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An Elaborate Description of Enneagram 4 – The Individualist

An Elaborate Description of Enneagram 4 – The Individualist

Updated on Jun 20, 2022 | Published on Nov 23, 2021

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

Enneagram 4 | Personality Type 4 - The Individualist

Key Takeaways


  • Enneagram 4s are self-absorbed, thoughtful, and creative. They are always in search of a true identity that matches their internal state of being.
  • They are self-conscious, moody, and suffer from low self-esteem.
  • Most Enneagram 4s are loaded with fear and insecurity. They fear losing their social image.
  • Their core strengths lie in being original, authentic, and unique.
  • Fours hate being judged negatively.

Do you always think that there is something missing in your life and you just need to find out what it is? Are you an idealist who wishes to live in a perfect world?

Do you crave authenticity and genuineness? Are you aware of the emotional undercurrents of yourself and others? 

If yes, then probably you could be an enneagram 4.

Being driven by a sense of purpose and authenticity, fours are attuned to having a meaningful life.

They keep themselves busy by exploring the unknown because they feel that there are some missing blocks in their matrix of life that they need to find out so as to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Fours are creative and artistic. They are emotionally expressive, self-absorbed, and moody. Nicknamed as individualists and romantics, fours stand out in the crowd for their unconventional style and artistic maneuvers.

Sometimes, they are offbeat and quirky as well. Being a feeling-based personality type, fours allow their emotions to run the show. 

They always long for an ideal and perfect world that is in tune with their inner self, something that feels complete and fulfilling deep within.

In this article, we will explore their personality dynamics in detail to know them better.

Read on…… 

Enneagram 4 Personality Infographics

Enneagram 4 - Definition, Signs & Famous Persons with Enneagram 4
Enneagram 4 – Definition, Signs & Famous Persons with Enneagram 4
Enneagram 4 - Strengths, Weakness & Hobbies
Enneagram 4 – Strengths, Weaknesses & Hobbies

Enneagram 4 – meaning and personality description

SUMMARY
Enneagram 4s are aesthetic and creative. They prefer to live a meaningful and purposeful life. These individuals are introspective, self-absorbed, and sensitive. Fours have mixed feelings of envy, bitterness, and regrets working together, enough to make them search for their true identity in this world.

People with an enneagram type 4 personality type are creative and talented. Their sense of aesthetics is strong enough to seek an ideal world free from imperfections and flaws.

They believe that there are missing parts in their life and thus they need to search out their true identity. Being an introspective type, fours are thoughtful and insightful. 

Sometimes, they may appear vulnerable, insecure, and moody; when they try to fill up the gaps in their life that appear flawed and imperfect.

They are self-conscious and withhold social connections because they are always insecure and question their identity. This makes them fearful and vulnerable from within. 

Their self-image seems to break down because of a basic fear of losing personal significance and identity. Sometimes, fours may feel that they will not be loved and cared for by others if they’re flawed, deficient, or imperfect in some way.

Fours are passionate, emotionally intense, and long for something good and great that can make them feel secure.

Enneagram 4s are self-aware. They know their personal differences, flaws, and blind spots quite well. There is a deep longing to maintain or build an identity that is unique, creative, and special. 

People with an enneagram type 4 personality are confused about what exactly is missing in their life. Is it money, social status, recognition, true love, peace, happiness, power, self-confidence, or emotional stability?

Fours are attuned to their own and others’ feelings. They are sensitive, compassionate, and prefer to build deeper emotional ties in their personal lives.

Most fours suffer from low self-esteem as they feel that they are deficient in some way and lack a clear identity that defines ‘who they are?’

Enneagram 4 – The Individualist
Enneagram 4 – The Individualist

What can you expect if you are an enneagram type 4

If you are an enneagram 4, you must be like this –

Being an enneagram 4, you feel different and possess a distinct nature that makes you unique and special in front of others. You’re multi-talented, creative, innovative, and at the same time highly self-conscious and individualistic.

From the innermost corner of your heart, you may feel inadequate and deficient. There is a constant feeling that there are gaps in your ‘persona’ that you need to fill with something good and beautiful.

There is something missing in you, but you do not know exactly what it is. Right? This search for a perfect self-identity is continuous and you are never happy and satisfied from within.

The yearning to be ideal and build up a perfect world may seem to be an endless dream. 

From time to time, this dual play of ‘longing’ and ‘envy’ of what you want but do not have can make you very insecure and threatened from inside.

You may lose your self-confidence and fighting spirit as well. Being a feeling-based personality type, you’re also sensitive, empathetic, and remain acutely aware of the feelings of yourself and others.

An internal conflict surrounds you when you really wish to connect with others but cannot do so because you feel you’re unusual. Others may not understand you clearly and accept you as you are.

You’re original and your creations manifest beauty and elegance, often untouched by commonality. 

Being a four also means, you have a touch of sadness and melancholy in you. Since you prefer perfection, you’re never satisfied with what you have. 

A deep longing fills your heart with more expectations that tell you that ‘you’re not enough. 

Your positive values are overlooked and underestimated by you and that makes you self-destructive and skeptical about your ‘true self.

As you fall in the ‘heart-based triad of the Enneagram model, you will always be dominated by negative emotions. 

You will always have a feeling that you are less loved and can never attain the position that you have ideally carved for yourself.

Enneagram 4 personality traits (Adjectives that describes you)

The personality traits that describe an enneagram 4 are as follows:

  • Idealistic
  • Deep feelings
  • Sensitive
  • Empathetic
  • Caring
  • Intense
  • Authentic to self
  • Creative and super talented
  • Moody
  • Suffers from low self-esteem
  • Self-conscious
  •  Always unsatisfied with whatever they have
  • Insecure
  • Fearful
  • Withdrawn and inhibited, in times of adversities

Enneagram 4 – thinking pattern

Enneagram type 4s remain focused on missing or lacking parts in their life. There is a feeling of insufficiency or inadequacy in them. 

They always crave for something that they do not have and ignore those that are there in the front.

Thus, they suffer from poor self-esteem and are never satisfied with their life in general. People with an enneagram 4 personality are adept towards negative thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. 

The feeling of imperfection makes them feel inferior to others.

They desire to become like others and it makes them envious over time. Fours are reactive and tend to respond negatively to critical information directed towards them. 

Sometimes they may internalize negativity deeply and it makes them utterly dissatisfied. They tend to discard all positive things about themselves and just worry about things that are not there.

