The Narcissistic Seven

Certain Enneagram authors argue whether Sevens are narcissistic or not. Claudio Naranjo, in his book Character and Neurosis, says that while many attribute a type of narcissism to style Three, he insists that the description in the DSMV (The big book, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, therapists use to give standardized diagnoses to collect from insurance companies) fits the style Seven most closely.

The Streisand movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces, is well named. The mirror in the title is a lovely metaphor for narcissism. Narcissus, the Greek youth, fell in love with his own image. This movie displays the narcissism of the style Seven by Barbara Streisand. Streisand is a Seven in real life and plays out her own drama of the narcissistic Seven. The movie is autobiographical and is produced by, directed by and stars Streisand. It is a setup for narcissistic self-indulgence.

Streisand portrays a Seven who has two faces - the ugly duckling of her self image, which is reinforced if not induced by her mother, Lauren Bacall, and the gorgeous creature who transforms herself by diet, exercise and careful cosmetics. The Seven's narcissism of Streisand shows up in the preoccupation with how she looks to herself and to others. (The camera dwells uncomfortably long on her a number of times, and we get longer, tighter camera close-ups than are esthetically pleasing). The tension between her low self-esteem and the image of high self-esteem the movie tries to create doesn't really work, but it is the tension within the narcissistic style.

The other Seven indications are the flip humor and the preoccupation with the pronounced appetite for food and sex. Jeff Bridges plays a fine professorial Five and the Enneagram dynamic between Seven and Five is instructive. The Five wants a cerebral relationship and the Seven wants an exciting physical one. The Seven is attracted to the cerebral Five (her security point), but she can't sustain a purely platonic relationship.

Narcissistic Sevens have an inflated set of expectations of the world, an optimism that really isn't warranted. They tend to have grandiose expectations that they will be appreciated without having to do much to gain that appreciation. For example, Sevens tend to make "entrances" rather than just walk into a room.