Why Are INFJ Personalities Often Enneagram Type 4s?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on April 14, 2020

Are you an INFJ personality type who has taken the Enneagram test? If you are, I’ll take a wild guess that your type is an Enneagram Type 4. Even though the Enneagram uses a completely different model of personality typing to the 16-type theory created by Briggs and Myers, many INFJs seem to wind up as Enneagram Fours. Let’s explore why. 

When an INFJ Takes the Enneagram Test

When I took my first Psychology 101 course in 2011, I immediately fell in love with the subject and had a heightened interest in personality theory. It was there that I first took the Big 5 test, and followed the professor’s tip to take the Myers-Briggs test as well. Learning that I was an INFJ was eye-opening. It explained everything I’d always felt to a T. But personal growth doesn’t end there.

Eventually, I would take the Enneagram test and experience similar excitement. The Enneatype 4 felt like a page out of my personal book. Here’s a chart of my Truity Enneagram result, a 4w3.

 

image

As you can see, my dominant number (the highest percentage) is 4, whereas the largest match of the numbers on either side, my Enneagram wing, is a 3.

You can take the Enneagram test for free and read all about the Enneagram system to get the full picture.

What is Enneagram Type 4? 

The multifaceted Enneagram Type 4 has a sense of uniqueness; a sense that they are different from everyone else. Of course, while feeling different can be a good thing, it also means that Type 4s will experience feelings of alienation, like they are never quite right; like they will never fit in with the bulk of society. This sense of self is both a huge strength, as well as a weakness at times. 

Type 4s are creative, authentic, and view the world through a kaleidoscope of colors. But, they find themselves wondering about their worth in a society they see as “cookie-cutter.” They are attuned to their emotions, but they also struggle with their emotional wellbeing if they fall into a period of bad luck. 

This type’s goal is to be and remain authentic; to avoid being like everyone else. The dark side is their ongoing battle with the idea that they are somehow flawed, since they are setting themselves apart from the mainstream. A healthy Type 4 can find peace in their individuality, work, and artistic inclination by using their talents to express who they are to the world.

The INFJ’s Most Common Enneagram Results Are Type 4 Wing 5 (4w5).

An Enneagram wing is a corresponding facet of our personality; where Type 4 is your core ruling personality, wing 3 or 5 is another extension of you. Your wing influences your drive and goals, and affects the direction of your core type. I’m an Enneagram 4w3, but I was so close to getting a 4w5, the difference was almost inconsequential. I scored 77% on 5 and 78% on 3, so 3 won out by a mere one percent. 

INFJ & Type 4w5

Type 4w5 means Type 5: The Investigator is the copilot to the Enneagram 4. Fives are all about knowledge, information and studying. They are analytical, withdrawn, independent, and often lost in their own thoughts. With a focus on analytical concepts, critical thinking, and research, Type 5s are somewhat uncomfortable around people. Type 4w5 may desire to understand the unknown through art, expressing humanity and the “what-ifs” through their creations.

INFJ & Type 4w3

If an INFJ happens to score a Type 4w3, then their helper is Type 3: The Achiever.

Type 3 is all about reaching goals, achieving great heights, and keeping a full schedule. You might call them workaholics, even. Type 3s aim for success and often have a lengthy list of accomplishments because of how driven they are. 

A 4w3 takes on that intense drive to succeed and charismatic ability but remains an individualistic artistic, likely more prone to approval-seeking than 4w5.

Why do most INFJs seem to get an Enneagram Type 4 result? 

Expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental. These are some of the words used to describe the Enneagram Type 4. Many INFJs might shrink away from this negative terminology. But if you sit down and compare the INFJ personality profile to the Enneagram Type 4, the differences are surprisingly few. In fact, the only differences you may notice are the terms used to describe the types. 

Uniqueness and creation is key to INFJ and Type 4 identity.

