The Ultimate Guide to

Enneagram Type 5

The Sight • Investigator • Observer


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I created this guide to connect people like you with the best Enneagram teachers I know so you can understand yourself and others better. There's a lot here, so it's best that you read a little at a time and then come back later to learn more.

For Life,
Marshall Æon

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Table of Contents

Word Cloud of Enneagram Type 5 Characteristics

Enneagram Type 5 Strengths

When Type Fives are in touch with their strengths–and aren’t succumbing to their Achille Heel–they bring others the gift of an illuminated mind. These are the powers of The Sight:


People in a Five’s presence get more-in-touch naturally with the joy of discovery and learning.


When a Five brings clarity to their thoughts, others also experience clearer thinking.


The power of a Five's penetrable mind allows themselves to rapidly and effortlessly grasp complex subjects.


Taking highly complicated subjects and simplifying them, Fives make challenging ideas less complicated, and more simplified. Thus making the ideas more accessible for others to understand.


Fives will master any subject they set their mind to and become an indispensable resource to others.


While observing the truth behind issues without personal or emotional bias, Fives help others become more objective as well.

Perceptivity & Insight

Fives discover the hidden meaning that others miss, which in turn, helps them see more deeply into a subject or situation – or themselves.


The ability to become laser-like to a subject in Fives attention as the rest of the world falls into the periphery.


Fives solve problems creatively and in novel ways to accomplish things that flood their minds.

Source: The Heroic Enneagram, by Marshall Æon


Enneagram Type 5 Weaknesses

🤕 Achilles Heel: The fear of being overwhelmed and unprepared for life. When Type Fives succumb to their Achille Heel, their strengths become weaknesses.


When Fives lose touch with their bodies, they lose touch with their vitality. Without their life force, they feel depleted. The demands of everyday life then become overwhelming.

Emotional Detachment

To avoid the overwhelm of their emotions, Five disconnect from their emotions and lose touch with their hearts.

Social Isolation

When feeling overwhelmed by the needs and demands of others, Five feel the need to escape. Distance brings temporary peace, but also leads to isolation from people they care about.

Getting Lost in Thought

When Fives retreat into their heads, their minds go into the overdrive. They get lost in endless thinking, rather than taking practical action.


Their endless thinking leads Masterminds into analyzing subjects to death, getting lost in the details. They end up muddying the waters, and in effect denying themselves and others the clarity they need.


When Fives feel overwhelmed, they experience scarce inner resources. They feel like they never have enough. So they hoard their time, energy, attention and other resources.

Source: The Heroic Enneagram, by Marshall Æon

🤩 Famous Examples of Enneagram Type 5


Enneagram Type 5 in Love & Relationships

1️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

While both types share the qualities of restraint, control of feelings, rationality, self-sufficiency, and respect of boundaries, these same qualities represent challenges in communicating feelings and desires and for connection. A cycle of escalating conflict can arise with the One becoming worried about silences and becoming intrusive around how life “should” be. The Five tends to retract and withdraw as a protection against the perceived intrusion. This, in turn, can invite further judgment and resentment or anger from the Perfectionist about what is wrong with the relationship and further angry retraction on the part of the Observer. Both can turn silent and withholding, endangering the relationship.

2️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Twos appreciate Fives’ intellect, calmness, and restraint. Fives appreciate Twos’ support and engagement. This relationship is truly an attraction of opposites. However, in wanting more connection and acknowledgement, Twos try to bring Fives forward into feelings and more sustained contact. Then Twos active energy can feel intrusive, overly emotional, and demanding to Fives, who then contracts and disengages. This can result in an escalating cycle of intrusion by the “rejected” Two and withdrawal by the “smothered” Five. Angry outbursts, alienation, and even disruption of the relationship can ensue.

3️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Threes and Fives support each other in work projects and shared activities. Over time, conflict can occur when Fives retract, needing private time to recharge, while Threes want to “keep on trucking.” A cycle of escalating conflict occurs when the Threes become frustrated and impatient with the Five's over-analysis and seeming procrastination resulting in further disconnection by the Five who may experience the Three as cutting corners, making demands for action, and jeopardizing the relationship. As neither type habitually attends to feelings, they are unlikely to resolve the situation through dialogue and expression of personal feelings. They may become alienated and lonely leading eventually to termination the relationship.

4️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Fours’ depth of feeling and relationship focus and Fives’ thoughtful analysis and objectivity definitely can complement and balance each other. In general, however, Fours want more and Fives want less in relationship. Romantics can experience Fives as emotionally unavailable, overly intellectual, withholding, and controlling of time and energy, while Fives can experience Fours as too emotional, demanding, intrusive, and difficult to satisfy. A cycle of escalating conflict can occur with the Four becoming more demanding and self-focused and the Five more retracted and detached from feeling. At worst, this can devolve into paralysis of action, disengagement, and ultimately alienation.

