People with a 5w6 personality type combine traits of both type 5 and type 6.
However, because their predominant type is type 5, they appear more withdrawn than those with a 6w5 type.
There are several reasons why 5w6s choose to keep their distance from others.
First, they are naturally introverted.
Second, they have a rich intellectual world. A lot of 5w6s find learning, reading, writing, and researching more enjoyable than spending time with other people.
Third, they want to protect their energy.
People with a 5w6 personality type often feel that relationships with other people are very demanding.
They literally fear to run out of their emotional fuel.
Some other types may avoid others because of their fear of getting hurt, but this isn’t the case with 5w6s.
5w6s are good at controlling their emotions and find overly emotional people tiring.
To the 5w6, being dragged into someone else’s emotional world feels like a waste of time and energy.
They think that people who can’t get a grip on themselves are weak and illogical.
Because even 5w6s don’t live in a vacuum and are often forced to deal with other people, they develop strategies to keep others at arm’s length.
Here are some of their favorites:
1. Ask questions
Get the other person to talk about themselves so that they can’t ask anything about you.
2. Talk in generalities
Don’t offer any information that could lead to more questions. Focus on withholding satisfying answers so that people can’t connect with you.
“How is the situation at home?”
Pretty much a conversation ender.
3. Ignore questions
Pretend you didn’t hear it. Always works.
4. Change the subject
If you aren’t at the level where you can comfortably ignore questions yet, at least learn to change the subject. Ask something. Get them to talk about themselves. Get them to forget what they wanted to know.
5. Avoid supporting statements
To end a conversation once and for all, 5w6s might avoid any supporting statements.
Supporting statements are the listener’s reactions that show that you are present and listening.
Some examples would be, “Oh really!”, “I see”, “I feel for you”, “What are you going to do now?”
Avoid these reactions, and the conversation will naturally stop.
6. Delay replying to text messages
Text messages are an easy way for others to test waters and see if they can invade your personal space.
Fortunately for 5w6s, not replying to text messages for hours or simply “forgetting” to reply works great and doesn’t feel awkward.
7. Finally, your cellphone should always be on silent.
Not everything is lost, however. Because 5w6s have type 6 qualities as well, they may sometimes attempt to cooperate with others.
Depending on the strength of their Six-Wing, they can sometimes behave friendly.
Because type 5’s tendency to withdraw and type 6’s tendency to form alliances with others contradict each other, people with a 5w6 personality type can act hot and cold.
Their relationships are generally erratic, and people around them may feel hurt or annoyed.
However, 5w6s don’t worry about it as their interpersonal relationships aren’t that important to them.
So if they don’t connect with other people, what do 5w6s do?
They live in their intellectual world.
If they spend time with someone, that person is likely to be an intellectual and introvert similar to themselves.
There aren’t many ways to connect with a 5w6, but sharing his or her interests or working on a common project works best.
They are interested in
- anything that stimulates their mind, really!
Although they are introverts, 5w6s aren’t particularly introspective.
Their focus isn’t on their inner world or emotional needs; it’s mainly on the outside world, just not people.
5w6s couldn’t care less how they come across. They often seem absent-minded, entirely consumed by their intellectual pursuits.
This isn’t to say that 5w6s can’t have close relationships. In fact, they can be very dedicated and loyal friends and partners.
The beginning of the relationship is never easy with 5w6s, but once they test people and come to trust them, they can be very committed.
Are you a 6w5 or 5w6?
Generally, it’s more common for Sixes to mistype as Fives than the other way around.
If you are more of a conventional person, you are probably a 6w5.
If you feel anxious often, you are probably a 6w5.
5w6s are very unconventional and rarely mistype as Sixes.
Sixes want to fit in while Fives don’t worry about other people’s perceptions of them.
They don’t allow their fears to control them and, in most cases, can escape to their mental world by rationalizing or distracting their minds with new intellectual pursuits.
Sixes feel at least a little anxious most of the time and find avoiding uncomfortable feelings very difficult.
In addition, 6w5s are more friendly than 5w6s.
If you dislike small talk and aren’t at ease in social situations, you are probably a Five.
A Six with a strong intellectual streak might mistype as a Five, but the above questions should clear the confusion.
The Enneagram personality test can be found here.