Fours are defined by their sense of being special and different from other people. They are often creative, and present a unique, distinctive persona to the people around them.
Fours experience a deep conflict in that they long to connect with others, but they feel that because they are so unusual, very few people are able to truly see them as they are.
Deepest Fear: Fours fear that they are flawed and are missing out on some basic aspect of happiness that other people have access to. To cope with this fear, they amplify what is different and special about themselves, looking for the niche in which they can truly be appreciated.
Core Motivations: Fours are motivated by their desire to express their individuality and to be unique. They do this through creative endeavors and by over identifying with the aspects of their personality that they view as lacking or deficient.
Key Personality Traits of the 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
How Rare are Enneagram 4s?
- In a Truity study of more than 54,000 respondents, Type Fours were found to make up approximately 12% of the population; 12% of women and 10% of men.
Enneagram Type 4 In Depth
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 well-being.
Fours 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.
Individualists struggle with an attachment to the parts of themselves that they view as deficient. Fours tend to over-identify as people who are more flawed than others. They undervalue the positive aspects of their personality and idealize the positive traits in other people.
At their best, Fours are extremely creative, compassionate and self-aware. At their worst they can be self-victimizing and self-destructive.
Like Type Twos and Type Threes, Fours are part of the “heart-based” triad of the Enneagram. The core emotion of the types in this triad is sadness. Fours, Twos and Threes all struggle with feeling like they cannot be loved for who they are.
Fours, however, are the type most likely to embrace this grief, rather than repress or feel conflicted over it. Sadness can take on a form of identity for this type.
Individualist Fours have a deep and complex relationship with their emotions. Growth happens when Fours learn to get out of their heads and become open to experiencing true love and acceptance from other people.
Enneagram 4 Wings
4w3: Enneagram Type Four wing Threes are Fours who possess many of the same traits as Type Threes. 4w3s tend to be more energetic and driven than other Fours. They seek to make an impact in the world while maintaining a deep sense of self. They are more sociable and image conscious than other Fours. Careers common for this type include entertainment, broadcast journalism, photography, fitness instructor and motivational speaker.
4w5: The 4w5 type is a Four who shares many characteristics with the Type Five. This type will appear more reserved, intellectual, and introspective than other Fours. 4w5s seek to understand the world deeply, and strive to make an impact within it. They may appear withdrawn and overly focused on the self. Popular careers for 4w5 types are writing, music, graphic design and literature.
Core Values of Enneagram 4s
- 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 to Recognize an Enneagram 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 through their appearance.
Thrift stores and flea markets are particular favorite picks 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.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Enneagram 4s
When they are healthy, Fours 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. 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.
When they are average, Fours 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.
When they are unhealthy, Fours 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.
Growth Tips for Enneatype 4s
- Practice positive affirmations. Fours are prone to negative self-talk. By focusing your mind on positive thoughts, you can develop a kinder, more positive self-image and mindset.
- View yourself from another person’s perspective. Keep in mind that your feelings, though valid, are subjective. Emotions are not all you are, but a part of who you are. Try to view yourself more objectively, specifically looking at your positive traits and accomplishments.
- Consider the ways in which you are similar to those around you. Fours focus their attention on how they’re different from others. Instead, look for ways to connect with others. What do you have in common? Doing this will help you form deeper relationships.
- Start small. Fours may feel like they lack the confidence and discipline to get things done. If what you want to accomplish feels overwhelming, break it up into small, achievable steps.
- Learn to be open to constructive feedback — positive and negative. It’s essential for Fours to get out of their heads and learn to accept feedback from the outer world. Understand that negative feedback isn’t an attack on who you are as a person. And positive feedback isn’t something to dismiss or devalue. There are important lessons to be learned from constructive feedback.
Famous Enneagram Type 4s
- Frida Kahlo
- Billie Eilish
- Jackie Kennedy Onassis
- Joni Mitchell
- Bob Dylan
- Stevie Nicks
- Johnny Depp
- Winona Ryder
- Sylvia Plath
- Prince Charles
- Amy Winehouse
- Kurt Cobain
- “Anne Shirley” (Anne of Green Gables)
- “Rapunzel” (Rapunzel)
- “Luna Lovegood” (Harry Potter)
- “April Ludgate” (Parks and Rec)