’.This means that they use distraction strategies to avoid facing their loneliness and anxiety.

Enneagrams

Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It has its roots in spirituality, philosophy, and psychology. Multiple people contributed to its development among which George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo are the most prominent. 

It is divided into nine personality types that are spread across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad. It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation in the form of good or bad traits and sees which triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect or instincts is most characteristic of his or her personality. 

An enneagram gives a personality type that is fluid and explains its change across time i.e. personality integration (during health, self-actualization) or disintegration (during ill health, neurosis). In other words,  a personality can become more healthy or unhealthy as it moves in different directions from its basic type. Enneagram also links one personality type with other personality types.

Enneagram symbol is a circle that has 9 points (each point is a personality type) present on the circumference. Each type is related to another as represented by the connected lines. Points 3,6, 9 forms a triangle. They are primary personality types that are blocked in some way from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Whereas 4,2,8,5,7,1 form an irregular hexagram and are secondary personality types since they are mixed and not blocked from feelings, thoughts, or instincts. Each type is the result of a dialectic. In every triad, one type over-expresses its characteristic quality, another under-expresses it, and the third is mostly out of touch with it. 

The Basic Personality Type is the most characteristic of a person. Whereas wings add elements to the overall personality i.e. it is the second side of it. 

Example: If you are a personality type 7, you can have wing 6 or wing 8. So, such a personality can be understood by knowing the traits of the basic or main type and the secondary types. Usually, each personality has two wings, and both influence a person. However, at times people have one dominant wing along with their basic personality type.

The Thinking Triad: Personality Types Five, Six, Seven

• The positive and negative traits of these personalities are dominated by thinking.

• When these types are healthy, their thoughts make them distinct and admirable for their introspective qualities, insights, and ideas that have scientific, creative, and practical applications.

• When they are unhealthy, they are out of balance with respect to their thoughts and are difficult to interact with.

• All three personality types have common problems linked with insecurity and anxiety.

Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast’

Key traits: Manic,  uninhibited,  passionate, and accomplished. These people under-express their thinking.  This means that they do not complete their thoughts and jump from one thought to the next.  The content of their thoughts is dependent on the activity they are performing or what they anticipate will happen next. It has two subtypes:

• The seven with wing 6 (Type 7w8)

• The seven with wing 8 (Type 7w8)

Type 7w8: ‘The Realist’

Type 7w8 has basic traits of type 7 and secondary traits of type 8 personality.  Type 7w8 is an aggressive personality in terms of the demands they make from others. They can be highly assertive and goal-oriented. They are driven to maintain an active lifestyle with focus on achieving objectives.

Healthy versions of this subtype are enthusiastic and materialistic in the sense that they enjoy finer things in life. They are confident, assertive and able to face challenges head on. They also make good leaders due to their quick mind and business-like persistent attitude. Their approach is strategic and they make good use of available resources to get what they want. 

Average versions of this subtype are practical multi-taskers who can be workaholics but also seek enjoyable experiences. They are driven to accumulate fine and latest possessions to give out the message ‘I am worth it’. They enjoy travel, socialization but are not too needy in romantic relationships. Their approach is straightforward as they are clear about their needs and expectations, and can live alone as well. At times, they can be inconsiderate of feelings and needs of other people with disregard for morality. Even in conflicts, they are more stimulated by confrontation than wanting to resolve them. Their enthusiasm and need for stimulation makes it difficult for them to exercise self-control. Substance abuse is common among them.

Unhealthy versions of this subtype are both compulsive and anti-social. They get involved in dangerous situations and get a rush from living on the edge. Gambling, extreme sexual activity and excessive money-spending depletes their resources. This is because they overestimate their power and wealth. Such people can be physically destructive and violent which can lead to a mental breakdown or even death. 

Examples of Type 7w8: John F Kennedy, Howard Stern, Malcolm Forbes

Strengths of Type 7w8

  • Optimistic and energetic
  • Confident and charismatic
  • Assertive
  • Good crisis management skills

Weaknesses of Type 7w8

  • Can be materialistic
  • Difficulty following through with commitments
  • Can be impatient and blunt
  • Too career-focused

Workplace and job 

Type 7w8 are energetic, calm, and good at multitasking.  They prefer to work in jobs that allow them freedom and practical orientation of things e.g. travel agent, travel writer, firefighter, paramedic, etc.

