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Discussion Starter #1
Afternoon all.

I think it a fair statement to say that a great number of type 4s bare the struggle of not being at peace with their type. I can see why this might be the case in some people - type 4s are generally very emotionally intense, inward to the point of self-exclusion from the outside world, unsure of their identity (which can lead to being overly self-absorbed or obsessed with their individualism) - but ultimately it comes down to how 'healthy' you feel you are, which leads me to my question...

On a scale of 1-10, how at peace are you with your type, and why do you think that is?

To briefly summarise myself, I'd say I'm about an 7/8 (I think it'd be higher if I didn't have a shit job)

I'm lucky enough to have a close circle of friends that meet type 4(w5) needs, a partner who does the same (and then some), I have all the right outlets for self-expression (Art, music, writing) and am fortunate enough to work in graphic-design, where I can take all that internal, moody, abstract creativity and turn it into something tangible that has a use (as opposed to being aimlessly creative, which is fine of course - it just has less practical application).

I look forward to reading your insights!
 

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Scale as in regular 1-10, 1 lowest .. 10 max? Health levels are usually tied to Riso-Hudson's 1-9 scale from what I've seen, just asking for clarification ^^

Not very healthy, fluctuating a lot at this point in time. I underwent drastic change from an educational and professional point of view, partly at the expense of socialisation (the withdrawal/monk mode). I observe states of a high where everything is epic and grand, things are smooth and I live life to the fullest. Then I revert to 5-6, which are my normal health levels. Moderate but not all too good. Too much brooding, too much escapism still, nihilistic periods, mild spells of melancholy. The (stereo)typical 4w5 problem?

I had the grand idea to study economics because hey, everybody loves money. Self-criticism to the max, an attempt to better myself religiously. Started practicing martial arts, meditation, readings and strategic socialisation. It worked but I overdid it.

You see a lot of arrogance and narcissm in this area. Yes, I am a four and should not say anything in this regard, this is one of our vices. I usually try keep it to myself, I don't need this sadistic bashing and passive-aggressive "trench sniping" (backstabbery, breaking of promises, loose alliances etc.) which people seem to do a lot in this setting. Seeking recognition and acceptance is one thing, treading onto others in order to push the own ego is another league. Pardon, I digress.

I work now, the pay is decent but the tasks are highly repetitive. There is no creativity involved, just excel spreadsheets lol. I bear with it but I am susceptible to making mistakes. I don't like to admit it, but I can't kill off the creative urge -can one even do that as a four? You seem to have a great job where put your gift to a productive purpose. I can relate to your angle of discussion a lot actually as I am trying find a meaningful job myself.

So all in all, struggling but not living to my full potential yet. To answer your question, I am on the path to embracing my own type, but I am certainly not at peace with it. How can one ever lead meaningful relationships and tap the full latent potential with this "perceived lack" the four struggles with? I have not found a conclusive answer yet...
 

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Scale as in regular 1-10, 1 lowest .. 10 max? Health levels are usually tied to Riso-Hudson's 1-9 scale from what I've seen, just asking for clarification ^^

Not very healthy, fluctuating a lot at this point in time. I underwent drastic change from an educational and professional point of view, partly at the expense of socialisation (the withdrawal/monk mode). I observe states of a high where everything is epic and grand, things are smooth and I live life to the fullest. Then I revert to 5-6, which are my normal health levels. Moderate but not all too good. Too much brooding, too much escapism still, nihilistic periods, mild spells of melancholy. The (stereo)typical 4w5 problem?

I had the grand idea to study economics because hey, everybody loves money. Self-criticism to the max, an attempt to better myself religiously. Started practicing martial arts, meditation, readings and strategic socialisation. It worked but I overdid it.

You see a lot of arrogance and narcissm in this area. Yes, I am a four and should not say anything in this regard, this is one of our vices. I usually try keep it to myself, I don't need this sadistic bashing and passive-aggressive "trench sniping" (backstabbery, breaking of promises, loose alliances etc.) which people seem to do a lot in this setting. Seeking recognition and acceptance is one thing, treading onto others in order to push the own ego is another league. Pardon, I digress.

I work now, the pay is decent but the tasks are highly repetitive. There is no creativity involved, just excel spreadsheets lol. I bear with it but I am susceptible to making mistakes. I don't like to admit it, but I can't kill off the creative urge -can one even do that as a four? You seem to have a great job where put your gift to a productive purpose. I can relate to your angle of discussion a lot actually as I am trying find a meaningful job myself.

So all in all, struggling but not living to my full potential yet. To answer your question, I am on the path to embracing my own type, but I am certainly not at peace with it. How can one ever lead meaningful relationships and tap the full latent potential with this "perceived lack" the four struggles with? I have not found a conclusive answer yet...
I did in fact mean 1-10 in the abstract, but duh - the 1-9 scale would have made far more sense. What a spanner :) Thank you for pointing that out.