  • Creativity and artistic inclination are apparent in both the INFJ and the Enneatype 4. This creativity can manifest in many ways. Both the INFJ and the Type 4 like to channel their emotions through creative endeavors. 
  • Both Type 4s and INFJs often feel that they have something unique to give back to the world, and getting there is one of their lifetime goals.
  • Like INFJs, Type 4s fear both failure and an inability to share their unique attributes with their peers.
  • INFJs and Type 4s don’t need the mainstream media to dictate what they should wear, how they should behave, or what their tastes should be. They both march to the beat of their own drum.

INFJ and Enneatype 4s are prone to moodiness, self-absorption and fragility

  • INFJs and Enneatype 4s are both moody. Their emotions play a large role in how they make their decisions, but that’s not to say it’s a negative thing: it can, in fact, be positive in the sense that these types are more attuned to the human condition than other types.
  • A connection to the human condition and empathy, since they are so attuned to emotions, appears in both typologies.
  • Their feelings of displacement in the world affects their self esteem for the better and the worse.
  • INFJs are intensely independent, and Type 4s are  too. Sometimes, this might be mistaken for anti-social tendencies.
  • The Type 4 “self-absorption” is the Enneatype’s intense focus on their goals and achieving a feeling of acceptance amongst their peers. This is also true for INFJs.

The Takeaway

The Enneagram Type 4 is an outline and a spectrum, like other personality tests. It uses more negative language than the Myers-Briggs personality system to describe a person, but remember that the negative traits are not where most people are — or ever will be — in their lives. For INFJs, it’s useful to concentrate on the similarities of the Enneagram Type 4 to the INFJ in terms that are less negative. 

Type 4s are artists, with a quirky personality like the INFJ that is both charming and enigmatic to the other personalities types. The Type 4 shares a very similar feeling of individuality that is hard to explain. They are likely to feel out of place often, and this may cause them to feel meandering. Despite this,  these unique individuals contribute much to the world with their unique outlooks.

The main caveat for the INFJ-Type 4 is to stay true to themselves, without letting their feelings of alienation make them bitter or negative.

If you’re an INFJ, you’re likely an Enneatype 4: a true individual who doesn’t need the outside world to brighten your rich, artistic inner world. 

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.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

Comments

Rose Furiga (not verified) says...

I just took two online enneagram tests and I got type 4 on both of them; I am also an INFJ.

So, it would appear as if your theory is correct!

I also have borderline personality disorder, and I'd be curious to find out if that correlates with these types of results, as well . . .

Alicat (not verified) says...

I too have BPD, and am INFJ(T) and enneagram 4w5. I also have C-PTSD. I'm so glad I'm not the only person who picked up that the defining personality traits of both just sound like someone with mental illness/trauma. Every single time I find a post about INFJs on Instagram or something, my first thought is literally always "that just sounds like PTSD"... There's gotta be a correlation! Might explain why these types are considered so "rare" too. Maybe they're just not natural personality types, since the damaging effects of mental illness/trauma aren't exactly natural either... Obviously anything unnatural won't be seen as common.

SuzanneS (not verified) says...

I have a degree in psychology and know MBTI and Enneagram well too. In psychology, you could make a pie chart where the middle was completely "normal" and each section of the pie, lets make 9 slices, one for each personality type.

As you get stress, you move to the outer edge of the pie, more toward mental illness. Moving toward the center would be your relaxed state. Now if you could put a mental illness on each slice of the pie, or even crossing the lines of 2 types, you could find a mental illness for each personality type.

 

Prakher (not verified) says...

Hi there, i recently took the Myers briggs test and found out that I'm an infj T and now along with enneagram assessment my matches were

4- 98%

5- 97%

8- 96%

Zoro Light says...

Hey. I got 98 for 4, 95 for 8, and 92 for 5. INFJ-A here :) .

Koni (not verified) says...

