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ENVY AND DEPRESSIVE MASOCHISTIC CHARACTER: ENNEA-TYPE IV

1. Core Theory, Nomenclature, and Place in the Enneagram

The emotional state of envy involves a painful sense of lack and a craving toward that which is felt lacking; the situation involves a sense of goodness as something outside oneself which needs to be incorporated. Though an understandable reaction to early frustration and deprivation, envy constitutes a self-frustrating factor in the psyche, for the excessive craving for love that it entails neveranswers the chronic sense of inner scarcity and badness, but on the contrary, stimulates further frustration and pain. Frustration is a natural consequence of envy. In addition, over-desiring can lead to painful situations as portrayed by Quevedo in his dream of hell, when he tells us that when the envious arrive there and see the different souls subjected to the various tortures of the hell realms, they are frustrated and suffer by seeing that there is no place reserved for them.

The position of envy in the enneagram is that of a satellite to vanity and a neighbor to point 5, avarice, which entails a comparable sense of deprivation to envy, though it involves a different attitude in face of the experience of scarcity. While point 4 represents a forceful reaching out, an intense demand for that which is missed, point 5 is characterized by a psychic attitude of giving up the expectation of anything receiving from the outside and, rather, a concern about holding in one’s energy, caring, and attention.

The connection with vanity is even more important than the one with avarice, since point 4 constitutes a member of the triad in the right corner of the enneagram, which, as a whole, gravitates around an excessive concern with the image of the self. While an ennea-type III person identifies with that part of the self that coincides with the idealized image, the enneatype IV individual identifies with that part of the psyche that fails to fit the idealized image, and is always striving to achieve the unattainable. Here is a person animated by a vanity that fails to reach its goal because of the admixture of the sense of scarcity and worthlessness (of point 5).

Even though the ennea-types mapped at the positions 4 and 5 (envy and avarice) have in common the sense of worthlessness, guilt, and lack, and both may be described as depressed, common the sense of worthlessness, guilt, and lack, and both may be described as depressed, they are in marked contrast in various regards. While guilt in envy is conscious torture, in avarice it is partially veiled over by a seeming moral indifference (that it shares with enneatype VIII and constitutes a rebellion against its own excessive demands and accusations); while depression in envy manifests as overt grief, the avaricious often have trouble in crying orcontacting their pain, so that their depression manifests, rather, as apathy and a sense of emptiness. It may be said that ennea-type V is a “dry” depression contrary to the “wet” depression of ennea-type IV: just as avarice is resigned, envy is passionate. In this is reflected a sharply differentiated feature: dry avarice is apathetic, wet envy, most intense; if the one is a desert, the other is a marsh. (The French use of envie to mean “desire” underscores the implicit observation that envy is the most passionate of passions.) While ennea-type V involves an internal atmosphere of quietness, ennea-type IV involves an atmosphere of turmoil andturbulence. The most characteristic aspect of ennea-type IV character besides envious motivation may be seen in the tendency to self-victimization and frustration.

Kernberg and others have rightly criticized DSM III for not taking account of the depressive, self-defeating, masochistic personality style. I am pleased to see that it has been brought in, at least tentatively, to the DSM III revision, for it surely constitutes one of the most common sources of interpersonal problems. Grumbling, lamenting, and the tendency to discontent on the other hand, have been observed since antiquity, while the masochistic pattern which was already described by Kurt Schneider, was rediscovered by Abraham in his observation of the oral-aggressive character and has been elaborated upon at length by Horney.

2. Antecedents in the Scientific Literature on Character

Though the masochistic and self-defeating personality syndrome was not acknowledged in DSM-III, this was the result of having included the tendency to depression that is so characteristic of such character among the mood disturbances. The recognition of a definite personality style surrounding depression is very old, however, and Schneider quotes Kraepelin as speaking of personalities in which there is a “constant emotional emphasis in the somber emotions involved in all the experiences of life.” Schneider depicts a kind of person who is “pessimistic and skeptical and who, at bottom, denies life,” and “yet surrounds it with a sort of unrequited love.” “This is an over serious kind of person who is embittered and for whom everything is somewhat rotten… All this is not necessarily obvious; however, for the melancholic individual is hidden … they may manifest joy and a hypomanic activity as a way of escaping sadness.” Schneider quotes in this regard a poem of Hölderlin concerning jokers, in which he says “you are always playing and joking, you cannot help it friends, I am deeply touched because only the desperate are forced to do so.” Also Schneider notices a tendency to vanity among the melancholic.

“Comparing themselves with those who live happily and knowing the simplicity characteristic of such people leads them to consider suffering something noble and to regard themselves rather in an aristocratic manner. Others see suffering as a merit, which together with their tendency to reflect and ponder bitterness of earthly life and the deep need for help, leads them to seek a philosophical or religious refuge.” He notes too “an esthetic preoccupation among the melancholic which may be manifest in their way of dressing and living and can even lead to presumptuousness.” Finally he draws a distinction between those depressive individuals that are properly melancholic (such as those that Kretschmer aligned among the cyclothymic and labeled as having “heavy blood”) and others that are predominantly “ill-humoured”: “they are cold and selfish, grumbling and hateful, irritable and critical, even mean and ill-intentioned. Their pessimism in face of all things and also in regard of their own fate has something fanatical about it. They almost rejoice at new failures, and neither do they desire anything good for others.”

The ennea-type IV syndrome has been recognized since early in the history of psychiatry, as we can observe reading Kurt Schneider’s volume on psychopathic as we can observe reading Kurt Schneider’s volume on psychopathic personalities. Summarizing German publications of before his time, he quotes, for instance, the following observation on the “depressive psychopath”: “At bottom he refuses life and still surrounds it by a sort of unrequited love. Frequently, too, we see him develop a tendency toward vanity, a comparison with those who are contented and happy, the awareness of simplicity, even of the excessive simplicity that often characterize these brings the sufferers to deem suffering as something noble and themselves as aristocratic … Others see in suffering a merit which is no different from their tendency to reflect and to brood … Not rarely one finds that in the environment and way of living there is an aesthetic preoccupation that can convey arrogance and dissimulates an inner despondency. Other depressives are rather in a bad mood, are cold and selfish, grumbling and embittered, irritable and critical, cruel and ill intentioned. They are pessimists in the face of everything and also in the face of their own they almost cheer up when they meet new failures. Neither do they desire anything good for others.” Such character has been designated by Kraepelin as “irritable predisposition” and by Bleuler under “irritable dysthymia,” designations that also correspond to the eternally discontented and the resentful of Aschaffenburg.

