Enneagram Type Six (the Loyalist)
Enneagram Type Seven (the Enthusiast)
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
Both Enneagram Sixes and Sevens are mental types, and there can be a great deal of mental stimulation in this pairing. These two types offer many areas in which they reinforce each other, and some areas in which the strengths of one counterbalance the limitations of the other. Sevens are usually entertaining and tend to lift the spirits of Sixes. Both are quick mentally and often have rapier wits: they enjoy bantering with each other, verbally sparring and seeing how absurd or funny they can become as they push each other to more outrageous limits. Sevens are particularly good at generating new ideas while Sixes are particularly good at mastering the practical steps that are necessary to get things done. Sevens help Sixes put fear and limitation into perspective, and sometimes to move beyond them entirely. They thus make effective team members in which the Seven lays out the big picture and gets people excited about new possibilities while the Six moves in with the logistical and tactical know-how, following through with the details. In intimate relationships, the same balance pertains: Sevens are the stimulators, Sixes are the regulators—and they can keep each moving forward by allowing the other to counterbalance their own limitations.
To this visionary-functionary mix, Sixes bring commitment and loyalty to the Seven, often an expertise and groundedness that the Seven comes to trust and rely on implicitly, as well as a strong grip on reality and what can be accomplished within given parameters. Sevens bring a driving sense of optimism and possibility, high energy, a sense of adventure, and fearlessness with regard to failure. They can teach Sixes how to be resilient and how not to fear the future, while Sixes can teach Sevens the difference between optimism and pipedreams.
Potential Trouble Spots or Issues
Despite how well Sixes and Sevens can reinforce each other’s strengths when they are healthy, in the average to lower Levels, the picture can shift quickly. Sixes are essentially interested in security and predictability, foreseeing problems and building procedures to prevent future uncertainty. They are aware of limitations and why things cannot be done—or at least done easily. Sevens, by contrast, are about seeking happiness and relief from increasing frustration or anxiety. They are about trying new things, seeing new possibilities and overcoming limitations. They do not want to hear about problems or obstacles: they want things to be done the day before yesterday. Sixes tend to be negative and pessimistic, while Sevens tend to be positive and optimistic.
Sevens are future oriented, while Sixes tend to be aware of the past, of precedents, and the lessons of history that would prevent things from going badly again. Sixes very much want to find someone with whom they can have a long term commitment, Sevens tend to be fearful of long term commitments and enter into them somewhat reluctantly. Sixes tend to feel that Sevens are too hedonistic, selfish, extravagant, and when the chips are down, they wonder if they can be relied on. Will they skip off to someone else or avoid their responsibilities in some form of escapism or addiction? Sevens tend to feel that Sixes are too anxiety ridden, worry too much, and make themselves (and everyone else!) crazy raising every question and objection before trying anything. Sixes oppose everything, at least at first, and get distrustful and suspicious easily. They live a life of limits and rules that Sevens feel are restrictions largely imaginary and self-imposed. In a Six/Seven couple, these two opposing philosophies reflect the very different expectations Sixes and Seven have from life and from a relationship, and unless they can be reconciled, it will be difficult for this couple to remain one.