5️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Fives bond through shared intellectual interests and participation in meaningful projects and activities. Their respect for boundaries, non-intrusiveness, and “live and let live” stance supports each other’s need for privacy and regeneration. Fives can relax with each other in this non-demanding climate. The same stance and qualities, however, can lead to loss of contact, emotional distance, and disconnection. Both can feel ignored and even deprived, experience each other as miserly and unavailable, and ultimately feel lonely and impoverished. A cycle of increasing conflict may result characterized by frustration, cryptic sharp comments, short angry outbursts, and finally retraction and withdrawal. In the end there may not be enough contact and nurturance to sustain the relationship.

6️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Fives and Sixes appreciate their shared characteristics of thoughtful intellectual analysis, respect for boundaries, sensitivity, and non-demandingness. Still when the Five doesn’t share feelings and guards his or her need for privacy by retracing or disengaging, the Sixes can project doubts and concerns about care and trust and become intrusive and questioning out of a need for more reassurance and involvement. A cycle of escalating conflict can result with the Five experiencing the Six as making too many demands. So in response, the Five most likely will retract and detach, further eroding the Six's trust. This cycle can spiral downward disrupting the relationship as the Six expresses intensified fears and allegations and the Observer responds with bursts of anger and further retreat, eventually ending the relationship.

7️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Fives appreciate Sevens' positive outgoing quality, many ideas, and engagement in common or separate interests. Sevens enjoy Fives’ thoughtfulness, unobtrusiveness, and independence. A cycle of escalating conflict can take place, however, when the Five experiences the Sevens as violating personal boundaries and as wanting too much contact, sociability, variety, and energy. The Seven then can experience the Five as dampening his or her enthusiasm, retracting, and becoming unavailable. Although both types get angry in bursts, they tend to back off to avoid “negative” or painful feelings and limitations. As a result, over time there may not be enough contact or commitment to sustain the relationship.

8️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

Fives' restraint, reserve, and respect for boundaries and Eights’ expansiveness, expressiveness, and engagement complement each other. In addition, both types value autonomy and independence. For the Five, however, the Eight’s big energy can get invasive, intimidating, even overwhelming, causing the Five to draw back and detach in order to resist the Eight’s influence and seeming domination. A cycle of escalating conflict can ensue with the Five's withdrawal, disappearing into unavailability, and refusing to be overwhelmed while the Eight gets more confrontational, aggressive, and angry. Both may end up angry, hurt and detached from each other. This cycle can ultimately threaten the viability of the relationship.

9️⃣ ❤️ 5️⃣

The Fives-Nines relationship can be a comfortable, supportive one because both types can be steady and non-demanding, and both types want to get along and avoid conflict. Yet the Five can get impatient with the Nine's lack of clarity, indirectness, merging quality, and seeming dependency. In turn, the Five's dispassion, aloofness, and seeming indifference and superiority can upset the Nine. A cycle of increasing conflict can unfold with the Nine, wanting more connection and involvement, complaining, and getting stubborn or dug in and the Five retracting further and withholding. Both can escalate the conflict by trying to avoid conflict. And both can fall into angry withdrawal and inaction. Ultimately, this may result in not enough contact to sustain the relationship.

Source: David Daniels

Enneagram Type 5 at Work

High Side
Wise, perceptive, analytic, respectful, thoughtful, sensitive kind; masters of information; self-starters; objective, privately passionate about ideas, concepts
Low Side
Cold fish; arrogant; pointy-headed intellectuals; stingy, unreachable loners; patronizing and pedantic
Leadership Style
The Philosopher King/Queen; leadership by remote control, Archmages
Communication Style
E-mail, theses, treatises, and lengthy briefs
Good Work Setting
Ivory towers; behind closed doors; anyplace where there are few interpersonal demands, rules, or limits
Difficult Work Setting
Aggressive, fast-paced, highly interpersonal, demonstative environments where expression of strong emotions is required and there's no time to think
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Gates by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews
The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams

Fives are profoundly private and sensitive people. Imaginative, audacious, and nimble within the world of their mind, they hold an intimidating, sometimes awe-inspiring command of their subject, project, or company. This intellectual mastery can make them charismatic gurus who are a gold mine of relevant ideas and information or inaccessible recluses who hide behind and hoard their precious data.

Save or spend, information is the coint of the Five realm. Fives are the illuminati of the Enneagram–secret initiates who treasure their secrets, whether they be academic facts, technical procedures, departmental policy, skeletons in the company closet, or the competition's weak spots. Famous for their collections, they may accumulate large libraries, shelves full of stamps or coins, classic cars, display cases of toy soldiers arrayed in famous battles, or other unusual memorabilia.

Fives strive to stay in tight control of their world, but it is a remote contral–at a distance, and without risk or engagement. They avoid life's entanglements–obligations and needs, volatile feelings and enthusiasms–which might make them vulnerable or beholden to others. Operating frequently in the background, austere Fives steadfastly guard against outside demands on their precious space, time, energy, resources, or money. They do so by thinking ahead and working out formulas, frameworks, and theoretical constructs that will enable them to survive, and even prosper and create, from well within the strong boundaries that mark their private world.