In the history of psychoanalysis it was Karl Abraham who first drew attention to the ennea-type IV syndrome in his description of “oral aggressive character,” as he sought to relate character structure to vicissitudes in the unfoldment of the libido corresponding to Freudian theory. Here is how Goldman-Eisler describes the oral aggressive or oral pessimistic character in their classical investigation of “Breast Feeding and Character Formation”: “This type is characterized by a profoundly pessimistic outlook on life, sometimes accompanied by moods of depression and attitudes of withdrawal, passive-receptive attitude, a feeling of insecurity, a need of assurance of getting one’s livelihood guaranteed, an ambition which combines an intense desire to climb with a feeling of unattainability, a grudging feeling of injustice, sensitiveness to competition, a dislike of sharing and an impatient importunity.”

Edmund Bergler describes a similar syndrome which he calls “oral pessimism.” He emphasizes its narcissistic aspect and interprets it as a compulsion to repeat the experience of the original frustration supposedly caused by the loss of mother’s breast. In seeking to interpret this orientation of personality in line with Freud’s idea of fixation, he believes that by being fixated to frustration the oral pessimist would derive pleasure from anticipating calamity and disappointment and this must give him satisfaction from being the victim.

It is curious to note that the concept of “masochistic character,” introduced by Reich through a paper in the International Journal for Psychoanalysis (1932/33), makes no reference to the oral aggressive or oral-pessimistic syndrome—which suggests that Reich believed he was describing an independent character structure. The distinguishing mark of masochistic character is for him “a chronic subjective feeling of suffering which is manifested objectively and specially stands out as a tendency to complain. The most important additional trait is the ‘chronic tendency’ to inflict pain upon and to debase oneself.”

The main thrust of Reich’s paper was his controversy with Freud in regard to the existence of a death instinct—a controversy which motivated the publication of this paper together with a reply entitled “The Communist Discussion of Psychoanalysis.” Though descriptively accurate, I think most of us today would disagree with both Freud and Reich’s alternative to Freud’s theory of masochistic behavior: “the specific masochistic inhibition of the orgasm function, which became manifest as a fear of dying or fear of bursting.”

Among the theoreticians of psychology none has emphasized envy more than Melanie Klein, however. She tells us in Envy and Gratitude: “I arrived at the conclusion that envy is the most potent factor in undermining feelings of love and gratitude at their root, since it affects the earliest relation of all, that of the mother. The fundamental importance of this relation for the individual’s whole emotional life has been substantiated in a number of psycho-analytic writings, and I think that by exploring further a particular factor that can be very disturbing at this early stage, I have added something of significance to my findings concerning infantile development and personality formation.”

Essentially she shows how envy contributes to the infant’s difficulties in building up his good object, for his frustration leads him to the perception of his mother as evil. Ms. Klein draws a distinction between envy and greed; that we may read as a differentiation of “lust” and “envy”: “Greed is an impetuous and insatiable craving, exceeding what the subject needs and what the object is able and willing to give. At the unconscious level, greed aims primarily at completely scooping out, sucking dry, and devouring the breast: that is to say, its aim is destructive introjection; whereas envy not only seeks to rob in this way, but also put a badness, primarily bad excrements and bad part of the self, into the mother, and first of all into her breast, in order to spoil and destroy her. In the deepest sense this means destroying her creativeness.” Whether we are willing to believe as Kleinians do that the child indeed fantasizes putting excrements into her mother or whether we perceive such a fantasy as one that the adult projects back onto the screen of childhood, we may regard her statements in the same way that we read a surrealist caricature, i.e., symbolically and phenomenologically.

Something similar may be said to the standard psychoanalytic statements concerning the oedipal situation: whether we take the sexual symbols literally or not, they contain an appropriate description of the relationship of the child with the parents: “Throughout this section I am speaking of the primary envy of the mother’s breast, and this should be differentiated from its later forms (inherent in the girl’s desire to take her mother’s place and in the boy’s feminine position) in which envy is no longer focused on the breast but on the mother receiving the father’s penis, having babies inside her, giving birth to them, and being able to feed them.” Penis envy is certainly a reality, if we take it to mean, metaphorically, an envy of masculine prerogatives, and occasionally, also literally—as part of a desire to identify with the privileged sex, even physically and also in view of a concomitant disidentification with a hated mother. Yet I am sure the basic issue is love, and only secondarily sex. Klein’s more original contribution on the emphasis of the primitive nature of envy is her stress of envy as “a spoiling of the object.”

While the masochistic pattern is widely recognized today among psychologically sophisticated laymen, this is not to be attributed so much to the influence of Melanie Klein (who failed to point out an envy-centered personality type) nor to Reich (for the word masochistic in bioenergetics has shifted in its original meaning and has come to designate our cyclothymic ennea-type IX) but, rather, to Eric Berne’s Games People Play where it is echoed in the games labeled “Ain’t it Awful,” “Blamish,” “Kick Me,” and “Broken Skin.” “Ain’t it Awful,” according to Berne, finds its most dramatic expression in “polysurgery addicts”: “They are Doctor Shoppers, people who actively seek surgery even in the face of some medical opposition.” Concerning this type of person he makes the same observation that Schneider records concerning his “depressive” psychopaths: “Overtly expresses distress but is covertly gratified at the prospect of the satisfaction he can bring from his misfortune.”

Of “Kick Me” he says that “this is played by men whose social manner is equivalent to wearing a sign that reads ‘Please don’t kick me’ up to ‘My misfortunes are better than yours’.” In Steiner’s Scripts People Play I find a life pattern labeled “Poor Little Me,” characterized by the role of a victim looking for a rescuer. I quote some of the more original observations: “She experiences some intimacy from her child ego state in relation to the Parent ego state of others, but rarely experienced intimacy as an equal. Because she has permission to be childlike she can be spontaneous in a childlike and helpless way and be inventive about acting ‘crazy.’ She learns she can get things more easily if she tells people about her troubles and thus she becomes invested in not giving up that self-image. She spends a lot of time complaining about how awful things are and trying to get others to do something about it. She keeps proving that she’s a Victim by setting up situations in which she first manipulates people into doing things for her that they really don’t want to do, then getting persecuted by them when they feel resentful towards her.”

Otto Kernberg, as I have already pointed out, draws attention to how depressive masochistic personality is ignored by DSM III. Here is his description: “The person places himself or herself in situations that are self-defeating and have painful consequences even when better options are clearly available … Reasonable offers of assistance from others are rejected … The person’s reaction to positive personal events may be depression or feelings of guilt … Characteristically, people with this disorder act in such a way as to cause others to be angry or to reject them … Opportunities for pleasure may be repeatedly avoided … The person frequently attempts to do things for others that require excessive self-sacrifice that engenders a sense of pride and enhances the subject’s self-esteem.”

Since people with a masochistic character typically perceive themselves as problem-ridden and seek help, one may wonder how they have been diagnosed thus far by DSM III users. I conjecture that many have been assigned to the “borderline personality disorder” category, for, in spite of the more general sense in which Kernberg proposes that we use the expression “borderline” (in reference to a level of psychopathology rather than a specific interpersonal style) the “borderline” diagnosis in practice is made in terms of ennea-type IV traits such as these: variability of mood, self-condemnation, impulsivity, rage, excessive dependency and tempestuous transference.

