Enneagram Tritype Descriptions: Type Five

This is a list of descriptions for all the Enneagram Tritypes of type Five: it explores the flavours that each tritype configuration can bring to this type. Therefore they are by no means complete depictions of type Five and must be viewed as additions and orientations of the main characteristics of the leading type (which will remain fundamental).

If you are a type Five and have decided on your tritype as well, feel free to leave a comment on how you experience it and how well the specific description fits you. There is always room for improvement.

5-2-1: these Fives enjoy using their knowledge and expertise in the benefit of others and are typically attracted to humanitarian causes. They are more altruistic and generous than other Fives and also more social, involved and controlling. They want to help other people and usually do it by teaching them how to help themselves – they can make good teachers. However they have some trouble with acknowledging their own problems and needs and tend to protect their inner world by focusing on others.
typical subtypes: social, 5w6
similar tritypes: 5-1-2, 2-5-1
flavours: altruistic, social, devoted and controlling

5-2-9: this is a more generous, social and good-natured Five, who genuinely enjoys helping others out and being in a relationship with them. Although they do require their alone time, Fives of this tritype tend to be more personable and they make wonderful advisors and counselors as long as they can keep behind the scenes. They are rather attracted to human sciences (psychology, sociology) and have a natural flair for moderating conflicts and solving people’s problems.
typical subtypes: social, 5w4
similar tritypes: 5-9-2, 2-5-9
flavours: friendly, understanding, cooperative and humanistic

5-2-8: these Fives take pleasure in helping and directing other people, but in the process can end up imposing their own views in a more or less direct manner. They need to stay in control of their relationships and although they make generous, devoted and fearless friends and partners, others might perceive them as possessive, demanding and domineering. These types tend to intrude on others while at the same time remaining secretive and self-protective themselves, hiding their own needs and problems.
typical subtypes: sexual, 5w4, 5w6 (counterphobic wing)
similar tritypes: 5-8-2, 2-5-8
flavours: self-confident, generous, dominating and possessive

5-3-1: one of the most cold-blooded and self-controlled of the Fives, this tritype is remarkably efficient, hard-working and competent, although a little bit anal as well. They demand recognition for their contributions and are fairly concerned with their image and intellectual value. Somewhat self-righteous and impatient with others, they are however pragmatic and tactful enough not to compromise their goals by being too inflexible. These Fives are very clever, self-confident, perfectionist, arrogant and glacial.
typical subtypes: social, self-preserving, 5w6
similar tritypes: 5-1-3, 3-5-1
flavours: cold, composed, efficient and self-important

5-3-9: these Fives might strike others as rather pleasant and cooperative persons, but they are usually more ambitious and purposeful than they let on. They are goal-oriented individualists who dream of achieving an impressive and long-lasting success in their field – they secretly desire becoming famous and leaving their mark on the world. These Fives are also more dependent on outer validation than others – they care more about their image and the way others perceive and react to them, therefore they might seem a little more conventional and mainstream in their behavior.
typical subtypes: social, self-preserving, balanced wings
similar tritypes: 5-9-3, 9-5-3
flavours: cunning, congenial, goal-oriented and flexible

5-3-8: more ambitious, competitive and assertive than others, these Fives stand out through their leadership abilities. They are rather good at managing people and know how to employ their powers and competencies in order to obtain an effective result. Pragmatic, goal-oriented and driven, but also a tad arrogant and egotistical, they know how to influence a situation to their advantage. And yet, although they are proficient in authority positions, others can find them quite unsympathetic and self-interested, with very little interest in people who cannot be of clear use to them.
typical subtypes: social, sexual, balanced wings
similar tritypes: 5-8-3, 3-5-8, 8-5-3
flavours: self-confident, pragmatic, hard-working and narcissistic

5-4-1: these Fives are perhaps the most typical of this type’s usual description – they’re withdrawn, imaginative, ingenious, detail-oriented and sensitive. Very intelligent and creative but also somewhat capricious, fussy and impractical, they have explicit standards of intellectual ability and artistic taste and tend to reject and ridicule anything and anyone that doesn’t rise up to them. Typical isolationists who feel misunderstood by society, they hide in their ivory tower of ideas and ideals, abstractly reconstructing reality according to their own terms.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, sexual, 5w4
similar tritypes: 4-5-1, 1-5-4
flavours: individualistic, elegant, inventive and nit-picking

