Enneagram Type 4: The Individualist


Everyone needs that one friend they can go to to get their feelings validated. Someone who will cry with them, no matter what the issue might be or how much or how little they might know about the situation.

These friends are the Enneagram 4’s of the world, and we all need them.

Enneagram 4’s are often called the Romantics or the Individualists of the Enneagram. If you’ve ever been in a room where someone talks about something they did, a Four will pipe up and try to one-up that story immediately. Someone might have gone to England, but the Four went to England, met the late Queen’s corgies, and made a palace guard smile.

While this behavior might seem a bit immature and slightly annoying, the Four isn’t chiming in to be any of those things; instead, they’re trying to protect themselves and save face.

At their core, Fours are highly self-conscious, and they believe that by always presenting themselves as the most interesting and unique individuals in the room, their self-worth will get restored, and people will understand that they are irreplaceable and needed in society.

Fours are often the artists and the feelers in the relationship and the world. If you’re in a relationship with a Four, your house is more than likely filled with art projects and different endeavors that the Four in your life started but never saw all the way through.

The Four is governed by their feelings and emotions, so when they feel an itch in their spirit to do something or to avoid something, they will almost always listen to it.

You will never see a Four going along with the crowd and falling in step with their leaders. In a room of ballerinas all in perfect formation with each other, the four can often be found on the ballet barre, hanging upside down.

If you’re a Four, you’ll know that your emotions govern your actions more than anything else, and you cannot just conform to society or do something because you were told. Because of this reasoning, you often march to the beat of your own drum. Granted, that beat might be way off, and you might look crazy, but you’re filling your soul, and that’s all that matters.

The Individualist Overview

The worst thing you can do to a Four is to not acknowledge how interesting and different they are. These people want nothing less than to blend into society and the crowd, so they have dedicated their entire lives to making sure that they stand out.

The Four is self-aware, self-critical, sensitive, and shockingly reserved. While it might make sense for the Fours of the world to be leading rebellions all across the globe, they are steadfast and strong in their beliefs, but they act that way silently.

Often, especially when they were growing up, the Four were told that they were too much or too weird. They have since adopted that accusation and worn it like a badge of honor. But they also know not to make too much of a splash in society because not everyone will see things the way they do.

Fours are extremely sensitive, as their feelings often take the reigns when it comes to their actions. If you correct or insult a Four, they will take what you said to the grave and possibly never get over it or forgive you.

The Individualist - Enneagram

Although this might not always be seen as healthy, a Four is never going to be afraid of their emotions, and they know that the only way to truly heal is to sit in their feelings for a bit until they pass.

Fours can often be seen as melancholy, daydreamers, or depressed. In all actuality, they’re all of these things, and if we let them, they can teach us all a necessary lesson about how to approach life and handle any feelings that might come up in our daily activities.

Fours can often be seen as melancholy, daydreamers, or depressed. In all actuality, they’re all of these things, and if we let them, they can teach us all a necessary lesson about how to approach life and handle any feelings that might come up in our daily activities.

The Four’s biggest fear in life is that they might not know or have any true identity or personal significance. To combat this fear, they spend their entire lives proclaiming that their identity is the best and the most unique, even if they aren’t sure that they believe that to be true.

All an Enneagram 4 wants out of life is to find out who they are and what they bring to the table. Because Fours are so insightful and focused on their feelings, this is a quest and a journey that they have to take for themselves; no one can tell them the answer.

Enneagram 4 in Stress

When a Four is stressed out, they will take on the personality traits of an unhealthy Two.

The Four is already known for being extremely emotional and somewhat codependent on others to show them their feelings, worth, and value to the world. Because of this, the controlling and clingy nature of a Two can ruin a Four’s relationships and cause them to show signs of being extremely unhealthy.

When a Four is at their worst, they will usually experience feelings of hopelessness, despair, and desperation. They will often become angry with themselves and withdraw from society, not allowing themselves to heal.

Enneagram 4 in Growth

When a Four is at its healthiest, it will grow to a One. All of a sudden, the ungrounded and go-with-the-flow artistic Fours will begin to be grounded and focused in their endeavors, no matter what they might be.

The healthy Four will be able to acknowledge their emotions without letting their emotions dictate how they act in any situation.

And just because they’re healthy and leaning into the One’s Enneagram traits doesn’t mean that the Four are not as creative and passionate as they are every day; one could argue that they are even more passionate because they can focus all of their intensity to complete projects they’ve been wanting to do for a while.

