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BTS Enneagram Types Suga (Min Yoongi) Part 8

Part 8 focuses on BTS member Suga. He is the lead rapper, composer, and producer. He joined Big Hit Entertainment with the understanding he’d be a producer, would only have to rap and wouldn’t have to dance. But dance he does as a BTS member. He also writes and produces for musical groups outside BTS. In January 2018, he earned full membership with the Korea Music Copyright Association.

Min Yoongi (Suga aka Agust D) Enneagram Five | The “Wise” Person

I think Yoongi, aka by his solo name as a rapper Agust D, is an Enneagram Five, as do most people who made comments online about his type. These are all, of course, speculative in nature. What is intriguing about him is that while he is often less vocal than other BTS members, both in Korean and in English, his speaking patterns and non-verbal demeanor are highly consistent with Enneagram Fives.

Fives crave information and knowledge in areas of their particular interest and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping their involvement with others to a minimum. It isn’t that they don’t like people. In fact, many Fives are deeply curious about people and human nature. The main reason Fives want to minimize their engagement with others is because when they over-engage, they end up feeling completely drained of energy. Fives refer to this as a somatic experience of complete energetic depletion.

Fives are analytic, objective, systematic, often introspective, and highly expert in selected areas, often on topics that are intriguing to them but may be obscure to others. Fives are also very private, even to the point of secrecy, are highly independent and place a high value on maintaining their own autonomy. They tend to place less emphasis on relationships and place more importance on mental functions such as thinking and ideas.

General Description of  Yoongi

Yoongi is often described as calm, chill, reserved, and a “cooler” character than the other BTS members. Enneagram Fives are frequently described in this way. This calmness and chill means that most things don’t impact them intensely or, at least, they are not highly reactive. This non-reactivity is primarily because they disconnect from their emotions and their physical sensations in real time, especially when they are with other people. Full engagement, in the Five’s belief system and experience, places a high demand on their energy, which is what they experience as a limited resource and, thus, want to conserve.

Because Fives are the most self-contained of all the Enneagram types, they often come across as cool or remote rather than warm and inviting. At the same time, there can also be something inherently “cool” or mysterious about Fives. Ironically, the less Fives share about themselves with others, the more people become curious about them and want to approach them to get to know them better.

There are more meanings to the word “cool” in addition to composed, deliberate, a concentration of the mind that is not distractable, especially in a crisis, and poise under provocation. “Cool” also means hip, admirable, appealing or attractive in a particular way. As RM, the BTS leader says, Yoongi “has style.” And V describes Yoongi this way: “He’s quite cool on stage. Cool and amazing.” BTS member J-Hope, who himself is hip and trendy, says Yoongi  “…is cool. He pretends not to care when he does.”

 Yoongi is also described by those who know him, including other BTS members, as well as those who watch him on live streams and other online platforms, as being very sweet, even deeply sweet. And this complex contrast, being someone who is detached or aloof and, at the same time, deeply sweet, is just one of the reasons for Yoongi’s nickname “Meow Meow.” As much as Yoongi, like most Fives, can appear standoffish like most cats, they can also be profoundly sweet and genuinely heartful at very deep levels, also like many cats.

Finally, Yoongi is considered a “musical genius” by people inside and outside BTS, both in South Korea and globally, and also by artists who excel in a variety of musical genres. His genius is in lyrics, melody, composition, arrangement, and production. Music is his passion area, where he thrives and appears most energetic and alive. According to BTS member Jung Kook, Yoongi’s “passion for music is overflowing.” His music is compelling on multiple levels, including that it deals with topics about life and existence in its nuance and complexity. Although not all Fives are passionate about music, they are usually keenly interested in specific things and pursue these in great depth.

Quote from Yoongi on Life as He Experiences It

“Life is tough, and things don’t always work out well, but we should be brave and go on with our lives.”
“Emotions are so different in every situation and every moment, so I think to agonize every moment is what life is.”
“Please don’t be afraid, don’t worry yourself. The end and beginning, beginning and end are connected.”
“We were born to be real, not perfect”
“You should live your life as if it’s your last day.”
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Enneagram Fives: The Search for Wisdom through the Mind

Yoongi, like most Fives, is also described as observant, noticing details and patterns in others and his environment. In fact, Fives are often called “the observer.” They feel most comfortable observing rather than engaging directly in what is occurring. It has been said that Fives are happiest when they have a “womb with a view.” From this metaphoric place, Fives like to feel safe and comfortable where they can observe, analyze, process and explore that which interests them.

