While we're at it…

Ok, so here I am. I'm sitting in front of the fire place with my laptop and just generally relaxing and having an introspective evening. While cruising around the internet I've found that enneagrams have become quite the rage these days. Here's one from 9types.com which uses the older classification (without intensity) but does have some good descriptions of the types along with healthy and unhealthy signs. I came up as a type 4 on this one… This is a new one for me, so those who know me should determine if its right as it’s hard to make such determinations from “inside the fish tank”. I can see where I have been “less healthy” in the past, and have fallen into some of the results listed here, especially during my marriage. Fortunately I believe I’m firmly in the “healthy” range now and have, to my observation, never made it fully into “unhealthy”.

From 9types.com:
Enneagram Personality Type Indicator Results:

Your highest score will indicate you basic type, or it will be among the top 2-3 scores.

Low scores in some type might come out negative. That's perfectly normal.

For best results, you should answer all the questions that apply.
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Type 6 Type 7 Type 8 Type 9
-6 3 1 5 2 -3 2 -3 1

The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram
Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
Type 2: The Helper. The caring, nurturing type.
Type 3: The Motivator. The adaptable, success-oriented type.
Type 4: The Artist. The intuitive, reserved type.
Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.
Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type.
Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.
Type 8: The Leader. The powerful, aggressive type.
Type 9: The Peacemaker. The easygoing, accommodating type.


These are people who live principally in their imagination and feelings. They may be artistic, articulate and inspiring or whiny, elitist and negative.

Like Ones, Fours compare reality with what could be. While Ones tend to look for imperfection about them and try to correct what's wrong, Fours often turn away from reality and live in their imaginations, feelings and moods.

Along with Twos and Threes, Fours gravitate towards vanity and image-confusion but may express it paradoxically. Fours are more likely to identify with an image of being defective, especially if it confers on them a quality of uniqueness or exempt special-ness. A Four might, for instance, bemoan his inability to succeed in the everyday world, but this complaint could carry a subtle quality of boasting. The Four could have a self-image that is romantically tragic, but also elitist.

— Healthy Fours tend to be idealistic, have good taste and are great appreciators of beauty. They filter reality through a rich, subtle subjectivity and are very good at metaphorical thinking, the capacity to make connections between unrelated facts and events. The Four’s tendency to see things symbolically is enhanced by their emotional intensity. This creates raw artistic material that almost demands to be given form. Self-expression and pursuing self-knowledge are high priorities for people with this style.

Fours naturally practice synesthesia, a chronic blending of the senses that leads to intense multilevel reactions. A Four entering a new situation could see something that triggers a mental image which, in turn, evokes a feeling, which then reminds the Four of a song, which triggers more images that evoke more smells, tastes, feelings and so on. The Fours moods and feelings can run together like a watercolor in the rain, producing a kaleidoscopic rinse of impressions in reaction to even small events.

Fours value the aesthetics of beauty as much as they are attuned to the tragic nature of existence. When healthy, people with this style work to transmute the pain of living into something meaningful, through creative work of all kinds. Fours are talented at articulating subjective experience and can be fine teachers or psychotherapists in this regard. They may also be empathetic foul-weather friends, able to understand the dilemmas of others and especially willing to listen to a friend's pain.

Because of the strength of their emotional imaginations, people with this style are often described as artistic. Many of the world's most accomplished artists have been Fours, and nearly all people with this style need or find creative outlets. Fours work in all kinds of occupations, but, whenever possible, they try to make their work creatively interesting. A Four's sensory richness is like the raw material of creativity and healthy Fours give themselves creative outlets that help them express their intense inner life.

— When Fours are less healthy, they begin to focus on what is unavailable or missing in their lives. They can become negative and critical, finding fault with what they do have, seeing mainly misery in the present. They then turn inward and use their imaginations to romanticize other times and places. Fours can live in the past, the future anywhere that seems more appealing than here and now. Fours tend to envy whatever it is they don't have, embodying the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

The need to be seen as someone special and unique may become more neurotically pronounced too. Fours can seem very in touch with their feelings, but, when unhealthy, they translate their authentic feeling into melodrama. They can be full of lament and nostalgia, demanding recognition yet rejecting anything good they get from friends. They might also grow competitive and spiteful, unable to enjoy their own successes without taking away from the achievements of others.

— Unhealthy Fours can be moody or hypersensitive while acting exempt from everyday rules. Buoyed by their sense of defective special-ness, they might give themselves permission to act badly, be selfish or irresponsible. They may refuse to deal with the mundane and the ordinary, unconsciously reasoning that they are not of this world anyway. Fours at this stage incline towards feeling guilty, ashamed, melancholy, jealous and unworthy.

— Deeply unhealthy Fours can inhabit a harrowing world of torment. They can be openly masochistic and extravagant in their self-debasement. The lives of spectacularly self-destructive artists often reflect this kind of scenario. At this stage, a Four could become unreachably alienated. Stricken by a profound sense of hopelessness, they can sink into morbid self-loathing or grow suicidally depressed. They see their different-ness in entirely negative terms and banish themselves into a kind of exile. The desire to punish themselves and others is also determined and strong.