I'd argue that a lot of tests on the internet are producing wrong results. And to be sincere i do believe that taking one test won't ever be enough to explore the depths of your personality. Even if we are not moody, we go through phases in our lifes, that might influence our response. Therefore my opinion is, that its necessary to validate the results by retaking tests over an extended period of time.

I'm also an INFJ and i disagree with this article to a certain extend. The most typical correlation between Enneagram 4 and MBTI is ISFP and INFP as they lead with Fi-introverted Feeling. For an INFJ this cognitive funciton is in the critical parent position and can become a social mission. However it's part of our unconcious and often projected. We struggle to truly rebel because it creates disruption in connection.

We are fiercly creative and reflective and social. But in this regard our pretty dominant and preferred Loop is Ni-introverted Intuition and Ti-introverted Thinking. Which largely correlates with Type 5 enneagram. Other than that the cognitive Axis of Ni and Se - extroverted Sensing makes us very concerned with quality and perfection - hence Type 1. And type 2 largely correlates with our preffered way of Feeling, which is extroverted in nature and places Harmony (Empathy) above individuality (Sympathy).

I want to argue that we try to never cut someones individuality but therefor we are also creating large amounts of pressure in ourselves - to juggle individuality and our inherent need of harmony, being correct in our perception and so on and so forth. 

To conclude - MBTI-Tests often mistypes INFPs and ISFPs for INFJ's. Why? Because IxFP's are judgers. Their personality leads with a judging function, which is introverted Feeling. Highly subjective and sympathetic rather than empathetic judging. Whereas INFJ's have a tendency for Pure-O (OCD) behaviour - which stems from their Ni-Ti Loop. We see things and people from all sides.

An INFP is not very concerned with quality (Enneagram 1) but might actually have Wing 3 and a strong 6,7 might be possible. (Si/introverted Sensing/Enneagram 6 and Ne/extroverted Intuition/Enneagram 7)

An ISFP however is concerned with Quality (Enneagram 1) and they connect and help through action. Can be food, art, Muscial performace, clothes etc. (Se - Extroverted Sensing)

@Rose Furiga: In my opinion Borderline correlates strongly with a disfunctional Fi-introverted Feeling and Te- extroverted Thinking cognitive axis. Jumping from emotional volatility/Fi towards harsh judgement/Te (i guess mainly on yourself) You might want to look into ISFP and INFP. Mentalizing is an approach to deal with the symptoms of borderline and calm yourself. This doesnt come to natural to IxFPs since Ti-introverted Thinking is in their Demon and most unconcious position. Mentalizing correlates with Ti and is most probable no problem for a INFJ.

syarah_ (not verified) says...

Yeah, I read this site first so I thought I'll get 4 but when I actually did the test, my result is 5 :) and my wing is 4 with a slight difference on 6 and thanks for the explanation ^^

Village Teacher (not verified) says...

I'm a 5 wing 4, too. 

l can't hate because I use to think this too. (not verified) says...

Real INFJs are mostly 4s and MBTI's take on the lNFJ is bogus. The way that lNFJs are perceived has been distorted by the mistyped xSFJs that keep claiming to be us. Real INFJs don't want to be everyone's free therapist. The IEI is more accurate depiction of the lNFJ. The way that MBTI paintaints Fi users as selfish is toxic and one of the many reasons that they claim to be Fe users.

Just a heads up (not verified) says...

hi! sorry to say this, but please don't be so judgemental. It may be annoying to you if people don't know everything about personality types, but to most it's just about having fun with a personality quiz, it's not this serious. Saying there are "real INFJ"-s, or there are people who "keep claiming to be us" is toxic.

l can't hate because I use to think this too. (not verified) says...

Ni is subjectivity and no lNFJ would call themselves social.

Britta (not verified) says...

I've always tested as an INFJ (taken many tests over the years from many sources), and I would have to say that I AM a social person... INFJ's are capable of being social--I'm pretty good at it and can connect with many different types of people... I just lean to the side of introversion for a number of reasons, but really I'm very close to the center of introversion and extroversion... 