Since they overthink and brood only over the negative things in life, they always remain occupied in pessimism and see only the worst-case scenarios.


Enneagram 4 –Feeling pattern

Fours remain connected with the feelings of themselves and others. This type holds on to the feelings so intensely that they appear moody, unpredictable, and fickle.

People with enneagram 4s are intense and can explore happiness and gloom in a wide spectrum of situations. They may toggle between positive and negative feelings depending upon the life situation they are in.

Since they take life too seriously, they may tend to suffer from intense grief and melancholy if situations go wrong and they find that they will not be able to make it right.

Their preoccupation with negative thoughts makes them see the darker shades of life only. 

Even if there are positive aspects related to a particular situation, they may not see clearly because their perceptions are clouded with deep-seated worries and negativity.


Enneagram 4– Action pattern

Enneagram 4 prefers to delve deeper into varied experiences in life. Since they think and ponder over many issues in life, they are usually open-minded and creative.

They act thoughtfully and are typically inclined towards the creation and manifestation of something good and beautiful. 

They are into work of art themselves and appreciate the creativity of others as well.

If you ask an enneagram 4 to focus on routine, mundane, and uninspiring tasks, they may become restless and cannot operate at optimal levels. 

This happens because they feel stuck in tasks that do not allow creativity and expressiveness.

Enneagram 4s share their personal life stories with others with the hope to get connected with a larger audience who may understand their sense of creation and innovation in a better way. However, they are not good at handling criticisms.

If others criticize them, then they may fall back into a dark hole of inadequacy and imperfection. They may feel flawed and can never rise against adversities again.


10 signs of being an Enneagram 4

An enneagram type 4 personality feels that they are different from others. They feel inadequate and desire to have something that is not there in their lives. 

A duality of longing and envy work simultaneously in their life. 

These people hate to believe that they’re ordinary and never prefer to settle for anything less than excellence. 

Deep within, they may feel superior and unique and suffer from a sense of self-identity that is not common. 

Fours are emotionally complex, moody, and tend to think negatively about themselves always. In search of an ideal self-identity, they wish to develop deeper human connections. 

They also want to be understood, loved, and appreciated for who they are.

Most often, fours live in a fantasy world away from reality. Since they get fixed on what is not there, they never enjoy the tiny moments of life. 

They suffer from sadness, despair, and frustration.

Their search for an ideal circumstance and an ideal self-identity that can make them satisfied and fulfilled is a never-ending journey.

1. You feel different from others

Being an enneagram four, you may always feel different and disconnected from others.

This feeling comes from innate insecurity and inadequacy as if you do not fit in this world at all. You are unique and special in some odd ways.

Even when you were young, you felt that you’re aloof and distant from all others in your group. You tried hard to develop a stable and secure self-identity but somehow couldn’t make it.

2. You’re Introspective

Being a self-aware person, you will always try to analyze yourself deeply. You are thoughtful and your feelings are in sync with your thoughts. As such, you have clarity of all your actions as well.

Enneagram 4s are aware of their instincts and remain sensitive towards themselves and others.

Your search for an ideal ‘self-identity makes you go deeper into your ‘inner self. Sometimes your focus on yourself is just too much.

3. Individualists are moody and fickle-minded

Being an Enneagram type 4, you are moody and lack consistency in your feelings and actions.

You’ll always remain under the grip of negativity and despair, even if things are moving smoothly in your life. A sense of dissatisfaction pervades your overall psychological makeup.

When you are feeling moody, you may show signs of anxiety and irritability. There can be a disturbance in concentration and focus also. 

Sometimes, feelings of confusion, boredom, forgetfulness, and agitation may occur to rob your inner tranquility.

4. You crave deep social connections

Being an enneagram 4, you had always craved for deeper social connections but you felt that nobody understands you fully. Maybe you’re your best friend.

5. Your inner world is weird and different

Being a type 4 was always a struggle for you because it made you thrive in your lonely world of weird imaginations and fantasies. 

Sometimes, your thoughts and negative emotions are so loud that you tend to lose focus and stability.

Your thoughts dominated your life’s perspectives and you could barely focus on the opinions and viewpoints of the outside world.

6. You are a perfectionist

Enneagram type 4s are perfectionists and you are not an exception to this. You have set very high standards for yourself and you are never satisfied with your achievements and accomplishments.

There is a feeling of inadequacy and insufficiency that tells you to do more, to create a more impressive and growth-oriented version of yourself. 

You need to be perfect and refine your daily skills in such a way that will be liked by others as well.

7. You are a creative soul

You are talented and artistically inclined. Creativity and innovation are the essences of your daily life. You are the one who can find beauty in ordinary things that others may miss out on entirely.

Sometimes you may fear that others may not understand your unique creativity and tend to criticize you for being different. You possess a refined taste for arts and aesthetics.

This negative perspective puts you in a state of an emotional roller coaster and deep confusion, hard to be sorted out easily.

8. There is a void in you

Being a type 4, you must have felt lonely deep within. You had craved and longed to meet someone in your life who would understand you dearly. It’s a secret wish that you harbor. 

You wish to have an intimate bonding with someone who can fill up the emptiness and void that surrounds your inner world. This feeling will remain unless you meet that special someone in your life.

9. You have an inferior sense of ‘self’

Your self-image is negative and you believe that everything outside of you is good and impressive. You may feel inadequate, insufficient, imperfect, and even flawed in some way.

This feeling of inadequacy always makes you look down always. You view yourself without positive qualities and traits.

This furthers your emotional suffering and puts you in a dark hole of unhappiness and pessimism.

10. Enneagram fours tend to feel misunderstood always

Your quest to feel understood, loved, cared for by others is a longing that you will always possess. Sometimes you may feel that you do not have a fair idea of ‘who you are?

You are on a journey of self-exploration and discovery. Neither you nor others know you well.

The search process to develop a strong self-identity will go on until you meet people who will show their compassion towards you and connect with you deeply.

You may want to feel safe in your relationships and win the trust of others so that they can understand you well.


Enneagram type 4 motivations

Enneagram 4s are motivated by their intrinsic desire to express themselves the way they are. They also wish to build up a self-identity that is unique and impressive.

They desire to protect their social image, just to feel in control of their surroundings. Most often, fours have fear of social rejection and isolation. They may feel lacking in some way or the other.

