With the Enneagram 5 we are entering the THINKING CENTRE of the Enneagram. The Enneagram Five is the QUIET SPECIALIST and they are also called The OBSERVER, or The INVESTIGATOR.
“The world is intrusive; I must protect my resources and energy so that I can think. I must be self-sufficient and not depend on others too much. I must understand and make sense of my world. I don’t need much but I need my space.”
“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.” — Albert Einstein
Enneagram Fives have the motivational need to know and understand (there must be some Five in me as well). Fives value making sense of the world around them and, as a result, objectivity and knowledge are important to them. Fives strive for independence, appreciate privacy, and tend to conserve their resources to ensure future independence.
And of course the Enneagram Five also has its own personal four v’s!
Vulnerability (or core fear) – Looking Foolish
Enneagram Fives do not like to appear foolish or like they do not understand or know. They also dislike being surprised by or dependent on others.
Vice – Avarice
Fives want to be self-sufficient and in their comfort zone. To avoid being dependent on others, they hoard whatever resources they have or might need – feeding their vice of avarice. Avarice in this case is not about acquiring more resources, but rather holding onto what they already have. This comes from a painful feeling of deficiency and inner emptiness, based on the assumption that they are inherently isolated from others. Fives have a tendency to withdraw from life, conserving and safeguarding instead.
Value – Wisdom
Enneagram Fives value wisdom and making sense of the world around them. As a result, objectivity and knowledge are important to them.
Virtue – Non-Attachment
Fives detach from isolation when they appreciate that they can better understand the world by participating in it. Taking in only what is necessary, they learn to trust that they can replenish their resources, time, and space in particular.
“The finest act of insight is to throw away the labels.” — Eudora Welty
At their best, others will experience Fives as visionary and mindful. They offer the gift of non-attachment to themselves and the world.
At their worst, others may experience a Five as stingy, intellectually arrogant, and disconnected from their heart, as they retreat into their mind to avoid being engulfed or intruded on.
Knowing your blind spots is a great help towards personal growth:
- For a Five, the ability to detach from feelings and practice objective thinking may come at the expense of interpersonal warmth. Even when Fives feel warmth, this may not be apparent to others.
- In trying to explain information and share expertise, Fives may come across as patronizing or even haughty. This may shut people down and makes it difficult for them to understand and pay attention to what the Five is trying to say.
- In relationships, commitment is definitely something that does not come easily to a Five. In committing to a relationship it may feel as if they have to open themselves to the pain of the relationship, whereas solitude is not painful to a Five. This can lead to subconscious patterns of thinking in which relationships and commitments are equated with pain and struggle and cycles of wanting contact and wanting to be alone.
- Fives are fiercely protective of their time and resources, essentially hoarding them. This may seem like prudence to the Five but may be regarded as greed by others.
It can be challenging to get to know and get close to Enneagram Fives on a personal level but when you do you might find their ideas and intellectual thinking quite intriguing. Sharing ideas with a Five can be stimulating and at the same time exhausting, as they can engage so intensely and intellectually that they struggle to communicate or listen clearly.
In summary, Fives can appear socially awkward, which people around them may perceive or misunderstand as coldness or indifference. But when you have a close friend that is an Enneagram Five you will quickly see a more vulnerable person with a strong desire to simply be included and accepted.
“Since we cannot be universal and know all that is to be known of everything, we ought to know a little about everything.” —Pascal
🎶My Song of the Week
📚My Poem of the Week
Is by Witter Bynner (1881–1968)
Old man, if only I knew A quick way to be wise like you! Young man, this is all I know To impart before I go: You must keep your goal in sight Labor toward it day and night; Then at last arriving there- You shall be too old to care. You would even wiser be Old man, were you young like me.
The totem of the Enneagram 5 is the owl – wisdom is power!
If I piqued your interest to find out more about the Enneagram, your type, and yourself, and how it can transform you and your life, I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here, go to my website or simply get in touch with me directly.
Wishing you a fabulous start to your weekend and I can’t wait for your feedback and comments!