[Enneagram Type 4] Social Four description (according to Beatrice Chestnut).

Social Four description (according to Beatrice Chestnut).

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This is a discussion on Social Four description (according to Beatrice Chestnut). within the Type 4 Forum - The Individualist forums, part of the Heart Triad - Types 2,3,4 category; ...

  1. #1

    Social Four description (according to Beatrice Chestnut).

    Social Four

    The Social Four appears emotionally sensitive (or oversensitive), feels thing deeply, and suffers more than most people. For this Four, there is a desire to be witnessed and seen in their suffering. They hope that if their suffering is sufficiently recognized and understood, they might be forgiven for their failures and deficiencies and loved unconditionally.



    Naranjo explains that Social Fours are people who lament too much and who often put themselves in the victim role. They can appear self-sabotaging when they broadcast their suffering and their victimhood as a way of engendering sympathy in others, but they also undermine themselves by being too attached to the causes of their suffering.



    In this Four, envy fuels a focus on shame and suffering by providing a constant source of pain: a feeling that others have what the Four wants. However, they believe that their suffering is also what makes them unique and special- there is a kind of seduction of others through suffering.


    Fours' motivation for dwelling too much in suffering and sensitivity seems to be connected to an idea that suffering will be the shortest path to heaven. Like the child that cries to attract the mother's care, they have the idea that the way to happiness is through tears. While there is some truth to the idea that the path of transformation requires difficulty, this higher ideal gets put to use in justifying the expression of dissatisfaction as a way of attracting the help of others. Social Fours rationalize their attachment to suffering instead of doing something about it, and they depend too much on their needs being fulfilled by others. They express the idea that if you convey the intensity of your need in painful enough terms, someone will finally come to your aid and fulfill that need.



    Whereas envy motivates Self-Preservation Fours to work to get what they want, it motivates social fours to focus on their emotional dissatisfaction and internal lack. For the social four there is a sense of comfort and familiarity in suffering- the sweet sadness of poetry, the rich meaning and painful beauty in melancholic music- and an unconscious hope that their suffering will somehow redeem them.


    The central issue of the social four, however, is not just suffering- it's inferiority. For this subtype, there is a need for self-abasement and self-recrimination, for turning against oneself, for self-weakening. The social four's envy is express through a passion for comparing oneself with others and winding up in the lowest position. To others, the extremity of their mindset and insistence that “there's something wrong with me” can be surprising. They have a poor self-image that they themselves perpetuate. They also engage in self-sabotage a lot: they regularly underestimate themselves and always feel “less than” in comparison to others.


    As Naranjo indicates, the social four may evoke a response in others that makes them want to ask, “What's wrong with you that you think there's something wrong with you?”A person with this subtype may be competent, attractive, and intelligent, and yet still tend to focus on and identify strongly with suffering and a sense of deficiency.


    Social Fours tend to feel a sense of shame about their wants and needs, and their experience of desire is associated with more guilt than other people's. The social four feels guilty for any wish. Shame puts their internal focus on intense and dark emotions such as envy, jealousy, hatred, and competition. They are too shy to express desires, except through a display of suffering. They don't feel entitled to have their needs met but at the same time may believe that the world is “against” them or that “no one gives me what I want or what I need.”


    Social Fours don't compete with others (like sexual fours do) as much as they compare themselves to others and find themselves lacking- almost as if by showing themselves to be lacking they can call forth what they need from others. Underneath, however, they experience a fierce competitiveness that may be largely unconscious: a competitiveness for recognition, being unique and special, and wanting to be in first place. This is more hidden and subtle in the social four, however, than it is in the sexual four.


    Social fours explore the pain of the past repeatedly as a way of attracting someone who will take care of them and satisfy their wants. They criminalize their wants, as many of us do, but they suffer more keenly for turning against themselves.


    Fours with this subtype tend to think with their emotions- they get entangled in “emotional” thoughts, caught up in and identified with intense emotions to the extent that they can't take action even when it would be good for them to do so. They tend to be generous and to do for others, but they do not take responsibility for their own lives and may dramatize problems to distract themselves from doing something to find a solution.


    In public, social fours repress “frowned upon” emotions like anger or hatred and may appear sweet, friendly, and soft- but in private, they may express their emotions they store up in social situations and become aggressive. Generally, they prefer to swallow their own poison rather than externalize it to the people around them, and they typically have difficulty finding their place in a group and in society. These fours may experience themselves as misfits, and yet they also tend to generate social situations of rejection to confirm their shame. They see themselves as victims and may view others as “perpetrators,” and they don't always take responsibility for their own actions or aggressiveness.


    Social Fours are less likely to be mistaken for other enneagram types than the other two four subtypes, but they can look like sixes in their focus on what's missing or wrong in their lives. However, unlike sixes, they have a desire to be special (as opposed to type six's identification with the “everyman”, and they spend less time in fear and more time feeling emotions related to sadness, pain and shame.



    Elizabeth, a social four, speaks:


    I've been called “hyper-sensitive” my entire life. My feelings have always been so easily hurt- even at the tender ages of three and four I often felt terribly misunderstood fr forsaken. I remember crying in my room at four years old racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on such that my family didn't get me and could be so hurtful. I came to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I didn't matter. These have remained bedrock beliefs for much of my life.


    Feeling different, misunderstood, and dejected were my constant companions and felt like home. Over time, I developed an attraction and attachment to my pain and suffering because that's what feels most real and resonant with the pervasive sense that something is really wrong (with me or the world around me.) Experiencing my pain leads to feeling more connected with myself, which then alleviates the pain of feeling disconnected and misunderstood. Thus when a dark feeling hits, my impulse is to hang out with it and get to the bottom of it. And I tend to get irritated and feel even more misunderstood when people suggest lightening up, getting some exercise, or going to see a funny movie. Melancholy has always been my favorite feeling. Not only is it comforting in and of itself, but it creates a portal to my depths, my creativity, and a feeling of being at home in myself.


    Despite the tremendous amount of positive feedback I have received in so many areas of my life, I still wrestle with a poor self-image every day. My friends, loved ones, and associates are always shocked to discover the discrepancies between how they view me and how I view myself. As a student, I was always surprised to et my papers and tests back with very high grades and glowing comments. And even now when I share my creative or professional work I am startled to hear the heartfelt positive feedback from others. My barometer for assessing the quality of my work in any area is greatly skewed toward “this could have been a lot better.” And then it's back to “Poor me- I have a broken barometer, can you help me fix it?”.




    Specific Work For The Social Four on the Path from Vice to Virtue

    Social Fours can travel the path from envy to equanimity by doing the work it takes to release their inferiority complex, own their positive qualities, and enhance their self-confidence. If you are a social four, it will help you to work on relaxing your self-judgments and negative self-perceptions- to take the risk to see what is positive about you and your life and not get stuck in envious comparisons and shame. Manifesting a sense of equanimity means valuing all your feelings equally, and also not getting over-identified with your feelings. It helps to consider that it's okay to be angry and express wishes and feelings directly, from a place of self-compassion, instead of seducing through suffering. Most of all, you can support yourself in embodying equanimity by considering all your feelings, consciously analyzing the whole situation, and taking action to get what you need and want instead of becoming so invested in your emotional suffering.


    Anony, knittigan, chimeric and 27 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    @Wandering Soul

  3. #3

    I can relate to this a lot. Now I am not sure of my stacking order. sp/sx/so or so/sp/sx or sp/so/sx
    Last edited by heaveninawildflower; 04-30-2014 at 04:56 PM. Reason: :)
    Rose for a Heart thanked this post.

  4. #4
    Unknown

    Ugh alot of that sounds easier said than done. Great insights however in the article, Thank You OP
    Ollyx2OxenFree, username123 and Lord Pixel thanked this post.