They also crave to fill up the missing parts of their life, just to feel complete and satisfied from within. These individuals desire authentic relationships, uniqueness, and a stable self-identity that can withstand the test of time.

The core motivations of enneagram 4 are categorized into:

  • Core desires
  • Core fears or basic fears

Technically speaking, the core desires and core fears of an enneagram type are interrelated. It means you are doing something just positive because you fear something else and want to avoid it at all costs. 

The core desires of enneagram 4s are:

  • Desires to express their creative endeavors.
  • They prefer beauty and search for a meaningful life.
  • Fours are motivated by a need to express their individuality. They want to remain exclusive and will never share their personal strengths with others.
  • Enneagram fours love to display certain moods and feelings only, mostly the negative ones, just to seek attention from outsiders.
  • They often withdraw in a private space of deep thoughts in the face of stress.
  • Fours are also motivated to safeguard their emotions, even the negative ones alike grief, sadness, anger, and resentments.
  • People with an enneagram type four personality desires to find meaning in life, to find their special place in this chaotic world with diverse views and opinions.

The core or basic fears of enneagram 4s are:

  • Having no value or personal significance
  • Feeling inadequate and others not giving them their due recognition.
  • If they do not have a stable self-identity.
  • Being flawed or insufficient in some way.
  • They fear being a commoner.
  • These people fear being alone in the crowd with all their guards down.
  • Fears having a meaningless and purposeless life.
  • If creativity and innovation misses out from their life, they may become an ordinary person. 

Core values of enneagram 4

The moral values that guide enneagram type 4s thoughts, feelings, and actions are authenticity, beauty, creativity, genuineness, truth, and self-expression.

These values of type 4 indicate the moral codes of conduct that guide their life’s path towards successful and ethical living.

  • Enneagram 4s are original and authentic thinkers.
  • Creativity drives their life’s vision.
  • Fours want others to understand, accept, and appreciate their unique identity.
  • People with enneagram type four appreciated their uniqueness and wanted to be who they are.
  • They never succumb to the trends taking rounds in society because they never wish to become an ordinary person.
  • Beauty and aesthetics are a state of being for these creative souls
  • They are self-expressive.
  • Fours are honest and dedicated.
  • They are brutally truthful and trustworthy for those who accept their unique identity.
  • They are clear-headed, organized, and individualistic. 
  • Deeply emotional, sensitive, and empathetic.

Healthy and unhealthy behavior patterns of enneagram 4

According to the enneagram model of personality typing, each of the nine personalities manifests distinct qualities of health when they move in the direction of integration. 

This means that they tend to portray behavioral traits that are in sync with their primary enneagram type.

However, under stressful circumstances, the core type displays the behavior of some other type. It starts to disintegrate and displays unhealthy patterns of behavior that symbolize some other type of functioning.

Thus, under the process of integration, fours are mentally strong and resilient. They may become more objective like the perfectionists, Enneagram 1.

While disintegrating, these types may suddenly become clingy, needy, and start to behave like people pleasers. The stress arrow may show signs of an enneagram 2.

Now we will discuss the characteristics of healthy, average, and unhealthy fours in detail.

Healthy enneagram 4s

Under a healthy perspective, enneagram fours relate to the world with creativity and innovation. They can makeshift their perspectives towards an overall growth process.

The healthy fours have learned to let go of negative thoughts, faulty beliefs about themselves. They no longer feel inadequate and insufficient. Rather they will show signs of resilience and mental strength. 

Healthy enneagram type 4s are quiet, impressive, thoughtful, imaginative, and creative. They live in their minds nurturing new ideas but also remain open to the opinions and views of others.

These individuals no longer try to put the missing parts of themselves in place because they are self-confident and feel worthy of being exclusive and unique.

Healthy fours bring passion and compassion into any relationship. They can connect with others at a deeper emotional level but stay away from being emotionally overwhelmed by the negative upsurge of others.

Signs of healthy enneagram 4s

A healthy four behaves like this when they are moving towards personal growth.

  • Creative and profoundly expressive
  • Self-aware and confident
  • Appreciates oneself for being different
  • Healthy fours never feel flawed or imperfect.
  • Gentle and compassionate
  • Introspective and thoughtful about the inner workings of themselves as well as others.
  • Fours are progressive and move towards a path of personal growth.
  • They’re original and intuitive thinkers.
  • Emotionally honest and true to themselves

Unhealthy enneagram 4s

The unhealthy enneagram four is depressed, mentally restless, and shows pessimism and negativity. The unhealthy four feel that they are imperfect and flawed in this perfect and beautiful world.

They may feel cut-off and non-existent from the outside world. Sometimes they may get engrossed in a negative spiral of thoughts and feelings that makes them blame themselves, to a point of self-pity.

The unhealthy four are resentful and envious. They suffer from an inferiority complex that is self-defeating and hopeless.

Signs of unhealthy enneagram 4s

The unhealthy four may look like this:

  • Anger and resentments directed towards self.
  • Feelings of shame and guilt is seen
  • Insecure and anxious 
  • Lack of vision in life
  • Feeling self-defeated as no one understands them authentically.
  • The unhealthy four are hopeless and suffer from frequent emotional breakdown.
  • These fours are tormented, turbulent, and envious.
  • They brood and overthink situations too badly.
  • Their search for an authentic self-identity goes on and on.

Average enneagram 4

The average four tries to operate at an optimal level by letting out their emotional grievances in creative ways. 

These fours may connect with like-minded individuals to know how they are doing things in their life, to gather insight into healthier ways of living.

The average four is artistic and expressive. They are self-absorbed and moody. At an average level, fours may become hyper-sensitive to the criticisms and evaluations of others. But they try hard to keep their self-image intact.

Signs of average enneagram 4s

The average four is:

  • Moody, passionate, and artistic.
  • They are creative souls who strive to become more perfect in their art.
  • These fours are introverts and self-absorbed.
  • Internalizes feelings and suffers from doubt and insecurity.
  • The average four is shy, self-conscious, and withdrawn.
  • They show signs of melancholy and stay withdrawn because they do not want to harm their self-image.
  • Average fours live in a fantasy world away from reality.
  • They may take a lot of time to sort out their real feelings. Sometimes appear confused and disdainful.

Enneagram type four wings

The Wings of enneagram 4 are the two personality types that are placed adjacently on either side of your primary Enneagram type. 

