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I couldn't find one of these anywhere, on this forum. I'm not sure if I am allowed to do this but, well, it'll be worth the read I guess.

This chapter was extracted from the book above.

"THE FOUR IN PROFILE
Healthy: Self-aware, introspective, engaged in a "search for self," aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate. / Highly personal, individualistic, true to their feelings. Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong. At Their Best: 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: redemptive and self-creative.
Average: Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal

feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination. Long for the idealized partner. / To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize and personalize things, becoming self- absorbed, hypersensitive, shy, and self-conscious. Temperamental and moody, they play "hard to get," but still feel like outsiders. / Feel that they are different from others and are therefore exempt from living as everyone else does until their emotional needs are met. Become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence. Become increasingly impractical, unproductive, and pretentious—yet, waiting for a rescuer.
Unhealthy: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function. Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings. / Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self- reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything about them becomes a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them. / Despairing, feel hopeless and become self- destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely.
Key Motivations: Want to be themselves, to express themselves in something beautiful, to find the ideal partner, to withdraw to protect their feelings, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else.
Examples: Tennessee Williams, Jeremy Irons, Rudolf Nureyev, Ingmar Bergman, J. D. Salinger, Johnny Depp, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Martha Graham, D. H. Lawrence, Maria Callas, Edgar Allan Poe, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Yukio Mishima, Anne Rice, Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, "Blanche DuBois," and "Laura Wingfield."


AN OVERVIEW OF THE FOUR

In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found....
What more fruitful way to redressing the balance than by portraying one's inner world in a work of art and then persuading other people to accept it, if not as real, at least as highly significant? Part of the satisfaction which a creative person obtains from his achievement may be the feeling that, at last, some part of his inner life is being accepted which has never been accorded recognition before. Moreover, since art became an individual matter rather than a task for anonymous craftsmen, creative work is generally recognized as being especially apt for expressing the personal style of an individual (which is of course closely related to his inner world). The value we place upon authenticity is often exaggerated; yet there is a sense in which it is justified. However good a painting or a piece of music may be, taken quite apart from its creator, the fact that it is or is not another expression of the personality of a particular artist is important. For it either is or is not an addition to our knowledge of that artist; a further revelation of that mysterious, indefinable and fascinating thing—his personality. (D. W. Winnicott, quoted in Anthony Storr, The Dynamics of Creation, 58.)
The nature of creativity will probably always remain mysterious because its basis is irrational—in the feelings and unconscious of those who create—and because, as Winnicott notes, part of the motive for creating is to remain concealed, to be unfound by others. Yet the
motives given for artistic work—to communicate and to conceal the self—are but two possible motives which any person may have for creating. These two motives are, however, particularly appropriate to the Four, the artistic temperament among the personality types. Of course, members of any other personality type can become artists in the sense of making a livelihood by producing works of art, however that is defined. Fours, however, are in search of their identities, and by taking an artistic or at least aesthetic orientation to life they hope to find out who they are and what about themselves is significant.


In the Feeling Triad

The Four is the personality type which emphasizes the subjective world of feelings, in creativity and individualism, in introversion and self-absorption, and in self-torment and self-hatred. In this personality type we see creative artists, romantic aesthetes, and withdrawn dreamers, people with powerful feelings who feel different from others because self-consciousness blocks them from getting outside themselves.
Fours are the most self-aware of the types, and this is the basis of what is most positive and negative about them. The constant conflict we see in Fours is between their need to be aware of themselves, so they can find themselves, and, at the same time, their need to move beyond self-awareness, so they will not be trapped in self- consciousness. The tension between self-awareness and self- transcendence can be resolved in creativity. In the creative moment, healthy Fours harness their emotions without getting lost in them, not only producing something beautiful but discovering who they are. In the moment of inspiration they are, paradoxically, both most themselves and most liberated from themselves. This is why all forms of creativity are so valued by Fours, and why, in its inspired state, creativity is so hard to sustain. Fours can be inspired only if they have
first transcended themselves, something which is extremely threatening to their self-image. In a sense, then, only by learning not to look for themselves will they find themselves and renew themselves in the process.
The problem with average Fours, however, is that they try to understand themselves by introspecting on their feelings. As they move inward in a search for self, they become so acutely self- conscious that their subjective emotional states become the dominant reality for them. And, because even average Fours are so involved with their emotions, they do not usually express their feelings directly. Instead, they communicate their feelings indirectly and symbolically.
The overall direction of their personalities therefore is inward, toward increasing self-absorption, because Fours feel that they are different from other people and they want to know why they feel this way. Ironically, however, they try to find their place in life by withdrawing from it so they can trace the labyrinth of their emotions. But the result of their withdrawal is that even average Fours have noticeable difficulties coping with life, while unhealthy Fours have some of the most severe emotional difficulties of all the personality types.
Fours tend to compound their emotional difficulties in some striking ways. Because Fours have identified themselves with their feelings, they begin to look for intensity of feeling in all of their activities. The more intensely they feel something, the more real they feel. Thus, average Fours begin to employ their imaginations to "stir up" their emotional life. They can take even the most transitory encounter with a person and dwell on it for hours to extract all of its "emotional juice." The problem is that it becomes difficult for Fours to sustain their moods and fantasies if they are still interacting with others or taking care of practical needs. Their feeling states and self- image become rarefied to a degree that reality will not support. Increasingly, they begin to withdraw from life and real relationships and experiences, both to prevent others from interfering with their
strong reveries and moods, and to avoid potential embarrassment and humiliation. Eventually they will only interact with those few people who support their identities and emotional needs. As they draw the curtains and turn away from life, however, they cut themselves off from the wellspring of their feelings and their creativity—participation in the world.
In healthy Fours, however, the rich life of the unconscious becomes accessible and is given shape. More than any other personality type, healthy Fours are the bridge between the spiritual and the animal in human nature because they are so aware of these two sides of themselves. They sense in themselves the depths to which human beings can descend, as well as the heights to which they can be swept up. No other personality type is as habitually aware of the potentials and predicaments of human nature: human beings are spiritual animals occupying an uneasy place between two orders of existence. Fours sense both sides of their potentially conflicting natures, and they suffer intensely or are ecstatic because of them. This is why, at their best, healthy Fours create something which can move others deeply, because they have been able to get in touch with the hidden depths of human nature by delving deeply into their own. By doing so, they transcend themselves and are able to discover something universal about human nature, fusing personal conflicts and divergent feelings into art.
But, like everyone else, most Fours do not live at the peak of their potential. In response to anxiety, they turn inward, becoming self- conscious, particularly about the negativity they discover in themselves. To offset their negative feelings, they use their imaginations to make their lives more bearable. As a result, average Fours begin to withdraw from ordinary life. They become self- absorbed and do not learn how to relate to people or how to manage in the practical world. They feel like outsiders, somehow flawed and different from others, unable to break through the barrier of self- consciousness that separates them from easy commerce with the
world.
And if they are unhealthy, their negative feelings feed upon
themselves because Fours have closed themselves off from any other influences. Unhealthy Fours are so completely alienated from others, and ironically, even from themselves, that they despair of ever finding a way out of their excruciating self-consciousness. They realize that their search for self has led them into a world of useless fantasies and illusions. Understanding only too clearly what they have done to themselves, and fearing that it is too late to do anything about it, unhealthy Fours hate and torment themselves, turning against themselves to destroy what they have become.


