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MOTM Nov 2009
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Four: the Individualist — a self-absorbed, sensitive, creative overanalyzer. Fours experience life as a series of interpersonal encounters, even as they feel overwhelmed by life’s practical necessities. For them, life is a highly personal experience that demands an authentic response. They feel intensely about anything or anyone important to them and feel compelled to express their feelings. Analyzing situations and their own experience occupies much of their time as they search for creative and artistic means of expressing themselves.

Fours are emotionally sensitive people — first toward themselves, and then toward others. Emotions, both positive and negative, are the lens through which they view the world. This focus on emotions is both a strength and a weakness. The strength lies in their creative sensitivities which lead them to initiate new and original programs and/or innovative ideas that will enhance existing programs. The weakness lies in their tendency to take everything personally and to identify everything that could go wrong with a project before they are able to give their wholehearted support. When their emotions are balanced with objectivity, Fours excel in communication and relational skills. Fours feel caught in their own ordinariness and so strive to avoid it; they want to feel unique.

Fours lead with the Feeling Center and so are hyper-aware of the world of emotions and human needs, especially their own. Their Support Thinking Center encourages them to analyze and ponder feelings and needs. Their Doing Center is underactualized, and so they do only what feels good, lack self-confidence, and withdraw from the world.
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Discussion Starter #2
Five: the Observer — a noncommittal, deliberate, reflective loner. Fives experience life as a series of ideas and experiences to be absorbed and analyzed. Reluctant to commit themselves to other people and their projects, they often spend their free time by themselves pursuing things that interest them. Easily bored, they enjoy the adventure of learning and will extend themselves to gain new knowledge. They can hold fast to their idea in the face of opposition or criticism because they consider themselves the expert on the topics they have studied.

Fives are emotionally distant and reserved people who strive for a dispassionate perspective. While they can feel deeply about life, they detach themselves from their feelings to attain the higher goal of objectivity; thus, their first love is knowledge and information, and their great desire is to distill knowledge into wisdom. By separating feeling from fact they pierce to the core of an issue; consequently, their mental acuity is often matched only by their tactlessness. They approach life as experts whose dry sense of humor supports them as they connect with a social world in which they feel uncomfortable. Fives feel caught in their own emptiness and so strive to avoid it; they want to feel full of knowledge.

Fives lead with the Thinking Center and so see the world as an endless source of information. Their Support Feeling Center causes them to discover how that information relates to them personally. Their underactualized Doing Center causes them to over plan, lack self-confidence, and observe the world.
 

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MOTM Nov 2009
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Nine: the Universalist — a secretive, unemotional, affable problem solver for others. Nines experience life as a series of pressures to be held at bay. They accomplish this goal by being pleasant, indirect and friendly. Their harder edges are seen only by people who know them well. Often proficient at technical projects that challenge their perceptive minds, their personal lives can suffer from lack of focus or attention to detail. They tend to put in a fair day’s work for a fair day's pay and then keep their private time for their own interests and enjoyment.

Nines are easygoing, affable people who are professionally and socially respected. They recoil from conflict of any kind and withdraw into the passive power of silence to ward off what they experience as emotional upheaval. Professionally, these unflappable people prove to be practical, deliberate, and resourceful. They have the resilience to deal with situations that others find too stressful. Because Nines expend nearly all of their energy in the public forum, their private world tends to be neglected both emotionally and physically. In both worlds, they use silence and affability to get along with others. Nines feel caught in turmoil and so strive to avoid it; they want to feel peaceful.

Nines lead with the Doing Center but also repress it. Leading with Doing makes them both fun loving and hyper-aware of energy output. Underactualized Doing makes them inactive and/or unfocused in their activity. Most of their personality comes from the other two centers. They are known for their intricate minds that thrive on details — evidence of the Thinking Center. They are affable, friendly, and want to be liked — evidence of the Feeling Center.

[Source]
 

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I think there is too much focus on fours being artists or creative geniuses.

Fours won't necessarily bother pursuing artistic/creative pursuits, even though it might be good for them.
 

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according to some enneagram sources emptiness is the shadow of fives therefore it is what they avoid the most as you have said and it is exactly that shadow that must be integrated into the self,slowly of course but some action needs to be taken,just as all the other types with their respective shadows obviously.
 

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i think that type 4s with a type 1 in their instinctive center do not lack so much self-confidence,now in terms of wing 4w5s have more concrete ideals and 4w3s usually do not have so many ideals built but take action more quickly.
 

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yep,nines deal with situations that others would find very frustrating to take action,that is because they value the harmonic work which means that they value work as everyone else since it does not become a risk to their peace of mind(my tritype:6w7,9w1,4w5).
 
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