Our view of the world around us resonates with our personality, which determines the way we think, feel and act in different situations in our lives. Sometimes, ignoring our personality and how we relate to the outside world deprives us of achieving the success and well-being we seek.
That is why knowing your personality through a free Enneagram test can help you understand yourself better and achieve the personal development you need to improve your life. The Enneagram system is a classification of human integration and development consisting of 9 types.
This basis allows us to know personal traits such as fears, strengths and behaviors that characterize us. Here we will talk about how the Enneagram type 5, also known as “The Thinker”, behaves and how it develops in the different aspects of their life.
Table of Contents
Enneagram Type 5 Strengths, Weaknesses & Fears – Knowledge Panel
Other names: The Loner, the investigator, the thinker.
The most outstanding strengths of the Observers are their ability to think through complex problems with great clarity and to detail their environment with precision, a quality that leads them to be considered “geniuses” in the eyes of society.
They are curious, wise and share their discoveries and criteria with others with confidence. They are also independent, calm, visionary, and love to acquire new knowledge and skills.
The Investigators tend to isolate themselves, be withdrawn and disconnected from their feelings. This causes them to have trouble connecting emotionally with others too and, in the worst cases, to separate themselves from their friends and loved ones.
They tend to experience negative emotions and their eagerness to escape the real world makes them believe they do not need anyone, creating an unhealthy feeling of intellectual superiority. They can also become bitter and misanthropic, as well as stubborn and disconnected from reality.
Fear of: To feel useless and emptiness
Avoiding feelings and relationships, the Enneagram type 5s feels a deep sense of emptiness. They fear being incompetent and useless and never finding a place in the world or among people.
Desire and Need to: Feeling knowledgeable and competent
The Thinkers are constantly working to acquire more knowledge and learn new skills due to their constant desire to feel useful and competent. For them, nothing is more important than their intellectual development, as they unconsciously compensate for their emotional disconnection by taking refuge in intellectual life.
Fives want to understand the environment to have everything under control. They do this through knowledge as a defense mechanism against threats or adversities in their environment.
Speaking Style: Content-focused and analytical
Being clear, analytical and fond of deep and enriching conversations, the Enneagram type 5 may be perceived by others as distant, overly analytical and emotionally disconnected.
Wings for Fives
The Enneagram type 5 wings are Six and Four. The development of the wings produces variations in the personality of this enneagram type, maintaining its main characteristics but with slight characteristics of the secondary types. The influence of the wings on the Observer is as follows:
These variations are presented as follows:
- Wing 4 (5w4) also called “The Philosopher”: This type of Five is more sensitive and connected to their inner self and emotions than other Enneagram types, as well as being creative and reflective. Thanks to this, they have a creative vocation to compose and invent.
- Wing 6 (5w6) Also called “The Troubleshooter”: This type of Five is more cooperative and helpful than the other types, without giving up their independence. Also, they are organized, loyal and have a great passion for discovering how things work, which makes them technical, disciplined and practical people.
Enneagram Type 5 Key Characteristics
Fives has good retention of problems and complex information, as well as being able to offer objective, in-depth and insightful views of the situation with ease.
They like to inquire and acquire new knowledge and experience through research. When a subject arouses their interest, they focus on discovering in-depth everything related to the subject, its varieties of fields and even its theories.
The enneagram type 5 can become insensitive and their life is far from sentimental. They focus more on intellectual matters, where emotions are not involved.
They are independent, like privacy and reject anything intrusive to their personal life. They also minimize their personal needs and prefer not to ask others for anything, to protect their autonomy.
Fives are visionaries and their ideas allow them to be inventive and pioneering in what they do. Their unconventional ability to create and learn how every system works makes them geniuses and creative people in the experimental field.
They observe everything in detail and break down the complex information from what they observe. They understand any situation, what caused it and how it develops without much effort. This rational thinking allows them to make sound decisions and be perceived as cold people.
Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure
Enneagram Type 5 Core Values
They dream of researching and working on their own on everything that is of interest to them. They value the freedom to isolate themselves and dedicate themselves to analyzing their areas of study and theories.
They do not take customs, traditions or social niceties into account. They are fascinated by the unknown and the value of autonomy to create new hypotheses.
The ability to remain calm and firm in moments of uncertainty and confusion allows them to analyze the situation and determine the best decision to make.
The Fives value understanding above all else, due to their rational and curious nature.
Jobs and Careers Paths for Enneagram Type 5
Thanks to their ability to concentrate, this Enneagram type is one of the most curious and insightful professionals. They focus on developing ideas and skills, being innovative and independent.
They thrive in workspaces that allow them to think and acquire knowledge, and they like to be recognized for their abilities and to be listened to when sharing information on a topic.
