The 9 Enneagram Personality Types as Children’s Books Series: Type 7 as IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIEPosted: October 7, 2020
Enneagram Type 7: The Enthusiast= If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
Type 7: “The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered” as defined by the Enneagram Institute
Good things, come in small packages, and in the case of my children’s book choice to represent the Enneagram personality Type 7, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, written by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, a tiny character, contains massive amounts of fun! I have been looking forward to this personality type and accompanying mouse, because both are so entertaining to talk about! In the story, the robust rodent goes from one activity to the next with much intensity, determination, and enjoyment. Once an activity is over, though not always completed, he moves to the next, dictated only by impulse. Whether he is having a snack, nap, haircut, or cleaning, organizing, creating, his mind is constantly moving to the next thing.
“They do not feel that they know what to do or how to make choices that will be beneficial to themselves and others. Sevens cope with this anxiety in two ways. First, they try to keep their minds busy all of the time. As long as Sevens can keep their minds occupied, especially with projects and positive ideas for the future, they can, to some extent, keep anxiety and negative feelings out of conscious awareness. Likewise, since their thinking is stimulated by activity, Sevens are compelled to stay on the go, moving from one experience to the next, searching for more stimulation. This is not to say that Sevens are “spinning their wheels.” They generally enjoy being practical and getting things done.” -the Enneagram Institute
A key motivation of a SEVEN is to avoid missing out on worthwhile experiences, and in that vein we might say that the SEVEN is the ultimate victim of FOMO, as is our mouse. Anything in his periphery distracts as potential for adventure. There are so many things to see, taste, make, learn, there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. The mouse’s demeanor is one of eagerness and intensity, which leaves him feeling exhausted and depleted at times. But he bounces back quickly, with energy and focus that belies his size. The little mouse is attempting to accumulate skills and complete tasks at an astounding rate, and in doing so he illustrates perfectly the inner SEVEN struggle.
“Sevens’ wide-ranging curiosity and ability to learn quickly can also create problems for them. Because they are able to pick up many different skills with relative ease, it becomes more difficult for them to decide what to do with themselves. As a result, they also do not always value their abilities as they would if they had to struggle to gain them. When Sevens are more balanced however, their versatility, curiosity, and ability to learn can lead them to extraordinary achievement.” -the Enneagram Institute
The mouse’s cohort in the day’s hectic hodgepodge is a boy who seems equal parts exhausted and exhilarated, the result of the dual nature of a 7. SEVENS fear being deprived and in pain, and desire to be satisfied and content. That satisfaction comes from actively , and sometimes compulsively, finding the next thing.
In social terms, the SEVEN would be the life of the party. They are super engaging, exuding a contagious zest for life. The boy gets caught up in the mouse’s Enthusiast hustle and bustle, and though he wonders at what point the pace will slow down, he is living fully in the moment with the small 7, exactly the lesson the mouse, and healthy Enthusiasts teach.
“Sevens are extremely optimistic people—exuberant and upbeat. They are endowed with abundant vitality and a desire to fully participate in their lives each day. They are naturally cheerful and good humored, not taking themselves too seriously, or anything else for that matter. As we have seen, the Basic Desire of Sevens is to be satisfied, happy, and fulfilled, and when they are balanced within themselves, their joy and enthusiasm for life naturally affect everyone around them. They remind us of the pure pleasure of existence—the greatest gift of all.” -the Enneagram Institute
To spend time with a 7 is to put on their rose-colored glasses, seeing the world as filled with possibilities. However, while most can take those glasses off at the end of the day, SEVENS are burdened with the constant need to explore, create, and experience, while trying to maintain the balance of doing so with learning to make decisions, maintain focus, and recognize limits. So think on that before you give a 7 a cookie!
For more information on the Enthusiast 7 y’all head on over to the Enneagram Institute. And y’all get reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and order online(they ship), pick up curbside, or grab one in(masked) person from Book People!