Are Enneagram 4s Selfish? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will look at whether or not enneagram type 4s are selfish and what traits do they truly have. Also, this article will focus on what fears and desires this enneagram type has and also introduce it in detail.

Are Enneagram 4s Selfish?

The enneagram type 4 is somewhat selfish because they like to put their own self forth and are quite self centered in that they remain indulged in their own selves. To add to this, they may remain distant at times and people will hence view them as selfish too because they might need their help but they are not there.

Here are some traits that make them selfish or at least seem to be selfish:

  • Overthink
  • Reserved – Leave When They Want To
  • Only Their Rules Matter
  • Want To Be Center Of Attention

However, this enneagram type has good traits too:

  • Form Connections With Others
  • Want To Positively Impact The World

Before we look at these in detail, let us take a look at the type 4 enneagram in detail!

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.

The biggest fear they have – apart from not having enough knowledge – is to not be able to impact the world they live in. They want to be able to make a difference using the knowledge and skills they have and benefit people in such a manner that they are remembered or leave behind a legacy. These individuals are quiet and reserved and tend to stay in their own shell at times but they do want to be appreciated for what they do. They don’t even mind getting the recognition they deserve because they are putting in a lot of hard work.

However, despite the hard work they put in, they do fear not being able to affect things in a way that changes them for the better. Also, they do have a deeper desire that may not be so apparent; they want to be looked up to by others for what they have done for the society.

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.

Apart from having enough knowledge and wanting to impact the world in a positive manner, the enneagram type 4 wants to be able to develop their own personal identity in the entire process. They want to be known as someone who is unique and not just like others.

Hence, to achieve this, they will often stay put in their shell where they will introspect their inner selves to actually determine who they are and what purpose they have. They engage in deep thought that allows them to understand themselves more in light of the situation they are in and what is required of them. 

Enneagram Type 4s – Selfish Or Not?

In this section we will take a look at some of the traits of the type 4 enneagram that will help give the readers an idea of whether they are selfish or not!


One bad habit this enneagram possesses is that they engage in overthinking. They are already used to wandering around in their mind, on top of that they do have a lot of material to think on. Hence, they sometimes fall into the trap of overthinking that may lead to increased stress, inability to focus and of course much time lost.

The best way to not overthink is to remain busy in tasks and that is what this enneagram type needs to do! However, it is important to point out that this overthinking is usually related to themselves and not others.

Reserved – Leave When They Want To

These individuals are indeed reserved. They prefer to keep their distance from others at times and hence may come to be known as rude or not so friendly although this is rarely the case. This is usually because they are either busy engaging in their internal world of thoughts or because they are working on something. Nevertheless, this enneagram is guilty of being reserved at times. This is why people may tag them as selfish because they never seem to be there when you need them!

Only Their Rules Matter

Creativity is something that sets a person free. Furthermore, wandering in one’s mind makes one become used to a world without rules. Being like this, it is difficult for the type 4 enneagram to follow certain rules or instructions. They desire some degree of freedom in what they do. For example, if you give them rules to follow, they may not always do so! Men like their freedom don’t they! This is another reason why they may be considered selfish because they follow their own way of things and not of others!

Want To Be Center Of Attention

To some extent, the type 4 enneagram does want to be at the center stage because they are desiring the chance to impact the world and hence be recognized.

Form Connections With Others

One reason why they may not appear selfish is because they love to form connections with others and connect with them. However, this point can be used against them too because we are not aware of why they truly want to form connections. Is it to serve their own purpose or serve the person they befriend?

Want To Positively Impact The World

These enneagram types want to positively impact the world and hence this can count as them not being selfish because at the end of the day they want to do something good for the world in a way that they leave a positive impact on it! They want to make people’s lives better and hence they should not be termed as selfish – at least when this trait exists. This is also what they desire deeply and they will put in the effort and time to achieve what they want – which is to change the world for the better!


This article took a look at the type 4 enneagram to determine whether or not it is selfish. It not only introduced the enneagram type but also highlighted its fears, desires and major traits. The purpose was to help the audience decide whether the type 4 enneagram should be labeled as selfish or not.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!