Grinker’s cluster analysis based on the borderline population sample further confirms the association of this diagnostic category with ennea-type IV for I can recognize in three of the resulting clusters the three subtypes of ennea-type IV in protoanalysis: the angry hateful, the shameful guilty, and the depressed. Describing borderlines, Millon writes: “Not only do they need protection and reassurance to maintain their equanimity, but they become inordinately vulnerable to separation from these external sources of support. Isolation or aloneness may be terrifying not only because borderlines lack an inherent sense of self but because they lack the wherewithal, the knowhow, and equipment for taking mature, self-determined and independent action. Unable to fend adequately for themselves, they not only dread potential loss but often anticipate it, ‘seeing it’ happening, when, in fact, it is not. Moreover, since most borderlines devalue their self-worth, it is difficult for them to believe that those upon whom they depend could think well of them.

“Consequently, they are exceedingly fearful that others will depreciate them and cast them off. With so unstable a foundation of self-esteem, and lacking the means for an autonomous existence, borderlines remain constantly on edge, prone to the anxiety of separation and ripe for anticipating inevitable desertion. Events that stir up these fears may precipitate extreme efforts at restitution such as idealization, self-abnegation, and attention-gaining acts of self-destruction or, conversely, self-assertion and impulsive anger.” The masochistic aspect of ennea-type IV is clearly portrayed in Millon’s observation that by “sacrificing” themselves, borderlines “not only assure continued contact with others but serve as implicit models for others to be gentle and considerate in return. Virtuous martyrdom, rather than sacrifice, is a ploy of submissive devotion that strengthens the attachment borderlines need.”

Of depression itself, he remarks that “… the pleading anguish, despair, and resignation voiced by borderlines serve to release tensions and to externalize the torment they feel within themselves. For some, however, depressive lethargy and sulking behavior are a means primarily of expressing anger. Depression serves as an instrument for them to frustrate and retaliate against those who have ‘failed’ them or ‘demanded too much.’ Angered by the ‘inconsiderateness’ of others; these borderlines employ their somber and melancholy sadness as a vehicle to ‘get back’ at them or ‘teach them a lesson.’ Moreover, by exaggerating their plight and by moping about helplessly, they effectively avoid responsibilities, place added burdens upon others, and thereby cause their families not only to take care of them but to suffer and feel guilty while doing so.”

I think that the most insightful and articulate discussion of masochistic character in the literature thus far is that by Karen Horney—who, however, sometimes discusses the syndrome in terms of the over-generalization of “self-effacement.” Here is what Horney’s disciple Harold Kelman says of masochism in Wolman’s International Encyclopedia of Psychology: “According to Horney masochism is neither a love for suffering for its own sake nor a biologically predetermined self negating process. It is a form of relating and its essence is the weakening or extinction of the individual self and merging witha person or power believed to be greater than oneself.” This observation corresponds with the self-shrinking aspect of envy, and an intense craving to absorb into oneself the values perceived in others, but also a willingness to suffer for this “love” or, more exactly said, love-need. The entry continues: “Masochism is a way of coping with life through dependency and self minimizing. Though it is most obvious in the sexual area, it encompasses the total range of human relations. As part of a neurotic character development, masochism has its own special purposes and value system. The neurotic suffering may serve the defensive purposes of avoiding recriminations, competitions, and responsibility. It is a way of expressing accusations and vindictiveness in a disguised form. By exaggerating and inviting suffering, it justifies demands for affection, control and reparations. In the distorted value system of the masochism, suffering is raised to a virtue and serves as the basis for claims to love, acceptance and rewards. Since the masochist takes pride in and identifies with the self-effacing suffering, subdued self, an awareness of conflicting drives towards expansiveness and self-glorification as well as a healthy striving for growth would be destructive to his self-image. By abandoning himself to uncompromised hatred for the intolerable side of himself, the masochistic attempts to eliminate the conflict of contradictory impulses, thus a masochist has engulfed himself in self-hate and suffering.”

In Neurosis and Human Growth , Karen Horney devotes a chapter to “Morbid Dependency,” in which she begins by commenting upon the fact that among the three possible “solutions” to the basic conflict between approaching others, asserting oneself in a movement against them and withdrawing, the “self-effacing” one is the one that entails the greater subjective feelings of unhappiness than the others: “The genuine suffering of the self-effacing type may not be greater than in other kinds of neurosis, but subjectively he feels miserable more often and more intensely than others because of the many functions suffering has assumed for him. Besides his needs and expectations of others make for a too great dependency upon them. And, while every enforced dependency is painful, this one is particularly unfortunate because his relation to people cannotbut be divided. Nevertheless love (still in its broad meaning) is the only thing that gives a positive content to his life.

“Erotic love lures this type as the supreme fulfillment. Love must and does appear as the ticket to paradise, where all woe ends: no more loneliness, no more feeling lost, guilty or unworthy; no more responsibility for self; no more struggle with a harsh world for which he feels hopelessly unequipped. Instead love seems to promise protection, support, affection, encouragement, sympathy, understanding. It will give him a feeling of worth, it will give meaning to his life, it will be salvation and redemption. No wonder then that for him people often are divided into haves and have-nots, not in terms of money and social status but of being (or not being) married or having an equivalent relationship.”

Together with pointing out this “envy of love” she goes on to explain the significance given to love in terms of all that is expected from being loved and also remarks how psychiatric writers describing the love of dependent persons have put a one-sided emphasis on this aspect which they have called parasitic, sponging, or “oral erotic.” “And this aspect may indeed be in the foreground. But for the typical self-effacing person (a person with prevailing self-effacing trends) the appeal is as much in loving as in being loved. To love for him, means to lose, to submerge himself in more or less ecstatic feelings, to merge with another being, to become one heart and one flesh, and in this merge to find a unity which he cannot find in himself.”

Just as it was a surprise not to find a description of ennea-type IV in DSM III (before revision) it was surprising not to find it clearly echoed in Jung’s psychological types. I would have assumed its characteristics to be found under the label of “the introverted feeling type,” for a feeling type it certainly is, and the most introverted among them—as the proximity to ennea-type V indicates in the enneagram. Yet what Jung says of the introverted feeling type fits only very fragmentarily. It fits in that he states that “it is principally among women that I have found the predominance of introverted feeling,” for the masochistic-depressive type is indeed most predominant among women. What also fits is Jung’s important statement that “their temperament is inclined to melancholy.” Yet most of Jung’sstatements are more appropriate to ennea-types V and IX rather than to ennea-type IV.