It is said that the behavior that you display is primarily determined by the core enneagram type.

However, the two wings on adjacent sides add flavor to the main type either by complementing, adding certain qualities, or contradicting the signs of the main type. 

Sometimes, you may oscillate or move to and fro between the wings and the main type depending upon the prevailing life situation you are in. 

Thus, the wings can be considered as the second side of your primary Enneagram type.

Enneagram 4 wing 5 characteristics

People with enneagram 4w5 mostly identify with type 4 but share certain characteristics like enneagram 5 as well. 

This type is reserved, quiet, and thoughtful than the other four. Since they are introspective, they wish to understand the world around them deeply.

These fours are withdrawn and isolated during trying times. They are self-aware and deeply focused on their inner world. They may take up careers a writer, designer, painter, etc.

  • 4w5 fears being an ordinary person. 
  • They seek social recognition.
  • Desires a stable self-identity.
  • Often retreats into their inner world and tries to analyze their true self.
  • Reserved and isolated from others.
  • They are creative and intellectual
  • 4w5s are concerned about having no value or personal significance.
  • Less focused on real-life issues. They tend to fantasize a lot.
  • Self-absorbing tendencies are highly seen.
  • They struggle to follow rules

Enneagram 4 wing 3 characteristics

People with enneagram 4w3 identify with type four but share certain traits with enneagram 3. These individuals are creative and productive in their behavior and actions.

They are energetic and go-getter types as far as their goal accomplishment is concerned. These types are more social and want to have an impressive effect on the social space they belong to.

Enneagram 4w3s are insecure and fear having no value of their own. They desire to possess a unique identity that can earn them social respect.

  • 4w3s are energetic and driven by their values.
  • They are creative 
  • Seeks personal significance and always wants to feel an important person always.
  • They want to impact others with their impressive persona.
  • Socially affable and emotionally sensitive towards the needs of others.
  • 4w3s are self-absorbed and image conscious.
  • They are authentic and genuine, and show brutal honesty in their dealings with others.
  • Emotionally reactive
  • Self-doubt is apparent
  • Insecure and vulnerable
  • Seeks others’ approval 

Enneagram type 4 subtypes

The Enneagram system of personality typology describes three subtypes for all nine types. The subtypes refer to your main Enneagram type and the instincts.

Instincts are the innate primal forces that make you think, feel, and act in certain ways.

These are body-based unconscious forces that are always present in the system but come on the surface in times of changing life circumstances.

The three instinctual subtypes of enneagram 4s are:

  • Self-preservation (SP) – tenacity
  • Social (SO) –shame
  • Sexual or one-to-one (SX) – competition

Let us discuss these subtypes in detail-

Self-preservation (SP)

The self-preserved four are tenacious and can live in painful experiences. They can internalize their feelings deeply and suffer from inadequacy and insecurity. 

They are usually considered mentally tough. Being a less complaining type, these fours never share their problems with others. 

Moreover, this subtype of enneagram 4 is empathetic and sensitive. They support others emotionally, when in need.

Social (SO)

Unlike the self-preserved four, this subtype of enneagram 4s is deeply connected to their pain and suffering. They are emotionally expressive and share their pain with others in order to gain sympathy from them.

This subtype of enneagram 4s possesses a desire to be understood for who they are. They want social recognition for being unique and different from others.

Sometimes, this subtype is complaining in nature. They blame themselves for not being good enough. However, they are also envious and show their concern of being inferior and deficient in some way. 

This subtype feels inadequate and is never happy with their life in general. A sad, gloomy mood and pessimism pervades their psychological makeup in discrete ways.

Sexual or one-to-one type (SX)

This subtype of enneagram 4 is emotionally intense and prefers to verbalize their deepest feelings, agonies, and sufferings with others. 

They are often judged as shameless and show signs of competition.

They prefer to be appreciated by others for their unique talents and creative endeavors. These fours try to escape suffering and pain by doing the best they can.

In times of sadness and agony, they express their emotions openly without shame and inhibition. 

Feelings of anger and resentments, coupled with regrets and frustration are mostly seen amongst this subtype.


Enneagram type 4 relationships

In relationships, enneagram 4s are deep and passionate. Being introspective type, they believe in creativity and novelty in building trustworthy bonding with their family and friends. 

They prefer to connect well with people who are expressive and keep their lines of communication open. Fours do not like wishy-washy people who are half true and half false types. 

They like honest interpersonal relationships that are honest and faithful.

Let’s see how type 4s perform their role of a spouse, friends, and parents.

As spouse / partner

Enneagram type 4s are nicknamed romantics. Thus, they are passionate lovers full of affection and adoration. They can develop deeper emotional connections with their partners.

A person with an enneagram 4 personality type prefers open communication and interaction with their partner.

Even in times of conflict, they try to get into the underlying details of the issue and never try to resolve it on the surface.

Sometimes, type fours may suffer from poor self-esteem and show their envious side to their partners. They may feel jealous if their partner is better than them in some way or the other.

But if the partner is considerate, loving, and understanding, the differences may be sorted out easily.

Most fours prefer non-interfering partners and spouses who will give them enough personal space to thrive in peace. Enneagram 4s do not like daily squabbling and emotional discomfort. 

They prefer peace of mind and ‘me time’ to withdraw and unwind mentally.

Fours may be found on and off in a relationship. You may find them extremely energetic and agile at one moment and totally withdrawn and reserved at some other time.

These people are intuitive, deep thinkers. Thus they prefer meaningful conversations with their partners. Fours never engage in small talks, chit-chats, etc. 

Rather they would prefer to discuss long-term life goals, financial planning, investment portfolio, etc. with their spouse.

Sometimes fours are badly skeptical about their relationship. In times of emotional insecurity, type fours can test their partner’s worth and faithfulness. 

This can cause strained relationships if miscommunication happens and things are not sorted out patiently.

Enneagram 4s prefer to be reassured that their partner loves them dearly and unconditionally.

As friends

People with enneagram type 4s are caring and loving friends. They are the ones who love to spend quality time with friends, with deep conversations, the latest news, and interesting stuff lined up on the table.

Enneagram fours are not into gossip and small talks. They avoid people who try to waste their valuable time by nagging discussions and shallow talks. 

They crave shared activities full of imagination and creativity. Type 4s are loyal and faithful friends. In times of adversity, they may move out of their space and be with their friends thick and thin.