Source of Stress for type 7w8

  • Being controlled
  •  Being alone for too long
  •  Strict schedules and excessive rules
  • Excessive Routine
  •  Spending energy on multiple things

Basic fear 

Type 7w8 fears being deprived.  They pursue multiple opportunities and avoid being limited by schedules and routines.

Basic desire 

Type 7w8 desire to be satisfied and happy. So, they travel, go to parties and pursue different experiences. They defend themself by rationalizing their bad feelings and other people’s negative actions.

Childhood in Enneagram types

We become any personality depending on how we have learned to respond to the world growing up. Our early childhood particularly our relationship with our parents governs how we unconsciously adapt to our family and the world. Genetics and temperament have their role as well. A person remains one personality type throughout life but may change and grow to develop healthy or unhealthy traits.  

Childhood of Type 7w8

During their childhood, type sevens were disconnected from the parent having the nurturing role, who was responsible for giving them affection and care ( usually it is the mother but not always).  As children, they did not feel a bond with this person and did not get nurturance consistently.  They felt that they could not depend on this person for fulfilling their needs.  As a result,  they started to turn to other things to compensate for the missing love/affection.

It is possible that the deprivation from the nurturing figure was not deliberate.  rather situations like poverty,  war,  illness, and being orphaned could have made such deprivation possible.  Another possibility could be that an accident or an incident took place that did not support the child’s needs.  In the same way,  another reason could be that 7 hard greater need for stimulation or contact which the nurturing figure could not provide.

 Thus,  the fear of not having nurturance became ingrained in such personalities.  As a result,  they started to turn to other people to fulfill their needs and demands that were symbolic of nurturance.

Childhood of Type 7w8 affecting adulthood

Based on their childhood, type sevens developed a belief that they can only be fulfilled if they have many fun experiences. Thus, they are always on the lookout for stimulations and exciting things to happen. This is because they believe that this excitement can fulfill their inner void and distract them from their loneliness and anxiety. They think that to be loved, they have to always be positive and exciting. This explains their tendency to be thrill-seeking and adventurous.

Childhood coping patterns of Type 7w8 in adulthood

Type sevens learn to cope by:

  • Looking at the positive in negative experiences
  • Jumping back from painful incidents i.e. they are resilient.
  • Using imagination to keep things interesting.
  • Justifying personal behavior and feelings i.e. rationalizing.
  • Moving from one thing to another when in pain

Type 7w8 core characteristics developed from childhood

These personalities develop certain characteristics after learning from their childhood experiences.  These include the following:

  •  They start too many things at once and become scattered due to applying their energies in multiple directions.
  • They become workaholics as a way to keep themself distracted. 
  • They accumulate multiple possessions to fill an inner void.
  • They make big promises they can’t deliver.
  • They can be straightforward and self-centered when pursuing their goals. 

FAQs: Type 7w8-Childhood

What is a Type 7 personality?

Type 7 personality is social, fun-loving, creative, and productive. They fear a lack of nurturance. So, they turn to other people and things to keep themselves distracted. It is one of the types from the nine enneagrams.

What is Type 7w8?

Type 7w8 or Type 7 wing 8 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type seven personality and complementary characteristics of type eight personality. 

Who are type 7 compatible with?

Type sevens are compatible with type nines.

What does an unhealthy type 7 look like?

Unhealthy sevens are demanding, self-centered, and impulsive. They do whatever they want by using other people. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed enneagram type 7w8 in detail and the role of childhood in their development. We found that enneagram type 7w8 has the primary characteristics of type 7 and secondary characteristics of type 8 personality. These people are passionate, dedicated, determined, tough, and protective in their behavior. They are pretty focused on their work. Their core childhood conflict that makes them the way they are is ‘Nurturing Deficiency’.This means that they use distraction strategies to avoid facing their loneliness and anxiety.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-7-wing-8

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/03/10/the-childhood-wounds-of-every-enneagram-type/#

http://www.russellrowe.com/enneagram-types/enneagram-type-7-description.pdf

Personality Types – Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

Armah is a mental health professional in training. She has done her Bachelors and Masters in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Her goal is to make a difference in the field of mental health be it by spreading awareness through writing or through clinical practice. In her free time, she likes to read, keep up to date about new trends in Psychology, bake and watch Netflix 😊

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