  5. #5
    Type 6w7


    Taking a bit of a page out of @OrangeAppled's book =). Bold for what I agree with, normal for neutral, strike for what I disagree with, and thoughts in red.

    Note: I have to say, though, even if I agree, it may be for more the concept than this Chestnut lady's wording sometimes. Also, I'm not speaking for all social 4s...but I am speaking for myself as a social 4. Also oops this ended up as a huuuuuuge wall of text.

     
    Social Four

    The Social Four appears emotionally sensitive (or oversensitive) [First example of why I dislike Chestnut's phrasing: there is a distinction between actually being emotionally sensitive and appearing that way. The latter, imo, will vary a lot more based on the individual and situation. This is true in my case.], feels thing deeply, and suffers more than most people. For this Four, there is a desire to be witnessed and seen in their suffering.They hope that if their suffering is sufficiently recognized and understood, they might be forgiven for their failures and deficiencies and loved unconditionally.[To clarify, I don’t try to use my suffering as an excuse. I do hope that it’s recognized/understood so that people will understand why I am the way I am, though…and that includes not only my failures/deficiencies, but also my successes/strengths! Seems like there's a negative slant here…]



    Naranjo explains that Social Fours are people who lament too much and who often put themselves in the victim role. [Not necessarily nice to hear, but true… though this is behavior that's much more apparent when I'm more depressed. Then, my soc 4 shame is basically archetypal, but in general I'd say that the descriptions are exaggerated.] They can appear self-sabotaging when they broadcast their suffering and their victimhood as a way of engendering sympathy in others, but they also undermine themselves by being too attached to the causes of their suffering. [Yeah, I definitely feel like I self-sabotage and undermine myself. Not to "engender sympathy" though.]



    In this Four, envy fuels a focus on shame and suffering by providing a constant [exaggeration alert, looool. I swear, Chestnut and the lady she quote as a social 4 can be such drama llamas in describing stuff. There are nuggets of truth here, yes, but seriously, some of this is ridiculous ...but admittedly, amusing in its own way.] source of pain: a feeling that others have what the Four wants. However, they believe that their suffering is also what makes them unique and special- there is a kind of seduction of others through suffering.[Going to hit on this later, but for now I'll expand by saying that while there may be some romanticizing of the pain, suffering comes with even more shame. There is a bit of a conflict and perpetual cycle here—shame from not being "enough" in whatever way, then suffering, then shame at suffering and being weak. "Unique and special" holds a positive connotation. But its negative equivalent applies here as well...thus the clash I mentioned earlier.]


    Fours' motivation for dwelling too much in suffering and sensitivity seems to be connected to an idea that suffering will be the shortest path to heaven. Like the child that cries to attract the mother's care, they have the idea that the way to happiness is through tears.. While there is some truth to the idea that the path of transformation requires difficulty, this higher ideal gets put to use in justifying the expression of dissatisfaction as a way of attracting the help of others. Social Fours rationalize their attachment to suffering instead of doing something about it, and they depend too much on their needs being fulfilled by others. They express the idea that if you convey the intensity of your need in painful enough terms, someone will finally come to your aid and fulfill that need.



    Whereas envy motivates Self-Preservation Fours to work to get what they want, it motivates social fours to focus on their emotional dissatisfaction and internal lack. For the social four there is a sense of comfort and [...Lol, not at all except for what I think would be "normal" for a 4.] familiarity in suffering- the sweet sadness of poetry, the rich meaning and painful beauty in melancholic music- and an unconscious hope that their suffering will somehow redeem them.


    The central issue of the social four, however, is not just suffering- it's inferiority. For this subtype, there is a need for [Ughhhhhh, why, Beatrice?! x_X. Need for? No... Tendency for? YES! It's one little word, and yet the implications are huge...] self-abasement and self-recrimination, for turning against oneself, for self-weakening. The social four's envy is expressed through a passion for [Lol Chetsnut makes me sound like I consciously work on this] comparing oneself with others and winding up in the lowest position. To others, the extremity of their mindset and insistence that “there's something wrong with me” can be surprising. They have a poor self-image that they themselves perpetuate. They also engage in self-sabotage a lot: they regularly underestimate themselves and always [Really? Always?] feel “less than” in comparison to others. [The preceding words are exaggerations imo, except at unhealthy levels I believe. I have experienced this behavior in myself but I don't normally insist that there's something wrong with me, as if that's a normal occurrence. I admit to feeling unsure, unconfident, and self-conscious about the image I'm projecting as well as sometimes perceiving normal happenings as indirect slights, but it's normally subdued and only at the forefront of my mind if I'm highly uncomfortable in my environment. It's definitely not a constant focus.]


    As Naranjo indicates, the social four may evoke a response in others that makes them want to ask, “What's wrong with you that you think there's something wrong with you?A person with this subtype may be competent, attractive, and intelligent, and yet still tend to focus on and identify strongly with suffering and a sense of deficiency. [Ah, yes. I don't think I need to explain this to 4s, but I'll say it anyway. Here, one's own subjective perception/standards will hold more weight than objective ones. It can be hard to identify if/accept when something is actually "enough" for me and this is something I see this in most if not all 4s...and I know I struggle with this a lot, especially.]


    Social Fours tend to feel a sense of shame about their wants and needs, and their experience of desire is associated with more guilt than other people's. The social four feels guilty for any wish. [<--Exaggeration alert!] Shame puts their internal focus on intense and dark emotions such as envy, jealousy, hatred, and competition. They are too shy to express desires, except through a display of suffering. [Oh, more exaggeration. From what I'm gathering here, I'm the most pathetic crybaby this world has ever seen and that's all there is to me :P.] They don't feel entitled to have their needs met but at the same time may believe that the world is “against” them or that “no one gives me what I want or what I need. [This last bit here I will admit 100% to. While I would generally disagree with most portrayals of how the social 4 goes about victimizing, this is dead on...though it's never something I've talked about, ever...and I've been thinking this thought for most of my life. I mean yes, I will casually discuss this general idea, but I think most people just take it as a petty, offhand complaint, not something I actually suffer over (beyond irritation). There's a certain hopelessness, helplessness here that I haven't admitted to before now]


    Social Fours don't compete with others (like sexual fours do) as much as they compare themselves to others and find themselves lacking- almost as if by showing themselves to be lacking they can call forth what they need from others. Underneath, however, they experience a fierce competitiveness that may be largely unconscious: a competitiveness for recognition, being unique and special, and wanting to be in first place. This is more hidden and subtle in the social four, however, than it is in the sexual four. [This is going to depend. I'm extremely competitive, though I will say that although I inwardly take it as seriously as the most hardcore, driven, and ambitious folk out there, though I do believe it outwardly appears lighthearted, silly, and fun most of the time...haha!]


    Social fours explore the pain of the past repeatedly as a way of attracting someone who will take care of them and satisfy their wants. They criminalize their wants, as many of us do, but they suffer more keenly for turning against themselves.


    Fours with this subtype tend to think with their emotions- they get entangled in “emotional” thoughts, caught up in and identified with intense emotions to the extent that they can't take action even when it would be good for them to do so. They tend to be generous and to do for others, but they do not take responsibility for their own lives and may dramatize problems to distract themselves from doing something to find a solution. [So ugly, but so true... shockingly so, actually, in my experience]


    In public, social fours repress “frowned upon” emotions like anger or hatred [Disagree completely. I have hardly ever completely repressed these emotions and ANYONE I know will attest to this. I have a huge awareness of what is acceptable, yeah, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to completely tear them apart at times. I've lost count how many heated, rebellious outcries I had with authority figures in the last two years. I know this may sound social-last, but it comes precisely from my fixation with this instinct...] and may appear sweet, friendly, and soft- but in private, they may express their emotions they store up in social situations and become [more] aggressive. Generally, they prefer to swallow their own poison rather than externalize it to the people around them, and they typically have difficulty finding their place in a group and in society. These fours may experience themselves as misfits, and yet they also tend to generate social situations of rejection to confirm their shame. They see themselves as victims and may view others as “perpetrators,” and they don't always take responsibility for their own actions or aggressiveness.


