Enneagram Pairing Type 6 & 7
6 - The Loyal Guardian
Loyal Skeptic, Trooper, Trouble Shooter, Defender, Guardian, Questioner, Devil's Advocate
7 - The Entertaining Optimist
Epicure, Visionary, Enthusiast, Jack-of-All-Trades, Adventurer, Innovator, Dilettante
As part of the Head Triad, both Sixes and Sevens strive to feel safe and secure in the world around them. Both are mental, quick-witted, and deep thinking, with a tendency to (over) plan everything. Sevens are bright and upbeat and can fall victim to gluttony or overindulgence, a behavior they unconsciously act out to put a stop to their feelings of emptiness. Sixes are warm and loyal, usually possessing dark humor, and can become impulsive to alleviate their often extreme anxiety.
As head types, these two share a passion for thought, brain games, higher learning, discovery, and patterns. They will both be generous with their support, affection, and enthusiasm. They value steadfast relationships (although Sevens can struggle to be steadfast themselves), wit, and debate. They also share a love of adventure, off-color humor, and silliness, and will usually make excellent play mates.
How You Complement Each Other
Sixes tend to focus on what could go wrong, potential pitfalls, and weak points in a given argument, idea, project or situation, whereas Sevens have a knack for finding solutions, focusing on the positive, and naming what’s working. This makes them a balanced team when it comes to tackling obstacles, even if they are an unlikely duo. Their shared love of all things intellectual can make this a remarkably stimulating pairing, and they will likely find they have no end of subjects to converse. They will probably have a fair bit of overlap in their passions. However, they will possess just enough difference and divergence in their beliefs and opinions to keep things interesting. Neither person will fear a healthy debate, but both people will be curious and open to hearing their opponents ideas. For both Sixes and Sevens, knowledge is not about proving that you know something (or even being right), but engaging with the world with a curious, open-minded stance.
For this reason, these two will likely serve to broaden one another’s horizons, hone each other’s thinking, and counterbalance any disharmonious outlooks. They will enjoy a healthy mix of witty banter, verbal sparring, absurdity, and deep philosophical engagement. They can also push each other to explore the outer limits of their minds, whether through outrageousness or profundity. To this relationship, Sevens bring a positivity that serves to lift Six’s spirits, as well as a penchant for new ideas, innovation, and big-picture thinking. Sixes bring a necessary reality check, the dedication and follow-through it takes to bring ideas to fruition, and the required logistical awareness to remain afloat amid a sea of ideas. Furthermore, Sevens will help Sixes to see the world outside of their self-imposed limitations and fear-mindedness, while Sixes will help Sevens keep their feet on the ground during stressful moments when they try and escape into fantasy.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
Sixes can be someone’s most ardent supporter or their most vehement detractor, depending on their level of health. Likewise, Sevens could win an award for most enthusiastic cheerleader, until they start to devolve, and they become the most selfish consumers. If these two feel triggered by or at odds with one another in any way, they could easily slip into more maladaptive behavior, and potentially ruin any trust or friendship they’ve built. Additionally, it’s going to be very important these two work hard to stay on task and complete their projects in the agreed upon time, as both Sixes and Sevens have a tendency to procrastinate, both due to their near-obsessive thinking about the future and their perfectionist tendencies.
Furthermore, Sixes can easily view Sevens as a liability, or worse, because of their tendency to explore multiple possibilities and constant striving for whatever is new or innovative. Sixes need predictability and routine to feel most secure, and Seven’s tend to exhibit both unpredictability and an avoidance of any method. Sixes are also very aware of limitations, and unafraid to name them, which can feel like a cage to the carefree Seven. Also, because of Seven’s desire to always try new things, focus on what’s possible, idealize, and overcome their limitations, Six can feel a bit like a wet blanket. Seven’s do not want to pay attention to what could go wrong and don’t have much of a mind for conceiving of potential danger, which can make them annoyed and resentful of Sixes’ presence in their life. To maintain harmony and forward momentum, these two will have to be sure to try and see the world from the other’s perspective, with Six agreeing to take a more optimistic stance, and Seven being willing to spend a little time considering problem areas.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
Sevens tend to become so excited about innovation, the new, and the possibilities in the future, and they lose track of what’s happening in the present. They can, without even realizing, plan and dream far beyond the boundaries of a current project. They can also change course on a moment’s notice, if the inspiration strikes, and get very cagey if they don’t have at least a little bit of leeway in which to do this. This kind of behavior flies directly in the face of Six’s need for structure, predictability, and consistency. For a Six to feel safe, productive, focused, and well-resourced, they like to think that everything will remain the same. In that environment, they can relax knowing their plans in case the worst happens will still hold true. In a shifting landscape, in-case-of-catastrophe plans need to be continually updated, which leads to extreme anxiety and overthinking. These two will do well to keep that in mind when working on a mutual goal or to collaborate on a project.
