Grieving and the Enneagram: Type Five Personality October 17, 2019

Enneagram Type Five

Today we will continue our discussion about the Enneagram and how different personality types deal with grief. The Type 5 on the Enneagram will be our focus today. They are known as “The Investigator.” Let’s begin by talking about what characterizes this personality type. 

Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 5

  • Observant
  • Analytical
  • Perceptive
  • Focused
  • Creative
  • Problem Solver
  • Detached
  • Self-Controlled
  • Curious

Everyone experiences grief at one time or another in life.  When hard things happen we each respond differently. The Enneagram gives a blueprint of sorts to help us understand who we are and what suits us best as far as strengths, weaknesses and even the way we grieve.  Being self-aware and looking into the qualities and characteristics of our individual personalities can shed some insight on why we do what we do. 


An Enneagram 5 is known as “The Investigator.”  At their best a type 5 loves to learn and pass on that knowledge. They are very perceptive, often studying whether in a book or simply the world around them. They often will work things out in their minds before doing them.  

Healthy Unhealthy
Respectful Cold
Curious Intellectually arrogant
Engaged Withdrawn
Non-intrusive Self-reliant
Observant Emotionally unavailable

The Strengths of a Type Five

Many of these qualities will be evident not only in their joy but in their grief.  For example, a 5 who has had a loved one pass away may be the one that asks the Doctor all the questions. They will truly want to understand what was the cause of death down to the details.  They then can explain it to family and friends so everyone can truly understand the science of “what happened”. The questions are not meant to be gruesome but are purely scientific. Understanding “what happened” can help them in their grief if only to know that there was nothing they could have done to stop it.  


If a type 5 comes to you with a solution to a problem, you are ill-advised to assume that they haven’t researched it thoroughly before presenting it.  At their best 5’s are smart, focused, creative, self-reliant problem solvers. 


The Weaknesses of an Enneagram Type Five

As many experience in their own lives during times of grief or hardship the ability to stay balanced becomes harder. During times of grief stress is high and sleep is often in a shortage. When a 5’s self care needs are not being met they can become emotionally unavailable as well as cynical and argumentative. This makes 5’s very hard to be around and perpetuates the cycle of self -care going unmet.  


There is so much value in knowing both the good and bad side of a personality. It gives us the knowledge needed to take care of ourselves or others in their grief. Seek out grief support and discover the ways that help you be your best you even during times of hardship.


Read about the other Enneagram personality types and how they deal with grief here.

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