Enneagram Type One (the Reformer)
Enneagram Type Seven (the Enthusiast)
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
Enneagram Ones and Sevens have a particular complementary and reciprocal relationship. They are opposites who can either bring something needed to the other person, thereby helping both to achieve new growth (or, as we will see) they can drive each other further apart by playing on each other’s weaknesses whether consciously or not. Ones bring conscientiousness, orderliness, good work habits, methodical attention to detail, and a pleasure in maintaining excellence and high standards. Sevens bring spontaneity, high energy, curiosity, an orientation toward fun and adventure, the desire to try new things, and an ability to not get too hung up with getting everything done perfectly. Both types can be initiators and planners, future-oriented and idealistic, although Sevens tend to prefer having multiple options and to keep all plans loose enough so that they can be changed as needed. They bring freedom and spontaneity. Ones are more methodical and help Sevens stay on track—they resist getting distracted by too many options, and excel at following through with their plans.
Sevens offer Ones a sense of excitement and life as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. Ones offer Sevens a sense of purpose and idealism, as well as direction and the feeling that life is noble and meaningful. Sevens keep Ones’ spirits up, refreshing their idealism while preventing the relationship from becoming too heavy. Ones help steady Sevens, keeping them working systematically and consistently toward goals. Sevens appreciate the One’s consistency and reliability and are glad to have someone who can attend to details. These two types can be highly supportive of each other as long as their ultimate values are congruent and as long as they are both working for the same fundamental things in life. This tends to be a stimulating relationship for both—they stretch each other and are fascinated and challenged by their differences.
Potential Trouble Spots or Issues
As stress increases, Ones become increasingly critical, judgmental, inflexible, and insistent that things be done only one way, the right way—their way. They inevitably begin to see Sevens as undisciplined and inefficient, self-centered and childish. Ones feel that Sevens are scattered and tend to fool around too much, over-extending resources and overbooking themselves and promising too much to too many people. Ones also often feel that Sevens are unfocused and scattered simply to annoy them and to get back at them passive-aggressively, without seeming to be hostile or petty themselves. On the other hand, Sevens tend to see lower functioning Ones as too prissy and perfectionistic, and ultimately, as someone who needs to be kicked in the pants to loosen them up a bit. Conflicts between these two types also often focus on organizational and financial matters, with Ones feeling that Sevens are profligate and wasteful while Sevens feel Ones are too tight-fisted and have no vision or pizzazz.
Sevens eventually tire of the One’s continual criticism and dissatisfaction with them. Pursuing other options in the relationship becomes more and more attractive since Sevens deeply resist feeling trapped or being in situations that continually produce unhappiness. Unfortunately, low functioning Ones continually contribute to this. If matters continue to deteriorate, Ones will lose respect for Sevens who become increasingly pushy and demanding, with a calloused, vulgar tone. Ones find this extremely embarrassing to be around, and can become disillusioned and depressed, withdrawing emotional connection from Sevens. Thus, a disdainful contempt for the other can enter the picture from both sides, making reconciliation even more difficult. Ones criticize Sevens for a while, then silently give up on them until some event spells the fatal blow to the relationship.