Enneagram Type Fours are in the Heart Triad. They are introspective, experience a wide range of emotions, care about the deep meaning in life, have active imaginations, and make ample space for pain. Fours are the people you want to have around when a loved one gets sick or passes—they will empathize in whatever way you best need. Healthy Fours understand the complexity of inner life, often becoming masters at helping others navigate the realms of spirituality and soul. They will have a good balance between their own inner world and what they can contribute to the world at large. They are warm, astute in their advice-giving, and encouraging. Often mystics, artists, musicians, and contemplatives, Type Fours can also be CEO’s and accountants, bringing their wealth of emotional intelligence and creative thinking to almost any scenario. They are eloquent wordsmiths, speaking in symbols and metaphors that others can clearly understand. And above all, they value authenticity! “Be your unique self,” is the mantra of Type Fours.
People are human beings always in motion, not types that act in restrictive boxes, therefore the integration and disintegration descriptions below will not describe someone fully. Nor will a person ever seem fully integrated or disintegrated. One can cycle through the full spectrum of stress/health levels in a day. In an hour even! Keep this in mind as you read on.
Type Four with a Three Wing (4w3)
A 4w3 is an intelligent, curious, creative person who has a million ideas… and actually executes them. The Three Wing helps the Four move from the fantasy in their head to actual physical projects and businesses that take shape and do well. They have a much higher capacity to produce results than the 4w5. The Three Wings lends practicality to the mindset of a Four, which helps them balance out melancholic and dramatic tendencies. A 4w3 will tend to focus more on their careers and often have lofty goals, with the confidence of a Type Three to achieve them. A 4w3 can also sometimes be more extroverted than a 4w5, the Three Wing drawing out a normally introspective Type Four into social settings and group activities that are enjoyable. The Three Wing allows the Four to access more energy so they move out of the pools of emotion and reverie and into the real world.
In stress or disintegration, a 4w3 combines the low side of both numbers. Both types have issues with identity, and so shame will be a core struggle. An unhealthy, 4w3 will be hyper-conscious of their image, become obsessive about relational issues (drama), and seek to find their authentic selves in projects rather than within. To maintain any kind of self-esteem, a stressed 4w3 seeks validation, trying to be seen as both unique and successful to impress others and win their love. The disintegrated Type Three shades the stressed Four with doses of anger and competitiveness. Who is more creative? Who is better than me to lead this team or make this decision? The disintegrated 4w3 throws modesty out the window, and can even act like they are royalty, which exacerbates the Type Four’s inclination to see themselves as ‘above’ the common person. Their finances take a hit as they spend excessively to create the right image, atmosphere, or environment.
Type Four with a Five Wing (4w5)
Healthy 4w5s are a great mix of the Heart and Mind Triad. The Type Five’s brain energy compliments the Four’s orientation to immerse themselves in all the feels, creating a person who can empathize wisely. Think of them as a creative guru best friend. The Five Wing adds impartiality to the inner and outer experience of a Four, allowing them the capacity to reflect on relationships, situations, and emotions in a more objective manner. They can distance their ‘selfhood’ from their feelings and rely more on facts. Type Fours are normally profound and insightful, and the Five Wing lends even more wisdom through intellectual analysis. 4w5’s have an abundance of emotional depth and sensitivity, being able to view others and society through intensely perceptive and ground-breaking lenses. This is a usually introverted type, often quiet, but with active minds and cycling emotions.
When stressed, 4w5s become eccentrics, agonized by emotions that feel overpowering and thoughts that race out of control. Their inner lives are so intense that they begin to drown in themselves, lost in a labyrinth of their own making. When this happens 4w5s often withdraw from their relationships and the outer world, thinking that no one could possibly understand their tortured experiences. This withdrawal causes their work and relationships to suffer because they aren’t living life, they’re trapped in their imaginations of reality. They rebuff all attempts at aid, insight, and practical help. In this state, a 4w5 can have a hard time holding down a job or taking care of their basic needs because in every area they doubt themselves. The weight of the universe rests on their shoulders, and they often escape into idealized memories. They can become hermits who don’t dare to trust themselves, other people, or society.
*(A special thank you to Beyoncé for her wide range of gifs. This post is not trying to type Queen B, I just like how she expresses literally everything!)