Enneagram Type 5 Under Stress: Enneagram Type Five Moving in the Direction of Disintegration

The Enneagram is a categorization of personality types based on how people perceive and respond to the world and information they gather, as well their own emotions. This describes 9 different enneagram or personality types, and each one possesses certain core beliefs which are what drives them. These beliefs drive each type and also can be limiting at times, which is why understanding them is so important. It isn’t meant to lock people into those weaknesses or limitations, instead it is meant to help them improve and find ways to maintain a sense of healthy balance in their lives. It also helps to gain a deeper understanding of what motivates the people around you, and helps to comprehend why they contradict themselves at times. Knowing the enneagram gives a clearer sense of these inner motivations and even fears.

When an enneagram type moves in the direction of disintegration, they become more like a different type entirely. They no longer behave like themselves and can easily be mistyped because of this. Their strongest traits are often being shown as something which is naturally foregn to them. Instead of turning to their comfort zone or the traits which they are ordinarily focused on, this type will start to pick up other behaviors. They often are drawn to more unhealthy versions of these behaviors and seem on edge and unlike themselves. This is something which often happens during times of extreme stress, causing the person to look for answers outside of their norm because what they are used to doesn’t seem to be working for them. 

Type 5 Normal Behaviors

The type 5 personality is driven by a desire to understand and make rational sense of the world around them. They often use information as a sort of shield, feeling better equipped to handle anything if they know about everything. The type 5 individual wants to learn about what makes things the way they are, diving in deep and taking information apart piece by piece. They are natural problem solvers, and they often do this because they value independence in their lives. They want to be someone who can take care of themselves and is viewed as highly capable. They are always wanting to learn and continue growing as best they can, never truly feeling sated with information. This can sometimes stem from an insecurity which makes fives wonder if they are truly capable of interacting in the real world and being successful within it. They often feel if they use information they can eventually learn enough that they can successfully use what they uncover in order to adapt and handle the world. They can become stuck so much inside of their minds that they struggle to really know how to interact. They become caught up in the safety and comfort of their own inner minds and inner worlds, not really wanting to leave this cocoon. They might have the idea that eventually they will be more confident in their actions, so long as they take the time to really learn and understand things. They value privacy and time to themselves, but under times of extreme stress they might shift gears into something else.

Type 5 Disintegration to 7

When the type 5 individual is under high levels of stress, many of their ordinary methods of solving problems might not be working for them. When this occurs they can go into disintegration mode, which causes them to behave much differently than their normal selves. The five can struggle to connect with their inner world, feeling like it is a bit hazy and unclear. This inability to connect with what is usually so natural for them, can cause the five to become more caught up in present choices. They might behave a bit impulsively, jumping into choices and actions instead of really thinking things through. Where they would usually like time to analyze and think things through, they will jump straight into things without really processing why. Even when they do take time to be introspective and recognize what is happening, they might struggle to really comprehend why or refrain from behaving recklessly. They find themselves struggling with a sense of self and no longer know what to rely on when it comes to making decisions. This can cause them to appear all over the place, as their loved ones are not used to seeing them behave more impulsively in this manner. They become much less concerned with consequences and instead want to take action in most situations. This is often does as a distraction to avoid facing whatever is actually upsetting them. They might have some internal struggles or fears and instead of continuing to analyze those questions, they jump into action and different ways of keeping their minds busy.

How to Avoid Disintegration

The struggle for type 5 individuals, is that they don’t focus on their emotions much. While they experience feelings just like everyone else, they can struggle with really processing them or facing them. They prefer to focus on information and logic, and can struggle when it comes to dealing with their own inner feelings. They might try to analyze those emotions in a more practical way, wanting to understand and place logical explanations onto them. This can be part of what sends them into disintegration, since they can go long periods of time without truly facing their own emotional turmoil. For the type 5 person to avoid this type of stress they need to take time to process their feelings, especially when they have dealt with a big emotional change or struggle in their lives. Burying those feelings cannot last forever, instead their emotions find less healthy ways of coming to the surface. Instead of isolating themselves when they are struggling, it can actually be helpful to reach out to loved ones. While this can be difficult at first, leaning on others can be a good way for Five’s to remain connected and avoid disintegration.