These people are emotionally insecure and always feel misunderstood. Thus, they prefer to have friends who can understand and accept them as they are. 

They long deeper connections and feel safe when they have humble and kind shoulders to lean on. 

Fours are deeply into friendships particularly with those who can give them emotional safety, while they’re expressing their negative feelings.

Moreover, enneagram 4 is not drawn towards people who are too pushy, interfering, clingy, and overbearing. They may shy away without a second thought.

As parents

As parents, enneagram 4s love to share their know-how, skills, and whatever they are good at with their loved ones. 

They are loving and patient parents who can give enough opportunity to their children to express themselves freely.

These parents are the real caregivers. They support their children in their learning process and help them to appreciate art and aesthetics. 

Children reared by type four parents are insightful and creative. They manifest diverse qualities just like their parents. They are taught to be more expressive and thoughtful.

Type 4 parents are firm yet loving. They teach morality to their children by giving practical examples. 

Pointless discipline is not followed in the household, yet children know what is expected from them.

Enneagram 4s nurture kids who are good at art, sports, painting, craft, playing instruments, dancing, singing, etc. A lot of creativity and self-expression is encouraged at home.


Enneagram 4 compatibility with other types

The term relationship compatibility refers to the degree of attachment and comfort that partners enjoy being together in the relationship. 

This means that they are more likely to match their preferences, appreciate the differences, and know the art of fulfilled living.

When both partners understand each other deeply and accept their individual differences without criticisms and nasty remarks, you can say that they are compatible and loving partners.

If you are an enneagram 4, you must be eager to know how compatible you are with the other nine enneagram types. Let’s check out in the table mentioned below –

Enneagram typesWhen paired with Enneagram four


Enneagram 1
When enneagram 1 meets an enneagram 4, it can be a stylish and appealing relationship. Both the romantics and the perfectionists are creative and super talented. They bring novelty into the relationship. Both these types can take pains to understand life in detail.

It’s a committed and passionate relationship. Ones and fours share a sense of aesthetics, both are autonomous and know how to give space in the relationship. The couple exhibits a deeper emotional connection and respects each other’s privacy and space.

Enneagram 2 
Type twos and fours can bring passion and devotion into the relationship. They share life goals and have many collective dreams to fulfill together. Both these partners believe in long-term committed bonding, they harbor deep passion and understanding for each other.

In times of fights and disagreements, both type 4 and type 2 may try to dominate each other’s space and exert authority. In such a situation, it is important to handle things coolly as much as possible. Maturity and clear-cut communication can help overcome the minute relationship problems that they may face.
Enneagram 3When type 3 and type 4 try to connect with each other, the relationship can be inspiring and mesmerizing. Both the romantics and the achiever are bold and passionate. They can give time and attention to each other deeply.

Both these types are witty, charming, fun-loving, and charming. Type 3 can help type four to come out of their heads and appreciate the beauty of life. On the other hand, enneagram 4s can help type 3s to slow down and take things easy in life.

Enneagram 4
When two fours connect with each other in an intimate relationship, it will be a compatible one. Both the partners may experience an out-of-the-world and intoxicating bonding in the initial days of the relationship. 

However, since their inner world is the same and they fear losing personal significance, they may try to dominate each other’s personal space under heightened emotional states.
Enneagram 5When enneagram 5s relate with type 4s, it is a romantic relationship.  Both partners share introverted qualities and can give each other enough ‘me time’ as and when needed. Type fours and type fives are reserved and thoughtful.

The pairing can be beautiful because both these types are understanding, even-tempered, and give preference to personal growth while staying together in the relationship.

Enneagram 6
When an enneagram 6 meets type 4s, they bring emotional security, love, and understanding into the relationship. Both partners exhibit loyalty and faithful bonding.

From time to time, both partners explore their relationship in detail to understand the loopholes, if any. If they find something unturned, they try their best to remove the differences through mutual dialogue and love-making. 

Enneagram 7
The bonding between enneagram 7 and enneagram 4 is a good one because both partners prefer to give each other personal space and also share many sweet memories together. They live life with compassion and mutual belongingness. Both are idealists, so they can plan for a bright future as well.

The couple’s relationship may move through momentary rough phases when fours withdraw in a cocoon and sevens exhibit anger and frustrations externally. Otherwise, this bonding is a magical one.

Enneagram 8
When enneagram fours and enneagram 8s bond with each other, they try fiercely to safeguard their life’s values. Both these types are assertive as far as their ideals are concerned.

They will fight badly if they feel threatened with a loss of values and ideals. Fours and eights should learn to manage their emotions well if they wish to connect fairly well with each other.
Enneagram 9Enneagram 9s and enneagram 4s are compatible partners because the peaceful and poised nine can support fours in times of emotional insecurity. They can help fours to realize their true self.

Contrary to this, Enneagram 4s can help nines to become more intense and expressive as far as their deepest emotions are concerned.

Dating tips for enneagram 4

Enneagram 4s prefer deeper personal relationships. Though they appear different from others and may not seem to be a perfect fit in this so-called ‘perfect world, they are committed lovers who are authentic and fiercely loyal.

If you are interested in date and connecting with an enneagram 4, you must know that it will not be a cakewalk at all. Fours are complicated people to deal with.

They connect well with people who can understand and love them unconditionally. Most often, they search for an intimate bonding that is safe and secure; where fours can freely express their desires and wishes.

Thus, you need to learn some tricks to relate to them and sync with their myriad mood swings and emotional hues.

