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Ancient symbol. Modern psychology. 
Enneagram 4 Journal.png

The Enneagram Type 4 Journal:
A Guide to Inner Work & Self-Discovery for The Individualist

Check out the newest resource now available for your Type 4 Enneagram journey!


Creative, Expressive, Dramatic, and Self-Absorbed


to find themselves and their significance, to create an identity, to be unique and authentic to themselves



manifests as a toxic pattern of comparing their struggles to the ease at which everyone else seems to exist, used to highlight or construct an outlet for emotional fulfillment


to feel ordinary or lacking personal significance, to be inauthentic and mundane



a deep state of despair fueled by negative comparisons and fantasized reality of how sad and disappointed they have become


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."



an acceptance of the absolute fluctuation of emotions and the balance of emotional honesty and connection to others


Heart / Feeling

wisdom held in the heart and through emotional awareness is used to create a self-identity that will manifest a unique persona in order to conceal the deep shame and guilt around the feelings that they are lacking wholeness


expel energy outward to create opportunities to prove to themselves that they are unique and they liv ein their internalized fantasies

Pain & suffering often transforms into internalized & redirected shame & guilt 



negative — deeply narcissistic, deceptive, extremely image conscious and insecure, detached from compassion and connection

positive — motivated, driven to stay authentic, understand feelings and motivation of others


negative — withdrawn and unfocused on real world problems, egotistical, unable to live with social norms and within typical rules

positive — curiosity and a problem solving, authentic to themselves without shame, ability to remain objective and connected



negative — hypercritical of others, overly rigid and judgmental, hold on to polarities

positive — balanced and practical in living authentically, emotionally grounded.


negative — feeling of fakeness with compassion or inauthenticity they counterbalance with overinflated ego driven behaviors

positive —ability to get out of internalized emotions and connect to others with authenticity and genuine empathy, they are connected to their authentic self and others


Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. Fours are often viewed as deeply creative, unique, emotional, and overly dramatic

Fours exemplify the desire to be unique, to live authentically, and to live within and identify with their emotions. Fours are very aware of their own emotional states; they notice when they feel upset or anxious, happy or depressed, high or low, or some other, more subtle combination of feelings. They are people who care a great deal about beauty and taste and are involved in artistic pursuits, even if they are not personally artistic; actively seek out art, poetry, music, and other expressions they find beautiful. They feel these things reveal something true about  themselves and about human nature. When they are less balanced, they can become lost in their feelings, preoccupied with emotional reactions, memories, and fantasies, both negative and positive. They possess an uncanny ability to intertwine complex topics dealing with morality with different art forms: songs, scripts, films, paintings,  sculptures, and other artistic expressions. Fours maintain their identity by seeing themselves as fundamentally different from others. Fours feel that they are unlike other human beings, and consequently, that no one can understand them or love them adequately. They often see themselves as uniquely talented, possessing special, one-of-a-kind gifts, but also as uniquely disadvantaged or flawed. Fours are acutely aware of and focused on their personal differences and deficiencies


Healthy Levels of Development:  Fours are willing to be the gentle guardians of another person’s humanity, they are kind and emotionally aware, balanced in their ability to hold space without falling into the pain. They have found equanimity in the balance of emotional intelligence and rational reasoning. The need to create the experience of a deep emotional state in order to maintain a false sense of identity fades away and they are able to feel whole and connected to others. Being fully aware of the broad spectrum of human emotions and the highs and lows that are inherent in everyone makes them experts in knowing how to behave, react, and offer support in whatever form is necessary during conflict.

Average Levels of Development:  Shame, fear, and emotional distortion are the primary motivators that distort reality resulting in a disdain for other humans who seem to live with ease. This disconnect may trigger the Fours deep resentment and envy which masks their own unhealed wounds that they refuse to truly acknowledge. Falling into a state of melancholy, the Four becomes detached and emotionally distorted. They seek out outlets for their fantasies and the realities they have constructed to live out their pain and suffering. They return to a state of despair over and over while they experience fleeting moments of hope and healing. They hold onto their emotions believing that this is the only thing that makes them who they are. In this space Fours are unwilling to accept reality, emotionally paralyzed and overly judgmental, self-indulgent, depressed and apathetic.

