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  • Writer's pictureAlex Rathbun

Enneagram Four: The Individualist

I'm so excited for this week because it's the week of my own Enneagram type, Type Four. To help us all understand Fours better, meet my friend, Tiffany Wong! She is someone honing in her Enneagram type in a beautiful way - she uses her unique creativity to foster meaningful and significant conversations (something I'm always aiming to do).

If you're just jumping on board for these Enneagram interviews, check out this post for an overview.

If you've read the interviews with Types One, Two a Three already, read on! Type Fours are nicknamed The Individualist and their basic desire is to be unique. Tiffany helps us understand the impact Fours can have on others as well as how the Enneagram has shaped her.

1. When and why did you first learn about the Enneagram?

"I first learned from it 6 years ago when Jaclyn Simpson mentioned it, because Brian Fulton was learning about it! During that time, Jaclyn was my roommate, and have been obsessed with the Enneagram since then. We would read aloud the Enneagram book by Richard Rhor, and I have such fond memories of it!"

2. How has the Enneagram impacted how you see yourself?

"It has given me the opportunity to dig deeper into what really drives me. Previously I was familiar with reasons that might drive me in the 'positive' ways, but I don’t think I knew as much about the deep fears that I had. As a Four wing Five, I discovered this deep underlying desire of needing to finding meaning and beauty, and that I would basically give up anything for it.

"On the flip side, I recognized this fear of not being fully known, which is ironic, because everything in me also wants to be recognized as unique. There are so many seemingly contradictory desires, but with the Enneagram I am able to point it out and realize that I’m not bound to those fears or desires. At the core, along with all humans, the desire is to be known, to be loved, and to have the ability to love."

3. How has the Enneagram impacted the relationships in your life and how you view others?

"It is such a good tool to have compassion for others in my life. With knowing what drives other people, I find it really helpful to not project my own perspectives/fears onto them.

"There have been so many instances where I learn more about the other numbers and I have this moment of clarity of why people behave how they do - especially when I wouldn’t have behaved in the same way. An example, my younger sister is a Type Nine, and I would get annoyed so easily because every time I’m back to visit my family, she is always yawning. After learning about how Nines get so drained by having to monitor all the dynamics of people, it made me less annoyed and more in tune with how she might be feeling. It’s also nice to have the vocabulary of the Enneagram to discuss it too."

4. How do you most relate to your Enneagram?

"Something that I found most helpful as a Type Four is how going towards my health number (Type One) really helps me thrive. By nature, I am a free spirit who feels really deeply, and can be led by my intuition and feelings. So when I learned about how I go towards One (which is very structured, black and white), I implemented it into my life. I always have due dates, art commitments, and disciplines that I keep to tightly. When I have those parameters, I feel freedom and energy. I have kept to so many disciplines over the years, and it has been so good for my creativity and growth. That’s another seeming paradox that I love!"

5. What's the biggest misconception about you or your type?

"The biggest misconception is that Fours are aloof, because they are in tune with their emotions and have intuition. Especially for women, I’ve noticed that if you’re creative and enjoy the beauty of the everyday, you are pushed into this category that you are not aligned to reality or have real ambitions.

"Obviously I’m biased, but I believe that Fours have so much insight to give to reality. This heightened observations and experiences, are a peek into the human experience that are worth diving into whether they are feel-good or uncomfortable. There is so much wisdom to be shared, because the driving force is to live from a space of introspection and purpose."

6. Answer the following: I feel loved when ____. I feel unloved when ___. 

"I feel loved when I’m understood. I feel unloved when people misunderstand me."

To see Tifanny's work, find her here! If you'd like to learn more about Type Fours, I recommend this podcast.

Did you learn anything new or interesting from today's interview? Is there anything you learned about Type Fours that you didn't know before? Let me know in the comments below!

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