When a Four is at their best, they can regulate their feelings and emotions and channel them into something worthwhile, impactful, and meaningful.

At their best, Fours are not governed by shame or fear of how they might appear.

Enneagram 4 with Wing-3

The Four-wing-Three has also been referred to as the Enthusiast or the Aristocrat. These are the kinds of people who are passionate and know what to do about their passion. They lead with creative energy, and they make an impact on the world around them.

Because Enneagram 4’s worst fear is to be seen as replaceable or insignificant, the Four-wing-Threes will do everything in their power to prove that they can contribute to the world in a significant way.

Four-wing-Threes know who they are and what they bring to the table. Although they might sometimes let their self-conscious natures hide their worth from the world, these are still some of the most impactful people.

The Four-wing-Three is still very emotionally-driven, and when mixed with a Three, their threshold for dealing with criticism is often lessened, so keep that in mind.

Enneagram 4 with Wing-5

The Free Spirit or the Bohemian are two descriptions that best encapsulate what the Four-wing-Five brings to the table.

These are some of the most introverted people who are constantly being led by everything going on inside their heads.

While the Four-wing-Threes might be more charming and the go-getters of the Four, the Five-wing means that the Four is more often than not drawn into themselves and even more withdrawn from society than normal Fours.

The Four-wing-Fives of the Enneagram are often extremely intelligent, and they seek to understand all of the beauty and the fascinating nature of the world around them. They are still concerned about not leaving an impact on the planet and not providing any lasting significance, but they add their mark in quiet and subtle ways.

How the Enneagram 4’s Characteristics Apply to Romance and Dating

Have you ever been on a first date where the other person asked you way too many questions that went far too deep for you to feel comfortable? Have you ever been on a first date where your date encourages you to cry or let your emotions out?

If the answer to that question is yes, you’ve been out with a Four.

Fours are referred to as the Romantics for a reason.

You can’t just skate the surface with a Four; they’re going to ask you to get down and dirty with them emotionally. By the end of a date with a Four, you’ve probably divulged way more than you were initially planning to, and all of a sudden, you’ve found yourself going over your childhood wounds and how they might have affected you as an adult.

This is precisely what a Four wants. Fours crave relationships with people who feel as deeply as they do, and they need emotions in order to thrive.

Many Enneagram 4’s can get caught up in their passions and interests, and if not checked, they can forget about their romantic relationships and pursue something else. Fours are often called daydreamers because they often want their lives to be a continual flow of a dream-like substance.

When a Four is self-aware, they’re an excellent shoulder to cry on and a great partner to have in your corner. When they’re unfocused, they can be flighty, distracted, and hard to pin down.

Tips for Keeping The Enneagram 4’s Interested

If you’re wondering how to treat your Enneagram 4 partner in a relationship and what you can do to keep the relationship interesting for sure a unique kind of person, we have a few suggestions for you!

Validate Their Emotions

We get it; it’s not always easy not to laugh at your partner when they’re crying over a scene on a sitcom show or when they have an emotional breakdown because you ate the last bagel.

Enneagram-type Fours can be a bit draining to date and understand because their feelings are genuinely on a different level from everyone else’s. But the important thing that you should remember when you’re in a relationship with an Enneagram 4 is just because they’re emotional about almost everything doesn’t mean that their emotions are wrong or less than anyone else’s.

If you want to know how to love a Four best, listen to what they’re telling you when they’re sad and validate their feelings and emotions.

Don’t Clip Their Wings

Although the house you share with your Enneagram 4 partner might be full of traces of the hobbies that they’ve started and never finished, you must give them the space and the course they need to feel as though they can creatively and artistically express themselves.

If you make snide remarks or comments about how they might not have good follow-through, you might be damaging their pride and artistic nature more than you know.

Have a Heart-to-Heart with Them

If you want to know how to keep your Enneagram 4 interested and engaged, you need to have a little therapy session with them.

Fours feel everything so deeply, but because that’s not common in today’s world, your Four can often feel isolated or alone in their feelings.

Engage with your partner and sit down and have an emotional conversation with them. You might even think about adding emotional or sad movies to your date nights, just so that your Four might feel the freedom to express their feelings wholly and without judgment.

