This article is a translation, see here the original and more current article (in Spanish).
Description and opinion article.
Key Ideas: Introvert. Observer. Objective. Wanting to understand the world around you. Sensitive inside, but reserved and warm on the outside. To trust very few people but fully. To feel that no one really knows you. Want space for oneself but at the same time need a deep and intense connection.
There are three instinctive subtypes of each enneatype, I comment here on the 5 intimacy (also called 5 sexual) since I find it of particular importance, both because of the confusion that usually has around this subtype, and because of the important differences it has with respect to the general descriptions of the five, something that usually causes an intimacy not to be identified with the 5 "as usually understood conventionally," and accustomed to see with part of 4 and part of 1.
It is often said that intimacy is "the less 5" of the three instinctive subtypes, this is partly because, because they are intimate, they are often more "emotional" than the other entities are .
Usually they are very warm people, although it is common that, from outside, 5 intimacy are seen as reserved people, and may even seem somewhat cold and distant with strangers, as this is how they usually appear before unknown people or with whom they do not have enough confidence; that is the main key of intimacy, trust. For 5 intimacy, friendship comes to be the same as sharing secrets, but they are not secrets as most people would understand, but rather is to reveal themselves without protections; this is what only with people of great confidence, intimacy and closeness share it, in general, people with whom a five intimacy reaches this level of trust can be counted on the fingers of one hand ... With others they would feel too vulnerable as to open without defenses.
In order to protect their identity and prevent the world from "attacking" them (according to their perception), the defense mechanism used by this enneatype is to disappear or camouflage ; try to go unnoticed without attracting attention. In hostile environments, intimacy uses its part of the observer to detect the "customs and tastes" from outside, and with it, try to act in ways that please others, or at least do not cause conflict. This can entail a great dilemma for the five intimacies: on the one hand, it has a very clear and "defined" personality, but on the other hand, if you spend too much time "being" whom others expect it to be, you can forget who really you are.
It is nearly as if they had a "double personality": their real one that only show the people of trust, and the official / cordial / correct / conventional / etc they use to try to adapt to the outside world, in order to protect themselves of the little understanding and little respect that normal people would have towards their real personality. They "are already unique in themselves", they do not have to try to do anything else to try to differentiate. However, when they are in healthier stages, this duality is soft.
They, more than anything else in the world, yearn to find people who truly understand, respect and value them, people with whom they can be themselves without protections and armor and, more especially, the intimacy they want to find their ideal partner, someone in whom they can trust completely and with whom they can share their lives. They are very demanding in their ideal of couple, so it is very difficult for someone to fulfill all their "requirements".
This subtype gives great importance and attention to his relationship (especially compared to other subtypes 5). For better or worse, to a greater or lesser extent, if they found their ideal partner, in the middle range they could live with their partner for years without almost needing anything else of "the outside world" (Although they also have a space for themselves); Because of this tendency, the 5 intimacies usually expect practically everything from her / him. They are very demanding, but, in the same way that they demand, they also give. In fact, intimacy can be really generous people with their partners, besides being a generosity of heart (if they are healthy), usually asking for practically nothing in return and without even needing the couple to be aware of what is done by it, simply, they surrender totally. It is perhaps for this reason that intimacy so carefully choose their partner, since they are afraid to surrender in body and soul to "anyone".
In the middle range (pulling down), the general tendency of this subtype is to "close" the outside world, to be opaque to strangers. Not to ask for help from anyone who is not very confident and close. Therefore, since your partner is (usually) the most trustworthy person, there may be a tendency to "compensate" him / her. This could lead to a heavy load on the relationship (especially for the emotional / sentimental part, which they usually share almost exclusively with the person). But, as I will explain later, the last thing a 5 would want is to be a burden for someone or that someone was a burden to him / her. A healthy intimacy would be more independent of their relationship and would be more open to the world and life outside the couple. At insane levels, this could become transformed into the so-called emotional dependency .
