Ah, the drama. It was a bit of an aha moment for me in the Enneagram training when we discussed 4 and 7 interactions, hey.
You see, the Enneagram 4 is a conflicted soul. Yin and yang. I’m different but I want to belong! I’m special but I don’t want to be judged. I would love to talk about my feelings all day long, but please don’t think I’m inauthentic because I share so easily. And I don’t mean to come across self-absorbed because I talk about myself so much – I’m trying to engage you in my aspirational journey for inspiration, beauty and the full spectrum of emotion that life has to offer.
Yep. You can imagine how a 7 (Me) would struggle with this. 7s don’t dwell, they hop along from negativity, pain and inner exploration to see the bright side and go to the next thing. 4s…well, they want to spend some time with the pain. After all, that’s where the beauty they generate comes from.
Their self-talk is predominantly: “There’s something missing. I must find out what is missing in my life, I must be true to my purpose and express my authentic self. I must create beauty and meaning for myself and the world.”
The worst thing a 4 can have is an “ordinary” life, where there is not enough beauty and newness. Their search for elevated purpose and meaning is exhausting, both to them and others. The irony is – there’s always going to be something missing. However, this will also lead 4s to extraordinary accomplishments, art and innovation.
Their inner impostor will drive them to never be happy with what they have or have achieved, always believing there is more to do to be seen as special and unique.
I often think this is the crowd Steve Jobs was referring to in the “Crazy ones” Apple ad. Their obsessive quest and search for meaning and purpose have brought a lot of beauty to the world. I’m glad 4 is not my core type, though, as I think living inside of that tortured skin would drive me nuts.
Having said that, the need to be authentic – and the vulnerability to others questioning your authenticity – is something I deeply resonate with. Also, the idea that people could question your integrity because you become vulnerable easily, and see you as self-absorbed because you talk about yourself too much…hey, I suppose I do have a lot of the 4 going on.
Next week, the 5…the Quiet Specialist!