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Hello 4s,

I am a 1, but have 4 in my tritype. I am looking to understand my heart fix better and who better to ask than Type 4s?:happy: So, I have a question about the nature of type 4 jealousy. One statement I heard about 4s is that they feel defective because they don't know what's missing from their lives, and hence, they feel envy. The idea of, "Everyone else has it together. I don't. I wish I knew what was missing." Is it really possible not to know? And if you find out eventually why it is you feel so bad (eg. "I know what's missing now, it's xyz"), does that mean you were never a 4?

Another stereotype I have heard about 4s is that 4s believe that negative emotions are beautiful- especially depression/sadness. Do you guys find that is the case with you, or do you think that this statement is mostly a stereotype. I can see negative emotions being useful if you are aware of them, and you learn life lessons from them. That said, I think depression is ugly, as it literally destroys lives. So, for some of you guys, is it a matter of re-framing negative emotions? Or do you like to indulge in them endlessly?

Looking forward to hearing back from you guys. :)
 

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4w3 heart here...

I think everyone experiences their type differently. Personally, growing up, I knew exactly what I didn't have and what I was envious of others for having. I don't think being aware made me any less of a four. I actually think the knowledge helped fuel my 4 tendencies; by causing me to realize the differences between myself and others, and thus, examining and searching through my own identity.

I don't think finding beauty in sadness is just limited to 4's. I have experienced depression, and did find a slight beauty in it (in the beginning stages). I have a tendency to idealize and "re frame" my experiences with depression [because when all is said and done- I did grow and learn from my experience], when looking back. I still do have struggles, to this day, and will sometimes find myself indulging a little- but when that happens, it's not something I'll let myself indulge for long.
 

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4w3 heart here...

I think everyone experiences their type differently. Personally, growing up, I knew exactly what I didn't have and what I was envious of others for having. I don't think being aware made me any less of a four. I actually think the knowledge helped furl my 4 tendencies; by causing me to realize the differences between myself and others, and thus, examining and searching through my own identity.

I don't think finding beauty in sadness is just limited to 4's. I have experienced depression, and did find a slight beauty in it (in the beginning stages). I have a tendency to idealize and "re frame" my experiences with depression [because when all is said and done- I did grow and learn from my experience], when looking back. I still do have struggles, to this day, and will sometimes find myself indulging a little- but when that happens, it's not something I'll let myself indulge for long.
I see a lot of interesting points, there. I can identify with your desire to "re-frame" depression- my therapist actually introduced me to that term, and it made sense. It's strange, but by tapping into my negative qualities, I actually become a more positive person. Basically, I try to take them and put a different spin on them (hard to describe how I do this). I've never thought depression or sadness were beautiful. I used to indulge in sadness as a kid, but I think that was because people refused to listen to my problems and told me that I was full of it, essentially, so that may have been a defense mechanism. I did it, but I didn't enjoy doing it.
 

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So, I have a question about the nature of type 4 jealousy. One statement I heard about 4s is that they feel defective because they don't know what's missing from their lives, and hence, they feel envy. The idea of, "Everyone else has it together. I don't. I wish I knew what was missing." Is it really possible not to know? And if you find out eventually why it is you feel so bad (eg. "I know what's missing now, it's xyz"), does that mean you were never a 4?
This isn't quite how I would describe it. The focus is internal, so it's not "I don't know what's missing from my life" but "I don't know what is missing from the essence of my being". You feel the core of who you are is somehow defective or missing what others have that makes them valuable, lovable, and functional. You feel you're lacking the basic individual value others have (something all image/heart triad types feel), which is what drives you to create a personal significance for yourself; this often involves focusing on what makes you different from others & allowing it to define you.

However, this often means the 4 continues to define themselves in what they lack as compared to others, as opposed to creating a positive self-image. As they see others do things with apparent ease, they note that life is more of struggle for themselves, and they wonder what is wrong with them. Putting an "I'm just unique & people don't understand me" or "I'm authentic & won't compromise my integrity as other people must be doing to succeed" spin on it helps ease the sense of shame that haunts them.