    Social Fours are less likely to be mistaken for other enneagram types than the other two four subtypes, but they can look like sixes in their focus on what's missing or wrong in their lives. However, unlike sixes, they have a desire to be special (as opposed to type six's identification with the “everyman”, and they spend less time in fear and more time feeling emotions related to sadness, pain and shame. [Nah, I don't think I at least would be mistaken for a 6.]



    Elizabeth, a social four, speaks:


    I've been called “hyper-sensitive” my entire life. My feelings have always been so easily hurt- even at the tender ages of three and four I often felt terribly misunderstood fr forsaken. I remember crying in my room at four years old racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on such that my family didn't get me and could be so hurtful. I came to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I didn't matter. These have remained bedrock beliefs for much of my life.


    Feeling different, misunderstood, and dejected were my constant companions and felt like home. Over time, I developed an attraction and attachment to my pain and suffering because that's what feels most real and resonant with the pervasive sense that something is really wrong (with me or the world around me.) Experiencing my pain leads to feeling more connected with myself, which then alleviates the pain of feeling disconnected and misunderstood. Thus when a dark feeling hits, my impulse is to hang out with it and get to the bottom of it. And I tend to get irritated and feel even more misunderstood when people suggest lightening up, getting some exercise, or going to see a funny movie. [I admit I do hang onto bad feelings, but not because of the next bit. I hang onto them because I want to solve them and because I as a 4 embrace all emotions. I don't want to ignore my pain because it holds insight into myself. That should make sense, lol.] Melancholy has always been my favorite feeling. Not only is it comforting in and of itself, but it creates a portal to my depths, my creativity, and a feeling of being at home in myself.


    Despite the tremendous amount of positive feedback I have received in so many areas of my life, I still wrestle with a poor self-image every day. My friends, loved ones, and associates are always shocked to discover the discrepancies between how they view me and how I view myself. As a student, I was always surprised to get my papers and tests back with very high grades and glowing comments. And even now when I share my creative or professional work I am startled to hear the heartfelt positive feedback from others. My barometer for assessing the quality of my work in any area is greatly skewed toward “this could have been a lot better.” And then it's back to “Poor me- I have a broken barometer, can you help me fix it?”. [I genuinely wonder if they were feeding this woman lines. If this is really how life is for her then I feel bad. Otherwise, what? I admit I struggle with self-image but I don't always believe I'm shit. Usually I expect very positive feedback with writing... Lol...this lady, however, seems to expect negative feedback, like she wants it to affirm her own inferiority. Not something I identify with. I had a horrible experience this year and ended up writing a paper that was definitely not amazing, but nonetheless I still received a mark that was less than I had expected. That shook up my whole world and I cried for hours. I was stunned, afraid that I had "lost" my writing voice, worried that I had lost everything I had worked for in the previous few years. Anyway, for social 4s I think that there is an inner critic within that often raises doubt about oneself, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they want it affirmed! I want to AVOID feelings of shame. This lady, it's like she expects it or would be completely okay with it...which I don't understand at all.]




    Specific Work For The Social Four on the Path from Vice to Virtue

    Social Fours can travel the path from envy to equanimity by doing the work it takes to release their inferiority complex, own their positive qualities, and enhance their self-confidence. If you are a social four, it will help you to work on relaxing your self-judgments and negative self-perceptions- to take the risk to see what is positive about you and your life and not get stuck in envious comparisons and shame. Manifesting a sense of equanimity means valuing all your feelings equally, and also not getting over-identified with your feelings. It helps to consider that it's okay to be angry and express wishes and feelings directly, from a place of self-compassion, instead of seducing through suffering . Most of all, you can support yourself in embodying equanimity by considering all your feelings, consciously analyzing the whole situation, and taking action to get what you need and want instead of becoming so invested in your emotional suffering.


    Overall assessment:
     

    I'll be the first to admit that some of my thoughts above were fairly condescending and critical in a sort of joking manner. Sorry if that was irritating, but there are legitimate reasons for both the approach and the reaction. Going to say this straight, lol. While some parts of this description were pretty good, others really pissed and set me off. I needed to point out those flaws and laughing at them settles down the irritation/reminds me that it is just a description haha. Most of the following thoughts are taken from skype discussions (and rants/vents) with @Animal.

    I have two major problems with this description. The first is the degree to which it emphasizes a social 4's identification with suffering. Oh no, I get that. But when it is stretched so far that both Chestnut and the social 4 lady she quotes here claim that it "feels like home" or that "there is a sense of comfort in suffering" etc...

    That's such fucking bullshit. I hate suffering. This is a problem for me. I desperately want it to stop, and it's just not that simple. And that it just can't stop...this lack of control over these emotions brings out severe discomfort, stress, and anxiety in me. In extreme circumstances, it will send me on a downward spiral so bad that it fuels the inferiority issues presented here: I question if the suffering will ever stop, if maybe that's an indication of there actually being something wrong with me, etc. That is SO not home to me. That is unwanted chaos and it freaks me out and brings out more and more shame. This description misses a huge point for social 4s in the shame in suffering and in the inner critic.

    In a sense, I suffer from suffering. There are VERY few instances where I would AT ALL enjoy suffering or pain, etc. Suffering can be an indication of weakness, of that aforementioned inferiority. When I was facing the worst of my soc 4 shame, that made me shrivel up and die inside... It was really pathetic and painful even to watch, I'd guess. No enjoyment there, I guarantee you that. I can in fact see beauty in pain, and I get masochism... and that does apply at times but this extends beyond that. The level of acceptance they depict here in social 4s of their shame is ridiculous, I think...and honestly, I doubt that any subtype is like that with its nature. I asked Animal, (who types at sx 4) and she mentioned being "absolutely, 100% uneasy with envy."

    My second major problem with Chestnut's description is how she tries to paint social 4s as seducers through shame. I don't put on a display of suffering to attract people. If I do happen to show it, it's not for some ulterior motive - it's because I'm deeply hurt and expression needs to happen or the negative feelings will fester inside me. This paragraph especially that I crossed out:
     
    Fours' motivation for dwelling too much in suffering and sensitivity seems to be connected to an idea that suffering will be the shortest path to heaven. Like the child that cries to attract the mother's care, they have the idea that the way to happiness is through tears.

    Like, omg no... Just no! . This is honestly so demeaning to my feelings. I don't cry and suffer because I want to be comforted, or just for the sake of being comforted. I cry and suffer because the pain is REAL. Ughh! And just throwing this out there: I never ever cried in front of people. If I was going to have one of those episodes, I'd explode and run away and suffer alone. Social 4s are deemed by many here as the "bleeding heart" 4s and I'm not saying that's completely unfounded. I've been there and I admit to it. But I don't think it's nearly as bad as people think unless the person is particularly unhealthy. I can attest to this =/.

    Can't say whether or not these descriptions add to this but I do find it hilarious that throughout this entire thing Chestnut seems to imply this, that EVERYONE sees the social 4 suffering and it's purposeful, to attract a rescuer and that's so wrong. As I've said, I will admit to the pitiful behavior on here, but that's because I'm open here. I know I can be really pathetic. Animal brought up a good point here: that being pathetic is different from enjoying it. This idea that it's a conscious decision perpetuates the bad name soc 4 can get. I don't choose to suffer and I certainly do not do it to seduce others. I have never had a rescuer and yes perhaps inside I do long for one. It is indeed sad to me that I always had to stand alone, had to find strength for myself, by myself...but that doesn't mean that I genuinely have ever pursued that venture

    To bring in stuff from one of Kalei's instincts thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by kaleidoscope View Post
    A sense of not meeting the standards of what others are capable of meeting, of an inner defectiveness of being that will eventually be seen and lead to rejection.

