Misidentification 2 VS 4

Aaand I’m back with a video, yay!  If you’ve ever wondered about some of the differences between the Helper and the Individualist, this is for you.  Feel free to drop me a line if you have thoughts or questions!

One thing I did want to expand a bit on, is a component that I mention in the video: 4’s Reactivity vs. 2’s Compliance.  It’s important to note that these traits are not opposites, which is why I included the graphic below in my video.


Across the Enneagram, we see three different conflict styles: Reactive (4, 6, 8), Reframing (2, 7, 9) and Competency (1, 3, 5).  In another trait triangle, we see three different ways of interacting with the world: Aggressive (3, 7, 8), Compliant (1, 2, 6) and Withdrawn (4, 5, 9). Because these traits come in groups of three, combining them can shed a lot of insight on the differences between Enneagam types!

When we look at 2, we see that it is a Reframing and Compliant type.

When we look at 4, we see that it is a Reactive and Withdrawn type.

This gives us a spectacular example, because these types are different on both fronts!  I think I’ll have to write more on this topic in another post, and how it can be an excellent tool to prevent mistyping.  For now, I hope this helps to explain my use of these terms. 🙂

Thanks friends, see you next time as I cover the wings of The Achiever!

Misidentification 2 VS 4

Misidentification: 4 + 9


This, like the combo before, is a pretty common confusion. Peacemakers and Individualists can behave and look very similar, even having kindred ideals. Both tend to be emotionally intuitive, deep thinkers, drawn to nature and the creative world, and usually are somewhat socially withdrawn. This surface commonality, however, is dwarfed by the inner differences between the two.

9’s are conflict averse creatures, and tend to lay low in stormy waters. 4’s on the other hand, are one of the three types dubbed reactive in the Enneagram– which means they are quick to express their viewpoint, feelings, etc.  Peacemakers are known to idealize the world and people around them, and thus can become self forgetting, neglecting their own personal development, interests and sense of self, in order to maintain peace with others. Individualists on the other hand, spend exorbitant amounts of time analyzing their feelings, identity, preferences and general inner world. These very different tendencies land 9’s and 4’s with two very different predicaments: 9’s become detached from who they are, building stubborn resentment in silence against those around them. Conversely, 4’s end up alienating those around them out of their self absorbed fixation on authentic identity.  Individualists have issues with dissatisfaction, emotional volatility and shame, where Peacemakers struggle more with issues of apathy, resentment and anxiety.

More often than not, this misidentification happens when Peacemakers mistake themselves as Individualists (not the other way around). Because their own needs, preferences and defining characteristics are often muted to 9’s, it’s easy to understand why they tend be more prone to mistyping.  It’s interesting to note also, that either potental wing for a 9 (1 or 8) has definite connections to 4 as well– making it even more probable that a 9 might mistype as a 4.

As with any type misidentification, one of the best tools to determine accuracy are the other components of type: integration when health focused, disintegration when under stress, and even wings. 4 and 9 have very different health journeys, and stress points. You can read more about them here: 4 | 9.

Have questions? Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at enneagramgirl@yahoo.com, and tune in next time for my misidentification post on types 1 and 6!

Misidentification: 4 + 9

Instincts: 4

After talking in the last post about the basics of the Individualist, let’s look at the instinctual variants and how they apply to 4 specifically. If you need a refresher on instinctual variants and what that means, check out my first post on the topic.


When talking about instincts, it’s important to realize how the same instinct can look different from core type to core type. The general descriptions of the instincts (above) are much less specific than when those instincts are applied to a specific Enneagram type.

The shame, focus on suffering and envy, and introspective nature of type 4, manifest with each instinct in a unique way.


Though different, it’s easy to see how the first (general descriptions) factor into the type specific ones.  As aforementioned, all 4’s will probably relate somewhat to all three above descriptions, but more strongly with one or two.  This brings us to the concept of Instinctual Stack, which denotes the order of an individual’s instinctual need.  For instance, Sp/So tells us that Self Preservation is preferred/needed most, So is auxiliary and Sx is the “blind spot”.  I do also think looking into the instincts of your wing (especially if it is heavy) is important to behold the whole picture.

Other great sources for more detailed reading on the instincts, are The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut, these descriptions originally from (the now inactive) Ocean Moonshine, and the work of early Enneagram scholar, Claudio Naranjo (notes on his work on the instincts).

Have any questions about instincts, Enneagram or typing? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

*Sidebar: Clearly, these descriptions are getting longer the more I do. I think I’ll have to go back and flesh out 1-3 more eventually, so they all contain equally complete descriptions– I guess I’ve just gained steam along the way! 🙂

Instincts: 4

Enneagram 4

Let’s take a brief look today at Enneagram type 4, the Individualist.  Here are the basics (feel free to click for a closer look).


The Individualist is called so because an innate belief that to be valuable, one must have an authentic identity, and to be authentic, one must be unique, different or broken. In other words, 4’s tend to relate more to darker emotions because they feel more true to them than lighter feelings. Envy, the passion of 4, manifests in a negative focus on what’s missing, or “what I don’t have”.  Enneagram 4 is often called emotionally strong, because of their familiarity and comfort with dark emotions, but also of their tendency to over-analyze their emotions– where 8 is the master of the physical world, 4 is the master of the emotional realm.

Shame is a large theme for all heart types (2, 3 and 4) but because 4’s are painfully self aware/conscious, they feel and express this more outwardly.  This can manifest in withdrawing the self from others for fear of being “too broken or insignificant”, and comes about from a repeated process of failing to convey “the true depths and complexity of the self” (Ocean Moonshine).  Because 4’s experience repeated failure to live up to their own ideals, and that of the culture, they develop a general distaste and disdain for “common” or “ordinary” things– which is part of why they associate authenticity with uniqueness.  As with many of the types, this creates a paradox: 4’s desire authenticity, but in their disdain for the normal, they can become quite elitist.

I find it important to note that while 4’s tend to be creative, this quality is found in many other types as well!  Most of the 4 mistypes I’ve seen have been at least somewhat based in this misconception.

If you have questions about Enneagram type 4, feel free to comment below.  Otherwise, look out for my post on the instincts of 4 coming soon! 🙂

Enneagram 4