Type Five Misidentifications

Type Five Misidentifications

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This is a discussion on Type Five Misidentifications within the Type 5 Forum - The Investigator forums, part of the Head Triad - Types 5,6,7 category; ...

  1. #1
    Type 8

    Type Five Misidentifications

    • Type Five-Type One

    Ones and Fives both correspond to Jungian thinking types–the One to the extroverted thinking type (PT, 381-82) and the Five to the introverted thinking type, or to what we suggest might better be termed the "subjective" thinking type (PT, 177-78). The main difference between them can be discerned from the fact that they are in two different Triads: Ones are an instinctive type and Fives are a thinking type. While Ones certainly do think, they are primarily people of action, and are only interested in ideas that lead to some practical result. Fives, however, are truly a mental type: they can ponder any proposition or idea and do not particularly care about its practical ramifications.
    Contrary to popular notions, opinions and beliefs have their basis in the instincts, in the gut. When we assert a position ("This is absolutely the way it is!") the certainty of our view comes from our gut. If we are present enough to notice, we can feel this when we express a strong opinion. And indeed, Ones are people of strong convictions and opinions as befitting a type in the Instinctive (or Gut) Triad. Average to unhealthy Ones are entirely convinced of the rightness of their views, and respect people who hold similar strength in their convictions. They think as a way of buttressing their already established beliefs. Average to unhealthy Fives tend to get lost in a maze of uncertainty. They may develop elaborate theories or positions only to overturn them soon after. While less healthy Fives may assert provocative views, they are more interested in disturbing the certainty of others than in convincing others that they have the correct view. Unhealthy Fives may want to feel smarter than the other person, and even argue points that they do not personally agree with just to prove to themselves that they can mentally "run circles" around others. As they become less healthy, Ones become more rigid and fixed in their views about things: Fives become more uncertain, nihilistic, and afraid that they cannot arrive at any kind of meaning or truth.
    Similarly, they differ most markedly in the One's emphasis on certainty and judgment and the Five's relative lack of certainty and difficulty with discernment. (While healthy Ones have excellent judgment, average Ones are merely judgmental–still, making judgments about the world around them is one of the principal ways in which their extroverted thinking manifests itself.) Judgment is not as centrally important to Fives. They want to understand how the world works on a theoretical level or create inner worlds of imagination that are interesting and amusing to them. Thus, Fives tend to be detached from the practical world and intensely involved with complex mental constructs. And while healthy Fives observe and interact with the real world around them, average Fives, as they become more deeply enthralled by their own cerebral landscapes, lose their capacity to make accurate assessments about the truth, significance, or accuracy of their ideas. They gradually care less about an idea's objective rightness than about how their ideas relate to other thoughts that arise in their minds. By contrast, Ones employ thinking so that they can relate more perfectly to the world: their focus is on making rules and procedures for the progress and improvement of themselves and their world. Average Ones are not as detached from the world, or as withdrawn as average Fives are: although they may be cool and impersonal, and somewhat overly reserved, Ones are keenly interested in applying their principles to daily life.
    Thus, Ones and Fives are opposites in the way they judge and evaluate reality. Ones judge situations from idealistic standards based on what they think should be the case. Fives are constantly investigating and questioning assumptions, not to mention standards and principles. Ones are deductive, operating from principles to specific applications; Fives are inductive, operating from given data to form more sweeping theories. Both are philosophical, and love knowledge: Ones as a means of perfecting the world, Fives as a way of discovering more about the world. Ones tend to be teachers and moralists, not inventors and iconoclasts like Fives. The difference between these types can be seen by comparing George Bernard Shaw (a One) and Isaac Newton (a Five), Margaret Thatcher (a One) and Susan Sontag (a Five).
    InvisibleJim, Singularity, Jack Rabid and 18 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Two

