For Fours this means that they can have a wing Three (also known as Enneagram 4w3) or a wing Five (Enneagram 4w5).
Below you find descriptions for each wing. We will explore how either wing can positively influence your main personality type as well as the specific challenges this combination brings with it. If you are new to wings and want to learn more about how they work, you can read our introduction to wings here.
Of the two wings of the Four personality type, the Three wing adds some of the energy, ambition and competitiveness to the otherwise withdrawn Four. With a Three wing, Fours get more image-conscious – and usually more productive. They are better at hiding the emotional turmoil inside them to go out, be sociable and turn their dreams into action. It’s basically what you get when you want to be both the most unique and the most accomplished.
With the out-going, people-focused nature of the average Three in their mix, Fours with this wing make more effort to communicate themselves to others and find a way to express all those complex emotions inside them. If they go the artistic way, these are the kinds of Fours who also have the drive to see their work published, exhibited and put on stage. They want the glittering products of their minds to be seen by the world. The whole thing of Threes is to be seen as successful and admired for what they do. Some of these motivators swap over to the Four. Status, refinement, good taste, culture, sophistication – all these things become more important for Fours with a Three wing. You get someone who is more practical, but often also more extravagant.
If you dip into the unhealthy areas of this wing, you find that there is more potential for narcissism. Also, Fours usually turn against themselves when they get stuck in immature behavior, tending to depression, self-hatred and alienation. The stronger the Three wing is though, the more their aggression can turn outwards as well, and they may even give up on their quest for authenticity in favor of duplicity and opportunism. Fours can get envious of what they feel others have and they don’t, Threes get jealous when others get the attention they want. You can imagine that when you combine the two, it can be a pretty toxic mix.
But this is the unhealthy end of the spectrum. On the healthy side, you get Fours who take all this wonderful quirkiness and creativity in their head who go out and do something with it. They are much more willing to improve themselves, seek advice from others and create – not just for themselves, but with the audience in mind.
If you notice that apart from your fundamental agreement with the Four personality type, you feel a lot of the energy of Threes in you and are not as withdrawn and introverted as the type sounds, this could be due to a more or less strong Three wing of yours.
You notice a Five wing in a Four when you find them on the more introverted, unconventional and private side of this personality type. They are quieter about their ideas than their counterparts with Three wings, less interested in status and putting their ideas into action. They are usually much happier to do their unique things just for themselves and nobody else.
Both Fours and Fives are withdrawn types. Fours draw back to protect their feelings, while Fives do it to protect the security of their minds. Both those things reinforce each other in this combination. These Fours are still markedly more concerned with their inner emotional world than Fives, but they are more observant and intellectual about it, at the cost of finding it harder to put their brilliant thoughts into practice.
They are much more likely to keep things to themselves, being secretive about their discoveries and trying to be enigmatic on purpose when they talk, to make themselves appear even more mysterious and unique.
Where the Three wing exacerbates the Four’s extravagance, the Five wing increases their eccentricity. At the same time, they tend to live simpler – if still superbly unique and bohemian – lives than their counterparts with a Three wing, being more comfortable with living inside their baroque fantasies than having to show their status to the world.
Taken to unhealthy extremes, this reclusive, day-dreaming lifestyle can turn into denying life altogether, becoming lost in the dark recesses of their emotions and giving themselves over to depression and hopelessness. The more they withdraw, the more they can become truly isolated, which can turn into a cycle that leaves them utterly alienated from the world.
On the other hand though, the healthy version of this wing combines the emotional depth and insight into human nature of the Four with the intellectual thoroughness and authority-defying originality of Fives. They care less about the opinions of others and quietly follow their own muse wherever it leads them.
As said at the beginning of this section, this wing is rather easy to spot when you realize that, while fundamentally finding yourself in the Four personality type, you fall on the more intellectual, introverted side of things.