23.3 The Investigator. Enneagram #5.

23.3 type5

Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.

Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being Christ-Actualized.                              

Our reading for today: Philippians 2: 4-6 (MsgB)

Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.

Today, we move our study of the Enneagram’s nine personality types over to The Head Triad. (Enneagram #5, #6, #7). If you recall our earlier conversations, our personalities can, many times, be traced back to one of three brain responses the Enneagram defines as 1) The Gut (people fighting issues of anger and resentment); 2) The Heart (those plagued by issues of shame and pride), and finally; 3) The Head (individuals who struggle with issues of fear and anxiety). Now while it’s true all of us struggle with all three of these common human conditions (anger/shame/fear), science shows us that over our lifetime, we tend to lean heavier on one of these three general responses to life.

For the Enneagram personality types from The Head Triad (#5, #6, #7), life is a battle of overcoming basic fears and anxieties, primarily finding a degree of victory by detaching oneself from situations, believing that by removing yourself from pain, I will ultimately bring safety and security to my life. The Investigator (Enneagram #5) handles this stress specifically by stepping away from people and circumstances, believing if he or she can observe carefully from a distance, one can gather more information, thus overcoming life’s struggles by thinking your way out of life’s problems.

The good news is that Jesus and His amazing grace can heal these deep wounds, but sadly very few Investigators actually take the time to embrace the healing and hope that can come through this amazing God-given transformation we call being Christ-actualized.

Take a look at our overview of The Investigator (sometimes also called The Observer) and see if any of these qualities sound like you:


The Head Triad: Thinking-oriented, thinking-driven, mentally-centered, decisions from the head, provision-focused. When encountering life, the first reaction is to think and plan. Tends to overthink things before feeling or doing. Fear is always waiting beneath the surface.


#5’s see the outside world as the primary source of much of their pain. Thus, they reduce fear by withdrawing, so they can gather more and more facts, keeping their distance from the messiness of life.

#5’s are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation. At their Best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time, and able to see the world in an entirely new way.

Adjectives that describe #5: Self-sufficient, undemanding, quietly caring, knowledgeable, investigative, inquisitive, objective, systematic, analytic, thoughtful, good in a crisis, and unobtrusive, but also sometimes withholding, non-sharing, detached, unassertive, miserly with feelings, and overly private.

Key Motivations: Want to possess knowledge, to understand the environment, to have everything figured out as a way of defending the self from threats from the environment.

Basic Fear: Being useless, helpless, or incapable.

Basic Desire: To be capable and competent.

#5 struggles with: greed/withdrawal/knowledge.

#5’s motto: I am wise, perceptive and have insight.

#5’s response to life: No problem; just detach!

#5 strives: to be detached.

#5 avoids: emptiness.

#5 unconscious childhood message: It’s not okay to be comfortable in the world.

#5 lost childhood message: My needs are not a problem.

#5 true essence: A reflection of wisdom and truth.

What will it mean for a #5 The Investigator to be Christ-actualized? A mature #5 engages the life-giving instincts of an #8: confident action, fairness, leadership, and direct communication. A mature #5 also engages the life-giving heart of a #2: empathy, compassion and warmth, moving toward and reaching out to others.

What does God’s Word have to say to a #5?

Philippians 2: 4-6

Romans 8: 5

Proverbs 11: 24

Philippians 4: 19

So, are you an Enneagram #5? Does this personality type sound a lot like the way you feel and act in life? If so, take heart. A Christ-actualized #5 can become, by the direction of the Holy Spirit, a man or woman of God who truly becomes a pro-actively involved visionary in a world where detailed-thinking is often overlooked and under-appreciated.  A godly #5 no longer is controlled by greed and withdrawal, but becomes a well-informed investigator who is actively involved alongside others in problem-solving.

My prayer: Awaken in me my full knowing, that I may remember my heart’s desire. Give me eyes to see the many ways that life is abundant, the many blessings offered me each day, that I may receive my heart’s desire. Empty me now of my need for predictability that stifles my spontaneity. Empty me now of my stinginess that withholds my gifts and love from others. Give me the wisdom to know when to think and when to act. Calm my fears of rejection, and instill in me the courage to open my heart and share myself with others in ways that cultivate compassion. As I come to my full senses, I offer gratitude for my body’s wisdom. May I begin each day, grounded in that wisdom and in my presence, knowing that I have enough—time, energy, information and passion to live fully engaged in life. For Your name’s sake. Amen. (thanks to Sandra Smith/AlchemyWorksEvents.com)

My questions to ponder: If I see #5 qualities in my life, which are the most obvious? Where am I subject to the weaknesses found in a #5 and how might I allow the Holy Spirit to work deep within me, transforming these #5 wounds into glorious opportunities of hope?

So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?

For more info: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-5/

Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!

If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!

Click here to go onto the next session in the series…

Click here to go back to our Enneagram homepage…

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