Enneagram Fives use their minds to accumulate, organize and understand information, primarily in areas that are important to them. As a result, they become storehouses of information that might appear randomly chosen from the outside but makes perfect sense to them. In addition, their knowledge in these areas goes very deep. Here’s how other BTS members describe Yoongi’s mind:

Jin: “He has a variety of knowledge and always gives help with that knowledge. I’m fascinated as to where he gets that weird knowledge from.
RM: “He lingers on things more than you would think; full of random information.”
V and Jung Kook: Yoongi has “a lot of knowledge.”

Some people wrongly think Enneagram Fives are the most intelligent of the nine types, but intelligence does not go with Enneagram type. What is more accurate about Enneagram Fives is that they rely on their thinking function to make sense of their world. And they store knowledge they accumulate in something akin to file folders in their mind, each folder a different topic area. This helps them retrieve the information when they want it. To Fives, this information is neither weird nor random. As a note, Yoongi is known to be extremely smart, but this is not because he is likely an Enneagram Five.

Some people also incorrectly think that Enneagram Fives are solely cerebral and not emotional. This is also not true. What is more accurate is that Fives typically disconnect from their feelings in real-time, moving directly into their heads to think. However, Fives do re-experience and process some of their feelings later on, most often when they are alone rather than in a situation where they have to engage with other people. This alone time for processing feelings and engaging in introspection might occur a little time later, hours later, or even weeks or months later. In some ways, Enneagram Fives experience their feelings in a pure form, uncontaminated by the thoughts and responses of others. For many Fives, as they grow and become more integrated, they realize that the true wisdom they are seeking cannot come from the mind alone. Through introspection and experience, they recognize that true wisdom comes from accessing their minds, their hearts and from their direct experience rather than only through reading, thinking and observation. This insight is a direct quote from Yoongi: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Fives: The Need for Solitude, Privacy, and Boundaries

Enneagram Fives have an enormous need for time alone, privacy and clear boundaries with others. Boundaries refer to clear lines and limits about how much time they will spend on something, what’s OK to ask or discuss with them, how physically close they want to be with you, and what they will agree to do. Why is this so important to them? It’s about energy depletion. When Fives feel depleted, they feel so drained that some Fives describe it as “near death.” This means there is just no more vitality in them. It is not the same as being an introvert. Many Fives are introverts, but some are not. And you can find introverts in all nine Enneagram types. For Fives, it is about feeling totally drained of any resources to replenish the loss and their need to be totally by themselves in order to regain their energy.

From what Yoongi himself says on video reels and what other BTS members say about him, he needs a great deal of time alone, even when other members want to be with him. This is not referring to practice or performing time, where he is punctual and present. It refers to discretionary time. There’s an amusing video where the other BTS members want Yoongi to stay with them, but he’s clearly wanting to leave, and they drag him on the ground toward them to try to make him stay. BTS members say that once Yoongi “holes up in a studio,” he rarely goes out; he literally lives there. Fives not only relish time alone,  they require it. Spending time by themselves does not usually make them feel lonely; it is a necessity and replenishes them.

In the video of BTS member’s home tours, as well as in many videos where Yoongi is by himself, the setting is a room full of musical instruments, electronic equipment, and a variety of screens. This is plausibly where Yoongi feels most at home, in his own space. Many Fives have and need a “room of their own.” This is a space, and it doesn’t have to be large, where they are surrounded by things they are passionate about and it is totally theirs. Others may join them there, but essentially only by invitation and very rarely.

There’s a funny video reel where Jimin is in Yoongi’s space and Yoongi is ready for Jimin to leave and clearly tells him so. Jimin, with a big smile on his face, tells Yoongi he will only leave if Yoongi explicitly tells him “I love you.” Fives, like Yoongi seems to be, might feel love for someone but tend to show it through their eyes or through their actions toward the other person. Actually saying “I love you” on demand is asking a lot, even if they feel love. In the video, Yoongi only gets Jimin to leave his private space when he utters the words Jimin requires, but it takes several iterations back and forth and Yoongi begrudgingly relents.

