You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.
- Martha Graham
Early in life we develop an initial belief about ourselves and a compensation for that self-belief.
Type 4 Initial Self-Belief: “I am lacking as I am.”
Type 4 Compensation: "I must find and cultivate what's authentic and uniquely special about myself to stand out from the ordinary."
Over time this gets generalized beyond the self into a core focus that also shapes how we perceive and interact with the world at large.
Type 4 Core Focus: Significance comes from cultivating what is unique and emotionally authentic in myself. This requires that I discover and stay true to what has emotional meaning for me and find ways to express that through my own identity and in the world around me.
Personality characteristics that might arise from the type 4 core focus include:
The wings are represented by the numbers on either side of a given type as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These types are said to have an additional influence upon the type being looked at. The wing types for type 4 are type 3 and type 5.
Although type 4 is influenced by both wings, an individual will generally be influenced more by one of the wings than the other. The wing with more influence is said to be the preferred or dominant wing.
4 wing 3 (4w3) - preferred 3 wing
Common Name: The Aristocrat
4 wing 5 (4w5) - preferred 5 wing
Common Name: The Bohemian
Below are samplings from some popular or well-known Enneagram authors. Click on the sources after the descriptions to further explore these interpretations.
The Four with a Three-Wing: The Aristocrat
They feel the need to communicate themselves and their creative efforts to others, and so they care both about finding the right mode of expression and about avoiding anything off-putting or in bad taste. These people are more self-conscious and aware of issues regarding their self-worth and how they are coming across to others than people of the other subtype. They create with an audience in mind.1
The Four with a Five-Wing: The Bohemian
Less concerned with acceptance and status than the other subtype, they are highly personal and idiosyncratic in their self-expression, creating more for themselves than for an audience. More introverted and socially withdrawn than the other subtype, these Fours tend to dwell more exlusively in their imaginations.1
Four with a Three Wing (4w3): These showier Fours are able to craft images and works that express their personal flair while connecting effectively with audiences.2
Four with a Five Wing (4w5): These more intellectual Fours express their own ideas uncompromisingly, following an eclectic personal vision.2
Fours with a Three wing may be more energetic and sophisticated and may pursue higher-profile work.3
Fours with a Five wing may be more subdued, private, and analytical.3
Fours with a Three wing (4w3) want to be both the most unique and the best. Their energy is competitive, and they have enough of the Three’s image-consciousness that they are more aware than other Fours of the need to dial back their emotional intensity and quirky idiosyncrasies to be socially acceptable.4
Fours with a Five wing (4w5) are likely more introverted and unconventional. They are very concerned with uniqueness, but they have less need to be noticed by an audience than 4w3. They are quietly different, often eccentric.4
Fours with a Three wing tend to be more extroverted, upbeat, ambitious, flamboyant, and image-conscious.5
Fours with a Five wing tend to be more introverted, intellectual, idiosyncratic, reserved, and depressed.5
Four With a 3 Wing
Ones with this wing can have an aura of Nine-like calm although eruptions of temper are possible. Often have a detached quality and can be mistaken for Fives. Tendency to formulate and embrace principles that have little human content, but this is also their strength.6
Four With a 5 Wing
This wing generally brings more interpersonal warmth. High standards are tempered by humanism. May understand and partly forgive humanity for not doing its best. Work hard to improve the conditions of others, sacrificing time and energy to do good works.6
To learn more about the basic type 4 or one of the wing types click on a link below.
The wing types of an Enneagram type are the types on either side of a type as seen on the Enneagram symbol.
Although both the wing types have an influence on the type between them, one wing type is often preferred over the other.
This preferred wing type has a stronger influence than the non-preferred wing type and creates a variation of the type (e.g., 9w8 vs. 9w1).
Enneagram Type with Wing Test
This is a very short test that determines your most likely type and preferred wing.
Select from paragraphs, similar to the method used by the
Essential Enneagram Test as found in The Essential Enneagram book.
Use when you want to know your type and preferred wing.
Enneagram Type Preference Test
This test produces a scored list of all nine types.
Questions are forced-choice, similar to the method used by the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indictor (RHETI).
Use to determine type, wings, gut/heart/head types, and tri-center.
Enneagram Wing Comparison Test
This test compares the two wings of any type, producing a score for each wing.
Use when you know your type but not your preferred wing.
Enneagram Type Comparison Test
This test compares any two types, producing a score for each.
Use when not sure which of two types is your primary type and which is your preferred wing type.