Unhealthy Levels of Development: They become deeply narcissistic and self absorbed, creating a unique persona that they believe makes them better than “ordinary” people. Shame, fear, and emotional distortion are the primary motivators that distort reality resulting in a disdain for other humans who seem to live with ease. This disconnect may trigger the Fours deep resentment and envy which masks their own unhealed wounds that they refuse to truly acknowledge.They absorb experiences and distort their reality to victimize themselves, believing that their pain and suffering is all that they are; they have nothing else if they do not hold on to these feelings. Their narcissism and internal fantasy world leaves them little room to find compassion or empathy for other people which leads them to selfish and dehumanizing behaviors.


Triggers / Biases: Lacking appreciation for diversity, devaluing individual or group, unnecessary suffering, being with shallow, uncultured, ”simple” people, experiences of emotional trauma projection, witnessing anything that looks like unfairness, having their uniqueness/ideals/beauty/life questioned and devalued by someone they deem “less than”, having to conform to social norms or act within specified boundaries, having their creativity suppressed causing an internal emotion spiral and leading to a deep misunderstanding and possible outburst of irrational behaviors.

IDEA Challenge: The gift of Point Four is a double-edged sword: understanding the broad spectrum of emotion and finding the light in the darkest moments, while at the same time naturally gravitating toward and absorbing the darkness. The metamorphosis of pain and suffering into something poetic, beautiful, transformative, or cathartic is a common theme among all Fours. The challenge is managing the deep fear of being ordinary or not having a unique identity which can cause the Four to compete in “pain Olympics” or attach their identity to the overwhelming collective suffering of the world. The intensity that Four energy brings into everything matters and drives them to create distortions of reality in which they can live out the fears and pain while they try to figure it out. This conscripted stance is the default: to live in emotions rather than act on them.

Disconnects: They often experience a blindspot for emotional projection & emotional dishonesty. They will unintentionally (or intentionally) occupy a space designed to torment themselves by the seemingly endless pain and suffering in the world; they are unwilling to accept reality, emotionally paralyzed and overly judgmental, self-indulgent, depressed and apathetic. This state of melancholy allows them to justify that their identity is defined and attached to these feelings and they must retain the emotions.


Unhealthy Reaction: judgmental, depressive spiraling, isolation, emotional distortion, dual reality, despair, hypersensitivity to accusations, isolation/alienation, blaming everyone but  themselves and then pushing others away, delusion that they are wholly unique from others and do not need to act within socially acceptable “limits”, envious ways of thinking and behaving, live in their emotions and feel that their own suffering is more than they can bear, so the thought of dealing with other people’s suffering is unimaginable, truly depressed and lost at the sheer volume of suffering in the world they become detached, fearing the overwhelm of sadness and pain they will lash out and perpetually push people away and hold onto the deep and paralyzing emotional torment.

Healthy Reaction: genuine empathy, hope, kindness, intentional pause for reflection, they maintain a safe space for people to express their emotions with the reassurance that someone is genuinely listening with an empathetic heart; a distinguishing characteristic unlike any other “type”, highly creative and deeply intuitive, inspired, emotionally connected, profound and insightful, ability to transform all experiences- both positive and negative-into opportunities for growth and reflection, strong connection to their own humanity which gives them a heightened ability to understand others’ feelings and emotions as both valuable and appropriate


If you would like more information about The Enneagram in business please visit


Dr. Deborah Egerton and her team of Trinity Transition consultants are inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism specialists. Our culture change initiatives utilize the Enneagram and trademarked TTC tools to design workplace and community workshops. Our work creates the mindset shift necessary within communities and organizations to respect the diversity of every individual at all levels of society. We coach individuals, organizations, and communities to move from the space of apathy & tolerance to acceptance & inclusion.
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