Enneagram 5 – The Sage

As an Enneagram 5, you are nurtured into this deep running desire for knowledge and for answers. Often, 5s grow up feeling bad about their ignorance and their lack of knowledge in several domains. Feeling more stupid or ignorant than others, they spend a lot of time trying to learn and practice and become experts. Enneagram 5s hope to overcome their feelings of inadequacy by becoming more competent and knowledgeable.

Enneagram 5 Short Description

Nickname: The Sage, The Student, The Hermit
Mindset: “The truth will set me free”
Negative emotion: Doubt
Positive emotion: Certainty

Enneagram 5 At Their Best (And Worst)

Doubt is the strongest negative driving force in Enneagram 5s. Feeling that they are strongly inadequate or ignorant or somehow less competent than other people, they believe they must study, must learn, to overcome their personal feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Enneagram 5s tend to hoard data, knowledge, factual tidbits, and fun trivia.

The more they know about a situation, the more comfortable they feel in it. They believe they need to study ahead and that they can’t show themselves as ignorant or stupid in front of other people. There can be a fear in this type of appearing naked or being caught unaware of something.

At their worst, this anxiety can drive them to avoid situations where they feel uncertain or uncomfortable. The more strongly they fall in the grip of their anxiety of being stupid or incompetent, the more reclusive and avoidant they can become. When asked to do something outside their comfort zone, they will often over-prepare by reading up on everything they can find before the event.

To other people, this can positively make them appear like experts, and more negatively, it can make them appear as know-it-alls. When unhealthy, this type can feel a need to show off their knowledge to other people. While to others, this can seem as showboating, to the type 5, it is just a defensive mechanism. You’re just trying to prove to yourself that you know enough on the matter to survive.

More positively, the knowledge of this type is something impressive indeed. These types can over time become known as true knowledge-bases and experts in their fields. This knowledge can be extremely important to the world, to innovation, to solve existential dilemmas, and much more.