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Discussion Starter #1
Fours feel that they are not like their parents. Many Fours report fantasizing that they were mistakenly switched at the hospital, or that they are orphans or some kind of changeling. They often express this as feeling that they have not been "seen" by their parents, that they did not connect sufficiently with their parents or their parents with them. In psychological terms, Fours feel that they have not had adequate mirroring, or at least the mirroring of actual qualities and talents that they can make part of their developing identity. (In family systems theory, Fours tend to identify the Lost Child role.)

The result is that Fours believe that something must be profoundly wrong with them, launching them on a lifelong "search for self". They feel "If I am not like my parents and I cannot see myself in them, then who am I?" This also predisposes Fours to focus on what they lack - on what is missing in themselves, their lives, and their relationships. They feel abandoned and misunderstood by their parents and, later, by other significant people.

As a result of this pattern, Fours respond powerfully to people who trigger their desire for mirroring, for being seen and appreciated for who they are. On the most profound level, Fours are always looking for the mother and father they feel they did not have. They may idealize these others as "saviors" who will rescue them from their plight.

Because they have doubts about their identity, they tend to play "hide and seek" with others - hiding from people, but hoping that their absence will be noticed. Fours attempt to remain mysterious and intriguing enough to attract someone who will notice them and redeem them with their love. But self-concealment and self-revelation alternate and can be expressed with such extemes of intensity and need that Fours inadvertently drive the longed-for rescuer away. Until they can recognize this pattern and see the unrealistic expectations they put on their intimates, Fours run the risk of alienating others with their emotional demands.


From Riso and Hudson's The Wisdom of the Enneagram
 

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I always felt very distant from my parents. And I do identify with the "Lost Child" role, which I've read about it in books of family dysfunction (like families with an alcoholic in them, etc.) Thanks for the post!
 

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I wanted to start this thread because the subject was so intriguing. I actually started a thread, What motivation is behind wishing to be adopted?, few months ago. I had been watching Australian Find My Family and absolutely loved it, I'm still quite fond of and addicted to it... Anyway, it was interesting to read in The Wisdom of the Enneagram that these kind of fantasies are related to the core of type Four.

I have been dreaming of being adopted since I was little. I wish I would have had parents who had always loved and missed me very dearly and who would eventually find me, hug me and find me beautiful inside and outside too. I only have brothers so I've always wished I had a sister, I even used to have one imaginary sister when I was little... I guess I felt I had no-one and missed to be re-connected to loving family. I guess my SO was something like this to me. Funny but I have even written a poem about this issue, I really feel he was and is my savior... :')

Please share, I love hearing stories by other Fours... :)
 

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For me I was autistic and my parents didn't know it, which caused even more strife and misunderstanding between us -- especially with my mother who also just has a very different personality than me (though we are both introverted and supposedly have similar mannerisms around people we don't know). My father was an abusive alcoholic and, though I idealized him as a child, I wanted nothing to do with him by age 13. Due to my autism I didn't really notice or think about being different from my family, but it was very obvious to me by the time I was a teenager (and not for teenage angst reasons). I often would say "I don't belong here" -- meaning this planet, in general.
 

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"I have been dreaming of being adopted since I was little." - Me too ! I love my parents to death and I took after my father so much that the fact that I'm his biological daughter is 100% certain, but I've always had this longing deep inside. At some point it started to be my obsession, I kept looking for some evidence that I was adopted. I was scared at the thought of this possibility, but at the same time it attracted me in a strange way. I don't know where this all came from, I really don't. My family was and still is nearly perfect, but I wish my parents had told me they loved me more often. The truth is, every amount of love is not enough for me. At early age I noticed that my sensibility is a burden for them and that was the source of shame for me. From then on I started to look for someone to accept me as I am and understand me fully. It's difficult to constantly hide my emotions and, well, "the real me" even from my parents.
BTW. whole my childhood is like an encyclopedia of being a four. So many of my behaviours fit the image. I used to ask everyone, and really often, whether they loved me. And it started when I was about five o_O. If my mother (or some other person ) said "yes", I had to make sure if they love me more than anyone else ( in my mother's case - if she loved me more than my yonger brother ). I think I don't have to add that I was extremely jealous. Also when I was five or six, I was afraid that my whole life is just a dream and that my family and all other people don't really exist. That was bizzare. And another fact : I fell in love for the first time when i was six. With a 30-year-old man, my father's best friend. And I loved him almost like a mature woman, not like a child. That seemed "real" to me, you know. I even proposed to him.
The worst thing is that I probably haven't changed that much since I was a kid. I'm still this emotional weirdo, asking myself "What the hell am I doing here?".
 