As a note, I can’t really imagine how challenging it must be for Yoongi, if he is a Five, to have to be in the public view as a BTS member so intensely and for so long without respite. Not only being in the public view, but also having to do something that requires a huge expenditure of energy: sharing a dorm space with six strangers with only a bed to claim as your own; multiple performances to huge audiences in a variety of cities; meet and greets with millions of fans all clamoring at and wanting a piece of you; people constantly invading your personal space or asking questions and making comments that are really not their business to ask. This would be hard for anyone, especially a teenager or young adult. But as a Five, this would be at least 100 times more challenging.

Yoongi’s Speaking Style

Yoongi’s style of speaking is highly consistent with the way in which Enneagram Fives speak. Essentially, Fives speak when they want to and don’t speak when they don’t want to. Fives dislike small talk, perceiving it as superficial and, even more importantly, a waste of their energy. Add to this that they rarely engage in small talk; Fives are also not very good at it, nor do they want to be.

When Fives do talk, it’s because they want to and are then typically straightforward and honest. To quote someone online, ”When Yoongi does speak, he often just says the truth.” When Fives talk, they tend to be concise and highly specific in their use of words. Using an abundance of words requires more energy than using just a few. Here are more online descriptions of the way Yoongi speaks: “Pithy and dry;” “Direct, short and witty;” “Great economical way with words, especially when he needs to be firm.”

Conversely, Enneagram Fives can also be quite talkative, but only under certain conditions, such as when they know a great deal about a topic and want to share it with you or when they feel really relaxed and are with others with whom they feel extremely comfortable and in a comfortable setting. When Fives know a great deal about a subject and want to share it, they can talk at great lengths, almost as if they were sharing a dissertation on the topic. Here are some online comments: “He gets hyper-chatty discussing geeky subjects like random historical facts or musical technical talk.” “Yoongi lets his guard down when happy or around the other members.”

Most Fives think a great deal, but what are they thinking about? It depends. For those Fives who are highly introspective, and not all are, they like to converse about deeply meaningful topics. Here are some quotes about Yoongi: “Yoongi is the one guy in your group that usually doesn’t talk but everything he says when he does is gold.” He has “deep, profound conversations.”

There are two additional areas related to Yoongi and his speaking style. One has to do with sarcasm and the other with talking about emotions. Online, several people described Yoongi’s speaking style as sarcastic, one even labeling him the “king of sarcasm.” After reviewing multiple transcripts, videos and written statements from Yoongi, I’ve been at a loss to describe Yoongi’s speaking style as fundamentally sarcastic. The definition of sarcasm is this: the caustic use of words, often used in a humorous way, to mock someone or something, especially to insult another. Yes, Yoongi uses words in a humorous way, but not with the intention to harm or insult another. He primarily uses irony, dry humor, and word puns to say the unexpected. Here’s an example. When asked what is the biggest difference between season 1 and season 2 of Bon Voyage, a reality series where BTS traveled around the world doing different games or activities, Yoongi answers “The biggest difference is the location and our age.”

Yoongi’s Non-Verbal Behavior

There’s both very little and a lot to say about Yoongi’s non-verbal behavior. The reason there is little to say is that Yoongi shows minimalistic non-verbal behavior. This is quite characteristic of Enneagram Fives. They keep what is called a “poker face,” not because they are playing a card game. It’s because they are the least animated of all the Enneagram types due to their extreme self-containment, their disconnection from emotions in real-time, and because they are private and careful about what they say and do. It is an automatic response, not really a conscious choice on their part.

What can be observed about his non-verbal behavior is that he talks less often than the other BTS members and when BTS members talk together, more times than not, he sits there with a not-easy-to-read expression on his face. When he does speak, he typically uses a lower volume level with little variation in his voice tone. In other words, he is not loud nor is his voice animated. The exception is when he has occasionally a strong reaction to something, which does happen. At these times, his volume increases and his voice tone has more variation.

There is, however, a lot to Yoongi’s non-verbal behavior, which is both subtle and nuanced. This is true for most Fives. In Yoongi’s case, it’s in his eyes and his mouth. With all Fives, their eyes tell a story. With most Fives, it almost seems like they are watching themselves from back inside their heads, while with some others, it’s almost like they have eyes behind their heads that are watching themselves. With Yoongi, his eyes appear as if they are closer to the front of his face as he observes himself and others. This is challenging to describe in words, but here’s an attempt. Some people have “alpha” eyes where their eyes seem to come energetically forward toward others in a strong way. There are also “beta” eyes, eyes that don’t come forward, but neither are they retracted. “Beta” eyes tend to be more receptive eyes. Five eyes tend to have neither “alpha” nor “beta” eyes; their eyes are more self-watching eyes. Yoongi’s eyes appear to me to be slightly back from where we can visibly see his real eyes, but not very deeply back. When he likes something, his eyes come forward a bit more, but when he dislikes something, his eyes retreat further back into his head.