Somehow, they will have to figure out how Seven's can experience the freedom of originality and change without upsetting Sixes’ need for balance, continuity, and security. On a deeper level, it is important for these two to be aware of the underlying drives of the other. Seven, typically very unconsciously, feels they are empty inside, that there is a void within them that needs to be compulsively filled. It is for this reason they struggle to acknowledge their darker emotions: they might lead to discovering the truth of their emptiness (which is, in fact, false, but the only way Seven can realize that is to face their fear). This is also the reason they often mindlessly consume—food, experiences, media, people, intoxicants—and have a hard time slowing down and committing to one thing. Sixes, on the other hand, are plagued by a nagging awareness that something will go wrong, they usually don’t know exactly what, when, or wherefore. To quell their anxiety, they put their attention on the needs of others, thus ensuring group and individual survival.
They also sometimes act impulsively, irrationally, or erratically to alleviate their fear. They are very susceptible to shifts in other people’s demeanor and emotional landscape—indeed, they are a beacon of hyper-vigilance—and will become stubborn and shut down if they feel someone is threatening or untrustworthy in any way.
How You Can Support One Another
As Sixes might tend to feel personally attacked by Seven’s unstructured approach and efforts to attain ever fewer limitations, it will be crucial that these two communicate about expectations, needs, and desires regularly. Usually, these two will have a similar objective—whether it’s a personal goal, relationship goal, or professional goal—but very different ways of attaining it. The most supportive thing they can do is adopt a “live and let live” attitude while contributing their strengths to whatever vision they have. Additionally, both Sixes and Sevens can be incredibly adaptable and flexible if they have the right information and know to expect sudden changes.
For this reason, clear communication and expectation management will vitally serve this pair. Sixes can most thoroughly support Sevens by offering a rational, sober perspective on the plausibility of any particular dream or idea while remaining a loyal, warm, and consistent presence in their lives. Sixes can also provide a safe space for Sevens to drop their façade of always having everything together and still being in a good mood: no one could better understand the anxieties, fears, and self-doubt that can sometimes consume Sevens (even if they never admit it!) like a Six. Sevens will be most supportive to Sixes by offering solutions to their perceived problems, helping them break through their limited thinking and explore far-reaching possibilities, and offering enthusiastic, vocal support. Sixes struggle with self-worth, which makes Seven an amazing confidant to have: no one can be as genuinely thankful, admiring, and animated as a Seven.
In A Romantic Context
Just as in friendship or a working relationship, in intimate relationships Sixes will serve as a regulatory, rational presence while Sevens will stimulate and uplift the pair with their exuberance. The contrast in their divergent outlooks on life can be wonderfully rewarding, as each other’s strengths serve as counterbalances to one another.
Generally speaking, Sixes are highly functioning and possess a lot of expertise and know-how, while Sevens are visionary and think out of the box. With a Six, Seven's will be able to relax knowing they can trust their partner’s proficiency, and once they discover how loyal Sixes can be Seven's will be able to open up emotionally in a way they rarely do with others.
To the partnership, Sevens bring a sense of adventure, fearlessness in the face of failure, and a seemingly inexhaustible optimism. They are resilient in the face of setbacks and always willing to gift their high energy and enthusiasm to the people they love. Sixes bring their characteristic warmth and loyalty, as well as a secure grip on reality and ability to stay focused.
They understand how life works, without being cynical, and can usually accomplish a lot with a high level of skill because of their deep understanding. They can become emotional safe-havens for their Seven counterparts, who often feel any expression of emotion beyond joy and excitement is a death sentence.
The potential problems in this relationship tend to lie more at its inception that after a bond has been established, as Sevens abhor commitment and tend to shy away from any connection that will require them to be immediately or consistently vulnerable. Sixes, by contrast, require steadiness, determination, and assurances to feel safe enough to let someone into their lives. The opposition in these needs could mean these two pour water on any spark of connection before it’s even had time to flame.
Once in a relationship, or even at the outset, Sixes can be fearful of Seven’s hedonistic, extravagant, and more selfish behavior. They will find themselves in a constant question: can my partner be trusted? This underlying insecurity can drive a subtle wedge between the two.
Conversely, Sevens can find that their partner’s constant worry and anxiety is too much of a downer. They can become annoyed and irreverent, eager to shift their partner’s thinking and have them focus on what’s fun and enlivening, instead of always getting sucked into the worst possible outcome.
Furthermore, Six’s love of rules and deference to authority can feel too limiting for flighty Seven, especially during times of stress. All of these things start to build up, and these two—both of whom are running an endless list of pros and cons in their heads—can split due to philosophical differences.