As 5 they are, they need a space to recharge their batteries, this is one of the things that people do not usually understand, but they need it as something basic and vital for their lives, "that is not something negotiable" for them. Although, if your partner is your trusted person, then it is possible that "recharging your batteries" means "escaping from the outside world and resting in the company of your partner", but in any case, even then there will be many moments where they will need to be alone with themselves.
In general, they have a great dilemma between the desire for independence and freedom and the great need to find a person of complete intimacy with whom to share their lives for most of the time. They need a partner, but it is very rare that they find someone who meets their requirements, which can lead them to be alone for a long time. It is a very difficult dilemma to solve ... In addition, the intimacy, despite being introverted, feel a great need for connection, can feel a huge gap within them if they do not have that connection with another person (if they are too long alone, can partially compensate for this need by something that keeps them company, such as music, a pet, etc., but that "will not be enough"). They need to have intimate contact with another person in order to "survive".
They may be afraid to compromise, but, unlike enneatype 7 (which is very volatile), in the case of 5 it is rather because, on the one hand, when an intimacy is committed it can be really very stable, it is like catching a great responsibility and, on the other hand, despite their great need for a partner, they may also be afraid of "having to carry someone" (especially with negative people, or get into many problems, etc.). They, despite demanding a lot from their partner, as I said before, would not like to be a "burden" for their partner (or anyone else), nor that their partner was a "burden" for them.
Likewise, according to the person, culture, time of his life, etc.; The 5 intimacy can depend more on a couple or less, can have "a single special person" or have "more than one", but in any case, the relationships that the intimacy seeks are always "one-to-one ". With very few people. With a very intense connection. And, above all, unique with each one .
Even so, especially regarding friendships and relationships with the outside environment, the stability of intimacy is relative. It is natural in this type of personality to have gaps of intensive contacts with people and gaps of absolute retirement. This is usually related to the high intensity of subtype 5 intimacy and the great need to recharge your enneatype 5 batteries in general. Is the way they have to resolve this conflict, alternating between the two needs according to the time. But, with an important nuance: they may spend a lot of time without calling their friends, but especially if they are healthy, they will always be there if a friend really needs them. It is like if they were cared for in the distance.
This is also happen in their projects and their hobbies. The pattern in this case would be: to get into something intensely for several hours / days / months until feeling that the process / interaction has already been completed, then, retiring for a long time, and later, perhaps returning to it again with great intensity.
They are usually retailers and perfectionists, but not as enneatype 1, but in another way. They like to do things well done (it can happen that, sometimes, "either they get something full or they do not get it"). But, unlike enneatype 1, for example, the 5 can value efficiency and practicality more than cultural / social customs and traditions. Especially, 5 have an internal perfectionism, with oneself. That is to say, it could be, for example, that they neglected their physical appearance or clothing, or that they had a disordered house, etc., that is not incompatible with the perfectionism of intimacy, in fact, sometimes it is even a motive, because when he is interested in something, the outside world can disappear or "go into the background", which can lead to neglect in other aspects of his life.
In any case, even though they are 5 (and so, for example, giving more priority to "clothes being comfortable" rather than "fashionable", or something like that) because of the importance this subtype give to relationships, they do not usually are as neglect as is usual in 5. Both in the field of clothing, that although discreet may want to "like to the others," as in the physical part, that even not even "identifying" with the body, it is possible that some intimacy they like to do physical exercise, going to the mountain, staying in shape, dancing, etc (things that, by the way, help them a lot to be able to "reconnect" with their body, is usually very healthy for them).
Fives intimacy can sometimes see themselves as not being "smart enough," but in reality they are often very intelligent people. This sensation stems from an inner belief that "you never know enough, you never are prepared enough"; 5 integrates when he accepts that, even though he does not know everything, he knows enough to do what he has to do and throw himself into the world (in a protected way).
