List of Signs You Are an ISTP 5w4 (7+ Best Indicators)

In this blog post, we will describe the ISTP 5w4 personality type.

If you are curious about what both your Enneagram and MBTI personality type tells about you, keep reading. 

The ISTP 5w4

The ISTP 5w4 typology spends much of their time observing and contemplating – listening to the wind, water, or a musical instrument they like.

They take notes on the mound behind the garden.

When they immerse themselves in observations, they begin to internalize their knowledge and gain self-confidence.

They may come across new and interesting information or find new, creative combinations (for example, they compose a song based on wind and water recordings). 

The ISTP 5w4 personalities are sensual and carnal, being very enthusiastic about experiencing sexuality with all the senses.

Since aesthetics, beauty attracts them a lot, they appreciate everything related to seduction: perfume, lingerie, room atmosphere, etc. ISTP 5w4 like to repair and can even create relationship problems just to have fun fixing them.

They tend to keep to themselves their way of seeing things. They like to listen to the views of others.

They have an art of giving evasive answers by asking their partners more about things that would interest them.

This can become very frustrating for their life partners especially if they are looking for a direct answer.

To better understand the ISTP 5w4 typology, you have to know more about Enneagram subtype 5w6 and the MBTI ISTP. 

Enneagram type 5

Basic fear: Being helpless, useless, incapable (overwhelmed by the situation).

Basic desire: To be able and competent.

Superego message: You are good or pretty good if you own a field.

Intense, cerebral typology: Perceptual, Innovative, Secretive and Isolated

The fifth typology is called the Observatory because, more than any other typology, it wants to know why things are the way they are.

Observers want to understand how the world works, whether it’s the cosmos, the microscopic world, the animal, vegetable or mineral kingdom – or their own inner world.

 Always searching, asking questions, delving into the depths of problems.

They do not accept the doctrines and opinions they hear, feeling a deep need to test most of their assumptions themselves.

They are afraid that they will not be able to face the world. They feel that they do not have the ability to do things as well as those around them.

But instead of engaging in activities that increase their self-confidence, they “take a step back” in their minds, where they feel stronger.

They believe that there they will be able to realize what they have to do – and that one day they will join the world again.

When they receive confirmation of what they have observed or see that others understand their work, they feel it as a recognition of their competence, which satisfies their basic desire. (“Know what you’re talking about.”)

Observers, therefore, honour knowledge, understanding and the power of penetration, because they build their identity by starting from their power to come up with new ideas and to be “someone” who has something unusual and interesting to say. 

Because of this, they are not too interested in studying what is already familiar and well known to all; their attention is rather drawn to the unusual, secret, occult, bizarre, fantastic, striking things. 

Investigating a new territory – knowing something that others do not know or creating something unprecedented – allows those in the Fifth typology to have a niche of their own, so that no one else will occupy it.

They believe that developing this place is the best way to achieve independence and security.

Thus, in order to feel safe and respected, Observers need to know something well enough to feel that they are part of the world and are doing well.

They think, “I will find a field in which to be a real expert, and then I will be able to face life’s challenges. But other things don’t have to distract me or distract me. ” 

They focus intensely on the area they want to control.

It can be math, modern or classical music, car mechanics, horror movies, SF short stories or even a world created in their imagination. 

Not everyone in the Fifth typology has doctoral degrees.

But, depending on their intelligence and the resources they have at hand, they focus intensely to get to know perfectly the field that has captured their interest.

5w4 – The Iconoclast

Famous 5w4:  David Lynch, Stephen King, Glenn Gould, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joyce Carol Oates, Sinead O’Connor, Merce Cunningham, Lily Tomlin, Tim Burton, Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh.

Healthy subtype: in this subtype, curiosity and perceptiveness are combined with the desire to express a unique, personal vision.

These people are more emotional, more introspective than those with influences from the Sixth typology.

They are looking for a place still unexplored by others that is truly theirs.

They are not preoccupied with science but become solitary creators, who mix passion with detachment. They are capricious and inventive.

The way they change familiar forms can lead to spectacular innovations.

They are often attracted to the arts and use their imagination more than the analytical, systematic part of the mind.

Medium subtype: Although they identify largely with their minds, people in this subtype have intense feelings that can make it difficult for them to make sustained efforts and work with others.

They are more independent than the other subtypes and do not accept different structures. 

Their interests tend to be supernatural and fantastic rather than rational or romantic: they can easily get lost in their imagination.

They often have trouble keeping their feet on the ground and may not be able to cope when trying to achieve something.