  • Be sensitive to their emotional needs and support their creative endeavors.
  • Type 4s are deeply introspective. If you are trying to connect with fours emotionally, you’ll have to acknowledge their intuitive thoughts. 
  • Enneagram type 4s always like to be appreciated. So you have a fair chance of winning their heart, if you praise them for their work and success.
  • Romantics are passionate lovers who are expressive as well. Thus, be the one they prefer. You will have to express your emotions vividly. They do not like anything under the cover.
  • They also like open-minded individuals who will allow them to express their unique ideas openly.
  • The dating style of enneagram 4 will be a bit different. They are not the ones to go for parties and long drives. So you need to accept this fact wholeheartedly.
  • Most fours are lovers of art and music. If you have similar interests, you may relate with them perfectly.
  • Romantics may get offended if someone tries to intrude on their personal space without permission. You should avoid getting too personal with them, especially in the honeymoon phase of the relationship.
  • Never expect an enneagram 4 to get into long term commitments too soon. They are thoughtful people and would take a lot of time to commit anything concrete.
  • These people are loyal, reliable, and brutally honest. So they prefer partners who are virtuous and ethical.
  • Listen to your type 4 partner because they like to be heard and understood in depth. Probably fours look for someone who can lend a patient ear to their worries, joys, and woes.
  • Most fours are spiritual because they are deep thinkers who have a wide variety of interest in metaphysics, astrology, tarot, afterlife etc. Thus, these individuals often look for partners having similar interests and life goals.
  • Type 4s tend to withdraw inside a shell, whenever they face challenges. This is the reason they prefer to have someone special in their life who can support and help them sail through hardships easily.
  • Enneagram type 4s suffers from insecurity and envy. They think they’re exclusive and different from others and as such no one understands them deeply. If you are looking to connect with them, be sure to handle their envy, otherwise the relationship can turn bitter in no time.
  • Sometimes, fours tend to fall in gloom and melancholy. Thus, they need to be reminded that they are so special and elegant. It boosts their personal value and makes them feel happy about themselves.
  • Avoid criticizing your type 4 partner. They are not good at handling such issues and may take things too personally, even to a point of extreme sadness and sorrow.

Enneagram 4 workplace habits

Enneagram type fours work well in environments that foster creativity and critical thinking. They love autonomy and independence.

Being a creative type, they hate doing the routine stuff every day. They like innovation and novelty and can go to great lengths to bring something new to the table.

Enneagram 4 is honest and hardworking as far as delegating their duties is concerned. They will never give a chance to complain and works perfectly as much as they can.

In trying times, they can remain cool-headed and try to do their job at its best. As colleagues, they are compassionate and helpful.

An enneagram 4 is a rare leader. Though they prefer to remain a sole contributor in the workplace, they may take up small leadership roles, if the job demands so. 

Now, let us see how type 4s perform in various roles in the workplace.

As colleagues

Enneagram 4s are caring, helpful, and compassionate colleagues. As they are sensitive and remain aware of the feelings of others, they can notice even the minute mood changes of their co-workers.

They can also understand the mental struggles of others far better than any other enneagram type. Fours are good helping hands for their colleagues in times of adversities.

Fours are not good team players because they are more creative and talented than others. In most situations, they may struggle to fit in the group they belong to. 

These individuals are independent and prefer to work alone and at their own pace. However, if the situation calls for it, fours can even prove their worth working collaboratively with others.

People with an enneagram 4 personality type enjoy developing meaningful and close emotional ties with co-workers.

As subordinates

Enneagram 4s may struggle in the role of a subordinate because they are not good at following orders from others. Since they wish to work independently, they may feel stuck if asked to do things in certain ways only.

They cannot operate under strict rules and regulations. If the manager puts pointless discipline in place, type fours may not perform at healthy levels at all.

Being creative person, they thrive well in free settings where interference from the boss and senior executives are minimal and not so stringent. 

Fours want to be appreciated for their good work because they suffer from poor self-esteem. Sometimes, they may see themselves as an outcast who is different from other teammates.

In such a situation, if they get appreciated for their creative ideas and innovative work from their immediate managers, they may even perform much better than earlier.

People with type 4 personalities want to feel accepted and understood. So, as subordinates, they need a compassionate manager who tries to understand them deeply without judging them critically.

As managers

Enneagram 4s are not able managers because they hate to take up a leadership role. These individuals are free-spirits who want to work alone without giving sermons and suggestions to others, if not asked for.

In the role of a manager, they may struggle to work with others because their people skills are just average and not great. 

However, if they are forcibly put in a manager’s role, fours try to do justice to the assigned role given to them. They bring creativity to group work. 

All the subordinates in the group are given an opportunity to nurture their individual talents. They are heard and new opinions are appreciated in team meetings.

As managers, fours acknowledge and affirm the roles of their junior teammates. This makes them popular and humble managers as well. 


Enneagram 4 career choices

Type four personalities are creative and innovative. For them, a career is not bread and butter rather a life in itself. It means they want to live a meaningful life from their career. 

Most often, enneagram 4s are proficient in jobs that allow novelty and innovation. They feel stuck in a 9 to 5 job schedule and usually avoid them fully.

They look out for something new and impressive that can foster personal growth and can give them a stable self-identity. They prefer to add meaning, beauty, and aesthetics to their daily work. 

These individuals are individualists. It means they prefer autonomy in their work. They prefer to have the last ‘say’ in whatever they may be doing.

They do well in creative careers and in jobs where they can connect with many others and showcase their talents, with the hope of being understood and appreciated.

These individuals may feel drained out if asked to be in a career that restricts their creativity. They will also struggle in jobs where their colleagues are bossy and overly critical.

Enneagram fours need a safe space to show their skills, so they prefer psychologically safe workplaces where their creative thinking ability and emotional expressiveness will be given due recognition.

The best-suited careers for an enneagram 4s are:

  • Artists
  • Painters
  • Photographers
  • Graphic designer
  • Interior designer
  • Journalist
  • Author
  • Philanthropist
  • Content editor
  • Marketing consultant
  • Musician
  • Poets
  • Dance instructor
  • Therapist
  • Hair stylist
  • Social media manager

Core strengths of enneagram 4s

The core strengths refer to those qualities of a person that shows his/her key skills, behavior patterns that helps to sail through life smoothly. 

People with enneagram 4 also have some key proficiencies that can make their life beautiful and worthy. Some of these are discussed below:

1. Authenticity

People with an enneagram type 4 are authentic and original. They love to be different and unique from others. Usually, they take pride in their accomplishments until someone pinpoints their flaws and inadequacies.

2. They’re creative

Fours are creative and artistic. They are the ones who can find beauty in the ordinary. Since they possess a strong inner world with rich and innovative ideas, they can create masterpieces of their own quite easily.

Fours can see things in new ways. Their vivid imaginations help them to idealize in different ways. Out-of-the-box thinking helps them to stand out from the crowd and earns them social respect as well.

3. Honest

Enneagram 4s are brutally honest. They speak the truth and take pride in being different from others.

These individuals speak the truth and are virtuous in their attitude and behavior. They are straightforward, loyal, and faithful and never get into any form of cheating and deceit.