The 4 can't find what is missing because nothing is missing. It's a false belief, something all types have & what influences the formation of their type. If the 4 lacks anything, it's the idea that they have the inherent value & uniqueness & ability to be who they want that everyone possesses.

Another stereotype I have heard about 4s is that 4s believe that negative emotions are beautiful- especially depression/sadness. Do you guys find that is the case with you, or do you think that this statement is mostly a stereotype. I can see negative emotions being useful if you are aware of them, and you learn life lessons from them. That said, I think depression is ugly, as it literally destroys lives. So, for some of you guys, is it a matter of re-framing negative emotions? Or do you like to indulge in them endlessly?
Negative emotions are authentic and a part of the human experience. They are beautiful in that they inform you, and to thoroughly understand what they mean, the 4 will dive deep into them. The 4 may feel inspired by them & that they gain insight from them, and so the bad feelings begin to be romanticized & embraced as something necessary to being a creative, empathetic person.

Negative emotions are also typically a part of a 4s back story, and they can come to be part of the 4's self-identity, so letting go of bad feelings can feel like losing yourself. The 4 can be afraid that they are nothing special or interesting without this tragic story, and to let go of it can mean facing a feeling of being worthless and dull.

It's almost like you have some kind of Stockholm's Syndrome with your own negative emotions/feelings.
 

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Hello 4s,

I am a 1, but have 4 in my tritype. I am looking to understand my heart fix better and who better to ask than Type 4s?:happy: So, I have a question about the nature of type 4 jealousy. One statement I heard about 4s is that they feel defective because they don't know what's missing from their lives, and hence, they feel envy. The idea of, "Everyone else has it together. I don't. I wish I knew what was missing." Is it really possible not to know? And if you find out eventually why it is you feel so bad (eg. "I know what's missing now, it's xyz"), does that mean you were never a 4?

Another stereotype I have heard about 4s is that 4s believe that negative emotions are beautiful- especially depression/sadness. Do you guys find that is the case with you, or do you think that this statement is mostly a stereotype. I can see negative emotions being useful if you are aware of them, and you learn life lessons from them. That said, I think depression is ugly, as it literally destroys lives. So, for some of you guys, is it a matter of re-framing negative emotions? Or do you like to indulge in them endlessly?

Looking forward to hearing back from you guys. :)
OK. Here goes. I'll just speak from personal experiences for this one.
Why do I feel defective? I just do. I feel like there is something terribly wrong with me but I can only pin down a few reasons why. It's true, I can't really explain what is missing from my life but I do feel a void. Envy.. (I'll just repost what I wrote on envy on another topic). The feeling of envy was so comfortable, like a home to me. I wish to be seen a certain way and even convinced myself that I am that way. It took so long for me to even realistically realize that... I'm not.
I have trouble realizing what I actually want because in my head, I basically live two lives. One that I am envious of, and the other where I can actually achieve in reality.
Yes, I have now noticed that I've been rejecting my own identity. I'm trying to work on making myself into a better person though.

Ohh yes I find tragic emotions very beautiful, but it's not something that I want to feel 24/7. I am very prone to feeling sad though. I don't indulge in depression or anything but I do find that my writing is most beautiful when I am feeling more melancholy than usual.

Oh and, the post above is extremely accurate. ^___^
 

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I completely agree with what @OrangeAppled and @jaurim said about feeling defective. Objectively I don't actually think that there's something defective about me (or at least I can't seem to figure out what it is) yet I still always feel like something must be.

As for negative emotions, yes I do enjoy them. I love all deep emotions. For example, I like breakups just as much as passionate beginnings to relationships. Secretly I think that there may have been times I broke up with a girl simply because I wanted emotional intensity and things had been stagnating.
 

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Objectively I don't actually think that there's something defective about me (or at least I can't seem to figure out what it is) yet I still always feel like something must be.
This is a good point to.... I can explain these things about 4s & myself because I have an intellectual understanding of it, but emotionally, I'm still trapped in my ego. I know logically that I am not truly defective, but emotionally, I still feel that way.
 