Some 5 may be afraid of events that escape their control and/or illness, this can be overcome when one deeply understands the meaning of each thing that happens (but this is very personal, so I will not talk about it here, in order to respect each person's beliefs). Despite this fear, they are not usually afraid of death, because they do not identify with the body too much and because this world tends to tire them quite a lot. The fear of disease, hospitals,... is rather the process and what it entails. As an extreme case, if they ever had a serious accident, they might prefer not to be taken to the hospital, since they would be much more afraid of "falling too much ill" than "dying" (although not all intimacy would prefer this).
This issue is also related to a very critical internal part that they have not want to disturb, not occupy space, not exist (which I will comment later in the text). That part is not healthy, as they are healing, this part is decreasing. The 5 are balanced with the enneatype 8, the power in the world. Fives are balanced when they begin to manage their life and dare a little to go out into the world and expose themselves (at least partially). Fives need a lot of assertiveness to live in this world, they are different, and they need not to care what people think of them, to reaffirm themselves and to move forward (but with the right protections). When this happens, intimacy can begin to be truly himself / herself, and with it a space to be in the world and therefore a space to live, to be in the world. This is the healthy part of intimacy, it is the moment when 5 enters into the world and not only remains as an external observer (which is his usual state in the average level).
The 5 wants to understand the world around him, when the world appears to have no sense they are "frightened", living it as "external threats out of their control". But, as they begin to deeply understand the real meaning of the world and find its meaning, this fear fades into nothingness.
Anyway, although the internal nature of 5 is to be calm, centered people, valuing a lot of respect, etc., to the 5 intimacy sometimes they like to explore "very different" environments, especially, it is customary that they approach rather "anti-social" environments, but trying to preserve their own individuality. It is as if they like to explore different environments to see what new points of view can bring them, but always avoiding "dangerously fooling themselves".
When they are young, it is common to go with older people because of their maturity, when they are older, they may go with young people because of their "freshness" (to be less touched by society).
Also, sometimes it is common for them to have friendships with enneatype 7 or similar, extroverted and fun people who bridge between them and the outside world. People who understand and respect them, but, at the same time, encourage them to go out into the outside world, have fun outside, etc. This usually brings a spark of life that always comes very well (but with the appropriate dose and limits).
In the deepest part, as eneatype 5 which they are, they have a very strong internal contradiction: On the one hand, they are clear their value, but, on the other hand, they feel as if they should not exist. It is as if they wanted to walk on the mountain without treading the grass. As if they felt that just by existing and consuming they are already destroying. That belief is really harmful to the 5. They do not need any more of that. Those beliefs go bad both to the 5 itself and to the people around by the consequences that it provokes (direct and indirect). Among other things, if the 5 never dares to leave the world, it will not matter that "it can have lots of solutions to many of the world's problems". Because, if that is not communicated or tried to put into practice, all those solutions will disappear, will go unnoticed or fall forgotten without materializing. Fives would love to have another who was the public spokesman of his ideas, in order not to expose himself, but that is rarely possible ...
The 5 need to give themselves a little room to annoy, and not only the couple or people of great confidence, but also strangers, to the world. They need let themselves to have a space in the world (at least something similar to what the average person usually does, does not need anything special, but at least vital minimums). As I said before, when the 5 create that space he can live and expand. And when a 5 expands, it ceases to feel empty / needy and begins to feel abundant. At that moment, he automatically begins to give, but naturally, simply by expansion (perhaps the way to give more "correct", when you do not give based on "break and lose" but expand, and thereby contribute to the global expansion, giving of heart, without asking for anything in return, without creating "debts" with anyone, not sacrificing to you you get that nobody owes you anything, and thereby liberate others by indirectly teaching them that "no one needs to lose for another to win", one of the best ways for the world to grow globally).
The 5 intimacy can be of inestimable help to the people who have around or to the world, for example, many great inventions of humanity have come from personalities 5 such as Nikola Tesla a genius too advanced for his time. (Seeing how they treated Nikola Tesla rightly the 5 intimacies are afraid to go out into the world ... For a five intimacy, going out into the world is like making a big donation, since you know that you automatically expose yourself to ignorant people attacking you just because they want to help and point out where the solutions they have always been looking for. Because of this, many 5 finally choose to do an internal work with themselves and help from there to the world, which in a way is the first step for everything, but sometimes it is not the only step that must be taken).
