How to read the Enneagram:
Bright and curious, type Fives are independently-minded and wise. They are typically very good at being objective, which is strengthened by their ability to understand the cause and effect in a situation. Guided by their sense of what they know, Fives are able to do what is right, regardless of social pressures that might sway others.
The number Seven on the Enneagram depicts the stress point. The number Eight on the Enneagram depicts the security point. These stress and growth points may resonate with Fives, when facing different types of challenges in their lives.
Fives are analytical and perceptive, open-minded, and head-strong. In addition to these characteristics, they are also adaptable and out-of-the-box thinkers, making them excellent problem solvers. Calm in a crisis, they are able to think independently, and often other types rely on the Five to “know the answer”. A five may appear self-contained or scattered, preferring to keep their distance from others physically and seemingly emotionally. They may take a while to be comfortable around others, which might make them seem standoffish. This is often not the case and in situations like this – in reality, they are intentionally listening to and observing others. In fact, Fives are genuinely interested in other people and seek deep and meaningful conversations and connections with others and the world around them.
Fives love a mental challenge and have a real knack for research. They often have a highly developed vocabulary, and choose their words carefully. They are usually slow and deliberate when speaking, often using rare words that many people don’t understand, which can feel frustrating to other types. Because Fives are usually well-read and knowledgeable, they might come across as a “know-it-all”. Famous Fives include historic academics like Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin. In more recent years, the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Thabo Mbeki have shown characteristics of Type Five.
Although forming intellectual connections are effortless for Fives, they might find it difficult to understand why they battle to connect with people on other, more emotional levels. This can make them feel disconnected, which can cause them to possibly withdraw themselves further from social interaction. Fives also avoid conflict whenever possible and this, coupled with being seemingly distant and wrapped up in their own thoughts, can lead people to think that the Five doesn’t want to be around them.
“Fives are often a classic case of “still water running deep”. If you take the time to get to know Fives at their pace, you will not be disappointed,” says Saffron Baggallay.
At their best, Fives are extremely committed to what they do, and are excellent at managing other people's relationships, because of their natural ability to be objective. Fives are incredibly wise and insightful, instinctively choosing knowledge over social status.