Regarding your first comments, it certainly feels like the stereotypical 4w5 problem to me too. I don't fluctuate so much as I feel instead that I'm riding a plateau that I wish would improve, but I sure do love to practice some full-on escapism. It's m'jam. I should take a leaf out of your book and give something that would satisfy my S a go though - something physical for once (I'm referring to your comments on meditation and martial arts).

I'm with you when it comes to the arrogance and narcissism also - I can't deny that thoughts of that nature enter my head, but I at least have the wisdom not to express them. Stupid brain.

Referring to your feelings about your work, I'm actually in remarkably similar sounding boat as you. I'm a graphic designer who does freelance (the fun bit) and a day job - the day job is awful, and totally overshadows the freelance. "The pay is decent, but the tasks are highly repetitive. There is no creativity involved" - I could not find better words to describe my own employment (surprisingly, design jobs can actually be pretty terrible in that regard). Do you think it kills the creative urge because it saps at your 'soul' a bit? Or perhaps the monotony is just exhausting.

In regards to your conclusion, I certainly do sympathise with the 'struggle' you speak of. Personally though, I think that "perceived lack" of not living up to one's potential is just a constant which is endemic to the type; without it, I don't think that the type 4s could be characterised the way that they are. We have to be a bit 'tortured' to fullfil to stand out the way that we do - every type has it's staple characteristic. Plus, we're not actually being tortured, but I bet somewhere somebody is being - thats[/B] shit, so I think we'll be alright really :)
 

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I did in fact mean 1-10 in the abstract, but duh - the 1-9 scale would have made far more sense. What a spanner :) Thank you for pointing that out.
Not to sound like Mr. Smarty Pants, just clarification.

Regarding your first comments, it certainly feels like the stereotypical 4w5 problem to me too. I don't fluctuate so much as I feel instead that I'm riding a plateau that I wish would improve, but I sure do love to practice some full-on escapism. It's m'jam. I should take a leaf out of your book and give something that would satisfy my S a go though - something physical for once (I'm referring to your comments on meditation and martial arts).
Meditation and mindfulness help to lessen the void or sense of imperfection. However, they can also dangerous as one gets a bit nihilistic. I have this hermit tendency as well :D Martial arts has the benefit of alertness. I can't wait, think and decode or read meaning in every single thing the opponent does. If I would, the fight would be over in a second. One has to act, anticipate and react. It provides rooting if that makes sense. It does not have to be aggressive competitive sport though, I mean a simple jog, workout or if you dislike gyms, cardio can help as well. I feel the need to push myself to actually participate, get out of this hermit haze and do something, otherwise I would waste away my days lol

Referring to your feelings about your work, I'm actually in remarkably similar sounding boat as you. I'm a graphic designer who does freelance (the fun bit) and a day job - the day job is awful, and totally overshadows the freelance. "The pay is decent, but the tasks are highly repetitive. There is no creativity involved" - I could not find better words to describe my own employment (surprisingly, design jobs can actually be pretty terrible in that regard). Do you think it kills the creative urge because it saps at your 'soul' a bit? Or perhaps the monotony is just exhausting.
This also seems to be the fate of the type - we often have one job that provides the funds for living whereas we channel the creative flow into a hobby or secondary job. How is it with graphic design as job? In enneagram books, they usually cite marketing jobs or design-related jobs as our thing, something onto which we can imprint our unique style. Freedom of expression. On the other hand, you have to meet customer requirements so you are not fully free. That would be restrictive then again, limiting your vision?

To answer your question, from a motivation psychology point of view, we need to "feel" something for the things we are doing, so basically there needs to be a sense of purpose. Sounds cheesy, but satisfaction, sense of purpose and involvement are actually proven to be better motivators than money alone. "Saps your soul" - now I feel the 4w5 vibe hehe, I can relate to that. Monotony and lack of purpose certainly kill the creative urge ~ if the task is repetitive and simple, my brain leans towards autopilot mode. This can be a bit dangerous, so I try to stay alert as much as I can. But I definitely feel this. Sometimes, this state is like a "trance" if that makes sense.

On the other hand, I'd say that some of these tasks also provide stability, I think the 4w5 also needs rooting/security? I'm not saying the task is exciting, however somewhat stable and calculable.

I get my creativity fix from reading books, listening to emotional music or something of this sort. I actually consider smithing or pottery as a hobby over my (rather pointless) PC timesink//procrastination. To create something with your hand is amazing, form dead clay into something meaningful or form iron into something useful and timeless - appealing. I lack the skill and muscle for smithing lol, but the urge is getting stronger.