5-4-9: shy, somewhat fragile and a bit romantic, such Fives tend to put on a congenial fa├žade to hide their rich inner worlds from the society. They outwardly appear friendly but reserved, usually mysterious to other people who sense there is more depth and intensity hidden behind their amiable mask. These Fives have rich imaginations and love to immerse themselves in thoughts and fantasies. They are introspective, dreamy, creative and socially withdrawn, but also disorganized and painfully avoidant.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, sexual, 5w4
similar tritypes: 5-9-4, 9-5-4, 4-5-9
flavours: insightful, imaginative, enigmatic and unstructured

5-4-8: more reactive and temperamental, such Fives find it harder to control their emotions than other tritypes. They are basically sensitive, reclusive and ingenious, occasionally indulging in (romantic) day-dreams and fantasies, but once in a while their fierce, visceral side reveals itself explosively and gets to surprise people who don’t know them well. These Fives are usually selfish and whimsical, considering themselves entitled to special treatment which they will sometimes claim aggressively. They are prone to mood swings and rage outbursts.
typical subtypes: sexual, self-preserving, 5w4
similar tritypes: 5-8-4, 4-5-8
flavours: innovative, temperamental, egocentric and intense

5-1-2: these Fives could make great teachers – they are precise, ethical, thorough, disciplined, but also altruistic and willing to help other people. They are usually moral and righteous individuals, who have high ideals and are willing to stand by a cause they believe in. Their interest in people and commitment to knowledge and improvement can turn them into crusaders for theories and systems that can make the world a better place, sometimes at the cost of their own physical and emotional needs.
typical subtypes: social, 5w6
similar tritypes: 5-2-1, 1-5-2
flavours: idealistic, conscientious, principled and ethical

5-1-3: exacting, methodical, organized and fairly self-righteous, these Fives have a compulsive need for logic and order in their environment. They are hard-working and more practical and pragmatic than other Fives, focusing on the efficiency and improvement of the systems that interest them. They also enjoy and expect receiving the deserved recognition for their efforts, considering their time and involvement very precious. This tritype is one of the most cool-headed, rigid and self-controlled.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, social, 5w6
similar tritypes: 5-3-1, 3-5-1, 1-5-3
flavours: exigent, methodical, formal and efficient

5-1-4: these Fives stand out by being rather fussy - they’re pretentious and perfectionist and can be highly demanding of their environment. Idealistic and principled, these Fives can be very criticizing and rejecting of people and situations that do not meet their standards – many would call them fastidious. To a certain extent, they believe themselves to be superior and different from others - misunderstood but brilliant. Indeed their intellect, insightfulness and logical thinking, as well as their physical and emotional fragility contribute to an overly cerebral image.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, 5w4, 5w6
similar tritypes: 1-5-4, 5-4-1
flavours: principled, precise, finicky and sensitive

5-9-2: rather easy-going, modest and amiable, these Fives are usually pleasant to have around because of their friendly nature and deeper understanding of the human needs and frailties. They are less judgemental and critical than other Fives and prefer to focus on the better side of things and people and work on exploring and improving these. They also have a somewhat holistic approach to life’s problems and questions – they tend to prefer the general to the particular and aren’t always very scientifically thorough.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, social, 5w4
similar tritypes: 5-2-9, 9-5-2
flavours: agreeable, relaxed, friendly and spiritual

5-9-3: these Fives are naturally diplomatic, peaceful and somewhat charismatic. They care about harmony and balance and are a bit anxious of people’s rejection and disapproval. Very sentient and tactful, they know how to reach their objectives without causing much fuss around them – they go with the flow and adapt to people and situations in a facile manner. They’re the type of people that others don’t see coming, skillfully speculating opportunities to their advantage while keeping a low profile.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, social, 5w6
similar tritypes: 5-3-9, 9-5-3
flavours: tactful, well-mannered, collected and adaptable