On the other hand, the Fives do not interact much with their coworkers because of their emotional disconnect, as they are focused on what they have to do and finding the information they need.
They will do well in research and strategizing, where they can offer solutions, hypotheses or theories and make intelligent observations about a situation such as science, engineering, medicine and history.
List of best jobs/careers for Enneagram Type 5
- Computer Programmer
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- Engineering in general
- Research Scientist
- Research Technician
Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure
Type 5 Development Levels
At the first and best level, the Thinkers are visionaries who not only understand the world but also live it with intensity and open-mindedness. They take the things around them as they are, without imposing their own context; and they get new ways of doing them, perceive them and discover those that are innovative.
At a second level, they are very perceptive and perspicacious when observing their surroundings. Nothing escapes their sight, because their intelligence and curiosity are centered on their ability to concentrate, with special emphasis on what really catches their attention.
At a third level, they are excited by new knowledge and become experts in some area of interest. Imaginative, innovative and independent, they produce their own works of great intellectual value. They can also become capricious and idiosyncratic, putting their way of seeing, feeling and reacting before that of others.
At a fourth level, they constantly conceptualize and create models in their minds, gathering more and more information, willing to challenge established ways of doing things. They are also studious, technical and “intellectual”, becoming specialists in their area of interest.
At a fifth level, the Investigators are not attached to complicated ideas outside of themselves and pay more attention to their interpretations than to reality. They are fascinated by paranormal subjects, even those with disturbing undertones, disassociating themselves from the practical world.
On a sixth level, they begin to adopt an antagonistic stance toward anything that might interfere with their personal vision, becoming provocative. At this point, they also tend to have radical views and cynically argue their ideas.
At a seventh level, they become eccentric nihilists far from reality, prisoners of their points of view. They reject any type of social bond, becoming unstable and fearful of external aggressions.
At an eighth level, their psychic health is compromised as they manifest negative ideas that cause distortions and phobias. They become obsessed with these threatening ideas which, at the same time, horrify them and make them delirious, presenting some schizophrenic overtones.
At the worst and lowest level, this enneagram type may even commit suicide or have a psychotic break with reality, triggered by the search for oblivion. At this point they are extremely negative, self-destructive and deranged, suffering from schizoid-avoidant and schizotypal personality disorders.
Personal Growth Recommendations for Enneagram Type Fives
Ask for help from time to time
Enneagram type 5s are autonomous and avoid anything that makes them dependent on others. When they have a problem, they prefer to keep it to themselves and find a logical solution on their own.
Even when they are unable to do so, they prefer to stress and deal with internal chaos rather than ask for help from others, as they are extremely distrustful. This distortion of self-sufficiency can eventually make them bitter and hostile, as well as excessively withdrawn.
Recommendation: It is not a bad thing to ask for help from time to time. There are people around you who admire and esteem you for who you are and would love to help you. It’s okay to allow them to help you grow and improve by telling them what you need. Seeking support, far from being a weakness, is a healing action that requires courage and will help you a lot.
Get out of your comfort zone and experience new things outside it
They isolate themselves from social settings to focus on their thoughts, study and withdraw into their personal space. They are reluctant to participate in social events and interact openly with others for fear of being rejected and hurt.
Recommendation: Say YES more often to participate in social events and experience other things outside your comfort zone. You will see that not everything is as you think and that people are willing to enjoy your knowledge and views on the topics you are passionate about. You will also learn valuable things from them.
Stay connected to your emotions and do not run away from them
Fives rationalize their emotions to avoid the pain it causes them. They try to avoid them by gathering information and knowledge, ignoring them and completely disconnecting from them.
This not only causes them problems in relating to others but also in taking care of themselves, this being what disconnects them from the true reality.
Recommendation: Explore your emotions and do not avoid them. On the contrary, focus on them and do not repress them. Take advantage of your ability to analyze and solve problems and write them down on paper to meditate on the damage they cause and what can be done to deal with them healthily and responsibly.
Accept other points of view and learn from them too
At times, this enneagram type may withdraw into themselves and not accept criticism or feedback from others.
They believe that because they know a lot about a subject, they don’t need any feedback, creating an illusion of intellectual superiority.
This action also leads them to not have a realistic point of view, but to focus on their criteria and acquired knowledge.
Recommendation: Learn to accept other perspectives and points of view. Even if it does not change your way of thinking, wisdom also consists of evaluating different points of view in a situation and may even represent an opportunity to learn from them. Keep an open mind and you will see how your spectrum of knowledge becomes much broader, offering you more opportunities for learning and growth.
Enneagram Type Five – Behaviour and Patterns
The Observers enjoy time alone and place great importance on privacy. They take time to learn more and accumulate resources in a quest to establish clear boundaries about what is their personal space and autonomy.
