Palmer - The Enneagram

Point Five: The Observer

The preoccupations of Point Five include:

  • Privacy.
  • Maintaining noninvolvement; withdraw and tighten the belt as a first line of defense.
  • Fear point. Afraid to feel.
  • Overvaluing of self-control. Detaching attention from feelings. "Drama is for lesser beings."
  • Delayed emotions. Feelings withheld while others are present. Emotion comes later, when safely alone.
  • Compartmentalizing. Commitments in life are kept separate from one another. One box per commitment. Time Limit for each box.
  • Wanting predictability. Wanting to know what will happen ahead of time.
  • An interest in special knowledge and analytic systems that can explain the way that people work. Want a map to explain emotions. Psychoanalysis. The Enneagram.
  • A confusion between spiritual nonattachment and a premature emotional shutdown to keep out pain. The unenlightened Buddha.
  • An attentional style of focusing on life and oneself from the point of view of an outside observer, which can lead to
    • Isolation from the feelings and events of one's own life.
    • The ability to maintain a point of view that is detached from emotional bias.

Helen Palmer

The Enneagram:
Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life
Harper & Row, 1988, 392 pages