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Because they have doubts about their identity, they tend to play "hide and seek" with others - hiding from people, but hoping that their absence will be noticed. Fours attempt to remain mysterious and intriguing enough to attract someone who will notice them and redeem them with their love.
As a child my favorite game was hide and seek. I was very good at discovering difficult-to-find hiding places, so I spent a lot of time by myself waiting to be found. Often I never would be found and then people would give up and go on and play without me. It hurt at first, but... When you go your whole life hiding in obscure spots, waiting to be found, you begin to wonder what exactly you wanted those people for in the first place and you learn to entertain yourself. It doesn't seem all that important to be found anymore. But deep down, the desire is still there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As a child my favorite game was hide and seek. I was very good at discovering difficult-to-find hiding places, so I spent a lot of time by myself waiting to be found. Often I never would be found and then people would give up and go on and play without me. It hurt at first, but... When you go your whole life hiding in obscure spots, waiting to be found, you begin to wonder what exactly you wanted those people for in the first place and you learn to entertain yourself. It doesn't seem all that important to be found anymore. But deep down, the desire is still there.
Awww... :) *would thank more than once if it were possible and wonders why couldn't it be possible*
 
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I am nothing like my parents...and would never want to be like them. I ran away from home twice when I was a teen and eventually left for good when I was 16. I was not close to either parent.
 

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Many Fours report fantasizing that they were mistakenly switched at the hospital, or that they are orphans or some kind of changeling.
Funny, I would often show a picture of my family to friends and say - look at that, I must be adopted or something! I don't physically look like the rest of my family. I love my family, would do anything for em, but for some reason I wanted to highlight that to people. Hmm.

On the most profound level, Fours are always looking for the mother and father they feel they did not have.
Interesting enough I'm attracted to Type 7s, which is what my mom is. You would think I would go for a different enneagram. Though I'm interested in XNTP rather than ESFP so maybe it's a mixture of familiarity and novelty.
 
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I also felt very misunderstood by family and that perhaps I wasn't part of them. This later fostered into 'I hope I don't end up like them because I despise some of their traits'. I also do the hide and seek thing but end up bitching to some friend who can't connect emotionally but understands the rationality behind it all lol. He's a saviour but not the one I'm looking for! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also felt very misunderstood by family and that perhaps I wasn't part of them.
Thanks for sharing. I don't think that is only the privilede of Fours and it was interesting to hear an opinion of a Seven... I wonder whether people with a Four fix can relate to the issues I mentioned in the first post.
 

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I don't ever remember wishing I was adopted, but I did feel like the odd one out, very different from my folks. But so did/does my hubby who is a 7. Then again, he also is the only NF in a family of SJ's.
 

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I've never wished I were adopted. But in a sort of reverse situation, my dad was adopted and I've always been curious about my biological grandparents, and it's a kind of longing curiosity to find out who they are, or any information about them whatsoever. I know very little about them.

I definitely don't want to grow up and be like my parents. They're good people and I love them but I don't want to be like them. Growing up, I never felt like anyone understood me or listened to my needs that weren't exactly on the surface.
 

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Wow.. WHAT IS IT WITH EVERYONE BEING SO ACCURATE TODAY!!

This is.. me. Every single word of it. Holy shit.

I wish I could quote the accurate parts, but then I'd just quote the entire post.

I am so gobsmacked right now.

 

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I have never fantasized about being adopted.

It's a fact that I'm not close to any of my parents.
They divorced when I was young so I barely even saw my dad. My parents fought badly twice and I still remember it 12 years later. My first memory of my dad was when I was 5. Even when I was with my dad, he isn't a person who is mentally healthy. He was extremely withdrawn from the outside world and was busy fighting his own sufferings.
My mom worked a lot.. and I love her for that. She works so hard for my sister and I; she's such an independent person. The problem was that she worked a little too much that I rarely saw her. There are times where I don't see her for a week straight because she comes home so late. When I was younger, the only time I saw her was when she had a day off, which she mainly spent running errands. The person who raised me was my grandfather, who I missed so so so much. He passed away when I was 13 and I still feel sad whenever I mention him. I liked him so much because he took care of me and gave me the affection that my parents didn't.

Ever since he passed away I never really felt the warmth that he gave me from anybody else. I don't live with my dad and it's been like this for years, the last time I saw him he's still the same, but I know he cares for me. I turn to my mom for the affection that I want but she's still the workaholic she always was. I see her more often now because I sleep later. Of course I'm closer with her now because I have important decisions to make and I have to talk with her about it since she's the head of the house hold.

I wouldn't really say that I'm close with my mom. Her point of view is very different from mine, and she also knows that. It's hard to connect with her because I'm always comparing the connection we have to the connection I had with my grandpa. I rarely talk about my emotions and thoughts with my mom.
 
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I rarely talk about my emotions and thoughts with my mom.
I can totally relate.

My parents divorced when I was a teen, after my mom abandoned the family. I was never close to either one. My dad passed away a few years ago and I really did not want to go to the funeral. He was like a stranger in my life. But I went.
As for my mom...I can only handle being around her for short periods of time. We don't have a mother-daughter bond. I have never been able to talk to my mom about anything.
 

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I'm starting to wonder..

is it because of the lack of connection that leads us to being a 4, or is it because we are 4's so we feel the lack of connection?
 
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I'm starting to wonder..

is it because of the lack of connection that leads us to being a 4, or is it because we are 4's so we feel the lack of connection?
I have no idea. I am still learning a lot about this stuff. But it does make you wonder.

I also have three siblings that I do not stay in contact with.
 
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