Independence is so important to them that they can avoid anything that might make them dependent on others in any way. They tend to have a sober and minimalist lifestyle, as well as being careful and disciplined in terms of resources.
Socially they can be very withdrawn unless the subject they are talking about is of interest to them and they are experts in it. If so, they do not mind sharing a great deal of information and points of view with others, this being the most common way of relating to their environment.
Their constant need to control their emotions leads them to an extreme disconnection from them, appearing cold and insensitive.
They do this to protect themselves from the pain and exhaustion generated by emotions and feelings in general, putting all their trust in their mind to make sense of these emotional patterns and not be overwhelmed by them.
By being objective and intellectualizing feelings, Fives find it difficult to differentiate their emotions from their thoughts. This leads them to have difficult relationships with others and choose to disconnect from these emotions immediately, analyzing them only when they deem it necessary.
The mind and thinking are the most important things for enneagram type 5s, as they believe that knowledge is power and they enjoy learning based on this. For them, knowledge is never enough and they always want to go further in search of a deeper understanding of all the information that interests them.
They take refuge in their rationality and put detachment, reliability and objectivity before anything else. They have a natural talent for classifying situations, information and personal profiles within their mind, to organize their interests and delimit the different aspects of their life.
Take our free Enneagram test & know for sure
Famous Enneagram Type 5 You Might Know
- Albert Einstein – Physicist
- Alan Turing – Mathematician
- Bill Gates – CEO of Microsoft
- Thomas Edison – Inventor
- John Lennon – Musician
- Charles Darwin – Biologist
- Stephen Hawking – Astrophysicist
- Marie Curie – Chemist
- Sir Isaac Newton – Physicist and mathematician
- Agatha Christie – Writer
- H. P. Lovecraft – Writer
- Frank Kafka – Writer
- Stanley Kubrick – Film director
- Tim Burton – Film director
- J.R.R. Tolkien – Writer
- Stephen king – Writer
- Isaac Asimov – Physicist, mathematician, and writer
- Nietzsche – Philosopher
- Nikola Tesla – Inventor
- Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook
- Eugenio Jofra – Comedian
- Antonio Gaudí – Architect
- Stephen Hawking – Physicist
Enneagram Type 5 Quotes
- ‘Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.’ – William Shakespeare
- ‘I didn’t think exactly like a professional economist. I think about economics and economic ideas, but somewhat like an outsider.‘– John Nash
- ‘The greatest happiness is to crush your enemies, see them fall at your feet; to take away their possessions, see the faces of those who were dear to them shrouded in tears, and to gather into your chest the soft bodies of their wives and daughters.‘ – Ghengis Khan
- ‘You sit in such judgment of the world. How do you expect to ever be a part of it?‘ – Olivier from ‘Six Feet Under’
- ‘Experience has taught me that interest begets expectation and that expectation begets disappointment. So the key to avoiding disappointment is to avoid interest. A equals B equals C equals A or what ever!‘ – Georgia Lass
- ‘I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account. I give lots away, and live simply.‘ – Keanu Reeves
- ‘Life has meaning only if we live for meaning.‘ -Piers Anthony
- ‘Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.’ – Edward Abbey
- ‘Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.‘ – Bill Gates
Enneagram Type 5 FAQ
Among the most important celebrities with Enneagram type 5, we can mention Lionel Messi, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, John Lennon, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and many others.
Enneagram type 5 is often compatible with Enneagram type 1. This is because Fives are objective, analytical and curious, and being intellectuals who love to learn can get in the Ones that perfect perspective on how things should work on the outside.
In stressful situations they can become reclusive, distant and anxious, neglecting even their physical appearance and withdrawing from reality seeking refuge in their interests. They are prone to addictions such as alcohol abuse and eating disorders to coping with these situations, as well as becoming aggressive and insensitive during them.
The best careers and jobs for Enneagram type 5 are those that allow them to research, develop more knowledge and elaborate strategies and solutions, such as engineering, medicine and scientific careers like Microbiology, Software & Web Developer, Pathologist, among other related careers.
If you are intellectually brilliant and have a great perception, analytical ability, hunger for knowledge and intellectual understanding, you are probably an Enneagram type 5.
You will have realized that your autonomy, your ingenuity and your ability to understand everything is your greatest virtue, but you must maintain a balance so as not to fall into emptiness, loneliness nor negative habits. By focusing on your strengths and trusting in your intelligence you will be able to achieve this.
Therefore, we advise you to connect more with your emotions without avoiding them, accept other points of view to learn more about your environment and relax more healthily. This will allow you to live a fuller life and enjoy your knowledge while teaching others all the good things you have to give.