Enneagram Type 5

Enneagram Type 5: The Thinker

An enneagram 5 is inquisitive, independent, and attentive. Type fives enjoy seeking out knowledge and want to understand the world around them.

Enneagram type fives need alone time to reflect and think about things. Unhealthy fives might withdraw from those around them all together.

What Are Enneagram 1 Personality Traits?

Basic Fear

An enneagram 5 has a basic fear of feeling useless or unintelligent.

Unhealthy fives might take this fear a step further, and develop a belief that they’re not as capable as others. To rectify this perceived problem, they will withdraw from those around them and try to correct what they think is lacking in themselves.

Once a 5 thinks they have gathered the appropriate knowledge to deem themselves confident, they’ll “return” to the real world.

Basic Desire

An enneagram 5 has a basic desire to help others and be intelligent.

The enneagram type 5 will work toward this desire by accumulating knowledge and new skills. Fives tend to prioritize their knowledge over everything else in their life.

An enneagram 5 will withdraw mentally, physically, and emotionally from those around them in order to protect themselves. While a 5 may feel safer in this state, it is not an effective coping method and can lead to complex problems and loneliness.

To Summarize:

  • Pursue knowledge and new skills or abilities.
  • Enjoy alone time to themselves.
  • Fear that they’ll be incompetent or unhelpful.
  • Are very protective of themselves and their emotions.
  • Interested in new environments.

What Are The Strengths Of An Enneagram 1?

When placed in a setting of various backgrounds- whether it be a diversity of beliefs or upbringings, a personality types’ weaknesses and strengths will be intensified.

An Enneagram 1 Personality Type Shows The Following Strengths:

  • Thinking through complex problems.
  • Detail oriented in new environments.
  • Quickly can learn new skills.
  • Can stay calm in stressful situations.
  • Dedicate’s their focus completely to whatever task they’re working on.

Enneagram 1 Weaknesses

An Enneagram 1 Personality Type Shows The Following Weaknesses:

  • Struggle to relate emotionally to others.
  • Can come off as condescending.
  • Disconnecting from their emotions.
  • Withdrawing and avoiding others.

Growth Opportunities For An Enneagram 1

An Enneagram 1 Personality Type Shows The Following Weaknesses:

  • Struggle to relate emotionally to others.
  • Can come off as condescending.
  • Disconnecting from their emotions.
  • Withdrawing and avoiding others.

Work Life With An Enneagram 1

When Communicating With An Enneagram 1:

  • Avoid overly emotional conversation, be clear and logical.
  • Give them personal space to think.

Enneagram 1 In Meetings:

  • Meetings should have a purpose and be worth a 5’s time.
  • Encourage a 5 to share their observations and thoughts.

Emailing An Enneagram 1:

  • Do not use small talk.
  • Get to the point, be clear and concise.

Sharing Feedback With An Enneagram 1:

Be honest about how they can improve, offer constructive criticism and suggestions.

Conflict Resolution With An Enneagram 1:

A 5 will need to be encouraged to consider both sides. Explain where you’re coming from and create a solution together.

What Motivates An Enneagram 1

Each Enneagram will have different motivators, since they are all driven by different value systems. Enneagram 5 personality type is motivated by knowledge and feeling capable.

Here Are Some Examples:

  • Uncovering new information, especially information that is new or uncommon.
  • Alone time to recharge and connect with their inner world.
  • Acquiring new skills or abilities.
  • Feeling useful, valuable, and capable.

What Are The Stressors For An Enneagram 1?

Every Enneagram responds to stress differently and will have different triggers.

An Enneagram 5 will be stressed by:
  • Feeling surrounded by strangers.
  • Sensitive emotions and situations (involving themselves or others).
  • Having to live up to the standards and expectations of others.
  • Being overly stimulated- having no space to withdraw.

Enneagram 1 In The Workplace

An enneagram 5 will be appreciative of a workplace that allows them alone time to think and recharge. When they’re being engaged with, 5s like to feel encouraged to use their skills. They work hard to gather their knowledge and learn new skills, so they’re eager to use it.

