The Enneagram Type 4 Individualist and Type 7 Enthusiast can seem like oil and water and with dramatically different habits of attention, it can be easy to assume they never get mixed up.
Types 7s look to the positive, seek new experiences, and avoid (either consciously or subconsciously) negative emotions. An assertive personality, Type 7s consider personal freedom a core value.
In contrast, Type 4s feel the full range of emotions intensely, have a sense that something is always missing, and are a withdrawn type that value authenticity. They like to keep it real and if that means they need to go into some dark spaces, they are more than willing to go there. It can seem as though it would be impossible to have mistypings between the sunny Type 7 and the emotional Type 4, but if you understand the subtypes, you’ll see how confusion can arise.
In the Type 4 Individualist, the subtype matters a lot, and there are three distinctly different “flavors” of Type 4:
Self-Preservation is called “Tenacity” and is sometimes referred to as the “Glad” Type 4.
Social is called “Shame” and referred to as the “Sad” Type 4.
Sexual is called “Competition” and is thought of as the “Mad” Type 4.
If you see these three subtypes together, their behavior may be so different, they don’t even seem like the same Enneagram type. But don’t be fooled – they share a habit of attention around what is missing, a sensitive issue around shame and sadness, and the same growth path from longing and envy to equanimity. Let’s take a closer look at the Self-Preservation Type 4, the “glad” Type 4 who is most often confused with Type 7.
With a title of Tenacity, the Self-Preservation Type 4 is the sunny Type 4. This is a person who masks their darker emotions and can present as a joyful person. They have an internal sense that if they suffer enough, they will eventually solve their discontent, so these are people who can subconsciously put themselves in difficult situations and endure pain stoically. They are often unaware of their underlying melancholy and envy and instead move against this energy by working hard and taking action to resolve their longing. They may suffer without complaining as a subconscious strategy to “earn love,” and they have a high tolerance for frustration. Because their external energy is so counter to the typical Type 4, they can present like the Enthusiast, Type 7.