Getting out of the Box Series: An Interview with a High Self-Mastery Type 5
Throughout my years of coaching, and observing the many relationships around me, I have noticed that many Type 5 Observers are often single or seem to have an unique set of struggles in both romantic and personal relationships. Interestingly, a lot of Type 5s who are single can be handsome, highly intelligent and eligible. Their innate personality traits and motivations cause them to have some relationship blind spots. So, I have decided to have a chat with my friend who is
a high self-mastery Type 5, that is flourishing in both his career and personal relationships. Together, I hope to uncover his growth journey, to see what it takes to grow and mature into a high-mastery Type 5 – to fully optimize your strengths and to arise above your personality shortfalls.
A typical type 5 are the ones who prefer to be behind the scene. They like analysing things and amassing huge amounts of knowledge. They usually make good philosophers and inventors like Thomas Edison. The downside to this personality type is that they tend to remain as an observer – relatively risk-averse, over-thinking, and analysing and therefore may take a longer time before taking concrete action. Now, we can see how this can take a toll in relationship building.
Below are some key points I noted from this interview.
- Relationships require you to give and be present
The first point he highlighted was to truly understand the purpose of relationships. Type 5s often conserve energy and are motivated by receiving and conserving, and not giving. This “false sense of lack” may cause them to hold back on giving too much of themselves.
Lower self mastery 5s may feel that a relationship works when they feel secure, without thinking much about what the other is getting in return. This causes relationships to break down since the other would not feel valued and taken for granted, even if the Type 5 is happy. While having to give to the other might seem obvious in theory, 5s sometimes need a conscious push to do what is really required to build strong bonds.
For my friend, his turning point came when he understood that his marriage was really about giving and sharing his life, and not receiving. He turned to his Christian beliefs to identify key traits he needed to work on to improve his relationships – including generosity and having a big heart. “It is better to give than to receive, and it is Christ-like to give” , he says. This aligns with the key area of growth for Type 5s, to give of themselves, not just money, but also time, effort and energy.
With this revelation, he made a concerted effort to to show care and appreciation, to ensure that his wife knew she was valued and he was grateful for her. In other relationships, he ensured that he was present even if he may not too keen in attending a certain gathering for whatever reason. “Being present and spending your time with others is a way to show care and expressing that you value others, even if you do not receive much in return,” he says.
- You have nothing to prove
A lower self mastery Type 5 may pride themselves in being knowledgeable and feel inadequate when they do not have any information and expertise in certain areas. They may be anxious of their own shortcomings and insecurities, and would much rather appear like they have a good grasp of everything. Because of this and their strong need for personal space and freedom, even allowing one person into their ‘circle’ will require tremendous amounts of trust, time and effort.
This causes them to be afraid in sharing their insecurities and struggles, which may make them seem aloof in relationships, distancing the other person. Type 5s may approach relationships in very logical ways, but they never tap into their emotions, sometimes even coming off as cold, detached and distant. They sometimes think of emotions as obstacles to logic.
They may also afraid of making decisions when they feel like they do not have all the information and would feel as if they are taking a risk. Paralysis by analysis happens when even with a plethora of information available, it will never be sufficient to always give you the correct decision for all the choices we have to make in life. Without sufficient information, some may even avoid the potential failure by not making decisions at all. Their need for knowledge bottlenecks their actions, and this can have grave implications in romantic relationships. Their lack of action may be perceived as a lack of interest by their partner, causing unhappiness.
“Everyone has their flaws and make mistakes; it is only human.” , my friend told me plainly. He lives with the mantra that he has nothing to prove, and that there is no harm in getting things wrong and making mistakes. Acknowledging that he is imperfect, he confronts his shortfalls and embraces himself as he is. He mentioned that Type 5s really need to learn to be humble to admit that they may not know something (and it is ok to not know everything) and be willing to ask for assistance and clarity when in doubt. “I will always ask when I am not sure, it’s just being human,” he says, “When I have nothing to prove, I can show more of myself, just as I am, and it leads to a more honest and truthful interaction with others” .
A great way to show that he trust someone, showing others who he really is, enables him to build honest relationships and connect with others on a deeper, relatable level. Instead of spending excessive time thinking, he also revised how he makes decisions by first doing, and then thinking and reviewing to ascertain what could have been improved. “I don’t take too long to think, I would rather do first then review later”, he says. He also mentioned that leaving things to God in prayers also help him to have the faith and assurance that everything will turn out just fine.
- Be grateful and learn to take breaks
Type 5s can be detached emotionally, preferring to withdraw into their own private space and privacy. Until Type 5 Observers learn to be in touch with their emotions and to open up and take risks, getting into any intimate relationship may be seemingly too ‘intrusive’ for their ‘comfort’. To prepare themselves emotionally, they may need to consciously make an effort to make time to withdraw and recharge, so that they are able to be completely present in the company of others. They should also use this time to reflect and to fully engage with their emotions for a higher level of self-awareness.
My Type 5 Observer friend shares that he sets aside time in a day to pray, relax and reflect on his day and to commit his emotions and thoughts to God in prayer to center himself. He mentions that he could get frustrated and anxious especially when many things are happening concurrently. Prayer time helps reduce anxiety, and allow him to face the day’s challenge and to better connect with others.
“Honestly, I don’t know how I can do it without God. His presence in my life makes these positive changes possible”, he concluded.
With this three simple mindset shift, Type 5s can kick their relationship rut and develop into improved versions of themselves with higher self-mastery. Break out of the least resourceful traits of Type 5 Observers. Instead of remaining withdrawn and remove yourself from interaction out of fear, learn to embrace life as it comes and take time to reflect on your own emotions. Breed an enthusiasm not only for theory and knowledge, but ideas, feelings and experiences so that you can fully engage with others and life.