    This is an extremely unlikely mistype. Few people of either type would be likely to mistype themselves as the other type, but others might occasionally be fooled. Surprisingly, it is more likely for some Fives to be mistaken for Twos, but only in very narrow circumstances. Because Fives do not form emotional bonds easily, they can be highly dependent on the few they do form, and can become needy with their significant others. At such times, they do not want their loved ones far from them, somewhat like average Twos.
    Otherwise, these types are almost opposites. Twos are emotionally expressive and highly people-oriented. Fives are emotionally detached and can be the true loners of the Enneagram. Both feel rejected easily, but Twos cope by winning people over and Fives cope by detaching from the hurt and isolating themselves further. Twos go by their feelings and can get flustered or irritated by overly intellectual approaches or complex ideas and procedures. Fives get flustered or irritated by sentimentality and gushiness: Fives feel that they are in their element with intellectual concepts and complexity. Twos tend to move toward others: Fives tend to withdraw from others, and so forth.

  3. #3
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Three

    The principal reason these two very different types are confused is that some average Threes (especially if they are intelligent) would like to see themselves as "thinkers." Since Fives are most stereotypically seen as the "intelligent, thinking type," average Threes may choose it rather than the type they actually are. This misidentification is made almost exclusively by Threes since Fives are not likely to think that they are Threes. Average Threes are set up to fulfill the hidden expectations of their parents; so in a family that values intelligence, originality, and intellectual brilliance, it is quite natural for Threes to grow up thinking that they must be those things in order to be worthwhile. Thus, narrow conceptions of the types, or unflattering and unfair presentations of type Three in some Enneagram literature may cause some average Threes to want to be Fives.
    Some Threes may well be thinkers and have original ideas; they may excel academically and be brilliant students. But these traits alone are not sufficient to be a Five. Once again, the root of the misidentification lies in focusing on one or two traits rather than considering the type as a whole, including its central motivations.
    There are many significant dissimilarities between these two types. The kind of thinking they engage in is very different: Fives are very process-oriented: they do not care about final goals and can be extraordinarily involved in abstract ideas for the sake of acquiring knowledge, virtually as an end in itself. The pursuit and possession of knowledge enthralls Fives, and not only do their interests need have no practical results for them to be satisfying, average Fives are just as likely never to seek fame or fortune for their discoveries or creations. Fives follow their ideas wherever they take them, with no particular end in view. Their ideas need not even be related to making discoveries. Creating their own private inner realities can be reward enough. In any case, average Fives will stay with a project for years until they exhaust their subject or themselves, or both.
    Threes, by contrast, are not usually involved in subjects for their own sake: they change their interests and careers rapidly if the success and recognition they seek elude them. Moreover, average Threes pursue their intellectual work with personal goals in mind (either consciously or unconsciously): to impress others, to be famous, to be known as best in their field, to be acclaimed as a genius, to beat a rival at a discovery, to win a prestigious prize or grant, and so forth. The essential consideration is that their intellectual work is frequently undertaken to achieve goals and garner recognition rather than for the love of knowledge and the excitement of intellectual discovery. In Threes, self-promotion and status-seeking elements can enter the picture. Average Threes tend to promote themselves and to talk about their brilliant achievements, whereas average Fives tend to be secretive and reticent about their work and discoveries. Furthermore, the pragmatic thinking of average Threes calculates how to achieve goals in the most efficient manner, something completely alien to impractical, curiosity-driven Fives.
    In addition, Threes are highly sociable and well groomed: they know how to present themselves favorably. Fives are usually loners and often put little to no effort into their personal appearance: their appearance means less to them than pursuing their interests until the problems are solved and the work is done. Average Threes are highly aware of what others think about them, whereas average Fives care little about anyone else's good opinion. Average Threes want to be considered as sexually and socially desirable and will conform to and set social standards. Fives are often strange, eccentric, and isolated from others–not at all concerned about conforming to social standards. Contrast the personalities of Threes such as Michael Tilson Thomas and Carl Sagan with those of Fives such as Glenn Gould and Stanley Kubrick.
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  5. #4
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Four

