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Type 5

Enneagram Type Five

Personality Profile - Personal Growth Recommendations


The Intense, Cerebral Type:
Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable
Basic Desire: To be capable and competent
Enneagram Five with a Four-Wing: "The Iconoclast"
Enneagram Five with a Six-Wing: "The Problem Solver"


People with Type Five personalities have the gift of being able to organize data into useful information. They see worlds of patterns and systems of thought and are happy when researching new data and analyzing it to discover its secrets. Curious by nature, they delight in discovery, in out-of-the-box thinking, and in learning to map the universe in all its diversity. They tend to separate themselves from the rest of the world, however, and view themselves as the master gameplayer who interacts with a complex and interesting world on the computer screen without having to personally engage with it.

Little Fives felt some sense of connection with the small universe of their family lives, but the response they received from their parents was too unpredictable or seemed overwhelming. They unconsciously questioned their ability to cope with the world and compensated by narrowing their focus, hoping to become highly competent, and therefore secure, in some part of the world. They become experts but are often eccentrics, relating more to an internally-created world than the world at large. That is why Fives get a reputation for being weird or "geeks." They are at their best with others who share their passion for their area of specialization, whether quantum physics, entomology, or Star Trek.

While Fives tend to be withdrawn from the mainstream of life, there is usually a little Five inside who dreams of being fully involved, of satisfying a lust for life and having the strength to get even for all the suffering over not fitting in. When they recognize their cynicism and detachment as a defense and embody their courage, life becomes a fascinating adventure.

FAMOUS FIVES: Agatha Christie, Albert Einstein, Georgia O'Keefe, Franz Kafka, David Lynch, Amelia Earhart.


Personal Growth Recommendations
for Enneagram Type Fives

  • Learn to notice when your thinking and speculating takes you out of the immediacy of your experience. Your mental capacities can be an extraordinary gift, but only can also be a trap when you use them to retreat from contact with yourself and others. Stay connected with your physicality.

  • You tend to be extremely intense and so high-strung that you find it difficult to relax and unwind. Make an effort to learn to calm down in a healthy way, without drugs or alcohol. Exercising or using biofeedback techniques will help channel some of your tremendous nervous energy. Meditation, jogging, yoga, and dancing are especially helpful for your type.

  • You see many possibilities but often do not know how to choose among them or judge which is more or less important. When you are caught in your fixation, a sense of perspective can be missing, and with it the ability to make accurate assessments. At such time, it can be helpful to get the advice of someone whose judgment you trust while you are gaining perspective on your situation. Doing this can also help you trust someone else, a difficulty for your type.

  • Notice when you are getting intensely involved in projects that do not necessarily support your self-esteem, confidence, or life situation. It is possible to follow many different fascinating subjects, games, and pastimes, but they can become huge distractions from what you know really need to do. Decisive action will bring more confidence than learning more facts or acquiring more unrelated skills.

  • Fives tend to find it difficult to trust people, to open up to them emotionally, or to make themselves accessible in various ways. Their awareness of potential problems in relationships may tend to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is important to remember that having conflicts with others is not unusual and that the healthy thing is to work them out rather than reject attachments with people by withdrawing into isolation. Having one or two intimate friends whom you trust enough to have conflicts with will enrich your life greatly.


Eating Disorders & Addictions