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An Overview of the Four (pg 106-107)

In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate andthe still more urgent need not to be found. (D.W. Winnicott, quoted in Anthony Storr, The Dynamics of Creation, 58.)

What more fruitful way to redressing the balance than by portraying one's inner world in a work of art and then persuading other people to accept it, if not as real, at least as highly significant? Part of the satisfaction which a creative person obtains from his achievement may be the feeling that, at last, some part of his inner life is being accepted which has never been accorded recognition before. Moreover, since art became an individual matter generally recognized as being especially apt for expressing the personal style of an individual (which is of course closely related to his inner world). The value we place upon authenticity is often exaggerated, yet there is a sense in which it is justified. However good a painting or a piece of music may be, taken quite apart from its creator, the fact that it is or is not another expression of the personality of a particular artist is important. For it either is or is not an addition to our knowledge of that artist; a further revelation of the mysterious, indefinable and fascinating thing - his personality. (Anthony Stoor, The Dynamics of Creation, 58.)

The nature of creativity will probably always remain mysterious because its basis is irrational - in the feelings and unconscious of those who create - and because as Winnicott notes, part of the motive for creating is to remain concealed, to be unfound by others. Yet the motives given for artistic work - to communicate and to conceal the self - are but two possible motives which any person may have for creating. These two motives are, however, particularly appropriate to the Four, the artistic temperament among the personality types. Of course, members of any other personality type can become artists in the sense of making a livelihood by producing works of art, however that is defined. But only Fours turn to art and creativity as ways of communicating and concealing themselves from other people. Fours are in search of themselves. Art is the foremost means they have of finding themselves, as well as their way of reporting to the world what they have discovered.

The Major Subtypes of the Four (pgs 130-132)

The Four with a Three-Wing

The traits of the Four are in some degree of conflict with the traits of the Three-wing: Fours are introverted, withdrawn, vulnerable and self-aware, whereas Threes are extroverted, popular, well defended, and lack self-awareness. The Four's search for self is in marked contrats to the Three's ability to project simulated images to others without regard to the real self. The Four's fear of exposing itself (in a sense, a fear of success) is the opposite of the Three's self-display and competitive desire for success. The Four's introverted self-consciousness contrasts with the Three's charm and other extroverted social skills.

As conflicting as these two component types are, both are nevertheless concerned with self-esteem issues: the Four tends to have low self-esteem, the Three high self-esteem. Both opposing sets of traits can coexist in the same person, although uneasily. Noteworthy examples of the Four with a Three-wing include Tennessee Williams, Maria Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust, Martha Grahm, Paul Simon, Harold Pinter, Lawrence Olivier, Robert DeNiro, Walt Whitman, Albert Camus, E.M. Forster, Gustav Mahler, Peter Illich Tchaikovsky, Charles Ryder, and Blanche DuBois.

Because of the Three-wing, healthy people of this subtype can be sociable, ambitious, and accomplished, particularly in the arts. The are in touch with who they are and who they are becoming, but with a more extroverted, energetic dimension to them. People of this subtype are also usually ambitious, physically attractive, and possess a certain social sense, which counterbalances the Four's tendency to withdraw from others. They are adaptable, sensitive to others, and have a good sense of humor.

Average people of this subtype may be helped out of their self-absorption by a concern for what others think of them. Since people of this subtype have the ability to project a favorable image, they are able to conceal their real emotional condition more effectively than othe other subtype: others may not realize how vulnerable or emotionally troubled they may be. Fours with a Three-wing are competitive and interested in making something of themselves in the world, but they fear success, self-exposure, and possible humiliation. However, to the degree that the Three-wing is operative, this subtype also has narcissistic tendencies (exhibitionistic desires for their behavior. And, to the degree that their narcissistic needs are unfulfilled in reality, their desires for triumph can both play a part in their fantasy life and become a focal point for disappointments.

Since unhealthy persons of this subtype are still fundamentally Fours, they take out their aggressions principally on themselves. The are self-inhibited and alienated from others, depressed, self-contemptuous, and so forth. However, to the degree that the Three-wing plays a part in the overall personality, there will be moments when they act like unhealthy Threes. People of this subtype can be hostile and malicious; their secret envy of others will be reinforced by the Three-wing's jealousy. Exploitativeness, opportunism, and duplicity may also be present, although these traits increase their shame and guilt if they should succumb to them. The vindictive malice which we find in Threes is rarely acted upon by this subtype. If it ever is, however, neurotics of this subtype will punish themselves even more severly than they inflict pain on anyone else. Crimes of passion and suicide are possible.

The Four with a Five-Wing

The traits of Fours and of Fives tend to reinforce each other. Both are withdrawn types: Fours withdraw to protect their feelings, Fives to protect their security. Fours with a Five-wing will be markedly more observant of the environment, particularly of other people. There is an intellectual depth and intensity here which is not found in the other subtype, but also a corresponding social insecurity. Noteworthy examples of the Four with a Five-wing include Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Ingmar Bergman, Saul Steinberg, J.D. Salinger, Bob Dylan, Soren Kierkegaard, Hermann Hesse, William Blake, and Hamlet.

