Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist

The Enneagram type 4 personality (also referred to as “The Individualist”), tends to have a deep feeling that he or she is somehow unique and different from others.

This, therefore, is a driving force for this type when it comes to developing a sense of self. Highly individualistic, the type 4 person is often unsurprisingly referred to as the “Individualist,” making it his or her life’s work to portray that inner feeling of being special.

However, these feelings of being different can work for both the bad and good for the type 4 personality. Often feeling alone due to his or her uniqueness, this individual frequently feels that no one will ever be able to fully understand him or her.

Prone to strong feelings, both positive and negative, the Enneagram type 4 personality spends a lot of time ruminating over negative emotions, becoming melancholic for long periods. This person often feels envious of those around him or her, wishing he or she could enjoy the same benefits of others to compensate for what this individual feels is missing in his or her own life.

Type 4s and Others

It can be tricky to get to know these people because they tend to sway back and forth between being fully open with expressing their thoughts and feelings to needing time alone in which to dwell on becoming the person they’re meant to be.

When it comes to building relationships, Individualists focus on what makes them special. They regularly feel that they are unworthy of being loved and cared for by others unless they have something that sets them apart.

Often self-absorbed, these types may spend hours living in an inner fantasy world where they can live authentic lives without succumbing to the shame they often internalize when they can’t fulfill the expectations they have of themselves in the outside world.

When in a good space emotionally, Enneagram type 4s are highly creative and motivated, encouraging others to be their best selves as well. Alternatively, these types can be extremely sensitive to criticism, and rejection can send them into an emotional downward spiral.

Common Traits Shared by Enneagram Type 4s

Because Individualists have a deep need to be accepted by others, they may resort to attention-seeking behaviors to gain positive reinforcement. This isn’t always easy for those around them, because type 4s are often pessimistic and can become overly needy.

However, Enneagram type 4 personalities are extremely empathetic, and they care deeply about others’ feelings and thoughts. Highly perceptive, those of this type can sense when something is wrong, and they are more than willing to lend an ear or a helping hand.

Basic Desire

Above all else, the Individualist is on a life-long quest to discover his or her identity. This person may try out different personality traits to see what fits best for acceptance and validation while still allowing for his or her uniqueness to shine through.

Basic Fear

Having no personal significance in the world is perhaps the greatest fear of anyone who has the Enneagram type 8 personality. This could be why the search for identity is so important for someone of this type.

Various Levels of Health and Enneagram Type 4 Personality Traits

All people may find that they portray different personality traits based on levels of health. These levels, healthy, average, and unhealthy, bring out various aspects of their personalities as health moves from healthy to unhealthy levels and back again.

Enneagram Type 4 at Healthy Levels

When experiencing optimal levels of a healthy personality, those with this type are responsible for their feelings and actions. They’re better able to accept and integrate both positive and negative feelings without dwelling on the past, which has often brought negative emotions to the forefront.

Artistic pursuits or support of a cause allow Enneagram type 9 individuals to integrate into society while working for the greater good. Those of this type will no longer focus solely on being different or the need to be special because they accept they have their places to fill and that they are just as important as anyone else.

Individualists at Average Levels of Health

It is at this stage that Enneagram type 4 personalities spend a great deal of time trying to prove how special or different they are from others. They’ll do whatever it takes to achieve this end. Seeking praise becomes a high priority for those of this type whether it be in their creative displays or for the simple fact of being their individualistic selves.

Because they value meaning, type 4s wish to engage in long and deep conversations about life, the universe, and the human condition.

Type 4s at Unhealthy Levels

Frequently becoming moody and withdrawn, these individuals will often experience shame even when there is no known reason. They’ll internalize blame for problems that they have no control over, giving them even more reason to feel insecure and unworthy.

They may seem to disappear for a while to rediscover who they are. By delving into music, substance use, or self-indulgent behaviors, type 4s perpetuate their instability and rejection of self, becoming even more firmly implanted in their fantasies.

Enneagram Type 4 Careers and Hobbies

Because Individualists are so creative, it’s not surprising to find them in fields that involve nature or the arts. A great work environment allows these people to portray their true selves while also building relationships with those who they work with.

  • Actor/actress
  • Artist
  • Writer
  • Stylist
  • Designer
  • Counselor
  • Activist

Hobbies that allow Individualists to spend time alone in nature are popular. Additionally, photography, journaling, reading, and anything that involves animals are great ways for these types to feel fulfilled.

Enneagram Type 4 Celebrities

Edgar Allen Poe, Cher, Prince, Amy Winehouse, Angelina Jolie, Rumi, Johnny Depp, Kurt Cobain, Prince Charles, and Jim Morrison may all be classified as Individualists.

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