Turning to Keirsey and Bates’ portraits of individuals according to testing results I find characteristics of ennea-type IV including in the two intuitive subtypes of introverted feeling, the INFJ and the INFP. INFJ’s (in whom judgment predominates over perception) are described as having strong empathic abilities, particularly in regard to distresses or illness of others; as being vulnerable and prone to introjection; imaginative and able to create works of art, being “the most poetic of all the types.” INFP people (with a predominance of perception over judgment) are described as having “capacity for caring” which is not always found in other types, as being idealistic and living a paradox: “drawn to purity and unity but looking over the shoulder toward the sullied and discreated.”

The personality corresponding to our ennea-type IV in the homeopathic tradition is one said to have an affinity with Natrum muriaticum, common salt. I quote Catherine R. Coulter: “Even as an adult, he may forever harp on his parents’ inadequacies or offenses … Yet, it is part of the nature’s complexity and perversity to suffer inordinately from deprivai of parental affection even when rejecting it. He thereby creates a ‘no win’ situation for his parents and himself … At times Natrum muriaticum’s pathology stems from early sibling rivalry… “Thereafter, projecting his childhood experience onto the world at large, he will be quick to sense others’ repressions, rejections, thwarted longings, and victimizations … The remedy is probably indicated if the physician is tempted to tell a ‘forever remembering’ patient belaboring past slights and offenses, ‘Put that sorrow behind you… .’

The practitioner may suspect Natrum muriaticum “of seeking injury, even if unconsciously, or at least of placing himself in a situation where injury can occur… “On the other hand, Natrum muriaticum can be his own worst enemy by allowing some specific emotional injury, or the cloud of depression constantly hanging over him, to be the lens through which he views reality. An apposite term for this distorting lens is ‘bleakness,’ implying, as it does, not only isolation, barrenness, and desolation, but also cheerlessness and discouragement (‘sad and dejected’: Hahnemann)… ”

The Natrum muriaticum person may appreciate artistic beauty for its melancholy associations: “… at times he will turn to affecting music to indulge his bittersweet sorrow or voluptuously to reinforce some ancient (or recent) hurt … “Over and above everything else, there is romantic love! With its enormous potential for pain, disappointment, and sorrow, it is fated to catch Natrum muriaticum at his most vulnerable … Even if the love is requited, he may put himself into insoluble difficulties, courting relationships that will inevitably lead to grief.”

Though the forceful Lachesis personality evokes the counter-phobic type VI, I think that its perfect match is the sexual type IV: “he is highly emotional—far more so than Sulphur, whose intellect clearly predominates. In fact, the intensity of feeling which Phosphorus tries to sustain is already present in Lachesis—who is often incapable of relinquishing it (the feeling possesses him, rather than he the feeling). Finally, the type is strongly given to sensual gratification … Without the calming effect of a normal sex life, deep depression may set in. The patient may exhibit manic behavior with sexual passion.” Since it is easy to recognize Voltaire as an enneatype IV, I find it of interest that Coulter gives him as an exemplar of a Lachesis personality.

3. Trait Structure

Envy

If we understand the essence of envy as an excessively intense desire for incorporation of the “good mother,” the concept coincides with the psychoanalytic notion of a “cannibalistic impulse” which may manifest not only as a love hunger, but as a more generalized voraciousness or greediness. Though a guilty and controlled greed is part of type IV psychology, it is no greater than the exploitative and uninhibited greed of type VIII, and not so peculiar to envious characters as is envy in Melanie Klein’s conception: “Greed is an impetuous and insatiable craving, exceeding what the subject needs and what the object is able and willing to give. At the unconscious level, greed aims primarily at completely scooping out, sucking dry, and devouring the breast: that is to say, its aim is destructive introjection; whereas envy not only seeks to rob in this way, but also put a badness, primarily bad excrements and bad part of the self, into the mother, and first of all into her breast, in order to spoil and destroy her. In the deepest sense this means destroying her creativeness.”

Whether we agree or not with Klein in regard to the envious fantasies that she attributes to the infant at the breast, I think that it is reasonable to take them as a symbolic expression of experiences in the adult—and, more particularly, the characteristic process of self-frustration that seems inseparable from envy, as the ongoing basis of its over-desiring characteristic. Whatever the truth about the beginnings of envy during breastfeeding, too, in the experience of many envy is not consciously experienced in connection with the mother but toward a preferred sibling, so that the individual has sought to be her or him rather than himself in the pursuit of parental love. Often there is an element of sexual envy that Freud observed in women and—from the point of view of his sexual and biological interpretation—branded as “penis envy.” Since envy of women is also experienced by some men in distinctly erotic terms we might also speak of “vagina envy”—though I am of the opinion that sexual fantasies are derivative from a more basic phenomenon of gender-envy involving a sense of the superiority of the other sex. Given the patriarchal bias of our civilization it is no wonder that envy of the male is more common (and, indeed, ennea-type IV women loom large in the liberation movement) but both forms of sexual envy are striking in the case of the counter-sexual identification underlying homosexuality andlesbianism (both of them more frequent in type IV than in any other character).

Another realm of expression of envy is social, and can manifest both as an idealization of the upper classes and a strong social climbing drive, as Proust has portrayed so masterfully throughout the first volumes of Remembrance of Things Past. Still more subtly, envy can manifest as an ever present pursuit of the extraordinary and the intense, along with the corresponding dissatisfaction with the ordinary and non dramatic. A primitive pathological manifestation of the same disposition is the symptom of bulimia, which I have observed to exist in the context of type IV character; many people experience a subtle echo of that condition: occasional feelings of painful emptiness at the pit of the stomach.

Whereas avarice and, most characteristically, anger are hidden traits in the personality syndromes of which they are part (since they have been compensated by pathological detachment and reactive traits of benignity and dignity, respectively) in the case of envy the passion itself is apparent, and the person thus suffers from the contradiction between an extreme neediness and the taboo against it. Also in light of this clash between the perception of intense envy and the corresponding sense of shamefulness and vileness in being envious we can understand the “bad image” trait discussed below.

Poor Self-image

The most striking of traits from the point of view of the number of descriptors in it is that which conveys a poor self-concept. Included among the specific characteristics are not only “poor self-image” itself, but others such as “feeling inadequate,” “prone to shame,” “sense of ridicule,” “feeling unintelligent,” “ugly,” “repulsive,” “rotten,” “poisonous” and so on. Even though I have chosen to speak of “bad self-image” as a separately (thus echoing the appearance of an independent conceptual cluster of descriptors) it is impossible to dissociate the phenomenon of envy from this bad self-image, which object relations theorists interpret as the consequence of the introjection of a “bad object.” It is such self-denigration that creates the “hole” out of which arises the voracity of envy proper in its clinging, demanding, biting, dependent, over attached manifestations.