5-9-4: reclusive, modest, discreet and quite dreamy and unassertive, such Fives possess a vast imagination in which they spend most of their time among their theories, fantasies and vivid memories. They have a somewhat bohemian charm to them – they are relaxed, casual, creative and a bit reckless. Usually pleasant and undisturbed on the outside, they hide complex inner worlds in which reality interweaves with fantasy, real with imaginary, the objective with the subjective. These Fives are gentle, sensitive and avoidant and tend to express their anger in a passive-aggressive manner.
typical subtypes: self-preserving, sexual, 5w4
similar tritypes: 5-4-9, 9-5-4, 4-5-9
flavours: laid-back, unconventional, imaginative and random

5-8-2: these Fives are more focused on and involved with their environments. They’re typically quite imposing and intrusive on others’ lives although they don’t like it when the reverse happens. They are dedicated, courageous, confident and passionate people, sometimes overprotective of their loved ones and having a tendency to dominate and more or less subtly manipulate others into believing as they do. Aiming for a position of power and authority, these Fives have a deep urge to closely control their worlds.
typical subtypes: social, sexual, 5w6 (counterphobic wing)
similar tritypes: 5-2-8, 8-5-2
flavours: self-confident, controlling, passionate and brave

5-8-3: a more ambitious, materialistic and dominant Five, who has a talent for leadership and a desire for achievement. More competitive and assertive than others, these Fives manage to get out of their shells more often to experience life in a more direct manner and obtain a position of power and success. Although still reserved and secretive, they exude a certain amount of self-confidence and strength which prevents their true vulnerabilities from being guessed by others (a huge fear of this tritype).
typical subtypes: social, self-preserving, 5w6 (counterphobic wing)
similar tritypes: 5-3-8, 8-5-3
flavours: poised, ambitious, domineering and territorial

5-8-4: original, rebellious, temperamental and highly individualistic and independent, these Fives are can be extremely self-focused and mostly unconcerned with other people’s feelings and wants. They are often inspired and have great vision which they strive to turn into reality – they have a practical side which helps them. Although brilliant and resourceful, others may find it hard to deal with their self-important, narcissistic behavior and their oversensitivity to frustration – their violent reactions can be scary.
typical subtypes: sexual, 5w4, 5w6 (counterphobic wing)
similar tritypes: 5-4-8, 8-5-4
flavours: resourceful, defiant, visionary and reactive

Also read the Tritype descriptions for:
Type One | Type Two | Type Three | Type Four | Type Six | Type Seven | Type Eight | Type Nine



strangerland said…
Just took the short test (Duniho) and got these results
The distribution of your scores:
Type 1: 7
Type 2: 8
Type 3: 7
Type 4: 9
Type 5: 16
Type 6: 9
Type 7: 8
Type 8: 12
Type 9: 8

Your probable Enneagram Type(s)
Your main type is probably 5
Considering the wings, you should be a 5 with balanced wings

I have no idea how to interpret these results. Now when I took the Myers many years ago I turned up INTP. It strikes me that one could malinger when answering in order to present in a certain way, or one can answer earnestly, in which case one might answer either how one desires to be or how one actually is. Cheers.
Mizmar said…
Thanks for taking the time to share these, INTP!

I've come to see myself as 5-4-9 and I think your description is very accurate. I can also see myself as a 5-4-8 considering my moods swings and occasional outbursts but then again I think most guys are like that to some extent regardless of what combination of types they are. Plus, most of my rage outbursts take place within my own imagination. That seems more Nineish to me. I don't think I'm very argumentative as far a Fives go.

I've come to see my father as 5w6 with 1 and 2 in his tritype and your descriptions of both the 5-1-2 and the 5-2-1 fit him quite well. He's every bit as detached and distant as the stereotypical Five but he can easily shift to become more outgoing. He's very good with people in general, knows how to flatter them, and is very socially aware. He used to work with troubled children in his younger years. He tends to hold strong ideological views. I've always been comparatively indifferent to ideological issues. I tend to be more oriented to art and music than he is.

Finally, there's a certain friend who I see as a 5w4 with 2 and 9 in her tritype. Your 5-9-2 is dead on. She's much more of a "people person" than most Fives. She isn't bubbly the way a lot of Twos are, but she sure seems to pride herself on being helpful.
Kozan said…
How do you derive tritypes?

I am an INTP, type 5 sp/sx/so.

When I take strengths by percentage, I score:

Type 1 Perfectionism 42%
Type 2 Helpfulness 46%
Type 3 Image Focus 14%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity 22%
Type 5 Detachment 90%
Type 6 Anxiety 22%
Type 7 Adventurousness 70%
Type 8 Aggressiveness 42%
Type 9 Calmness 86%

Interested in your perspective.

