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Social 5 In Detail

Avarice in the Social Sphere

Combining the social instinct with the passion of avarice manifests as holding on to whatever the individual considers gives him his social standing. Often this person will have a hero to live up to, someone looked at as a intellectual. The SO5 has a greed for social recognition, though, due to the nature of the 5, they are highly avoidant of people they consider unworthy. They are very conscious of social hierarchies, and because of this this subtype is insanely picky with who they associate with, they consider ordinary life and people as boring, as they search for a higher meaning and higher understanding. Wanting to be a totem of knowledge for others, this subtype is heavily intellectual and oriented towards collecting knowledge. This subtype also intellectualizes and isolates their own feelings the most, constantly separating them from their thoughts and suppressing them, seeing them as not important. They're also the most arrogant and cold 5, though they are also the least transparent 5, as they want to maintain their image of knowledge, always hiding a part of themselves.

Ichazo titled SO5 "Totems", someone who has heroes to live up to[1], however this idealization both divinizes their heroes and dehumanizes everyone else.[2] Naranjo described this character as someone who wants to feel that they matter, but they themselves feel unimportant or uninteresting, a place of "inner poverty", which causes them to seek magic of meaning, the richness of experience, the special, elevated, great or extraordinary.[2]

The following Trait Structure are a summarized description of the original descriptions taken from the Enneagram 5 book/Avaricia: mezquinos, arrogantes e indiferentes. The Book was written by devoted followers and students of Claudio Naranjo but published under his name and supervised by him.

Trait Structure[3]


Idealization, the main feature of the social E5, gives a false sense of fullness and self-importance. This subtype can be identified with the idealized part, leading him to love “perfect” and transcendent things. Things around him are classified as either sacred or worthless. Idealization masks a negative self-image, and there is a permanent conflict between his “real me” and his totemic demands.


Of the intellectual types (E5, E6, and E7), E5 is the most intellectual. And of the subtypes of E5, the social E5 is the most intellectual. This subtype rationalizes his experiences, transforming emotions and sensations into information. The social E5 is impersonal, avoiding intimacy, and relating through the head. Intellectual arrogance makes this subtype cold and distant, alienating himself from other people.


Compartmentalization, as the typical defense mechanism of E5, is the way for this subtype to defend against the fear of exposure. Thoughts and feelings are separated from each other, helping the social E5 not become aware of what he avoids feeling. Emotions linked to past experiences are lost.


Despite being the most sociable subtype, this subtype is still seen as distant, reserved, and withdrawn. The social E5 does not expect to receive anything from relationships, and thus easily gives them up. There is an extreme attachment to the self.

Lack of action and Little energy

Due to a tendency to save energy, the social E5 suffers from great difficulties taking action. This subtype is also barely available for relationships, as the consequence of saving energy. Sometimes, all of their energy can be directed to areas of their lives they consider important, usually in the service of an ideal. The social E5 sometimes never feels ready enough to put his energy into the world, becoming a simple observer of life, and wasting both opportunities and talents.

Concealed atmosphere

In relationships, there is a lack of transparency, as part of trying to maintain an ideal image. Being mysterious and shy, the social E5 is always hiding part of himself.


The social E5 is both insensitive and hypersensitive. This subtype walks around indifferent, being insensitive to the needs of others. At the same time, the social E5 is very needy and vulnerable, something he compensates by becoming cold and distant.

Resignation and Difficulty saying no

The social E5 is resigned, preferring to keep frustration to himself. He can end up accepting the other's wish, because he does not know how to say “no” - as part of avoiding conflicts. The absence of conflicts is only maintained by renouncing life, leading to vital restriction and reduction of growth potential.


Arrogance is one of the main characteristics of the social E5, as he seeks in knowledge the affirmation of his self-importance. It is difficult for the social E5 to renounce his own theories. This subtype holds a professorial attitude of one who is always teaching. The social E5 disparages ordinary life and ordinary people. Arrogance is a compensation for low self-esteem and fragile self-worth. Absorbed in his own world, the social E5 presents an attitude of not caring and not needing the other.

Restrained greed and abundance

The mind of the social E5 is not oriented to abundance. This subtype lives with little, with a kind of taboo on greed. Fighting for his own wishes requires energy he does not want to waste. The social E5 prefers to find justifications for not committing himself and convincing himself that he does not need anything.

Feeling of internal impoverishment

This subtype feels a sense of lack. They were not sufficiently nourished by maternal warmth. His idealizations reinforce the sense of inadequacy, because compared to the ideal, he is devalued and diminished all the time.


The social E5 is stingy with the other and with himself. They do not realize what they need. They have given up, learning to endure great deprivation. There are great difficulties with being empathetic, and with recognizing the needs of the other.

