Enneagram Type 4 - The Romantic
Fours are feeling-based types who often experience a sense of longing and melancholy. Something is missing for them, which can lead to a quest for wholeness through romantic idealism, healing, or aesthetics. When they compare themselves to others, Fours experience feelings of envy. They seek meaning and depth in their relationships, their work, or in a quest for personal creativity.
Many Fours are artists who excel at expressing universal human emotions in dance, music, and poetry. While they seek to have a good image, it's most important for them to be authentic. Often passionate, sometimes overly emotional, their attention moves back and forth from empathizing with others to their own inner experience. They need time alone. The key to healing and growth for Fours is to balance sadness with the capacity for happiness and satisfaction, even if the relationship or the experience seems flawed or incomplete.
Strengths: Compassionate, idealistic, emotional depth
Problems: Moody, withdrawn, uncooperative
Speaking style: Sometimes warm and feelingful, sometimes flat and dry; they tend to be subjective, and they try to be aesthetically correct. Often a tone of sadness or dissatisfaction
Lower emotional habit: Envy or melancholy arising from the experience of disappointment or deficiency
Higher emotion: Equanimity, which means keeping the heart open, welcoming all feelings yet staying in balance
Archetypal challenge: Living with an open heart while integrating joy and suffering
Psychological defenses: Fours use the defense mechanism of introjection to avoid being ordinary and to maintain a self image of being "authentic." (Introjection is the attempt to overcome deficiency by bringing in value from outside oneself as well as the habit of internalizing blame for what goes wrong).
Somatic patterns: Fours tend to swing from contact to withdrawal, from having lots of feelings that spill out into the environment to becoming resigned and depressed. Their energy often collects in the middle of the body and can be withdrawn from the periphery (eyes, hands, and feet). Self-expression through music, dance, writing, creative work or parenting helps create an emotional flow and a balanced state.
Tips for Relating
To create rapport: Appreciate their emotional sensitivity and their creativity
Try to avoid: Insisting on being rational, unemotional or conformist
Join them: Valuing style, individualism and depth of feeling
To handle conflict: Challenge them to avoid wounded withdrawal on the one hand and angry outbursts on the other. Stay in the middle ground. When they are upset, don't take everything they say too literally since it may be only the feeling of the moment.
To support their growth: Support Fours in achieving emotional balance and staying on track. Encourage them to express their feelings safely and directly rather than getting caught in chronic negative attitudes or depression. Help them fight their inner critic and resist internalizing blame. Get them to watch what they say and consider their impact on others.