Fives are observers of life, which tends to remove them from it. Strangers in a strange land, they study or figure out how to act, which may lead to a kind of "as if" behavior, a kind of interpersonal awkwardness, so that they may seem to kno the words but not the music. We've all seen this character in books and movies–people from outer space, brilliant but struggling with the nature of earthling feelings, charming in their impeccable but naïve observations, as in the Martian in Robert Heinlein's book Stranger in a Strang Land or Jeff Bridges's film character Starman.

Fives' gift to the Enneagram is the degree to which they honor the pristine faculties of mind. As they story goes, the philosopher Bertrand Russell, a Five, was once asked, "Lord Russell, you have so much intelligence, would you trade an ounce of intellegence for an ounce of love?" "Oh, no," Russell replied. "I love intelligence." Lord Russell was being a bit provocative, perhaps, but the way to a Five's heart is definitely through her head. They are the Enneagram's natural philosophers ("lovers of knowledge.")

No matter what roles they play, their tactics in the workplace will be Five tactics: they will win through superior preparation and intellectual firepower; by carefully controlling the environment and the players; by playing astonishing attention to observing events and detail; and, as we shall see, because they have the best analytical "software" on the Enneagram. Fives are willing to be very aggressive, as long as they have time to think and prepare.

Source: The 9 Ways of Working, Michael J. Goldberg

Enneagram Type 5 Parenting & Children


Fives as Parents

  • are often kind, perceptive, and devoted
  • are sometimes authoritarian and demanding
  • may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate
  • may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Fives as Children

  • spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
  • have a few special friends rather than many
  • are very bright and curious and do well in school
  • have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
  • watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
  • assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
  • are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
  • feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Source: The Enneagram Made Easy, Baron & Wagele

Ten Common Problems with Enneagram Type 5 Children

Getting to School on Time

Five-style children will usually get to school on time rather than risk being stared at as they walk in late. Some will do almost anything to stay unobserved.

Study Habits

Changes, such as starting kindergarten, can be terrifying for Five-ish children. They worry that their teachers will make impossible demands. Try to help them adapt by walking them leisurely through the school. Introduce them to their teacher, principal, and a few classmates before the first day of class. Five-style teens may hold back from school because they feel socially awkward, d on't like competing, or aren't getting taught what they want to learn. Some need to learn how not to study so much and may profit from becoming involved in outside activities.


Most Five-ish children don't want to make waves, but they do want to know reasons for traditions instead of following them blindly. "Just because it's done" doesn't hold water for them.

Getting Along with Others

Five style kids tend to stay on the sidelines. When they do join in, they're often surprised to find that doing feels so different from watching. Because of the cultural bias twoard extroversion, it is especially important to show confidence in your introverted kid, as most Five-ish children are. You can make a big difference in this area of your child's life by being perceptive and sensitive. Extroverted parents can feel like failures for not instilling the enjoyment of social life in their Five-ish kids. These children aren't likely to have a million friends or to love going to parties.

Sleeping and Eating Habits

Five-ish kids love their privacy. Staying up into the late hours, when they don't have to worry about people distracting or bothering them, can give them a magical feeling of freedom. As head center-style kids, they are especially subject to fears, fretting, and phobias and often have sensitive nervous systems. If they or other styles of children want more independence around meals, stock the kitchen with nutritious food to nibble on, and teach them how to prepare some tasty things for lunch and snacks. At least one meal a day (dinner) should be enjoyed together with the whole family. Try to keep eating and sleeping as free from conflict as possible.


Five children are curious and motivated to learn, but they don't usually broadcast their accomplishments. Accept their introverted style and their lack of interest in high-profile activities, such as running for school office.

Standing Up for Himself or Herself

Nine children tend to give in. Their powerful Eight or One wings can alter this considerably, though. Parents can help them with self-assertion by encouraging a change in their belief that they won't be liked if they put themselves forward. Create opportunities for Nine kids to speak their minds, and set an example by speaking yours in a direct but nonthreatening way. Champion them, especially when they're young.


Five kids form lots of opinions, but, being introverted, they don't think as fast on their feet as many others do. Decisions, such as what to order at a restaurant, can be difficult for them.

Emotional Maturity

For Five style children, anger and negativism can go underground and get stuck there. Gently encourage "doing" for balance, scouting, painting, music, sports, or dancing–especially activities that are physical and spontaneous. Help Five-ish children get in touch with their feelings by being an attentive listener. Be careful not to intrude or to give advice. However, you can help break their self-isolation by validating and mirroring their opinions.


Five children usually have the conscience, sense of fairness, and self-discipline to be responsible. Plan their chores with them, or tell them what you want and give them a time frame. If they don't do their jobs, be more firm but don't lecture or browbeat. Introverted Five kids are often a mystery to extroverted (and some introverted) parents. They often feel an underlying hurt, anger, and alienation because their parent', schools' and society's values and realities are given more legitimacy than their own. They may reinforce their isolation by convincing themselves they don't need anyone.