Autistic traits

The social E5 lives sheltered in his inner world, living in the abstract. He does not know how to communicate, and can live with great anguish without anyone knowing. There is a tendency to become solitary and hermetic. Being very sensitive, the social E5 defends himself to the maximum from external stimuli. Being so indifferent to the world, there is a great attachment to the self. In extreme cases, psychiatry gives us the cases of autism and catatonia.

Claudio Naranjo's Social 5 Description[4]

E5 Social – Totem

If the E4 are so intense, that this makes them very differentiated or contrasting characters, the E5, on the other hand, in their usual lack of intensity, appear to us as more difficult to differentiate between them.

In reference to the passion of social E5, Ichazo used the word totem, which I find very evocative, a good image. But the passion of the social E5 is something similar to the need for the essential, the sublime, we could say, instead of the need for what there is. Totem indicates both height and the character of being a constructed object rather than a human being. The height of a totem evokes a tendency of these people to look up, towards the ideal, and to relate to the most outstanding and prominent among people, something like Midas wanted everything he touched to turn to gold.

The tragedy is that, by seeking the social E5 a super value, it implicitly despises ordinary life and ordinary people. He is only interested in the quintessence of life, the elixir of existence, the ultimate meaning. But in this orientation towards the stars he becomes someone who is little interested in life here below... He becomes, therefore, too spiritual, since affective impoverishment, which moves away from compassion, is precisely contrary to spiritual achievement. Thus, in this character, a polarity is established between the extraordinary and what does not make sense, so that nothing makes sense until the extraordinary or magical is reached.

Sandra Maitri's Social 5 Description[5]

5+Social – Totems

Social Fives have, as Lilly and Hart relate of Ichazo’s definition, “heroes to live up to.” They are very conscious of social hierarchies, and as the word totems implies, they want to be one of the faces on the totem pole. A totem is a symbol or emblem representing a family or social group, and this is what a Social Five lives in the shadow of and also wants to be. He is very aware of social archetypes and wants to embody them, becoming an exemplar or a fount of knowledge. He may develop expertise in a specialized field in which he wishes to be next in the lineage, and wants to be seen as such. His passion of avarice manifests as a holding on to whatever he considers gives him his social standing.

Beatrice Chestnut's Social 5 Description

Social 5 Subtype description (2021)[6]

This subtype works to know all there is to know about a particular subject and wants to be included in the (usually small) list of experts on that topic. They may relate more to others who share their values and intellectual interests than to the people in their everyday life. They fear “not knowing” more than they fear intrusion into their private space. They appear communicative and sociable, and enjoy intellectual discussions and sharing knowledge with people, but they rely on information and knowledge to push more heart-based connections away

If this is your subtype, you always try to be and look smart and knowledgeable, but that doesn’t bring you true wisdom or joy. Nor is it a humble way of life. You may treat some people differently from others, according to whether or not you view them as members of your “special group.” Notice if you tend to be warmer and more available to people who have the same level of interest and expertise in your preferred subject or cause—and colder and less attentive to people who don’t. You may prioritize causes and the search for knowledge and meaning above individuals out of an unconscious fear of meaninglessness, but this keeps you disconnected from people and unable to truly care about them. Your tendency to bypass emotional development in favor of purely intellectual engagement may mean you think you are more conscious than you actually are.

Social 5 Subtype summary (2021)[9]

The Social Five expresses avarice through a need for “super-ideals,” relating to others with common interests through knowledge and shared values (rather than emotional connection). In this Five, avarice is connected to knowledge. Needs for people and for the sustenance that relationships provide get channeled into a thirst for information. “Totem” refers to a passion for high ideals, the need to idealize experts and seek knowledge connected to whatever ultimate values this Five adheres to. Social Fives engage in a search for the ultimate meaning to avoid experiencing life as meaningless.

Social 5 Subtype description (2021)[9]

The Social Five: “Totem”

For Social Fives, the passion of avarice is connected to knowledge. These Fives don’t need the nourishment relationships provide because their passion for knowledge somehow compensates for what they might get from direct human contact. It’s as if they have an intuition that they can find everything they need through the mind. Needs (for people and for emotional sustenance) get displaced into a thirst for knowledge.

The name given to this subtype is “Totem,” which communicates their need for “superideals,” or the need to relate to people who share their intellectual values, interests, and ideals. The image of a totem suggests both height and a character that is constructed (like an object) rather than a human being. These Fives do not relate to regular people in everyday life—they relate to easily idealized experts who share their ideals; to people who display what they see as outstanding characteristics based on shared values and knowledge and who they can keep at a certain distance. One Social Five I know says he “collects people” who share his interests and values.