    Want to hide away from probing eyes, to eliminate social encounters that might bring deficiency to light.
    This contradicts Chestnut's interpretation that suffering is used as a form of seduction. I mean, actually I think both can exist, but personally I don't identify with the seduction...at all.

    More from that thread:

    With a 3 wing may cover shame with charm and an flashy image.

    With a five wing will grow anti-social and depressed, bearing their shame in solitude.
    Again, more that wasn't really brought up in Chestnut's description that I can genuinely see in myself. Charm (my own awkward version of it) is generally used as a default, not suffering. Suffering is internal and there is a desire to externalize it but it's not normal to broadcast like she seems to imply, at least not to everyone. I like that the above quote gives the possibility for more hidden pain.

    Seeks achievement and attention to make up for flaws "they won't make fun of me now". Even evident in the 5 wing.
    Not really mentioned here (where social 4s are too busy pitying themselves and insisting that they are flawed to do anything, lol) but a very important aspect of social 4s, I believe. Both exist, and this isn't brought out enough because of Chestnut's negative slant. The thing is at some point there's going to be a desire to rebel against the shame. That's where this achievement comes in and why I think competition isn't emphasized enough. It's not simply more of an unconscious one or one done through comparison. This is a real thing. I personally wanted to become valedictorian, the most perfect student of my school, and SOUGHT out this sort of competition and attention in so many different areas as a to prove wrong anyone who had ever doubted me. I'm not as timid and "oh my god I'm so poor and helpless but too ashamed to say it but I STILL WANT YOU TO NOTICE ME PLEASE RESCUE ME OMG!!" as this description would have you believe. Which ties into...

    Drive to achieve-when people start to give up on me I can really come through and seek revenge.
    I identify with this so much. This is actually a huge part of my character that people don't and generally can't immediately see. I have this raging, intense fire inside me that burns brightest when people give up on me. It's actually just after I fall the hardest that I make my most amazing recoveries. Instead of allowing things to truly tear me apart for good, I start building myself back up, though it's not always so definite. There is still an inner conflict here, a certain hopeless acceptance of "oh god I am really screwed up!" But at the same time there's a desire to prove that it's not actually true, which has always prevailed.


    Wow. Huge wall of text. But yeah, the description Kalei provided on her thread may seem less fulfilling in a sense, as it's really these loosely related chains of statements, but I do find myself identifying much more with it than Chestnut's. It shows more of the conflicting sides of the social 4...more depth in a sense :P. Anyway, I hope someone actually reads this
    Last edited by Lunar Light; 05-02-2014 at 12:13 AM.

  6. #6

    Okay, the last one...my blindspot, although I can see myself in just about every 4 subtype, even if some much more than others. Bold is quite true, strike-through is not true, plain is somewhat true & comments are italicized.

    The Social Four appears emotionally sensitive (or oversensitive), feels thing deeply, and suffers more than most people. For this Four, there is a desire to be witnessed and seen in their suffering
    . They hope that if their suffering is sufficiently recognized and understood, they might be forgiven for their failures and deficiencies and loved unconditionally.


    Naranjo explains that Social Fours are people who lament too much and who often put themselves in the victim role. They can appear self-sabotaging when they broadcast their suffering and their victimhood as a way of engendering sympathy in others, but they also undermine themselves by being too attached to the causes of their suffering.

    In this Four, envy fuels a focus on shame and suffering by providing a constant source of pain: a feeling that others have what the Four wants. However, they believe that their suffering is also what makes them unique and special- there is a kind of seduction of others through suffering.

    Fours' motivation for dwelling too much in suffering and sensitivity seems to be connected to an idea that suffering will be the shortest path to heaven. Like the child that cries to attract the mother's care, they have the idea that the way to happiness is through tears. While there is some truth to the idea that the path of transformation requires difficulty, this higher ideal gets put to use in justifying the expression of dissatisfaction as a way of attracting the help of others. Social Fours rationalize their attachment to suffering instead of doing something about it, and they depend too much on their needs being fulfilled by others. They express the idea that if you convey the intensity of your need in painful enough terms, someone will finally come to your aid and fulfill that need. I do this sometimes, but less so than the sp & sx strategies of masochism & angry counter-shame that looks like rejection of others & opting to appear elite to attract the "savior". I've had to swallow pride & learn to communicate some of my "suffering" in order to ask for help, and I've been surprised when it has paid off. It's not the go-to tactic for me though, and it IS almost like I forget I can just ask for stuff from people. I've been scolded by friends & family for NOT communicating feelings enough (including "suffering").


    Whereas envy motivates Self-Preservation Fours to work to get what they want, it motivates social fours to focus on their emotional dissatisfaction and internal lack. Meh, I do both! haha!
    For the social four there is a sense of comfort and familiarity in suffering- the sweet sadness of poetry, the rich meaning and painful beauty in melancholic music- and an unconscious hope that their suffering will somehow redeem them. - Now THIS I can relate to. I interpret the redeem part is also transforming the suffering into something beautiful, be it art or empathy. But the attachment to suffering or sadness as something almost comforting hits home for me. It's the strangest safety blanket.



    The central issue of the social four, however, is not just suffering- it's inferiority. For this subtype, there is a need for self-abasement and self-recrimination, for turning against oneself, for self-weakening. - I feel like this might be more internal for me than on display, where I might go counter-envy & counter-shame by appearing arrogant & even vain over using self-deprecation. But I DO use self-deprecation at times, to actually counter others' impression that I am vain or arrogant.

    The social four's envy is express through a passion for comparing oneself with others and winding up in the lowest position. To others, the extremity of their mindset and insistence that “there's something wrong with me” can be surprising. They have a poor self-image that they themselves perpetuate. They also engage in self-sabotage a lot: they regularly underestimate themselves and always feel “less than” in comparison to others.



    As Naranjo indicates, the social four may evoke a response in others that makes them want to ask, “What's wrong with you that you think there's something wrong with you?”A person with this subtype may be competent, attractive, and intelligent, and yet still tend to focus on and identify strongly with suffering and a sense of deficiency. Again, more internal than expressed for me. I've expressed this more anonymously online & gotten the "what's wrong with you that...?" response, but in person I do not show or express this much, so that people don't guess I feel any inferiority at all, instead assuming I may actually think I'm superior.

    Social Fours tend to feel a sense of shame about their wants and needs, and their experience of desire is associated with more guilt than other people's. The social four feels guilty for any wish[./strike]. Shame puts their internal focus on intense and dark emotions such as envy, jealousy, hatred, and competition. They are too shy to express desires, except through a display of suffering. They don't feel entitled to have their needs met but at the same time may believe that the world is “against” them or that “no one gives me what I want or what I need.”
    I relate to some of this, but more in an sp way when it comes to not expressing desires/needs, and I have an sx kind of entitlement at times, so that not having needs met makes me angry, but not guilty for having needs. Like sp 4s, I was more unaware or in denial of envy, competition, etc.


    Social Fours don't compete with others (like sexual fours do) as much as they compare themselves to others and find themselves lacking- almost as if by showing themselves to be lacking they can call forth what they need from others. Underneath, however, they experience a fierce competitiveness that may be largely unconscious: a competitiveness for recognition, being unique and special, and wanting to be in first place. This is more hidden and subtle in the social four, however, than it is in the sexual four. When I do experience this, it's in the more sx way, and otherwise I tend to prefer to reject before I'm rejected like an sp. I had very conscious resentment of those I deemed inferior who got more or the same recognition as me when younger, but I had the more angry than whiny reaction.


