As with all types that are next to each other on the Enneagram, Fours and Fives don’t get so much misidentified but rather confused about which one is their main type and which one their wing. Since we talk about wings in more detail somewhere else, we will just mention the main difference between the two types for now.
What makes Fives and Fours appear so similar is their heightened individualism and their tendency to withdraw. They are both on the introverted side of things and can both become rather eccentric. But there’s one area that helps draw a clear line in the sand: which part of them plays the bigger role in their day-to-day lives. For the Four it’s their heart. For the Five it’s their brain.
Fours belong to the Heart Group*. They are emotionally volatile – Fours need to express their feelings and for people to respond to them emotionally as well. Fives are people of the mind, which is why they belong to the Head Group**: While they also have deep emotions, they usually keep them to themselves, detach from them, study them and, most of all, prefer if people communicate rationally with them. Fives become uncomfortable when they have to deal with too many emotions of the other person – Fours are right in their element.
When both types go to dark places (which, truth be told, they are more comfortable with than most others), Fours turn towards emotional pain: heartbreak, childhood disappointments, „life is woe“ – while Fives go to abstract pain: Inner emptiness, the meaninglessness of life, the great existential void.
Heart or mind? This is what tells these two types apart.
* If you don’t know about Groups yet, you can learn about them here. The basic idea is that of the nine types, three groups of three types each have overarching commonalities. Type Two, Type Three and Type Four are one of those called the Heart Group. Their common theme is a strong connection to the heart, where emotions and our connections to other people lie.
** The Head Group is connected to the ways we use our intellectual, thinking powers. Type Five, Type Six and Type Seven make up this group, and they are all somehow tethered to the perception of the world through the mind.