For Social Fives, then, avarice gets acted out through a greedy search for the ultimate ideals that will provide a sense of meaning by connecting them to something special, thereby elevating their life. The Social Five’s passion is the need for the essential, the sublime, or the extraordinary instead of what is here and now. In line with this need for relationships based on shared ideals, Social Fives have a tendency to look upward, toward higher values. According to Naranjo, they look toward the stars and care little for life down on earth.

In contrast to Sexual Fives, who are iconoclasts, Social Fives are admiring people— individuals who admire others that express their ideals in extraordinary ways. In looking for and adhering to super-values, they can be disdainful of ordinary life and ordinary people. The life of the mind feels more compelling, and the people at a distance who represent the extraordinary seem more seductive and interesting to them than the people they meet in everyday life.

Social Fives are looking for the ultimate meaning in life, motivated by an underlying (potentially unconscious) sense that things are meaningless unless the ultimate meaning is found. This Five’s drive to find the extraordinary underscores a polarity they may perceive between extraordinariness and meaninglessness. They look for meaning to avoid a fearful sense that the world is meaningless, but in their search for meaning they orient themselves so much toward finding the quintessence of life—the extraordinary—that they may become disinterested in everyday life. They see a gap between the ideal and everyday life, and they burn in the longing for the ultimate meaning. For this Five, motivated by the social instinct in the service of avarice, the common, ordinary self does not have enough value to satisfy their drive for meaning.

In their search for meaning, these Fives can become spiritual or idealistic in a way that is actually counter to real spiritual attainment, because it bypasses compassion and empathy and the practical level of how people connect to each other in ordinary life. This tendency is the prototype of what is sometimes called a “spiritual bypass,” in which a person looks for and devotes himself to a higher ideal or a valued system of knowledge as a way of avoiding doing the emotional and psychological work he would need to do to grow and develop. They may believe they are transcending their ego, but their adherence to their spiritual values or practice is their way of escaping from their everyday emotional reality into a “higher” intellectual system that they have idealized. Any type can spiritually bypass, but the Social Five is the prototype of someone who employs this as a defensive strategy.

Social Fives prefer not to feel. They can be mysterious and inaccessible, or fun and intellectually engaging. They may hide out in the pose of an expert, and they tend to have a sense of omnipotence through the exercise of their intellect. These Fives may imagine that they are superior to others because of their higher values and ideals. Although they would never (intentionally) show it, they seek recognition and prestige; they want to be someone important, and they often seek to fulfill this desire this by allying themselves with people they admire.

Social Fives can look like Type Sevens in that they can be fairly outgoing and display a great deal of excitement about interesting ideas and people. The Social Five is typically more “out there” than other Fives, in the sense of being more social and able to engage. Social Fives differ from Sevens, however, in that they are more reserved, less selfinterested, and less emotional than Sevens.


Scott, a social five, speaks:

“When I first encountered the enneagram, I thought I was a Seven. I consider myself very sociable, and I connect easily with people but on deeper reflection, I realized that my connections are specifically with topic “experts” or people who share my interests. I would choose my friends based on their intellect, and the time we spent together would be focused on sharing ideas. I realized I was a five and not a seven because I categorize people and create barriers between myself and others by being invisibly secretive. I ask lots of questions about the other person to avoid being investigated by them. I often wonder, “Who am I? What is this mystery inside myself?”

As a young child I would read encyclopedias, “How it Works” books, and “Eyewitness” books all the time for fun. My inner fantasy world was a bigger focus for me than the mundane world outside of myself. On a long road trip to a holiday destination with my family, I would imagine rebuilding a city with huge statues of animals and architectural themes from Egypt. While everybody went to the beach, I just wanted to read my books.

I've always wanted to change the world on a large scale- to change it into the ideal world that I've imagined, irrespective of whether that is actually practical or realistic.

To make sense of the universe as a whole, I studied metaphysics, astrology, and different mystical, spiritual systems. I hoped that each new subject I studied would offer me a new piece of the puzzle I could use to find the meaning of life. Through a lot of self-development work, I eventually realized that the only real and meaningful experience is this moment, in the present.”


Specific Work For The Social Fives on the Path from Vice to Virtue[9]


Social Fives can travel the path from avarice to nonattachement by broadening their focus of attention from knowledge and information to a greater sense of emotional engagement with real people. If you are a social five, notice when your devotion to high ideals displaces an openness to what's happening in everyday life and actually causes you to close yourself off to others. Recognize when you may be idealizing or overidealizing experts and a narrow set of (potentially distant)) individuals- getting your relational needs met indirectly rather than taking the risk of interacting more directly with the people in your immediate environment. Notice and work against the tendency to connect only through shared ideas by intentionally sharing more of your emotions and gut feelings with others. Examine the ways in which you might be attached to trying to create meaning and avoid a deeper fear of meaninglessness through specific values and ideals; challenge yourself to more fully experience your fears as a first step on the path of letting go of those attachments. Appreciate the joys of everyday and the full range of human expression as a way of expanding your focus to allow for a richer experience of what life has to offer you.