4. Self-aware

People with an enneagram type 4 personality are self-aware. They are very clear about their needs and wants in life. They constantly seek an identity that is in tune with their values and 

They can connect with their own and others’ emotions. Fours can recognize their own thoughts and feelings much better than any other enneagram type.

This self-awareness makes them hunt for an ideal ‘self’ that is unique, perfect, and different from others.

It’s likely that self-awareness can also help them to understand their blind spots easily and overcome them efficiently.


Core pitfalls/blind spots of enneagram 4s

Some of the potential trouble spots or issues that enneagram type 4s may face are:

1. Fours are intensely emotional

These people are intensely emotional. Most of the time, negative emotions rule their hearts. Feelings of inadequacy, sadness, grief, and frustration of not having enough in life is quite often seen in their behavior and actions. 

Enneagram 4s are daydreamers and tend to drift away from reality. Thus, they may also suffer from heightened mood states quite often.

2. They are pessimists

Enneagram 4s prefer to see the darker shades of life. Since they suffer from low self-esteem and always long for something good and great in life, they tend to fall into a dark pit quite often.

Under the influence of stress and negativity, fours may feel pessimistic and lose the good vibes of life.

They may feel that they are unworthy and their life is actually purposeless and meaningless. This makes them sad being.

Moreover, fours may seem to be proud of their sad feelings, as if they want to thrive in gloom and despair. This is a way to draw attention from others. 

When they feel that no one is recognizing their talents, they may feel hopeless and depressed and seek an identity that can make them appear special and important in social circles.

3. Self-pity and self- hatred 

People with type four personalities show a lot of self-pity. They always appear lacking something, as if all the good things are outside of them. 

They are never happy about their skills and talents and want to have something more that can give them social respect and recognition.

This self-pity can sometimes lead to blaming and hating oneself. These individuals crave attention and always feel needy.

Whenever they don’t get what they want, they may fall into self-hating tendencies.

4. Envious

Enneagram 4s always think that others are much better placed in life than them. They envy others because they feel inadequate and insufficient about themselves. 

There is a feeling that other people are enjoying life in various ways that they are not. Fours never accept the good news given by others in a positive way. 

Moreover, they have a tendency to find fault in others. This shows that they are envious and are not happy with the achievements of the people around them. 

Sometimes, you may find them trying to outdo others, not supporting people in trying times.


Stress triggers of Enneagram 4

Stress is obvious in trying times. Under the grip of stress, enneagram 4s may disintegrate and behave like an enneagram 2. 

Thus, they may display behavioral traits that of twos and may not behave in their normal usual ways. They may get mistyped and tend to become a people pleaser. 

Their sense of autonomy may go for a toss because they want to be accepted by others. Moreover, blaming others for their plight may happen as well. 

The sense of self-pity and a feeling of being a victim also gets highlighted under stressful circumstances.

There are certain situations that can make enneagram fours feel the emotional pressure deep within.

Some of the main stress triggers for them are:

  • Casual small talk and meaningless conversations are uninteresting to fours. Thus, this can make them irritable and frustrated in no time.
  • Type fours may feel uncomfortable in large social gatherings. They are not used to people skills because they fear rejections and criticisms. They may feel that people do not understand them the way they are. So they avoid free mingling in most situations.
  • Meeting new people and getting involved in unknown situations can make them question their self-worth. It adds pressure to their shaky self-esteem.
  • Enneagram fours are conflict aversive. They are not the ones to comfortably come out of conflicts. They may feel stuck and overwhelmed.
  • Too much noise can be overwhelming for enneagram fours. They prefer silent places and peaceful environments.
  • As fours are naturally creative, they may feel stressed out if not given an opportunity to showcase their talents and creativity. If they are asked to do routine tasks and follow the conventions of the society, they may feel the pressure inside them.
  • Enneagram fours may feel sad and depressed if they are misunderstood in some way. They feel imperfect and flawed because of this. A spiral of negative emotions starts operating in them, making them insecure and vulnerable. In such a situation, fours may appear standoffish and eccentric or plainly isolated socially.
  • When they are to put up a happy show in times of adversities and inner struggles, fours may feel emotionally overwhelmed.
  • If others dismiss their true feelings and hurt them, fours may not take this easily.
  • A dull life with beauty, creativity, and innovation can be stressful for the fours.

How do they handle stress?

After knowing about all the stress triggers that may irk four’s psychologically, you may be interested to know how to help them overcome their stressors and live a poised and happy life.  

Though there are no magic rules for this, yet some tips and tricks can ensure better balancing of negative thoughts and emotions.

If you are an enneagram four, you may find these tips helpful.

  • Allow a free expression to your feelings, even if they are negative. Never try to judge the way you’re feeling, rather stay calm and vent it out the way you want.
  • Remind yourself about all the accomplishments that you’ve attained for so long. Consider them as your greatest strengths to move through trying times.
  • You can set some positive daily routine for yourself such as practicing meditation, or pursuing a regular hobby, spending time with your loved ones, etc.
  • Be clear about what you expect others to do for you. Set your personal boundaries well. Never allow others to abuse you emotionally. Sometimes you may need to take a harsh stance to stop people from dumping you emotionally.
  • You need to understand that there are so many loving and caring people around you. Seek help from them if you’re too stressed out. It helps a lot when you share your deepest agonies with others.

Famous persons with enneagram 4

As already been discussed, enneagram 4s are creative and expressive. They constantly search for an identity that is ideal and unique. 

They prefer to remain exclusive and be appreciated for who they are.

Being a type four personality, you must be eager to know the names of some celebrities who might be sharing this same type with you. 

These people have presented unique personalities that earned them the respect and the professional honor that they deserve.

Some of the famous names with enneagram type 4s are:


What enneagram 4s hate?

When enneagram type 4s do not like anything, they may withdraw from the situation and try to self-introspect about their subtle feelings. 

Sometimes they may show anger and irritability and other times, they may feel the frustration deep within.

Being an enneagram 4, you would hate to be put in a position where you cannot fit in well. You may experience extreme anger or anxiety because of a feeling of being misunderstood in a situation.

Fours are highly sensitive and as such, they tend to take things personally. So are you.

There are many things that these individuals hate in their personal, professional, and social lives.

