Illustration of Enneagram Type 5

Enneagram 5w4 & Enneagram 5w6

Discover the Wings of Type 5

What you will learn
Your wing adds an additional flavor to your personality. Every personality type of the Enneagram can have either one of the two types next to them as their wing.

For Fives this means that they can have a wing Four (also known as Enneagram 5w4) or a wing Six (Enneagram 5w6).

Below you find descriptions for each wing. We will explore how either wing can positively influence your main personality type as well as the specific challenges this combination brings with it. If you are new to wings and want to learn more about how they work, you can read our introduction to wings here.

Enneagram 5w4 in brief

Type Four gives Fives better access to their emotions and their creativity. Read the full description here.

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Enneagram 5w6 in brief

Type Six gives Fives greater persistence and makes them more social. Read the full description here.

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Enneagram 5w4 in Depth

What it's Like to Be an Enneagram Type 5 Wing 4

If a Five has a Four wing, they get to add an emotional sensitivity and a passion for the unconventional to their analytical, detached minds. These Fives are more independent than those with a Six wing. They sometimes are also more eccentric and definitely more in tune with their imagination.

Fives and Fours are very similar. They both choose to withdraw from the world: Fives to analyze it from the safe haven of their minds, Fours to explore their own emotional world. Both are looking for something inside them that helps them cope with the real world. But they come from different directions: Fives from their heads, Fours from their hearts.

“Add the Four to the Five and you get an incredibly rich combination that is able to come up with amazing intellectual as well as artistic ideas.”

They are often less concerned with cold, hard, data-driven science than with areas where they can use their intuition and imagination as well.

What you also get is an even more withdrawn type that can spend a lot of their time with impractical things that stimulate their minds and imagination without producing any meaningful results – hours spent reading, specializing in trivia and hobbies or playing intellectual games. Since they are still fundamentally Fives, their fantasies often revolve more around the fantastic and surreal than the Four, sometimes drifting into the macabre, dark and horrific.

Healthy and Unhealthy Enneagram 5w4s

When you get down to unhealthy levels, this combination of type and wing starts mixing the worst of both, adding isolation and self-hatred to its contempt of others. Their intellectual nihilism can make them feel emotionally hopeless, while their ever churning emotions are making a sustained intellectual effort impossible. Sounds kinda bleak – because it can be.

However, if you take a look at the other side of the spectrum: In healthy, mature people with this wing you find an incredible combination of intuition and knowledge. Creative intellectuals (or very smart creatives) that add emotional depth to their strong analytical skills. You find a lot of these Fives in areas where they get to add the unique vision their Four wing gives them to their curious quest for knowledge. If you’re thinking Albert Einstein or Stepehn King now – yeah, you’re thinking right.

Not bad company, is it?

How to Know if you Are an Enneagram 5w4

If you think Type Five reflects your core personality, but you also notice a penchant for the unique and extraordinary as well as a pleasure for spending time in your imagination, it is very likely your Four wing is your dominant wing.

Famous Enneagram 5w4s

Enneagram 5w6 in Depth

What it's Like to Be an Enneagram Type 5 Wing 6

To generalize a bit right off the start, Fives with a Six wing are often what people associate with the classic programmer-type: Very good at intellectual dissection, theoretical problem-solving, technical subjects and practical matters; more social than others (the reclusive Fives with a Four wing for example) – but not very good at voicing their feelings (if they try at all); very observant of the world around them but not particularly introspective.

This is what the Six wing adds to the Five type: the ability to use their analytical mindset on practical things that ensure the world will be easier to navigate, more predictable and maybe even a little bit safer.

“Fives with a Six wing use their analytical mindset to make the world easier to navigate, more predictable and maybe even a little bit safer.”

Other things the Six wing brings with it are often the ability to be more persistent and diligent in their work. The Six’s way of looking at the world through the lense of safety (which on a deeper level has its origin in anxiety) combines with the Five’s wish to withdraw from the world to protect their limited resources.

However, Sixes usually try to find safety through connecting with others, which is somewhat at odds with the isolating instincts of Fives. The way this shows is that on the one hand, Fives with this wing struggle with personal relationships, while on the other hand they are generally much more cooperative than if they had a Four wing. The Six influence grants them more attractive, lovable qualities that make them endearing to others, but they still need to choose to put an emphasis on people instead of objects. Which, since they’re still fundamentally Fives, isn’t always easy for them.