As another example of intimacy we have Chopin. It is quite common for the 5 intimacy to practice some form of art as a means of expressing their true being, in order to connect with themselves and with those who know how to appreciate their art. It is possible that this art only shows it to a few people of confidence. For example, Chopin, even with the great fame he had, one can read in wikipedia the following: "He preferred to appear in the evenings or soirées that were offered in the halls of the aristocratic society, in an intimate atmosphere with a small audience and singular, not avid of virtuosity, but especially cultured and sensitive and akin to the musician." Even so, there may also be many intimacies that are not artists, although they do tend to have a certain romantic part.
Another possible example of 5 intimacy (with wing 4), could be Nick Drake, although, there are people who say that he is an 4 intimacy with wing 5 intimacy (and maybe it is so), Drake has many clear features of 5 intimacy, in the wikipedia can be read on Nick Drake:
" Distant, sure of himself, no one seemed to know him very well. "
"His teachers considered him a brilliant student, but without enthusiasm and with little dedication to the study . Drake had a difficult time relating to both the university staff and the rest of his classmates."
" Disliked for playing live. "
"John Martyn described him as the most reserved person I had ever met."
Whether it is the intimacy of his base enneatype or his wing, these are traits of this enneatype.
Another thing to keep in mind of this enneatype is that they have a great natural curiosity, they love to learn. But, in the case of the 5 intimacy it is usual that this way of learning is not as conventionally understood (only with books, etc) but in a more natural and integrated way. In fact the 5 generally becomes healthier when he learns from direct experience with the world and not only from books. Although, combining both is ideal. This enneatype is often interested in "strange and mysterious" things but not so much in the sense of bad or paranoid things, but rather they love to dive into their inner world or enter fully into some field of their specialty or personal interest. The way of learning of this enneatype is very own, besides not being too constant. It is possible that, although being very intelligent, they have no interest in school.
Sometimes, because of their low self-esteem, most fives are not aware of how much they know and do not perceive themselves as wise, but they are perceived by the people around them in this way.
For example, if a five is going to buy something in a store, do not matter what a seller says or recommends to him/her, ... When a five wants to buy something moderately important, usually does a previous research, sometimes more or less exhaustive, but it is usually common to become almost "an expert on the subject" before buying something of interest, although on the outside do not accustom to show it too much (it is not like enneatype 3 that wants "medals", but simply the 5 is reported to have everything under control). However, it is sometimes healthy to trust a little, and to have lightness in decisions if these are not important (for the important ones, yes, the analysis is thorough, of course).
It is common for an 5 intimacy to be identified between 60% and 95% with this description. If you only identified in 55% or less, then it would be very unlikely that you had this personality as a "base", although, perhaps if you have part of it: either because you are enneatype 5 with another subtype different, or subtype intimacy but not being 5 (for example, being 1 intimacy), or by the so-called "wings" in the enneagram (ie "being a 4 intimacy with a little of 5 intimacy", or "a 6 intimacy with a little of 5 intimacy" ).
Also note that within 5 intimacy, there may be many variants, for example, if we relate them to the personalities described by Myers-Briggs*, a five INTJ intimacy will be more mental, while a five INFJ intimacy will be much more emotional.
* Most intimates 5 are usually INFJ and HSP, so I recommend to also see those two terms for more information .
Another tip for the 5 intimacy, especially if they are INFJ, is that in case of doubt, risk a little (with limits) and follow their part of feeling / emotional and not just the rational. That usually suits them well. But it is always something to do little by little until you gain confidence and learn to distinguish when you should follow one or the other, or better yet, how to combine both parts.
For this enneatype it is usually very important to find someone who understands them, or at least that respects them (finding someone who "shares their values and way of being" may already seem like a lost battle for intimacy, but if he/she can, would also like this).
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