 

Also, in regards to this article, I'm not finding much of a connection with any ONE type for the enneagram... I'm a 2, I'm a 4, I'm an 8... the thing about being an INFJ is that we are rather complex and often contradict ourselves internally as well as externally... glad my husband can put up with me=]

Jodi Sherland (not verified) says...

Wow! I don't have much to say on this subject as I just now heard of eanagram testing and literally know what the article and four comments have said so I appreciate you taking time to explain assuredly your disagreement and then lay out ur reasons so quickly yet filled with  knowledgeable details really impressed me and blew my mind (in a good way!) 

I really enjoyed your comment as it was very stimulating and got me excited and interested. I've recently just discovered personality typing. I'm still not able to grasp exactly what the four letter combos mean however I do understand the character traits of the types and although I didn't test as an infj I am 90 percent sure I am one. Regardless if I'm not I have greatly increased the quality of my life by studying the infj personality traits as I relate and mirror them. The personality I typed as wasn't anything like me however I don't remember what it was. Anyhow thanks again.....your an absolute genius in my eyes right now! :)

 

 

 

 

!  Ur quick and d

SuzanneS (not verified) says...

I think Enneagram is easier to understand and more thorough as it explains what happens when you move with the arrows and against them, calm vs stressed. This can explain a lot.

Emily6 (not verified) says...

I'll keep this short and sweet-and I understand this wasnt saying ALL INFJ are fours. In case you're an INFJ like me, and you aren't a four, no worries! I'm a 2...fun fact. Very cool read and thanks for the share......seriously cant believe I'm making this comment....ha ah well....cheers

Caralynn (not verified) says...

Same :)! I'm a type 2W1. 

Nicole C. Scott (not verified) says...

INFJ-A here - definitely a 4w5!

rikaaaaaa (not verified) says...

im 9, 4, 1 and infj.. its normal? lol i read that 9 4 1 are usually infp but im infj so.. 

Rhonda (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP and a 4w5, but I sometimes come across as an 8

Dani :-) (not verified) says...

I don't know how I feel about 4 being the common type among INFJs, it seems to contrasting with auxiliary Fe and too closely linked with Fi, after all you don't see too many ISFJ 4 despite both types having Fe as a judging function. I'd argue most INFJ 4s are either 1s who have disintegrated or 2s who have integrated (or perhaps even 5w4s). As an ENFJ 2w3 I see a lot of my more healthy behaviors in the 4w3 descriptions (and actually scored 4w3 once or twice) but ultimately fit 2 motivations more than anything. Enneagram tests are pretty innacurate anyways, I suggest reading into the motivations, fears etc behind each type and if you still think you're 4w5 I would advise you to strongly start considering the possibility of being an IxFP ;)

lmao what (not verified) says...

i'm sorry what? mbti and ennea are theories that help people to understand their thought process and possible value. why are you treating it like it's a concrete, glorified astrology?

i'm sure you're one of those people that say istj are boring and can't be silly!! or intp have no heart and they're all nerds.

to argue about a validity of a theory is natural, but to have a strong assumption over someone else's experience and identity is more harmful than good. i hope you'll grow lmao

Jolysa (not verified) says...

I am INFJ and type 4!'

Karissa (not verified) says...

INFJ-T and 4 here. I'm glad to hear I am not the only person with these personality traits!

bjulia33 (not verified) says...

INFJ - A type 9, last I checked. Once I got over my hurt feelings from reading the Enneagram results lol, I found the insights about the underlying fears and desires that drive us to be illuminating. Petty and mean, but educational ha.

Neena (not verified) says...