  • Being a four, you would hate to conform to others.
  • Fours hate if someone tells them that they are too emotional and sensitive.
  • They hate people who try to judge them negatively
  • They hate being labeled and bullied for being different from the rest of the people around them
  • If others try to dismiss their ideologies, they may not like it.
  • Fours also hate being dismissed or ignored by the social group they belong to.
  • Lack of respect, positive affirmation in a relationship can make them angry quickly.
  • People with a type 4 personality suffers from an innate guilt if they behave rudely with others. Actually they hate being rude and firm with others.
  • They may hate themselves if they fall short of their expectations. Sometimes they tend to be too unrealistic with themselves.
  • Fours also hate being misunderstood
  • They hate if their creative endeavors are not paid attention to.
  • Enneagram 4s do not like rejection at all.
  • They hate to be guided or controlled by others.

Hobbies of enneagram 4

Spending quality downtime is an art in itself and no other personality type could do it better than an enneagram 4. You must be wondering ‘why?’

Enneagram type 4’s are known for their creative self-expression. They are articulate and seek aesthetic pleasure in all their activities.

For them, the best way to spend their free time is by doing something creative and innovative.

When fours are in the mood, they would love to create an artwork of beauty and passion. They are good at doing things neatly and perfectly.

Sometimes you may also find them doing absolutely nothing. They love to daydream a lot and it happens to be their favorite pastime as well. Quite weird. Right?

Some of the hobbies that these creative folks may find interesting are:

  • Painting
  • Journaling
  • Designing
  • Poetry writing
  • Blogging
  • Playing an instrument
  • Music composition
  • Gardening
  • Decorating their houses
  • Visit to an art gallery
  • Origami and craft work
  • Cooking
  • Photography
  • Pottery making
  • Reading

How rare are enneagram 4s?

Enneagram 4s, nicknamed individualists or romantics, are the rarest enneagram types. The reason behind this is simple. Most often, fours are private and reserved people.

They are in search of a self-identity that is unique and different from others. They may long to get accepted in the social group they belong to but feel misunderstood very often.

These individuals are introverts and may not open up easily in front of others. Thus, you may not see them mingling very openly in social setups.

They have a small number of friends who appreciate their creative talents and uniqueness. Fours comprise only 11% of the population. There are more women than men under this personality type. Men make up about 10% and women about 12% of the surveyed population. The study results were based on the research findings of Truity.com


Growth tips for enneagram 4s (How do you grow better)

In simple terms, personality growth refers to a gradual and step-by-step process of self-improvement. It means developing your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses.

Whenever you’re in a process of bettering yourself in terms of your skills, temperament, attitude, and life goals, you are in a process of personal growth.

Enneagram 4s are unique beings who prefer to impress the world with their unique traits and personality style. 

Their growth process should follow a definite pattern of self-improvement where fours can learn emotional balance, stop second-guessing their worth, and become more confident in their actions.

Some healthy tips for enneagram 4s are:

1. Use positive affirmations to validate yourself

Being an enneagram 4, you are prone to negative self-talk and feelings. This lowers your level of confidence and creates pessimism and despair. Learn to affirm your thoughts and feelings and take the onus of your actions.

When you say good things about yourself, you’re actually focusing on positive aspects of your life. This will help you to develop a positive self-image.

2. Find out your similarities with other people

You have a tendency to visualize yourself as different and unique from others. Try to find out the common traits between you and the people around you. 

This will bring you closer to others and can foster deeper relationships and emotional connections.

3. Self-validation is the key

Learn to self-validate your feelings and acknowledge who you are. Being an enneagram 4, you tend to look at yourself from someone else’s eye. 

This makes you constantly seek an identity that is ideal and exclusive. You may feel inadequate and flawed, whenever the feedback from others is negative. 

Thus, delve deeper into the darkest corners of your psyche and remove your insecurities by validating them as real and unique. Learn to self-love and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses equally well.

When you have learned to self-validate yourself, you actually know your ‘true identity and feel at peace with yourself.

4. Take baby steps

Your self-confidence has taken a backseat because of your poor self-worth and broken self-esteem. While rebuilding it, make sure that you start slowly and take small steps towards growth. 

Focus on your key skills and develop them as much as possible. You can even pursue a hobby and nurture your old art to feel fresh from the inside.

Start doing things that you would love to do. This will help you to revive your inner strength and make you feel less anxious and vulnerable. 

When you become strong from within, you actually regain the lost ‘self’ and have successfully created an identity that is bold and optimistic.

5. Remain open to constructive feedback

It is important for you to come out of your comfort zone and face the outside world. You need to appreciate others’ opinions and feedback about you, even if it’s negative.

Negative feedback is not a personal attack on you, rather it teaches you to better yourself in tiny ways. Positive feedback boosts your confidence levels to greater heights.

Thus, both these are an integral part of self-improvement.


Enneagram personality test

The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, known as the RHETI version 2.5, is a forced-choice personality test that gives your unique r primary enneagram number. 

This test is widely used globally as an empirically tested method for understanding your enneagram typology. It has 144 paired statements that take about 40 minutes to complete.

The personality test was developed by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson in 1993. The test results show your primary enneagram number and describe the wings and your relative relationship with all nine types.

It also provides a detailed analysis of your specific type, indicating the relative strengths and weaknesses that make you a unique being.

If you are interested to know your primary Enneagram type, you may take the test here.


The video link shared below shows the signs of an enneagram type 4. Do check out.


Parting words from ‘ThePleasantPersonality’

Enneagram type 4s always look for a self-identity that can give them personal value and worth. They are emotionally honest, moody, and possess a distinct persona that makes them different from all others.

They prefer to live in an imaginative world of deep thinking and creativity. This makes them artistic, quirky, and endearing as well.

Their fantasy world may look odd and weird but it is rich with creative ideas that are unique and cannot be considered ordinary. 

Being a four has its pitfalls. When an enneagram 4 realizes that they are not getting accepted in social circles the way they want, they may feel inadequate and flawed. 

They may try hard to fit in a frame but their unique style seems to go unnoticed and less appreciated.

This makes them sad and depressed. They feel that something vital is lacking inside them that they need to find out in order to feel complete and exclusive.

After all, this ever-evolving search for a true identity goes on and on till they find themselves on the path of growth and self-fulfillment.

“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”

Rumi

Article Sources


1. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/enneagram-type-4-traits-strengths-compatibility-and-more
2. https://www.integrative9.com/enneagram/introduction/type-4/
3. https://www.truity.com/enneagram/personality-type-4-individualist

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