Problems with Identity

Fours find it difficult to transcend self-consciousness because just the reverse is what they want: to become more conscious of their states and feelings so that they can find themselves and arrive at a firm sense of identity. But as they become more self-conscious, Fours become increasingly drawn into unresolved, contradictory, and irrational feelings which they want to sort out before they dare express them.
Self-discovery is an extremely important motive for Fours because they never feel that their sense of self is strong enough to sustain their identities, particularly if they need to assert themselves. Because their feelings change so readily, their sense of identity is not solid, dependable, in their own hands. They feel undefined and uncertain of themselves, as if they were a gathering cloud which may produce something of great power or merely dissipate in the next breeze. Fours can never tell how the next moment will affect them, so it is difficult for them to count on themselves. Something is missing in the self, something they cannot quite put their finger on, but which they feel they lack nonetheless.
The difficulty is that average Fours may not know what their
feelings are until after they have expressed them personally or artistically. But if they express all that they feel, they fear that they may reveal too much, exposing themselves to shame or punishment. On the other hand, by not expressing their feelings, average Fours undermine the possibility of discovering themselves by getting caught in endless self-absorption. They become aware of being aware of themselves—their consciousness is filled with little more than fantasies and memories, ultimately leading to illusions, regrets, and a wasted life.
As Fours become more fearful that they cannot find a solid identity in themselves, they begin to create one out of whatever random tendencies they find. Thus, matters of taste, likes and dislikes, and emotional reactions become the materials which Fours use to construct an identity. Because their sense of self is so tenuous, however, Fours begin to put a great deal of weight on what would be for others relatively unimportant traits. ("I only wear black." "I listen to classical music, never country and western.") It is important to note that most of these personal traits function by negation. Fours may not know who they are, but they certainly believe they know who they are not. While these idiosyncrasies can be fairly harmless in and of themselves, as Fours increasingly depend on them to figure out who they are, they begin to paint themselves into a corner. In the interest of maintaining a narrowly defined self-image, Fours may refuse to engage in many basic activities necessary to live their lives. ("I'm a poet. I can't work in an office.")
Fours maintain their sense of identity through a continuous inner dialogue and referencing of their emotional reactions. Of course, Fours want someone to validate their self-images, too, but they are less dependent on the affirmation of others than Twos or Threes. In fact, much of their identity is tied to their feelings about not having the affirmation of others. Feeling different and misunderstood is as central to the Four's self-image as being only good and loving is to the Two's or being a totally competent "winner" is to the Three's.


Parental Orientation

Fours are disconnected from both parents. As children, they did not identify with either their mothers or their fathers. ("I am not like my mother; I am not like my father.") They may have had either unhappy or solitary childhoods as a result of their parents' marital problems, divorce, illness, or simply because of personality conflicts within the family. In some cases, Fours may have had relatively "normal," uneventful childhoods. Nonetheless, even with a supportive environment, they did not see themselves reflected in either parent: they felt that their parents did not see them as they actually were or that what their parents conveyed to them was somehow irrelevant. The advice and reactions they got seemed to them to apply to a generic child, not to themselves. Lacking definitive role models, Fours as children turned inward to their feelings and imaginations as the primary sources of information about themselves from which they could construct their identities.
From childhood, Fours felt essentially alone in life. It seemed to them that, for reasons they could not understand, their parents had rejected them, or at least that their parents did not take much interest in them. Fours therefore felt that there must be something deeply wrong with them, that they were somehow defective because their parents did not give them the kind of nurturing attention which, as children, they needed. As a result, they turned to themselves to discover who they are.
Self-knowledge became their most important goal, the means by which they hoped to find some self-esteem. Fours felt that if they could discover who they are, they would not feel so different from others in the deep, essential way that they do. However, instead of creating themselves through introspection, Fours ironically become trapped in self-consciousness. Their self-consciousness alienates them, making them feel vulnerable, and arouses their aggressions at themselves and others, particularly their parents. But because they also
feel powerless to express their aggressions or to do anything about their condition, they withdraw from their parents and from others, turning their aggressions mostly against themselves.
Because the formative relationship with their parents was primarily one of disconnection, Fours also begin to develop a sense of ego identity based on their difference from others. There were few qualities in their parents that they identified with, so Fours began to inventory all of the ways in which they were unlike the people around them. Eventually, this sense of difference becomes a strongly developed and defended part of their self-image, and many Fours have difficulty seeing the many ways in which they are like everyone else. To be "ordinary" becomes a frightening prospect, since a sense of "being unique" feels like one of the only stable building blocks of their identity. Ironically, although Fours cling to their "differentness," they also envy and resent people who seem to enjoy a more normal existence.
Their disconnection from their parents also produces a longing for the "good parent"—the person who will see them as they truly are and validate the self they are trying to construct. Fours usually experience this as a longing for an ideal mate or partner. They will often project this role onto new acquaintances, idealizing them and fantasizing about the wonderful life they will have together. Unfortunately, as Fours get to know the person better, they become disenchanted, realizing that the other is not the perfect parent who will rescue them from all their problems. Fours see very quickly that the person is just an ordinary human being: the other's "blemishes" soon become the focus of the Four's attention, and they lose interest in the person. Before long they are back to their search and fantasies again, but generally with more desperation to find the person "of their dreams."


Problems with Hostility and Despair

Like Twos and Threes, the other two personality types of the Feeling Triad, Fours have a problem with hostility. They direct their hostility at themselves because, like Twos and Threes, Fours have rejected their real self in favor of an idealized self-image. However, because of their self-awareness, Fours are always becoming conscious of all of the ways in which they are not like their idealized self. They come to disdain many of their real qualities, which they see as barriers to becoming the self of the imagination. Angry with themselves for being defective, Fours inhibit and punish themselves in the many ways which we will see.
Of course, Fours also experience hostility toward others. They can become enraged if others seem to question or dismiss their self-image or emotional states, but they tend to express this by "dropping" people, suddenly and without explanation. The creativity of Fours can also be employed in sarcastic, withering remarks directed at those who have wounded their "sensitivities." Fours also can experience intense hostility toward the very people they have idealized. When others fail to live up to Fours' hopes of the "good parent," they may relive the original pain they felt at not being able to connect with their parents and project this onto the new love interest. They may dramatically express the rage and emotionality that they could not with their own parents, but usually withdraw quickly before the intensity of their feelings overwhelms them or does further damage to their relationships. More often, Fours will simmer and seethe in silence.
On a deep, unconscious level, Fours are hostile toward their parents because they feel that their parents did not nurture them properly. Fours feel that they were not welcomed into the world; they feel out of place, unwanted—and they are deeply enraged at their parents for doing this to them. However, their rage at their parents is so deep that Fours cannot allow themselves to express it. They fear their own anger, and so withhold it, trying to come to terms with it themselves. While some of the types may well feel the same degree of rage at their parents, Fours tend to have more difficulty getting on with
their lives because they dwell on these old hurts. On a subtle level, Fours do not want to let go of their pain, lest others, especially their parents, not realize how much they have been hurt.
As awareness of their hostility and negative feelings gradually wears them out, however, average to unhealthy Fours sink ever more deeply into self-doubt, depression, and despair. They spend most of their time searching for the courage to go on living despite the overwhelming sense that the essential flaw in themselves is so deep that it cannot be healed. Indeed, the feeling of hopelessness is the current against which they must constantly swim. And if the undertow of hopelessness is too strong, unhealthy Fours either succumb to an emotional breakdown or commit suicide, because they despair of ever breaking free of it.

As soon as Fours devote themselves to a search for self by withdrawing from life, they are going in the wrong direction. No matter how necessary this search may seem to them, they must become convinced that the direct search for self is a temptation which eventually leads to despair.
On the other hand, what makes healthy Fours healthy is not that they have freed themselves once and for all from the turbulence of their emotions, but that they have found a way to ride that current to some further destination. Healthy Fours have learned to sustain their identities without exclusive reference to their feelings. By overcoming the temptation to withdraw from life to search for themselves, they will not only save themselves from their own destructiveness, they will be able to bring something beautiful and good into existence. If they learn to live this way, Fours can be among the most life- enhancing of the personality types, bringing good out of evil, hope from hopelessness, meaning from absurdity, and saving what appeared to be lost.