Source: The Enneagram of Parenting, by Elizabeth Wagele

Instinctual Variants of Enneagram Type 5

⛰️ Self-Preservation 5

The Self Preservation 5: the passion of avarice in the Self Preservation zones. I translate this as "minimizing and containing needs in self preservation." Self Preservation Fives are the classic Fives in that they are the most introverted and the most needing solitude and space. They are the Fives who can easily feel drained by interaction.

Self Preservation 5s take pride in their ability to not need much in the way of comforts. But they have a great need for privacy and space. They may indeed enjoy going out to see friends, but they want to know when the gathering will be over. They are highly protective of their energy levels.

Self Preservation Fives, like Self Preservation Fours, often focus on the domesticity zone, but in a very different way. Comfort and beauty are not priorities, but a space that feels like my domain, a place to think, to explore w/o interruption, to have my resources around me, is vital. Self care is seldom a focus.

When troubled, Self Preservation Fives can become eccentric or even delusional through extreme isolation. They may cut off from friends and allies, and descend into mental illness w/o reality checks. At their best, they follow a different drummer, and combine original thought with human warmth and humor.

Claudio Naranjo called Self Preservation 5 "Castle," emphasizing the tendency to isolate and to create a fortress-like existence in the home. Stockpiling the castle can manifest as a tendency to hoarding. I call this subtype "Solitude" as its a primary value for Self Preservation Fives, although it can lead to isolation.

☀️ Social 5

The Social 5: avarice in the Social zones. “I don't want to need much social contact.” Social Fives highlight how Social instinct is NOT about socializing. Most Fives dread socializing but Social Fives enjoy communicating about topics of interest–sharing their knowledge and learning from smart people.

Social Fives are usually introverts, but they engage through their areas of mastery and focus. They are ok with being in social settings as long as there is a role to play that employs their expertise: being a DJ or a bartender or a teacher. Withouth such roles, they can feel overwhelmed.

Social Fives focus on the the contribution zone of Social, feeling this is perhaps the only way they can connect. They may lack capacities for bonding and reading situations, but are loyal friends and are sensitive to others being treated disrespectfully. They are curious about people.

When troubled Social Fives can be quite anti-social, isolated, and angry at society. They can feel futile and that despite their gifts, they will never have a place in the world. At their best, they excel at communicating challenging ideas and inviting others to explorations of reality.

Claudio Naranjo called Social Fives "Totems:" looking at how Fives connect through ideas and archetypal energies. For Social Fives, the Social instinct is about intelligent communication–helping the world be smarter. I call Social 5 "The Specialist," because of the need to develop in-depth expertise in particular subjects.

🔥 Sexual 5

The Sexual 5: the passion of avarice in the Sexual zones. Avarice doesn't mean greed. It's withholding the heart and it is resisting need. Thus, "I don't want to need too much SX instinct, but..." Sexual Fives are caught between the SX drive to become deeply involved and the Five drive to pull back.

Sexual Fives tends to be more imaginative and creative rather than purely intellectual, especially with the 4-wing. The creativity here is provocative and dark, as if to frighten away those who aren't truly interested. Sexual Fives test others to see if they can handle their strange inner worlds.

Like Sexual Fours, Sexual Fives emphasize the edge and fusion zones of the Sexual instinct. The edge part is obvious–they like to explore the strange and forbidden. The Sexual instinct can drive them to risk emotional connection, but when hurt they also can withdraw for a long time, perhaps staying single for years.

When troubled, Sexual Fives become nihilistic, withdrawing into a world of nightmarish fantasies and becoming overtly self-destructive. At their best, they invite others to see the strange wonder of existence, and may create artistic or scientific innovations well ahead of their time.

Naranjo called Sexual 5 "Confidence." This has a double meaning: the sharing of confidences–secrets and hidden knowledge, but also that Sexual Five needs confidence to overcome the impulse to withdraw and approach the object of desire. Sexual Fivees can be avoidant of those they are most attracted to.

I call Sexual 5 "This is My World." Sexual Fives present peeks at their dark inner world, fairly convinced that most people will be turned off or dismiss them with nervous laughter. But if the other is intrigued, energy and interest go up, and the sense of fusion and exploration is unleashed.


Source: Russ Hudson on Twitter

Typing Enneagram Fives


Type Fives want to absorb knowledge in the areas they perceive as important and intriguing, becoming highly cerebral, emotionally detached, and self-contained; extraordinarily private as a way to guard against intrusion and the eexperirence of feeling energeticaally depleted.

Type 1 vs Type 5

Sometimes people do get confused ass to whether they are type 1 or type 5, and this lack of clarity does make sense. Both 1s and 5s are part of the "competency triad" (along with type 3), meaning all of the nine types, 1s, 3s and 5s care most aabout feeling compeetent themselves and being perceived as competent by others. 3s are the most readily distinguishable of this triad because compeeteence in their minds is defined as getting results. For 1s to understand the distinction betweeen competence for type 1 versus type 5 is that "being right" for 1s has to be with just about everything from the way they think to how they plan and execute, as well as their opinions. For 5s, competence is what they know, whichh they do not regardr as opinions but view as facts.