    Fours and Fives can resemble each other in that both are withdrawn types (PT, 433-36), both can be individualistic and eccentric by mainstream cultural standards, and both can be highly creative. Of course, there is a greater risk of mistyping with 4w5s and 5w4s.
    Fives are more likely to mistype as Fours than vice versa, primarily because of simplistic definitions of the types. Some Fives have learned that Fours are more feeling-oriented, and Fives are more intellectual, and seeing that they have deep feelings presume that they must be Fours. (This is especially true with female Fives.) Also, Fives are often portrayed as scientists or engineers while Fours are creative artists. In fact, it is true that Fours are less likely to be scientists than some other types, but there are as many Fives who are artists as Fours, although their styles are somewhat different.
    Fours are self-absorbed and emotionally volatile–they express their feelings one way or another, and need people to respond to them in an emotional way. Their artistic work tends to be autobiographical, based on their families, on relationships, past or unrequited, and on the content of their subjective experience. Fives may have intense feelings but share them with few people. Their feelings tend to fuel their thoughts and their imagination, leading them to more abstract or fantastic forms of creative expression. Their work is less autobiographical, and more often portrays their vision of reality. ("I paint what I see!") Fives tend to be more experimental and outlandish in their artwork. Although both types can explore personal darkness more thoroughly than most, Fours tend to focus on their disappointments in love and with their childhoods and their attendant pain. Fives tend to focus on inner emptiness and feelings of meaninglessness. Fives are more driven to penetrate the surface of things to understand, Fours to get in touch with feelings and cathartically express them. compare Fours Ingmar Bergman and Anne Rice with Fives David Lynch and Clive Barker.
    So Long So Long, gnat, Kuja and 79 others thanked this post.

  6. #5
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Six

    Fives and Sixes are both Thinking types and, when educated, can both be quite intellectual. It is far more common for Sixes to mistype as Fives, but for some easily understood reasons. Of the two types, Sixes tend to be more linear and analytical in their thinking because they are interested in troubleshooting, in prediction, and in establishing methods that can be repeated. Thus, contrary to popular belief, the world of academia and higher education is more the realm of Sixes than of Fives. Academia teaches students to work with advisers and mentors, to cite sources and back up arguments with quotes from authorities, to follow proper procedures in papers and theses, and so forth–all type Six values.
    Fives are much more non-linear in their thinking. They are interested in finding out where established theories break down and in developing iconoclastic ideas that shake up structures and established methods. Fives are, generally speaking, bolder than Sixes in their positions and creativity, but also far less practical. Fives feel that they can only trust their own minds to come to conclusions–they believe that everyone else is likely to be less well-informed. Sixes get frantic trying to find something to trust precisely because they do not trust their own minds to come to meaningful conclusions. The difference between them can be seen in the difference between Umberto Eco ( a Five) and Tom Clancy (a Six), or Peter Gabriel (a Five) and Bruce Springsteen (a Six).
    Jack Rabid, grmpf, Linesky and 35 others thanked this post.

  7. #6
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Seven

    These types are seldom mistyped for one another, but they do have some similarities. Fives and Sevens are also both Thinking types. They are both highly curious, exploratory, and willing to try new ways of doing things. Both types also have a propensity to collect things and to be high strung. They are quite different emotionally and in their characteristic preoccupations and avoidances.
    Fives tend to be more socially isolated and withdrawn, spending long hours alone working on their projects, reading, listening to music, and so forth. Fives prefer cerebral entertainment. Sevens are highly gregarious, and like to stay active. They enjoy a good read too, but get impatient with sitting around for extended periods of time. The gift of the Five is intense focus and concentration. The gift of the Seven is breadth of vision and synthesis. Sevens are also the optimists of the Enneagram, seeing the positive side of most things and wanting to avoid topics that get too dark, painful, or heavy. Fives are almost the opposite, seeing optimism as unrealistic and being drawn to the dark, the macabre, and the nihilistic side of life.
    Of course, Fives can resemble Sevens when they are under increased stress and moving in their Direction of Disintegration. At such times, they can become distracted and scattered like average Sevens. But as soon as the stressful situation is relieved, they will return to their more focused, withdrawn ways.
    Contrast Fives like Gary Larson with Sevens like Robin Williams.
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  8. #7
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Eight