ANALYZING THE HEALTHY FOUR

Level 1: The Inspired Creator

Of all the personality types, very healthy Fours are most in touch with impulses from their unconscious. They have learned to listen to their inner voices while remaining open to impressions from the environment. Most important, they are able to act without self- consciousness, and if they have the talent and training, are able to give their unconscious impulses an objective form in a work of art worthy of the name.
Having transcended self-consciousness, very healthy Fours are free to become creative in the root sense of being able to bring something new into the world. Of course, profoundly creative moments come and go, because creativity is difficult to sustain. Nevertheless, at their best Fours are able to sustain creativity because they have transcended their self-consciousness, opening up the way to inspiration. They draw inspiration from the widest variety of sources, filtering the raw material of experience through the unconscious. In doing so, inspired Fours are like oysters, transforming all their experiences, even painful ones, into something beautiful. In their inspired creative work, healthy Fours become wellsprings of revelation for others, as if they were conduits through which the sublime passes into the world.
Their creativity is paradoxical, because Fours are able to express the personal universally, in something that has resonance and meaning beyond what they intend when they create. By opening themselves to their hidden depths, Fours are able to express something true about themselves. Yet it is difficult for them to explain where their creativity has come from. Much of their knowledge about themselves and others has the quality of being an inspiration, something which comes to them spontaneously, completely, mysteriously, and beyond their conscious control.
Being creative is not limited to artists, but is an important quality which everyone should try to awaken within themselves. The most important form of creativity is self-creation—renewing and redeeming
the self by transcending the ego. It is the process of turning all your experiences, good and bad, into something more for your growth as a person. ("Be the kind of person on whom nothing is lost."—William James)
[Otto] Rank did not glorify the artist as such, but rather the creative individual, whose expressions varied with the cultural conditions in which he found himself.... In fact, Rank argued, the creative artist is still seeking in art a refuge which it would be better to give up and return to real life. Once he does that, he becomes the new man whom psychoanalysis is seeking to create. (Reuben Fine, A History of Psychoanalysis, 271.)
By acting in the moment of inspiration, which is not primarily a moment of feeling, Fours paradoxically create and discover themselves in what they bring into the world. The problem with their identities begins to be solved. Fours are "told" who they are not by their parents, but by what they discover in their creativity, and in the richness of the lives they live from day to day, from moment to moment. This is why Fours at their healthiest are not merely artists, as Rank indicates, but creative, life-enhancing individuals, who may also be artists.
Fours at this Level embrace life profoundly: they are truly connected with their authentic selves and with the world. They stop restricting the kinds of experiences that they will allow themselves and learn to say "yes" to life. As they open to more of life's possibilities, they begin to experience themselves freshly in each moment—and their true identity is gradually but endlessly revealed. To be able to renew the self constantly is the highest form of creativity, a kind of "soul making," which requires a higher state of integration than making a painting or a book or a dance. This is the state the other personality types can learn from healthy Fours, and the state to which Fours constantly aspire.


Level 2: The Self-Aware Intuitive

Even relatively healthy Fours do not always live at such a high level of consciousness. When they draw back from the inspired, creative moment to reflect upon it, or to enjoy their creativity, they lose the unselfconsciousness that is necessary to sustain it. Inspired creativity can be maintained only in the act itself, by continuing to transcend self-consciousness. It requires a constant renewing of the self with each moment. In truth, the self is more like a process than like an object. Fours, however, begin to fear that they cannot find themselves in their constantly shifting feelings and impressions. They cannot locate their identity, so they begin to self-reflect rather than allow their experiences to flow freely. Thus, as soon as they try to grasp a specific identity, they become conscious of themselves and lose the spontaneous quality of inspiration. Fours become self-aware and introspective.
As we saw in the Overview, one of their basic motivations is to understand who they are, since they were not mirrored by their parents in a way that felt real to them. ("Who am I? What is my life all about?") To establish a self-image, a basic identity that they can rely on, Fours turn not to other people, but to their inner feelings and emotional responses. This provides healthy Fours with intuitive gifts and a rich inner life but also introduces a problem. Of all aspects of the human psyche, feelings are perhaps the most changeable and volatile. By trying to create a consistent identity from the world of feelings, Fours, like all other types, have embarked on a path that cannot provide what they are looking for. In fact, as we shall see, the more Fours identify with their feelings, the more confused they become about their identity. At this Level, Fours still have some objectivity about their feeling states and a high degree of emotional equilibrium. Still, this subtle shift from Level 1 will have profound consequences for Fours that can lead into the lower Levels of Development. They have stopped having their feelings and have begun to be their feelings.
Awareness of their feelings also creates the problem of automatically distancing even healthy Fours from their environment. Life becomes a kind of theater in which, for better or worse, they are both spectators and actors. While this awareness allows healthy Fours to use the distance they sense between themselves and everything else as a framing device to understand themselves more clearly, it also makes it difficult for them to be self-assertive or sustain practical activities. Moreover, they realize that there is nowhere for them to hide. Fours are forced to acknowledge disquieting realities (about themselves, others, and life) because their awareness makes them sensitive both to the feelings of others and to their own subconscious impulses. Nevertheless, healthy Fours are not afraid of what their feelings are telling them, even though those feelings may be painful and disturbing.
Fours are not only sensitive to themselves, they are sensitive to others because they are intuitive. Intuition gives Fours the ability to understand how others think and feel and see the world. Intuition is not some sort of useless sideshow telepathy but a means of perceiving reality by way of the unconscious. It is like receiving a message in a bottle which has washed up on the shore of consciousness.
Self-awareness is the psychological basis of intuition. Fours are conscious of themselves, the world, and other people by way of the unconscious. And it is by seeing how their experiences affect them that Fours hope to discover their own dimensions. (Or more poetically, "I note the echo that each thing produces as it strikes my soul."— Stendhal)
Fours correspond to Jung's introverted intuitive type.
Introverted intuition is directed to the inner object, a term that might justly be applied to the contents of the unconscious....
Although his intuition may be stimulated by external objects, it does not concern itself with external possibilities but with what the external object has released within him....
In this way introverted intuition perceives all the background processes of consciousness with almost the same distinctness as extroverted sensation registers external objects. For intuition, therefore, unconscious images acquire the dignity of things. (C. G. Jung, Psychological Types, 398–399.)
Because the richest part of their conscious life is outside their control, even healthy Fours are aware that they are not completely in control of themselves. Their intuitions come and go like ghosts which cannot be summoned at will. Moreover, their intuitions can be unsettling, making them aware of feelings which are difficult to identify or resolve. Intuitions are also difficult for Fours to express rationally—precisely because intuitions are irrational and have unconscious roots. For better or worse, their intuitions make them conscious of an endless stream of positive and negative feelings about themselves and the world. It therefore takes Fours time to identify and understand their intuitions, and courage for them to accept what their intuitions are telling them.


Level 3: The Self-Revealing Individual

Healthy Fours need to express what they feel so they can know what their intuitions are telling them about themselves. They are the most personal of the personality types, revealing themselves to others with directness and authenticity. They do not put on masks, hiding their doubts and weaknesses, nor do they deceive themselves about their feelings and impulses no matter how unseemly or unflattering these are. Healthy Fours willingly reveal their flaws and irrationalities to others, since they feel that these things are not merely incidental to who they are, but reflect their personal truth. It would be dishonest to communicate themselves to others if they did not communicate the whole of themselves, the bad along with the good, doubts along with
certainties. There is something very human about this: theirs is a genuineness and depth of feeling, a willingness to be touched, even at the expense of pain, if that is the authentic thing to do.
Healthy Fours are concerned with being true to themselves as individuals, even at the risk of being censured by those who value tradition or convention over self-actualization. The emotional honesty we find in healthy Fours may well antagonize, or sometimes embarrass, others, who may wish that Fours were not so candid about themselves. But what healthy Fours bring to society is the example of their humanity, the message that everyone is valuable because they are individuals.
Thus, just as healthy Fours want to be true to themselves, they also want others to be true to themselves. ("This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man."—Hamlet, I, iii, 78–80) They are respectful of the individuality of others, sensitive about their feelings, considerate of their privacy and their needs. Fours willingly allow others to find their own way in life without trying to control them, one reason why they make good parents, friends, listeners, and therapists. They see other people as "other," not as functions of themselves or as objects to be used for their own gratification.
Healthy Fours are willing to be touched by the pains and feelings of others and are not easily thrown off balance by others' "revelations." Because they have been thoroughly engaged in exploring their own emotional terrain, they are able to listen to others in a way that is supportive and compassionate. There are few states of consciousness which healthy Fours have not entertained, so they can help others come to difficult truths which might otherwise overwhelm them. Others see in them a quiet, emotional strength which feels safe and well-grounded.
Because healthy Fours are grounded in reality and interested in interacting with others, they can be quite astute in their observations and eloquent in their expression. If they have been blessed with
creative talent, their work can be deeply affecting. By diving deep within their own subconscious and wrestling with the truths they find there, Fours emerge with works of art in which others can recognize feelings and impressions which they had not been able to articulate themselves.
Fours at this Level are also acutely aware of themselves as individuals: they have a sharp sense of their unique otherness as well as the otherness of everything. Although they are not lonely, they understand that they are alone in life, an individual consciousness. From this point of view, healthy Fours are not merely individualists but existentialists, aware of their existence as individuals.
While there is a certain seriousness about all of this, healthy Fours are not serious about everything. They have a rich sense of humor because they see the poignant absurdity of much of human behavior in the light of the larger questions of life. Healthy Fours have a kind of double vision on human nature: they can see the devil and the angel, the sordid and the noble in human beings, especially in themselves. The ironic juxtaposition of such opposites is as funny as it is deeply touching. The incongruities of the human condition are what make healthy Fours shake their heads in amusement, and nowhere are they more aware of human incongruities than in themselves.


