Enneagram Type 5: “The Observer”

Below is a ‘checklist’ of sorts to determine whether or not you could possibly be a Type Five in the Enneagram of 9 Personality Types.  Five is the Observer (also referred to in other sources as the Investigator, Thinker, Sage). I am again quoting from The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.

In general, Fives are “motivated by the need to know and understand everything, to be self-sufficient, and to avoid looking foolish.” They are described as “analytical, persevering, sensitive, wise, objective, perceptive, self-contained” at their best. They can also be “intellectually arrogant, stingy, stubborn, distant, critical of others, unassertive, negative” at their worst.

The most common Myers-Briggs types for Type 5 are INTJ and INTP. Other strong possibilities are ISTJ and INFP.  Slightly less common are ESTJ, ISTP, and INFJ.

Consider these statements in regard to your own personality, especially as you would have related to them before age 25 or so. Or if you’re not a Five, you may recognize someone you know in here!

1. I learn from observing or reading as opposed to doing.

2. It’s hard to express my feelings in the moment.

3. I get lost in my interests and like to be alone with them for hours.

4. I usually experience my feelings more deeply when I’m by myself.

5. Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m not generous enough.

6. I try to conceal my sensitivity to criticism and judgment.

7. Brash, loud people offend me.

8. Conforming is distasteful to me.

9. I like to associate with others who have expertise in my field.

10. I like having a title (doctor, professor, administrator) to feel proud of.

11. I have been accused of being negative, cynical, and suspicious.

12. When I feel socially uncomfortable, I often wish I could disappear.

13. I am often reluctant to be assertive or aggressive.

14. I dislike most social events. I’d rather be alone or with a few people I know well.

15. I sometimes feel shy or awkward.

16. I get tired when I’m with people for too long.

17. I feel different from most people.

18. I feel invisible.  It surprises me when anyone notices anything about me.

19. I don’t look for material possessions to make me happy.

20. Acting calm is a defense.  It makes me feel stronger.

Are you a Five?  Do you know a Five?  Let me know!


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