    Social fours explore the pain of the past repeatedly as a way of attracting someone who will take care of them and satisfy their wants. They criminalize their wants, as many of us do, but they suffer more keenly for turning against themselves.
    I've always done a little past reviewing to amplify humiliation, but it's less an issue than fantasizing about future wonderfulness & then experiencing grave disappointment with reality & being angry about it. I don't criminalize my wants, but I may get very defensive about them, to justify them; more entitlement there, I guess.


    Fours with this subtype tend to think with their emotions- they get entangled in “emotional” thoughts, caught up in and identified with intense emotions to the extent that they can't take action even when it would be good for them to do so. They tend to be generous and to do for others, but they do not take responsibility for their own lives and may dramatize problems to distract themselves from doing something to find a solution.


    In public, social fours repress “frowned upon” emotions like anger or hatred and may appear sweet, friendly, and soft, - I appear aloof & haughty with a sour puss face, unfortunately, even if I am friendly & feeling generous.

    -but in private, they may express their emotions they store up in social situations and become aggressive.
    - I'm far more temperamental in private or when anonymous, but this may be an sp thing too. I'm aggressive enough in some ways in public that people will comment on it, with surprise however.

    Generally, they prefer to swallow their own poison rather than externalize it to the people around them, and they typically have difficulty finding their place in a group and in society. These fours may experience themselves as misfits, and yet they also tend to generate social situations of rejection to confirm their shame. - Not sure if I do this. I don't think I actively feel rejected so much as a misfit.
    They see themselves as victims and may view others as “perpetrators,” and they don't always take responsibility for their own actions or aggressiveness. - I know when I'm aggressive because it's usually deliberate.


    Social Fours are less likely to be mistaken for other enneagram types than the other two four subtypes, but they can look like sixes in their focus on what's missing or wrong in their lives. However, unlike sixes, they have a desire to be special (as opposed to type six's identification with the “everyman”, and they spend less time in fear and more time feeling emotions related to sadness, pain and shame.



    Elizabeth, a social four, speaks:


    I've been called “hyper-sensitive” my entire life. My feelings have always been so easily hurt- even at the tender ages of three and four I often felt terribly misunderstood or forsaken. I remember crying in my room at four years old racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on such that my family didn't get me and could be so hurtful. I came to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I didn't matter. These have remained bedrock beliefs for much of my life.


    Feeling different, misunderstood, and dejected were my constant companions and felt like home. Over time, I developed an attraction and attachment to my pain and suffering because that's what feels most real and resonant with the pervasive sense that something is really wrong (with me or the world around me.) Experiencing my pain leads to feeling more connected with myself, which then alleviates the pain of feeling disconnected and misunderstood. Thus when a dark feeling hits, my impulse is to hang out with it and get to the bottom of it. And I tend to get irritated and feel even more misunderstood when people suggest lightening up, getting some exercise, or going to see a funny movie Melancholy has always been my favorite feeling. Not only is it comforting in and of itself, but it creates a portal to my depths, my creativity, and a feeling of being at home in myself.


    Despite the tremendous amount of positive feedback I have received in so many areas of my life, I still wrestle with a poor self-image every day. My friends, loved ones, and associates are always shocked to discover the discrepancies between how they view me and how I view myself. As a student, I was always surprised to et my papers and tests back with very high grades and glowing comments. And even now when I share my creative or professional work I am startled to hear the heartfelt positive feedback from others. My barometer for assessing the quality of my work in any area is greatly skewed toward “this could have been a lot better.” And then it's back to “Poor me- I have a broken barometer, can you help me fix it?”. - I don't relate to being surprised at praise. Even if I feel deficient, a part of me still feels like people should "recognize!".



    Specific Work For The Social Four on the Path from Vice to Virtue

    Social Fours can travel the path from envy to equanimity by doing the work it takes to release their inferiority complex, own their positive qualities, and enhance their self-confidence. If you are a social four, it will help you to work on relaxing your self-judgments and negative self-perceptions- to take the risk to see what is positive about you and your life and not get stuck in envious comparisons and shame. Manifesting a sense of equanimity means valuing all your feelings equally, and also not getting over-identified with your feelings. It helps to consider that it's okay to be angry and express wishes and feelings directly, from a place of self-compassion, instead of seducing through suffering. Most of all, you can support yourself in embodying equanimity by considering all your feelings, consciously analyzing the whole situation, and taking action to get what you need and want instead of becoming so invested in your emotional suffering.

    I suspect this is not the "path" for me because I fall into the sp &/or sx trap of having an elitist feeling when I focus on my positives. I too easily can look arrogant or vain even if I feel shame. It is good for me to focus on positives in life - to have more gratitude & stop comparing my lot to others. I definitely know it's okay to be angry, too much so. I've needed to accept more that it's okay to ask for help & to need people.
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  7. #7
    Unknown

    @Wandering Soul

    I think seduction through suffering is meant metaphorically. I gave an example of that actually in the "things that annoy me" thread. It's not so much believing there is anything sexy or attractive about suffering, but rather embracing this melancholy as emotional depth, hoping it would open the hearts of the other. Like a beautiful sad movie if you will, where you root for the underdog, or 'freak' like the Elephant Man from David Lynch.

    It's also an aesthetic perception of suffering and melancholy, even to the extend of becoming a lifestyle. At least here where I live it is.

    The reason for this to be typically Four-ish, as distinct from the average angsty self conscious teenager with a poor self image (which in itself is not what constitutes a Four), lies in identification. Imagine someone who suffered much in childhood, becoming aware of being different than others in this respect, wondering why (me)? At the same time this also makes you "special" and unique. (if it wasn't the belief no one suffers like you, or is more to pity) You may start to notice this is something that causes people to stop and listen. (Few people will say "oh stop whining or feeling sorry for yourself, and buckle up", even if they would think so). So it sort of becomes a way of getting attention, rather than learning how to do this in a more positive way, and you may start to see yourself as essentially that. It's not necessarily something that establishes consciously, but can be a process of unconscious conditioning, as part of identifying oneself with ones suffering (ego fixation of melancholy).

    This is a bit different with Sp, but I don't think Sp in general is very expressive, or 'wasteful' (emotions and energy) and is more self contained.

  8. #8
    Unknown

    [QUOTE=OrangeAppled;5966306]Okay, the last one...my blindspot, although I can see myself in just about every 4 subtype, even if some much more than others.

    Yeah, it was mentioned in the 4Sx thread how different the subtypes are, but I don't think they are so different, and I wouldn't be surprised if many 4s could relate to all of them, more or less.

    The difference between a mad Four and a sad Four is direction of anger (Envy). Sx (transgression of boundaries/Self) is directed outward, where with So (negotiating boundaries/Self) it is directed inward, becoming self-loathing. Sp (setting or containment of boundaries/Self) denies Anger (counter-envy). It's not strange Sp can't easily relate to envy, as counterenvy copes with cognitive dissonance to keep it away from awareness. After all, why need to envy when the grapes are sour?

    I don't think these three coping styles operate separate from another but there's obviously a difference in what mostly prevails.

  9. #9
    Type 4w3

    Quote Originally Posted by mimesis View Post

    The difference between a mad Four and a sad Four is direction of anger (Envy).
    I usually get angry first and then I get sad. It's not that I'm angry as opposed to sad, it's just that the anger happens first. Usually when I cry it happens after I've been raging for a while. There's a physical buildup of anger, rage, fury.. and then it bursts like a broken dam.