Overall, the enneagram type 5 will do best in an environment that allows them to learn, grow, and contemplate.

Energizers For An Enneagram 5 In The Workplace:
  • Having space to work alone.
  • Feeling like their boss acknowledges and appreciates their talents.
  • Peers that appreciate and listen to their knowledge.
  • Self-sufficient direct reports that can work without constant instructions.
Things That Drain An Enneagram 5 In The Workplace:
  • They have no privacy.
  • Their superiors ignore their input.
  • Peers that over-share their personal lives with them.
  • Having direct reports who need their hand held to get anything done.

The enneagram 5 is both intellectual and observant. Their feedback is highly valued in the work place since their keen perception makes them great problem solvers.

As long as an Idealist is allowed to follow their moral passions and feel respected, they will thrive in their workplace.

Jobs That Best Suit An Enneagram 5

  • Engineer
  • Mathematician
  • Technician
  • Scholar
  • Computer Programmer
  • Scientist
  • Writer

Enneagram 1 In A Relationship (Professional)

An enneagram 5 works well with people who are outgoing. This is because the peers around them will initiate discussion with the 5, prompting them to share their knowledge.

If an enneagram type 5 is working with another 5, they’ll have to be intentional about conversing with each other.

An Enneagram 5 Will Work Best With People Who:
  • Appreciate their knowledge and input.
  • Give them the space to be their own individual.
  • Express things in a logic, realistic, and to the point way.
An Enneagram 5 Might Clash With Coworkers When They:
  • Withdraw if something involves discomfort.
  • Make a logic decision without considering the consequences for their peers.
  • Have to empathize with another’s emotions.

Enneagram 1 In A Relationship (Romantic)

If an enneagram 5 has a partner that respects their need for space and time to think, they’ll be calm and helpful.

If the 5 is dating one of the other more reserved enneagram types, they’ll need to make an effort to set aside time for each other.

In A Romantic Relationship, An Enneagram 5 Brings These Strengths To The Table:
  • Being calm in tense scenarios.
  • Use logic to work through problems.
  • No problems respecting their partner’s independence.
In A Romantic Relationship, An Enneagram 5 May Have Difficulty:
  • Engaging in difficult, direct communication.
  • Being emotionally open and vulnerable with their partner.
  • Sharing gratitude, admiration, and especially their feelings.

Who Are Some Famous Enneagram Type 1's ?

Albert Einstein
Mark Zuckerburg
Jane Austen
Agatha Christie


Enneagram fives tend to be more focused in acquiring knowledge than self discovery. Because of this, they may come off as overly intellectual but not very emotionally in-tune.

Healthy fives use spare time to reflect and grow their knowledge, then apply it in a useful way. This can commonly be seen in the workplace, where 5s are valued for their problem solving abilities.

Unhealthy fives tend to feel like they’re lacking something in life. They withdraw from those around them and try to correct the perceived problem until they feel capable of rejoining the world around them.

If unable to solve whatever they’re trying to fix (whether it be their inner life or self image), 5s can end up living a lonely life.

An enneagram 5 desires personal freedom and personal autonomy. They want to use the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired to be useful. A 5 fears being unhelpful or lacking insight- they’re stressed by this as well, especially if they have no space to be alone.

If you’re working along side a 5, there’s a few things you should keep in mind. A 5 feels in their comfort zone when they’re alone, thinking, and growing. Respect their privacy and encourage them to grow and these visionary pioneers will thrive.

When talking to a 5 in the workplace, avoid putting emotional pressure on them or unnecessary small talk. When a 5 is focused, they want to attack the task at hand. They aren’t particularly interested in other kinds of conversation.

In both professional and romantic relationships, 5s do well with people who give them space but are also outgoing in personality. If a 5 dates or works along side one of the other more reserved personality types, they’ll have to make a conscious effort to communicate with each other.

My Own Terms

My Own Terms is a company founded by Joshua T. Osborne to help people take back control of their lives and live life on Their Own Terms.

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