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Enneagram type 4s are authentic, creative, expressive, introspective, and compassionate when at their best and living in healthy levels. Other nicknames for this type are The Romantic or The Searcher but the majority vote has declared that I’ll be sticking with Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist!
How Do You Know If You Are a Type 4?
As is true of all enneagram types, your type is determined by core motivation. Yes, there are traits that are more common to type 1s but traits are not what determines your type. (You could be a type 4 who is not an artist! Shocker!)
So if you are trying to figure out if you are a type 4, you’ll want to look into the core motivations to see which one resonates with you.
Enneagram 4: The Individualist
Core Motivation of Type 4
Core Desire: to be authentic/ to find meaning
Core Fear: having no significance/having no identity
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to be too much or too little.”
Core Longing (what they wish they believed to be true): “You are seen and loved for who you are.”
Core Weakness: Envy (as in the feeling like something is missing and others seem to have it).
Positive Traits of Type 4
Sensitive, authentic, creative, expressive, introspective, compassionate, supportive.
Negative Traits of Type 4
Moody, stubborn, temperamental, self-absorbed, withdrawn, depressed, overly emotional.
Type 4 Wing Options
Type 4’s have wing options of 3 and 5.
Keep in mind that while most people have one dominant wing (hence 4w5), but some people find they have balanced wings, and some find that they do not make use of their wings.
Type 4 Stress Number
In stress, 4s take on the negative traits of type 2 (jealous, testing relationships, trying to “buy” others’ love).
Check out Enneagram Types Under Stress for more info.
Type 4 Growth Number
When 4s are growing they take on the positive traits of type 1 (more objective, more principled, more disciplined).
Triadic Groups of Type 4
Center of Intelligence: Heart/Feeling Center
This means 4s take in and process the world through their feelings.
Check out my Centers of Intelligence post for more info on the Gut Center.
Hornevian Group (also called “Stances”): The Withdrawn Group
The withdrawn group means that 4s move away from people in hopes of earning what they desire (attention).
Note on that attention… 4s report that they withdraw to find what they truly believe/are and then they can present that to others, hoping for attention for their authentic selves.
Check out Enneagram Hornevian Groups for more info.
Harmonic Group: The Reactive Group
Harmonic groups explains how the types deal with conflict and 4s are in the reactive group meaning they react to conflict with strong emotions and assume others should as well.
For more info, check out my post on Harmonic Groups.
Harmony Group: The Idealist Group
Harmony groups explain how your type relates to the world. Type 4s are in the idealist group because they have an idea of how the world should be (and they get frustrated when it’s not that way).
My post on Harmony Groups has more details.
Levels of Health for Type 4
Depending on their level of health, a type 4 can look a bit different from another type 4. The three main levels of health are Healthy, Average, and Unhealthy.
4s when healthy: are introspective and compassionate. They are true to themselves, emotionally honest, and emotionally strong. They develop the ability to turn any experience into something of value.
4s when average: create aesthetic environments to enforce their feelings. They are try to stay connected to their feelings by internalizing everything. They think that they are different from others and can begin living in or retreating to a fantasy world.
4s when unhealthy: become ashamed of their self and tormented with self-contempt. They may become depressed and detached from themselves and others.
These are just the three main levels of health. There are actually a total of nine levels of health; three levels in each of these main levels.
If you want the full break down with all the details for the levels of health, I highly recommend picking up Riso and Hudson’s book: Personality Types.