Type 5 of Enneagram

Type 5 of Enneagram

4 September 2021 Enneagram 0

Enneagram Type 5 (Enneatype 5) – The Thinker

Popularized in the 1970s in the mainstream of humanist psychology, the enneagram is a method of personal development and management.

The Enneagram describes nine different ways of approaching the world, and consequently nine very different ways of interacting with it. Ennea means 9 in Greek. Each of the 9 Enneatypes has its strengths, its weaknesses. Each of us privileges certain information and leaves others aside, in an unconscious way, limiting ourselves to one version of reality. This personal development tool allows you to get to know yourself better and to free yourself from certain sometimes limiting automatisms, and thus improve your interpersonal relationships and well-being.

The enneagram fits well with approaches in modern psychology. Like mindfulness, it emphasizes the importance of arousal over the “autopilot” of daily routines. Like cognitive and behavioral approaches, it relies on beliefs and the identification of inappropriate patterns. Its cognitive and emotional structure can be a useful and powerful guide.

Each individual has the nine profiles of the Enneagram within him, but does not develop them all in the same way. What makes each person unique.

See below the description of type 5 of the enneagram

Famous Thinkers

Greta Garbo
Alfred Hitchcock
Albert Einstein
Alain Souchon

What I feel. How i see myself

I am more into analysis and intellectual curiosity. I like to watch before I step forward. As a Type 5, I need information. I will therefore check all available media (books, internet, relations, seminars, conferences, etc.), in order to be sure that I have all the information available on a subject. I know how to isolate myself easily. Besides, I need it because the intrusion of others or even the emotional one could disrupt my intellectual activity

I am calm, some people say to me cold and distant because I have this capacity to cut myself off from others and from what is going on while being physically present. In fact, I need to understand and can easily become an expert in my field. If you ask me the right questions you will get the right answers, but no more. If I am at the end of the corridor in an isolated office, I am very well because I then have my vital space, which is essential for my balance. I don’t like talk of rain and shine, the superfluous. I like intellectual depth.

I like

  • Live in privacy, discretion, even silence
  • Observe, take a step back
  • Know, understand
  • Think, find the why of things

I don't like

  • The intrusion into my living space
  • Socialites, the superfluous
  • Questions about me
  • Unforeseen
  • Emotional demonstrations

How others perceive me

Type 5 is expressed by evaluating the world in terms of information, to the detriment of emotion. He structures his environment like a reservoir of knowledge: a kind of informative library in which he wallows himself while protecting himself from the affect of others whom he considers intrusive, annoying, even inopportune. We understand that type 5 is at the service of knowledge, intellectual activity, rather than human relations or sentimentality!

The type 5 ego leads him to believe that he will only be accepted if he stores as much information as possible. He distils them and distributes them in a dropper to avoid being stripped and thus creating an interior vacuum. He needs to lock up his secret garden and hates trespassing. These three characteristics take a lot of energy and time from him, which crystallizes his dominant passion: greed. Avarice of oneself, of emotions and of time.

He can be very structured and then plans his actions. Other times he will be very expeditious – if he considers that the game is not worth the candle – and will get rid of this waste of time. He is generally intelligent, educated and thoughtful and he often becomes an expert in the areas that arouse his interest.



In society, type 5 is on a mission; he observes ! He does not get involved sentimentally, but analyzes and accumulates data. The 5 can be a little eccentric, or not very sensitive to its appearance. He hardly feels the need to adapt his beliefs taking into account consensus opinion, and refuses to compromise his freedom to think as he pleases.

A 5 tends to be shy, non-intrusive, independent, and hesitant to ask for help that others would be happy to offer. However type 5 is sensitive. To compensate for this sensitivity, the 5 can sometimes adopt an attitude of neglect, indifference or intellectual arrogance, which has the unfortunate consequence of creating a distance between him and others.

The Enneagram Type 5 Profile

I know, I understand

Unconditional scheme

“The world asks too much and does not give enough”

“The world is dangerous for those who do not understand it”

Conditional scheme

“If I don’t keep my distance from others, they will invade me”

“If I do not inform myself to better understand, I will get run over”


Also I have to protect my privacy to think and recharge my batteries because the world is intrusive and invasive. My autonomy and my self-sufficiency favors my survival.

be stingy with time and space in order to be able to get informed.

Paradoxes :         

  • The quest for self-reliance ends up cutting you off from the world and its wealth.
  • Knowledge is not only in the mind but also in relationships, emotions (emotional intelligence) and action.

Analysis, synthesis, objectivity, simplicity, coolness, keep a secret

the inner void (knowledge hole) and intrusions

For this: I isolate myself (defense mechanism) to observe, understand, gather information and distance myself from my emotions that disrupt my mental activity.

I am stingy with my time, with my information, with my presence.

Risks :

to be perceived as cold, distant, intellectually arrogant, skeptical

  • Realize that I have a lot of knowledge and that I know enough about the subject.
  • Stay present instead of withdrawing, and live your feelings in the moment
  • Welcoming more people into your protected circle, and enriching yourself through contact with others
  • Address personal issues, express yourself more

Projections and wings

When Enneagram Type 5 is under stress, he projects to his region of desintigration. He then resembles type 7 by his precipitous, expeditious and dispersed side.

In the security and quiet phase, type 5 projects himself into his integration zone and behaves like a fully-fledged type 8. He gains in confidence, in determination and more easily decides his choices.

  • With a pronounced 4 wing: the Iconoclast.
  • With a pronounced 6 wing: the Investigator.

Confusions and similarities with other types

Enneagram type 5, especially with the wing in Four, sometimes type itself as 4. The Fives observe that they have strong emotions and do not recognize themselves in the extremely mental side of the enneatype. 5. However, the Fives, unlike the Fours, still retain some degree of discomfort when it comes to expressing their emotional states.

The 5 can also be confused with the 1 by its lack of emotional expression, and a certain inertia in the action. When the 1 seeks perfection (notion of duty), the 5 just seeks to know its subject well (notion of knowledge).

The difference between the 5 and the 8 lies mainly in the action of the 8 and its pragmatism. But these 2 enneatypes can show leadership facets … when the 5 knows.

Other Enneatypes

Description of each of the other Enneatypes


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