3 and 7 can be a lot alike, particularly externally
- both in the Id/Assertive triad
- both have magnetic personalities
- both can become histrionic and attention whoring under stress (people have accused me of being a 3 because of this, but it happens to 7s too lol)
- both are denying/avoiding types (3s avoid
- both are ambitious and energetic
the differences lie on the inside
- what they avoid is different. 3s avoid stagnation, self esteem to them is not an intrinsic thing, but a treadmill that they constantly have to be running on to maintain their self worth. 7s avoid pain, unpleasantness and life problems. we are the ultimate procrastinators of the enneagram. once
- 3s are ambitious for it's own sake; 7s are ambitious to get a better life for themselves. 7s might work very hard, but they plan this around their life; 3s on the other hand have a tendency to plan their life around their work. 7s live for enjoyment. if we can't enjoy something, we don't do it.
don't get me wrong, 3w4 is a cool type and I share a few outward characteristics with it (often cold/icy, professional etc) but if you looked at my past and really got to know me, you would very little core 3 (I'm a tentative believer in trifix, and I believe my heart fix is 3w4, but it's by far my weakest after 1w2 and 7w8)
anyway, because I think 3 is a very misunderstood type and it might better illustrate some of the differences, here's a collection of posts I posted on personality cafe about 3s.
compare that with this description of the self preservation 7, which can be somewhat 3-ish (this descriptions describes almost everything about me)I think it is because 3s lack a sense of intrinsic value. they don't grasp the concept of self love and acceptance for it's own sake. to a 3, they think that surely these things are conditional, so they spend their lives looking for positive external feedback. feedback to "measure" their worth or give them worth in the first place. these things could range from
- various abilities (high intelligence, good at sports, possessing a brilliant soprano singing voice)
- high external metrics (such as grades, income etc)
essentially, the 3 is looking for proof
- proof that they are worth something
- proof that they've "earned" what they have. for instance, when a 3 sees a confident person, the tendency is to think "what did he do that makes him so confident?"
in reality though neither of these things need proof. you can to love yourself, you can choose to feel valuable, you can choose to form a positive self concept. and that's all the reason you need, because you choose to.
a healthy, self actualized 3 is one who can get back in touch with this idea of intrinsic value and becomes a human being as opposed to a human doing. they will still be very motivated, ambitious and seek accomplishments, because even a healthy person, this feels good, but this tendency is kept in perspective by the knowledge that they are fine just the way they are and don't need to prove themselves to the world for the sake of self worth.
The Self-Preservation Instinct in the Seven
"Getting Mine" (Ichazo's "Defenders") In the average range, Self-Preservation Sevens are determined, energetic people, driven to make sure that their basic needs and comforts will always be met. Their attitudes and concerns tend to emphasize the practical and the material. (In the immortal words of Scarlett O'Hara, "As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!") They tend to be ambitious and work hard to insure that options will remain open to them.
Self-Preservation Sevens know that they cannot keep track of every piece of information they may need, so they often cultivate a group of friends and "advisors" who share enthusiasms and interests with them. These people keep the Seven informed of new possibilities and resources, and provide the stimulation and social interaction that Sevens enjoy. Self-Preservation Sevens enjoy learning about others' plans and projects as well as regaling others with their own. This is not the same as the bonding with others found in some Sixes, however. The feeling is looser—Self-Preservation Sevens are not interested in developing dependencies on others or in having others depend excessively on them. They want to be able to come and go as they choose and are impatient with restrictions—group participation must feel voluntary, not obligatory.
Less healthy Self-Preservation Sevens can feel impatient and panicky when their needs are not quickly met. They often experience anxieties about the loss of comforts or of material support, and easily feel deprived. (Fears about going hungry are not uncommon.) They can be extremely demanding and cranky when frustrated, expecting others to meet their needs as soon as they are expressed—or even sooner.
In the unhealthy range, Self-Preservation Sevens can be extremely thoughtless and relentless in pursuit of security needs. They aggressively go after whatever they believe will make them feel more secure or stave off their anxiety, and brook no interference. Reckless with their finances and resources, spending out of control or gambling, they can be even more profligate with their own health and inner resources. They push themselves beyond reasonable limits, eating, drinking, and indulging themselves to excess.