We have to be a bit 'tortured' to fullfil to stand out the way that we do - every type has it's staple characteristic. Plus, we're not actually being tortured, but I bet somewhere somebody is being - thats[/B] shit, so I think we'll be alright really :)


I hope so :D Some authors state that the type directs force inward and is, compared to an eight, more masochistic in this sense. Shame, inadequacy, moodiness, brooding and the outcast/loner aspect are frequently mentioned and I do relate to some of these.

If I can watch, analyze and plan from a distance, things are fine but when I am in the actual situation (performance), things can get messy. One makes a mistake and the cycle starts - faster speech pattern, expectation of criticism and the "counter-stance" (even though people are relaxed lol). Heck, I've seen people who make five, ten, twenty mistakes, so what. They are late for meetings, they do not meet deadlines but they do not care at all. Not good for the job long-term, but they seem to be happy, lead fulfilling lives, are active. One needs to seize life and live it to the max, that is not always easy for this type though. Too much rationalisation?
 

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I LOVE my enneagram type, probably a 9.5 rounded to 10.

I was actually *not* at peace with it when I thought I was a 9, but after figuring out I am a 4 in the enneagram theory (I always make sure to qualify it that way because what I am or what you are **really** is something different altogether :) ) I feel completely at peace with who I am and my motivations.

That last bit really hits it for me and has been what's so useful for me with the enneagram: I can get myself to do almost anything constructive by using the type 4 motivation strategy by thinking about how I'll be (and be perceived as) extraordinary for it.

Vanity or not, that's been very helpful to get "OK I want to be and be seen as extraordinary, so let's blow everyone's mind and go over the top here in the best way possible."

Unique or individualistic doesn't really get me going but extraordinary, exceptional, and exemplary do, a subtle but important distinction for me (oh, also, distinguished! :p )

So that was a big revelation when I realized my motivation strategy and how to use it and probably contributes to how well I like the enneagram's application.
 

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I'm very much at peace with my type. It wasn't easy to get to that point. I figured, over trial and error, that the only way to be at peace with, myself in general, is to just get all the negative things out in the open and just face life head on. I'm finding I use a lot of self deprecating humor. It's kind of my way of saying, I'm flawed, so what? I find it helps me a LOT with a lot of those feelings of inadequacy that drum up from time to time. I'm also learning it helps to confront interpersonal situations head on, as well. I've always struggled with feeling like my viewpoint or my feelings, or I am somehow invalid; I had to learn to just remind myself that I'm as valid as anyone else and express myself--tactfully, of course. I do think that 4's start to gain some 8like traits, over time. You learn how to directly confront and how that helps you move along in life.
 

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I love the fact that we do not turn away form vulnerability and embrace it deeply and really get down to the humaness of life, I love that. I love that I can be so touched by sentimental and deep things.

I hate that I walk around constantly feeling like I just want someone to shake me out of my body and punch the shit out of me so I can wake up and be real, be present be free to express what's on my heart but knowing this won't happen and others have their own shit to deal with and me and my problems are not the center of the universe and facing that sort of self centeredness makes me feel like a shitty person, realizing I'm this self centered person having the same qualities I scoff at in other people, really disgusting feeling.

I love that we have beautiful fantasies that transcend limitations, that we make up the beauty in our minds that we see lacking and unattainable in life, I hate and love the fact that we keep believing we can make those fantasies real someday. The fact that I keep holding on to the dreams I'm too lazy to do is nice but also naive.

I don't really like reality but I also wish I was more in touch with it or more proactive about being in touch with it, I just wish tried to be in touch with it more.


I love the idea of being special, I hate the idea of being special lol. I hate that I want so badly to be noticed in a room but that I feel so bad when I am noticed in the room because I feel like someone else should be noticed. I mean wtf is that? You want something and then when you get it you can't handle it? WTF, that's cruelty.

I love when a 4 bears their soul, it is inspiring and so raw true real beautiful and sometimes even universal and very very comforting. To see someone face the world with their deepest flaws exposed is sooooo inspring. That's the power of a 4 and I wish I could be brave enough to do that someday. I want to just release myself and see the response I get, but I fear that response, I fear it will either be disgust or underwhelmed. I fear that all my "deepness" and "flawedness" isn't something unique and special at all but just me complaining about things that are common for everybody and I'm too dramatic to deal with them in some normal or mature or silent way like the rest. Often my insides feel complex but they come out as something simple and trivial even to myself and I think, man, I'm not soooo special or torn or broken I'm just dealing with this problem you can find in a BOOK?! Wow, and my purpose is gone, evaporated away with my "specialness" and I feel like I get in line with the others in life and just get stamped on the forehead with a number going down the conveyor belt of humanity and just another body, without purpose , I'm being over dramatic but hopefully you got what I meant there lol.

I'm not really at peace with it I love it and hate it as I should I suppose as dictated by the type descriptions. I would like to utilize it's strengths instead of feeling like I'm constantly stuck in the mud of being a type 4 which is the depression, imperfect, never happy aspect of it.
 
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