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Enneagram Type 4 Description And Key Characteristics

Enneagram 4’s are called The Originalist. They are motivated by a longing to avoid seeming ordinary. Fours like to search for deeper meaning, experience authentic feelings, and to be understood. 

Type fours are typically empathetic in relationships, supportive, gentle, playful, passionate, and witty. They can form bonds quickly and prefer to be transparent. Fours strive to find novel and unexpected solutions to problems that others might overlook.

Fours like to use their talents to help awaken a sense of harmony within their surroundings. They have a gift for helping others develop an appreciation for beauty.

Enneagram 4 Strengths

  • Expressive

  • Authentic

  • Warm

  • Compassionate

  • Introspective

  • Creative

  • Intuitive

  • Supportive

Type fours are artistic and have a heightened sense of the moods and feelings of others with precision and profundity. Their growth direction helps them to act on their ideals, be more objective and organized, and be less self-absorbed.

Development Opportunities for Enneagram Type 4s

Fours can work to be proactive rather than putting off things until they are “in the right mood.” They can commit to being productive and finding ways to make meaningful contributions for their own good and that of others, no matter how small the tasks or effort may be. 

Type fours may struggle with feeling ready to take on a challenge and argue that they need more time. However, small steps can help strengthen their resolve and bring out their best work. 

Fours can also benefit from establishing self-discipline, such as setting a sleeping routine, maintaining an exercise schedule, and working regular hours.

Enneagram 4 Blindspots

  • Possessive

  • Sensitive

  • Melancholy

  • Eccentric

  • Detachment

  • Self-Absorbed

An unhealthy four can be moody, dramatic, or exaggerated. They may also become possessive, high-strung, and clingy if they feel misunderstood or to garner attention.

In stress, fours can hold grudges, fluctuate between hyperactivity and being overly sedentary, and go to extreme measures to avoid feeling mundane or ordinary.

Identifying your type is not an excuse for specific behaviors. Such as, “I can’t help being dramatic; I’m a four.” Instead, fours can consider, “Perhaps I am allowing my emotions to get the best of me. Am I reacting to this to feel safe?”

Enneagram 4 Wings

A four can have a three or a five wing. 

Fours with a three wing tend to be more lively, ambitious, and outgoing. They may become attention-seeking and elitist in stressful situations.

A four with a five wing tend to be more contemplative, objective, quiet, and unconventional. Under stress, they can alienate themself and be withdrawn or pessimistic.

Enneagram Type 4 At Work

Fours bring creativity and a greater sense of awareness to teams because they are naturally oriented toward feelings and aesthetics. Type fours can help ensure goals are created and executed in a manner that aligns with the vision and culture of the team.

Team members may find a type four challenging to work with if they become self-absorbed or isolate themselves from fully participating in the group.

Fours work best in teams when given the opportunity to share their creative abilities and unique perspective concerning projects.

The Enneagram Guide to Healthy Teams in the Workplace Ebook Mockup


Inside this free guide, you'll learn:

A Coaching Tip to Help Enneagram 4s On A Team

Within a team, fours may detach themselves from situations that don’t particularly move or inspire them or if difficult team dynamics are not being addressed. It’s important for fours to remain tuned into their team and recognize when they have the tendency to break away.

As a practical tip, in group settings, when fours notice themselves getting distracted or feel ready to disengage, they may consider sharing a thought, idea, or question with the team to help stay focused.

Fours can help others solve problems by offering their creative ideas or providing aesthetic suggestions that can enrich others, realizing that one of their gifts is making the ‘small’ things feel special.

At work, their style is expressing themselves through creativity. Whether that is through art or helping to problem solve a difficult situation. Fours can bring a new, alternative approach to the work setting that is fresh and otherwise may have never been represented.

Continue To Grow As An Enneagram 4

The Enneagram is helpful because it identifies fears and challenges related to each personality type. The goal is to recognize and use the insights to experience transformational growth.

Fours can fall prey to feeling envious of others, especially if they deem them to have a unique perspective, quality, or talent. Because type fours fear being perceived as ordinary, they are susceptible to feelings of discontentment.

The way of personal transformation for a type four is to practice self-regulating their emotions and thoughts. Fours must realize that everyone has flaws and they have much to appreciate concerning their own experiences.

Fours can move beyond being entangled in their emotions by embracing their capacity to exercise self-discipline and use their creativity to serve others. It is a sign of health when a four can experience what they feel without allowing their emotions to overwhelm them or sabotage their goals.

Did you know that Cloverleaf can help you use your Enneagram results to sharpen your professional development and work environment?

Click here to learn more about how to apply assessment insights to help your team thrive. 

Are you unsure of your type or want to validate your number? Take our free Enneagram Test to help clarify your specific type. You’ll also receive an in-depth, accurate report to help you understand your number.

Want to learn about the rest of the Enneagram Types? Read more about the Enneagram:1,2,3,5,6,7, 8, and 9!

Enneagram Type 4
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Evan Doyle

Evan Doyle serves as the Content Marketing Manager at Cloverleaf. He is an Enneagram enthusiast and creator of Recognized for his insightful writings, his work has been featured in publications such as Truity, Catalyst, and Creative Results Management, touching on topics from leadership and people development to teamwork and conflict resolution. He's also the author of the "Enneagram Career Guide," a digital workbook aiding transformative career changes. Evan is dedicated to helping individuals delve deeper into their self-awareness and leverage their strengths.