Everything I am about to say is how I am as a 5 and MY experience.

I feel like I am a pretty archetypal 5. The need to "know" is everything. I have been on dates where I thought I had this problem figured out that I had been working on for years. That date went really well, 2 days later another date with this same girl went horribly, I'd realized I hadn't figured out the problem after all in those two days.

I finallu figured out the problem and I thought my experience of ups and downs in emotions and confidence would be valuable for others to hear.

My confidence now, having figured this problem out is iron-clad. It crushes the confidence of any other enneagram type to dust. The reason for it is that with a 5, more than any other type, integration and confidence is based in reality. It is based on being absolutely positive sure you are correct in a unique and important way in some field. I am happy go lucky and my eyes interact with the world. I feel like I can do anything, things I've wanted to do for years now feel possible if not easy.

And now, as I look at everything it becomes so clear. Fives have so much trouble interacting with the world because they see everything and are brutally honest with themselves. 5s will latch on to a problem and NEVER forget it. Ever. They may give up in a sense, but their mind will never forget that thing they didn't understand. 5s may not choose to do something but if they feel they don't understand how to do it or that effort in that area will not produce results because they don't understand certain concepts, that is a different story. 5s ego defense is to withdraw because they feel empty and worthless unless they have that valuable knowledge in that particular area.

A 5 does go to 8 in a sense... I'd describe it as 5 being a "real" 8 in the sense that when 5s look like 8s it is based on real world feedback of specific knowledge being accurate, often to a much higher standard than a scientific study. The reason for this is that 5s go out of their way to find fault with everything. NOT to be negative but because there are so many ways to be wrong and few to be right in many fields and the 5 wants to be perfectly accurate and correct. If they don't yet have their integration level knowledge in an area they will nitpick others and things to shreds, annoying and turning off people. When solving problems, many other types will push for action before something is ready, while the 5 will keep working until an acceptable level of perfection is achieved. There are definite down sides to this perfectionism, as action is the most difficult thing for most 5s and the 5 may being missing knowledge only provided with action, this is a huge and ever present problem, maybe the 5s main problem.

Fields that have definitive rights and wrongs are very good for 5s because there is little to no ambiguity and perfection is possible. After success in a field of this type, a more creative endeavor may be much more feasible because the mind has already been confirmed.

Also, when a 5 achieves integration level knowledge in a field, a massive seperation occurs when relating to others. Before integration, 5s will feel below everyone because what fills them is not there, they are often quite empty. After integration, they feel above or equal to anyone... absolutely anyone. This is due to the process by which 5s see things. After integration it becomes apparent the 5 was correct in many of their critiques and they also remember, and still see, that these problems they noticed and brought to the attention of others not only went unheeded, but it was as if others could not even jump into a relatively fully formed thought process and see the value in it. This confirms the 5 even more because it demonstrates that while the 5 may suffer horribly with self confidence before integrating, it is the ignorance and lack of concern for accuracy/ probable cognitive inability of others to see problems and value things properly that spares them the same fate but also robs them of achieving difficult to obtain knowledge. This shows the 5 that their thought process is indeed superior and it can be applied to anything the 5 has a passion or interest in.

Don't give up 5s!! But please make sure you focus on achieving mastery in something that is important but somewhat readily achievable that has some level of verifiable correctness. Art may not be the best route in this case but you know yourself and will see the patterns. Have longer term problems to work on as well but don't stick to 1 long term problem! I have been working onin since 1998!!!

To test the verifiable correctness satisfaction you may try creating geometric patterns with a compass and seeing how satisfying creating patterns and symmetry is for you.

Again this is all MY experience##!