Over the past couple weeks we have explored the different personality types based on the Enneagram model and how each personality type plays a role in the way you grieve. Today we will talk about number 4 on the Enneagram. Type 4 is one of the most rare of Enneagram types and those that identify as 4’s take full honor in being so.
Here are just a few characteristics of type 4.
- Creative, unique
- Do not like to follow trends, they often create them.
- Desire to be admired
Type four is one of my favorite to talk about when it comes to how they grieve. Type 4’s are not afraid of their feelings and emotions. Quite frankly, their own feelings are one of their favorite things to read or think about. Having a feelings journal is a natural form of processing for this group and if you are a 4 and do not journal it is a great tool in organizing all the thoughts and ideas and feelings that float around in your head.
How a Healthy Type Four Grieves
A type four on the Enneagram has a wide range of emotions. Their highs are very high and their lows very low. This is one area that will surely be displayed as they grieve. A type 4 can laugh and be filled with joy in remembrance of a loved one who has passed away and be torn apart and brought to tears in their grief all in the same conversation. Times of grief can also be a very creative time for a 4. They pull from the pain and are inspired to create things, poetry, art or deep self introspection. They are not afraid of sad songs, sad movies or stories. This is helpful in the grieving process because they do not run away from feelings but feel them deeply.
How an Unhealthy Type Four Grieves
As anything that can be a great strength it can also become a weakness if you let it. As four’s go through the grief process it may be harder for them to compartmentalize the ups and downs. They feel it all and when it hits them, it’s hard to ignore the feeling. They want to express it, to process it and to understand and find meaning in it. This is a great quality but can get in the way of being productive in other areas of life. For example, some personalities can still go to work and keep their feelings under wraps until they have a more appropriate outlet. Type four’s may find themselves caught up in the moment and need to express their grief as it comes to them.
An important part of a healthy grieving process is self care. Below are a few ways that are most impactful for a type four.
Self-Care for Type Four’s
- Finding a sacred space
- Communing with nature
- Making time and space for creativity
- Taking hot baths or hot yoga
- Lament (a passionate expression of grief or sorrow)
Knowing the important characteristics about your personality and how you grieve as well as ways to practice self-care during said grief gives you a toolbox full of ways to stay healthy as you pass through the traumas and trials of life.
Make sure to read our other articles on the Enneagram and Grieving: