Enneagram Type 4 (A complete guide)

In this article, we will discuss Enneagram Type 4. We will explain their fears, desires, strengths, and weaknesses. We will also shed light on areas needing growth, motivation, and sources of stress. Finally, we will discuss their romantic relationships, childhood, and work performance.

Enneagram Type 4

People with Type 4 personality or creative and sensitive.  They are highly expressive in their behavior.  They try to be unique and distinct in terms of their identity. Even though they want to have relationships with other people,  they seem detached and distant particularly when they are in a group setting.  They are also private people who do not openly share what is going on in their minds.

Enneagrams

Enneagrams are a map or typology of human personalities. It was developed by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Oscar Ichazo, and Claudio Naranjo. It has nine personality types that are split across 3 triads i.e. Feeling triad, Thinking Triad, or Instinctive Triad

It describes a person’s fundamental psychological orientation based on the triad quality i.e. emotion, intellect or instincts most characteristic of his or her personality. 

Enneagram Type 4: 

Basic fear 

 People with Type 4 personalities are afraid of being ordinary and not being able to influence the world.  They fear insignificance.  To prevent this,  they direct their efforts into being unique, creative, and expressive.  Being misunderstood by others makes them feel like they are alone and cannot relate to anyone. In other words,  they feel like an outcast.

Basic desire 

Type 4 personalities are driven to build their identity into something that is meaningful and special.  They want to be original and express how distinct they are to the world.  Despite this desire,  they struggle to find their individuality.  They may even doubt it and feel misunderstood when people do not accept or recognize their unique traits.  In their attempt to be more original and authentic,  they adopt characteristics of their friends and family but they do this unintentionally.

The Strengths of Type 4

Type 4 has many strengths. These include the following:

  • These people have a strong ability to connect with their emotions.  They can understand how they feel in certain situations and with certain people.  In other words,  they can make sense of their emotions due to their ability to look inside.
  •  They are sensitive to the feelings of other people and can often understand what they are going through.  They can see the world from their perspective.
  •  Since these personalities are able to self reflect, they have an awareness of areas that they need to work upon in order to grow as a person.
  •  They are highly creative, imaginative, and can think deeply about various things.
  •  They are authentic and consistent in whatever they do.

The Weaknesses of Type 4

Type 4 also has many weaknesses. These include the following:

  • Whenever they go through a difficult time, these personalities can withdraw.
  •  Often,  they tend to think about what they lack for don’t have.  This can get intense due to their tendency to fixate on such matters.
  •  Many times, they tend to focus a lot on themselves which is much more than ordinary.
  •  Whenever they go through a difficult time or hardship of some sort, they react in a strong and emotional manner.

Possible areas of growth for Type 4

Type 4 can grow as a person buy the following:

  • They need to learn to identify and redirect their energies away from themself. In other words, they need to de-center their motivations.
  • It is important that they learn to take time out of their daily lives do to reflect on the positive or silver lining in situations.  They need to be more optimistic rather than Pessimistic.
  • They can utilize deep breathing exercises in overwhelming situations since it can help them process information better and perform more efficiently.
  • Another thing they can do is to take help from people and understand that they can help them work through and process their problems.

Source of Stress 

Type 4 gets stressed by the following:

  • They feel quite stressed in situations when they have to engage in casual or meaningless conversation.  This is because they look for a connection through deeper conversation with others. 
  •  When they go to a party or a large gathering where there are many unfamiliar people,  they get stressed possibly because they feel invisible and a part of the group.
  •  Whenever they cannot express themselves creatively, they feel upset.
  • Arguments and disagreements can be quite draining for them. Similarly, whenever they are interrupted, they dislike that.

Workplace and job

People with Type 4 personalities work best in an environment that allows them to be autonomous and authentic.  They like the idea of being creative and expressing themselves. Similarly being able to make connections with their coworkers is energizing for them.

 Whenever others ask them how they feel,  they feel happy due to their concern.  Similarly,  when their Boss invests time in getting to know them, and when they feel like their vision is being understood by someone,  they feel energetic and motivated.  Also,  when their peers and colleagues are open-minded and attentive,  they feel quite connected to them.

 Their work can be a struggle if they are not given any chances to be creative.  If their Boss criticizes them along with their colleagues,  it can be quite hard for them.  When others are distant from them and they are not taken seriously,  they feel upset and stressed.

 These personalities are quite expressive and creative. They can be genuine and insightful.  At the same time, they can challenge other people and push them to connect with themselves.  Jobs like actors,  writers, artists, designers, and photographers are quite well suited to them.  

Motivations

They are energized by the following:

  • Building their social network and adding various relationships to it can be quite motivating for them.  It makes them feel Wanted. 
  • Whenever they take out time to focus their energy on themselves,  they feel a sense of energy by reconnecting with themself.
  • They feel motivated and energized whenever they express their emotions through some form of art such as painting,  dancing,  singing, acting, etc.
  • When other people accept and value them for who they are,  they feel happy and accepted.

Romantic Relationships

In their romantic relationships,  people with Type 4 personalities can be quiet emotional and romantic partners.  They strive to connect at a deeper level with their spouse and keep their communication open.  They should try to not expect the impossible from their partner or idealize them in any way. 

 In their relationships, they can be quite attentive and focused.  Since they are in touch with their emotions, they also share them openly with their spouse.  In addition to that, their Self self-awareness helps them to recognize areas that need growth and improvement.

 They can struggle in their romantic relationships when they have unrealistic expectations from their spouse.  It is hard for them to maintain a balanced and consistent mood all the time.  Sometimes,  they get too invested in a disagreement or argument, which makes it difficult to separate their emotions from it.

 In order to make the relationship work,  it is important for them to be realistic.   They should strive to maintain a more balanced mood and learn to be more objective.

Type 4 Childhood/development

 During their childhood,  people with Type for personality felt disconnected from their parents. It could be due to abuse or that they were misunderstood and neglected.  It can also be that their parents offered them advice that was generic and did not connect with them.  Since they felt that they were an outcast in their own families, they tried to accept the fact that they were different but felt rejected.  This made them feel isolated and in order to overcome their feelings of melancholy and sadness,  they went on a journey to discover who they are.  They often dreamt of the possibility of meeting a mentor who can give them direction. So, they continue their search for finding such a connection in their relationships.  

 FAQs: Type 4

What is Type 4 personality?

Type four personalities are creative individuals who are driven to be unique. They want to leave their mark in the world

What is Type 4w5?

Type 4w5 or Type4 wing5 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type four personality and complementary characteristics of type five personality. 

What is Type 4w3?

Type 4w3 or Type 4 wing 3 is an enneagram personality subtype. It has core characteristics of type four personality and complementary characteristics of type three personality.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed enneagram Type 4. We found that people with Type 4 personality or creative and sensitive.  They are highly expressive in their behavior.  They try to be unique and distinct in terms of their identity. Even though they want to have relationships with other people,  they seem detached and distant particularly when they are in a group setting.  They are also private people who do not openly share what is going on in their minds.

I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.crystalknows.com/enneagram/type-4

https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2020/03/10/the-childhood-wounds-of-every-enneagram-type/#

Personality Types – Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso with Russ Hudson

The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

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