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Confessions From a Type 4

I can be described as a Type 4 personality, a title given to me by the Eclectic Energies Enneagram personality test. When I first took the test and received my result, I was astounded by how well the Type 4 “Individualist” traits suited me, and over time, I have connected my personality to the type on a deeper level. Although this personality type comes with its own set of unique flaws, I have learned to accept them with an open mind and an eagerness to better myself.

  1. 1. I tend to fantasize.

    Type 4s have active imaginations; however, they tend to become unsatisfied with their lives and always hope for more through their imagination. This leads to frequent fantasizing and daydreaming of the lives that Type 4s wish they had, whether realistic or not. This can be a blessing and a sin as it is what makes Type 4s unique and individual, but it also leads them to feel as though something is missing in their lives. I am prone to falling into places where I wish for a life far from reality, and that's okay. Daydreaming is a fun activity to build creativity; however, it can become an issue when the reality is forgotten for dreams. It is important to find a balance between both worlds rather than dwell on one.

  2. 2. I can be self-absorbed.

    With a desire to have an identity and to understand themselves, Type 4s can be slightly self-absorbed or prone to turning a conversation around to be about them. Although they are compassionate and care for others, Type 4s can prioritize themselves, especially in times of stress. I am guilty of this, wishing for insight from others on my inner conflicts. In addition, I often relate other's experiences to my own and voice that relativeness rather than listen to others. It is my way of connecting, but it is also my way of figuring myself out through conversation and the opinions of others. By talking about myself, I can learn how others see me and how I should approach them. However, it is important to remember to listen to others and focus on them. I am not the only person in this world, and neither are you. Everyone has feelings and their own challenges.

  3. 3. I am indecisive.

    Type 4s can have incredibly open minds, making it difficult to choose sides in a situation. It is even more challenging for a Type 4 to make decisions about themselves and what they should do as they believe they have a set identity they need to find. It can be a lot of pressure to find that. While Type 4s usually lead with their hearts, I find that my mind also suggests an opposing viewpoint, creating internal conflict. Both sides appeal to me, and I can see the benefits of each of them, bringing frequent anxiety and frustration. Type 4s should seek out information in order to make a decision. They should also take in the advice of others but tune into themselves and turn off the outside world for a while. This way, they can listen to how they really feel.

  4. 4. I often compare myself to others.

    The unique desire of Type 4s is their wish to have a solidified identity and purpose, leading to their frequent participation in taking personality tests. I will often take them and find joy when those who know me define me or compare me to styles and personalities. The more I know about the vibe I portray, the more satisfied I am and the more I can understand myself, especially when people see me in the way I want to be seen. It's like I am always looking for myself and analyzing my actions. This can also lead me to compare myself to others in order to have an understanding of where I belong within a group of people. Who am I to them? Who do I need to be in this situation? It can be a useful thought-process that asists me with my communication skills, but it can also be degrading if I don't feel as though I meet the standards of those around me. Rather than looking at it from that perspective, a Type 4 could see the comparison as an opportunity to learn more about the person they wish to be more alike. However, one should also remember that everyone is on their own path with different obstacles and needs. You would think a Type 4 would understand this with a need for individuality, but looking for that individuality comes with understanding other's first.

  5. 5. I tend to dislike trends.

    As the Type 4s are known as “Individualists,” they tend to gravitate towards less-popular trends or away from what’s mainstream. They like to be different, appreciating the unique with open minds. I have found that this can create barriers between myself and others that follow popular trends. It almost makes me stubborn. I won't enjoy doing something just because I am told that it is the way something should be done. This isn't necessarily wrong, but it is important to note that everyone has their own tastes. The idea that someone is simply following what is mainstream out of conformity is only damaging to mental health and connections. It is okay to be within the vast majority as well as in the minority.

  6. 6. I strive to be my honest self.

    A Type 4 will strive to be their authentic selves. They can usually accept their flaws and understand them as it is who they truly are. They will also be honest with others. At times, they can be a bit too honest with others, but it is out of a desire to be truthful. I can be a bit too blunt and to the point, thinking that it is my honest opinion and that it should be accepted. However, I need to remember that this is not the case. The truth can be painful to some, even if it is authentic.

Type 4s do have their flaws, some of which can be a bit contradictory but as does every personality type within the Enneagram. These are simply traits that make Type 4s who they are, but they are also traits that can be built upon for improvement. In fact, the Enneagram is a particular personality test that hopes to be honest about the more negative traits about its personality types so that these types can reflect and improve on their lives. It can be challenging to manipulate traits that one has had for so long, but it is not impossible to change one's mindset or think a bit differently. Once the issue is identified, a new thought can replace an old one and lead to a more positive way of living.