Focus on suffering

I still have not commented upon the cluster of traits usually designated by the label “masochistic.” In the understanding of these we should invoke, beyond the suffering that arises through a bad self-image, and the frustration of exaggerated neediness, the use of pain as vindictiveness and an unconscious hope of obtaining love through suffering. Ennea-type IV individuals, as a result of these dynamic factors and also of a basic emotional disposition are not only sensitive, intense, passionate, and romantic, but tend to suffer from loneliness and may harbor a tragic sense of their life or life in general.

Possessed of a deep longing, dominated by nostalgia, intimately forlorn and sometimes visibly liquid-eyed and languorous, they are usually pessimistic, often bitter and sometimes cynical. Associated traits are lamenting, complaining, despondent, and self-pitying. Of particular prominence in the painful landscape of type IV psychology is what has to do with the feeling of loss, usually the echo of real experiences of loss and deprivation, sometimes present as a fear of future loss and particularly manifest as a proneness to suffering intensely from the separations and frustrations of life. Particularly striking is the propensity of type IV to the mourning response, not only in relation to persons but also pets. It is in this cluster, I think, that we are closest to the core of the character type, and particularly in the maneuver that it entails of focusing upon and expressing suffering to obtain love.

Just as it is a functional aspect of crying, in the human infant, to attract mother’s protective care, I think the experience of crying contains that of seeking attention. Just as ennea-type III children learn to shine to get attention (and those who will develop the type V or type VIII character, hopeless about ever getting it, prefer the way of withdrawal or the way of power), here the individual learns to get “negative” attention through the intensification of need—which operates not only in a histrionic manner (through the imaginative amplification of suffering and the amplification of the expression of suffering), but also through walking into painful situations—i.e., through a painful life course. Crying may be, indeed, not only a pain, but a satisfaction for a type IV individual. It remains to say that (as the word “masochistic” brings to mind), there can be a sad sweetness in suffering. It feels real, though it is also the opposite—for the main self-deception in ennea-type IV is exaggerating a position of victimization, which goes hand-in-hand with their “claiming,” demanding disposition.

“Moving Toward”

More than those of any other character, ennea-type IV individuals can be called “love addicted,” and their craving for love is in turn supported by a need of the acknowledgment that they are unable to give themselves. “Dependency”—its corollary—can manifest not only as a clinging to relationships that are frustrating, but as an adhesiveness—a subtle imposition of contact which seems the outcome of not only a contact need, but an anticipated defense or postponement of separation. Related to the craving for care is also the commonly observed “helplessness” of type IV individuals, which, as in type V, manifests as a motivational inability to care properly for themselves and may be interpreted as an unconscious maneuver to attract protection. The need for financial protection, specifically, may be supported by the desire to feel cared for.

Nurturance

Ennea-type IV people are usually considered thoughtful, understanding, apologetic, soft, gentle, cordial, self-sacrificing, humble, sometimes obsequious. Their nurturant quality not only appears to constitute a form of “giving to get,” i.e., dependent onthe love need alone, but on an empathic identification with the needs of others that causes them to be concerned parents, empathetic social workers, attentive psychotherapists, and fighters for the underdog. The nurturant characteristic of type IV can be dynamically understood as a form of seduction in the service of the intense need of the other and its painful frustration. Caring for others may be masochistically exaggerated to a point of self-enslavement, and contributes thus to the self-frustration and pain that in turn activates the demanding and litigious aspects of the character.

Emotionality

The word “emotional,” though implicit in a high level of suffering, deserves to be placed by itself in view of the determining contribution of feeling-dominance to the structure of ennea-type IV character. We are in the presence of an “emotional type,” just as in the case of ennea-type II, only here with a greater admixture of intellectual interests and introversion. (Indeed, these are the two kinds of character most properly regarded as emotional, for the word applies to them more exactly than in the case of the cheerful and helpful seductiveness of gluttons, and the defensive warmth of the more outwardly fearful and dependent cowards.)

The quality of intense emotionality applies not only to the romantic feelings, the dramatization of suffering, and to the love-addicted and nurturant characteristics, but also to the expression of anger. Envious people feel hate intensely, and their screams are the most impressive. Also found in ennea-types II and III, at the right corner of the enneagram, is that quality that psychiatry has called “plasticity” in reference to a capacity to role-play (related to the capacity to modulate the expression of feelings).

Competitive Arrogance

Connected to a hateful emotionality, an attitude of superiority sometimes exists along with —and in compensation for—a bad self-image. Though the individual may seethe in self-deprecation and self-hate, the attitude to the outer world is in this case that of a “prima-donna” or at least a very special person. When this claim of specialness is frustrated it may be complicated by a victimized role of “misunderstood genius.” In line with this development, individuals also develop traits of wit, interesting conversation, and others in which a natural disposition towards imaginativeness, analysis, or emotional depth (for instance) are secondarily put to the service of the contact need and the desire to summon admiration.

Refinement

An inclination to refinement (and the corresponding aversion to grossness) is manifest in descriptors such as “stylish,” “delicate,” “elegant,” “tasteful,” “artistic,” “sensitive,” and sometimes “arty” and “affected,” “mannered” and “posturing.” They may be understood as efforts on the part of the person to compensate for a poor self-image (so that an ugly self-image and the refined self-ideal may be seen as reciprocally supporting each other); also, they convey the attempt on the part of the person to be something different from what he or she is, perhaps connected to class envy. The lack of originality entailed by such imitativeness in turn; perpetuates an envy of originality—just as the attempt to imitate original individuals and the wish to emulate spontaneity are doomed to fail.

Artistic Interests

The characteristic inclination of ennea-type IV towards the arts is over-determined: at least one of its roots lies in the refined characteristic of envious character. It is supported too, by the feeling-centered disposition of the type. Other components are the possibility of idealizing pain through art and even transmuting it—to the extent that it becomes an element in the configuration of beauty.

Strong Superego

Refinement is perhaps the most characteristic of ways in which ennea-type IV seeks to be better than he or she is, and indoing so exercises discipline. More generally there is a typically strong superego that the type IV character shares with type I, but on the whole, type IV is more keenly aware of his or her standards and his or her ego ideal is more aesthetic than ethical. Along with discipline (which may reach a masochistic degree) the superego characteristic of ennea-type IV involves descriptors of tenacity and of being rule-oriented. Love of ceremony reflects both the aesthetic-refined and the rule-oriented characteristics. A strong super ego is, of course, involved in the guilt propensity of ennea-type IV, in its shame, self-hate, and selfdenigration.

4. Defense Mechanisms

In my experience the dominant defense mechanism in ennea-type IV is distinctly introjection, the operation of which becomes apparent through a consideration of the character structure itself. We may say that the bad self-image of type IV is the direct expression of an introjected self-rejecting parent and that an envious neediness results from the chronic self-hate entailed by such introject—the need of external approval and love being in the nature of a need to compensate for the inability to love oneself.

