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Enneagram Type 4 Center of Intelligence: Heart or Shame Triad

Heart/Heart-Based Center

Type 4 Heart Center

Type 4 is located in the 234 triad which is often described as the heart center. The heart types are focused on interpreting, expressing, and reacting to one’s own emotions or the emotions of others.

Type 4 has emotional impressions of the world which create a rich internal emotional reality. They base their sense of self on this. To express or share this inner emotional world is to share oneself. It can be challenging however to find a way to do this. It can seem like others don't have this same emotional senistivity which can also make the type 4 feel different from other people. This sense of difference can alternate between feeling defective and feeling special.

Type 4 Shame

Types 2, 3, and 4 may also be referred to as shame types, where shame can be thought of as a feeling of deficiency for not living up to a more idealized sense of self.

Type 4 shame comes from feeling different from others. It can seem like others are more capable in areas that the type 4 is not. This can sometimes lead to a sense of defectiveness. In compensation, they may search for what makes them uniquely special and try to live from that sense of self instead. 

Type 4 Emotional Center

The core focus approach labels the 234 triad as the Emotional Center and more clearly differentiates how types 2, 3, and 4 use that center.

  • Type 2: Emotional Attentiveness - connects to others through emotional empathy.
  • Type 3: Emotional Affirmation - finds validation through achievement and recognition.
  • Type 4: Emotional Authenticity - expresses what feels true and real for oneself.


You can take a test comparing the three heart types here. 


Enneagram Guide

This page is part of the Enneagram Guide available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and origins/history of the Enneagram types visit the Enneagram Guide main page.