Illustration of Enneagram Type 4: "The Romantic"

Enneagram Type 4
Four

The Romantic

Self-aware – Authentic – Sensitive

What is an Enneagram Type 4 Personality?

“Fours” can open people’s eyes to the beauty of the world and shine with authenticity, but also be held back by moodiness and self-absorption.

Discover The Great Things About Enneagram Type 4

Fours are unique. Not just in the ordinary „everybody is a special snowflake“ kind of way. Fours see the world in a way that’s different from those around them, which often makes them feel like the world never truly „gets“ them. As a result, they long to find their most authentic and true self. Fours have a rich emotional life and are always looking for ways to express their feelings in a way that conveys the mystery they experience in themselves. That’s why a lot of the world’s most profound works of art were created by Fours. They have an amazing potential to uncover the hidden beauty in the world and help others see it, too.

Key Motivation

Fours want most of all to have and maintain an expression of their individual take at the world. They want to protect their self-image of being unique, as well as the moods and feelings that shape their personality. The fear of being like everyone else, of being insignificant, leads them on a constant quest to find their true and authentic identity.

The Worst, The Best, and The Average of Enneagram Type 4

Your personality isn’t a fixed thing. People grow. While we don’t change our basic personality (as much as some of us would like that), we all can become more mature and healthy inside our personality. But at times, we also revert to less healthy behavior. This looks different for every personality type. Let’s see how it unfolds for Fours.

Average Type 4s

The average Four spends a lot of time exploring their own emotions and the fantastical worlds they find inside them. Fours are naturally withdrawn types, more comfortable with being alone than in crowds. While they often see themselves as uniquely gifted, average Fours also live with the feeling that they are somehow uniquely flawed, and that this prevents them from living a „normal“, „happy“ life like everyone else.

Fours process the world through their emotions, and so they need emotional responses from others. The problem is that they try to build their identity on their emotions, yet feelings, as we all know, are really unpredictable. That’s why the average Four is often plagued by sudden mood swings and an uneasy sense of not being sure who they truly are.

Key Challenge

The key challenge of Fours is envy. Not necessarily for material things – it’s more that they think that everybody else has some mysterious quality that allows them to simply enjoy life which they themselves lack. Fours mostly envy people the happiness they feel the world denies them (while in reality they deny it to themselves).

Unhealthy Type 4s

When they aren’t healthy, Fours become less and less able to break out of their impression of being a poor, misunderstood victim. As much as they want to belong, they focus more and more on their perceived deficiency. They abandon themselves to their moods and go full drama queen (or king). Everything is subjected to their feelings of unfulfilled longing, even though they have no clear idea what they are actually longing for.

Unhealthy Fours become unable to be happy because they forget the simple truth that they are not the only one suffering on this planet, but that:

“Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood or appreciated.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Healthy Type 4s

On the other hand, healthy Fours own their feelings. They are honest with themselves and understand that they actually aren’t lacking anything special – that they are allowed to be happy just the way they are. Healthy Fours realize that despite their differences, they are still connected to humanity on a deep level. Because they have become familiar with their darker nature, they can help others process painful experiences that would overwhelm other types.

Also, by not being ruled by their emotions anymore, healthy Fours become disciplined enough to bring all their amazing ideas into reality. The profound insights of many works of art throughout history are the result of this process – think of the plays of William Shakespeare, the music of Chopin or the books of Virginia Woolf. Fours who realize they aren’t missing anything special find their true self, and with it, their place in the world.

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Famous Enneagram Type 4s

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All 9 Enneagram Personality Type Descriptions

Misidentifications

Common mistypings for enneagram Type 4 

How to be sure?

Definitive guide to finding your Enneagram type

Description

Wings of Enneagram Type 4

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What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a pretty amazing tool to help people understand themselves and others better. It does that by describing the nine principle ways of how people view the world and how their particular worldview shapes their personalities. It has already helped millions of people around the world discovering who they are, why they do the things they do and – most importantly – how to use this knowledge to grow as a person.

Find out how the system works