Thanks for your work here too.
INTP said…
Hi Kozan,

In order to derive your tritype from these test results , you need to find your preferred type in each of the 3 Triads. You will have one in the Gut Triad (1,8 or 9), one in the Heart Triad (2, 3 or 4) and one in the Head Triad (5,6 or 7).

If the results of this test are accurate (you should verify them through study and decide for yourself), then your highest scores in each triad will give you the types that make up your tritype.

In your case, you have 9 in the Gut Triad, 2 in the Heart Triad and 5 in the Head Triad. This indicates your tritype is a combination of these types – 9, 2 and 5. What you need to do now is order them according to their prevalence in your personality.

Your results show that you are using type 5 the most (which is your main type), followed by type 9 and then type 2. Again, if these scores are to be trusted ( tests aren't always that precise ), then your tritype should be 5-9-2. There are also chances that you are a 9-5-2 (scores for 9 and 5 are pretty close).

But of course, the final decision is yours, I’m just analyzing the results of this test – I suppose it’s the one on similarminds. And by the way, if you took the short version of it, remember it’s not nearly as accurate as their longer one, especially for determining the tritype.
Sleepyhead said…
When will you do the Type 4 tritypes? I'm a 4 and I'd like to know what my other components are.
INTP said…
Sleepyhead, I'm working on them. I'll probably post them this December.
Tiggy said…
This is the first time I've scored so high on Six. I think that's because I ticked things like 'Loyal' and ones related to anxiety and worry, but I've been suffering from stress for two years now due to events including post-traumatic stress and the threat of being made homeless, debt and wrongful arrest. I think everyone likes to think they are loyal to their friends and many types can have anxiety and worry. I don't have loyalty to institutions or groups, including my parental family. So I think the Six questions need to be more Six specific.
Riley said…
I look forward to reading the rest of the tritype descriptions, if you have time to write them, especially for 8!
Jasmine said…
I'm a little confused by the test - I had a 5w6, but I'm quite confused about my results.

I identify strongly with 5, 1, 3 and 6.

At my best I appear to be collected, intellectual, critical, insightful, practical, talented, brilliant and in control. Around my friends I will be warm, kind, inspirational, helpful and frank. Alone I will be peaceful, contemplative, self-inspiring, artistic and filled with wonder. I am a pragmatist with heart - I enjoy serving and developing others, tackling problems, planning and self-improvement.

At my worst I am disorganised, disassociative, escapist, AWOL, depressed, vulnerable, self-hating, ashamed, suspicious, anxious, fantasy-driven, oppositional, passive and exhausted.

I can appear to be an ENTJ at my best, but I am an INFJ. I am unsure of how to accurately reflect and represent my best and worst sides. I feel that the tritypes are inadequate in representing my personality ... it is troubling me and I would gladly appreciate some help and guidance from you. Thank you!
Hollis said…
How interesting! I thought I was 5-3-8
but it looks like 5-2-8 suits me better.
Very well explained/described. thanks!
Salla said…
Hi and thanks for this information! I'm a Five by myself, too, and been wondering my tritype. Based on your post and my own thoughts I'm thinking about 5-4-9 or perhaps 5-4-1. My Jungian type is also INTP, I think. I've actually had a hard time getting into a conclusion with these so I think I have to be a P ;) It's like how can you ever be sure you know since there's so much information you might not have yet.
Anonymous said…
I'm kinda confused..

these are my scores:
Type 5 53 Points
Type 6 41 Points
Type 9 41 Points
Type 4 37 Points

It said i'm a 5w6, but what is my tritype?
INTP said…
In response to the above poster - your test results suggest that your tritype is 5-9-4.
Anonymous said…
My results are 6w5, what is my tritype?
Anonymous said…
Hi, i have been reading your blog for a good time ago and I would like to know when you will post about the others tritypes. Thankxs
Stormy Day said…
I took the test and had a 5w6 result, but I am really more in-between a 5-9-4 and 5-2-9.
I find with these tests that I am not always sure I understand the meaning behind the statements, so I think my answers may not be necessarily correct. I find that very frustrating about these tests.
I am also an INFP.

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