What is an Enneagram Type 5?

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In this article we will discuss what an Enneagram Type 5 is and the characteristics of this particular type.

We will also explore how Type five are in relationships, what are its career suitability, and what must a type five do to maintain well-being and flourish. 

What is an Enneagram Type 5?

Enneagram Fives are also known as the investigator whose main concern is to gain deeper knowledge and understanding of their world. They are persisted with the desire to know why things are the way they are. 

They are often seen as self-sufficient because of their desire to understand the world, expand their intellect which makes them downplay their social, emotional, and physical needs. 

This is furthered by their tendency to avoid social engagement with others as a way to converse their energies which they then put into exploring and researching into how the world works. 

Type fives are often afraid of being overwhelmed with the needs of others and themselves. Due to this fear, they compensate by withdrawing from deep relationships with others and even themselves. 

They are so concerned with understanding the world around them, that they tend to lack understanding of their own emotions rather they choose to focus on intellectual needs as a way to cope. 

They are motivated by the desire to be and be seen as competent which drives them to be in a state of learning and acquiring knowledge which makes them critical thinkers and extremely curious investigators. 

What is an Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a categorization system of personality types. This system is based on how individuals interpret the world and manage their emotions, as well as how they behave as a response. 

The Enneagram, describes 9 different enneagram of personality types and these types are plotted on a map or diagram that illustrates how each personality type interacts and responds to each other. 

The exact origin of the Enneagram is unknown but it is assumed to have roots in ancient Babylon and also has traces of it in Greek philosophy 2500 years ago. 

This particular model of personality has been attributed to the Jewish Kabbalah, Christian mysticism and a mystical form of Islam, Sufism. However, the modern Enneagram system is the work of contemporary authors. Georg Ivanovich Gurdjieff who introduced the model in the 1930s as a spiritual symbol. 

According to the Enneagram, these types are defined by a core belief about how their world works and it is these beliefs that influence their world view, their motivation, and their perspectives about themselves, the world, and other people. 

These core beliefs are personal and individual to each type and while it can help us understand how each type reacts and responds to the world, it can also be limiting.

These beliefs motivate them to take particular actions and guide their decisions making. It also can help people understand how each type reacts to stress, how they adapt and respond to various situations. 

These core beliefs tend to be enforced by how each individual grows into adulthood, and each type is influenced by biological factors as well as impacted by environmental influences-such as family dynamics or parental relationships.

No one number or type is better than another as it is a horizontal system in spite of numbers being used and each individual may relate to more than one type and resonate with different traits depending on their station and experiences of life and overall levels of health.

What are the characteristics of Type 5?

The characteristics of a type five include:

  • They are very perceptive and insightful when it comes to situations and observations that they have made. They are able to be objective in the knowledge that they hold and are able to understand complex information. 
  • They are intellectuals which also make them extremely curious to understand theories, topics in a variety of fields.
  • Type fives are often emotionally distanced which causes them to be quite unsentimental when they are making decisions and are able to put their emotions aside when needed. 
  • They are independent and self sufficient which leads them to ask little of others and also, in extreme situations, become isolated and withdraw socially. 
  • They are quite innovative and visionary and often are pioneers of new ideas and new projects. 
  • They enjoy spending time alone and believe that privacy is very important to them to be able to build their own resources. This makes their boundaries very clear and at times rigid. 
  • Within their social relationships, they tend to be quite reserved, and only contribute to conversation when it involves topics of their interest. 
  • They also appear to be absentminded and detached emotionally which makes them seem cold or misunderstood. 
  • They’re tendencies to be observers make them give well thought out responses when asked and tend to think first then act. 
  • Type fives who share wings with type fours tend to be a little more emotional and expressive, sensitive even. 
  • Type five who share wings with type five tend to be more practical, organised, independent but cooperative, and loyal to their social circle. 
  • For type fves, independence and autonomy is very important which makes them seek out seclusion. 
  • They often do not see the point of social customs which makes them flaunt them, sometimes a little too much. 
  • When there is cause of uncertainty, they are able to remind themselves and rely on their investigative tendencies to determine the best course of action. 

How are type 5 in relationships?

Within relationships, type fives are often romantic in the beginning of the relationship meaning that they start out invested when they find someone that intrigues them. 

However, this poses a danger when they realise that they have “figured” out their partner which makes them lose interest. 

However, they are able to settle well when they find a partner who they are able to love and trust as well as someone who is able to keep them on their toes. 

