Enneagram Type 5

The Thinker

Overview
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What is Enneagram Type 5 (The Thinker)?

People with an enneagram type five personality tend to be curious, independent, and observant in their behavior. They love to pursue knowledge and seek a deeper understanding of the world around them. They often prefer privacy and time alone to think, which may lead them to withdraw from others.

Type 5 Personality Traits

Type Fives fear being useless or incompetent. They have a deeply rooted paranoia that they are less able to do things than other people, so they want to understand the world in order to have more of an advantage.

Their basic desire is to feel helpful and competent. They express this by passionately pursuing knowledge and working to gain new skills and abilities.

Thinkers often guard themselves by withdrawing from others, both emotionally and physically. This may make them feel safer, but can also lead to loneliness.

In summary, Enneagram 5 personality types tend to…

  • Seek knowledge and deeper understanding

  • Prefer spending time by themselves

  • Fear being useless and inadequate

  • Guard themselves and their emotions

  • Be curious about and observant in new environments

Strengths & Blind Spots

Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems. 

Strengths that are typically associated with the Enneagram 5 personality type include... 

  • Thinking through complex problems

  • Observing the details of their environment

  • Constantly learning and picking up new skills

  • Ability to remain calm in a crisis

  • Focusing completely on the task at hand


Blind spots that are typically associated with the Enneagram 5 personality type include…

  • Difficulty relating to the emotions of others

  • Tendency to be perceived as condescending

  • Disconnecting from their feelings

  • Detaching or isolating themselves from other people

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How Enneagram 5 personality types like to work

Communicating with a type five

Allow them plenty of personal space and time to think; avoid being overly emotional and express thoughts clearly and logically.

Meeting with a type five

Meetings should be productive and worthwhile; ask fives for insight or observations.

Emailing a type five

Skip small-talk; be direct and clear when emailing.

Giving feedback to a type five

Be honest about growth areas and offer constructive criticism.

Resolving conflict with a type five

Explain the situation logically and encourage fives to consider both sides; work together to find a compromise.

Motivators & Stressors

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction at work, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.

Thinkers tend to be motivated and energized by…

  • Discovering something new about the world

  • Alone time to think and reconnect with themselves

  • Learning a new skill or technique

  • Feeling valued, able, and appreciated


Thinkers tend to be drained by…

  • Large groups of unfamiliar people

  • Emotional expressions and situations

  • Being required to meet other people’s needs

  • Overstimulation or lack of peace

Best jobs for an Enneagram 5

Fives are insightful and independent. They are able to make intelligent observations about a situation and offer strategic solutions to problems. They thrive in environments that allow them space to think and reenergize alone, while encouraging them to use their specific talents.

Common jobs for people with the Enneagram 5 personality type are:

  • Engineer

  • Computer Programmer

  • Scientist

  • Mathematician

  • Author

  • Technician

  • Scholar

Wings

Enneagram types can sometimes share characteristics of the types above or below it. A type five can have a four wing or a six wing. Click the links to read about the possible wings for a type five.

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