Are You an Enneagram Type 4, the Romantic?

Are You an Enneagram Type 4, the Romantic? People of this type like to express themselves.

Drawing by Elizabeth Wagele from The Enneagram of Parenting

Not only do 4-Romantics often have gifts of expression, such as being musical, artistic, and/or good with words, they often feel the need to express themselves. This partially explains 4-Romantic artistic geniuses such as Beethoven, Billy Holiday, Edvard Munch, and Charles Baudelaire. Fours have strong feelings and do not want to be ordinary.


As a 5-Observer, one of my wings is type 4; my other is the 6-Questioner. I believe my stronger wing (4), accounts for my lifelong love of music. My 6 wing expresses itself as and anxiety. The Enneagram diagram below shows each type’s wings – the numbers next to each number – and arrows – the two numbers at the ends of lines.

The Enneagram figure


Some characteristics of the 4-Romantic include an appreciation of aesthetics and creativity, compassion, humor, dignity, valuing what’s authentic, and the love of beauty. The other side of this type includes feeling depressed, being self-absorbed, behaving overly dramatically, longing, and being moralistic. As a 5, I’m usually even-tempered and quite happy, but occasionally I’ll have a day where my 4 wing takes over and I feel moody. Fours’ longing is related to their envy for what others have; Fours often feel something is missing from their own lives. Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, Charles Laughton, and Tennessee Williams represent the brooding, melancholy characteristics of some Romantics. Alan Watts and Mike Nichols represent their refinement. 4s are often attracted to life and death situations and to death itself; suicides by 4s include Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolf, Kurt Cobain, and Vincent Van Gogh.


Both 1-Perfectionists and 2-Helpers have arrows at 4. When Perfectionists work too much or take life too seriously, engaging in something creative can free them. If Helpers are too focused on other people, they’re encouraged to get in touch with their own creativity and inwardness. Studying people who are type 4-Romantic can help all of us access our creative sides. Who are your favorites of the 4s mentioned here and in the list below? Which seem most like you? Which do you admire most? Learn more about them and 4s you know. Emulate them to help you get in touch with your creativity, your compassion, and the other positive attributes typical of type 4.


Famous Fours: Diane Arbus, Francis Bacon, John Barrymore, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Bogdanovich, Richard Brautigan, Jackson Browne, Raymond Burr, Roseanne Cash, Prince Charles, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Martha Graham, Lena Horne, Julio Iglesias, Jeremy Irons, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Naomi Judd, Harvey Keitel, Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, T. E. Lawrence, Vivien Leigh, Mary McCarthy, Rod McKuen, Thomas Merton, Yukio Mishima, Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Morrissey, Liam Neeson, Mike Nichols, Stevie Nicks, Anais Nin, Nick Nolte, Laurence Olivier, Edith Piaf, Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Rice, Arthur Rimbaud, Françoise Sagan, Percy Shelley, Simone Signoret, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, Edna St. Vincent Millay, August Strindberg, James Taylor, Kate Winslet, and Neil Young.


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