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Enneagram Type 4 - The Individualist

Identity seekers, who feel unique and different


People of this per sonality type tend to build their
identities ar ound their per ception of themselves as being
somehow differ ent or unique; they ar e thus self-consciously
individualistic. Four s tend to see their differ ence fr om
other s as being both a gift and a cur se - a gift, because it
sets them apar t fr om those they per ceive as being
somehow "common," and a cur se, as it so often seems to
separ ate them fr om the simpler for ms of happiness that
other s so r eadily seem to enjoy. Thus, Four s can manage to
feel super ior to other s while also secr etly har bor ing some
degr ee of longing and envy. A feeling of being a member of the "tr ue ar istocr acy" alter nates with
deep feelings of shame, and fear s of somehow being deeply flawed or defective.
Four s ar e emotionally complex and highly sensitive. They long to be under stood and appr eciated
for their authentic selves, but easily feel misunder stood and unappr eciated. They have a tendency
to withdr aw in the face of a wor ld that seems har sh or cr ude, and ar e often somewhat moody or
temper amental. They ar e emotionally center ed and spend much of their lives immer sed in their
inter nal mental landscapes, wher e they feel fr ee to cultivate and analyse their feelings. A desir e to
manifest this inter nal wor ld often leads Four s to an inter est in the ar ts, and some do become actual
ar tists. Whether ar tistic or not, however , most Four s ar e aesthetically sensitive and concer ned
with self-expr ession and self-r evelation, whether it be in the clothes they wear or in the over all
natur e of their often idiosyncr atic lifestyles.
Four s ar e somewhat melancholic by disposition, and under str ess tend to lapse into depr ession.
They also tend to be self-absor bed, even under the best of cir cumstances, but when unbalanced,
easily give way to a self-indulgence which they per ceive as being fully justified as a way to
compensate for the gener al lack of pleasur e they exper ience in their lives. Rather than look for
pr actical solutions to their difficulties, Four s ar e pr one to fantasizing about a savior who will
r escue them fr om their unhappiness.
Intellectual Four s tend to mistakenly type themselves as Fives, and a heavy wing can cer tainly
exacer bate this tendency. Four s however , unlike Fives, tend to be self-r evealing and comfor table
with emotional expr ession.