Type 2 vs Type 5

The confusion between type 2 and type 5 is not rreally that common for a number of reasons. First, 2s are formed in the Heart Center and are typically very warm and not hesitant to ask about the feelings of others. In fact, 2s ask others many questions of all kinds, with 2s perceiving this as a way of establishing and maintaining a good relationship. 5s, by contrast, are an Enneagrarm type formed in the Head Center, and they deal with the Head Center's centrral emotion of fear by cutting off from their feelings in real time, but also by withdrawing or pullling away from direct engagement with othersr. 5s rarely share their emotions with others unless they rreally trust the person and are the least likely of all Enneagram types to ask inquistive questions about another person's feeeling state or personal life.

Type 3 vs Type 5

The confusion between type 3 and type 5 happens reasonably often for several reasons. Both 3s and 5s are Enneagram types that comprise the "competency triad"–types 1, 3 and 5–meaning it is central to 1s, 3s and 5s to both view themselves and be perceived by others as competent. Next, some 3s may have an image of being intellectual and want to be perceived as a 5. Third, although 3s are formed from the Heart Center of Intelligence, most 3s put aside their feelings in order to pursue goals and activity; this can appear to them to be the emotional disconnection of type 5. Finally, more introverted 3s may mistype themselves as 5s, but 5s are more withdrawn energetically, not just introverted. As you can infer from the above, it is more common for some 3s to think they are 5s than for 5s to mistype themselves as 3s.

Type 4 vs Type 5

Type 4s and 5s sit right next to one another on the Enneagram symbol, and if you visualize their placement on the circle, they are at the bottom of the Enneagram circle with an empty space between them. One reason for this placement is that these two type numbers look almost as if they could from the symbol, except that they are held together by the circle itself. There are no other lines between them. One way of understanding this is these two types are the most familiar with a sense of feeling isolated or separated from others. It is sometimes said about them that 4s represent "wet abandonment" and 5s represent "dry abandonment." In other words, 4s feel abandoned, know this, and feel sad in response. 5s, by contrast, sense this abandonment but are more stopic about it; hence, no tears from the 5s who detach from feelings automatically.

Type 6 vs Type 5

5s and 6s can cause confusion because both types are formed in the Head Center of Intelligence. As a result, both type 5 and 6 process their experience through thinking and planning, and both share the emotion of fear as a cornerstone of their types. In addition, 5s and 6s are directly next to one another on the Enneagram; hence, they are wings of each other. This means that there is likely a bit of type 5 in every type 6 and a bit of type 6 in every type 5. And if there is more than a "bit" – in other words, the wing is a strong wing – the confusion between the two types increases.

Type 7 vs Type 5

5s and 7s don't often cause confusion when people are trying to identify their types because the minds of 5s and 7s work so differently, and the ways in which they interact with others are distinctive. However, confusion can occur because both types are formed in the Head Center of Intelligence–and as a result, both have fear as the emotion driving their Ego structure–and thhey are on an arrow line with one another. This means thhat some 5s may also hhave some type 7 qualities and vice versia.

Type 8 vs Type 5

5s and 8s are quite different from one another, yet there can be an occasional confusion between the two types. There are a few reasons for the potential confusion: (1) while 5s are a more withdrawing type and 8s are a more forward moving and assertive type, more introverted 8s may observe before they assert and sometimes be mistaken for a 5; (2) the self-preserving subtype 8 tends to be a quieter 8, checking out the scene for a variety of reasons such as assessing the power and influence dynamics or reserving their bigger energy for something that might come later and, thus, can be a mistaken for a 5; or (3) a very angry 5, which does not happen that often, or a highly developed 5, who has much more access to his or her emotions and energy, might be mistaken for an 8. Type 5 and 8 are on an arrow line to one another, and as a result, there can be some 8ish qualities in every 5 and vice versa.

Type 9 vs Type 5

5s and 9s do, on occasion, get mistaken for one another, even though they are very different in Ego structure. This can come as a surprise to many who know the Enneagram, but it happens enough, particularly with a highly introverted 9. 5s and 9s show the least emotion of the nine enneatypes, and a highly introverted 9 may appear less accessible and more remote than most other 9s and slightly more 5ish. In addition, social subtype 9s tend to be the most intellectual of the three subtypes of 9. Highly intellectual social subtype 9s – especially if they are more introverted – can have a very challenging experience sorting out whether they are 5s or 9s. And social subtype 5s, who connect with groups of people who share common values and interests and may work hard on behalf of this group can, initially, think of themselves as social subtype 9s rather than 5s.

Source: The Art of Typing by Ginger Lapid Bogda

Enneagram Type 5 Harmonics (Handling Conflict)


People whose dominant Harmonic approach is the Competency approach try solving problems in an objective, unemotional manner. Unlike people of the reactive approach, they don't get worked up when problems happen, they remain cool and emotionally detached from them. When confronted by a problem, these types have issues on working within a framework or structure.