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The quality that is missing is not physical; it is something within myself. My essence is missing something. I can't figure out what it is. I won't ever be able to find it since it's probably a creation of my own mind; no one else besides a four looks at their isnides so intensely in search of something. So I can't ever hope to "fill the hole" or "find what I'm missing", but find "equanamity" and peace with myself. I detailed this understanding with a little cartoon.




It's not a stereotype; fours think negative emotions are beautiful, as long as they are "real". Inauthenticity is not beautiful.

To help you understand this; to become a perfect person is impossible for me. My worldview is based off the idea I am flawed in some inherent way. So you can imagine, that with such a playing field, that the goal cannot be "to be happy" or "to be an ideal person" or "to be wholesome and well-adjusted". What other avenues are there for me to have a good life then, if I am disadvantaged from the get go? To find meaning in all aspects of life? TO create everything I expereince into something signifigant, even if it's pain?

edit: I am trying to explain what is it like to exist WITHIN the ego structure of a four. I understand that this is not the whole objective truth; I can have an intellectual understanding of myself, as Orangeappled said, and at the same time, I am still trapped by my perceptions and ego. I only tried to explain why a four would find beauty in negative emotions; because if they don't they have nothing.
 

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This is a good point to.... I can explain these things about 4s & myself because I have an intellectual understanding of it, but emotionally, I'm still trapped in my ego. I know logically that I am not truly defective, but emotionally, I still feel that way.
I just wish there was something I could find that was glaringly wrong with me. I want some sort of scapegoat that I can point to and say "that's the problem". That way I could put all the blame on that one thing, deal with it, and get over it. Instead, the poison flows throughout my being contaminating everything.
 

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Okay, I think I can understand the difference between logically knowing that one is not "defective" vs. feeling that way, emotionally. So, if it's mostly a feeling, is it possible for that feeling to ever go away if you're a 4? Or is it something that many expect to last forever/indefinitely?
 

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Okay, I think I can understand the difference between logically knowing that one is not "defective" vs. feeling that way, emotionally. So, if it's mostly a feeling, is it possible for that feeling to ever go away if you're a 4? Or is it something that many expect to last forever/indefinitely?
Over the past 19 years (beginning when I was 9), the primary goal in my life has been to find an answer to these questions: What is wrong with me? Why can't I find it? If I can't find anything wrong why must I feel this way?

I've never been able to completely shake it, but I've found some short term loopholes. As an extrovert, I don't feel any of it when I'm interacting with others, well, at least when I feel accepted and appreciated. Also, as an ENFP I've found that if I can get into an Ne-Te mode of thinking I have no trouble brushing this stuff aside. Whenever I get into Fi my demons come screaming back, however. This is especially trouble for me when I'm around people but not interacting with them. I start to feel like I don't want to talk to anyone, which is counter-productive for me because I like people and contact with others energizes me. This can lead to a downward spiral of greater and greater withdrawal.
 

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Okay, I think I can understand the difference between logically knowing that one is not "defective" vs. feeling that way, emotionally. So, if it's mostly a feeling, is it possible for that feeling to ever go away if you're a 4? Or is it something that many expect to last forever/indefinitely?
It isn't a feeling, as in an emotion, whihc makes it sound so paltry and transitory, so much as an ego perception. The four's fear is they are worthless, the one's fear is to be bad or evil/defective. All types have an incorrect ego-percption that they compensate for in some way. Can a four overcome this? They can in the sense of being healthy, but they will probably continue to rise and fall within the levels of health like all types. If one was to be "cured" of their ego-perception theoretically I supposed they wouldn't be any enneagram type, but also probably not a human being anymore and more of a diety.
 

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This is especially trouble for me when I'm around people but not interacting with them. I start to feel like I don't want to talk to anyone, which is counter-productive for me because I like people and contact with others energizes me. This can lead to a downward spiral of greater and greater withdrawal.
+1- Yes! that makes me feel so awkward and drives me quite crazy, when it happens.
 

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I envy people sometimes, but I don't have a feeling of not knowing what I am missing. I know what I am missing that I would like.

I do sometimes find beauty in sad emotions (especially sad stories and poems), but I prefer happiness and try not to wallow in my depressive states (I'm Bipolar I).
 

