Enneagram Type 4: Romantic Individualist
Individualist, Artist, Over-Analyzer, Mystic or Melodramatic Elitist

© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre


Fours want to be gifted, intuitive, original and unique. More importantly, Fours want to be passionate, true to their feelings and uniquely authentic. Fours see themselves as sensitive, expressive and spiritual. They would like others to see them as idealistic, emotionally deep and compassionate. Fours’ idealized image is that they are accomplished and special.

Motivated by the need to understand and to be understood, Fours desire experiences that are rich with feeling and meaning. They may find it easier to deal with painful emotions than to deal with the tedium of daily routine. Fours have the temperament of an artist and long to freely express themselves. Fours feel their emotions deeply and are not afraid to go emotionally where others fear to tread. This includes having an exquisite, intuitive ability to distinguish between subtle emotions that others often miss. Painfully self-conscious, Fours are often overly focused on how different they are from others. A true humanitarian, they have a natural passion for protest. At times intense and contrarian, Fours are not afraid to think for themselves and voice their point of view.

Nostalgic by nature, Fours often focus on past experiences. This can lead them to deeper insights or to downward spirals of melancholy and/or painful unresolved feelings. Craving ideal circumstances or love, they often ruminate on what is missing and perceived to be important. Their tendency towards self-absorption is both an asset and liability. It can lead the Four to deep personal insights that can benefit everyone while feeding their self-deprecating sense of humor; it can also make them appear to be self-centered and disinterested in others. Feeling their own inner world so powerfully, it is good for them to remember that others’ experiences are just as real for them as the Fours’ emotions and experiences are for them. 

When Fours step out of the river of their emotions, they can bring forth their many talents into the world and express them in a way that is extraordinary and original. They are like the lotus flower growing in the mud that is able to transform emotionally painful experiences into fertilizer for personal growth. Attuned to feelings, they have an uncommon sensitivity when it comes to dealing with suffering. They are not afraid to hear about someone else’s troubles, and can be great friends to anyone in emotional pain.


Fours need be seen as artistic, gifted and accomplished. They focus on their individuality and on carving their own distinct image. Fours need to express their deep feelings and want others to validate their emotions. Whether they are organizing a living space to reflect their refined tastes, or engaging in an artistic pursuit, it is essential for their sense of well-being that they express their creativity. 


Fours avoid feeling lost, disorientated and without personal significance, meaning or direction. They also avoid appearing inadequate, defective or flawed. Most importantly, Fours have a hidden fear of being emotionally cut off and abandoned. Fours avoid affectation and anything dull, ordinary, ugly, vulgar, inauthentic or distasteful. 


Fours' greatest strengths are their deep intuition, creativity and ability to transform painful life experiences into opportunities for profound growth and healing. This enables them to identify what is missing, and like a knight on a quest, they search until they find it or create it. Astute about human nature, Fours believe that everyone is an individual and that all emotions have value. Profound and insightful, they have an uncanny knack for transforming the dull and the ordinary into the exciting and extraordinary. Fours are able to see and appreciate what is truly unique, special and rare. 


Fours' vice is envy. They’re always worrying that others may have gotten a better deal than them, or are being recognized while their talents are being overlooked. Hyper-sensitive, they can be moody, haughty and overly emotional, always seeing the grass as greener and the glass as half empty. Fours can be self-absorbed and temperamental, and tend to over-personalize all life experiences and interactions with others. Capable of being emotionally manipulating or overly critical, they are often unaware of the impact their emotional nature has on others. Fours should remember that they are like a mystic who sees ‘the river beneath the river’ and are not just the swamp of their emotions. 


Fours' attention goes to searching for meaning, noticing what is missing, feelings of melancholy and nostalgia, and longing for the unavailable. They appreciate the special, the humane and the beautiful. Fours like to put their personal signature on everything that they do. Their refined tastes make them a great critic and someone who appreciates the truly exceptional.

Spiritual Path

The spiritual journey of the Four is to connect to original source and create true meaning. Spiritual growth will come to Fours that are able to balance their emotional nature with temperance and equanimity. If they keep their powerful emotions in check they can create the kind of life that they want. 


Fours need to remember not to dwell on the past, and instead to enjoy the pleasure that can be found in each moment. Gratitude brings the courage to move through their fear of rejection and share their talents. When they do this others will honor them for their original and creative contributions. 


The Enneagram Type 4 with the 3 Wing, desires to appear refined in a slightly ostentatious way. They see themselves as fiery, passionate, expressive, energetic, beautiful, and kind.

The Enneagram Type 4 with the 5 Wing, desires to be avant-garde. They see themselves as original, sincere, mysterious, subtle, artistic and independent.

Famous 4s

Francis Bacon, John Barrymore, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Bogdanovich, Marlon Brando, Jackson Browne, Raymond Burr, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Prince Charles, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Judy Collins, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Neil Diamond, Isak Dinesen, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Martha Graham, Billie Holliday, Lena Horne, Julio Iglesias, Jeremy Irons, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Angelina Jolie, Janis Joplin, Harvey Keitel, Charles Laughton, T. E. Lawrence, Vivien Leigh, Rod McKuen, Thomas Merton, Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Morrissey, Edvard Munch, Liam Neeson, Stevie Nicks, Anais Nin, Nick Nolte, Laurence Olivier, Paris, Edith Piaf, Pink Floyd, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Prince, Anne Rice, Percy Shelley, Simone Signoret, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Vincent Van Gogh, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Kate Winslet, Virginia Woolf.

© 1995-2017 Katherine Chernick Fauvre