Enneagram Type 5
Enneagram 5s - Observers. Investigators. 5s’ primary motivation is understand and possess knowledge. 5s are incredibly intelligent and astute students, focused on topics of interest, sometimes to the point of obsession. For a 5, knowledge is the key to survival and alleviates fear.
Often introverted, they also guard their personal lives closely. A person will often find they know about a 5s knowledge, but nothing about who they are. In good self-awareness, 5s observe from the sidelines and also participate, and are open to others with their vast knowledge. They don't mind sharing their space and don’t find others intrusive. They are great to learn from, and also great listeners, often more interested to know about other people’s lives, rather than sharing about their own. Fives do have a limited capacity for interaction, and once it’s spent, they must retreat and recharge.
In a shadow space, they can come from a space of lack, hoarding knowledge and resources, and keeping interaction with others to a minimum. They can be very insecure about their competence- concerned that they’ll be seen as incompetent, so they keep others out and isolate to protect themselves.
Wing of 4 (the Romantic/Individualist) creates a strong Philosopher, and Wing of 6 (the Loyalist/Questioner) creates a strong Troubleshooter. 5s are members of the Head triad, meaning their responses and decision making comes more thoughtfully to them (as opposed to instinctually [Gut] or emotionally [Heart]). In stress, 5s lean into the shadow 7 (Epicure/Enthusiast), demonstrating lack based behavior, shutting people out, becoming more selfish, isolating, and occasionally condescending to others. In support, 5s lean into the 8 (Challenger/Boss), becoming more present, outspoken and confident, operating from a place of abundance.
Common occupations of Enneagram 5s include (but are not limited to) analysts, programmers, writers, professors, scientists, accountants, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians. Quite the spread!
Enneagram 5s are absolutely brilliant and a great resource for knowledge. Just help them remember to connect with their emotions in the present time, and to come from a place of abundance, not lack.
If you find yourself wanting more information about the Enneagram, consider taking my online introductory course which will give you a more in depth overview, and provide a path to help you discover your type!