The concept of introjection was introduced by Ferenczi in “Introjection and Transference. ” The concept was taken up by Freud in his analysis of the mourning process (in “Mourning and Melancholia”) where he observes that the individual reacts to the loss of love by becoming like the loved one (as if saying to the dead loved one: I don’t need you, I now have you inside myself). While in Ferenczi and Freud the emphasis lies in the idea of bringing into oneself a “good object,” it was Melanie Klein who stressed the importance of bad introjects. In these cases it is as if the person—driven by an excessive love need—wanted to bring a parental figure into the self at all costs (i.e. “masochistically”).

In connection with the subject of introjection it may be useful to point out that Freud frequently used the terms “introjection” and “incorporation” without differentiating their meanings. In present usage “incorporation” retains the meaning of a fantasy of bringing a person into one’s body while in “introjection” the notion is more abstract, so that in speaking of “introjection into the ego,” for instance, there is no particular reference to body boundaries.

The word “internalization” is also used in the same sense as “introjection” sometimes, though it may be more proper to retain it to indicate the transposing of a relationship from the outer world to the inner. Even in this case, however, its operation goes hand in hand with introjection. As Laplanche and Pontalis observe, “we may say that … with the decline of the oedipal complex the subject introjects the parental image while internalizing the conflict of authority with the father.” In similar fashion and more specifically (in connection with our topic) we may say that ennea-type IV internalizes parental rejection or introjects an unloving parent, and thus brings into his psyche a constellation of traits ranging from a bad self-concept to the pursuit of special distinction and involving chronic suffering and a (compensatory) dependency on external acknowledgment.

Though Melanie Klein gives much importance to projection in the mechanism of envy (as in the paradigmatic fantasy of putting excrements in mother’s breast), I think that the process through which in type IV “familiarity breeds contempt” (and through which the available is never as desirable as the unavailable) is more like an “infection” in virtue of which self-denigration extends to those, who, through intimacy, have come to partake to some extent of a “self-quality.” Unlike the situation of projection, in which something is “spit out” of the psyche as a means of not acknowledging its presence, in this situation there is no disavowal of personal characteristics, but the manifestation of the fact that the sense of self—which is never fixed (but, as Perls proposed, an “identity function”)—seems in the more dependent personalities to extend furthest into the world of intimate relationships.

Also striking in type IV psychology (particularly as it is manifested in the therapeutic process) is the mechanism that Psychoanalysis calls “turning against the self” (roughly the same mechanism that Perls calls “retroflection”). While self-hating or self-rejection is implicit in the notion of an introjected “bad-object,” the idea of retroflection invites the thought that anger generated in consequence of frustration is aimed not only at the outer source of frustration (and to the original frustrator in one’s life) but also—in consequence of its introjection—at oneself.

It remains to consider aside from a dominant defense mechanism the existence of a dominant content of repression in type IV, a content to the repression of which introjections may be most specifically suitable. I think that it may be said that the most avoided attitude for type IV is that of demanding superiority which is so natural in type I. In light of this, introjection is a mechanism that makes it possible for the person to transform superiority into inferiority as he adopts the masochistic strategy in interpersonal relationships. It is as if the introject were a stone tied to the person’s feet to make sure that he sinks—at the same time maintaining a position of neediness and avoiding a superiority that might have been dysfunctional through early childhood adaptation.

Demandingness will survive the transition from ennea-type I to ennea-type IV, yet the sense of justice in demanding at the time of shift will turn into an association of claiming with guilt (which perpetuates the position of inferiority). As in other cases, the dynamic represented by the enneagram structure signifies not only the repression of one emotion (anger), but its transformation into the next (envy)—for in envy, through the intensification of oral strivings, the individual seeks to satisfy the same needs that in the type I approach are satisfied through assertive demanding.

5. Etiological and Further Psychodynamic Remarks

Constitutionally ennea-type IV is most often ectomesomorphic in body build—neither as high in ectomorphia as type V nor as mesomorphic as type III—though occasionally they may be of more rounded contours in body build, particularly with aging and among men. The oversensitivity and the measure of withdrawnness characteristic of type IV is thus consistent with the cerebrotonia that is the counterpart of ectomorphia. The plasticity or dramatic ability of type IV (which it shares with the other characters in the hysteroid corner of the enneagram) may also correspond to a constitutional endowment. Though congenital defects may support a may also correspond to a constitutional endowment. Though congenital defects may support a sense of inferiority (just as it is said that the limp are envious) more commonly stature or the lack of physical beauty have a part. Of course, however, some type IV women are outstandingly beautiful and the source of envy is found in environmental sources of deprivation and injury to self-esteem.

It is pertinent to quote here the famous Frieda Goldman-Eisler study, showing a correlation between oral-aggressive tendencies and problematic breast feeding. This correlation has been usually understood as a confirmation of the idea that insufficient breast feeding lingers as adult pain, yet it is possible to think that it may also reflect the fact that a child constitutionally endowed with a greater oral aggressiveness, (i.e. a tendency to bite the nipple) displeases its mother, which may contribute to the interruption of breast feeding. Beyond what it literally proves, it may be viewed as paradigmatic of a more general relationship between childhood frustration and adult discontent. Indeed, later psychoanalysis has emphasized a frustration in maternal affection at a later stage, after the “rapprochement” stage of establishing an early bonding with her. This accounts for a “paradise lost” quality to the experience of type IV individuals. Unlike the apathetic type V individual, who does not know what he has missed, the type IV person remembers it very well at an emotional level—if not necessarily through reminiscences.

Occasionally an intense experience of abandonment was not matched by an obvious external fact, but has been subtle enough not to be perceived by others and may be forgotten until it is recovered in the course of psychotherapy. More than abandonment, we see in these cases events in which the child was disillusioned in regard to a parent, moments of discovery that the parent has never been there for him or her. As for instance in the following passage from an interview: “I wanted to be a tap dancer, I was seven, eight years old and that was the rage. And I can remember we had very little money. We had just come to New York and we had lost everything in the depression and my mother had saved up, and saved up, and saved up. And anyhow I was going to get this one day the dancing shoes, the tap dancing shoes and the leotard and my father was going to lower side New York, East side, to get an inexpensive one and I can remember all that day, I was just, Oh! Talk about being on the heights of the world, the top of the world and that evening coming up the stairs, I remember my mother went toward the door and I was with her and the door opened and he had nothing with him.. He did not have a package with him. And so mom, I mean this was all I was talking about for ages, and mom went to him and said well where is, you know where is Monica’s shoes. And he looked at her and at that moment he didn’t remember. I don’t know if he didn’t remember or what, but he said, ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I fell asleep and I left it on the subway.’ And it was just awful. I think with that it was always like, you know, you’re worthless.”

The typical life history of type IV is painful, and it is often apparent that the causes for pain were unusually striking, so it is clear that painful memories are not only a consequence of claiming attitude or tendency to dramatize pain. Beyond the cases of rejection, I have encountered some instances where there was a loss of a parent or other family members. I have noticed how frequent the experience of being ridiculed or scorned by parents or siblings has been. Sometimes poverty contributed to the painful situation of all, and other times a cultural or national difference between the family of origin and its environment contributed to a generalized sense of shame.

