Type 5 on a Monday


Again with the Enneagram? YES, it’s my blog so suck it up. Just thought I’d share some insight into me, because even though reading this in a CAC email first thing on a Monday morning was not the most fun, it’s all true. It’s been really cool to read more about each Enneagram number for the past week, but this is what I’ve been waiting for. I love the Enneagram as a resource for learning but also for growing. Good. Stuff. (post with life updates coming soon)

Type Five: The Need to Perceive

The Five appears to be the headiest of all the head types (Five, Six, and Seven). Their primal experience as an Eight Soul Child was of the absolute order of God and the genius of controlling all the parts in one working universe. Fives go inside the mind to find the power that they were denied, or denied themselves, in the external world.   The sin of the Five is avarice (or greed), and they are avaricious for knowledge, thoughts, ideas, silence, and space. To them, knowledge is power and they can never know enough to fill the emptiness they feel inside. Fives always need yet another course, another book, another silent retreat. They are always observing, often from a safe back corner. Fives spend most of their lives behind a one-way mirror through which they can look out, but won’t let you look back at them.  

Fives try not to be drawn into the whirlpool of feelings and events but instead develop their own kind of “objectivity.” It’s important to them to remain calm—at least externally—and to keep their emotions under control. In reality, most Fives have an intense emotional life. But at the moment something happens, it’s as if their emotions are blocked and always come limping behind. At first Fives register something with eyes, ears, and brain; they can stand alongside the event with seeming objectivity. As soon as they are alone, they begin to evaluate it, once again from the head. That’s how they gradually get in touch with their emotions, if they do at all.  

Detachment can be seen as the virtue of the Five. Fives can be outstanding listeners and counselors. Their ability to withdraw themselves emotionally can help those seeking advice to appraise their own situation more clearly. But detachment can also be seen as the Five’s greatest weakness. Among the life tasks of Fives is learning commitment and action. Fives have to fall in love passionately. “Learning to love” is one of their great challenges because it crashes up against their wish for distance. Fives who won’t allow themselves to “lose their heads” in love are incomplete. Without it, they remain emotionally stingy all of their lives.  

Meditation and prayer are for Fives crucially important sources of power. Fives need to cultivate their inner world in order to find the courage to devote themselves to the outer world. The latter becomes possible only when the inner world is experienced as less threatening, when Fives have found repose and security in God and hence in themselves. Meditating on the Incarnation, that is, the commitment and passion of Christ, his readiness to get his hands dirty and heal human beings by touching them, can reconnect the Five with their Soul Child, the Eight.  

Redeemed Fives link their knowledge to a search for wisdom and strive for a sympathetic knowledge of the heart. They have a quiet inner power and are tenderly emotional, loving, polite, hospitable, and gentle—while also protecting strong personal boundaries.  


numbers & letters.

I know I’ve talked about it a little before, but in case you missed it, I’m a little obsessed with the Enneagram. Really, I just love personality tests, but this one is my favorite. Every day I get an “Enneathought” which generally makes a thought-provoking statement about your type. (I’m a 5, in case you’re wondering) I love these thoughts. Most of the time. Sometimes they’re a little too right, if you will, so I don’t love them as much, but they’re always pretty spot on.

Well, the other day I got this one:

Each type tends to “train” others to see them in certain ways. How have you boxed yourself in by training others to see you as an intelligent, perceptive person? What can you do today to reveal a new dimension of yourself to others?

Uhhh, whoa. Have you ever thought about that? I don’t know that I have, not with intentionality (<not a real word) anyways, not with the desire to do anything about it. But it’s true. When I think about what people say to me, what people I barely know say about me, it’s clear I somehow in some way train them to think of me in certain ways.

Honestly I’m not even sure how I do it. And for that reason I don’t know how to even begin showing another dimension of myself to people. Do I have another dimension? In-ter-est-ing. I want to talk more about this, to dig deeper into it, but not here, not with cyber air.

What about you, you may not be a 5, you may not train people to think you’re an intelligent or perceptive person, but what have you trained people to see you as? And more importantly, are you content with it?

(Also, being the obsessive personality geek that I am, I found this funny tumblr “hipster intj” [btw I’m an intj] where this girl takes phrases or things from an intj profile and overlays a ‘hipstery/emo-ish’ photo with them. I think it’s awesome, but maybe that’s an intj thing? ANYways. the images below made me giggle a little [although the first one is generally very true…i can’t get past that background]) 

P.  S.   if you know your Enneagram number or Meyers-Briggs classification PLEASE share. I LOVE knowing my friends’.