Understanding 4w5 personality (A comprehensive guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss the Enneagram personality type 4w5, and also discuss related aspects of this personality type, as well as other things about the Enneagram.

What is 4w5?

4w5 refers to the enneagram personality type 4 with a type 5 wing, or in other words, Four Wing Five, and this personality type includes the traits from type 4 as well as type 5, but the type 4 traits tend to be the core ones with supplementation from type 5 traits.

A wing refers to the area of crossover between the traits of two personality types, and it provides an opportunity for growth and development even when it does not exist naturally.

With processes like therapy and help form loved ones, one may learn to create a wing, instead of staying in the same patterns of behavior that are determined by the core personality type.

What is an Enneagram?

An Enneagram is a diagrammatic representation of a concept and the Enneagram theory of personality comes from the same diagram and was derived from the primary theories of Oscar Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s as well as the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo from the 1970s.

An Enneagram consists of nine equidistant points on a circle that is all connected by lines that create little triangles between all the points, which we then call wings and these represent areas of crossover, much like the middle part in a Venn Diagram.

In the Enneagram theory of personality there are a few main features, apart from just the 9 types of personality, which are: 

  • The Centers (Instinctual, Feeling, Thinking)
  • The Wings
  • The Levels of Development 
  • Directions of Integration (Growth) and Disintegration (Stress)
  • The Three Instincts (Self-preservation, Sexual/Attraction, Social/Adaptive)

The levels of development are the most crucial part for the change or betterment of personality types and they tell the individuals and therapists or counselors where the person might get better and improve.

These are the basic levels of development:


Level 1: The Level of Liberation

Level 2: The Level of Psychological Capacity

Level 3: The Level of Social Value


Level 4: The Level of Imbalance/ Social Role

Level 5: The Level of Interpersonal Control

Level 6: The Level of Overcompensation


Level 7: The Level of Violation

Level 8: The Level of Obsession and Compulsion

Level 9: The Level of Pathological Destructiveness

Enneagram test

The primary enneagram test used is the one made by Don Riso and Russ Hudson after they had theorized about the presence of levels of development and accounted for the possibilities of growth or disintegration in the personality types.

This test is known as the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI), and one may usually take another supplementary test after they have taken this one, which is known as the Instinctual Variants Questionnaire, which helps to further refine the understanding of the Enneagram subtypes and centers.

Other tests for enneagram personality types also exist online, but one has to keep in mind that these tests are not validated as carefully as the original tests, and may therefore not provide the absolute true data.

Enneagram Type 4

Enneagram type 4 is also known by other names such as The Individualist, The Artist, or the Romantic.

These individuals are driven by the basic fear of not having any personal significance or not being good enough or not being able to create enough meaningful stuff.

They may also have a basic fear of having no identity of their own and getting lost in the crowd, which may manifest in the form of isolation on their part, wherein they might just stay away from people altogether, thereby making them an Individualist.

The basic desire these people exhibit is the need to find themselves or be significant, or even just find their significance in the world.

They need to make their mark, which is slightly different from the ambitious leanings of type 3, which is more about achieving success.

The type 4 desire to make a mark is not driven by the need or success, or by being known to other people, it is more about gratifying the need to be useful and significant, of almost justifying their existence in the world by doing something they can be proud of, some legacy that they can point to and say “I am responsible for this”.

When this basic desire is not being met, the type 4 may often feel somewhat lost and untethered, not knowing what to do or how to proceed, and may start sinking into themselves.

They may isolate themselves even more and their introverted tendencies may get more and more pronounced, which is not good for them because more isolation simply walls them off from the world and they cannot be reminded that they are not their creation or their legacy, and there is more than one way to make your mark or create an identity, as identity is a dynamic concept, not the one time thing most people assume it to be.

Identity is created over time, with care, and through many life experiences, and isolation tendencies of the enneagram type 4 may keep them from these experiences, from which they need to be recovered.

This is where possible wings of type 4 with their adjacent types, 3 and 5, come along.

Enneagram 4w5 features

The Enneagram type 4 wing 5 is also known as the Free Spirit or the Bohemian and is driven by the traits of both enneagram type 4 as well as enneagram type 5.

The enneagram 4w5 personality tends to identify most with the traits in type 4, but may at the same time also relate to type 5. 

These people tend to be introspective, creative, and perceptive in their behavior, as well as the kind of ambitious that type 4s are, in a way that they want to see their identity-forming and know that they are holistic, complete people.

The need to have a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them tends to define the 4w5, as they have an introverted sense of perception and judgment, and they like to know that they are self-aware and know where they stand in the environment around them.

At the same time, like true introverts, enneagram 4w5 also tends to be much less concerned with public image than other fours, who may be concerned about where they stand and how they are perceived, and this may fuel their basic fear of being thought of as insignificant.

Four wing fives have a great basic fear of having no impact on the world or being insignificant in the workings of the world.

This is not the kind of ambitious seen in the performing and success-oriented type 3, and it is not the kind of fear of not being able to reform society or making the wrong call that may be seen in type 1, this is more in the sense of being ignored, or not being considered in terms of their abilities and what they have contributed to the world in general.

They are introverted, and may not seek the kind of adulation that says Type 3 would, but they do seek recognition and admiration.

