At Best: Fives show Non-Attachment (transparency) with respect to time, energy, resources & information, especially about themselves, embodying the Higher Quality of Holy Omniscience (wise all-knowing when to hold, when to let go). Fives are very sensitive inside and can share wonderfully quirky observations or aspects of themselves.
Habits: When driven by Avarice (fearful clutching of resources, time, info), Fives start Isolating from other people and within themselves, detaching their head from heart and body. Focus of Attention: intrusion, what are others expecting or demanding from me?
Fives Forget: Reality is transparently self-known to itself. Fives strive to discover and classify specialized areas of knowledge. Fives passionately acquire information to discover how things work and identify with their knowledge competence. Fives Believe: I must acquire lots of data before participating in life; static knowledge can substitute for embodied wisdom & relationships. Fives value self-sufficiency; specialization ensures indispensability & independence. Fives are secretive, resist self-exposure & carefully guard time and energy. Ultra-sensitive, Fives retreat behind walls -- physical and emotional -- and match up feelings with events after the fact, in private. Fives can keep intimates separate and enact sneaky strategies. Fives can be the One Who Knows (Too) Much: the disdainful know-it-all. Fives Excel: at objectivity, perceptive observation, and discovery. Fives tend to be self-reliant, private, and often appreciate simplicity.
When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I'd like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.
A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.
- Annie Leibovitz
Type Five Personality Reflections
The Type Five pattern is driven by avarice—a greedy attachment to the witnessing self. This can manifest as withholding information, resources, time, or energy—a reluctance to show oneself or relate to others from fear of depletion, overwhelm, or distraction. Fives detach from others and hold onto themselves when they feel a lack of "enoughness" to go around.
Point Five in all of us represents the capacity of self-reflection. The ability to observe from an “objective” vantage point and the concentration of attention allows penetrating investigation, resulting in the acquisition of powerful information and the revelation of knowledge. Fives cling to concentrated attention, becoming specialists in whatever fields interest them. By becoming authoritative experts, Fives ensure their indispensability while maintaining their independence from others, as well as their autonomy and privacy.
Some Fives literally encastle themselves in a private space within their house or workplace. “I have to keep my office door closed at all times,” said one Five, “or my co-workers will be tempted to make unbearable chit-chat. Even a brief ‘hello’ can feel like nails on a chalkboard when I’m in my zone.”
Other Fives find connection through confiding: intimacy means sharing secrets. They delight in sneaky rendezvouses and endearing encoded messages, carefully compartmentalizing their intimates so they will not interact. Such Fives remain hidden and controlling because no one person gets all of them. An employee of a Five recalled, “I knew my boss appreciated me when he recited my favorite Little Prince passage in French at my going-away party. Everyone was scratching their heads, but I was touched by the gesture.”
Still other Fives show off their knowledge, especially with others “in the know," even as their private lives remain hidden. The subject matter need not be traditionally academic. One such Five, who worked as a bartender, knew everything about the history and mixology of bourbon.
Healthy Fives transmute their attachment to self/detachment from others into the virtue of non-attachment: appropriate self-transparency. Fives gift our collective consciousness with an awareness of boundaries and the value of reflection. When sharing their treasures, Fives enrich all of us.
Type FIve Interview
This clip is from an interview with a representative Type Five. For the full set of interviews with all 9 types (about 20 minutes each), along with downloadable charts, check out this online course: Enneagram Interviews.