Enneagram Personality Type Four – LAB Profile Through the Levels

Healthy Fours at Level 2 and 3
Motivation Traits; Reactive, Away-from, Internal, Difference,
Working Traits; Self, Feelings, My/Your

Fours at level 2 are “becoming self aware and introspective” and “paying attention to their feelings” The Feelings response to life’s stresses, means that Fours probably have the most difficulty in getting themselves out of it. At this level, whilst the internal emotions it may be less perceptible to the untrained eye, their behaviour of “listening to their inner voices” in order to be “true to themselves” reveals an Internal pattern, and can manifests as a Self pattern.

In my own experience, this isn’t to say that Fours are not concerned with other people. The evidence (in the average levels ) shows Fours as Person orientated.

A Self pattern is when someone doesn’t notice the body language and signals of other people. If you sneezed in the company of a Four who is engrossed in some activity like reading or sewing, you may not get a “bless you” reaction.
In LAB terms, this might be interpreted as Self as opposed to Other. What most likely drives this behaviour is Reactive a process described by Riso/Hudson as “introversion means that energy must move twice as far, from the world into their unconscious and then out again”
We see the Reactive pattern again at level 3 when Fours are “standing outside of themselves to see how the whole thing will turn out”
In addition, the Self pattern becomes more prevalent when the “honesty with themselves “ drives them to “want to tell others what they have discovered about self” (even if others don’t want to hear about it)
Motivated by an Internal and Away-from pattern they “reveal their fears and anxieties, doubts and limitations” maybe in too much details which could be a clue to a Specific trait.
My own experience of the Fours in my life is that they exhibit quite Specific patterns of behaviour.
Their “need to grow and change as individuals” and “individualistic lifestyle” is generated by their motivation for Difference.

The first inkling of an Options / Internal behaviour arises when Fours “do not like to follow rules, without understanding why they are necessary”
The rule structure My/Your; My rules for me/Your rules for you endows healthy Fours with a distinct advantage should they follow a career in therapy and counselling, as well as relationships; where healthy Fours “do not impose their views or values on anyone else, but are gentle tactful and discrete”
Healthy fours “like to be among people while maintaining a certain distance” a clue to the working style of Proximity.

Average Fours
Motivation Traits; Reactive, Away-from, Internal, Options, Difference
Working Traits; Person, Self, Feelings,
Shifts; from Proximity to Independent

In order to sustain their identity, their “sense of self”, average Fours begin to “feel more intensely and more consistently” The visible signs of a person who stays in their Feelings under stress. The self involvement takes on a Reactive fantasising about what they might be capable of “ fantasising about Art (being an artist, writer, musician etc) rather than actually practicing the skills”.

At level 5 , the behaviour previously alluded to as being Self as well as Reactive now shifts further in favour of the former as Average Fours “withdraw from others to protect and keep their feelings to themselves”.
Visibly “pouting” they seek someone “who can ride the waves” to rescue them from their emotions. The drive for Difference fuels their feelings of “outsiders and different from others” From my own experience, the rescuing other, is considered to be more worthy of the Fours attention, the more they recognise and pay attention to the Difference of the Four. This is the Fours Internal judge that is in some ways, challenging the others commitment to them.
At this level the shift from Proximity to Independent can occur as they “pursue only solitary interest”

At level 6 the Internal, Independent, and Difference traits, become even more entrenched with Feelings and Options. Low average Fours have “become different”; others finding them “self-indulgent, petulant and perverse” with a Reactive attitude as the “stubbornly refuse to do anything practical to help themselves” but evoking rules driven by an Options / Difference and My/Your perspective to “give themselves permission to do as they please, under the banner of being true to themselves”
Their strong Internal trait, “refusing to co-operate with anyone and resenting pressure”

Unhealthy Fours

With the unhealthy Four, it is really more of the same. The key drivers being;
Self – as they begin “cutting themselves off completely from outside contact”
Feelings – as the “self questioning has gotten them into a deeper emotional hole”
Reactive – to the extreme as they now “fatigued and unable to function”
And at level 8 the Internal “all consuming self hatred” leads to deep depression and the ultimate “rebuke to others for not understanding and loving them enough” (according to the Internal Four) of possible “Suicide”.

Healthy Fours at Level One

When healthy Fours at level 1 “learn to get out of their own way” they become “open to impressions from outside” – “acting in the real world rather than introspection”. In LAB terms this suggests a shift from Self towards Other.
It would be wrong to say that Fours have not already considered others at lower levels, but now there isn’t same reference to some aspect of themselves when refereeing to others. They realise It’s not always about them.
Liberated Fours no longer become ”worn down by their experiences” instead they “are revitalized and restored” a significant shift from Feelings to Choice.
With these two drivers now in equilibrium, the positive aspects derived from Difference and My/Your, becomes the real creative energy that can encourage others to express themselves; and creatively “make something beautiful and valuable” themselves from the whatever experiences of reality they have, “even the painful and distressing ones”.


Find out more on LAB Profile; next LAB Profile training course see Schedule