ANALYZING THE AVERAGE FOUR

Level 4: The Imaginative Aesthete

Average Fours fear that they will not be able to sustain the flow of feelings, impressions, and inspirations that are the basis of their identity. They believe that their creativity and, on a deeper level, their very sense of self, will not be sustained unless they feel them more intensely and more consistently. To this end, Fours begin to use their
imaginations to stir up their feelings and to hold onto certain moods that they feel express who they really are. Whereas this can lead to a fertile fantasy life and is still relatively harmless, it marks a major shift away from interaction with life, and deeper into a potential morass of self-involvement.
Average Fours still want to be creative, but their creativity becomes somewhat self-conscious and therefore less universal. We can see that healthy Fours are artistic whereas average Fours think of themselves as artistic. At Level 4, they pursue various outlets for their self-expression, but less spontaneously and less consistently. Since more of their energy is being used to create moods from which they believe they will be inspired, their work becomes sporadic. More of their creativity begins to occur only in the realm of their imaginations.
Of course, not all average Fours are artists, and certainly not all artists are Fours. Nevertheless, since revealing their feelings remains essential to their emotional health, any artistic activity average Fours engage in is especially valued because art and beauty become a substitute for themselves, a means of expressing the self through a kind of proxy to the world.
If they are professional artists, they must have discovered which medium is best suited for their talents; they also must have learned their craft so that they can express themselves adequately. If Fours are not professional artists, or are in professions that do not allow an artistic outlet for self-expression, they will typically regard their work merely as a way of supporting themselves while their real interest lies elsewhere—in beauty and some sort of aesthetic self-expression. If they were given a "magic wish," the vast majority of average Fours who are not artists would choose to become painters, singers, ballet dancers, poets, novelists, sculptors, filmmakers, designers, or some other kind of artist.
If they do not have the ability to make works of art, average Fours try to make their environments more beautiful, for example, by decorating their apartments tastefully, by collecting art, or by dressing
well. Fours are powerfully attracted to beauty, whether in people or in things, because aesthetic objects stimulate their feelings and reinforce their sense of self. Moreover, aesthetic objects symbolize the perfection and wholeness that Fours would like to find in themselves. Having sensed that something is missing in the self, they attempt to replace this inner loss by heightening the impact of beauty upon their emotions. They are romantics, idealizing beauty.
Creating an aesthetic environment serves another important function: it helps average Fours hold on to certain feelings and moods that reinforce their sense of self. Atmosphere becomes important, and they are most at home when there is an air of mystery and romance. Certain music, lighting, color schemes, particular objects which have strong emotional associations, all become supports for the moods that average Fours want to sustain. Clothing, especially when it is in some way "tastefully different," becomes another means of indirectly expressing their identity. Little in the homes or the wardrobes of average Fours is casually selected. Everything is designed to support the Four's feelings and to announce quietly to the world, "This is who I am."
However, because average Fours are using their imaginations to intensify their emotions, they are also increasingly shifting their attention away from reality as they rework the world in their fantasies. They want to be swept away by grand passions, lyrical longings, and stormy emotions which, by elating, keep the sense of self alive. The romantic imagination may dwell on nature, or God, or the self, or the idealized other, or some combination of these, looking for portents and meanings, fascinated with death and the passing of all things. But because average Fours use them so often, their imaginations become powerful and seductive, an endless source of solace and gratification.
Fours are also strongly attracted to those who stimulate their feelings and sense of beauty. However, they begin to relate to people in their imaginations as if others were aesthetic objects, to be contemplated like works of art rather than as persons in their own
right. Fours also become easily infatuated with others, holding long conversations with their lovers and friends in their imaginations. Scenes of love and longing, courtship and romance, possessing the other in sexual ecstasy, and the bitter sorrows of letting go of the beloved play themselves out.
From this stage on, Fours long for a deep and intimate relationship with someone who will "recognize" them for who they are. They want someone to see them and validate their identity in the way they feel their parents did not. They are therefore always on the lookout for love. Fours spend a great deal of time recalling brief meetings with acquaintances or casual glances across a crowded street, searching for the potential meanings of these encounters and wondering if the other is the special person who will see them and accept them. Most Fours at this Level like to see themselves as loners, but actually, they are constantly looking to get into a relationship with whoever has engaged their feelings and sense of beauty.
Unfortunately, the great part of their relationships takes place almost solely in their imaginations, without others ever being aware of their attention or the degree of their ardor. By using their imaginations, average Fours heighten the emotional impact of relationships, making them into something extremely exciting, while sparing themselves the problems of self-exposure and rejection. Naturally, this approach to people is fraught with difficulties, not the least of which is that others inevitably turn out to be quite different from what Fours imagined them to be.
While there is nothing wrong with being imaginative, once the desire to heighten emotions in fantasy takes root, things start to become imbalanced because average Fours relate to their fantasies instead of to reality. The intuition we saw in healthy Fours has deteriorated into the unlimited use of the imagination as a way of making up to themselves for experiences they do not actually have.


