Enneagram Type 5

The Thinker

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What is an 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.

Enneagram 5 Personality Traits

Basic Fear

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

Basic Desire

Their basic desire is to feel helpful and competent. They express this by passionately pursuing knowledge and working to gain new skills and abilities. Fives often prioritize developing their own intellect over most other things in life.

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

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In summary, Enneagram 5 personalities 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

Enneagram 5 Strengths

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 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

Enneagram 5 Weaknessess

Weaknessess that are typically associated with the Enneagram 5 personality 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

Enneagram 5 Growth

Growth opportunities that are typically associated with the Enneagram 5 personality include...

  • Taking time to listen to others share
  • Connecting to and working through emotions
  • Appreciating and thanking those around them
  • Recognizing when they are withdrawing and choosing to engage with others instead
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How Enneagram 5 personalities like to work

Communicating with an Enneagram 5

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

Meeting with an Enneagram 5

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

Emailing an Enneagram 5

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

Giving feedback to an Enneagram 5

Be honest about growth areas and offer constructive criticism.

Resolving conflict with an Enneagram 5

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


Enneagram 5 Motivations

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction, 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.

Enneagram 5s 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

Enneagram 5 Stress

Enneagram 5s tend to be stressed and drained by...

  • Large groups of unfamiliar people
  • Emotional expressions and situations
  • Being required to meet other people’s needs
  • Overstimulation or lack of peace

Enneagram 5 Careers

Type Fives tend to thrive in environments that allow them space to think and reenergize alone, while encouraging them to use their specific talents.They enjoy work that allows them to learn and grow constantly.

Enneagram 5s feel energized at work when...

  • They are given plenty of room to work independently
  • Their boss recognizes their skills and knowledge
  • Their peers listen as they share information about a subject
  • Their direct reports follow expectations without constant instruction

Enneagram 5s feel drained at work when...

  • They lack privacy and personal space
  • Their boss ignores their suggestions
  • Their peers overwhelm them with personal information
  • Their direct reports need consistent guidance
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Enneagram 5 Jobs

Fives are insightful and independent. They are able to make intelligent observations about a situation and offer strategic solutions to problems. 

Common jobs for people with Enneagram 5 personality types

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

Enneagram 5 Relationships (Professional)

When type Fives work alongside people who are more outgoing and emotional, they can offer helpful advice and wisdom. If they work with another Five, they will need to be intentionally communicative to make sure work is done correctly.

Enneagram 5s tend to work well with others who...

  • Value their knowledge and input
  • Give them plenty of autonomy
  • Express themselves in a balanced, logical way

Enneagram 5s may hit obstacles in professional relationships when they...

  • Feel overwhelmed and distance themselves accordingly
  • Make logical decisions that negatively affect others
  • Struggle to relate to others’ emotions

Enneagram 5 Relationships (Romantic)

Type Fives can be calm, helpful partners when with someone who is supportive, patient, and gives them plenty of space to think. When in a relationship with another introverted personality, Fives should remember to set aside time for their partner.

In a romantic relationship, Enneagram 5s bring strengths like...

  • Remaining calm during tense situations
  • Ability to logically work through problems
  • Respecting their partner’s independence

In romantic relationships, Enneagram 5s may have trouble...

  • Engaging in difficult conversations
  • Opening up emotionally with their partner
  • Offering verbal affirmation or appreciation

Famous Examples of Enneagram 5s

Tim Burton, Agatha Christie, Kurt Cobain, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Alfred Hitchcock, Annie Leibowitz, Susan Sontag, Sherlock Holmes (fictional).


Enneagram 5 Wings

Click a link below to explore the wings for Enneagram 5

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Enneagram 5 Slide Show

Click through the slides below to learn more about Enneagram 5s:




Related Personality Types

Below are the DISC and Myers-Briggs types that are similar to Enneagram Type 5. 

DISC Type C, CdCD, or Dc

Myers-Briggs Type ESTP, INTJ, INTP, or ISTJ

You can find your DISC, Enneagram, and Myers-Briggs types by taking Crystal's free personality test.


Enneagram is a personality framework that can help you understand other people and why they behave in certain ways.
Explore Enneagram types here:

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