How Each Enneagram Type Deals With Sadness – Type 5

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How Each Enneagram Type Deals With Sadness – Type 5

Up to this point, we have explored how the Type 2s,Type 3s and the Type 4s deal with sadness.

This week, let us begin looking at how the head-centered Types in the Enneagram process their sadness. Let’s begin with the Type 5s.

Type 5s when dealing with sadness

The Type 5s cope with their sadness through isolation; this is when 5s separate the emotion of sadness from the idea of what sadness is. When 5s do this, they intellectualise this troubling emotion, which results in them talking about their sadness without actually feeling the emotion.

When 5s use isolation as a coping mechanism, the reduced awareness of feeling sad protects them from actually needing to experience the sadness, which then helps them not rely on others for emotional support and thereby protecting their private inner world.

As 5s overvalue thinking over emotions, in order to further themselves from experiencing these emotions, they may then proceed to withdraw from situations and people who are making them feel sad and retreat into the thoughts in their minds.

What to say to a Type 5 dealing with sadness

  • “You have a safe space to tell me what is making you sad, I will give you the space to process that feeling with me.”
  • “I will respect the boundaries of your private world. I just want to hear what your thoughts are. Let me know when you are ready to talk.”
  • “There is no need to be embarrassed about your sadness, it does not change what I think about you and it will not intrude into my emotional space if you choose to express what is making you sad.”

An Encouragement to our Type 5s

Coming out to say what you feel allows us to get to know you as well. It helps get more information about what makes you sad and how we can support you. Let us do that for you.

For anyone with a Type 5 in your life, do not intrude into their personal space and force them to speak about what is making them sad on the spot. This will cause them to withdraw even further. Instead, allow them the space for them to think and when they are ready, they will come to you to talk about it. Be ready to be there for them when they do.



The Enneagram will allow you to gain more information about who you are. Are you interested to research into what makes you tick? Contact us to find out when our next course runs are.You can use your SkillsFuture Credits to offset your course fees to learn as well. That is a good deal, so we are waiting to hear from you!

Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
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