The character of the Enneagram Type 4 at a glance

Reading time 9 minutes
The character of the Enneagram Type 4 at a glance

The desire to fathom one's own personality occupies many people. In terms of personal development, this endeavor is also very meaningful: Why do I act the way I do? Why do the same misfortunes happen to me several times in a row? How can I get the best out of myself? There are several ways to find out. One of them is the Enneagram.

The Enneagram is a personality model that differentiates between nine different personalities. "Ennea" is the Greek word for the number nine. "Gramma" translates as "model". The special feature compared to other personality concepts is that all personalities are related to each other.

Today we want to take a closer look at the Enneagram Type 4.

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The Enneagram Type 4: What characterizes it?

The Enneagram type 4 is also called an individualist. Often Fours feel a gap between themselves and other people. They see themselves as unique and special - in both positive and negative ways. No other type is as aware of their strengths and deficits.

The Enneagram type 4 is able to reflect on himself adequately. He neither denies problems nor glosses over painful truths. The consistent confrontation with his own emotional history allows him constant personal growth. Four is willing to disclose even unpleasant things about himself in order to better understand the events in his life.

people of this Enneagram Type are temperamental, expressive and sensitive. In addition, they show a tendency to drama. Despite all self-reflection, they are constantly searching for a stable social identity. Young Fours in particular sometimes don't really know who they want to be. Therefore, they often try out many different paths in life.

Let's take a detailed look at the most striking character traits of Enneagram Type 4:

Deepest fear of the Enneagram type 4

The largest Fear of the Enneagram Type 4 is to fail in his search for identity and to remain meaningless to the world.

Core Motivation / Desire of the Enneagram Type 4

People of the Enneagram type 4 want compellingly to find out the meaning of their life and to express their individuality. They want to create beauty and surround themselves with beauty.

Weaknesses of the Enneagram Type 4

Enneagram Type 4 people struggle with the following weaknesses:


People of Enneagram type 4 tend to melancholy. This is especially evident in stressful situations. When Fours feel overwhelmed, they tend to sink into depression and self-pity. Fours often feel misunderstood by other people. It is difficult to offer help to these Enneagram types. Sometimes they give the impression that they don't want to be helped at all.


Many fours feel a strong discrepancy: on the one hand they feel superior to others because of their individuality, on the other hand they envy their fellow men for their seemingly happy and uncomplicated lives. This can be very demoralizing.

The negative psychological effects of unhealthy envy are well documented in research. The following scientific elaboration brings out this fact particularly well:

Martina Schaffer: Envy. Manifestations, causes and consequences of a social emotion

Social withdrawal

Once fours are mentally unbalanced, they consider their hermit existence absolutely justified in order to spare themselves further painful experiences. This can lead to loneliness in the long run.

The importance of social contacts for a healthy psyche has been scientifically proven beyond doubt. The current events surrounding the corona pandemic have confirmed this. underpinned once again.


Another characteristic weakness is fantasising about a "saviour in distress". Instead of looking for solutions to their misery, Fours often persist in the hope that someone will save them. The focus is usually on people of Enneagram type 2. If the hoped-for salvation does not occur, the cycle of depression closes.

Strengths of the Enneagram Type 4

Enneagram Type 4 is characterized by the following strengths:


The Enneagram type 4 is aware of his talents. If he is in a society where his talents are appreciated, he really blossoms. He then reveals his charming and self-confident side. When it comes to presenting their individual talents, Fours don't know any Self-doubt.


Fours are extremely creative and therefore often devote themselves to art. In this way they succeed in giving expression to their complex soul life. They are not amateur artists, but often have an impressive talent.


Hardly any other Enneagram type has a comparable emotional complexity as the type 4. This is expressed not only by his interest in the arts, but also makes itself felt in social behavior. Fours have very sensitive antennae as far as the moods of their environment are concerned. They are attentive listeners and help where they can.


Development Tips for the Enneagram Type 4

Have you already identified yourself as an Enneagram Type 4? Then you should take the following development tips to heart:

1. do not let yourself be guided too much by your feelings

Enneagram Type 4 people tend to be overly guided by their emotions. The biggest mistake is when you start to identify with your negative feelings. Just because you feel useless and inferior doesn't mean it's true! Realize this: What you feel in the present moment does not make up your personality.

In a crisis of the soul, it is naturally difficult to keep an eye for the good. But this is exactly what people of the Enneagram type 4 should try to do.

2. avoid putting things off

Since Fours are often dominated by their own emotions, they tend to procrastinate. The Enneagram type 4 delays the completion of (unpleasant) tasks until he feels mentally ready for it. It is almost self-explanatory that this quickly leads to omissions, which in turn lead to consequences.

Self-discipline is required here! It's best to make a list of priorities and meet deadlines. No matter how you are feeling emotionally at the moment. Experience shows that there is never the right time for unpleasant things to be done. Better get them out of the way right away.

3. stay in touch with the real world

Fours are all too happy to retreat into their fantasy world and lose touch with reality. Even if you think this retreat is just the right thing for you, after a while you'll find yourself Dissatisfaction hire. To develop your artistic talents, you must venture out into the big wide world. Otherwise, where will you get the necessary Inspirations attain?