    I have noticed that some people get sad first, and then get angry about it. That is probably the case with me if I'm realistic - I'm angry because deep down I'm hurt - but anger is the first emotion that I usually feel in a palpable way, and then it leads to sadness ultimately. Or I just go cold.


    It's very rare that I skip straight to palpable sadness and do not have it in me to be angry at someone. When that happens, I know they have touched something very pure and innocent within me.

    For instance my first boyfriend. We dated when we were 16. Some shitty things have happened and I will never get over him - but I have yet to be deeply angry at him. The thought of things that went wrong just makes me feel sad, or even makes me cry. He was crazy/ traumatized and it wasn't his fault. We did have some fights, very reactive fights, but I could never stay angry at him, and when I think about things in retrospect I just feel sad. Most people incite more anger in me.. "you took something from me" "I fell for your bullshit" "you are dishonest with yourself, not worth my time" "you could find someone better than me, so what the fuck am I doing here" etc.. but with him, even though I gave him everything and will never have my heart and my innocence back - I just feel sad about it. I know he feels sad about it too, that he wanted to give me everything. I don't feel like I have to compete for "who loves who more" "who is smarter, better looking, better artist, more desirable" or "who deserves who less." I don't have anything to prove to myself, nothing to measure by quantity. Just compassion and regret - regret that the world did what it did to both of us, which lead to us being apart. Feelings like this , show me that I'm not a total monster.

    Contrarily, with other people, including my parents, brother, closest friends.. I get angry first. I also get angry at myself rather than feeling sorry for myself. If I do feel sorry for myself I just feel anger toward the world. Or I feel anger at myself because I was feeling sorry for myself when other people have it worse, and yet I am too weak to get over myself.
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  10. #10
    Type 4w3

    I wrote a few things about sexual four on another forum, which I may copy over here later. I could have written a lot more but it makes me cringe, publicizing a lot of the issues it touches upon. I may be brave a bit later.

    For now I'll do the social one, even though I am likely social last or at very best, social second.

     


    The Social Four appears emotionally sensitive (or oversensitive), feels thing deeply, and suffers more than most people. For this Four, there is a desire to be witnessed and seen in their suffering. They hope that if their suffering is sufficiently recognized and understood, they might be forgiven for their failures and deficiencies and loved unconditionally.
    I write my suffering into my songs, stories and art, and I want the world to see it there. I feel recognized when someone acknowledges my suffering. But at the same time, I will sometimes react like "don't feel bad for me." Deep down, I long to be recognized for my endurance. I love it when friends tell me, "Most people complain constantly about their health problems and you take it in stride when you are much more sick than they are." Or when my friends come to me to complain about a minor health problem and say, "This might sound inane to you, compared to your problems" and I tell them, "Don't compare.. everyone's recognition of their problems is proportionate to their experience." But deep down, I feel like I'm strong and I am happy that my friends acknowledge it. I don't resent them for complaining whatsoever. The thing I would resent, would be if I'm very close with someone and my endurance isn't acknowledged. If they expect me to behave like a healthy person, to give more than I have. This makes me feel like my suffering hasn't been seen. But then I feel conflicted because, why would it be seen, when I don't complain about it or make a huge show out of it?


    Naranjo explains that Social Fours are people who lament too much and who often put themselves in the victim role. They can appear self-sabotaging when they broadcast their suffering and their victimhood as a way of engendering sympathy in others, but they also undermine themselves by being too attached to the causes of their suffering.
    Being attached to the causes of my suffering - yes. The rest - fuck no. Although I do broadcast my victimhood in music, art, writing etc. And I feel loved or seen when people see that, and feel overlooked when I care about them and they miss the message entirely.


    In this Four, envy fuels a focus on shame and suffering by providing a constant source of pain: a feeling that others have what the Four wants. However, they believe that their suffering is also what makes them unique and special- there is a kind of seduction of others through suffering.
    True, but I have a chronic illness that took everything away from me. Everyone else can speak, or sing if they want, or grow their hair long, or hold a job. Everyone else can make plans, knowing they will show up, and I can't count on myself to be healthy next week or tomorrow. The thing is, I really AM limited compared to my friends, but I don't necessarily want them to think of me as a crippled person. I want them to understand my losses and all that I have overcome - my strength. I don't want them to "feel sorry for me." I want them to be amazed: "Animal shines despite her trauma."

    Prior to the trauma, I suffered a lot too, but I was very private about it. Diaries, songs, tears in the corner of my room. I learned when I was 12 to stop crying in public because I got picked on and tortured by other children for doing so. Since then I've kept most of it to myself outside art/music/writing. I've been more expressive on PerC and over the years I've had a few friends I express SOME suffering to, but not all of it. I talk with my friends about my broken heart with men, but I don't usually discuss my illness and the limits because I feel that other people won't understand and I don't want to be seen as a cripple or someone they have to take care of and make "special amends" for.

    Fours' motivation for dwelling too much in suffering and sensitivity seems to be connected to an idea that suffering will be the shortest path to heaven. Like the child that cries to attract the mother's care, they have the idea that the way to happiness is through tears. While there is some truth to the idea that the path of transformation requires difficulty, this higher ideal gets put to use in justifying the expression of dissatisfaction as a way of attracting the help of others. Social Fours rationalize their attachment to suffering instead of doing something about it, and they depend too much on their needs being fulfilled by others. They express the idea that if you convey the intensity of your need in painful enough terms, someone will finally come to your aid and fulfill that need.
    I don't want my needs to be fulfilled by others. I'd rather do everything myself.

    Whereas envy motivates Self-Preservation Fours to work to get what they want,
    ^ I relate to that

    it motivates social fours to focus on their emotional dissatisfaction and internal lack. For the social four there is a sense of comfort and familiarity in suffering- the sweet sadness of poetry, the rich meaning and painful beauty in melancholic music- and an unconscious hope that their suffering will somehow redeem them.
    I listen to music religiously, take long walks so I can bask in it by myself - and all the music I listen to is sad or angry. Music is MY LIFE and it is a personal, deep exploration that leads to ideas and a mental map of my emotional psyche.. I have a whole lifestyle/ ritual around the way I process envy, lust, loss, anger, sadness, all of these things through music. This landscape of emotions, colors, sounds, imagination.. is the home planet I refer to.. the one where my heart truly resides.

    The central issue of the social four, however, is not just suffering- it's inferiority. For this subtype, there is a need for self-abasement and self-recrimination, for turning against oneself, for self-weakening. The social four's envy is express through a passion for comparing oneself with others and winding up in the lowest position. To others, the extremity of their mindset and insistence that “there's something wrong with me” can be surprising. They have a poor self-image that they themselves perpetuate. They also engage in self-sabotage a lot: they regularly underestimate themselves and always feel “less than” in comparison to others.
    I do this mostly with relationships/ SX partners. I don't feel "less than" in comparison to most other people, or if I do, I don't think about it until it makes itself apparent situationally. With boyfriends or love interests, I put them on a pedestal and feel less than. I feel small.. tiny, pathetic. I'm embarrassed by the amount of passion and desire and tremendous openness I feel for this person; I almost want to be him, I want to consume him so thoroughly that I become him. It's shameful and makes me feel weak. This desire, however, can also make me feel powerful and alive, when I express it, when I face it, when I realize more and more about myself during the time I'm processing it. I transform, trying to be his equal, trying to understand why I want to. It's a transformative, inspirational process.