Level 5: The Self-Absorbed Romantic

As average Fours become more involved in cultivating their moods and romantic fantasies about themselves and others, they begin to believe that too much interaction with the world, and especially with other people, will cause the fragile self-image they are creating to fall apart. They control access to themselves because they fear that other people will shame them or point out all of the ways that they are not like the image of themselves they are forming in their imaginations. For example, they may imagine themselves to be great artists, but do not spend much time actually creating art or may have doubts about the quality of what they are producing. In their imaginations, however, anything is possible, and average Fours want to surround themselves only with those people and situations that will support their self- image.
At this stage average Fours are reserved, shy, and extremely private—melancholy outsiders, painfully self-conscious. They want to let others know about who they believe they really are, but fear that they will be humiliated or laughed at. This is not an entirely unreasonable fear, because Fours probably have developed a persona which has little connection with their own background or experience (like the person from a small, Midwestern town who affects a British accent to feel more refined and sophisticated). Fours have now begun to reject themselves, but rather than trying to impress others with an idealized self-image, like Threes, Fours' self-doubt causes them to withhold their idealized self—including most of their authentic thoughts and feelings—from all but a few close confidants. Fours rationalize their withholding from others by viewing others as incapable of appreciating the subtlety of their feelings. ("There's no point throwing pearls before swine.")
They begin to avoid many people rather than risk the emotional problems involved with communicating anything about themselves. Instead, they seek the company of individuals who they see as kindred
souls and exclude those who do not share their sensibilities. When Fours do find someone who they feel understands them, they pour out their hearts in long conversations that can stretch late into the night. At last, they are not alone—someone has come to share their world.
The ardor and excitement average Fours feel in encounters of these kinds is an indication of how deeply they long to be understood, and even rescued. They want to have someone in their lives who will alleviate their loneliness and, above all, be the good parent they are secretly seeking. However, if they are to continue eliciting the attention of a rescuer, average Fours must also continue to have problems and not allow themselves to become too functional. Although they typically see themselves as loners, they actually require "high maintenance" from other people. In fact, average Fours begin to evaluate how much they mean to others by how much others are willing to tolerate their emotional ups and downs and their neediness. They can be difficult and sometimes play "hard to get," but not to the extent of driving the other away, or so they hope.
In any case, average Fours will only allow people who support their ephemeral self-image to be around them. They insist that others respect the delicacy of their feelings, and by being temperamental and emotionally volatile, may cause others to "walk on eggshells" so as not to upset their fragile equilibrium. While it is certainly true that average Fours are experiencing emotional confusion and doubts about their identity, they also use their vulnerability to get attention and to control others. They demand that others tolerate their peccadilloes and mannerisms while generally being highly impatient with the habits of others.
Few people are willing to spend much time with average Fours because their relationships are often little more than long discussions about the Four's feelings and problems. While healthy Fours are stimulating company because they are attentive to others and are curious about the world, average Fours are uninterested in anything that does not immediately impact on their feelings and their quest for
identity. They do not really want to know about other persons' experiences unless they relate directly to something they have been brooding about. Of course, the reasons for this are not difficult to understand. Fours are becoming worn out by their self-doubt and their frustrating search for a self-image that feels true to them. They feel that they simply do not have sufficient emotional resources to deal with other people's problems.
Nonetheless, Fours are still self-aware enough to recognize the discrepancies between their fantasized ideal self and the realities of their life. This only adds further confusion and causes them to be more unsure of themselves. It is difficult for them to meet people, to make small talk, or to work with anyone else. Average Fours feel socially inept and uncomfortable around most people, not so much because they do not like people—quite the contrary, they long to have intimate, intense relationships, as we have seen—but because they are so self- conscious that they cannot function well.
Naturally, social requirements and the needs of others become a burden to them. Thus, Fours do not go out of their way to meet others; rather, they secretly want people to seek them out. They project an aura of silence and aloofness, hoping that someone will notice them and take the trouble to approach them. While others may think that they are mysterious, or perhaps profound, Fours at this Level are simply attempting to disguise their growing emotional vulnerabilities behind the protective haze of exotic mystery. If someone has hurt their feelings and Fours have withdrawn to lick their wounds, their withdrawal is as aggressive an act as average Fours allow themselves, a denial of their presence to the other, although it annoys Fours greatly if the offender does not realize that they have done so.
Many of their problems stem from the fact that average Fours take everything personally. They must interiorize their experiences—feel their feelings—for their experiences to have meaning to them. But by interiorizing everything, average Fours become vulnerable and uncomfortably self-conscious—"hypersensitive." For example, a curt
reply by a cab driver can ruin their day, and a perceptively critical comment from a friend can become a thorn in their side for months. If anyone should tease them or prick at their defenses, average Fours feel "cut to the quick" and do not know how to respond. ("What does so- and-so mean by that?") In many cases, Fours begin to hear negative reviews even in compliments. If a friend congratulates them on losing weight, they may spend hours feeling insulted that the person was actually commenting on how fat they had been. They simply cannot be easygoing or spontaneous, since their increasing self-absorption does not allow it.
Because they internalize all their experiences, everything seems to be connected with everything else. Every new experience affects them, gathering associated meanings until everything becomes overloaded, full of private associations. If they are healthy, this richness of emotional connections feeds their creativity, because their internalized and augmented experiences become available as inspirations. But the ironic result of self-absorption is that average Fours begin to lose touch with their emotions. They feel confused, amorphous, unanchored to anything permanent in themselves.
Rather than help to sort out their feelings, constant self-absorption makes average Fours feel more inadequate. They begin to doubt their ability to sustain contact with the environment, or to defend themselves adequately, since they feel so vulnerable and storm tossed. They become extremely conscious of not fitting into the environment as easily as others seem to and they begin to envy others and secretly resent them. It is a short step from "Why do I feel this way?" to "What is wrong with me?" Self-doubts assail them, as do problems with self- esteem and hostile feelings about others.
While healthy Fours can be quite comfortable when they are alone, average Fours often feel lonely. They feel that, at best, they are only tolerated by others (seldom really liked), and any problems in their relationships will invariably result in rejection, something which will only confirm their worst fears about themselves. Their assessment of
their social situation may or may not be accurate, but average Fours give themselves few opportunities to find out.
This is not a satisfying way to live, even for Fours. To solve their problems, they begin to withdraw, feeling that they are being called away from the environment by something inside themselves, although they are not sure by what. It is as if they have been physically wounded and were bleeding to death. Before they can resume their lives, Fours feel they must obtain the first aid they need. Some inner disorder must be attended to before they can give their attention to anything else.
They brood about themselves. And because they are emotionally vulnerable to real or imagined slights, they become extremely moody. This becomes the precondition for every action as average Fours constantly introspect on their feelings to see how they feel before they do anything. They put off writing letters, going to the grocery, or looking for a job until they are in the right mood. But since Fours never know when they are going to be in the right mood, things either do not get done, or they are done against internal resistance, producing no pleasure.
This would not be as much of a problem for Fours if not for the fact that most of their moods are unpleasant. They dwell on their own shortcomings or simmer with resentment at the slights to their self- image from the "crude and insensitive" people in their lives. They may spend hours or even days rehashing old conversations and reliving their wounded feelings or endlessly imagining all the forms of revenge they will visit upon those who have frustrated them. More and more, Fours are frittering away their days in fantasy instead of taking constructive actions for themselves.


Level 6: The Self-Indulgent "Exception"

The longer they remain self-absorbed, the more practical and
emotional difficulties Fours unwittingly create for themselves. They have not developed their social and professional skills, and their self- esteem has suffered from constant self-questioning. They feel vulnerable and unsure of themselves. In a word, average Fours feel different from others because by withdrawing to pursue their own private fantasies, they have become different. And because they are different, they feel they have needs that must be satisfied in unusual ways. They therefore want to compensate themselves for what they feel they lack by indulging their desires. They feel they are exceptions to the rule, exempt from expectations, totally free to "be themselves." The result is that they become completely undisciplined, luxuriating in whatever emotional and material pleasures they can afford.
Fours have been trying to create a specific and consistent self- image, but at Level 6, it is so narrow that Fours have "painted themselves into a corner." Because they have defined themselves largely by all of the things they are not, by all of the things they dislike, they reject many of the normal day-to-day experiences that comprise a normal human life. They may be unwilling to hold down a regular job or even look for one, to cook or clean for themselves, or to involve themselves in any social or community affairs. They defend against their uncertainties about their identity by feeling contempt for "the rabble," the faceless herd of which they will never allow themselves to be a part. Their sense of aesthetics becomes a weapon, a way to insult and dismiss others who fail to appreciate what the Four appreciates.
At the same time, while Fours have disdain for the lives of the common masses, they are filled with envy and resentment. Although they tell themselves that they want nothing to do with the pathetic lives of others, deep down the Four's self-awareness reveals the truth of whose life has become pathetic. They see the simple happiness of others in their "ordinary" jobs, marriages, and friendships, and realize the depth of their own unhappiness. Fours at Level 6 perceive others as shallow, lacking the real depth that they believe they possess, yet
every instance of others' joy, unselfconsciousness, and spontaneity is like a slap in the face. If Fours could see that their "depth" has become a pretension and an illusion, that their self-absorption is costing them a real, meaningful life, they might discover a way out of their emotional quagmire. Unfortunately, many turn their back on the world and try to succor themselves for all that they believe they have been missing.
Average Fours may once have attracted interest, and even some sympathy, from those who found their reserve and self-consciousness endearing, or at least intriguing. Others may have been touched by their shyness and vulnerability. But now the picture has changed. Self- indulgent Fours antagonize others because they are so perversely willful. They have no sense of social responsibility; they cannot be counted on for anything; and they resist all obligations, becoming petulant if anything is forced upon them either by events or by people. They take a special pride in maintaining the freedom to do things in their own way, in their own time, or not at all. ("I do what I want to do when I want to do it.")
Because they feel different from others, they feel special and exempt from living as everyone else does, free from any obligation to follow the ordinary conventions of social life. They feel that everything is allowed because of their emotional needs: their time is their own, and they resent any intrusion whatsoever. They resist everything, from having a job to employing healthy self-discipline to cooperating with others, if they think that doing something else will make them feel better about themselves. But rather than being strengthened by their self-indulgences, average Fours are further weakened by them. By definition, self-indulgence does not satisfy real needs, only transient desires. However, because self-indulgent Fours often depend upon the support of others to maintain the freedom of their lifestyles, they do not want anyone to know the full extent of their indulgences or to call them to task for them.
By insisting on the freedom to do as they please, they become increasingly precious and totally impractical, manifesting an effete
disdain for reality. Affectations and mannerisms substitute for genuine self-expression, giving some Fours a certain dramatic "prima donna" quality. If they are still artists, their art becomes as self-indulgent and self-referential as they are. And because they are self-indulgent, they usually do not work seriously at much of anything, lapsing instead into eroticism and languorous, overwrought fantasies. Brilliant poetry, heart-rending music, and portentous winter novels pour from their imaginations—as long as they never try to write them down.
At this stage, average Fours are still self-aware enough to know that they are missing out on many important aspects of life, particularly relationships. Consequently, they feel sorry for themselves. They may become minor hypochondriacs, worrying about themselves—since no one else does. Self-pity is among the least attractive of traits, yet average Fours indulge in it excessively because it allows them to rationalize whatever they want. It allows them to feel that life owes them something. They can revel in their tragic existence without trying to change or say no to themselves.
Wallowing in their feelings gives self-indulgent Fours something to do, a way of occupying their time. The problem is, however, that their imaginary pleasures can never be satisfying because they are always unreal. The imagination is enticing nonetheless because it keeps their feelings at a fever pitch. By indulging their imaginations, their sense of self is kept alive, even as the life is being drained out of it.
To make up for their lack of achievement, Fours at this stage typically give themselves over to sensuality as a way of deadening the too-sensitive self to its growing unhappiness. They may become sexually licentious, engaging in anonymous sexual activities for release, for fleeting human contact, and for excitement. Or they may lose themselves in sexual fantasies, sinking into erotic daydreams rather than making any real efforts at anything. They may masturbate frequently, virtually a symbol for their self-referential, ingrown way of life. They may become obsessed with those with whom they have
fallen in love in their imaginations, providing themselves with an endless source of pain and pleasure, desire and frustration, violent and wasteful feelings. Or they may sleep excessively or abuse food, drugs, and alcohol.
Their dependency on their imaginations has brought Fours to an overripe, unsavory state. Their emotions are too lush, as if they were rare orchids that have been kept in a hothouse all their lives—the hothouse of self-absorption. At this state, average Fours are decadent, at least in the estimation of others. Naturally, Fours do not see themselves this way—they are simply making up for their many deprivations.
Of course, they cannot admit that they are deprived because they have deprived themselves of contact with reality. The sad fact is that by now they have abandoned the search for self, and have substituted self-gratification for the discovery of an identity which is growing ever more nebulous.


