Enneagram Type Five’s Subtype Descriptions

Which subtype are you?

Type #5 Self-Preservation Subtype

Of all the Enneagram types, self-preservation 5s are the true loners of the Enneagram
Tend to be the most emotionally detached, socially avoidant and introverted of the three type 5
subtypes
Positive/Enhancing:
• Are self-reliant and independent
• Often become extremely knowledgeable in their line of work or field of interest
• Are capable of making new discoveries or introducing inventions or life changing theories,
etc.
• Often make great teachers, mathematicians, scientists, consultants and computer
programmers
• Can be excellent at investing money and creating stability/security for themselves and
loved ones
• When healthy, are concerned about eating well, exercising regularly, getting adequate
sleep, paying bills on time and basically keeping themselves well-functioning
Negative/Depleting:

• Inner tension between wanting to withdraw from life vs. wanting to participate fully in life
• Tend to avoid social contact; can feel alienated from others at times
• Withdraw into their lair because they easily feel drained by being around people too much
• Can feel overwhelmed by people’s expectations, intrusiveness, questioning, neediness,
demands, etc.
• Underlying feelings of scarcity cause them to withdraw into privacy
• Can be overly protective of their time, money, space and energy output
• Minimalistic; get by with the bare essentials (like books, bookshelves, a computer &
Sudoku puzzles!)
• Tend to retreat to the comfort and solitude of their home where they feel more safe and at
ease
• Often struggle in their relationships because they are so private, independent and
emotionally detached
• Can have voyeuristic tendencies and/or be sexually perverted
• At worst, can be eccentric, isolated weirdoes who are prone to delusional, obsessive
paranoid thinking

Type #5 Sexual Subtype

Tend to be the most friendly, affable and talkative of the three type 5 subtypes
Positive/Enhancing:

• Like to know their partner’s personal thoughts, feelings and desires, and like sharing their
own
• Tend to be good conversationalists and advice givers (like 2s, but different energy)
• Can be patient, understanding, curious and great listeners (like 9s)
• Can be very open-hearted and merged with their partner at times (like 9s)
• Enjoy sharing secrets with their partner and trusted allies and are excellent at keeping
secrets too
• Can express their feelings especially well nonverbally, through their sensuality and
sexuality
• Often have a strong sex drive (which helps sexual 5s get involved in and stick with a
relationship)
• Trust and privacy are big issues; don’t want their partner discussing relationship issues
with other people.

Negative/Depleting:
• Inner tension between wanting privacy/alone time vs. wanting intense, intimate
connection with partner
• Are looking for the ideal partner who doesn’t recoil from their intensity, social
awkwardness or shyness
• Can lack confidence in their social skills, especially when initiating contact with a romantic
interest
• Expressing feelings that occur in the moment is difficult without having time to think about
them
• Disengage from their partner to be alone after an intense engagement which can confuse
their partner
• Sometimes they can unexpectedly leave/disappear for long periods of time without any
notice
• If they feel misunderstood or rejected in any way they can become quite emotionally
distant
• At worst, can be voyeuristic, kinky, sexually perverted and/or isolate themselves from
society.

Type #5 Social Subtype

Tend to be the most intellectual and extroverted of the three type 5 subtypes
Positive/Enhancing:
• Often drawn to academia or science (but not always); may become an expert in their field
• Often enjoy teaching, training, research, scholarship, sharing their knowledge and wisdom
• Usually are good at debating, analyzing, critiquing, investigating, researching,
conceptualizing, etc.
• Like going to seminars, conferences and meetings to learn new knowledge and meet likeminded
people
• Enjoy learning widely and broadly to understand what other experts in different fields have
to say

• Self-reliant and independent

Negative/Depleting:
• Inner tension between wanting to connect with people vs. wanting to withdraw to be alone
• Can be haughty, snobbish, intellectually arrogant and condescending toward “inferiorminded”
people
• Like other 5s, can have difficulty with social chit-chat and small talk, unless talking about
their field
• Some social 5s can have difficulty adhering to mindless rules and regulations
• Overly concerned about their social position; want to be one of the intellectual elite
(especially 5s with a 6 wing) or the creative elite (especially 5s with a 4 wing)
• Overly concerned with getting credentials and judging people by their credentials
(degrees, titles, etc.)
• More introverted social 5s can avoid groups and organizations altogether while still caring
about their social position and how they are seen by society
• At worst, can be antisocial crackpots propounding their provocative, even anarchistic views
to others

 

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