Type Four

Individualist / Romantic

Type Four Overview:

People of Enneatype FOUR are idealistic individualists, motivated by a desire to understand themselves on a deeply introspective level, and to express their feelings in a unique and authentic way. Fours are emotionally honest and creative, desiring to bring something special and personal to the world.

Fours experience emotions at a very deep level, and when self-aware, are able to hold space for others through grief or complicated situations that would be too hard for most.

Fours perceive themselves as being fundamentally different than others: they long for emotional connection, but there is an underlying feeling of being either tragically misunderstood or deficient in some important way. This can lead to self-indulgent melancholy and to frustrated/negative reactivity.


At Their Best:

Imaginative, authentic, intuitive, creative, deep, and compassionate.

When Struggling:

Self-absorbed, hypersensitive, impractical, self-conscious, moody and unsatisfied.

What Type Fours say about themselves:

  • I long for what’s missing, distant or unattainable – the ordinary pales in comparison.
  • My deep sense of abandonment translates into a belief that I will never be fulfilled.
  • I envy and idealize what others have that I don’t.
  • Authenticity and meaningful experiences are essential to me.
  • My suffering sets me apart from others.

From www.narrativeenneagram.org

We each feel that we must show up in a certain way in the world in order to deserve love.

These are internal messages that resonate with Fours:

BASIC FEAR: That they have no identity or personal significance.

BASIC DESIRE: To express themselves and their significance (to manifest their identity).

BASIC PROPOSITION: “You will feel loved, whole and complete if you can find the ideal love or perfect circumstance.”

AVOIDANCE: Being seen as ordinary, boring, or mundane.

FOCUS of ATTENTION: What is missing.

  • Positive aspect: The ability to see perceive beauty even in sadness, and to improve the world with unique creativity, artistry, or insightful observation.
  • Negative aspect: The tendency to allow themselves to wallow in melancholy and to carry their emotional burdens too far.


Strategies For Growth:

  • Take a pause and observe your inner focus of attention with as little judgment as possible. Ask yourself, in what ways do I experience a sense of longing or envy? How do I focus my attention and energy on what is missing? Remind yourself to appreciate the wholeness of the present moment with gratitude.
  • Avoid putting off things until you “are in the right mood”. Commit to productive meaningful work, even if it is only one small step at a time.