Enneagram Type Five
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
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While Fives tend to be withdrawn from the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.
Agatha Christie, Albert Einstein, Georgia O'Keefe, Franz Kafka, David Lynch,
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
- 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
- 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.
Disorders & Addictions