Enneagram Type 5 – The Observer

Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. – Plato

Enneagram Type Fives are the mysterious intellectuals, the scientific geniuses. Knowledge for them is a weapon, one that must be gotten and then used only with the utmost care.

However, the first thing that you should know about Type Fives is their basic fear and basic desire, since that is the root of the Enneagram theory.

Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
Basic Desire: To be useful, capable, and competent

Overview of Type Five

Type Fives are learners, readers, scientists. They love to learn things. Often they love to read. They have a need to learn. Because being helpless is their secret fear, they want to make sure that that will never happen. They try to accumulate knowledge, so that whatever the situation may be they are ready for it. They will often become experts in areas of knowledge that interest them.

They tend to be very sensitive people, however, they tend to deal with this by acting like they are not. They tend to be aloof, reserved, and arrogant. They tend to have trouble dealing with their own emotions and the emotions of those around them. They would rather if people would just state what the matter is rather than them having to try and guess.

They tend to be independent. Standing strong in their beliefs whatever the world around them may say. They want to be needed, but they will never stoop to admitting it. They tend to step back and observe the world around them rather than joining in.

Type Five with a Wing-Four

A type five with a Four Wing is sometimes called the Iconoclast, someone who attacks traditions.

They tend to be more able to process emotions, and are better at connecting with those around them. They are more interested in life, so they are less likely to just stand on the sidelines and watch, they actually do want to join in.

Combining the traits of Type Fours and Fives can in many ways be a good thing, but there are also bad things. There is the chance that they will feel misunderstood and withdraw even further into themselves. They may also go out of their way to avoid all conflict.

Type Five with a Wing-Six

Type Fives with Six wings are sometimes called the Problem Solvers, I know, very interesting name, but I’m not the one coming up with these.

They tend to be more confident in who they are. More willing to stand up for what they believe. They tend to be more assertive than a Five might naturally be.

They also tend to be more able to connect with people. They are not quite so uncomfortable with emotions.

They also tend to be more traditional. They do not want to upset the way that things are to try to make them better. They would rather that things stay as they are than cause emotional turmoil.

Type Five in Growth and Stress

When Type Fives are stressed they can start to act hyperactive and scattered like unhealthy Type Sixes. The Type Fives have trouble thinking and tend to fall back on excessively using their bodies, doing things such as over exercising or eating.

When Type Fives are growing they become more confident and comfortable in who they are acting more like healthy Type Eights. The Type Fives are more likely to connect with others since they are more comfortable with themselves.

People and Characters who are Type Fives

We have talked a lot about Type Fives now, but that does not mean that we understand how that interprets into a person, that is why I would like to share some people and characters who are Type Fives. It is usually when I look at the real people and characters that I actually get the personality type. So here are some Type Fives, I hope that it will help you to understand this personality type as a whole.

Real Life Type Fives Include:
Agatha Christie
Albert Einstein
Bill Gates
Vincent van Gogh
Jane Goodall
Stephen Hawking

Fictional Type Fives Include:
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)
Ebeneezer Scrooge (The Christmas Carol)
Lord Elrond (Lord of the Rings)
Queen Elsa (Frozen)
Klaus Baudelaire (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes Mysteries)

So that is what I have for Enneagram Type Fives. I hope that this has helped you to understand them better. If you are interested in learning more about the Enneagram theory, here is a post on that I wrote a little while ago: Characters Need to be Human. Also if you want to find out what your Enneagram type is, here is a link to a test that I have found to be pretty accurate (at least, when I’ve taken it it has always done the same one for me), and it is free: Enneagram Test.

2 thoughts on “Enneagram Type 5 – The Observer

  1. Pingback: Enneagram Type 8 – The Challenger | A.M. Molvik's Ramblings

  2. Pingback: Humans Are Unique | A.M. Molvik's Ramblings

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