    Outside of SX targets and competition for said targets, I don't find myself comparing to others much. Maybe female singers, but in this sense I have suffered so deeply from losing my voice that I can actually go cold and simply hate/ feel turned off by female singers. I found myself drawn to Amy Lee from Evanescence, to the point where I could not walk away and say it wasn't good or the music didn't resonate. The power of the music drew me in. I spent a lot of time processing how much I hated her and thought her lyrics were weak or her vocal control was off or she wasn't that pretty, etc.. until I just accepted I envied her for being able to do what I wanted to do, with the strong voice and powerful band behind her. Then I spent a lot of time differentiating myself from her, figuring out who she is, where her lyrics come from, that she's a 6 and in what ways I do and don't relate. Once I had thoroughly differentiated myself from her, I was able to just love and appreciate the music - but it was a process.

    However, I do not compare myself to "just anybody." Only people I'm in love with or people who are directly living the dreams that were taken away from me. I compare them to my idea of myself, what I used to be, what I could have been - what I should be. Often my image of my 'lost self' comes out on top, like "i WOULD have been better than her, but the world robbed me." This makes me furious. In the case of Amy Lee she's different from me enough and awesome and inspiring enough that while I do get angry sometimes, I can also deeply appreciate her.

    I have moments when I really hate her though.

    Truly, hate is a sign of respect. My hate needs to be earned.

    As Naranjo indicates, the social four may evoke a response in others that makes them want to ask, “What's wrong with you that you think there's something wrong with you?”A person with this subtype may be competent, attractive, and intelligent, and yet still tend to focus on and identify strongly with suffering and a sense of deficiency.
    I tend to focus on deficiency most, when I want something or someone. When I'm writing my book I focus on everything wrong with it. Same with my music, and that is especially hard because I USED to love my voice, it was the one thing I loved about myself. I focus on how I'm not pretty enough, even though rationally, people tell me I'm pretty and I can see in pictures sometimes that I'm pretty, but I still am not pretty enough for the person I want at any given time.


    I am taking this portion out of the spoiler because I think it's important.

    Social Fours tend to feel a sense of shame about their wants and needs, and their experience of desire is associated with more guilt than other people's. The social four feels guilty for any wish. Shame puts their internal focus on intense and dark emotions such as envy, jealousy, hatred, and competition. They are too shy to express desires, except through a display of suffering. They don't feel entitled to have their needs met but at the same time may believe that the world is “against” them or that “no one gives me what I want or what I need.”
    I am more shy about expressing my SX desires directly than the social 4s I know. SX is my subtype, my deepest insecurity, and so it is the focus for my problems, and my problems get blown up more deeply in the SX realm. That means I am going to over-think MORE and be more shy, or sometimes too blunt, or just "off" because I drive myself nuts, over-thinking it, over-desiring, etc. Social 4s might be more shy or more "rebellious" socially. Their problems and hyper-focus will be on the social realm.

     

    To quote what I wrote yesterday:

    [5/1/14 5:17:42 PM] Animal: I texted him bc I was afraid to call
    [5/1/14 5:17:47 PM] Animal: Like what if he didn't want to talk
    [5/1/14 5:17:59 PM] Animal: And he said.... "What. Why?"
    [5/1/14 5:18:06 PM] Animal: He was so confused
    [5/1/14 5:18:18 PM] Animal: He has made no secret that I'm the love of his life - ever
    [5/1/14 5:18:25 PM] Animal: But I just can't accept it
    [5/1/14 5:18:32 PM] Animal: I expect to be rejected
    [5/1/14 5:18:37 PM] Animal: Or forgotten
    [5/1/14 5:18:49 PM] Animal: It's an emotional stupid thing I am slowly overcoming
    [5/1/14 5:19:00 PM] Animal: But that is why I never confront or open my heart
    [5/1/14 5:19:15 PM] Animal: I want a guy to come for me so that I can be sure he wants to be there
    [5/1/14 5:19:29 PM] Animal: If I make the move I will not know if he really likes me or just settle for what he can get
    [5/1/14 5:19:43 PM] Animal: If I'm really special , uniquely special. Worth chasing
    [5/1/14 5:19:52 PM] Animal: It's kind of pathetic
    [5/1/14 5:19:58 PM] Animal: But I'm trying to fix it
    [5/1/14 5:20:12 PM] Animal: Like I would rather
    [5/1/14 5:20:18 PM] Animal: Suffer in silence for years
    [5/1/14 5:20:35 PM] Animal: Than risk a guy telling me he loves me bc I am what he can get
    [5/1/14 5:20:44 PM] Animal: And risk worrying about it
    [5/1/14 5:20:59 PM] Animal: It's not worth it
    [5/1/14 5:21:05 PM] Animal: It's better to be single than that
    [5/1/14 5:21:33 PM] Animal: So now that I know
    [5/1/14 5:21:39 PM] Animal: How a lot of this is in my head
    [5/1/14 5:21:55 PM] Animal: Feeling unattractive , less than him, putting him on pedestal
    [5/1/14 5:22:09 PM] Animal: I can find out what really happened
    [5/1/14 5:22:17 PM] Animal: In my past
    [5/1/14 5:22:29 PM] Animal: And not just live in fiction



    Social Fours don't compete with others (like sexual fours do) as much as they compare themselves to others and find themselves lacking- almost as if by showing themselves to be lacking they can call forth what they need from others. Underneath, however, they experience a fierce competitiveness that may be largely unconscious: a competitiveness for recognition, being unique and special, and wanting to be in first place. This is more hidden and subtle in the social four, however, than it is in the sexual four.
    Yeah.. I'm not sure if that is subtle with me. I boast, I brag, I show off. I boast my unique voice. I also talk pretty openly with my friends about why I think a guy is better than me.

    I compete but I won't talk about it outside artistic expression. My feelings about this aspect of myself are not for public consumption.

    Social fours explore the pain of the past repeatedly as a way of attracting someone who will take care of them and satisfy their wants. They criminalize their wants, as many of us do, but they suffer more keenly for turning against themselves.
    I explore the pain of the past repeatedly. If I do this out loud, I do it to communicate. I don't want someone to take care of me - I want someone to KNOW me and to be able to HANDLE my intensity. I also want someone to see her own humanity in me. I like open dialogue where both people can be free to be themselves, explore their pain, navigate their emotions etc. It's an equal-equal dialogue, not a rescue-call. When people try to rescue me it makes me angry. I MUST be my own hero. I secretly yearn for a hero.. but when I see a hero I want to BECOME him or mirror his assets rather than have him rescue me. I want to mirror him; I want to be his equal. If he is my hero, I want to be his heroine. Otherwise I feel "less than." I think about it a lot - why would he be with me, if I depend on him? I'd rather have him be with me because I'm amazing, not out of obligation or pity.

    There was a guy once who was rather heroic to me, and I constantly imagined that he was hanging out with me out of pity, and it made me angry and very very competitive with him.

    Fours with this subtype tend to think with their emotions- they get entangled in “emotional” thoughts, caught up in and identified with intense emotions to the extent that they can't take action even when it would be good for them to do so. They tend to be generous and to do for others, but they do not take responsibility for their own lives and may dramatize problems to distract themselves from doing something to find a solution.
    Hmm. Maybe in romance situations yes. And in "inadequacy" situations, such as trying to write my book and instead thinking about my emotions here on PerC because I feel like I can't get through this section since I'm not a good enough writer.

    In public, social fours repress “frowned upon” emotions like anger or hatred and may appear sweet, friendly, and soft- but in private, they may express their emotions they store up in social situations and become aggressive. Generally, they prefer to swallow their own poison rather than externalize it to the people around them,
    This is true if you replace "social situations" with "romantic situations." It's not about "frowned upon" emotions, but rather, emotions that would display my weakness and make him feel obligated to me, or overwhelmed by my desire, or make him recognize the extent to which I am mirroring him or losing myself to him. I don't want him to know how much I care and feel like I am a burden. I have never said "I need you" to anyone in my life, and never will. To whatever extent I feel like I need someone, I express it creatively in private, and feel jilted if he doesn't need me or he needs me less than I do, or he is around just because he thinks I worship him.

    and they typically have difficulty finding their place in a group and in society. These fours may experience themselves as misfits, and yet they also tend to generate social situations of rejection to confirm their shame. They see themselves as victims and may view others as “perpetrators,” and they don't always take responsibility for their own actions or aggressiveness.
    Cant' relate. I'm a misfit because I express myself and march to my own drum. I don't rebel OR comply - both rebellion and compliance are letting others control you, and where society is concerned, I control myself absolutely. I am independent to a fault. I think for myself, but I don't mind following rules if it works to my advantage. It's not "dishonest" to go after what you want.

