The Individualist is a nickname used to describe the Enneatype 4, one of the possible nine types in the Enneagram.

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 4

  • Distinctive inner and outer presentation
  • Prominent artistic outlet(s)
  • Quirky and endearing
  • Melancholic expression
  • Strong sense of identity
  • May feel a sense of emptiness
  • Passionate about self-expression

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What are Individualists like?

Individualists may stand out to others from their unique choice of fashion, unconventional lifestyle and interests or creative works. Offbeat yet endearing, Individualists have a relentless drive to discover and understand who they truly are, deep down. Creation—not consumption—is the key to their wellbeing.

They spend a large amount of time reflecting on the past and using experiences and feelings as a springboard for creative musings and new projects. Through a process of continuous exploration of the inner self (the conscious and unconscious sides), Individualists produce original work, untouched by the expectations of others.

What are the Individualist’s core values?

Authenticity and self-expression are the pinnacle of the Individual’s existence. Their ultimate goal is for the world to recognize and appreciate their wholly unique identity. They strongly believe that their striking difference from others should always be consistent. Succumbing to ‘trends’ would be considered the ultimate act of self betrayal.

How can I recognize a Type 4?

Individualists are offbeat, have a strong sense of self-identity and pride themselves on being unique. They are often found pursuing some sort of creative outlet such as music comedy, or animation. Their ultimate goal is to accurately present their true selves to the world in order to feel real, healthy and whole. An Individualist’s style and way of life often has notes of openness, and suggests this person is exploring their own psyche. Thrift stores and flea markets are a particular favorite pick of Individualists. When it comes to self-expression, Individualists take their presentation very seriously. They constantly evaluate every decision and its alignment to their personal values.

What are Individualists like under different levels of health?

At healthy levels: Individualists create thought-provoking and groundbreaking works of art that shift perspectives toward the greater good. They’re recognized as idea synthesizers who can help others rethink what art should be like. Major shifts in art styles and fashion eras are largely due to the out-of-the-box thinking from self-actualized Individualists, since they possess the ability to rework past experiences into new works of art. Highly attuned to their complex well of emotions, Individualists undergo a process of metamorphosis in the cocoon of self-acceptance before fully emerging as a butterfly with wings to soar.

At average levels: Individualists let out their stress through a creative outlet and may bond with a community of like-minded people to gain inspiration and support along the way. Emotionally intense and introspective, they’re seekers of authenticity, sometimes at the expense of others’ patience and feelings. Self-absorbed and artistically expressive, Individualists maintain their personal mood and inspiration board to piece together the different aspects of themselves and their identity. At average levels, they may become hypersensitive to criticism yet firm to themselves. This results in them actively seeking praise and flattery. They may be strongly offended if others try to copy or relate to their experiences.

At unhealthy levels: Individualists become excessively moody, depressed and fragile. They can develop an extreme tendency to ruminate, which is intrusive to their natural creative energies. In extreme cases, they may lose their grip on reality and resort to extreme sensory coping mechanisms such as alcohol or hallucinogens. The search for the ‘missing piece’ leads Individualists down a never-ending spiral of dead ends and roundabouts. They can fall into the same ditches and make the same mistakes if they refuse to admit their self-destructive behaviors and thinking patterns. They’re prone to developing the belief that there’s something inherently ‘broken’ about them. At the peak of their stress, Individualists may delete their entire presence from the web and isolate themselves from the world.