Things to Consider When Dating an Enneagram 4

If you’re about to be in a relationship with an Enneagram 4, you’re in for the emotional ride of your life. Fours are the kinds of people who want to get to know the people around them completely and thoroughly, and they won’t stop until they know everything about their partners.

Know that you will never be judged for feeling a certain way when dating a Four, and your feelings will always be heard and validated in multiple ways.

There will be times when your partner might be too much for you, but instead of shutting their feelings down and invalidating them, try to listen to what your partner is saying and work to understand where they’re coming from.

The Enneagram 4’s Compatibility with Other Enneagram Types

The Four’s want and need to be emotionally connected to their partners can often draw in the Enneagram types who need to be seen and heard. Here are some of the best pairings for the Enneagram 4.

Enneagram 5 – The Investigator

The Investigator - Enneagram

One of the best marks of a great relationship is being able to sit in silence with your partner for hours and coming out of that experience feeling closer to them and less isolated than when you began.

This is what the Four/Five pairing provides for both parties.

Fours and Fives are profoundly passionate and inquisitive, usually private, but they are willing to explore challenging emotions if and when needed.

Fives add an intellectual and inquisitive nature that the Four often need to receive in order to feel as though their thoughts and feelings have been received. While a Four might want to delve into their emotions, a Five will be right there with them, asking all the right questions.

This pairing will never shy away from a deep question, and the two types will often grow in their emotional intelligence exponentially when they’re together.

Fours are also able to encourage Fives to not hide away from their emotions and assure them that they will be able to explore all that life has to offer.

While the Fours’ and Fives’ emotional thresholds are in opposition to each other, it can sometimes be good to have that balance.

Enneagram 9 – The Peacemaker

The Peacemaker - Enneagram

The Four and Nine pairing in a relationship is one of the most intimate and exhilarating pairings that can come from the Enneagram.

The Fours encourage the Nine to come out of their shell to feel and experience all that life has in store for them. The Four can sometimes offer the gentle push that the Nine needs to realize what they want in life.

Vice versa, the Nine is there for the Four to provide them with the love and validation they need.

When you’re loved by either of these types, you’re going to experience one of the deepest forms of love that you’ll ever know, and you can rest easy knowing that no judgment or danger will come as a result of being loved by these two types.

The only point of concern that might come up in this pairing is that the two types might become codependent on each other, as they are two deeply emotional and needy types. Still, they usually have the self-awareness to walk away from those situations when they feel them come up.

The Enneagram 4’s Incompatibility with Other Enneagram Types

The Individualists are one of the most interesting personality types on the Enneagram, so it makes sense that their passionate nature doesn’t mesh well with every other type on the diagram.

Enneagram 8 – The Challenger

The Challenger - Enneagram

Although a lot of magic can happen when this pairing gets together, it’s more of a paint war than a beautiful dance piece.

Enneagram Eights are a looming presence in the Enneagram world. They are emotional and powerful and will challenge anyone who gets in their way. Similarly, Enneagram 4’s are emotional powerhouses too, but they shrink at the idea of a challenge, and they will often hide if they’re presented with criticism.

Together, the extremely emotional beings are a sight to behold, but one that doesn’t usually lend itself to understanding and a safe space, something both of these types need. Instead, they create a war of emotions and confusing power dynamics.

Final Thoughts about Dating an Enneagram 4

If you’re in a relationship with an Enneagram 4, you’re about to get very real and raw with all of your emotions very quickly.

Enneagram 4’s love nothing more than to connect with their loved ones by having a good cry or a five-hour therapy session where everyone unpacks their emotions.

If you’re loved by a Four, you can rest assured knowing that you are completely loved. Fours are dedicated to those around them, and although they might not always be as focused on their relationships as you might want, you are always with them and more important to them than you know.

When a Four lets their walls down with you and stops performing or trying to be the best or most unique person, you can know that they trust you and they’re letting you see a side of them that almost no one else has ever seen.

Something that you might want to keep in mind as you go about your relationship with a Four is that they want to be seen as these crazy, larger-than-life people in the narrative because it makes them feel special and valuable.

Because of this, Fours might struggle with the idea of being loved, as they don’t think that anyone will truly love them for all that they are, especially themselves. If you’re in a relationship with a Four, it’s a good idea to encourage them and assure them that they are loved, not because of their value or how interesting they are but just because they are themselves.

Fours are naturally romantic and emotional people. Being loved by a Four is one of the most profound and amazing kinds of love that anyone could ever have the pleasure of experiencing.