Healthy and Unhealthy Enneagram 5w6s

If you go further down into unhealthy levels, you find more anxiety, even phobia, and fear of intimacy. The isolationist tendencies of the Five are being reinforced by the paranoid tendencies of Sixes, making it extremely hard for them to trust others.

On the other hand, if you go up into the healthy, mature levels, you find people who observe the world with an amazing clarity and who, thanks to their good humour and more people-oriented approach, can collaborate extremely well while operating on the highest intellectual levels.

How to Know if you Are an Enneagram 5w6

If you find yourself reflected in the Five type, but notice that you are not as withdrawn as the type sounds and that your thinking is more concerned with practical matters than unique and unconventional subjects, chances are this is your Six wing showing.

Famous Enneagram 5w6s

Your Full Report

How to become your healthiest and most thriving self

Learn more
Your Full Report will answer questions you have asked yourself all your life, like...
Why do I feel such a strong desire to withdraw from people and do my own thing?
Why is it so hard for me to deal with other people’s emotionality?
How can I learn to give my time to others without fearing it will only drain me?
How can I become comfortable with putting myself out there and asserting myself?
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4 months ago

I used to think I was a 5w4; I am a 5w6. I have usually worked slightly oriented towards people, indirectly, probably due to my instinctual variant, despite being a sp dom (sp/so). While artistic and relatively dreamy when I was younger, I often disintegrated into Seven. In disintegration, I found that being under Seven’s characteristics makes me more sociable. Sometimes, I do something spontaneous to make sure I’m still living, not alive. I ought to be more present, shouldn’t I?

5 months ago

I’m not sure if I’m a five or a eight because my results go back and forth and I relate to both of them.

just did a test
just did a test
1 year ago

I have a score difference of almost 1 % between 4 and 6, but 4 slightly higher.. judging from 6’s tendency, I am guessing I’m 5w6 with easy shifting tendency to 5w4..?

Random Programmer
Random Programmer
1 year ago

Ha. I am a life-long programmer and took the test and it said I was a 5w6… then check out the description for that and in the first sentence: “To generalize a bit right off the start, Fives with a Six wing are often what people associate with the classic programmer-type” … so yeah, seems like the test is spot-on accurate.

2 years ago

I feel like a 5w6 is someone I would completely admire on an intellectual level but would direly want to help them “break out of their shell” so to speak. It seems like these personalities are so over-analytical and reserved that it hinders a true sense of self and adventure. These kinds of people I would imagine get buried and dedicated to their work. Like you had mentioned programmers, maybe even scientists and anyone who really has to stick to a tried and true process might display these traits. I totally get cautious but there’s a sense of adventure that needs to be savored in life.

Amanda Moy
Amanda Moy
2 years ago

Oh what a gift it must be to be an educator who is a 5w4 personality type. To have a creative imaginative flair that keeps even the most mundane day to day information interesting must be so fun. On the flipside of that having that kind of great intuition and knowing while feeling things on a much deeper level really probably helps keep you grounded when it comes to the creative process. Sometimes I guess being lost in your own thoughts is the birthplace of some pretty incredible ideas. Harnessing that power is true talent that should be celebrated I feel.

2 years ago

I think it’s absolutely mindblowing that Albert Einstein was an Enneagram 5w4s. He is known for his intelligence and is one of the forefather’s of science for us all. I can see though where the imaginative flair comes from with him. He seemed like quite the creative dreamer type of person. Another one that makes sense is Stephen King. He is one of my absolute favorite authors and has paved the way for the horror industry in so many ways. Some of his work can be a bit of a deep read so that’s where the analytical portion shines I believe.

  1. Case, Sarajane (2020). Honest Enneagram.
  2. Chestnut, Beatrice (2013). The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge.
  3. Cron, Ian Morgan; Stabile, Suzanne (2016). The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery.
  4. Riso, Don Richard; Hudson, Russ (2000). Understanding the Enneagram; the practical guide to personality types.
  5. Rohr, RichardEbert, Andreas (2001). The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective.

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