Enneagram Type 4
Enneagram 4s - Individualist. Romantic. 4s’ primary motivation is to be unique and of significance. 4s are strongly focused on the internal and have a wide emotional range. They will easily sit with someone in grief and hold space, because they do not fear painful emotion.
Wonderfully creative, 4s are emotionally honest and very mindful of beauty and sorrow in the world. They often live from a nostalgic place of the past which is not always ideal. Somewhere in childhood, 4s likely experienced some sort of abandonment, causing them to feel lonely and misunderstood. 4s often live in a space of melancholy, although they are not depressed. They are keenly able to allow themselves to sit with the discomfort of hard emotions.
The danger is when they move into that space, and plant roots becoming melodramatic and unproductive. When they come from an unhealthy place, they often become unable to accept themselves, and begin to pretend they are someone they are not, in order to differentiate themselves and serve their desire for uniqueness. They also can become envious which leads to resentment and self pity.
Wing of 3 (the Performer/Achiever) creates a strong Enthusiast, and Wing of 5 (the Observer/Investigator) creates a strong Free Spirit. 4s are members of the Heart Center of Intelligence (AKA Heart Triad), meaning their responses and decision making comes more emotionally to them (as opposed to instinctually [Gut] or thoughtfully [Head]). In stress, 4s lean into the 2 (Giver/Helper), and can become overly needy and jealous. In support, 4s lean into the 1 (Reformer/Perfectionist), executing on their amazingly creative ideas with discipline and top quality.
Common occupations of Enneagram 4s include (but are not limited to) artists, creatives, designers, actors, directors, screenwriters, homemakers, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, hair stylists and art teachers. Quite the spread!
Remember this is the tip of the iceberg, folks. Enneagram 4s are essential in the world, adding their touch of art and beauty which is what we need. Just help them see that what they are longing for is possible if they stay true to themselves, and see the beauty in the ordinary too.
If you find yourself wanting more information about the Enneagram, consider taking my online introductory course which will give you a more in depth overview, and provide a path to help you discover your type!