ENFP and 4w3 and I found enneagram to hurt my feelings as well! I feel positive/optimistic but apparently 4's are down and envious. Then I saw a YouTube video that explained sometimes the envy will be look like this: "I can't believe so-and-so ran a marathon and then opened an orphanage in Africa and then started a non-profit to save killer whales and all I did to help others this year was ring a bell at for the Salvation Army." Ok. Maybe I see it now. 

Firefly (not verified) says...

Because they're not INFJs that's why. They're usually INFPs who want to identify as an INFJ. UGH 

Britta (not verified) says...

LOLLLLL I mean... I think most INFJ's don't mind identifying as such, but I have noticed that there are a lot of people like you out there throwing shade on the type for some reason--most likely a bad relationship or something that makes you feel like you can go ahead and assume you understand everyone in that category... sounds exhausting? I don't think that I mind being an INFJ, though it comes with its own set of faults just like everyone else<3

Firefly (not verified) says...

Actual INFJs may be 1x2s or others, not usually 4s despite the (false) correlation. So tired of INFJs being described as if they are INFPs...

Jonathan555 (not verified) says...

I am an INFJ and same: enneagram type is 4. Being original and inspired are the most important things to me in my artistic pursuits. I also want to help others, and have all the time in the world for people and their problems. In my entire life I have only met about three people who are on my wavelength. Not even my spouse gets me :)

On a negative note, I retreat into my own bubble when I'm hurt or sick of life.

Lindsey M (not verified) says...

I am an INFJ, but a very, very clear 9(w1) on the ennegram. My sister is an INTJ, and is a 5w4 or 4w5 on the ennegram. I do personally really relate to 4s, but it's not my primary type, and in fact I have some kind of personal distain for overt uniqueness, which may be a learned/ingrained trait as a reaction to feeling overwhelmed by a society in which everyone is screaming about themselves and their personal identities and living performative social media lives. My 9 is conflict avoidant, and my 1 wing wants everyone to follow rules for the greater good and operate for the benefit of the whole, so defiant individuality kind of grates me, thus I do actively try to squash my 4 tendencies. So in summation, I do see a correlation, but am an outlier in this theory, as a hard INFJ/9w1.

Chantel (not verified) says...

A lot of infjs type as 9s ...that would be the next one after 4s and 5s imo. 

However....most 9s are ENFJ, and also INFP type as 9s. My eldest is a hardcore infp haha and a type 9. 9w1, her tritype is 947.

 

We are all so complex and individualistic...not every infj would be a 4, it would be a boring world if that were the case. As a type 9 infj..it's likely you value harmony and have a strong Fe, an infj 4 would value authenticity and expression, an infj 5 would value knowledge and intuition. 

All of the above traits are all infj traits. 

 

Love. 

Ayesha SS says...

Same, I am an infj_t. I took my MBTI 6 months ago. And today, I also took my enneagram test. I have ended up with the same result as well as the same chart as you have. it is astonishingly amazing

Chantel (not verified) says...

Thank you from the bottom of my soul for this write up....many other blogs take note of the connection but fail to truly explain. Why and how, but also, infp is said to type ad type 4s, this can confuse someone who types as infj (and knows for sure that they are) because the core cognitive functions are completely different.

I am type as infj enneagram 4w5, tritype 459. 

 

Loved loved loved this, truly resonated!

Thanks again. 

Happy holidays. 

Brandie (not verified) says...

I am so confused by this. When I read the description for Enneagram 4, it seems to clearly describe someone with introverted feeling. I wonder who is correlating the Enneagram  with the MBTI.  With such different underlying dichotomies, I don't see how they can really line up at all, except by individual coincidence. For example, #2 seems to line up with Fe, but is not a wing of #4.  I scored as a #5 with my second score  as a #9 or #1. Is this even a thing? 
 

I also don't get why it puts anger as a primary emotion as opposed to shame or fear when anger is a secondary emotion, often covering shame and fear. Does anyone know where they are basing their philosophy? 
 

Share your thoughts

THE FINE PRINT:

Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

Latest Tweets

Get Our Newsletter