Yoongi’s mouth expressions and his smile are another story entirely. Of course, he smiles when onstage; it is a performance. Offstage, however, Yoongi smiles when he feels happy, when he laughs at something, or when he feels deeply touched. Sometimes, he half-smirks or half-smiles when amused. He sometimes laughs at his own humor, but sometimes doesn’t. But when he gives his full smile, his entire face lights up, including his eyes. This spontaneous smile appears so genuine and sincere that it is deeply endearing. Sometimes Yoongi also cries on stage when extremely touched or deeply happy.

Challenges for Enneagram Fives

The direct expression of emotions is the biggest challenge for Fives unless they have done a great deal of development work, particularly related to accessing their emotions, being more embodied, and practicing directly expressing their feelings in real-time. They have habitually disconnected from their emotions when they are actually occurring so how to reconnect is neither obvious nor intuitive for them. In addition, one of the paths for reconnection is through the body or somatic structure because all feelings are experienced in the body. Most Fives also disconnect from their somatic experiences as a way to disconnect emotionally.

In the case of Yoongi, if he is indeed a Five, is that he is not as visibly emotionally responsive as the other BTS members, although his micro-expressions give some indication: an eyebrow slightly raised, a small half-smile on his face. But sometimes he is extraordinarily expressive, often using his music and performances as the vehicle. His music, particularly his solo music, is highly emotive and introspective. In his solo performances, he is fully embodied and dramatically energetic. And on stage during solo performances, Yoongi appears totally engrossed in his performances, yet when he is performing and something not on stage draws his attention, he often has a strong positive and full-hearted emotional response. An example would be when he spots another BTS member in the audience who is there to support him or when someone attending  the show screams out “Marry me Yoongi!” At these times, Yoongi shows a deep level of pure joy, love and pleasure from what appears deep within him.

The description above illuminates two aspects of Enneagram Fives. On one hand, it dispels the incorrect idea that Fives do not have deep feelings. They can and they do. It also says a great deal about Yoongi and his ability and willingness to be increasingly emotionally transparent. Most Fives prefer to be more opaque as if they are wearing an invisibility cloak where they can observe us but we can’t see them. Yoongi in recent years has been verbal and forthcoming about his personal and emotional challenges, as has Namjoon (RM). It is my guess that Yoongi’s level of self-disclosure has been helpful in his healing process, both as a person and especially as an Enneagram Five.

Simple, Powerful Development for Enneagram Fives

Rumi poem

Reflect on the meaning of this poem by 13th-century poet Rumi:
Open your hands
If you want to be held

Allow yourself to both offer and accept resources from others

The Five worldview is that resources are scarce and so they must conserve the few resources they have. This belief contributes to their intense need for autonomy and independence. Otherwise, they reason, they will end up depleted. However, resources are only scarce if you rely solely on yourself. Ask others, and allow others, to do things for you. You don’t have to do this all by yourself.

Reconnect through your breath

Fives breathe primarily into their head area only or, at most, through their necks. Breathing this way disconnects you from your full body and somatic reactions, which then restricts your access to your feelings. Practice breathing by inhaling through your nose, then allow your breath to filter down your body through your neck, your torso, your belly area, your legs and your feet. Do this until it becomes comfortable for you and you will recover your body experiences and gain greater access to your emotions.

Watch Yoongi’s (Agust D) music video

Watch and hear Yoongi’s (Agust D) music video, “Haegeum” (2023).

The word haegeum has multiple meanings. A haegeum is a traditional Korean musical instrument, a two stringed vertical fiddle with a hardwood bow strung with horsehair. The meaning of haegeum is also freedom from societal boundaries, restrictive rules and unexamined expectations as a movement into personal and societal liberation. Agust D, Yoongi’s rap stage name, stands for Suga spelled backward plus DT, the initials of Daegu Town, his birthplace.

About Ginger

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of nine Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

The photo used for this blog is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license and was downloaded from the Wikimedia Commons site. Through Wikipedia Commons, an independent reviewer confirmed that this image was under the stated license on that date listed. BTS is very careful and diligent with their copyrighted materials, which we respect and follow. All photos for this blog will be obtained from Wikimedia Commons with an International Creative Commons copyright.

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