I fell in love with the enneagram test about a year ago after a friend told me to check it out. This test essentially puts into words the thoughts and emotions you have been trying to explain for years. It also explains your relationships with other personality types. I am an enneagram type 4: the individualist. I want to take a second to dissect this personality type. All quotes are from The Enneagram Institute– I highly recommend checking them out!
“While it is true that Fours often feel different from others, they do not really want to be alone. They may feel socially awkward or self-conscious, but they deeply wish to connect with people who understand them and their feelings. The “romantics” of the Enneagram, they long for someone to come into their lives and appreciate the secret self that they have privately nurtured and hidden from the world.”
This resonates with me because my own thoughts can get in the way of my social progress. I feel like my mind is so hard to explain that it really is a “secret self.” I try to put it into words and often fail or explain it in the wrong way. When I meet people that feel similarly, I connect with them on a very deep level.
“The outsider therefore comforts herself by becoming an insistent individualist: everything must be done on her own, in her own way, on her own terms. Fours’ mantra becomes “I am myself. Nobody understands me. I am different and special,” while they secretly wish they could enjoy the easiness and confidence that others seem to enjoy.”
I can put a harsh wall up and become defensive because I get frustrated with myself and how I think others are perceiving me. I prefer doing things by myself because then there is no one to to offer those perceptions- I am entirely me. However, behind the wall there is an insecurity that the rest of the world figured it out and I am the only one who can’t find their path. This is of course not true, but it doesn’t stop self doubt from creeping in.
“One of the biggest challenges Fours face is learning to let go of feelings from the past; they tend to nurse wounds and hold onto negative feelings about those who have hurt them. Indeed, Fours can become so attached to longing and disappointment that they are unable to recognize the many treasures in their lives.”
This may be one of my largest struggles in life. I remember every feeling I’ve ever had, good or bad and can let that dictate my life. I feel these emotions like they happened yesterday and it can be impossible to forget them. I actively combat this by writing down a positive part of my day every night. This helps me put my emotions in perspective.
Essentially, type 4’s focus so much on their inner emotions, that they can have a hard time connecting with the world. The institute also says this type may try on a variety of personalities. I do this in the form of jobs or life paths. I never seem satisfied with the direction I’m taking and its because I am trying to be so authentically myself that the slightest difference from my goals can seem like a deal breaker.
Let me know what enneagram type you are in the comments! If your are a type 4, how do you put your emotions into perspective?