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TYPE 5: THE OBSERVER

 



"I think, therefore I am." ("Cogito, ergo sum.")
Rene Descartes
"Ad hoc, ad hoc and quid pro quo. So little time, so much to know."
The Nowhere Man, Yellow Submarine, The Beatles
"I want to be left alone."
Greta Garbo

Snapshot
Fives are based in the Head Center. Their issues revolve around trust and safety. They prefer to have an experience and then think about it. Thus, they like to have lots of time alone. Fives observe life and thrive in the world of ideas and knowledge. They often pride themselves in not needing much to live and are often frugal. They are perceptive, insightful and innovative. Being well informed is important to Fives.


 
Best Example of a Famous "FIVE": BILL GATES
Celebrities Public Figures Characters
Howard Hughes Albert Einstein The Buddha
Bobby Fisher Franz Kafka Yoda
Sinead O’Connor Ken Wilber The Scarecrow
Meryl Streep James Joyce Data (Star Trek)
Emily Dickinson Stephen Hawking The Virgin Mary
David Byrne Jane Goodall  
Greta Garbo Thomas Edison  
Bob Dylan Isaac Asimov  
Marlene Dietrich Immanuel Kant  
Hugh Hefner Friedrich Nietzsche  
  Theodore Kazinsky, The Unabomber  

Quick Profile

In the movies of life, fives play the parts of the intellectuals, the eggheads, the nerds, and the brains. Fives observe everything in their world with extraordinary perceptiveness, keen detached awareness and insight, often making original and innovative revelations. Knowledge is what excites them. Alert and curious, they possess great intellectual depth.

They often withdraw inside, becoming singularly preoccupied with thoughts, trying to garner knowledge in preparation for taking action. They can be intense, cerebral, and high-strung and can tend to isolate themselves in their preference for the world of ideas.

People are often attracted to fives because of their sense of stability and groundedness, their self-sufficiency and their ability to remain detached in the face of chaos. In relationship they are kind, open-minded, trustworthy, persevering, wise, sensitive, objective and whimsical. At their best Fives contribute genius and vision, becoming experts and making pioneering discoveries in their fields.


Are You a Five? How many of these do you identify with?

As A Five:
  • I know a considerable amount about many subjects, and in a few, I consider myself an expert.
  • I don't like going to parties because there's almost never anyone to talk to.
  • It's easier for me to experience deep feelings for others when I'm by myself.
  • It wears me out to spend too much time with people.
  • It's hard for me to be around intrusive or emotionally effusive people—especially angry or aggressive people.
  • I value my privacy intensely and need to spend quite a bit of time alone.
  • I get so into whatever interests me that hours can go by without my noticing.
  • I think of myself as a material minimalist—as living lightly on the earth. I don't need lots of possessions to be happy—well, except for my books.
  • Sometimes it feels like I'm standing outside of myself watching my life go by.
  • Oddly, I feel more connected to people when I'm alone remembering when I was with someone.
  • I hate having to conform to silly social conventions.
  • Because I'm good at detaching from my emotions, I can think clearly under pressure and can therefore support others in making decisions in times of stress.
  • I spend a surprising amount of time thinking about what might happen before a date and thinking about what happened after it's over, but I have a tendency to freeze emotionally during the actual date itself.
  • I live with a sense of inner isolation from the world, but I get some relief by learning how the world works and understanding human nature.
  • I do not like open competition or direct confrontation, and despite how it may look, I'm very sensitive to criticism.

In Enneagram Terms:
Also known as: The Investigator, The Sage, The Thinker, The Minimalist, The Recluse
The Main Plot: The main character (a 5 of course) sees himself as the learned keeper of knowledge, and the subtle plot spins around being the master of a private world in which knowledge keeps that world safe.
Chief Feature: Withdrawal, isolation
Basic Motivation: The need to know everything and understand the environment as a way of defending themselves against threats; to be self-sufficient and have privacy and to avoid humiliation for not knowing an answer.
Basic Fear: Of being useless, helpless, or overlooked.
Basic Desire: To be capable and competent.
Focus of Attention: "What do you want from me?" Detaching from feelings, standing back, observing and analyzing. Fives' attention goes to what other people want from them and how much they will have to put out.
Passion: Avarice / Retentiveness
Virtue: Non-attachment
Psychological Defense Mechanism: Isolation -- it's a way to keep from being overwhelmed by emotions that arouse anxiety by withdrawing into thought.


 

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