Enneagram Type Seven (the Enthusiast)
Enneagram Type Eight (the Challenger)
What Each Type Brings to the Relationship
Both Enneagram Sevens and Eights are highly self-assertive, independent, and strong willed. Both types also resist being controlled or limited by authorities or even by internal, psychological mechanisms. Once someone (or even some inner voice) says do not, both Sevens and Eights respond with defiance and a desire to push the limits, whatever they may be. Both types are practical, this world-oriented, not necessarily worldly or materialistic, but concerned with concrete affairs and finding happiness and fulfillment in the here and now. Neither likes to postpone their satisfactions or to settle for vague promises about the future. Both tend to overspend their budget on a bountiful lifestyle that is a source of pleasure for themselves and their friends and family. They love to entertain and offer the best there is to others as a sign of their generosity and as a signal of their success and standing in the world.
Both are high energy people, often gifted with a vitality and gusto for life that is noteworthy. A Seven/Eight couple can get a tremendous amount done, and are revitalized by staying active. They are adventuresome and are willing to try new things in their relationship. They are also both extremely outspoken and do not hold themselves back from voicing their own opinions or making their needs known. Sevens bring more lightness and a sense of fun and excitement, trying something new and different for the sake of keeping things fresh and stimulating. They are also usually the more talkative of the two: Sevens are usually highly engaging storytellers and raconteurs, turning their adventures (and catastrophes) into entertaining tales. Eights are usually surprisingly more reserved and moody than is often recognized, and they rely on the Seven to lighten the atmosphere and to make their practical affairs more fun and enjoyable. Eights also bring directness, decisiveness, and the willingness to face difficult situations with determination and persistence.
Potential Trouble Spots or Issues
While a Seven/Eight couple can be an extremely productive, high-energy pair, problems may begin if the constructive outlets for that energy are thwarted or misguided. Sevens and Eights both need to find positive outlets for their prodigious energies and interests, and if they do not, they will inevitably discover destructive ways of releasing them. They may also begin to turn against each other or bring each other down in a kind of dark collusion that can have tragic consequences for them both. Both Sevens and Eights are extremely strong willed and independent and so both resist being controlled by the other, often taunting the other with their lack of influence over them. Eights tend to be authoritarian and bullying, ordering the Seven around and making threats if they are disobeyed. Sevens will attempt to avoid being controlled, and can become highly insulting and contemptuous of the Eight and their heavy-handed tactics. Both types will flaunt the other’s inability to have their way, as if their defiance were a badge of honor. Both types can be extremely selfish and self-centered, feeling that the world revolves around them and their desires. Of course, this builds in the likelihood of conflicts.
Both types can also be verbally crude and insulting, frequently saying things that other types might only occasionally allow themselves to think. Their fights can be gargantuan brawls and public scenes in which physical abuse and violence may also play a significant part. The problem is, however, that both types tend to be addicted to excitement and the adrenaline rush of reckless behavior. Once they have begun to build their relationship on a certain level of physical excitement (whether it is from sexuality or violence), it is difficult for this couple to turn back to something more moderate. Anything less than being death defying seems lifeless and boring. They may, however, push the limits once too far, with tragic consequences not only for their relationship, but for everyone around them.