Misidentifying Sixes and Sevens

Sixes and Sevens can be mistyped when there is confusion between main type and wing: that is, between a Six with a Seven-wing and a Seven with a Six-wing. Both are Thinking types, and both are driven by anxiety, although they cope with their anxious feelings in strikingly different ways. Sixes tend to react to their anxiety by fretting and becoming more anxious. They may react counterphobically by reacting against their fears, but react they do. Further, anxiety tends to make Sixes more pessimistic and negative about themselves and their prospects. They can be full of self-doubt, while being suspicious of the motives of others.

Sevens, by contrast are extremely optimistic, and react to anxiety by looking for enjoyable distractions. Sevens suppress their self-doubt as much as possible, and try to keep everything upbeat. Sevens tend to deny the dark corners of their souls, sixes tend to get stuck in them. Sixes, however, have a heightened sense of responsibility and do not allow themselves to "goof off" until all of their obligations have been met. Sevens, for better or for worse, are far more spontaneous, and resist having too many expectations placed on them. They want to be free to come and go as they please, and find the Six's persistent sense of commitment potentially limiting and dull. Sixes tend to find the Seven's lifestyle flighty and irresponsible. In short, sixes seek out structure and guidelines: Sevens resist both. Compare David Letterman (a Six) with Jim Carey (a Seven).