ANALYZING THE UNHEALTHY FOUR

Level 7: The Alienated Depressive

As we have just seen, self-indulgent Fours consider themselves exempt, free to live in a world of self-gratification. In time this creates a new source of anxiety: the fear that they may lose the possibility of attaining their hopes and dreams, especially their hope of self- actualization. Actualizing themselves is what Fours have always wanted, but if something happens to make them feel that that dream has been lost, they suddenly feel cut off from themselves. Something they have done or failed to do now comes home to roost, and suddenly they "spiral in" to some core of themselves, both in shock and to protect themselves from even more loss.
Unhealthy Fours are angry at themselves for what they have done to themselves. They realize that they have wasted precious time, missed opportunities, and have fallen behind others in almost every way—personally, socially, and professionally—and they feel acutely ashamed. They envy others—everyone else seems to be happy, accomplished, and successful in the many ways in which Fours feel they are not. They see, much to their sorrow, that withdrawal into self- absorption has not turned out to be a way of finding themselves. Instead, things have gone wrong: they are wasting their lives, and they know it. They feel terribly confused and racked with self-doubt. They feel like failures—they have not accomplished anything worthwhile, and fear that they never will.
Unhealthy Fours unconsciously inhibit themselves from having any kind of meaningful desires because they do not want to be hint any more, especially by having desires and expectations for themselves. The result is a sudden total blockage of all feelings, as if life had suddenly been drained from them. Whatever fulfillment they may once have found in their creative work, whatever hopes they may have had suddenly vanish. They instantaneously become fatigued, apathetic, alienated from themselves and others, sinking into emotional paralysis, barely able to function.
Exerting themselves in any way is extraordinarily difficult. They cannot bring themselves to sit in front of an easel or a typewriter until their creative juices begin to flow again; nor can they call friends or go to a movie. Looking for work or finding a therapist is out of the question. They feel like staying in bed all day, and often do. Ironically, unhealthy Fours can no longer be self-indulgent even if they wanted to, because they simply cannot bring themselves to get involved with anything.
As angry at themselves as they are, unhealthy Fours fear expressing their anger lest it make things worse. If they are angry at someone else—a romantic interest, for example—for disappointing their expectations, unhealthy Fours are so enraged that they cannot
stand being in the same room with the former beloved, the object of such recent erotic obsessions. They are so angry that they hold themselves back from showing reactions of any kind, insofar as it is possible. (Others, however, can see that they look desolate, sigh deeply, and are close to tears.)
Fours at this Level often feel that everyone has let them down. They are furious with their families, their friends, the world, and themselves, and view their problems as, if not insurmountable, certainly worse than everyone else's. Fours have always wanted to see themselves as unique, but unhealthy Fours can find uniqueness only in the degree of their suffering: they suffer more than anyone else. (It often comes as a humiliating shock to Fours in therapy or recovery to discover that others have suffered as much as they have, and in some cases even more.) However, the fact that others are also suffering does not discount the fact that unhealthy Fours really are in a great deal of pain and cannot find ways to express it or release it. Their anger and grief feel too vast to experience in their entirety, so Fours use whatever energy they have left to hold it back.
Unhealthy Fours are still self-aware, and they realize that they are depressed and on the verge of becoming even more depressed. They know that only with the greatest difficulty will they be able to keep themselves from going under emotionally. An inner light is going out, one which they fear may never be rekindled. Everything seems to be futile and dying.


Level 8: The Emotionally Tormented Person

Depressed and alienated from themselves and others, unhealthy Fours go from bad to worse. They fear that because of their depression and inability to function, they are doomed. Their disappointment with themselves intensifies into a consuming self-hatred.
Neurotic Fours turn against themselves with an absolutely
withering self-contempt, seeing only the worst in themselves. They excoriate themselves about everything: the mistakes they have made, the time they have wasted, their unworthiness to be loved by anyone, their worthlessness as human beings. They are caught in the grip of obsessionally negative thoughts, and their relentless self-reproaches become a form of delusional thinking into which no ray of hope can intrude.
Morbid fantasies become obsessions. They are convinced that they are outcasts in life, sacrificial victims, endlessly suffering for what their parents have done to them and what they have done to themselves. They feel pathetic, rightly rejected by everyone. They also feel guilty for existing: they have contributed nothing, and people would be better off without them. Their self-hatred is like an electron accelerator whipping incidents of virtually no significance into formidable forces, smashing them into what little self-esteem remains.
Not only are unhealthy Fours convinced that they are utterly and permanently defective, they are also convinced that others regard them as contemptuously as they regard themselves. They have absolutely no self-confidence, and no reason to hope that they will ever be able to acquire any. A chasm of inner darkness has opened inside them, like a black hole draining whatever life they have. They are extremely distraught, yet unable to shake themselves free of the self-accusations and feelings of hopelessness plaguing them. They may sit alone for hours, barely breathing and yet violently tormented. They may burst into tears and uncontrollable sobbing, then retreat once again into silence and intense inner suffering.
They sabotage themselves in various ways, wrecking what few opportunities remain for them and hurling irrational accusations at their remaining friends and supporters. They still hope that someone will see their plight and rescue them, that the "good parent" may still appear, but that hope seems increasingly remote and eventually becomes another source of self-torture. If there has been drug or alcohol abuse it is rapidly escalated. Their fantasies, such as they are,
become morbid and death-obsessed.
Everything becomes a source of torment to them: the whole of life
becomes an unbearable reminder of their alienation from it. If they were once artists, their unfinished work mocks them; if they were once in love with someone, their failure in love mocks them; if they once had a family or a job, their failures there mock them as well.
Unfortunately, some of their self-accusations may have a basis in fact. Because of their self-absorption and self-indulgence, Fours may have missed many opportunities to do something positive with their lives. To some extent, they are responsible for bringing their anguish upon themselves, and they know it—which is why their self- accusations cut so deeply. But rather than truly expiate guilt by punishing themselves, their self-hatred only destroys whatever inner resources they still possess. The only way out is to do away with their tormented consciousness altogether.


Level 9: The Self-Destructive Person

If conditions do not change for the better, their despair becomes so deep that neurotic Fours will attempt to destroy themselves, one way or another. When they become hopeless, what remains to be seen is the form their despair will take—whether they will kill themselves directly or indirectly, through drugs or alcohol or some other means.
It is difficult for other personality types to understand that because of their self-hatred, neurotic Fours feel cut off from life itself. Everything in the world—everything positive, beautiful, good, and worth living for—has become a rebuke to them, and they cannot bear the thought of living that way for the rest of their lives. They must do something to escape from their crushingly negative self- consciousness. In essence, neurotic Fours must rid themselves of themselves, since they feel defeated by life and see no way of coming to life again.
While suicide attempts as a way of eliciting help are possible, many neurotic Fours believe that they are utterly hopeless, and so intend to have their suicide work. Despairing Fours may embrace death as the final solution to the ongoing problems of their lives. Death is a welcome chance to leave their sorrows, a hoped-for annihilation of their painful self-consciousness.
Suicide is not only a way of escaping from their intense mental suffering, it is a rebuke to others for not helping them enough, for not understanding their needs, for not caring about them. From the Four's point of view, others' lack of love and understanding has driven them to take their own life. Suicide is the ultimate act of withdrawal, an aggressive act by which Fours inflict suffering on others without having to be aggressive, or guilty, or responsible.
Although Fours are far more likely to destroy themselves, in their emotional torment they are also capable of murdering the people they feel are responsible for mining their lives. If a major disappointment in love played a role in the Four's descent, their jealousy may overwhelm them, causing them to impulsively commit a crime of passion, killing the object of their unrequited love before taking their own lives.
Suicide also holds another attraction: it is the one thing in life over which despairing Fours still feel they have any control. By contemplating suicide, they feel that they remain the masters of something, even if it is only the possibility of saying no to life, of refusing to go on being tormented. The mere thought that, if they wished, they could put an end to themselves is a source of comfort.
Before they have reached this stage, Fours have doubtless thought about suicide many times. The danger is that the more they think about it, the more they may become infatuated with death as a solution to their problems. When they are in despair, having rehearsed suicide so often in their imaginations, they may act without any more consideration or warning to others.



