Enneagram Type 5 – The Observer

As the name suggests, this personality type watches the world go by from the safety of their ivory tower. They aim to achieve greater clarity and understanding of the world around them. They don’t like confrontation or dissent so tend to take the third party view – refusing to get involved in any family squabbles.

They tend to make headstrong leaders as they are fully confident in their own abilities. They “know” that they will either have a deeper understanding of the subject matter already or else have the ability to learn it. Observers are happy to make decisions in the workplace as they believe in logical thinking but will pass the responsibility for emotional decisions i.e. those involved in a relationship to the other party.

The positive aspects of this personality type are their curiosity in people and the world around them, and this makes them willing to try new ideas. They have great courage and tend to be non judgmental of other human beings. They encourage others to develop their own independence as they are happy to delegate and trust others in their team.

The negative behavior with this personality type is, as with the other types, a distortion of their strengths. As they are analytical by nature, they believe that everyone is in control of their life so can be quite unsympathetic. They do not believe in fate so any misfortune you may suffer is down to your own incompetence.

Observers tend to be very bad at asking for help as they believe that they already know everything they need to know. This makes them resourceful people but they can be difficult for others to live with.

Are you an observer?  Try these questions:

  • Do you have a thirst for knowledge and information?
  • Do you find other people’s lack of logical thinking to be extremely irritating?
  • Do you find yourself becoming excited by anything new, unexpected and are quickly bored by repetition?

Some simple tips to help reinforce the positive side of this personality type:

  • Learn to value spontaneity – not everything has to be planned down to the last detail.
  • Believe in your freedom to express your emotions.
  • It is ok to ask for help – you cannot possibly know everything.

Instead of being selfish and uncompromising, acknowledge the world around you and use your knowledge freely to help others.

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