Enneagram Type 4
Romantics believe you can regain the lost ideal love or perfect state by finding the love or situation that is unique, special and fulfilling. Consequently, Romantics are idealistic, deeply feeling, empathetic and authentic; they also can be dramatic, moody and sometimes self-absorbed.
Type 4 on the Diagram
- Primary Center: Heart
- Wings: 3 and 5
- Security point: 1
- Resource point: 2
Focus of Attention
What is missing
To reclaim wholeness in the present moment by appreciating what is here and now, feeling the experience in their bodies rather than over-indulging in the story of what’s happening, and accepting yourself as you are without needing to be special or unique
Fours are expressive of feelings, personal, self-focused and have a flair for originality. Others may perceive Fours as overly expressive, unsatisfied with responses and emotionally intense.
Fours often experience a sense of longing, melancholy or envy for what’s missing. They seek meaning and depth in relationships, work or their quest for personal creativity. Many are artists who excel at expressing universal human emotions. While they are good at creating an image, it’s most important for them to be authentic. Individualists at heart, Fours need time alone. To heal and grow, they must balance sadness with the capacity for happiness and satisfaction.
You will feel loved, whole and complete if you can find the ideal love or perfect circumstance.
Creative, empathetic, idealistic, capable of emotional depth, compassion
Moody, withdrawn, self-absorbed, over-sensitive, demanding, unsatisfied with what is
Introjection – unconsciously incorporating the characteristics of a person or object into one’s own psyche
Fours use introjection to avoid ordinariness and maintain a self-image of being authentic. Positive introjection helps overcome feelings of deficiency by seeking value from an idealized relationship or experience. Using negative introjection, Fours tend to blame themselves for whatever goes wrong in personal connections.
Observe your habit of mind or focus of attention with as little judgment as possible. Ask yourself the following questions, while noticing your feelings and how your body responds:
- How have I focused my attention and energy on what was missing?
- In what ways do I experience a sense of longing or envy?
- How have I diminished or disdained the ordinary or mundane?
- Do I feel pride in being special or unique, or feel shame in being less than my ideal?
- In what ways have I felt misunderstood?
Relating to Fours
- Appreciate their emotional sensitivity, creativity and idealism.
- Reveal your own feelings and reactions; avoid being overly rational.
- When they are upset, don’t take everything they say too literally since they may be expressing a momentary feeling.
- Return to the present and be positive while acknowledging their experience of what is missing.
- Seek to understand and empathize without necessarily agreeing.
Type Four’s journey is to realize that being whole and complete comes with acceptance and appreciation of what is here now, in the present moment – from the inside out, not from the outside in. Disappointments are part of the fabric of life, not an indication of deficiency of being.
Path of Integration
Mental: Melancholy > Idealism
Emotional: Envy > Equanimity
The aspect of awareness called the Inner Observer allows us to witness the internal patterns that drive outer behavior. The practice consists of focusing inwardly and becoming aware of the thoughts, sensations and other objects of attention that arise within us. As we become more present, our type patterns begin to relax and receptivity increases.
For Fours, take a moment to reflect on the following principles:
- Wholeness already exists, here in the present moment.
- Emotional intensity isn’t necessary for emotional fulfillment.
- One’s value is inherent – it does not come from being special.
- When we focus on what’s missing, we miss out on appreciating what we have.
- Cultivating the happiness of others helps us overcome envy and longing.
As feeling types, Fours have an intense emotional life, which can lead to big ups and downs. They alternate between striving to win recognition from others and going deeply into their interior worlds. As romantic idealists, they seek a personal and meaningful connection to their work and others. But when things do not measure up, they easily become disappointed and tend to withdraw. On the other hand, when they are excited, anxious or full of feelings, they tend to “spill out” into their environment.
If you are a Four…
Your task is to establish balance with your emotions and your relationships, and to notice when you are amplifying your emotion with provocative or dramatic narratives. A focus on calm, steady breathing and listening to your body will help connect you to the vitality of your instincts. Expressive activities – dancing, singing, art, etc. – channel emotional energy while helping you stay grounded in your body.