    However where individuals are concerned, specifically boyfriends/ romantic interests, there is more of a rebellion/compliance dynamic sometimes. I rebel against my own need to BE him or "equal" him by expressing and asserting who I am, or I rebel against something I don't like in him by expressing the way I see it. I can also comply to what I know he wants to see, to some degree, shrouding the rest.. and this makes me sick. Then I rebel against my own compliance by showing TOO much. Like "I know he won't like this about me so I'm going to shove it in his face just so I know I'm not misleading him or being fake, giving him what he wants to see." In my heart, I kind of WANT to give him what he wants to see, so that I won't be rejected; but then I would be rejected for who I am, ultimately… etc. This is a real conundrum. I start needing to define who I am, what I want, why I want to be him, which aspects of him are really part of me. I have to define myself all over again.


    I don't need confirmation for my shame because when I feel, it is palpable. The confirmation I need is to be able to express it in music, art or writing, just as it is. I want to see it mirrored in my art, and then, once it is adequately mirrored, I might share it with the world.



    Social Fours are less likely to be mistaken for other enneagram types than the other two four subtypes, but they can look like sixes in their focus on what's missing or wrong in their lives. However, unlike sixes, they have a desire to be special (as opposed to type six's identification with the “everyman”, and they spend less time in fear and more time feeling emotions related to sadness, pain and shame.
    I don't focus just on what's wrong. I notice things I like about myself, and others, as well. I only over-focus on what's wrong when I want something/someone… I focus on why I can't have it, why I don't deserve it, why I'm not enough.. but also on why I DO deserve it or why I CAN have it, and how. It is a process of inspiration, as explained earlier.


    Elizabeth, a social four, speaks:


    “I've been called “hyper-sensitive” my entire life. My feelings have always been so easily hurt- even at the tender ages of three and four I often felt terribly misunderstood fr forsaken. I remember crying in my room at four years old racking my brain trying to figure out what was going on such that my family didn't get me and could be so hurtful. I came to believe that there was something wrong with me and that I didn't matter. These have remained bedrock beliefs for much of my life.
    My parents like to tell this story - in first grade the teacher invited parents after school. My parents sat separately. They asked everyone to write down one word to describe their kid. My parents both wrote "sensitive." They joke that they never agree on anything, so this was a feat.

    I am hyper-sensitive but I have a lot of armor.

    Only those who make love to me - physically, emotionally, and mentally - will ever be allowed to see my true sensitivity in any capacity. I can't think of anyone who has seen my sensitivity at its finest since I was a young teenager… except in the context of creative expression. I'll get up on a stage and cry, singing very sensitive, revealing lyrics before tens or hundreds of people. I would sing it before the whole world. I cry on stage sometimes. But , I won't say it to someone. I can't just reveal the sensitivity alone. I want my armor.. my music.. the invisible screen from the audience. I want them to see themselves in my music, rather than just seeing me. It's like showing myself while hiding behind the mirror at the same time.

    Outside that context, my deepest sensitivity needs to be lured out. And really the only way to do it, is to be very very sensitive yourself. Then I will be disarmed.

    ((( nudges @Wandering Soul ;) ))

    It seems that social-first 4s have a way of disarming me as such.

    Feeling different, misunderstood, and dejected were my constant companions and felt like home. Over time, I developed an attraction and attachment to my pain and suffering because that's what feels most real and resonant with the pervasive sense that something is really wrong (with me or the world around me.) Experiencing my pain leads to feeling more connected with myself, which then alleviates the pain of feeling disconnected and misunderstood. Thus when a dark feeling hits, my impulse is to hang out with it and get to the bottom of it. And I tend to get irritated and feel even more misunderstood when people suggest lightening up, getting some exercise, or going to see a funny movie. Melancholy has always been my favorite feeling. Not only is it comforting in and of itself, but it creates a portal to my depths, my creativity, and a feeling of being at home in myself.
    The bolded - 110% . I CANT STAND people who want me to 'cheer up' or 'relax' or 'calm down' when I'm angry. This is why i keep a lot of it to myself or long walks blasting angry music. Fuck them! I'll be me, on my own time, thank you.

    The rest of the bolded is true too. It's not "melancholy" though, alone, which is my favorite feeling. It's lust..desire..frustration.. LONGING. Something I want so badly I can taste my desire, but I can't have it. Something that pisses me off so deeply I can feel my blood in my veins and I can see red. Something that makes me so sad that I can cleanse myself with tears. Something that makes me feel so warm that I feel like my entire body turns to liquid. I want intense, palpable emotion the most. Outside of that, longing turns me on.. it gets me in touch with my feelings.. it can turn to desire, craving.

    I can feel the lack of voice when I try to sing. I can feel the lack of someone's arms around me when I try to sleep. The more physical it is, the more consuming. If I have a physical desire that I keep dreaming of - such as being in someone's arms , or singing my heart out, or being in a warmer climate, or swimming.. this turns me on the most. This desire, this unfulfilled, tangible desire - is home for me. Along with the anger, the frustration, that I can't have it.

    Despite the tremendous amount of positive feedback I have received in so many areas of my life, I still wrestle with a poor self-image every day. My friends, loved ones, and associates are always shocked to discover the discrepancies between how they view me and how I view myself. As a student, I was always surprised to et my papers and tests back with very high grades and glowing comments. And even now when I share my creative or professional work I am startled to hear the heartfelt positive feedback from others. My barometer for assessing the quality of my work in any area is greatly skewed toward “this could have been a lot better.” And then it's back to “Poor me- I have a broken barometer, can you help me fix it?”.
    My self-image is not that poor, but I am definitely overly critical of myself. And people who know me very well, tell me that I should give myself much more credit than I do. For my looks.. my music etc. My friends say "if he doesn't want you, he doesn't deserve you" and I respond "No, I don't deserve him." That's logical isn't it? Let's call a spade a spade….



    Specific Work For The Social Four on the Path from Vice to Virtue

    Social Fours can travel the path from envy to equanimity by doing the work it takes to release their inferiority complex, own their positive qualities, and enhance their self-confidence. If you are a social four, it will help you to work on relaxing your self-judgments and negative self-perceptions- to take the risk to see what is positive about you and your life and not get stuck in envious comparisons and shame. Manifesting a sense of equanimity means valuing all your feelings equally, and also not getting over-identified with your feelings. It helps to consider that it's okay to be angry and express wishes and feelings directly, from a place of self-compassion, instead of seducing through suffering. Most of all, you can support yourself in embodying equanimity by considering all your feelings, consciously analyzing the whole situation, and taking action to get what you need and want instead of becoming so invested in your emotional suffering.

    I value all my feelings equally.

    However, I do identify with my feelings a lot. I don't agree that there's such thing as over-identifying with feelings because it is honest to have feelings. But maybe I'm unhealthy or stuck in my ego-fixation for saying that. I will have to make my own mind up about this - a textbook isn't going to tell me to "let go" of my feelings when they are my home and my only absolute truth.

    Last edited by Animal; 05-02-2014 at 09:10 AM.
    heaveninawildflower, mimesis and Owtoo thanked this post.


     
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