Fives will gel well with partners who are autonomous and independent themselves however, they need to understand that in relationships, support is a key aspect. 

So, Type fives might find it hard to understand the needs of others as well as their own within relationships, and their boundaries might be a little too rigid. 

They will have to challenge themselves to become more open, more emotionally attuned. And understand that they can never really figure out someone completely nor can others satisu them perfectly. 

It takes them time to understand the feelings of others and themselves, which tends to cause them to withdraw at times because they are afraid of seeing imcpmetent even when it comes to relationships. 

Fives will flourish in relationships that accept them as they are, however, for the relationship to work, fives also need to learn how to establish harmony with their own needs, their partners, and the needs of a relationship such as sharing, support, listening, understanding, and simply communicating. 

What Careers are suitable for type 5?

When it comes to careers and a type 5s characteristics in the workplace, their ability to solve problems with a calm and collected mindset in a crisis is their biggest asset. 

Their calming presence is also an added bonus that they bring into their teams as well as model observational skills to them.

They are also quick to pick up skills which makes them quick learners and fast growers within the industry allowing them to progress relatively quickly within their fields. 

Because of these characteristics, careers best suited for Type 5s include:

  • Careers that encourage continuous learning and skills acquisition.
  • Careers that allow them to be independent while also seek out new insights and allow them to be their curious selbes. 
  • They will thrive in careers where their teammates are also independent and self-sufficient while also holding the same values that they themselves appreciate and unhold. 
  • Careers  that allow them to observe and understand first.
  • Careers where they are key players in solution generation,
  • Careers that also involve some level of investigative creativity. 
  • Careers that involves working in small groups
  • Careers that do not involve pulisic roles.

Based on these preferences, fives are best suited for the following careers:

  • Engineer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Author
  • Technician
  • Researcher

What must a type 5 do to flourish?

Here are a few things type fives can do to maintain well-being and flourish:

  • Enjoy the moment by getting engaged in healthy hobbies that allow them to relax and have fun like dancing, arts and crafts, exercises- anything that allows them to get moving and get engaged.
  • Fives need to remember that they don’t have to do everything alone- that it is okay to ask for help. It is important because type fives tend to drive themselves to the bone because of their desire for autonomy, however they have to be mindful that they are also human and humans need social support. 
  • They must challenge themselves to move out of their comfort zone when it comes to socialising as well as connecting with other people emotionally. 
  • Fives must also maintain their emotional and mental well being by developing insight into themselves- their thoughts, emotions,and own behaviours. Ths means regulating their own emotions, understanding their own thoughts, and being aware of their own behaviours. 
  • They must also accept feedback with self-compassion and challenge the skevs to understand that feedback is important for progress and learning new perspectives. 


In this article we have discussed what an Enneagram Type 5 is and the characteristics of this particular type.

We have also explored how Type five are in relationships, what are its career suitability, and what must a type five do to maintain well-being and flourish. 

FAQ related to Enneagram type 5

Is Enneagram Type 5 rare?

Type fives are not as rare as other types. According to the Truity database, they consist of around 10% of the population that has taken the truity test and is more common in men than women. 

What does an unhealthy enneagram 5 look like?

When stressed, an unhealthy five is often more reclusive than usual and tends to be pessimistic and cynical. 

They become obsessed with their fears and highly anxious about their competency or supposed lack of. 

What are Enneagram 5 attracted to?

Fives are attracted to people who are mysterious, who call them out to figure them out, as well as people who are autonomous and independent in themselves. They are attracted to people who are equally curious and who love learning new things. 

Are Enneagram 5s controlling?

Because of their fear to become overwhelmed with the world, to be caught incompetent to deal wiht these overwhelming issues, tey tend to become preoccupied with control over their own lives, social relationships, lifestyles etc which inturn makes them rigid and inaccessible. 


Owens.M. What is the Enneagram of Personality. Truity. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.truity.com/enneagram/what-is-enneagram

Owens.M. Enneagram Type 5: The Investigator. Truity. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.truity.com/enneagram/personality-type-5-investigator

Type 5 Careers. Thecareerproject. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.thecareerproject.org/personality-type/type-5/

Enneagram Type 5 – Quiet Specialist. Integreative9. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/introduction/type-5/

THE INVESTIGATOR: Enneagram Type Five. The Enneagram Institute. Retrieved on 20th January 2022. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-5

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