Authenticity

I am unique

Enneagram Type Four

Type Four

Individualist

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, striving to bring something special and personal to the world. More than any other type, Fours differentiate and individuate from others; the concept of “blending in” is anathema to them.

Fours are comfortable experiencing emotions at a very deep level, even negative ones. When self-aware, they 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 emotionally honest.

When Struggling:

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

What Type Fours say about themselves:

  • It is most important to me to individuate myself from other people.
  • I express myself in my own creative and authentic way; I am not like the others.
  • I am highly specific about what interests me, what I like, and what I dislike.
  • It’s not uncomfortable to me to express “negative” emotions like frustration, disdain, or disgust.
  • Finding myself and being true to my emotional needs have been extremely important motivations.
  • I like having more refined tastes and sensibilities than most people.
  • I have emotional depth and I indulge my moods – even (or especially) the dark ones.
  • I am withdrawn and mysterious; I long for someone to recognize my specific intrigue.
  • I feel both uniquely special and uniquely deficient.
  • I have an appreciation of the drama and mystery of the world.
  • I would be horrified if people thought I was ordinary or boring.

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 improve the world with unique creativity, artistry, or insightful observation.
  • Negative aspect: The tendency to allow themselves to wallow in melancholy, suffering, and frustration.

 

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.

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