Enneagram Type 5 Observers/Thinkers/Investigators are typically introverted, curious, analytical and insightful. Enneagram Type 7 is called the Enthusiast, the Adventurer, and the Generalist because of their enthusiasm for almost everything (especially new things), their adventure-seeking focus, and their wide range of interests. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 5 with a Type 7 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.
Enneagram Type 5:7 When In Balance
The Investigator (5) and Enthusiast (7) share a strong mental connection, an insatiable curiosity and a strong desire for personal freedom and independence. These values form the foundation upon which their differences are energizing and balancing.
Investigator (5)s bring depth, focus, perseverance, discernment, self-reliance and an original, often eccentric sense of humor. They have sharp minds, insightful observations and curiosity, all things Enthusiast (7)s enjoy and appreciate. Rational and logical, they can be highly grounding for their Enthusiast (7). They model perseverance and show the Enthusiast (7) how to stick things out even in the face of obstacles.
Enthusiast (7)s offer positive thinking, spontaneity, boldness, a thirst for the new and a drive for fun that manifests in all different ways. Enthusiast (7)s seek adventure, and their minds are constantly on the hunt for the next new thing: windsurfing, travel to Malta, sewing classes, the latest issue of Home Design, an adventure race and so forth. They encourage their Investigator (5) to try new things, to be more social and to open up more. With a lively Enthusiast (7) at their side, social settings seem less daunting and because Investigator (5)s are naturally curious, they are often willing partners in their Enthusiast (7)’s quest for the new.
This dynamic is one in which frugality balances gluttony, and where both partners have permission to independently explore their interests. When in balance, this is a highly supportive, symbiotic and loving match.
Enneagram Type 5:7 The Downward Spiral
Both types deal with issues of anxiety, but they respond in different, and almost opposite ways. This threatens their connection and can create conflict. When Investigator (5)s start feeling anxious, they retreat and work hard to conserve their resources, including energy, time, money and so forth. To gain a feeling of stability, they cut ties with the outside world becoming more isolated, reclusive, irritable, cynical and private. This can be hard on their Enthusiast (7) who finds their partner shutdown, cold and hard to reach.
In contrast, Enthusiast (7)s head in the opposite direction in times of stress. To minimize anxiety and gain feelings of stability, Enthusiast (7)s become more energized and manic looking to their external environment to help quell their anxiety. They want distraction and can seek it in a variety of forms — parties, socializing, frenetic activity and so forth. They fill their schedule and stay on the go. Stillness and isolation feel threatening. With both partners heading in opposite directions, the downward spiral is triggered.
Investigator (5)s may feel threatened by the Enthusiast (7)’s stress response. They see their partner as out of control, unpredictable, escapist and juvenile. This lack of support triggers the Enthusiast (7) even more, and they become frustrated with their Investigator (5), wanting them to be more engaged, less reserved, less negative and more exciting. Both partners start to polarize, the Enthusiast (7) becoming more demanding and domineering, driving the Investigator (5) further into retreat. As anxiety grows, trust erodes making it difficult to find common ground from which to repair. The positions may become more polarized until there is little keeping this couple together, and the relationship collapses.
Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 5s in relationships with Type 7s
Enneagram knowledge can be transformative in improving your relationships and an important tool in cultivating compassion, both towards yourself and others. In my book, “The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” I explore intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
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- Read more: Enthusiast (7)s talking about their relationships with their Investigator (5) at page 241
- Read more: Investigator (5)s talking about their relationships with their Enthusiast (7) at page 323
- Read more: Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for Investigator (5)s and Enthusiast (7)s at page 462