Haiki Social 5 Description[7]

Social Five: Totem of Knowledge

The first thing we must clear up is that, even though we may be talking about a social subtype, a Social Five, no matter how social they may be, will be much less so than other Social subtypes. Social Fives have to make an effort to be in the outside world - it is not something that comes naturally. Like all Fives, these Fives accumulate a lot of knowledge, but they do not struggle as much as other Fives to share it with the world. In addition their exposure in society will always be dependent on the security their knowledge gives them. If the circumstances are not ideal, they will return to their refuge.

In the words of the psychologist, Jordi Pons: “Of the three Five subtypes, these are the most intellectual and scientifically-focused Fives. They have a tendency to believe: I know, therefore I exist. For their great dedication to scientific topics they can become experts in areas that capture their interest. They dedicate their lives to the search for the extraordinary. They look for the origin of things, a special knowledge. They have the fantasy that the more they know, the happier they will be. Socially, they look to belong to groups where the common link is similar wisdom or being fans of the same thing. They can do so as students or disciples, teachers or instructors. For example, the scientist that meets with a small group of scientists and they talk about science in a language only they understand.”

They have a tendency to idealize and have a tendency toward admiring love. The problem, however, is that there are very few people that they consider worthy of being admired. Those who are, they see clearly up at the top with them. They look for the extraordinary and perform their tasks with excellence and ease. We already know that in Fives, it is hard for them to make contact with the mundane and earthly, and they have a tendency toward the “superior” world (in every sense of the word), but in this subtype it is even more exaggerated.

Carmen Durán and Antonio Catalán's Social 5 Description[8]

SO5: Totem -> Solitude

For this subtype, we are partial to the term “Solitude,” because it alludes to their relationship with the social world, where distance from others is a choice, what they search for. In this chosen isolation, the external world is substituted for the internal world. In their fantasies, they create an imaginary world, with a cryptic language, that hides its contents and becomes a test, a hieroglyphic that allows in whoever can decode it and access their intimacy. In reality, this test of trust is often not passed and doesn’t work much other than to perpetuate isolation. External models, those that one cannot adapt themselves to, that always defraud, are substituted by internal models that become untouchable and untouched totems. They can be ideologies or real people, in some way, distant on the space-time continuum, people highly idealized, with special values, that become models. In this solitude, one stops feeling their relational difficulties, clumsiness, and social inadequacy and projects it into a hostile environment that doesn’t deserve their involvement.

Don Riso and Russ Hudson Social 5 Description[10]




The Specialist. In the average range, Social Fives engage with others and find a social niche for themselves through their knowledge and skill. They like to see themselves as Masters of Wisdom and want to become indispensable through their particular field of expertise (the only person in the office who knows how to fix the computer, for ex ample). The most intellectual type of Five, Social Fives are often drawn to academics, science, and other forms of guruhood. They play the social role of the shaman, the wise person who lives at the edge of the tribe and brings back secret knowledge. Social Fives like to talk about weighty topics and complex theories, but they are generally uninterested in social banter. They interact with others by debating ideas, critiquing society, and analyzing trends.


Less healthy Social Fives become unable to relate to others except through the role of their expertise. They use the information they have gathered as bargaining chips, as their way of wielding power. They can become socially ambitious in the sense of wanting to be part of the intellectual or artistic elite. They would prefer not to "waste their time" on those who cannot understand their work.


In the unhealthy range, Social Fives tend to express extreme and provocative views. They are often anarchistic and antisocial, heaping derision on the human race, seeing it as nothing more than a ship of fools. They can develop bizarre theories about society or reality but, unlike Self-Preservation Fives, are determined to propound them to others.


[1] "The Arica Training according to John C Lilly and Joseph E Tart"

[2] Naranjo, C. (2017). "Ensayos sobre psicología de los eneatipos"

[3] Naranjo, C. (2021) "Avaricia: mezquinos, arrogantes e indiferentes" (translated by u/monkeyman430)

[4] Naranjo, C. (2012). "27 personajes en busca del ser"

[5] Maitri, S. (2001). "The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram"

[6] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Enneagram Guide to Waking Up"

[7] The Haiki Enneagram Website (Link To Subtype Translations)

[8] Durán, C. and Catalán, A. (2009). "Los engaños del carácter y sus antídotos"

[9] Chestnut, B. (2021). "The Complete Enneagram"

[10]Don Riso and Russ Hudson (1999),The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types

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