Competency of Fives

Fives can get into conflicts by being too detached, isolated, and provocative. Fives naturally detach themselves emotionally from the world to be objective. They believe that they have the mental resources to deal with problems. In conflict, Fives will want to withdraw and will think for a while before coming back with a solution, often to the irritation of others. Fives feel that they can solve things by themselves, without relying on others. They may come back with highly original ideas (thinking outside the box). On the other hand, they may waste their time reinventing the wheel.


Source: Rob Fitzel

Enneagram Five with Four Wing (5/4 or 5w4)


Average 5/4

Average 5/4 is the prototype personality for research scientists. Analytical and detached from their emotions, but passionate about beauty and truth, they want to find the ultimate, simple explanation for everything. Their intellectual fiveness makes them likely to engage in long, professorial monologues, while their four-wing gives them a shy self-consciousness. Unlike the more depressive 4/5, they are likely to have a generally optimistic view, although they can get depressed if they become overwhelmed by the world's demands. 5/4s are usually less interested in social interactions than the more other-dependent 5/6.

Healthy 5/4

Balanced 5/4 is able to participate in life. When the fiveish desire to withdraw and sort things out is no longer compulsive, then the consciously chosen time alone becomes a tool for understanding the world, rather than an entrapping habit. The fourish passion for beauty emerges as the conscious result of harnessing the emotions rather than being their slave. Healthy 5/4s begin to deeply understand the simple, elegant way that the awesome complexity of the world emerges from fundamental principles. They find great joy in watching and learning.

When the perception of five and the passion of four are augmented by eight‘s power and leadership, plus one‘s intuitive wisdom, clear comprehensions can be transmitted to others. Very balanced 5/4s can be tremendously creative teachers of How The World Works, who explain things with clean, elegant sentences. Yet for all its simple clarity, their teaching carries with it a profound appreciation for the subtle beauty of Creation. (Come with me on a journey of discovery. Let’s look together at the awesome profundity of Nature and Consciousness.)

Unbalanced 5/4

Unbalanced 5/4 gets lost in the details. The compulsive analysis of five can lead to elaborate pseudo-logical constructions designed to explain everything. The four-wing’s emotionality adds a flavor of dramatic hopelessness. Others Simply Do Not Understand. No one could understand. So 5/4 retreats to a place of safety, hoping to escape from view, continuing to uncover the truth. There is little to no social involvement.

In the extreme, the panic and scattered mania of seven combine with twoish self-congratulatory hysteria. In a seeming reversal, 5/4 can come back into the world, awkward and excitable, ready to bolt but equally ready to passionately defend a bizarre, baroque fantasy world. As inner tension builds, schizoid withdrawal becomes more and more likely. The end result is a kind of terrified fugue, completely cut off from reality. The only escape from the constant overwhelming chaos is inward.

Source: Intuitive Enneagram, Nick Turner

Enneagram Five with Six Wing (5/6 or 5w6)


Average 5/6

Suspicion combines with analytical detachment in average 5/6. The fiveish desire to know the reasons for everything combines with sixish skepticism to create a dry, sometimes intolerant personality. Because the six-wing wants to be liked, they want to be sociable and have friends. But the interaction of the sixish mistrust and the fiveish analysis makes it difficult for them to get close to very many people. They usually have more trouble approaching others than the more sociable 6/5. Unlike 5/4, 5/6 is often more interested in politics than nature, more interested in conspiracy theories than physics theories.

Healthy 5/6

Balanced 5/6 gains social ease. Deep perception and serene faith combine for a kind of knowing that focuses on the truth of human interactions. Healthy 5/6 overcomes the fear of intimacy and finds satisfaction in genuine relationships. A balance is struck between the urge to withdraw to sort things out and the desire to feel safe among trusted friends. The need diminishes to protect against deceit by constantly analyzing people, leading to greater comfort and depth in friendships.

The best of 5/6 brings together the powerful insight of five, the stamina and leadership of eight, the deep faith and genuineness of six, and the inner peace of nine. Extremely advanced 5/6 is a leader, using a magical level of perception to help others see themselves or the universe more clearly. Inspiring trust and respect, they see the wholeness in the parts, demonstrating through their actions that society and the universe is one body.

Unbalanced 5/6

Unbalanced 5/6 becomes afraid of people. Mistrust interacts with reductionistic analysis, and the world begins to seem more and more threatening. Threeish competitive urges emerge, combining with sevenish mania to create a kind of intense, argumentative combativeness that hides a deep sense of inadequacy. This unbalanced state turns people away, leading to a greater sense of isolation. Unhealthy 5/6 tends to rationalize that most people are not honest anyway, and since other people fail to recognize the value of their brilliant ideas, they are not worth knowing at all.

In the worst cases, paranoia and anxiety lead 5/6 into a terrifying spiral in which increasingly bizarre fabrications are used to explain hallucinated meanings into even the most mundane events. Numbers, names, and shapes can take on enormous significance. Vast, intricate, imaginary conspiracies are clearly seen as Truth. The whole world is warped into a shape that supports an increasingly baroque inner model. There is a time during which violent acts are possible, just before the inner system collapses. In the end, the house of cards can fall suddenly, leaving 5/6 in a trembling fugue of total withdrawal.