THE DYNAMICS OF THE FOUR

The Direction of Disintegration: The Four Goes to Two

Starting at Level 4, Fours under stress will begin to exhibit many of the qualities of average to unhealthy Twos. Although they are usually withdrawn from people, average Fours have always wanted and needed people, and their move to Two is an ironic, unintended acknowledgment of this. Fours are drawn to Two because they need to overcome their alienation from themselves and others by finding someone who will love them. By so doing, Fours hope that they will, in time, be able to love themselves and actualize the good that is in them.
At Level 4, Fours spend a great deal of time in romantic fantasies about themselves and others. They are not withdrawn, but they are more focused on their imaginations than on real people and events. They feel stress when others try to engage with them more directly, and usually respond with a slightly forced effusiveness. Relationships, either actual or potential, also become a major source of stress for Fours, and they think about them frequently. Like average Twos, Fours want to be reassured that the relationship is working, that the other person likes them, so they frequently talk about how much they care about the other, and remind him or her of how meaningful their relationship is.
At Level 5, Fours are highly self-absorbed and have difficulty relating to others because of their self-consciousness. They dwell on their feelings and fantasies and have trouble maintaining interest in others except inasmuch as they may want to talk about their issues and desires. This causes others to avoid Fours, which inevitably produces stress and fears of abandonment. Fours respond by hovering around and intruding themselves into others' lives like average Twos. They
become clinging and possessive of those people whom they still feel comfortable with and who are willing to support the Four's fantasies. They begin to find ways to "be needed" and do not like to let the people they care about out of their sight for long.
At Level 6, self-indulgence and exemption are taking their toll, and Fours soon realize that they need support, especially financial support, to continue their "artistic" lifestyle and search for self. Anxieties about money and "slipping through the cracks" cause them to exaggerate their importance in others' lives. Fours at this stage are so self- absorbed that the slightest gesture or gift they may offer feels like a major act of generosity. In fact, Fours may not have been particularly generous, but they want to remind others of whatever acts of kindness they have done as a way of discouraging them from leaving. At this Level, Fours become obsessed about getting acknowledgment for services rendered or just for the "unique pleasure" of having their company. They want others to respect them as gifted, undiscovered talents, while the reality may be that they are merely dreaming their lives away, dissipating themselves in idle sensuality.
At Level 7, unhealthy Fours are too depressed and fatigued to care for themselves, let alone hold down a job. They are increasingly dependent on the good will of others, but can be extremely difficult to deal with because of their deep feelings of resentment and anger. Losing others at this point is truly terrifying to them—without the support of their friends and relatives helping them out, Fours fear that they would be out on the street, destitute. Thus, in the shift toward Two, they begin to manipulate others, playing on guilt and undermining others' confidence to keep their "supply lines" flowing. This problem only adds to the self-reproaches and resentments of Fours, because they are often left in the care of people they want to get away from—their families. Consequently, they are never more desirous of having a wonderful relationship with someone who will understand them, who will be patient with them and save them from their problems. Unfortunately, however, neurotic Fours are almost
completely incapable of entering into and sustaining a genuine relationship with anyone.
At Level 8, unhealthy Fours are tormented by their delusional self- hatred and morbidity. When they reach their limit, they may go to Two and break through their smothering self-inhibitions, acting out their repressed rage and sexual impulses. They feel that they have been suffering long enough, and are therefore entitled to get their needs met by others. They may go on a binge of drugs or alcohol or look for solace in compulsive sexuality. Further, they may stalk a person who has become the object of their sexual obsessions or, if they have the means to do so, take advantage of people who are more helpless and defenseless than they are. Their fury at others may also burst open, causing them to physically attack persons who they feel are responsible for their miserable condition.
At Level 9, when neurotic Fours go to Two they may well have some sort of nervous breakdown, indirectly coercing someone, but almost certainly not the beloved of their imaginations, to take care of them. Eliciting pity from others substitutes for being loved. They may also be without financial resources, and therefore need to live off someone else in what is little more than a parasitic existence and an extension of the feeling of exemption which we have already seen. Furthermore, since they are broken down, deteriorated Fours also feel exempt from having any expectations placed on them, even the expectation that they get well.
Ironically, Fours at Two will likely begin to hate the very person they have become dependent upon, since their dependency is a constant reminder of their defects and lack of self-esteem. Conflicts will escalate as Fours alternate between intense feelings of aggression toward themselves and aggression toward the other. Others will no doubt also be infuriated with deteriorated Fours because many of their problems were either caused or greatly exacerbated by their own actions. Fours will therefore probably destroy the very relationship they so desperately depend on. The prognosis for deteriorated Fours is
bleak indeed: if they do not receive adequate professional help, they may well eventually go mad, commit suicide, or both.


The Direction of Integration: The Four Goes to One

Healthy Fours actualize themselves by focusing upon something objective, something beyond their feelings and their imaginations. When very healthy Fours go to One, they move from the world of subjectivity to the world of objectivity, from self-absorption to principled action. They have found the courage to act without reference to their feelings and have thus freed themselves from the relentless tug of self-absorption. They are no longer controlled by their feelings, but by their convictions, acting on principles rather than moods. Like healthy Ones, integrating Fours are people of action, mobilizing their energies in the service of something beyond their personal interest and emotional gratification.
Fours at One acknowledge that there are values to which it is necessary to submit. They willingly become self-disciplined, working consistently toward actualizing their potentials so they can contribute to the world. Ironically, integrating Fours find the freedom they have sought by desiring to do what they need to do instead of doing whatever they please in a misguided search for self. By being part of the world, they find a context in which to discover themselves. Furthermore, integrating Fours do not lose contact with their feelings; rather, their feelings become connected with what is happening in reality.
And since they receive satisfaction from reality, they are no longer tempted to be self-indulgent, nor do they think of themselves as different from others. Instead, integrating Fours submit both to reality and to the dictates of conscience, willingly putting limits on themselves, thereby overcoming the tendency to exempt themselves from social and moral obligations. Like healthy Ones, integrating
Fours are exceptional teachers, objective about themselves and yet, because they are Fours, able to bring the riches of the subjective world to the light of day. Their intuition is reinforced by excellent discernment, personal insight by clarity of mind.
Finally, because integrating Fours have transcended themselves, what they create is objective, something from which they can learn what is true about themselves. Integrating Fours are able to contemplate their creation, whether it is a work of art, an act of kindness, or a successful relationship, not only learning who they are, but giving themselves reasons for genuine self-esteem. They learn that to the extent that their creation is good, the person who created it must also be good.




