Misidentifying Twos and Sevens

These types are frequently mistaken because both can be emotional and histrionic, although the emotions of Sevens are more labile (changing quickly) than the feelings of Twos. Average Twos are friendly and effusive, even gushy and dramatic, although they take pains to express their warm, personal appreciation of other people. They are deeply feeling (one of the types in the Feeling Triad), and their feelings are intimately connected with their sense of self, their behavior, and their interactions with others.

Average Sevens are also histrionic in that they dramatize their emotions flamboyantly, although their emotions are usually shorter lived and wide-ranging–from elation to delight to giddiness to flightiness to highly negative displays of anger, frustration, vituperation, and rage at others. Twos, while needing to express their feelings, tend to be more low-keyed. (Unless they are very unhealthy, Twos do not express their anger at others as openly, nor do they ever display the range of emotions–or such a dazzling variety of them–as Sevens.)

Although both types are gregarious and enjoy being with people, their interpersonal styles are noticeably different. The Two is more interpersonal, genuinely friendly and warm, and interested in others–they would like to be the heart and soul of a family or community, the best friend or confidant everyone comes to for attention, advice, and approval. Twos want to be significant to others and on intimate terms with them, although sometimes they go too far, meddling too much and being too solicitous to make sure they are needed.

By contrast, Sevens do not get as involved in other people's lives. Sevens do not see themselves as the center of a community or family, but as members of a free-floating band of fellow adventurers whose own enjoyment is enhanced by being with others. Sevens do not like to eat or drink alone, or go to the theater alone, or go on vacation alone, but this does not always mean that they are great lovers of people. But it is certainly true that their activities are more enjoyable when others are around to contribute to the excitement and stimulation they seek. To provide themselves with the company of others, Sevens may pay for the pleasure, buying tickets for poorer friends, inviting them to dinner or the country house, and so forth. Sevens may thus exhibit a certain generosity, although their motives may well have less to do with helping needier friends than with making sure that they themselves have a good time by having others around.

While average Twos want others to need them, average Sevens do not want to be needed by anyone: just the reverse, they have little patience for anyone who is too dependent on them since dependents become a drain on their resources and limit their freedom. Average Twos can be possessive of their friends because they feel they have invested a lot of time and emotional energy in them and do not want to see them drift away. Average Sevens tend to be less attached to people. ("Fine. If you don't want to be with me, there are always more fish in the sea.") Sevens can be devoted to loved ones like anyone else, but they refuse to cling. Once they decide that a relationship is not working, they can end them fairly quickly. They may feel sad for a time, but seldom have regrets about their decisions. Twos can leave relationships behind as well, but have a lot more difficulty letting go.

Lastly, although Sevens are action-oriented and expressive, they are primarily thinking types. They are quick-witted and like to fill their minds with interesting possibilities and concepts. Although Twos can certainly be bright and knowledgeable, they really are feeling types and the juice for them is in the sharing of feelings and intimacies. It is probable that more Sevens misidentify themselves as Twos than vice versa. The differences between Leo Buscaglia and Ann Landers (Twos), and Timothy Leary and Joan Rivers (Sevens) may clarify these two types.