In the following illustration various sources of pain converge: “I grew up on an ethnic street. My mom and dad were Slovak, and everybody on the street spoke Slovak, and we had our own little variety store, and the kids played together. So it was very strange for me to go to school, to an English School and then come home and be in an altogether different environment, in a different culture. And my sister-in-law who married my brother, she’s English, and she says that she was told never to go down to Water Street, because that’s where all “those kids” were, you know, that you don’t associate with and always kind of had that sense when I was growing up that I was very different. What I’d like to comment on is the abandonment by mom, and that was in a couple, three other cases. When dad was in a rage, mother would back down. When some change was needed; like when we needed to move our home. Or to get him to find a job, she was the dominant one, but when he became very violent and abusive—and he was violent—then she would back down and would sort of stand in the background and say don’t do it, but even not that,… . Once when there was a great deal of violence, I don’t even remember her taking care of me afterwards. I didn’t feel abandoned by my mother physically. She was there and I felt used by her to king of maybe fill her needs.

My dad went off to war, and she would dress me up and pretty me up and carry me around, and I was the first child and the first girl and the first grandchild on my dad’s side, and grandmother took care of me a lot when mom was busy later in the store after we moved from my grandmother’s house, but my mom took me to her mother’s house when I was two months old, we were already traveling on the train back and forth. And I’ve done a lot of traveling and movement back and forth all my life. Maybe I, has a connection with my inner movement, I’m always going, I don’t know. The other thing I wanted to, well, the being used, used in all the roles—victim and scapegoat and every family member practically and then feeling used in my relationships after a time whenever I would go through feeling very pleasured and filled and fulfilled, there would come a point where all of a sudden I felt used. And I would just kind of like drop off and stop everything and a lot of fear in that too. I don’t know why the feeling used and the fear would come in there together. Besides ethnic background, the presence of alcoholism or other social disgraces may have inspired a feeling of not having a normal family and become a source of envy. A daughter of poor parents says, for instance: “I felt envy towards a girl who attended school in a uniform.”

The experience of siblings is, of course, a common factor in that of early envy. Thus a young man says: “I was the fifth among seven, I was neither with the older ones nor with the little ones. I felt alone without a place.” Another man says: “I was a boy among four girls. My mother didn’t touch me very much, so as to avoid making me ‘soft’, so that I wouldn’t be like the girls, but at the same time there was a message of ‘don’t be like your father’. I strongly felt a lack of warmth and shame.” Still another says: “I have been the eldest among my brothers and all went well until others appeared and then I entered in a dynamic of incessant competition with much complaining.” Still another says: “I wept a lot, I felt the competition of my brother who studies much and was an athlete. I sought refuge in books and identified with those I read.”

Particularly striking in the early history of ennea-type IV women is the frequent occurrence of a more or less incestuous relationship with the father, or sexual abuse by another male relative. For some this experience has not been problematic (“I miss the physical contact I used to have with my father.”). For others it caused difficulty with the parent of the same sex. Still others remember it with disgust or guilt. The following situation is surely not unique: “I loved my father, he made me feel a happy woman, but he ridiculed me and rejected me later.”

Most ennea-type IV individuals answer “yes” to the question whether did they receive more attention and care through suffering and needing. “Pleasure was forbidden” says one, “a reasonable cause was the best incentive.” Another observes: “They didn’t pay any attention if my whipping was unfounded,” another pointed out that she has always played the victim to get attention, but she usually did not succeed and was rejected instead.

It is clear that occasionally a type IV child was not conscious of suffering until puberty or suffered secretly. So one answered to the question above “yes and no—no because it was a silent suffering and few people saw it; yes because my body and my face expressed it and that attracted attention.” Of course it is not uncommon for the parents to react differently to the child’s need: “My mother had compassion and received suffering well, even though not always she paid attention to me when I wept. My brother ridiculed crying.” Occasionally it is possible to discern an element of seduction in being sick, in that the mother liked the role of nurse: “My mother liked to take care of me when I was sick, and in that way she dominated me.”

It is quite common for “self-defeating” women to have had a mother of the same character along with a weak father. Also I have noticed more sadistic fathers (ennea-type VIII) in the histories of type IV’s than any other except for type VIII itself. In such instances, of course, the sado-masochistic relation with the parent of the opposite sex contributed to the crystallization of the overall personality style.

On the whole we may say that the suffering individual inwardly cultivates his pain, as those beggars in Oriental countries who cultivate their wounds. While type I seeks to be good and claims his due in the name of justice, type IV only claims in the name of pain and unfulfilled need. If the pursuit of love in type I becomes a pursuit of respect, in the self-defeating type it becomes to some extent an implicitly dependent pursuit of care and empathy.

6. Existential Psychodynamics

While we have good reason to believe that the pattern of envy originates in frustration of the child’s early attachment needs and we may understand the chronic pain in this character as a residue of the pain of the past, it is useful to consider that it may also be a trap for enneatype IV individuals to get stuck in lamenting over the past. Also, while it is very true that itwas love that the child needed urgently and sought, the exaggerated and compulsive search for love in the present may be regarded as a disfunction and only a mirage or approximate interpretation of what the adult is in dire need of. This, rather than outer support, acknowledgment, and care, is the ability to acknowledge, support, and love him- or herself; and also the development of a sense of self as center that might counteract the “ex-centric” expectation of goodness from the outside.

We may envision type IV psychology precisely from the point of view of an impoverishment of being or selfhood that envy seeks to “fill up” and which is, in turn, perpetuated through self-denigration, though the search for being through love and through the emulation of others. (“I am like Einstein, therefore I exist”). The type IV psyche functions as if it had concluded early in life “I am loved therefore I am not worthless” and now pursues worthiness through the love that was once missing (love me so I know I am all right), and through a process of self-refining distortion—through the pursuit of something different and presumably better and nobler than what he or she is.

These processes are self-frustrating, for love, once obtained, is likely to be invalidated (“he cannot be worthwhile if he loves me”) or, having stimulated neurotic claims, leads to frustration and also invalidation on that basis; yet, more basically, the pursuit of being through the emulation of the self-ideal stands on a basis of self-rejection and of blindness to the value of one’s true self (just as the pursuit of the extraordinary involves denigration of the ordinary). Because of this, type IV needs, in addition to insight into these traps, and more than any other character, the development of self-support: the self-support that comes, ultimately, from appreciative awareness and the sense of dignity of self and of life in all of its forms.

There is a pathology of values entailed in envy that may be explained in light of the metaphor (which I find in the Arcipreste de Hita’s Book Of Good Love) of a dog who carries a bone and who, believing his reflection upon a pool to be another dog with a more desirable bone, opens his jaws as he lunges for it, losing in the process the bone he has. We may say: the reflection of a bone has no “being,” just as there is no being in either idealized or deprecated self-images.
 

