Enneagram Type 5 (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 5. 

Enneagram Type 5

People with type 5 personalities are independent and curious. They have good observation skills. They like to pursue knowledge and information in order to know more about the world. They are private people who do not open up easily to others. Occasionally, they need time alone away from people in order to think. This can make them seem withdrawn to others.


Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It was developed by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo. It has nine personality types that are split across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad

It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation based on the triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect, or instincts most characteristic of his or her personality. 

Enneagram Type 5: The Thinker

Basic fear 

Type 5 personalities want to be competent. So, their biggest fear is to not be of any use to others, be incompetent and inadequate. They have a strong belief that they are less than others and cannot do things as other people can. To compensate for their feelings, they try to understand the world and be more skillful so that they have a higher advantage over others.

Basic desire 

Type 5 personalities want to be helpful to other people. They want to be known as someone who is competent. To show that, they try to pursue information about different things, improve their knowledge, and develop their skills and abilities.  Type 5 personalities try to improve their intellect over anything else in their life. They make sure to direct all of their energy into doing this.

Type 5 and emotions

Since people with Type 5 personalities are thinkers, they protect themselves from other people by withdrawing. They do not open up to others at an emotional and physical level.  Although this makes them feel like they are safe and protected from people, it can also lead to the development of feelings of loneliness.

The Strengths of Type 5

Type 5 has many strengths. These include the following:

  • These personalities can solve complex problems due to their high thinking ability.
  • They are quite observant and notice little details of their environment which other people usually overlook.
  •  They are driven to improve as a person, especially at an intellectual level. They can usually be found learning and taking up new skills.
  •  In cases of crisis or troubling situations, these people do not lose their cool. They are able to maintain their composure and deal with the situation in a calm manner.
  •  They have a good attention span and can focus completely on the task they are working on.

The Weaknesses of Type 5

Type 5 also has many weaknesses. These include the following:

  • These people are emotionally closed off. This makes it difficult for them to relate to others at an emotional level.
  • Other people may perceive them as condescending.
  • Due to their high focus on their thinking, they can easily get disconnected and detached from their feelings or emotions.
  • These people can isolate themselves from others at times.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Possible areas of growth for Type 5

Type 5 can grow as a person by the following:

  • Type 5 personalities need to invest their time and effort in order to listen to others. They should develop a good listening ability and give their full attention while someone is sharing something with them.
  • They should take time out of their daily lives for themselves and shift their direction inwards. They need to connect and work through unprocessed emotions.
  • It is important that these personalities learn to appreciate and thank people who are around them.
  • These personalities have to learn to be mindful of their tendency to withdraw. They need to acknowledge this pattern and try to engage with others instead.

Source of Stress 

Type 5 gets stressed by the following:

  • People with Type 5 personalities feel uncomfortable when they are among crowds of unfamiliar people. Such new and strange surroundings can make them feel uneasy.
  • Whenever they have to express themselves emotionally or if they are part of a situation with a lot of emotional layers, these people feel uncomfortable and stressed.
  • Whenever they are expected to meet the needs of other people, it can be quite draining and stressful for them.
  • A lot of stimulation and lack of peace in their life, can overwhelm these personalities and make it difficult for them to function.

Workplace and job

At their workplace, these personalities work best in environments that allow them to think and solve complex problems. They also need to be in a job that gives them time to regain their energy. Jobs that encourage the use of their specific talents and skills can be quite good for them and if they give them the opportunity to learn and grow constantly, they enjoy their work.

Whenever they are given the opportunity to work independently, they feel energized.  If their boss identifies and recognizes their knowledge & skills and appreciate them, they feel motivated. Similarly, when their colleagues listen to them talk about a subject and they can fulfill tasks without constant instruction, they feel happy about their work.

Careers and jobs that lack privacy and do not give them space, can be draining for them. Whenever their suggestions are ignored by their colleagues and when they are required to work with constant guidance, they feel low and drained.

These people are independent and insightful workers. Their excellent observation skills and strategic problem solving can make them good workers. Jobs suited for them include scientist mathematicians, scholars, engineers, and technicians.


They are energized by the following:

  • These personalities get excited and energetic whenever they discover something new about the world.
  • Often, people with Type 5 personalities feel calm and energetic whenever the get time alone to think and develop a connection with themself.
  • When they learn a new skill or new technique, they feel more confident and competent about themself. It makes them feel as if they have an advantage over others.
  • When someone appreciates them, encourages them, and makes them feel competent and valued, these people feel energetic and motivated to improve even more.

Romantic Relationships

In romantic relationships,  these personalities can be quite helpful and calm while dealing with their partner. Spouses that are supportive, patient and allow them room to think work best with them. Whenever they are in a relationship where their partner is introverted, these personalities should remember to take out time from their daily lives to spend with their partner.

In their relationship, type 5s are quite calm in a stressful situation. They can logically work out problems and also respect their partner and their independence.

They might have trouble in romantic relationships especially when they have to talk about difficult topics.It can also be difficult for them to be vulnerable and open up with their spouse at an emotional level. It can be hard for them to appreciate and affirm their partner in a verbal manner.

Type 5 Childhood/development

 During their childhood, Type 5s had feelings of ambivalence towards their parents. They were not sure about where they belonged. They felt like an outcast and lacked nurturance. It could be that their parents were alcoholics or abusive or used favoritism. Due to this, they often felt misunderstood and felt like they were not needed by anyone. In order to cope with their feelings of otherness, they turned to the outside world from their rooms. They tried their best to master different subjects in order to find a place in society. They wanted to be unique so they tried to develop their skills. Situations, where other people make many demands of them, can be overwhelming for them. They distance themself from others and devote their entire time to mastering subjects that they like.

 FAQs: Type 5

What is Type 5 personality?

Type 5 personalities are thinkers. There desire to be competent. So, they spend their time trying to master various subjects and improve their skills. They are independent, skillful, and withdrawn people who often get detached from others.

What is Type 5w6?

Type 5w6 or Type5 wing6 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type five personality and complementary characteristics of type six personality.


In this article, we discussed enneagram Type 5. We found that People with type 5 personalities are independent and curious. They have good observation skills. They like to pursue knowledge and information in order to know more about the world. They are private people who do not open up easily to others. Occasionally, they need time alone away from people in order to think. This can make them seem withdrawn to others.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊




Personality Types – Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Huds

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