Enneagram Fours are motivated by the need to experience their feelings and to be understood; to search for the meaning in life, and to avoid being ordinary. They need to feel special. To prove they are special they tend to come across as dramatic; it is all about me. Fours can get stuck in melancholy – no one understands me is a typical thought of the four. When good things do happen – they are too ordinary. They feel a sense of deficiency about their own worth and seek idealized experiences of qualities they perceive as outside themselves. Fours often focus on what they don’t have; they don’t measure up to an ideal of what they should be and they over-identify with emotions – their emotions are who they are. They can focus on past hurts and wounds.
The wings are three and five. Enneagram Fours with a strong three wing tend to be more extroverted, upbeat, ambitious, flamboyant, and image-conscious. They are more pragmatic, less emotional, and are able to focus on tasks and goals. Fours at their best are inspired, self-renewing, and give generously; they are able to transform all their experiences into something valuable. Fours with a strong five wing tend to be more objective and balanced, more introverted, intellectual, idiosyncratic, reserved, and depressed.
The movement for fours is towards one and two. The move to the positive side of one, helps them become more self-disciplined and grounded in the here and now; do more problem solving and become more practical. They accentuate more of the positive and less of the negative and become less controlled by their feelings. The positive move toward two helps them to connect with people in meaningful ways, become less self-absorbed, and meet others’ needs with healthy detachment.
It is important for fours to see the good in themselves – life is not a competition, they don’t have to stand above others, just side by side.
And again from The Enneagram Made Easy,
Things fours would never do:
- Making a paint-by-number landscape and hanging it over their living room sofa
- Going to a restaurant in a polyester suit and ordering a Spam sandwich and instant coffee
- Thinking for a whole month about nothing but positive things that have happened in their lives
- Deciding that mauve, champagne and indigo are stupid colors and decorating their house in Happy Pink and Laughing Yellow instead
- Concluding that soul-searching is too trite and giving it up
- Throwing away old photos of boyfriends or girlfriends dispassionately
As I have said before this is just a quick overview of the different Enneagram types. Knowing the characteristics of the different types can really be helpful in understanding yourself, your partner, children, or co-workers. For more information please check out my wife, Crystal’s, website Journey to Inner Wisdom on upcoming workshops on the Enneagram.