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Im sorry I do have four as my heart fix but had to laugh at fours in hell suffering because had no place to be tortured. I cant stop laughing.
It made me laugh too.... right before I cried.

:p
 

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I think it is important to note that to be fully able to really absorb everything this beautiful article has to offer, you need to have some experience and knowledge about the Enneagram and psychology in general. Also, have a dictionary at the ready.

By far the most interesting piece I have ever come across in relation to the 4.
If you're ever looking for material that will force you to have a little rethink about yourself, your past and your psyche, this is it. Right now, I feel a whole lot richer than I did before reading this splendid article.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 

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I am here because @Animal told me to go here. ;) I don't know if I'll ever be in the position to further comment on this passage, but, I find it extremely unsettling. Blech, Freudian terms, gross. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion on a superficial reading that I don't want this thing to become a definition of who am; the article feels infectious, like a dripping Kleenex(tm). It's very important to remind myself that my identification as a 4 within the framework of an enneagram is in practical matters an attempt to not be a 4 anymore.

I suppose I have certain strange masochistic and self-defeating-seeming thought patterns. But I sincerely think that if I sit an examine them, they're diminutive subverted versions of the things described in the article, like viral inoculations. If I savor masochism, I present pain to myself in the form of challenge. If I self-immolate, it's benign, symbolic and amusing to myself. If describe myself in negative terms, I do it because I've long since redefined negative terms in my head to be value-judgment neutral. As far as envy... I may want what you have, but I don't wish to destroy what you have in the process. I really don't.

I'm kind of out of the heavy self-introspective mode, and maybe I'll revisit things like this in-depth for the purposes of feedback. But, sometimes, I think it's just enough to know you're heading in the right direction and keep going that way, and I identify myself most in that power. Rolling around muck needlessly can be one of our very unfortunate indulgences.
 

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As someone who generally strongly identifies with much of what I read about Type 4, I've always found Naranjo's description to be less relateable. With the exception of the bolded below, I'd be inclined to not type as a 4 based on his words.

It is, however, certainly my heart-fix.

Poor Self-image

The most striking of traits from the point of view of the number of descriptors in it is that which conveys a poor self-concept. Included among the specific characteristics are not only “poor self-image” itself, but others such as “feeling inadequate,” “prone to shame,” “sense of ridicule,” “feeling unintelligent,” “ugly,” “repulsive,” “rotten,” “poisonous” and so on. Even though I have chosen to speak of “bad self-image” as a separately (thus echoing the appearance of an independent conceptual cluster of descriptors) it is impossible to dissociate the phenomenon of envy from this bad self-image, which object relations theorists interpret as the consequence of the introjection of a “bad object.” It is such self-denigration that creates the “hole” out of which arises the voracity of envy proper in its clinging, demanding, biting, dependent, over attached manifestations.

Focus on suffering

I still have not commented upon the cluster of traits usually designated by the label “masochistic.” In the understanding of these we should invoke, beyond the suffering that arises through a bad self-image, and the frustration of exaggerated neediness, the use of pain as vindictiveness and an unconscious hope of obtaining love through suffering. Ennea-type IV individuals, as a result of these dynamic factors and also of a basic emotional disposition are not only sensitive, intense, passionate, and romantic, but tend to suffer from loneliness and may harbor a tragic sense of their life or life in general.

Possessed of a deep longing, dominated by nostalgia, intimately forlorn and sometimes visibly liquid-eyed and languorous, they are usually pessimistic, often bitter and sometimes cynical. Associated traits are lamenting, complaining, despondent, and self-pitying. Of particular prominence in the painful landscape of type IV psychology is what has to do with the feeling of loss, usually the echo of real experiences of loss and deprivation, sometimes present as a fear of future loss and particularly manifest as a proneness to suffering intensely from the separations and frustrations of life. Particularly striking is the propensity of type IV to the mourning response, not only in relation to persons but also pets. It is in this cluster, I think, that we are closest to the core of the character type, and particularly in the maneuver that it entails of focusing upon and expressing suffering to obtain love.

Just as it is a functional aspect of crying, in the human infant, to attract mother’s protective care, I think the experience of crying contains that of seeking attention. Just as ennea-type III children learn to shine to get attention (and those who will develop the type V or type VIII character, hopeless about ever getting it, prefer the way of withdrawal or the way of power), here the individual learns to get “negative” attention through the intensification of need—which operates not only in a histrionic manner (through the imaginative amplification of suffering and the amplification of the expression of suffering), but also through walking into painful situations—i.e., through a painful life course. Crying may be, indeed, not only a pain, but a satisfaction for a type IV individual. It remains to say that (as the word “masochistic” brings to mind), there can be a sad sweetness in suffering. It feels real, though it is also the opposite—for the main self-deception in ennea-type IV is exaggerating a position of victimization, which goes hand-in-hand with their “claiming,” demanding disposition.
I hate myself and am overly identified with my own suffering, yet these are the things that people unfavorably comment on about me the most.

I'm not critiquing the article, or saying I am / am not a 4. I'm just putting my thoughts here to download.
 

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Yep...as I have opined before, I am not sure anyone would like Naranjo's descriptions of what drives their type. Harsh, cold and unrelenting.
 
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I'm not done reading, mainly because alot of writing isnt layman friendly. From what i have read alot of it rang true. I cant see how this is balanced though. Enny 4's sound a lot like a huge bunch of personality disorders strung together, which in my case is true. However you wonder how this can cover so much of our populations.
 

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I am here because @Animal told me to go here. ;) I don't know if I'll ever be in the position to further comment on this passage, but, I find it extremely unsettling. Blech, Freudian terms, gross. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion on a superficial reading that I don't want this thing to become a definition of who am; the article feels infectious, like a dripping Kleenex(tm). It's very important to remind myself that my identification as a 4 within the framework of an enneagram is in practical matters an attempt to not be a 4 anymore.

I suppose I have certain strange masochistic and self-defeating-seeming thought patterns. But I sincerely think that if I sit an examine them, they're diminutive subverted versions of the things described in the article, like viral inoculations. If I savor masochism, I present pain to myself in the form of challenge. If I self-immolate, it's benign, symbolic and amusing to myself. If describe myself in negative terms, I do it because I've long since redefined negative terms in my head to be value-judgment neutral. As far as envy... I may want what you have, but I don't wish to destroy what you have in the process. I really don't.

I'm kind of out of the heavy self-introspective mode, and maybe I'll revisit things like this in-depth for the purposes of feedback. But, sometimes, I think it's just enough to know you're heading in the right direction and keep going that way, and I identify myself most in that power. Rolling around muck needlessly can be one of our very unfortunate indulgences.
I second this post.
 
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