Healthy, gifted individuals of this subtype are probably the most profoundly creative of all the types because they combine intuition with insight, emotional sensitivity with intellectual comprehension, frequently with stunningly original, even prophetic, results. Four with a Five-wing burn brighter than Fours with a Three-wing, but at the risk of burning themselves out faster.

Average persons of this subtype are given not merely to self-absorption, but to philosophical and religious speculation. Their emotional world is the dominant reality, but with a strong intellectual cast. People of this subtype tend to be extreme loners, more lacking in social connectedness than the other subtype. Thus, their artisitic expressions more completely substitute for the person than in Fours with a Three-wing. These people also frequently have an otherworldly, ethereal quality about them; they are extremely independent and unconventional to the point of eccentricity. They also tend to be secretive, intesely preoccupied with their thoughts, and purposely enigmatic in their self-expressions. Their creative ideas may also be somewhat unsual, possibly even surreal. Members of this subtype care little for communicating with those who cannot understand them. Rather, they are interested in expressing their inner vision, whether sublime or terrifying, bleak or lyrical.

Unhealthy persons of this subtype inhabit a particularly barren and terrifying inner world. There is a self-denying, even life-denying element of inner resistance to everything outside the self, throwing all of the Four's existential problems into sharper relief. Since Four is the fundamental personality type, fours with a Five-wing are assailed by self-doubt, depression, alienation from others, inhibitions in their work, and self-contempt. To the degree that the Five-wing plays a part in the overall personality, unhealthy fours of this subtype will also resist being helped by anyone, thus increasing their alienation from others. They also tend to project their fears into the environment, resulting in distorted thinking patters which may include elements of suspicion, paranoia, and phobias. Not only are people of this subtype subject to torment from their self-hatred, they can see very little that is positive outside themselves, and they become very pessimistic about the apparant meaninglessness of life. Of all the personality types, peopleof this subtype are potentially the most isolated from themselves and from reality. They are prone to the depressive forms of schizophrenia.

Excerpts are taken from Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by
Don Richard Riso
 

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Thanks Aubrey, you rock!
 

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Thank you!

This really helped clear things up for me.

The test I took had two different wings so it was a little confusing for me
I had both 4w3 and 4w5 for some reason at the end of my test,but 4w5 sounds a lot more like me, I think.

Can a person be both wings? Do you know?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you!

This really helped clear things up for me.

The test I took had two different wings so it was a little confusing for me
I had both 4w3 and 4w5 for some reason at the end of my test,but 4w5 sounds a lot more like me, I think.

Can a person be both wings? Do you know?
There are several different theories that would explain why you relate to the other wing. Some say wings aren't valid while others say that you may have both wings but one is stronger than the other, therefore the stronger is your wing. Some say both ideas can work, depending on the individual. Personally, I see your core plus wing as a gestalt. I can't really go into the theory that I'm most inclined to believe for a few reasons, but I'll say that most people find at least a little bit of almost every type within them.
 

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There are several different theories that would explain why you relate to the other wing. Some say wings aren't valid while others say that you may have both wings but one is stronger than the other, therefore the stronger is your wing. Some say both ideas can work, depending on the individual. Personally, I see your core plus wing as a gestalt. I can't really go into the theory that I'm most inclined to believe for a few reasons, but I'll say that most people find at least a little bit of almost every type within them.
I understand what you're saying.

I agree with the idea of being a mix of two wings because I seem to have,well, a mixture of both wings.
My stronger wing is supposed to be the 3 wing,but I don't feel that it is.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying the stronger one has a holistic effect on a persons personality. Which makes sense. Then it integrates the other wing. It makes a lot of sense.

I'm more introspective and spiritual than that,but I can go through phases where I'm not always aware of what I'm doing and I'm not as spiritual.

Thank you for your help and advice screamofconscious.:happy: I greatly appreciate it.:cool:
 

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I believe I have both wings, but my five wing is stronger than my three wing, but it all depends on what my original four is feeling that day :p The five wing deffinetly sounds like me most of the time. I show some unhealthyness but that's because of recent events. It feels good to know other out there are feeling the same way as I am :) I hate the feeling of being solitary. Seems that fours are rare sometimes...but maybe I just like to think I'm special :p
 

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Thank you so much!!! I think I might be a four with a three wing instead of a four with a five wing. This must be investigated :cool:
 

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That last part of the wing 5 description was kind of scary. :(

I dunno that I always like Riso and Hudson's descriptions.

My mom, a 6, read through the description of 6s and started having a panic attack. She told me about another really good enneagram author though that kinda words things differently. Can't remember the name though.
 

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On a quiz I took, I scored both 4w3 and 4w5 equally. Maybe that's why I use my 3 wing a lot around others, but be interested in philosophical and intellectual activities by myself.
 

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4w5, and it was pretty much on target. Sadly, I am apparently an unhealthy 4. Ha.
 

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I definitely feel like my wings are versatile, and that depending on who I'm around and where I am, I can lean more towards one wing than another. also, throughout my life, I think I have been clearly one wing, and then the other at a different time/age.
 

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I don't think I'll ever figure this out. I'm not even sure if I buy wing theory. But maybe I can explain it by saying I'm a 4w5 but my so/sx variant gives me a more social persona dimension?? Through different periods of my life I have gone from the descripton from 4w3 and 4w5.
 
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