The Visionary

Five-wing-Fours, whom I call Visionaries, are introverted, cerebral personalities who enjoy learning, theorizing, and innovating. They are often artistic, intellectual, or scientifically oriented. No matter what their field of endeavor, they are iconoclasts who bristle at authority. Under difficult conditions, they may become reclusive.

5w4With Five as their dominant Perspective, Five-wing-Fours are detached from their environment, which means they are looking on as if from the outside rather than immersing themselves in the scene. Although they may seem emotionally distant, they don’t want to be rejected by other people, so they strive to prove their own worth and the worth of their ideas.

On the other hand, this striving is influenced by Perspective Four, which brings a need to assert their individuality. So they try to be different, perhaps through cutting edge or eccentric social movements, food, clothes, or the books they read.

Combining these two Perspectives, we see that Five-wing-Fours are continually creating new and original works in order to make something of themselves and distinguish themselves from others.

Probable examples of personality type Five-wing-Four are Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Noam Chomsky, Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and J. D. Salinger. Chomsky has elsewhere been pegged as a One-wing-Nine, but I think that, as an anarchist and a system builder, he belongs in this group. Below I explain part of my rationale for placing him here. Other reported examples are Friedrich Nietzsche, Werner Heisenberg, Umberto Eco, Georgia O’Keefe, k. d. lang, Laurie Anderson, James Joyce, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Kurt Cobain, Gary Larson, Franz Kafka, Tim Burton, and T.S. Eliot.

In business, education, or technical and scientific fields, Five-wing-Fours will usually be found pushing the limits of understanding. In the arts, they are drawn to imaginative roles such as writing, composing, and designing rather than strictly performance. Even as scientists, Five-wing-Fours work more in the manner of artists, intuitively and creatively. They are options-oriented rather than procedural.

It also appears that their reasoning style is more synthetic than analytic. They are system builders. Consequently, a Five-wing-Four scientist might tend to meld science with philosophy. A song writer might blend music with politics.

Their working style corresponds to their thinking style. First, as already established, they are more concerned with their own internal thoughts than with maintaining a connection to the external world, so they may be unsuited for teamwork or carrying out other people’s agendas.

As writers, composers, and philosophers, they lean toward the experimental and speculative and are captivated by irony, surrealism, pessimism, and nihilism. In fact, this may be the type most at home with looking at the dark side. Because they are so detached, they can explore the underside freely and not get too bogged down in bad feelings.

John LennonIn addition, Five-wing-Fours often have a passion for neologisms, playing with words, letters, and images. Partly, this results from an aptitude for seeing patterns and connections, but it also fits into a general enthusiasm for the new, the original, and, yes, the quirky. Yet when others find them opaque, they still suffer from not being understood.

Five-wing-Fours’ emotional tone can be playful or serious and is often moody. They may seem distant. In fact, if you try to get too close too fast they will probably put up an emotional shield. Too much effort expended relating to others will require some compensating alone time.

At times, just by looking, you may be able to recognize this type by their unconventional dress. Emily Dickinson wore only white. Or, like the other type in this structure, Five-wing-Fours may wear dark clothes. I once gave a Structural Enneagram “reading” to a man who turned out to be a Five-wing-Four, although he didn’t look like one to me. But I realized his color-blocked t-shirt might be throwing me off, so I asked him if this was the way he ordinarily dressed. He replied that he usually wore black, but that he had recently been in a bicycle accident, and now he wore bright colors so that drivers could see him when he rode.

You might also recognize Five-wing-Fours from several behavioral tells. Sometimes their introversion will be apparent, although introversion does not necessarily mean shy. They may hesitate, perhaps speaking in a halting voice, or touching the nose. They often lean back—possibly a sign of withdrawing, but certainly a means of getting distance.

On the other hand, Five-wing-Fours may be often in the public and may talk assertively. Still, closer observation reveals a certain discomfort or awk­wardness mixed in with seemingly extraverted behavior. Perhaps overcompensating, some may come across as brash or brusque. Undoubtedly, they can be provocative, as if being willing to put up with their eccentric or antagonistic ways were the price you had to pay for their scintillating company. If feeling criticized, they may turn snarky. In general, when feeling under attack, they may defend themselves with rudeness and contempt.

There are a few patterns associated with Perspective Five’s psychological drive that are noticeably expressed by Five-wing-Fours. They want to be loved but think they have to prove themselves worthy of love; to that end, they can be seductive and anxious to please. They may have an interest in subjects such as insanity, crime, and the occult. They may have cleaning compulsions. They may be collectors. They may have hobbies or vocations that in some ways resemble the aims of the alchemists of old, who worked at turning base metals into gold: finding and preserving rare collectibles, turning kitchen scraps into compost, and anything having to do with money and investing. They may take all this too far and turn demanding, insatiable, greedy, or parsimonious.


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