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If one was to be "cured" of their ego-perception theoretically I supposed they wouldn't be any enneagram type, but also probably not a human being anymore and more of a diety.
Exactly....this is self-actualization, which is a theoretical goal, not a "place" you can actually reach.

Self-actualization is when you become fully integrated with ALL the enneatypes, so that you have a perfect balance of qualities, and you transcend the ego. Basically, your ego ceases to define you & your personality reflects your whole self.

Realistically, integration for an individual means developing the positive qualities of the type on your line of integration, which balance some of the flaws/limits of your core type. Your ego expands, you see your identity as something less narrow, which makes it less threatened, so you become more functional in life for obvious reasons. You don't reach real self-actualization (the level 1 of the health levels is more like an extremely high-functioning ego), but you move closer to it by broadening your ego to something that is flexible & broad, not something limiting. Integration is not like a one-time deal either...you'll have moments where you integrate, but you can also disintegrate again, and your ability to see beyond that false belief will be a constant struggle of sorts.

I've seen enneagram literature reference figures like Jesus Christ as being an example of someone who is self-actualized (which is why you can't really type these people). The examples were all people regarded as deities of sorts.

So to the OP, no, a 4 will never fully shed their ego, as no type will.

Note this from the enneagraminstitute site about the 4's health levels:

Level 1: Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.

The bolded relates to what adverseaffects mentioned previously - the 4 transforms the negative feelings into something valuable. Sometimes this is art, other times it can just be a wisdom that benefits other people. You can see this even in average 4s; that's what the whole "romantic" aspect is about, gleaning beauty from tragic or dark things. Then other people get to enjoy or benefit from that beauty you've discovered.
 

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Hello 4s,

I am a 1, but have 4 in my tritype. I am looking to understand my heart fix better and who better to ask than Type 4s?:happy: So, I have a question about the nature of type 4 jealousy. One statement I heard about 4s is that they feel defective because they don't know what's missing from their lives, and hence, they feel envy. The idea of, "Everyone else has it together. I don't. I wish I knew what was missing." Is it really possible not to know? And if you find out eventually why it is you feel so bad (eg. "I know what's missing now, it's xyz"), does that mean you were never a 4?

Another stereotype I have heard about 4s is that 4s believe that negative emotions are beautiful- especially depression/sadness. Do you guys find that is the case with you, or do you think that this statement is mostly a stereotype. I can see negative emotions being useful if you are aware of them, and you learn life lessons from them. That said, I think depression is ugly, as it literally destroys lives. So, for some of you guys, is it a matter of re-framing negative emotions? Or do you like to indulge in them endlessly?

Looking forward to hearing back from you guys. :)

haha i like your question.
No it doesn't mean that. If anything, it means you're one step further in "self-development" or "cultivating awareness" as I like to call it. It's obviously a good thing to go from not knowing what you want to knowing what you want, right?
Yeah it's possible to not "know what you want". Though I feel deep down humans want others to be happy and for others to be free from suffering. When we see others suffer, we may suffer. When we laugh at someone who trips and then they end up having to go to the ER we feel shame afterwards. Shame is there to teach us. 4s need to listen to their shame, but not indulge in it.

We want to be happy for others instead of having petty envy.. That's how I feel at least. I wasn't always this receptive to it, though. I used to be pretty self-absorbed. That's a big thing with 4s.

Confidence/happiness is always possible.. We just let the negative mind get out of hand. I don't really think true happiness is based off any exterior factor.

Say you were to find our your wife (or husband) was cheating on you... Is it a good thing to be sad the next day? What is the point? Does she deserve it? obviously not as she cheated on you. (this applies to something that just happened to a friend of mine, only reason I thought of that.)
Furthermore, does anyone deserve your depression? Do you even deserve depression or negative emotions?

I highly doubt people can indulge in their negative emotions and be enjoying life more than those who indulge in all the positive ones we were meant to experience.

Basically, when you can "be okay" after shit hits the fan, you know you're doing good. Type 4s have a problem with this - it's called equanimity: keeping composure under stress.