4. practice self-discipline

Fours can be very moody. When they don't want to do something, they consistently act stubborn. This behavior does not necessarily make life easier. You may ruin many a worthwhile opportunity by your capricious, undisciplined behavior.

The best way to start is to do it on a small scale Assume responsibility. For example, how about volunteering for an issue that is close to your heart? This way you learn that self-discipline and adherence to certain rules are indispensable for making great things happen.

5. avoid intellectual discussions

Do you often find yourself having mental discussions with people you're annoyed with? Then you know how energy draining this habit can be. It is energy that you are missing elsewhere. Even pleasant daydreams keep you from living real life -- if they occur in excess.

Become active in reality instead of mentally arguing with people or indulging in dreams. Speak out what you think instead of making everything up with yourself. Dare to take calculated risks in order to achieve your Life goals to reach.

ennegram type 4

How does the Enneagram Type 4 behave in romantic relationships?

Fours are big dreamers who chase after unfulfilled passions. This is especially true in their relationship life. They are emotionally and romantically inclined. Fours believe in great love and in soul mates. Provided they find a partner who shares this strong desire for closeness, Fours lead a fulfilling relationship life. But with which partners do they fit together?

The Four and the Five

Since Enneagram Type 4 personalities can be very impulsive and passionate, they harmonize best with partners who share these qualities. This includes, for example, the Enneagram Type 5, who is also known as a researcher.

Just like Vieren, Fünfen are passionate about topics that excite them. There is no lack of understanding for artistic ambitions in this constellation. Another thing they have in common is a latent fear of the outside world, but both partners can master this together. The relationship can form the stable basis that both long for.

In addition to the commonalities, however, a functioning relationship also needs exciting contrasts: The Four is the emotional part within the partnership, while the Type 5 focuses more on logic. In this way, these two Enneagram types complement each other perfectly.

The Four and the Nine

Fours and nines long for harmony. Partnerships in which there is a lot of arguing make both of them unhappy. Because of their peace-loving nature, Fours and Nines are a perfect match. The Four brings love and passion into the life of the Nine. The Nine brings support and trust to the Four. The mutual need for stability and security is also fulfilled.

What are the famous Enneagram Type 4s?

The following famous personalities can be clearly assigned to Enneagram type 4:

  • Frédéric Chopin
  • Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Anne Frank
  • Tennessee Williams
  • J.D. Salinger
  • Gustav Mahler
  • Jackie Kennedy Onassis
  • Anne Rice
  • Hank Williams
  • Billie Holiday
  • Keith Jarrett
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Bob Dylan
  • Paul Simon
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Cher
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Annie Lennox
  • Prince
  • Sarah McLachlan
  • Alanis Morrisette
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Judy Garland
  • Maria Callas
  • Miles Davis

What professions fit the Enneagram Type 4?

As you might have guessed, most fours aspire to a career in the arts. Often discovering their creative talents as children, they work single-mindedly towards turning their passions into a career. Their professional motivation is to make the world a little more colorful and beautiful. Personal freedom of development is also important to them.

Enneagram Type 4 people have difficulty conforming to tight schedules. They are artistic free spirits who work at their own pace. They have difficulty dealing with time and performance pressures. While some pressure is an incentive for other people, Fours feel demotivated and overwhelmed. External pressure triggers defiance and resistance in them.

Four feel at home in all artistic professions. They are talented painters, musicians, designers and writers. They are uncomfortable in purely service jobs or dry office work. Fours who can't make a living from their art and therefore have to work a bread-and-butter job often describe it as a cage that stifles their creativity.

Enneagram 4 wings

Enneagram 4 Wings: What do they mean?

The Enneagram has a circular structure. The nine basic types are arranged at constant intervals. This structure is by no means chosen at random, but has a very essential meaning. Hardly any human being can be completely assigned to a single basic type. Almost always character traits of the nearest neighbouring types: In the case of the four, it is the three and the five.

Put simply: The further apart the types are in the circle, the less they have in common. The closer, the more they resemble each other. To which wing fours are attracted, is different for each individual.

What does type 4w3 mean?

People who exhibit a type 4 wing 3 personality usually identify with type 4, but still possess some key characteristics of type 3. Friends describe these personalities as productive, creative, and assertive. Unlike pure Fours, Wing 3 types are much more sociable.

What does type 4w5 mean?

People with a Type 4-Wing 5 constellation not infrequently mistakenly think of themselves as Fives. They are thirsty for knowledge, creative and empathic. They feel the great Need, to understand what is going on around them and what causes it. Unlike pure fours, Wing 5 types hardly care about their public image.

What other personality models are there?

In addition to the Enneagram, there are other helpful concepts for personality analysis. Probably the best known models are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the DISC personality test. The latter is particularly practical in terms of implementation and interpretation. The DISG test is based on the latest scientific findings and is often used, especially in business.

The DISG model deals with interpersonal communication and distinguishes between four different communication types. The fact that you can have an animated conversation with some people right away, while it seems tense with others, is therefore by no means imaginary, but is related to the communication types. By becoming aware of this, you are already an important step further.

Find out which of the communication types you yourself correspond to in order to steer conversations in a profitable way for both parties in the future. This has a beneficial effect in both the professional and private spheres. Are you curious? Then don't wait long and take the completely free and non-binding DISC personality test.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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