Misidentifying Fives and Sevens

These types are seldom mistyped for one another, but they do have some similarities. Fives and Sevens are also both Thinking types. They are both highly curious, exploratory, and willing to try new ways of doing things. Both types also have a propensity to collect things and to be high strung. They are quite different emotionally and in their characteristic preoccupations and avoidances.

Fives tend to be more socially isolated and withdrawn, spending long hours alone working on their projects, reading, listening to music, and so forth. Fives prefer cerebral entertainment. Sevens are highly gregarious, and like to stay active. They enjoy a good read too, but get impatient with sitting around for extended periods of time. The gift of the Five is intense focus and concentration. The gift of the Seven is breadth of vision and synthesis. Sevens are also the optimists of the Enneagram, seeing the positive side of most things and wanting to avoid topics that get too dark, painful, or heavy. Fives are almost the opposite, seeing optimism as unrealistic and being drawn to the dark, the macabre, and the nihilistic side of life.

Of course, Fives can resemble Sevens when they are under increased stress and moving in their Direction of Disintegration. At such times, they can become distracted and scattered like average Sevens. But as soon as the stressful situation is relieved, they will return to their more focussed, withdrawn ways.

Contrast Fives like Gary Larson with Sevens like Robin Williams.