Enneagram Fours have the motivational need to express their uniqueness and be authentic. Fours value individualism and as a result, feelings, self-expression and purpose will be important to them. They are quite romantic at heart and appreciate beauty and creating meaning for themselves and for others. At their best, Fours are experienced as sensitive yet content. They offer the gift of equanimity and authenticity to themselves and the world. A less healthy Four may feel misunderstood, while others experience them as melancholic and temperamental. This pattern stems from the Four's acute awareness of their own wounds and flaws.
Self-Talk“Something is missing - I must find what is missing in my life. I must be true to my purpose and express my authentic self. I must create beauty and meaning for myself and for the world.”
Fours are very connected to feelings, both their own and the emotional undercurrents in their environment. They are generally very aware of other people's feelings, sometimes more so than others are themselves. This type tends to dwell and hold on to their emotions intensely and others may find them moody, deep and intense. Fours believe in exploring the full spectrum of emotions, from joy to deep sadness and they may shift between these emotions as their world and experiences change. They resonate powerfully with emotions like loss, sadness and longing, which may lead to cycles of melancholy. Fours tend to take life very seriously and can benefit from accessing the light-heartedness of their development line to Seven.
Fours enjoy delving deeply into their life and love sharing profound experiences with others. Many actively invite ritual as a way of creating meaning in their lives. Their search for inspiration, symbolism and meaning may create a strong relationship with artistic expression or appreciation of the arts. When Fours are engaged with mundane or uninspiring tasks, they are likely to feel disenchanted and frustrated. Fours go to great lengths to talk about their feelings and experiences in an authentic way and most enjoy telling personal stories. This may only be with a select few, but could also be with a broader audience. Their conversations also contain a significant amount of personal "I, me, my, mine, myself" language and are aimed at establishing connections with others.
The Four type is characterised by a sense of lack and envy, focused on and longing for what is missing either within themselves or in their lives. Fours are very adept at internalising and believing negative information about themselves. They are very likely to discard positive data. This internalisation of critical information can make Fours highly reactive to anything that seems to imply something negative about them. Fours' personal experiences and feelings may bias their view of the facts, leading to subjective rather than objective decision-making. They tend to trust their own feelings and experiences more than anything else. Fours are very introspective and tend to be dissatisfied with the ordinary, everyday reality. They may become broody in the thinking process and get lost in negative thought-patterns that erode their self-esteem, making them long to be understood.