The enneagram type 4w5 seeks to have a uniquely formed and complete sort of personal identity, they don’t like not knowing who they are and what they are capable of, and they certainly would not care for any gray areas in their personality. 

They may be okay not knowing exactly how the world around them works (although chances are most of them will want that too) but they want to know exactly what their motivations, needs, and desires are, not just to fulfill them but to feel at one with themselves.

They may also retreat within themselves to discover who they really are, which is where the individualist or isolation tendencies come through.

Some strengths of the enneagram type 4w5 are:

  • They are true to their identity and who they know they are
  • They have an innate, deeply-rooted curiosity and thirst and passion for knowledge
  • They have a great ability for introspection and being able to figure themselves out
  • They show good objective and creative problem-solving

Some Enneagram 4w5 Weaknesses are:

  • The tendency to keep withdrawing from those around them to introspect
  • They may have difficulty focusing on real-world problems if they are in the middle of struggling with their own identity
  • They may have a tendency to introspect too much 
  • They may sometimes be seen struggling to follow rules or orders, especially if they go against their own established identity.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

4w5 vs 5w4

The 4w5 personality has the core traits of Type 4, with a wing on 5, whereas the type 5w4 has the core traits of type 5, with the wing on type 4.

These make for different personality types when put together, though it may seem that the same personality types are involved.

For instance, a chief difference between the two might be that the 4w5 will tend to focus more on their careers and often have lofty goals, including goals related to the formation of their own identity or the need for introspection about their own personality, and they may be far quiet and introverted.

The 5w4 however, might be more outgoing and social in comparison.

5w4 may also not be as concerned with the formation and awareness of self-identity, as their driving force tends to be more along the lines of how they are perceived.

The primary difference between the two may be thought of in terms of locus of control, the locus of control for 4w5 is internal, whereas that of 5w4 is external.

The 5w4 may also be driven by the need to avoid judgment or scrutiny, whereas the 4w5 may show more concern about the lack of significance or identity.

4w3 vs 4w5

Both t4w3 and 4w5 are enneagram subtypes of type 4, as type 3 and type 5 are adjacent to type 4 on the enneagram.

But while the 4w3 is more driven toward the formation of identity and having big goals and the will to achieve them, 4w5 tends to be a little more laid back about it, focusing more on getting to know themselves and being at peace with their identity.

They may both have similar basic fears of not being significant, but the manifestation of this fear in the behavior differs quite a lot due to the different wings.

Type 3 is concerned with success and is highly ambitious, so when that mixes with the need to be significant and valid that type 4 displays, it makes for a determined, goal-oriented individual, who might likely be found thriving in a high stakes job, or at risk for a nervous breakdown, in unhealthy situations.

Type 4w5 may be found more in cases where there is room for introspection and they may have a more relaxed approach to the achievement of the significance they crave.

In the type 4w5, the need to understand and solve and investigate that is usually seen in type 5 may mix with the traits of type 4, providing the individual with a rare and refreshing trait of being able to look within themselves and find what they are seeking.

The internal locus of control that type 4 has can be satisfied well in this subtype rather than the other wing. 

4w5 INFP

The 4w5, due to their ability to scrutinize and investigate or think rationally and objectively while at the same time being imaginative and creative, may often show the MBTI traits of the INFP personality type.

The INFP personality may have a fascination with abstract concepts like morality and ethics, and this may manifest in the 4w5 variant of this personality in the form of introspection about these concepts or making sure one is fulfilling the criteria one holds for the external world.

The 4w5 INFP personality may be individualistic in an introspective way, creative and emotional, and show a desire to be unique. 

The 4w5 INFP may often be involved a fair bit in the arts, whatever kind they may be.

 The 5 wing to type 4 may add a complex layer of introversion and eccentricity into their perspectives. 

This results in an eccentric and unique perspective that the INFP 4w5 would employ in the artistic approaches.

These individuals, despite their introverted tendencies, may still be very good with teamwork, and they may enjoy being a part of something unique and imaginative, even though they might feel the need to retreat to recharge a bit at a later point.

Famous Enneagram 4w5

Here are some famous Enneagram 4w5s:

  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Anne Rice
  • Virginia Woolf
  • D. H Lawrence
  • Bob Dylan
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Herman Hesse
  • William Blake


In this brief guide, we discussed the enneagram personality type 4w5, and also discussed related aspects of this personality type, as well as other things about the Enneagram. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 4w5 

What does Enneagram 4 go to in stress?

The enneagram 4 might go to a place of not being able to express or introspect wheel in stress, and feel frustrated, depressed without a way of expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings, and this may be a result of the constant input of sensory stimulation they receive, 

What are the 4 personality types?

The 4 personality types according to an old theory of proto psychology are: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.

What is a 4 wing 3?

An enneagram type four wing three, is a subtype of personality type 4 given by the enneagram theory of personality.

The 4 wing 3 tends to be creative, energetic, and productive in their behavior. 

The 4 wing 3 identifies strongly with the type 4 core traits but they may also show a lot of type 3 traits, like they may generally be more sociable than other four types.

What Enneagram type is Elsa?

Elsa is enneagram Type 1, which is also known as the reformer, or idealist, owing to her constant struggle to be right and not hurt anyone, and she is seen going to great lengths to avoid making the wrong calls, but is also rather rigid in the decisions she does make, if she believes that they are correct.




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