Source: Intuitive Enneagram, Nick Turner

Enneagram Type 5 Music


Enneagram Type 5 Fictional Characters

Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes • Sherlock Holmes
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange • Marvel
The Riddler
The Riddler • Gotham
Christian Bale's Batman
Christian Bale's Batman • The Dark Knight
Gandalf the Grey
Gandalf the Grey • Lord of the Rings
Alice • Alice in Wonderland
Zarathustra • Thus Spake Zarathustra
Owl • Winnie the Pooh
Cheshire Cat
Cheshire Cat • Alice in Wonderland
Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter • Silence of the Lambs
The Cat
The Cat • Coraline
Daria Morgendorffer
Daria Morgendorffer • Daria
Gary the Snail
Gary the Snail • SpongeBob Squarepants
Medic • Team Fortress 2
Princess Zelda
Princess Zelda • Breath of the Wild
The G-Man
The G-Man • Half-Life
Elliot Anderson
Elliot Anderson • Mr. Robot
Fox Moulder
Fox Moulder • X-Files
Cave Spider
Cave Spider • Minecraft
Maester Aemon
Maester Aemon • Game of Thrones
Wednesday Addams
Wednesday Addams • The Addams Family
Winston • Overwatch
Neo • The Matrix
Frank • Donnie Darko
V • V for Vendetta
Rafiki • The Lion King
Merlin • Sword in the Stone
Peter Parker
Peter Parker • Spider-Man
Saruman the White
Saruman the White • Lord of the Rings
Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones • Indiana Jones
The Grinch
The Grinch • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Spock • Star Trek
Q • James Bond
Ava • Ex Machina
Sheldon Cooper
Sheldon Cooper • Big Bang Theory
Ron Swanson
Ron Swanson • Parks and Recreation
Dr. Gregory House
Dr. Gregory House • House M.D.
Lord Varys
Lord Varys • Game of Thrones
Mr. Bean
Mr. Bean • Mr. Bean
Data • Star Trek
Newman • Seinfeld
Dilbert • Dilbert
Ebenezer Scrooge
Ebenezer Scrooge • A Christmas Carol
Mr. Bennet
Mr. Bennet • Pride and Prejudice
Pennywise the Clown
Pennywise the Clown • Stephen King's It
Velma • Scooby Doo
Jimmy Neutron
Jimmy Neutron • Jimmy Neutron
Dexter • Dexter's Laboratory
Donatello • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Comic Book Guy
Comic Book Guy • The Simpsons
Marvin the Martian
Marvin the Martian • Looney Tunes
Sam • Sam and Max
Spy • Team Fortress 2
Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman • Half-Life
Schroeder • Peanuts

How Enneagram Type 5 Can Level Up (Personal Growth)


☑️ Challenge the Fear.

Is it always true that you lack inner resources? When Masterminds question this fear, they more easily make contact with their vitality, bringing a sense of abundance.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Anais Nin

☑️ Get Into Your Body.

Weight training, sprinting, Tai-Chi, martial arts, dancing – whatever gets you into your body and moving is going to awaken your vitality.
Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.
Samuel Beckett

☑️ Practice Generosity.

Give others your time, energy and attention. Go outside your comfort zone. See how much generosity you can bring. Then watch your inner resources grow.
The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others,
the more he has for his own.
Lao Tzu

☑️ Focus on the Belly Center.

Known as the Hara in Japanese; the Dantian in Chinese; and the Kath in Arabic. The belly center is recognized in various traditions as being the center of instinctual intelligence in the body. Focusing on this point in the body provides one with a path to the energy and vitality of the body.
The more you are aware of the Hara, the less you will become afraid of life and death – because that is the center of life and death. Once you become attuned to the Hara center, you can live courageously. Courage arises out of it: less thinking, more silence, less uncontrolled moments, natural discipline, courage and rootedness, a groundedness.

☑️ Be Humble.

When Fives feel like all they have is their minds, they can become highly defended about their thinking. Others can then feel a sense of intellectual superiority from the Five. They close up, moving beyond the influence of the Five. Stay humble, and others will be more interested in learning from you.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less
C.S. Lewis

Source: The Heroic Enneagram, by Marshall Æon

Enneagram Type 5 Spirituality

"The Enneagram is a lens that can be used independently of any spiritual, religious, or mystical belief. Both religious and non-religious people can find immense value in using the Enneagram. However, some people find value in examining their spiritual lives through the lens of the Enneagram. This brings greater objectivity and self-awareness to the spiritual path. Many Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and atheists have found the Enneagram complementary to their unique views and beliefs."  –Marshall Æon

"Nine is the part of us that values ease, peace, groundedness, and flow. People who are Nines are people who value simplicity. Nines have a natural capacity to see other people's perspectives and points of view. They're always seeking to create harmonious situations. That doesn't mean that's the only side to them but it's a big value. At their best, Nines help other people find peace and groundedness and a sense of unity. Nines are very oriented towards holism, things coming together, synthesizing. The downside for Nine is that sometimes when I'm not so present, the way I get peace is by kind of shutting out the world by shutting down, shutting out, closing up shop, and kind of going into myself. I might still be out there with people, but I'm not available. And of course that can make things hard for me and certainly can be hard on my loved ones. "