I like your second question, too. I think depression is indicative of being unhealthy. Your feelings are not who you are. Let them come and let them go. Learn from them.

The negative mind is there to warn us. Without it, we would make foolish decisions out of compassion and such. We would set ourselves up for harm naively.
It's our bullshit radar, basically. We must have a balanced negative mind, however. When it's 'out of proportion' we have self-doubt, fear, and/or anxiety..

I was depressed/bi-polar for years. I've been good for a long time now, though :)

For the past month I feel like I've lived an amazing life, inside.
Even though a lot of shit has happened and I'm not in the best spot in my life, I'm feeling better than I ever have. Why indulge in some shitty emotions? You think your partner would enjoy your company why you indulge in your depression? no.. so why do it? that's what I've come to realize, at least.
Be a conduit for happiness and success. be happiness and success.
 

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I agree about feeling defective and trying to figure out what's wrong, but I HATE depression/sadness unless its expressed in an artistic form. Otherwise it just seems meaningless and destructive. I actually start to kind of panic when I feel depressed and try to think of something that will make it go away.
 

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Hey there. Like you, I have a 4-fix. In my case, I feel it very strongly. I know I'm not a 4, but I do struggle with issues of envy. This is indeed not related to material envy as one might expect of a 7. I envy qualities in others who appear to more functional or fulfilled than I. This can be as simple as envying someone with great social skills (I'm a total dork) or wishing I could have their particular quality of character I feel I lack--I find something to admire about virtually everyone. One might be tempted to argue I simply see the best in others, but there is also a measure of self-rejection to this.

Negative emotions. I know as a 7 I am supposed to avoid them. To a degree, I can see this. It's less that I avoid them; more that I just don't process things sometimes. (Case in point...my grandmother died in my arms. I went home to bed and resumed life the next day like that didn't just happen--I wasn't in denial, I wasn't being shallow; I just simply don't know what to do with that heavy fact. That was 6 years ago, and I still don't know what to do with it.) Now that you all hate me for relating that, do know that I often feel my sadness, depression, sorrow, and broken-heartedness. I even embrace it, because I do see the beauty--each emotion is a gift from God, and it is part of my experience on this earth to feel it. I feel that this makes me a richer person.

I also have tendencies to romanticise this pain, to make it epic and to amplify it through music. I'm not sure how much of that is 4, how much is 7, and how much is not type-specific.

Probably, the difference between me and core 4s is the length of these states of mind. I can envy someone from the depths of my soul and become depressed by my own comparative defectiveness...and five minutes later, I'm harping on my mom to take us to the park to play frisbee. It's not that I don't experience emotions, it's that they come out through a lightning-quick, mercurial 7 temperment.

Anyway, @LittleB81 , thought it might be kind of interesting to compare my answers to those of actual 4s.
 

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I'm 4w3

I've always felt like something was missing and I've always had an idea of what it was. As an example, lets say I'm missing a girlfriend in my life; the thing is that when I fantasize about the thing I'm missing, I find out that I wasn't really missing it, but something else. So if I start to imagine myself with some girl, either real or imagined, it would lead me to the conclusion that I don't want a girlfriend, because I don't know anyone enough for me to be comfortable around her and I can't get to know anyone that well, because I'm a nerve wreck. In the end I always decide to procrastinate and let things sort themselves out at some point and I've realized that it's something entirely different I'm missing and in this case, I don't know what it is. I do recognize the part about everyone else having it together, while I haven't - intellectually I know it isn't true, but it still feels like it is. That makes me liable to believe almost everything other people tells me (unless it's about me) because they know how to live and I don't (because I haven't got it together) so therefore they must be right.

As for liking negative emotions, well, when I'm unhealthy (which I haven't been for some time) I strive for the negative emotions for various stupid reasons like "I deserve it" or even "artists are sad a lot, so I should be too". When I'm unhealthy, I can feel bad about not feeling bad. This doesn't, however, mean that when I'm healthy I strive towards happiness. Happiness isn't a goal for me, like it seems to be with most people. Sadness isn't either. I think my goal is to feel like I'm feeling the right things. It's very hard for me to explain and I don't even understand it myself - it's very abstract.
 
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