THE MAJOR SUBTYPES OF THE FOUR

The Four with a Three-Wing: "The Aristocrat"

The combination of Four and Three traits produce a subtype which is both emotionally volatile and contradictory. (This is true for the Three with a Four-wing as well.) While the two component types may on the surface appear to be opposites, they have much in common, and if properly used can do much to offset some of their individual weaknesses. Fours are often introverted, withdrawn, and self- absorbed, whereas Threes tend to be extroverted, interpersonal, and goal-oriented. The Four's fear of exposing itself (in a sense, a "fear of success") is the opposite of the Three's self-display and competitive desire for success. The Four's introverted self-consciousness contrasts with the Three's charm and other extroverted social skills. As conflicting as these two component types are, both are nevertheless concerned with self-image and self-esteem issues. Fours tend to develop a self-image which is largely a private matter: Fours are trying
to become their self-image through their imagination and feelings. Threes develop a more public self-image and try to get others to validate its reality through their achievements. Both opposing sets of traits can coexist in the same person, although uneasily. Noteworthy examples of the Four with a Three-wing include Tennessee Williams, Maria Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, (The Artist Formerly Known as) Prince, Frederick Chopin, Jeremy Irons, Marcel Proust, Martha Graham, Edith Piaf, Paul Simon, Harold Pinter, Walt Whitman, Albert Camus, E. M. Forster, Gustav Mahler, Tchaikovsky, and "Blanche DuBois."
Because of the Three-wing, healthy people of this subtype can be sociable, ambitious, and accomplished, particularly in the arts: they possess both creativity and the drive to "make their mark." They are in touch with who they are and who they are becoming, but with a more extroverted, energetic dimension to them. In general, Fours tend to be private and not particularly action-oriented, but with a healthy Three- wing, this impulse is tempered by a desire to accomplish and to improve the self. To do this, Fours with a Three-wing know that they must produce, and that they must be involved with people. Thus, the Three-wing tends to be more goal-oriented, sociable, and aware of interpersonal "politics" than the Five-wing. Healthy Fours with a Three-wing want to be successful, but distinctive, and are willing to put in the necessary work to actualize their dreams. Both subtypes can be highly creative, but the Four with a Three-wing is more aware of creating with an audience in mind. They are adaptable, sensitive to others, and have a good sense of humor.
Average people of this subtype may be helped out of their self- absorption by a concern for what others think of them. Since people of this subtype have the ability to project a favorable image, they are able to conceal their real emotional condition more effectively than the other subtype: others may not realize how vulnerable or emotionally troubled they may be. Fours with a Three-wing are competitive and interested in making something of themselves in the world, but they
fear success, self-exposure, and possible humiliation. However, to the degree that the Three-wing is operative, this subtype also has a strong need for attention and admiration which may serve as partial motives for their behavior. There is a strong sense of the romantic in both subtypes, and their combination tends to heighten the sense of drama, to the point of even exhibitionism. And, to the degree that their narcissistic needs are unfulfilled in reality, their desires for triumph can both play a part in their fantasy life and become a focal point for disappointments. They tend to be more practical than the other wing subtype, but also more emotionally and financially extravagant. As befitting their nickname, average Fours with a Three-wing like to surround themselves with objects and settings which provide them with a sense of refinement and culture. Having "good taste" becomes a prerequisite for a close association with this subtype, and regardless of their economic background, less healthy Fours with a Three-wing will see themselves as more sophisticated and "high class" than the people around them—especially their families. The Three component adds a strong desire to be pleasing others, so Fours with a Three-wing tend to be more responsive to others' suggestions, help, and criticism than the other subtype, but can also be more resentful because of the suppression of their deeper emotional responses.
Since unhealthy persons of this subtype are still fundamentally Fours, they take out their aggressions principally on themselves. They are self-inhibited and alienated from others, depressed, self- contemptuous, and so forth. However, to the degree that the Three- wing plays a part in the overall personality, there will be moments when they act like unhealthy Threes. People of this subtype can be hostile and malicious; their secret envy of others will be reinforced by the Three-wing's jealousy. Exploitativeness, opportunism, and duplicity may also be present, although these traits increase their shame and guilt if they should succumb to them. The desire to ruin others which we find in Threes is frequently contemplated but rarely acted upon by this subtype. If it ever is, however, neurotics of this
subtype will punish themselves even more severely than they inflict pain on anyone else. Crimes of passion and suicide are possible.


The Four with a Five-Wing: "The Bohemian"

The traits of Fours and Fives tend to reinforce each other. Both are "withdrawn" types: Fours withdraw to protect their feelings; Fives, to protect their security. Thus, this subtype is more reclusive and less ambitious than the Four with a Three-wing. Fours with a Five-wing will be markedly more observant of the environment, particularly of other people. There is an intellectual depth and intensity here which is not found in the other subtype, but also a corresponding social insecurity. This subtype can be more insightful and original, but also less likely to do consistent, concrete work. Noteworthy examples of the Four with a Five-wing include Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, Ingmar Bergman, D. H. Lawrence, Yukio Mishima, J. D. Salinger, Johnny Depp, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Saul Steinberg, Seren Kierkegaard, Hermann Hesse, William Blake, and "Laura Wingfield."
Healthy, gifted individuals of this subtype are probably the most profoundly creative of all the types because they combine intuition with insight, emotional sensitivity with intellectual comprehension, frequently with stunningly original, even prophetic, results. Fours with a Five-wing burn lighter than Fours with a Three-wing, but at the risk of burning themselves out faster. They are often drawn to the arts and to social sciences, where their insights into the human condition can be expanded and explored. Because of the Five-wing, healthy individuals of this subtype care less about the opinions of others, so they tend to follow their muse wherever it leads them. Their self- expression is highly personal and can be somewhat idiosyncratic. They tend to create more for themselves than for an audience.
Average persons of this subtype are given not merely to self-
absorption but to philosophical and religious speculation. Their emotional world is the dominant reality, but with a strong intellectual cast. People of this subtype tend to be loners, more lacking in social connectedness than the other subtype. Thus, their artistic expressions more completely substitute for the person than in Fours with a Three- wing. They often display brilliant flashes of insight, but have trouble sustaining their efforts. These people also frequently have an otherworldly, ethereal quality about them; they are extremely independent and unconventional to the point of eccentricity. They also tend to be secretive, intensely preoccupied with their thoughts, and purposely enigmatic in their self-expression. Their creative ideas may also be somewhat unusual, emphasizing the mysterious, even the surreal. They are very attracted to the exotic and the symbolic and tend to be more unusual in their personal presentation—bohemian or, at least, casual. Members of this subtype care little for communicating with those who cannot understand them. Rather, they are interested in expressing their inner vision, whether sublime or terrifying, bleak or lyrical. They tend to choose a simpler lifestyle than Fours with a Three-wing, but can also get caught up in the Five's minimizing of needs. Aspects of the Five's eccentricity begin to manifest, as well as a high-strung nervous energy. Less healthy Fours with a Five-wing can become very reclusive, daydreaming through life with baroque fantasies and ideas, but increasingly tormented by self-doubt and unable to galvanize themselves into constructive action.
Unhealthy persons of this subtype inhabit a particularly barren and terrifying inner world. There is a self-denying, even life-denying, element of inner resistance to everything outside the self, throwing all of the Four's existential problems into sharper relief. They may have great understanding of their problems, but can more easily become lost in emotional turmoil—fatigue, depression, and hopelessness. Indeed, pondering the nature of their torment leads Fours with a Five-wing around in circles, heightening both their self-contempt and their nihilism. Since Four is the fundamental personality type, Fours with a
Five-wing are assailed by self-doubt, alienation from others, inhibitions in their work, and self-contempt. To the degree that the Five-wing plays a part in the overall personality, unhealthy Fours of this subtype will also resist being helped by anyone, thus increasing their alienation from others. They also tend to project their fears into the environment, resulting in distorted thinking patterns which may include hallucinations and phobias. Not only are people of this subtype subject to torment from their self-hatred, they can see very little positive outside themselves, and become very pessimistic about the apparent meaninglessness of life. Of all the personality types, people of this subtype are potentially the most isolated from themselves and from reality. They are prone to the depressive forms of schizophrenia.


SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

Looking back on their deterioration, we can see that neurotic Fours have made the worst and most crippling aspects of their self-image into the whole truth of who they are. Ironically, their idealized self- image becomes so out of touch with reality that they reject many of the positive qualities that they actually possess. The pity is not that they always have been as damaged as they feel they are, but that they have become profoundly damaged because they hate themselves. They have created a self-fulfilling prophecy and suffer the consequences.
From our present perspective, we can also see that one of the most important mistakes Fours make is to equate themselves with their feelings. The fallacy is that to understand themselves they must work through their feelings, particularly their negative ones, before acting. Fours do not see that the self is not the same as its feelings, or that the presence of negative feelings does not preclude the presence of good in themselves. However, as they deteriorate, the bad drives out the
good: their negative feelings about themselves gradually obliterate any positive ones they might have developed.
Fours must make a leap of faith that, despite their lack of a clear sense of themselves, they will discover themselves most surely by acting positively toward others. They must love others even if they do not feel that they have been loved adequately. When they love others, Fours will begin to discover who they are, and self-esteem will follow. They will also discover that because they can love, they must have learned to love from somewhere. What they have been given has perhaps been enough after all."

Excerpt From: Don Richard Riso. “Personality Types.”
 
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