Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist

Understanding the Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist

DJ Wayne Sat Feb 18 2023

Enneagram Type 4 Overview

Enneagram Type 4 is known as The Individualist, and is one of the three types in the Feeling Center/ Heart Triad. This means that they make decisions based on their emotions and have a strong connection to their inner world. Type 4 individuals have a deep desire to be unique and to express themselves creatively. They often feel like they don’t quite fit in, and may struggle with a sense of longing or melancholy.


Individuals with the Enneagram Type 4 are known for their strong sense of self, and their desire to express their unique individuality. They are driven by a sense of authenticity and self-expression, and they have a deep need to be understood and appreciated for who they truly are. Individualists are often highly creative and artistic, and they strive to make a meaningful impact in their lives and the world around them.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Enneagram Type 4 is their strong sense of emotional intensity. Individualists have a deep and complex inner world, and they are highly attuned to their emotions and feelings. They often have a strong desire to be understood and valued for their unique perspective and experiences.

Another key trait of the Enneagram Type 4 is their desire for self-expression and individuality. Individualists are highly creative and artistic, and they have a deep need to express themselves in a meaningful way. They may struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, and they may have difficulty finding their place in the world.

Key characteristics of Type 5 personalities include:

  • Highly creative and artistic
  • Deeply in touch with their emotions
  • Longing for something they feel is missing
  • Strong sense of individuality
  • May struggle with feelings of envy and self-doubt


One of the biggest strengths of the Enneagram Type 4 is their creativity and artistic expression. Individualists are highly imaginative and resourceful, and they have a unique perspective on the world. They are able to tap into their emotions and create something that is truly authentic and meaningful.

Enneagram Type 4 individuals are also known for their empathy and compassion. They have a deep understanding of the human experience and are able to connect with others on a deep emotional level. They are also deeply introspective and self-aware, which allows them to make positive changes in their own lives.

Weaknesses/ Challenges

Individualists can be moody and withdrawn, making it difficult for them to form and maintain relationships. They can also be prone to self-doubt and insecurity, which can hold them back from pursuing their goals. Additionally, they may struggle with feeling misunderstood and disconnected from others.


The motivations of Enneagram Type 4 personalities are rooted in their desire for self-discovery, authenticity, and meaning. Type 4s have a deep need to understand themselves and their place in the world, and they often feel a sense of incompleteness or longing for something they believe is missing in their lives.

Type 4s are highly individualistic and strive to express their unique identity through various forms of art, music, or other creative outlets. They value authenticity and reject societal norms and expectations in favor of living according to their own beliefs and values.

At the same time, Type 4s may also struggle with a sense of self-doubt and may believe that they are not good enough or that they do not measure up to others. They may feel envious of others who seem to have a more fulfilling life or a stronger sense of self.


  • Inadequate or without significance. They fear being plain or ordinary, and they desire to be unique and special in some way. They also fear being misunderstood or not fully known by others, leading them to feel isolated and disconnected.
  • Feel that they are missing something essential that others possess, and they are driven to find that missing piece. This can lead them to pursue creativity, beauty, and authenticity as a means of expressing their unique identity and standing out from others.
  • Fear of abandonment, which can manifest in a belief that others will inevitably leave or reject them. They may feel that their flaws or vulnerabilities will make them unlovable and unworthy of connection, causing them to withdraw or push others away before they can be rejected.

Under Stress

Their stress number is Type 2. Type 2s are generous, caring, and nurturing. When they’re under stress, they might become more emotionally needy and dependent on others, as well as manipulative and controlling in their relationships. They might also struggle with feeling unlovable or inadequate. Read more about other types under stress

Type Characteristic role Ego fixation Holy idea Trap Basic fear Basic desire Temptation Vice/Passion Virtue Stress/ Disintegration Security/ Integration
4 Individualist, Romantic Melancholy Origin Authenticity Having no identity or significance To be uniquely themselves To overuse imagination in search of self Envy Equanimity (Emotional Balance) 2 1

In Relationships

Enneagram Type 4 individuals tend to approach relationships in a deep and intense way, seeking emotional connection and authenticity with their partners. They are often highly attuned to their own emotions and may feel a strong need to express themselves in their relationships.

Type 4s are known for their creativity and passion, which can make them deeply attractive to partners. They may use their artistic talents to woo and impress their loved ones, or they may express their emotions through heartfelt gestures or poetry. However, they can also be prone to moodiness and may withdraw or become distant if they feel misunderstood or unappreciated.

In relationships, Type 4s may struggle with feelings of jealousy or insecurity, particularly if they perceive their partner as more successful or accomplished in certain areas. They may also have a tendency to idealize their partners or romanticize their relationships, which can set them up for disappointment or disillusionment when reality fails to live up to their expectations.

In the Workplace

Enneagram Type 4 individuals bring unique strengths and challenges to the workplace. They are often creative, innovative, and highly intuitive, with a natural ability to think outside the box and come up with original ideas. They are also deeply attuned to their emotions and those of others, which can make them insightful and empathetic team members.

Type 4s are often drawn to work that allows them to express their individuality and creativity, such as art, music, writing, or design. They may also be drawn to professions that involve helping others, such as counseling, social work, or teaching. However, they may struggle in environments that feel too rigid or rule-bound, as they value the freedom to express themselves and follow their own instincts.

In the workplace, Type 4s may struggle with feelings of boredom or restlessness, particularly if they feel their work lacks meaning or purpose. They may also be prone to moodiness or sensitivity to criticism, and may struggle to take feedback or direction from others. However, they can be deeply committed and loyal team members who bring a unique perspective and creative flair to their work.

Growth and Development

While the Enneagram Type 4 has many strengths, there are also areas where they may struggle. One of the biggest challenges for Individualists is learning to accept themselves for who they are. They may struggle with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, and they may have difficulty finding their place in the world.

Another area where Enneagram Type 4 individuals may struggle is in their relationships. Individualists may struggle with feelings of envy and longing for what they perceive as a more fulfilling life. They may also find it difficult to maintain healthy boundaries, and they may struggle with feelings of codependency.

How to Develop and Grow as a Type 4 Personality

  • Self-Awareness: Type 4s can benefit from developing a deeper understanding of their own emotions and motivations, as well as how they relate to others. This can involve journaling, therapy, or other forms of self-reflection and introspection.
  • Gratitude: Type 4s may benefit from focusing on gratitude and cultivating a sense of appreciation for what they have, rather than dwelling on what they lack or feel is missing in their lives.
  • Self-Compassion: Type 4s can be highly self-critical and may benefit from developing a more compassionate and accepting relationship with themselves. This can involve practicing self-compassion techniques such as mindfulness or positive self-talk.
  • Goal-Setting: Type 4s can benefit from setting specific, achievable goals that align with their values and passions. This can help them to focus their energy and motivation in a productive way, and to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • Balance: Type 4s can be prone to extremes of emotion and behavior, and may benefit from developing a greater sense of balance and equilibrium in their lives. This can involve practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and developing healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and overwhelm.

Famous Enneagram 4s

Join our waitlist!

9takes is a place for exploration and shared learning, where we delve into the nuances of personality types and discuss different perspectives. If you're fascinated by the world of the Enneagram you are warmly invited join our waitlist.