    These two types are not often mistyped, but share similar attitudes. Eights and Fives both see themselves as outsiders and both feel rejected easily. Both are highly independent, and willing to go to battle with anyone who threatens their independence. Both believe in direct communication, can be aggressive, and tend to protect their vulnerability.
    Eights sometimes see themselves as Fives because they go to Five in stress, and therefore recall times when they have withdrawn from others to strategize and think about their future courses of action. Nonetheless, Eights more often deal with problems head on, and can be highly assertive in going after what they want. Fives, by contrast, tend to retreat from others and to cut off from many of their needs in order to avoid risking dependencies.
    Eights are highly instinctual and very related to their bodies: they are people of practical action, pragmatism, and sensuality, as a result. Fives tend to stay in their heads more, and often have an ambivalent relationship with their bodies. Staying grounded and practical can be a problem for Fives–it is almost never one for Eights. Compare James Joyce (a Five) with Ernest Hemingway (an Eight).
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  9. #8
    Type 8

    • Type Five-Type Nine

    A detailed comparison and contrast between Fives and Nines is warranted because so many Nines mistakenly think that they are Fives; typically, the misidentification almost never happens the other way around. Particularly if they are well educated and intelligent, average male Nines tend to think that they are Fives. (As noted in the discussion of Twos, average female Nines tend to think that they are Twos.)
    Of all the personality types, Nines have the most difficulty identifying which type they are because their sense of self is undefined. Average Nines have little sense of who they are apart from those they have identified with; hence, they are usually at a loss to know where to begin to find their type. (As we have seen, either they think they are Fives or Twos or they see a little of themselves in all the types and make no further effort at identifying themselves. If they have no guidance, Nines in this predicament usually shrug their shoulders and give up on the Enneagram and more important, on acquiring self-knowledge.)
    Even relatively healthy Nines still have a somewhat diffused sense of self because it is based on their capacity to be receptive to others—and to be unself-conscious. Moreover, average Nines have problems identifying their type because doing so arouses anxiety, something completely anathema to them. Whatever disturbs their peace of mind is ignored or met with a blind eye. They avoid introspection in favor of entertaining comforting notions about themselves, whatever they may be. Maintaining an undefined understanding of themselves, and thus, maintaining their emotional comfort, is more important to average Nines than acquiring deeper insights.
    None of this is true of Fives, and the two types are opposites in many ways. Nines are gentle, easygoing, patient, receptive, and accommodating, whereas Fives are intense, strong-minded, argumentative, contentious, and highly resistant to the influence of others. Nines like people and trust them; perhaps at times they are too trusting. By contrast, average Fives are suspicious of people and are anything but trusting, perhaps at times too cynical and resistant. Both types are among the three withdrawn types of the Enneagram, and (as we have seen with Fours and Nines), there are genuine similarities between them, although only superficial ones (PT, 433-36).
    Despite their similarities, the main point of confusion for Nines arises around the notion of "thinking." Nines think they are Fives because they think they have profound ideas: therefore, they must be Fives.
    Part of the problem stems from the fact that individuals of both types can be highly intelligent, although as a group Fives are probably the most intelligent of the nine personality types. (When Nines are highly intelligent, they can be as brilliant as Fives, although their intellectual prowess is compartmentalized. They are brilliant at work but unfocused and inattentive everywhere else, whereas Fives are focused and attentive everywhere all the time.) Although intelligence can be manifested in different ways, being intelligent does not make Nines intellectuals, just as thinking does not make them thinkers. As we have seen, the pattern as a whole (and the motivations) must be taken into consideration, not one or two traits in isolation. Since all the types think in one way or another, thinking alone, with no further distinction, is not a sufficient basis for a personality diagnosis.
