Enneagram 7w8: The Guide

Written by Tim Branch

If you have ever:

  1. Erred on the side of “outrageous” in your sense of humor,
  2. Noticed your attention tends to go to activities or possessions over relationships,
  3. Been repeatedly pragmatic about relationships instead of romantic,
  4. Felt the need to change your career over and over
  5. Identified strongly with the core motivations with 7, but find yourself being even more rebellious of boundaries and authority,

…you may be a 7w8.

What is a Wing?

You may have noticed results from an Enneagram test you’ve taken, or seen your friends mention their type, but with two numbers with a little “w” between them.

That “w” stands for “Wing”.

Your wing will be the Enneagram type directly on either side of your core type. So wings for a 7 are either 6 or 8.

Your wing is not your next highest score or another type you feel like you may be. For example, you cannot be a 7w9 or 7w2.

Your wing will be like an accent to your core personality.

Beth McCord (Your Enneagram Coach) describes wings as salt and pepper, to your entree. It adds some flavor but doesn’t change the type at its core.

So you will see traits of your wings type in your personality, but it does not change the core motivations behind your actions.

Unlike your core Enneagram type, your wings can change.

You will likely have a dominant wing while having the ability to access the other when needed.

Your dominant wing can change in different seasons throughout your life, and both wings will look a little bit different as your level of health and awareness increases, or decreases.

What is a 7w8?

Enneagram 7’s long to live life to the fullest! They are positive, assertive, joyful, FUN human beings who truly are full of life.

At their core, however, they really just want to know they’ll be taken care of.

There’s an emptiness inside of them that longs to be filled, and deep down they don’t believe anyone can or will take care of them.

So they subconsciously, often beginning in childhood, set out to take care of themselves. They often do this by distracting themselves with pleasure.

When this core type meets the “flavor” of the confident and assertive Enneagram 8, you find the bold, seemingly fearless, more confrontational 7w8.

As a healthy 7w8, you will find yourself being assertive, clear with your expectations of people (even if they are high and at times unreasonable), assertive, ambitious, and productive.

You are quick-minded, focused, strategic, and tend to care less what others may think of your choices than another Enneagram 7 with a dominant 6 wing.

When you are struggling you will find that you can become a workaholic and adrenaline junkie.

You will go to more extreme levels to distract from the pain, fear, and/or anxiety you may be feeling, or more often not feeling due to these aversions.

You will be more direct and may even be demanding to get what you want. You will find conflict more stimulating, assert your strong will, and you will be fiercely independent.

The Unique Gifts of a 7w8

You often find a wing to be seemingly opposite of the core type. Enneagram 7’s are eager to have fun, not feel trapped, and generally noncommittal. Whereas the eights are determined, intense, and deeply dedicated to their passions.

How can these traits coincide?

A 7w8 often has the joy and lightheartedness of their core type, while also being dedicated to what is most important to them, their freedom. They will work hard to play hard and aren’t afraid of either.

A 7w8 has an abundance of confidence in their decision-making skills, even the ones made on a whim.

7w8s are a beautiful combination of wild and steady. This subtype is less concerned with what others think and more freely use their people skills, and sometimes even offers a little more conversational depth to match their charm.

How to Grow as a 7w8

As an Enneagram 7 with a dominant 8 wing, it’s likely that genuine feelings are difficult to identify. Oftentimes they will be ignored or unknown and present as anger.

To avoid unnecessary conflict, work on allowing yourself to sit with unpleasurable emotions like sadness, anger, loneliness, and disappointment.

Avoid seeking distraction through work, experiences, or possessions and instead find an outlet, preferably with a close friend or family member who you trust deeply, to share your vulnerable thoughts and feelings.

Take time to process them exteriorly, even if it looks messy.

Vulnerability is especially difficult for a 7w8.

Stay present in whatever moment you are in. It’s extremely common for this type and subtype to think about the next moment, or the next big thing, even if what you are experiencing is fun or exciting.

It is, however, especially difficult if your present experience is a negative or painful one.

BUT. Those moments matter too.

Being a 7 is like trying to fill an empty bucket with water, only to watch it seep out through holes in the bottom. You constantly try to fill your life with new and exciting things and experiences, but the only thing that will truly fill you is contentment in the Lord and joy in what He’s already given you.

When we see “water” in the bible, it represents life. In John 4:14, Jesus talks about the living water that can be found only in Him, Sevens, RUN to that well. Sit, swim, splash in that well, and you will be fully satisfied, and never thirst again.

Additional Resources

On the other side of Seven is the 7w6. A seven with a wing of six is more relationship-oriented, generous, and tender.

7w6s are extremely loyal and long for relationships. They put great value in experiences with the ones they love and have a “the more the merrier” mentality.

To learn more about yourself as a Seven and how your Six wing may present itself, check out my guide to Type Seven and guide to Type Eight.

And lastly—if you want to dive deeper into what it looks like to grow in your Enneagram type, check out The Enneagram Growth Guide, which you can download for free.

This is a guide with a Christian perspective—it’ll show you how to overcome the struggles and temptations of your number, discover the incredible gifts hidden inside you, and use that knowledge to go deeper in your relationship with God. You can grab a free copy by clicking this link.