Russ Hudson, The Enneagram Institute

The Holy Ideas of Point 5: Holy Omniscience, Holy Transparency

Our understanding of this Holy Idea expands on Ichazo’s definition above. Holy Omniscience is the Universal Mind, which is the multiplicity of existence within the unity described by Holy Truth. Universal Mind includes all that exists in its various manifestations, with all the various colors, the richness, and the continuous transformations of reality. It could also be called God’s Knowledge, since what God “knows” is the whole universe in all its multiplicity. You might say that Holy Omniscience is the same perception as Holy Truth, but with a different emphasis. In Holy Truth, the emphasis is on the unity of the universe; it is all “of the same taste,” as the Tibetan Buddhists say. With Holy Omniscience, the emphasis is on the differentiations and discriminations within that unity. So the focus here is on the various parts, in all their variety and multiplicity, that together comprise the unitive whole. To perceive reality through the facet of Holy Omniscience is like looking at a whole Persian rug, but focusing on the different designs contained within it.......... See also p99. The other name of this Holy Idea, Holy Transparency, refers to oneness seen from the point of view of the individual. Instead of looking at the nature of reality from an “aerial” point of view, which would correspond to that of Holy Truth, we are seeing it from our human vantage point. It is the understanding of our place as human beings within the unity of existence, and from this perspective, we see that we are each an inseparable part of the whole, each a cell in the cosmic body, each a part of the “body” of God, inseparable from objective reality. The human being, then, is seen to be one of the differentiations of the Universal Mind.

Source: A. H. Almaas, Facets of Unity, page 98


Marshall Æon

Marshall Æon

The Heroic Enneagram

I originally intended for this page to be a curation of my favorite Enneagram resources, but I discovered that I had much of my own to contribute (Strengths, Weaknesses, Personal Growth). In fact, soon I found myself actually writing a book! It's still a work in progress.

If you'd like to support my book project, you can become a supporter and receive a special early supporter offer:

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The Heroic Enneagram by Marshall Æon
Russ Hudson

Russ Hudson

"I met Russ at a Diamond Approach event, which eventually led to me working for the Enneagram Institute for 3 years. During that time, I received multiple trainings from Russ and we made the below video together, which I've transcribed for the Spirituality section. You can follow Russ on Twitter, which is where he posted the info that I reproduced in the Instinctual Variants section."

Elizabeth Wagele

Elizabeth Wagele

"I had lunch with Elizabeth Wagele a few times and we were planning to collaborate on a project. But sadly it never happened because she passed away a short time later. 😔 She wrote what is probably the most popular Enneagram book of all time, The Enneagram Made Easy. It's been translated into 17 languages! While it's not perfect, this is a great book for beginners, and makes ample use of cartoons so that even children can enjoy it. The Parenting section of this page comes from her book, Enneagram of Parenting.

Nick Turner

Nick Turner

"Nick was one of the first people to become certified to teach the Enneagram by the Enneagram Institute in 1992. When I first began studying the Enneagram over 15 years ago, Nick's type descriptions were my favorite on the internet. I've reproduced parts of them here for the Nine with Eight Wing and Nine One Wing sections. Back then, he published them on a whimsical website that he called Curiosity Junction. His new website is called Intuitive Enneagram, which you can visit for his full type descriptions. Nick offers an Enneagram Discovery Retreat at the Willowspring retreat center in northwest Oregon."

A. H. Almaas

A. H. Almaas

"I consider A. H. Almaas one of the greatest spiritual teachers of all time. That's why I joined his inner work school and I've been a student of his Diamond Approach for 13 years. The Holy Ideas part of the Spirituality section of this page comes from the book, Facets of Unity, which goes into the different non-dual perspectives of unity that the Enneagram reveals. This is an advanced spiritual teaching for those looking to deepen their understanding of unity consciousness."

Facets of Unity Book
Ginger Lapid-Bogda

Ginger Lapid-Bogda, PhD

"Ginger is no fan of Enneagram tests but she has been recommending my Enneagram test for a few years now. She's been teaching the Enneagram for decades around the world and now she trains coaches. Ginger recently published an excellent book on the Art of Typing (which I've excerpted in the Typing section, but there's much more in the book).

The Art of Typing Book
Michael Goldberg

Michael J. Goldberg

"I'm featuring Michael's excellent work applying the Enneagram to the workplace, but Michael also has traced the Enneagram back to Ancient Greece, in Homer's Odyssey, which I find utterly fascinating."

David Daniels

David Daniels

"David Daniels cofounded The Narrative Enneagram with Helen Palmer and was clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University Medical School for over 30 years. He passed away on 2017 and you can watch a memorial video made by Suzanne Dion. The Love and Relationships section on this page comes the Enneagram Relationships Matrix on David's website."