Are Enneagram 4s Narcissists? (A Complete Guide)

This article will explore the possibility of whether type 4 enneagrams can be narcissists and also introduce the audience to the personality of a narcissistic person. Furthermore, the type 4 enneagram and its traits along with their fears and desires will be covered too. Lastly, the article will provide recommendations on how to help the type 4 grow so they avoid developing dangerous personalities.

Are Enneagram 4s Narcissists?

The enneagram type 4 can have a narcissistic personality! When their personality disintegrates they can go from a healthy to an unhealthy version of their own selves where they develop narcissistic traits such as having a need for excessive attention and recognition from others as well as possessing an inflated sense of importance.

This is possibly because of their fears and desires which we will discuss in detail; however, they have the fear of not being known or lacking a strong identity; they want to be known for a certain skill or have some recognition amongst people. They are scared they will just be somebody who no one knows. Once they experience issues with their personality, these fears can result in an extreme reaction where they develop a narcissistic personality that demands special attention because they think they deserve it.

It is necessary to state however, that the type 4 enneagram is not a natural narcissistic personality especially when they are in their healthy state. But it is when they disintegrate that they can develop this disorder.

In the article, we will introduce the type 4 enneagram after which we will comment on the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Who Is A Type 4 Enneagram?

They are also known as the individualist because of their desire to be self-sufficient and do things on their own terms. Being dramatic innately, expressive and sensitive describes them very well. Such individuals are very honest, creative and remain reserved and personal however they do long to connect with others. What prevents this? Their fear of being vulnerable or abandoned hence they tend to keep a distance. 

Another highlighting feature of such personalities is that they dislike the ordinary lifestyles people have most probably because they feel they cannot achieve something like this in their life.

The type 4 enneagram does have a dark side to itself. These enneagrams can become very toxic to themselves if left alone for too long. They fear that they will never develop a self identity with which they can understand themselves. However, they always feel as if something is missing from their life which they can’t seem to pinpoint. The type 4 enneagram is brutally honest with himself or herself; they accept feelings, thoughts, pain and fear which they experience. Hence they are often more equipped to go through experiences others may break during.

When their fears become too much, they can adopt the path of self destruction and engage in habits of excessive alcohol consumption, drugs, reckless sexual behavior and in the worst cases suicide. 

The type 4 also experiences very negative thoughts. They become extremely pessimistic and torment themselves with their thoughts to the extent that they view themself with hatred and dissent. They will try to drive away anyone who tries to help them. 

Basic Fear.

Type 4 enneagrams are confused about who they really are or what beliefs and values define them. They fear not having an identity or self worth. They feel as though they are not benefitting society and have no place in it. Such individuals become a victim of self pity and self indulgence and want to stay inside their thoughts.

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.

Basic Desire.

Their basic desire stems from their fear; they want to discover themself and hence possess an identity. They want to be known for who they are and be visible in the eyes of others so maybe they can connect with them and experience the life of the ordinary and live the dream they imagine.

What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition where a person has an inflated sense of the self – they think they are entitled to get better treatment as compared to others. They feel they are more important and such an attitude leads to problems in work, troubled relationships, needs for special attention and mood swings. This condition also results in a lack of empathy for others possibly because the person is so self absorbed in their own selves.

In this disorder, a person may generally be unhappy or unsatisfied as they are constantly seeking special treatment from others and they may not get this. Hence, they will feel as if their relationships are not fulfilling. They also face frequent issues in their relationships because the center of attention is usually them – they are often oblivious to their partner’s needs.


Mayo Clinic has listed the following symptoms for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation

How Can An Enneagram Type 4 Work On Self Improvement?

Think Objectively.

It is important not to experience everything in terms of what one feels. Enneagram type 4s must realize that their feelings may deceive them at times so they must look at the real picture. If they feel extremely down they need to look at the achievements they have accomplished over time. If they feel too distant from others they must remind themselves that they possess similarities; other people also experience negative feelings but overcome them so they should too! If someone tries to help them then they should focus on their effort rather than their own feelings.

Stay In The Present.

Type 4 enneagrams have the habit of dwelling in the past. Why? Once they are in their dark phase, the past is what helps them reinforce the negative feelings that lead to self destruction. They focus on how people hurt them, what mistakes they made and how they let their own self down. They also tend to perceive present events in light of what has gone on before thus not giving people chances to help them because they already know what is going to happen. It is not their past that dictates their present but their persistence that what happened will happen again. This negative thought often leads them to behave in ways that reinforce past happenings.

Be Productive – It Helps Keep Focus.

The type 4 enneagram is surrounded by disturbing thoughts, feelings and negative views about oneself. This leads to low self esteem and a bad self image. How can they break out of this cycle and feel good about themselves? They must be productive and be useful to others. 

People with this personality type can lead a healthier lifestyle and set simple goals for themselves which may include healthier eating, more exercise, learning something new everyday and doing one thing daily that they like. This will not only prove to them that they can be productive but it will help them feel good about themselves.

Another way to feel productive and avoid the cycle of negative thoughts is to help others. It will bring an innate feeling of satisfaction and it will also help the individualist realize that not only do they suffer; there are people who are homeless, live alone, don’t have a job or sleep hungry every night!

Avoid Lengthy Conversations In Your Imagination.

Type 4 enneagrams have the habit of imagining themselves in a state of self pity and talking to others that may arouse feelings of disappointment, self hate and sadness. They need to think less about such things and focus on the present rather than the past. They must learn how to think about positive things. They can learn self help exercises such as writing 5 things they are thankful for every day to encourage good thoughts.


This article explored the unhealthy side of type 4 enneagrams and determined whether or not they are narcissistic in nature. The article also commented on narcissistic personality disorder and introduced the type 4 enneagram in detail to the audience. Lastly, tips for the type 4 enneagram to grow were provided.


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