Type Four: The Individualist
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type:
Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
(The Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders)
Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance
Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)
Enneagram Four with a Three-Wing: “The Aristocrat”
Enneagram Four with a Five-Wing: “The Bohemian”
Healthy: Self-aware, introspective, on the “search for self,” aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate. / Highly personal, individualistic, “true to self.” Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong.
At Their Best: Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.
Average: Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination. / To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to “get out of themselves.” Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings. / Gradually think that they are different from others, and feel that they are exempt from living as everyone else does. They become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence, and to becoming increasingly impractical, unproductive, effete, and precious.
Unhealthy: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function. / Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them. / Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely.
Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer”.
Examples: Ingmar Bergman, Alan Watts, Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morrisette, Paul Simon, Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, Joseph Fiennes, Martha Graham, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Johnny Depp, Anne Rice, Rudolph Nureyev, J.D. Salinger, Anaîs Nin, Marcel Proust, Maria Callas, Tennessee Williams, Edgar Allan Poe, Annie Lennox, Prince, Michael Jackson, Virginia Woolf, Judy Garland, “Blanche DuBois” (Streetcar Named Desire).