They may be drawn to dark, forbidden subjects, or to the grotesque and disturbing.

ISTP – The virtuoso personality

ISTPs are:

  • Good listeners
  • They are usually self-confident
  • They are generally optimistic and make others feel good in their company
  • Practical and realistic, coping with daily requirements
  • They do not feel threatened by conflict and criticism
  • Able to leave a relationship relatively easily
  • They are able to administer a sanction even though they are not directly interested in doing so
  • Respect for the need of others for privacy.

But they also:

  • ISTPs live totally in the present having difficulties with long-term commitments
  • They are not naturally good at expressing their emotions and feelings
  • They are not focused on the feelings of others, sometimes they are insensitive
  • They tend to hide things about themselves
  • They need a lot of personal space, they don’t like to be invaded
  • They like the action and get excited easily when it comes to something new shaking everyone around.

ISTPs are generally very capable individuals who are good at almost anything that captures their interest.

They are interesting individuals, smart and with a lot to offer. 

They live almost entirely in the present and make no promises that go beyond the foreseeable future.

An ISTP probably often quotes the phrase “nothing is unconditional” or “you never know …”. They prefer to plan things from day to day, with small steps rather than making big plans or long-term commitments. 

When they are interested in someone, they will do anything to maintain the relationship alive. 

If they lose interest in a relationship, their natural tendency will be to move on.

ISTPs as lovers can be clues that live life with great intensity and excitement. The Thinker part makes them seem difficult to access, and the Perceptual Sensory part makes them sensual, carnal, earthly. 

The fact that they always live in the present leads them to the constant search for new sensations, in unique experiences.

They don’t like routine and fixed schedules and hate controlling others. 

They are very independent and need personal space in a relationship.

If they are involved in a relationship that gives them new experiences and always keeps them in action, they will do everything to keep that relationship.

If they get bored, they will try to change something about that relationship or they will move on, looking for another relationship that will satisfy them. 

They make commitments little by little, daily, never for a longer period of time.

However, we can find them in long-term relationships that they have built by planning daily, in small steps, without ever pronouncing “always”.

Being an ISTP (a virtuoso personality), the dominant way of focusing is an inner one, towards the inner world, where you analyze things rationally, logically.

Secondly, you are oriented towards the outside world, where you judge things by the five senses, in the most concrete way.

ISTP people have a great way of understanding the way things work. They are very good at logical analysis of things and like to use it for practical purposes.

They usually have a great capacity for rationalization, although they are not interested in theories or conceptualizations if they do not see at least an applicative, practical part of them.

They like to take things in segments, to study the way they work.


In this blog post, we talked about the ISTP 5w4 personality type. 

The ISTP 5w4 typology spends much of their time observing and contemplating – listening to the wind, water, or a musical instrument they like.

They take notes on the mound behind the garden.

When they immerse themselves in observations, they begin to internalize their knowledge and gain self-confidence.

They may come across new and interesting information or find new, creative combinations (for example, they compose a song based on wind and water recordings). 

Are you an ISTP 5w4 type of personality?

If you’ve enjoyed the ”ISTP 5w4” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ”Are you an ISTP 5w6?” and ”The ISTP 9w1 personality type” too.

We’d love to know more about you! So, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the box below!

FAQ about the ISTP 5w4

What is a virtuoso personality?

A Virtuoso personality is an MBTI type of personality – the ISTP. ISTPs are dominated by Introverted, Observant, Thinking, and Prospecting personality traits.

Are ISTPs rare?

ISTPs are not the rarest type of personality, but they make up to 5% of the general population.

Are ISTPs lazy?

ISTPs are not lazy, but they are often mislabeled and misunderstood. ISTPs are true rebels and rule-breakers.

What does 5w4 mean?

Enneagram 5w4 is a combination of personality traits 4 and 5, type 5 is predominant.

These people are eager to explain to the world around them and to predict their actions.

Regardless of the profession, they want to investigate, observe and understand things deeply.

Is Enneagram better than MBTI?

We cannot say if Enneagram is better than MBTI, as they both focus on slightly different aspects of the personality types.

To be more specific, the Myers-Briggs test focuses on the nature of the person (meaning the genetic attributes), while the Enneagram is more about nurture (the environment and the education received). 

How do you have a relationship with Enneagram 5?

To have a romantic relationship with Enneagram 5 you need to know that they do not like to be put under pressure.

They love to share their ideas, they are into intellectual stimulation. Listen to them, find interesting things to do together. 


The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso 

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

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