Enneagram Type 5 - The Investigator

Copyright © Ewald Berkers

Thinkers who tend to withdraw and observe

Enneagram type 5 - The InvestigatorPeople of this personality type essentially fear that they don't have enough inner strength to face life, so they tend to withdraw, to retreat into the safety and security of the mind where they can mentally prepare for their emergence into the world. Fives feel comfortable and at home in the realm of thought. They are generally intelligent, well read and thoughtful and they frequently become experts in the areas that capture their interest. While they are sometimes scientifically oriented, especially with the Six wing, just as many Fives are drawn to the humanities and it is not at all uncommon for Fives to have artistic inclinations. Fives are often a bit eccentric; they feel little need to alter their beliefs to accommodate majority opinion, and they refuse to compromise their freedom to think just as they please. The problem for Fives is that while they are comfortable in the realm of thought, they are frequently a good deal less comfortable when it comes to dealing with their emotions, the demands of a relationship, or the need to find a place for themselves in the world. Fives tend to be shy, nonintrusive, independent and reluctant to ask for the help that others might well be happy to extend to them.

Fives are sensitive; they don't feel adequately defended against the world. To compensate for their sensitivity, Fives sometimes adopt an attitude of careless indifference or intellectual arrogance, which has the unfortunate consequence of creating distance between themselves and others. Trying to bridge the distance can be difficult for Fives, as they are seldom comfortable with their social skills, but when they do manage it, they are often devoted friends and life long companions.

Fives are usually somewhat restrained when it comes to emotional expression, but they often have stronger feelings than they let on. Few people know what is going on beneath the surface, as Fives have an often exaggerrated need for privacy and a deep seated fear of intrusion. Because of their sensitivity and their fears of inadequacy, Fives fear being overwhelmed, either by the demands of others or by the strength of their own emotions. They sometimes deal with this by developing a minimalistic lifestyle in which they make few demands on others in exchange for few demands being made on them. Other Fives make their peace with the messiness of life and engage it more fully, but they almost always retain their fears that life is somehow going to demand more of them than they can deliver.

Fives, especially with the Four wing, sometimes mistype themselves as Fours. Such Fives recognize that they have strong emotions and don't identify with the often extremely cerebral portrait of type Five. But, Fives, unlike Fours, always retain some degree of discomfort when it comes to the expression of their emotional states. However much facility they may gain with it, the language of emotion is not their native tongue.


type 1 | type 2 | type 3 | type 4 | type 5 | type 6 | type 7 | type 8 | type 9



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You might also be interested in these books about the Enneagram at Amazon

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The Practical Guide to Personality Types

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Detailed descriptions of the Enneagram types at various levels of mental health.

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The Enneagram in Love and Work, by Helen Palmer
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