    The fundamental difference between the thinking of Nines and that of Fives is that Nines are impressionistic, involved with generalities, imaginative ruminations, and fanciful situations. Nines typically do not concern themselves with details, nor are they usually good at following up once they have acted. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is highly focused, penetrating, and almost microscopic in the narrowness of its frame of reference. Fives love details, losing themselves in research, scholarship, and complex intellectual pursuits. They think in depth, concentrating so much that they block out other perceptions (eventually to their detriment). By contrast, even brilliant Nines tend to have problems concentrating; they also tend to lose interest quickly and to allow their attention to drift off when they become bored or anxious.
    Nines tend to spin grand, sweeping, idealistic solutions to problems, while Fives tend to speculate on problems, then on the problems that their problems have raised, then on those problems, ad infinitum. Nines may be gifted storytellers, able to communicate simply and effectively to others, even to children. Fives usually communicate to only a few or keep their ideas entirely to themselves. (Moreover, their ideas may be so complicated that they are difficult to communicate to all but other specialists.) Nines usually do not consider the consequences of their actions; Fives are extremely interested in predicting the consequences of every action. Nines idealize the world and create imaginary worlds in which good always triumphs over evil; Fives analyze the real world and create horrifying scenarios in which evil usually triumphs over good or exists in tension with it. Nines simplify; Fives complexify. Nines look to the past; Fives to the future. Nines are fantasists; Fives are theorists. Nines are disengaged; Fives are detached. Nines are utopians; Fives are nihilists. Nines are optimists; Fives are pessimists. Nines are open; Fives are resistant. Nines are non-threatening and nonjudgmental; Fives are defensive and contentious. Nines are at peace; Fives are in tension. Nines end in dissociation; Fives in paranoia.
    Comparisons and contrasts such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely because, while these two types are such opposites, they are also paradoxically similar. What they have in common is the tendency to ask "What if?" questions. The difference is in their response: Nines tend to ruminate on their fantasies, while Fives attempt to see if their ideas could come true. The Nine's ideas usually involve a single insight that, while true enough, is often impractical and goes nowhere. For instance, a Nine may think that the way to world peace is "for everyone to love one another." While this is doubtlessly true, the problem not addressed is how to get everyone to love one another. A Five wondering about the same problem would write a treatise on world peace after doing exhaustive historical research, eventually erecting a grand theory of peace. (The Five's ideas may also come to nothing, but at least they are pursued, and practical results may eventually come of them.) To give another example, a Nine might wonder what it is like to fly and make up a story about it. A Five might wonder how to fly and invent an airplane or do research on birds or design a rocket.
    In short, Nines have an active fantasy life and think that they have deep thoughts. Sometimes they do, of course, although the thinking of intelligent, well-educated Nines tends to be in the direction of simplifying reality and cutting through abstruse thickets to get at the kernel of truth beneath. Nines tend to see things the way they want them to be; they reinterpret reality to make it more comforting and less threatening, simpler and less daunting. By contrast, the thinking of Fives is complex. By attempting to arrive at a grand unifying theory that encompasses and explains everything, average Fives end up involved in increasing complications and abstractions. Their thought is focused on specifics, often highly technical and concerned with foresight and the consequences of acting one way rather than another. But at an extreme, Fives risk seeing reality not as it is but as a projection of their preoccupations and fears. They distort their perceptions of reality so that reality seems more negative and threatening than it actually is.
    Nines feel at ease in the world, and their style of thinking reflects their unconscious desire to merge with the world. Fives are afraid of being overwhelmed by the world, and their intellectual efforts are an unconscious defense against the world, an attempt to master it intellectually. There is a world of difference between these two types since they see the world so differently. Compare Charles Darwin (a Five) and Walt Disney (a Nine), Albert Einstein (a Five) and Jim Henson (a Nine) to understand the similarities and differences between these two types more clearly.


    That's it for Type Five.

  10. #9

    Thank you grey, that was very informative, i learned a lot.
    Grey thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Thanks you again Grey !!!

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