Balancing the Opposites
According to Jung's personality theory, psyches are constantly flowing between two extremes, and your primary task is to successfully balance the two polarities. To achieve individuation, each personality has to acknowledge and work through the limitations of its idealized self and shadow, its strengths and weaknesses, and its motivations and fixations (what keeps it stuck). These primary polarities that a Five has to navigate are explored in the following sections.
Shadow and Idealized Self
Every personality forms an inner world that reflects how it feels about itself and an outer world that projects what it wants others to know about it. Jung would also refer to these worlds as the shadow, the hidden traits that your psyche squelches and does not want the outer world to see, and the idealized self, what your psyche creates and wants the outer world to see. (For more on shadows, see Chapter 4.)
The healthiest, most integrated Fives are in touch with their feelings and use their perceptive abilities to look for ways to enrich other people's lives. They trust their own instincts and trust that good things are going to happen in their lives. They open themselves to new experiences and inspire others to do the same.
A Five shadow hides the type's tendencies to be greedy, miserly, and stingy. Caring more about facts than feelings translates into an unattractive, cold rationality. Even though they remain socially awkward loners, when they are anxious, they tend to show off and can be arrogant, glib, and mean. In personal relationships they can be stubborn, think they are always right, remain closed to alternate points of view, blame others for mistakes, and be condescending to the point of appearing contemptuous.
Self-actualized Fives have the fabulous qualities of being mentally acute, resourceful, inventive, and competent. They are excellent communicators, efficient project coordinators, and are headstrong yet effective leaders who embrace progress. These highly integrated Fives are both independent and adventuresome. They are often extremely perceptive, sensitive, objective, introspective, reflective, and loving to their inner circle. Self-actualized Fives possess inner wisdom and form a healthy philosophy for living life. They are incredibly loyal to principles and to the people they admire and consider worthy.
Turn-Ons and Turnoffs
According to Jung, libido is not connected to your sex drive alone, but instead refers to your overall psychic energy or what gives your personality juice. The opposite of what turns you on would be what turns you off. To individuate, Fives need to seek balance between these two polarities.
Fives love an orderly pattern and crave nothing more than sufficient solitude to think anything and everything through and order their private universe. They have a high appreciation for lucidity and adore a mental challenge. Since Fives love acquiring extensive knowledge, they, more than any other sign, covet and generally acquire a library full of fabulous books. While they love time to reflect, they also like spending their time wisely and do their best when they've got puzzles to solve and obstacles to overcome.
Fives cringe when anyone asks them how they feel or wants to discuss their mutual feelings for each other. Crowds, parties, weddings, funerals, or any social event — where they might be required to chat about mundane matters or have to deal with unpleasant emotions, like anger, resentment, or grief — strike fear in their hearts. They hate unruly feelings, passionate family arguments, or anything that makes them feel confused or disoriented. They also hate repetitive conversation, when people are vague or attempt to stonewall them, and being asked to talk about anything before they feel ready.
Fear and Security
These basic and very essential characteristics determine how Fives approach, live in, and eventually conquer their worlds. Fears stop them short and often cause them to regress, and they rarely progress unless they feel a certain sense of security about themselves or their circumstances.
Fives are afraid that they are empty, that the universe is falling apart, and that you will reject them or drain them of their energy. Fives are afraid of actually feeling their emotions, especially the ones that tell them they are desperately lonely. Since they spend far more time fantasizing in their heads about, rather than participating in, a relationship, when confronted with a real relationship that they cannot contain they feel overwhelmed by the velocity of their emotions. They are afraid of appearing foolish and avoid it by arming themselves with knowledge.
Fives feel most secure when they have accumulated a lot of knowledge on whatever is intriguing or puzzling them. If they can create sense out of chaos, they feel in control. They like having plenty of time to plan ahead so they can be extremely efficient in executing projects. Fives require safe and trustworthy relationships, understandable and reasonable expectations, and social propriety. They need plenty of private time and space and are happiest when they can progress in relationships at their own pace.
Motivations and Fixations
Being motivated or stuck relates to how Fives use or ignore their psychic energy. Knowing their primary motivations and what Fives cling to within their own personality that either helps them progress toward individuation or keeps them stuck in fixations helps you understand how their personality functions.
Fives love tackling a project that requires a mental challenge, especially acquiring extensive knowledge on an obscure or fascinating subject. They like to make order out of chaos and exhibit their impressive intellect, from a safe distance of course. They love creating a home that becomes their sanctuary and having plenty of time to pursue their private hobbies, read books, reminisce about their past, or fantasize about their future. They prefer to make progress rather than cling to the past.
Fives feel pressured, rather than liberated, by love. Not wanting to admit their growing emotional dependence, Fives will seek solitude within the relationship and avoid confrontation at any cost. They also prefer to consider all the angles before making decisions, which means they bog down when making even simple decisions. Their preference for solitude creates limited interpersonal skills. They feel the way they think or work is superior, which leads them to rely more and more only on themselves and to eventually ignore other people's opinions. They give precedence to facts over feelings when making decisions.
Coping and Failing
This coping-failing dichotomy has to do with the behaviors Fives adopt to cope with their lives, or maintain the status quo, and how those same behaviors can lead to a failure to grow into their full potential.
Fives cope with what they consider an intrusive life by creating an ordered personal universe that includes firm boundaries designed to protect them from awkward situations or unwelcome demands on their energy. They protect themselves by observing life rather than actively participating in it. They methodically organize and categorize information so they can make logical conclusions when pressed. They will avoid emotional entanglements that distract them from their work and tend to circumvent criticism by blaming others when things go wrong. Fives keep their sanity by retreating into their sanctuaries.
Fives are infatuated with their intelligence and take great pride in knowing more than others. They love nothing more than to withdraw into their extensive libraries to pour over books. The more planning they do or knowledge they collect, the happier they are before undertaking any new venture. Nothing gets them more excited or makes them feel safer than feeling like they have a firm and precise handle on how their life is going.
Fives fail themselves by retreating from active life to live in a world of ideas. Remaining aloof or distant means they spend way too much time alone, overanalyzing what could happen and how they might cope with it, instead of getting in the trenches and living their lives. Eventually, they go from avoiding others and not reaching out to anyone to not being emotionally available to loved ones. Over time, the more hermetic Fives become, the more they disconnect from their true inner strengths.
Falling Apart and Transcending
Each enneatype has a unique way of falling apart. The types each have specific needs they need fulfilled, or mental concepts they can embrace, before they can successfully transcend their ego limitations and become fully integrated and whole.
Unlike Twos, who deal with their fear of feeling strong emotions by repressing them, Fives deal with their fears by detaching from them and retreating from social interaction. When Fives are angry, they typically retaliate passive-aggressively by withholding conversation or emotion or by using subterfuge and quiet rebellion to express their unhappiness or disapproval. An out-of-control Five unleashes pent-up anger by flying into a rage. If they feel like they are losing control, they often become increasingly obsessive-compulsive.
Fives transcend their ego limitations when they turn their focus from observing others to observing their own behavior and seeking to change it. Once they fully realize that other people can be supportive and nurturing, and that there is enough energy for everyone to get all of their needs met, they can loosen their strictures and enter into a reciprocal relationship. Once they realize that everyone needs other people, they can find and embrace opportunities to build relationships. They transcend their ego by connecting all of their feelings to what is occurring in present time and by giving themselves permission to be who they are, to feel truly seen and accepted for who they are, and to communicate what they feel, need, and want.