Are you an INFJ and an Enneagram Four? If so, chances are you feel like your Myers-Briggs® personality type only describes a shallow part of you. You crave something deeper, a description that really gets to the core of who you are as an individual. No two INFJs are the same, and this is especially true when the INFJs have different enneagram types. An INFJ enneagram Nine will show up very different than an INFJ enneagram Four! You are more individualistic than the typical INFJ – deeply aware of your feelings about things, highly in tune with creative experimentation and discovery.
Before we get into a lot of detail about the INFJ Four, it’s important to note their core fears and desires.
The core desire of the Four is to find themselves and their significance. You want to create a unique identity out of your inner experiences.
The core fear of the Four is to have no identity or personal significance.
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The Life of the INFJ Enneatype Four
Your childhood was marked by a feeling of being different or unusual. You often felt like a misfit and like your family or friends didn’t completely see you for who you really were. You may have wondered if you were adopted because you felt so unlike everyone else. On top of being a Four, you are also an INFJ. As a rare personality type in the Myers-Briggs® system, you often struggled to find like-minded individuals who understood your perceptions. Your theoretical ideas and mystical senses of just knowing how things would happen seemed odd to people. Your existential questions seemed out of place among your peers. You might have felt like your insights weren’t appreciated or your ideas were ridiculed rather than taken seriously. Unfortunately, this is a common experience for young INFJs.
Because your identity wasn’t mirrored in any of your family members, you felt an incessant, restless need to find yourself. You chased after music, books, and artwork that would reveal little glimmers of your true soul. You often withdrew from the world around you to explore the nuanced facets of human emotion and experience.
You were drawn towards misfits, oddballs, and mystics or seers. You knew you were a square peg, but you didn’t want to fit into a round hole. You fought conformity and strove for further knowledge and insight into your true purpose. At the same time, you deeply hoped that you would find someone who would truly understand you – quirks and all.
Your Enneagram Triad
As a Four, you are in the Shame/Heart triad of the Enneagram (along with Twos and Threes). However, while Twos try to hide their shame and Threes try to erase it, you actually look it square in the face. You are drawn to the dark side (not in the Star Wars sense, don’t worry).
As a Four, you want to face your darkness and your shame. You find it nearly impossible to ignore those feelings or distract yourself from them. After all, they might have something to teach you! You are aware that everyone has a dark and a light side, and you don’t see the point in beating around the bush and avoiding it. A life only focused on the light is a shallow one to you.
Because you are more in touch with your shame than other types, you can create a safe space for other people to talk about their weaknesses, failures, and struggles. You are slow to judge others’ frailties because you know how it feels to be frail. You are slow to judge others’ vulnerabilities because you know how it feels to be vulnerable.
The downside to this awareness of shame is that sometimes you can feel it too deeply. Sometimes you truly feel that you are worse than other people, more deficient or more flawed. You use these intense feelings of shame to inspire some of your creative works. It’s not uncommon for Four artists to create profound, melancholy works of art. In fact, you may purposefully stir up intense feelings so that you can be more creative. Emotional intensity isn’t something you shy away from.
As an INFJ, you are constantly looking forward. You want to envision what will happen and conceptualize new and wondrous things. With the Four type accentuating that, you can enjoy many hours creating lush, imaginary worlds in your mind. You have a strong need to find your own, individual vision, and direction in life. You’re not afraid to defy the norm in order to achieve something original. Once you have your vision and direction, almost nothing can stop you from achieving it except yourself. But before you go after that vision you feel that you truly need to know who you are. Self-knowledge is the source of all your endeavors. In order to do anything well, you need to know the mechanics of who you are and how you tick. Without that, you feel that your projects are all doomed to failure.
Unhealthy Fours Can Be: Self-destructive, depressed, self-loathing, self-sabotaging, wasteful, apathetic, fatigued, selfish, listless, and/or lost in fantasies.
Average Fours Can Be: Imaginative, self-conscious, melancholy, envious, introspective, aesthetically-motivated, self-absorbed, sensitive, empathic, visionary.
Healthy Fours Can Be: Creative, eloquent, insightful, imaginative, authentic, honest, forgiving, revealing, empathic, accepting, and grateful. They don’t feel a need to be different – they know that there is only one of them and that they are good enough as they are.
A Few Tips for Thriving as an INFJ Four:
- Remember that the ordinary moments of life can be just as beautiful as the intense ones. Practice finding beauty in the normal. If you get constantly focused on stirring up intensity, you can wind up burned out and depressed. Take a walk in nature and jot down all the insights and beautiful things that flood your mind. As you wash the dishes think about how happiness can produce creativity and how each human being since the dawn of time has had to do mundane things. Think of how to make the mundane meaningful.
- Realize the connections you have with others. Sometimes it’s easier to see all the ways you are different from others or all the ways you feel “less than.” You are not less than. You are a beautiful soul with amazing insights and creativity to offer the world. Start to notice the things that connect you to others. Notice the things you have in common. Look for shared values and goals. You may never find someone who totally understands you (people are too intricate and complex to be fully understood). But you might find someone who cares about you and wants to know the true you better.
- Remember that your identity is not based on how you feel. Emotions are temporary. Think of yourself as a strong, immovable fortress. The feelings and emotions you have are the clouds and mist – not the walls and stones that make up the fortress. You might be caught in a storm right now – but you are can survive this. You are not the lightning and the thunder. You can withstand them.
- Take care of yourself. It’s easy for you to succumb to unhealthy habits when you’re stressed or lonely. Try to eat properly, get enough sleep, exercise, and even seek counseling if needed. The healthier you are physically, the more inspired you’ll be.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any suggestions or insights to share? Let us know in the comments! Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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