The Enneagram 4 is the most individualistic of the nine Enneagram types, and because of this, the Type 4 places a lot of emphasis on identity. But aside from their desire to stay unique, there are plenty of other signs you could be an Enneagram 4—even if you haven’t taken the official test yet! 

Whether you’re familiar with the Enneagram system or new to personality type theory, these tell-tale signs you’re an Enneagram 4 will resonate with those uncertain about where they fit in the Enneagram personality theory.

1. You place a lot of importance on your unique talents

The Enneagram 4 is all about being unique, so carving out a place for themselves in the world is of the utmost importance to them. If you feel focused on what makes you unique above all other things about you, you may be an Enneagram 4. 

2. Enneagram 4s feel existentially different from others

As a result of feeling different from others, the Enneagram Type 4 emphasizes creating a unique persona and standing out from the crowd. They fear they’re somewhat flawed and lack what it takes to experience happiness as others do. By amplifying their differences and unique traits, Type 4s hope to feel more appreciated and loved.

3. You connect with art and nature

Although many personality types find art and nature appealing, Enneagram 4s are moved by works of art and the great outdoors. Type 4s are notorious champions of poetry, art, literature, and philosophies that put humanity and nature in close company.

4. Your feelings rule you

Although an Enneagram 4 may be logical when needed, often, their feelings lead to their actions and decisions. In fact, others accuse them of being moody. Like how the 16-type system's Feelers behave, a Type 4 will go with their heart over their head in most cases.

5. You’re ultra-sensitive

If your feelings rule your decisions, it's an easy assumption to say you may also be a highly sensitive person (HSP). HSPs make up about 30 thirty of the population and are sensitive to emotions, stimuli, light, and sound and are overwhelmed by the world around them. Even if a Type 4 isn't an HSP, a high level of sensitivity is paramount to their personality. You’re also very self-critical.

6. Notions of ‘normalcy’ turn you off

If being called normal makes you cringe, you're probably an Enneagram 4! Type 4s pride themselves on their unique, quirky traits, and they feel gutted if someone accuses them of being ordinary.

7. You’re okay being vulnerable and authentic

One of the key traits of the Enneagram 4 is a love of authenticity and creating their truth. Because of this, type fours disdain people who are inauthentic and fake and strive to be the most vulnerable, truthful person they can be. On a side note, that doesn't mean that an Enneagram 4 will allow themselves to expose vulnerable emotions on the regular. It just means they prefer to be as truthful and honest as possible.

8. You prefer deep conversations and emotions

In line with Type 4's love of authenticity, these Enneagram personalities prefer to get down to the nitty-gritty of topics and skip the small talk. Small talk and what they deem "fake" conversations make them uncomfortable. Type 4s prefer to dig deep into how people feel and get to the truth of the matters, no matter how painful.

9. You’re okay with mood swings and melancholy

Mood swings and melancholy feelings are nothing new for Enneagram 4s. Because they strive to connect with their inner emotions, they see the beauty in sadness and other "negative" emotions that different types try hard to avoid. Instead of avoidance, a Type 4 will place these raw emotions into their art or works or inspiration.

10. You’re uncomfortable in social settings

The Enneagram 4 is uncomfortable in social settings because they feel misunderstood or lonesome. While their friends or acquaintances are talking, Type 4s often go into their heads, disappearing from all cognizant conversation, trying to grapple with why they feel so out of place. This emotion stems back to their fear of being flawed, as though everyone around them is content, while they will never reach this level of contentment.

11. You’re creative

Creativity is like a specific food group to an Enneagram 4. This personality type strives to nurture and expand their creative faculties however feasible, and they won't stop at anything to make sure their unique skills stand out from the crowd. Because Enneagram 4s are all about staying unique, they often groom their talents and abilities until they are, indeed, an asset to their personal and professional lives.

14. You romanticize relationships and life events

If you're a Type 4, you're a romantic person who compares your life to books and films. This isn't to say you're illogical or unrealistic – that's the opposite. Enneagram Type 4s are romantic because they expect and hope for a fairytale partnership and effortless friendships. They realize their dreams are not achievable. While they see their expectations are too high, this often makes them feel disillusioned with the realities of life.

15. You feel like you’re missing the key ingredient for happiness

Despite how content an Enneagram 4 becomes, they still feel "empty," as though they lack a significant piece of themselves that would lead them to happiness. This feeling leaves the Enneagram Type 4 motivated to express their individuality to be accepted.

16. Withdrawing from others is commonplace

If you’re moody and prone to withdrawal, you may be an Enneagram 4. These types will often hole themselves up to discover their feelings and hash them out in private through art, writing, or other forms of expression. For example, if a Type 4 feels best when sewing or designing, they’ll abandon all social expectations and devote themselves to those tasks for a few days without offering explanations. The Type 4 will also withdraw from others when under a lot of stress.

17. You’re self-aware

Although other Enneagram types are also self-aware, the Type 4 is one of the most self-examining. They spend hours, days, and weeks dissecting actions and behaviors to understand themselves better. Because of their devotion to these habits and their general talent for insightfulness, Enneagram 4s are attuned to their emotions, motivations, and crutches — and will explain it to their loved ones if they feel the need to divulge their past actions.

18. You get jealous or envious when you’re unhappy

A sad reality is that of an Enneagram 4: they will feel unhappy until they learn to make their own happiness. Type 4s feel unable to achieve satisfaction on their own, so they seek and search through their unique traits and talents. Whether a 4’s skills bring them joy will vary from person to person, but a healthy Type 4 will no longer be jealous or envious of others. 

In the meantime, a key trait for average or unhealthy Type 4s is to feel envious of others whom they deem as "happy" or "fulfilled" because they feel they’re always searching for that happiness and fulfillment. 

19. You’re compassionate and caring

People accuse Individualists of being self-centered, thanks to their concern for their "uniqueness" and "happiness." However, the Type 4 is one of the most genuine types of the Enneagram, who understand and empathize with a whole spectrum of emotions. Because of their understanding, they can be the most caring personality type to add to a friend list. 

20. You’re often lost in your head

When Type 4s seem withdrawn and aloof, they’re lost in their thoughts. These emotionally-charged types are not strangers to disappearing into their heads, content to explore the creative and subconscious possibilities of art, human understanding, and more. Because Enneagram 4s aren’t afraid of losing themselves inside their minds, others might assume they’re spacey or ditzy because they fade in and out of conversations in favor of their inner world.

The takeaway

You may be an Enneagram Type 4 if you identify with several of the Type 4 traits above. As unique individuals, Enneagram 4s emphasize staying authentic, avoiding “false” narratives, and being self-aware. Emotional and okay with being vulnerable (sometimes), Type 4s don’t mind showcasing their weaknesses and honoring their strengths in art and other creative outlets. If this sounds like you, you might be an Enneagram Type 4. But since many personality types may experience an overlap of particular characteristics, you may want to make sure you’re a specific type by taking the free Enneagram test if you haven’t done so already.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.