I describe the Type 4 Individualist as the Enneagram type who ‘owns’ the emotional spectrum. While the rest of us might feel emotions that color the world like the 48 colors in a Crayola crayon box, Type 4s experience all 366 Crayola shades. If your partner is a Type 4, you are with someone who has a vivid and rich emotional experience; someone who feels dramatic emotional highs and lows.
With all this emotional fluency, it might be tempting to imagine your relationship will be smooth. After all, a Type 4 is someone who understands the unspoken sub currents of a situation, loves to talk about their feelings, and can help tease out the more nuanced emotions.
But Type 4s are deeply complex individuals. They’re sensitive about feeling misunderstood, gravitate towards what’s missing in a relationship, and have a pattern of chronically undervaluing themselves. With this as the backdrop, even the most highly evolved and self-aware Type 4s can be deeply wounded by an ill-spoken remark.
In Type 4 in particular, the subtype matters a lot and colors the personality profile substantially. The self-preservation “Sunny” Type 4 is more stoic, the social “Sad” Type 4 more openly expresses self-doubt and shame, and the intimate “Mad” Type 4 can be very mercurial, showing great sensitivity but also bursting into huge fits of rage. While the subtypes can have very different temperaments and external behavior, they share a common habit of attention. The reactions might look different, but the fundamental things that trigger them remain the same.