Let’s talk today about Ennea Type 4, called the Individualist, the Romantic, the Creative Person.
Type Fours are very interesting, unique people. They tend to be very creative. The basic desire for this type is to know oneself.
They will spend a lifetime combing through their past experiences, processing and trying to make sense of the world through understanding their experiences.
It’s really interesting to note that out of all the nine types, Type 4 is the only one who really are brutally honest in their assessment of themselves and taking a look at the truth of things. They do not shy away from the painful truth. The other 8/9th of the world is sweeping all the crap under the rug.
So the Four kind of walks through life feeling different than others. They feel like, “Why am I so much more sensitive than other people? Why is it harder for me to navigate painful experiences than other people? There must be something wrong with me.”
And so from an early age, Fours perceive their sensitivity but unfortunately begin telling themselves that this must mean that there’s something wrong with them. No, this is what makes you special and right.
Type 4s are here in the world to teach the rest of us insensitive brutes to connect to our feelings better, right? These are the authors, the painters, the actors. People who will spend time reflecting on the human experience. The information, the processes that they share with the rest of the world really does help us understand the human experience better.
Unfortunately, for the Four, this is a painful way to live through life – feeling your feelings more deeply than other people. Really being kind of stopped in your tracks by pain. Fours express that it takes them a long time to get over things, that they spend a lot of time thinking over the past and the experiences that they have.
The problem for the Fours is that they’re doing this with an idealized lens. Here they are so aware of their own flaws, but they’re kind of comparing themselves to everybody else’s public persona. They are comparing themselves a lot.
This leads them straight to the passion, the stress behavior for the Four which is called… envy. Type 4s kind of go through life comparing themselves to other people and always finding themselves coming off short. They’re always feeling longing to be more perfect like so and so over there.
And so the trick is to realize, for the Fours, that you really are not playing on an even playing field when you do that. You are comparing your dirty laundry against everybody else’s public persona and you’re never going to win that way.
The work for the Four is to be more honest about your strengths and to be present. To have gratitude to what is in your life, what you do, do well rather than thinking about how you don’t fit in, how you must be different and wrong.
You really want to celebrate the special things that you bring to the table. And feel gratitude to what beauty is in your life now, rather than focusing on what has been lost.
I hope this makes sense for the Four. The Four struggles a lot with making sense of themselves; so keep it in perspective that the comparing game is dangerous territory. That is misery for the Four. We want to focus on gratitude.
Thanks so much.
Candice Thomas, Licensed Acupuncturist, Enneagram Teacher
LightWorks Acupuncture, Tucson
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