Enneagram Type 4: The Originalist

Let's dive deeper into Type 4 on the Enneagram, the Originalist!

Taylor Nash avatar
Written by Taylor Nash
Updated over a week ago

When you discuss Enneagram types at work, you open up the possibility for empathy, compassion, and understanding. A team that works well together performs better, improves communication, and enjoys more purpose-filled work.

Type 4: The Originalist

Motivated by the need to avoid the ordinary, to search for deeper meaning, to experience authentic feelings and to be understood. Empathetic in relationships, supportive, gentle, playful, passionate, and witty. Is self-revealing and bonds easily. Puts innate talents to work to awaken a sense of beauty and harmony to surroundings. Has the gift of helping others to develop an eye for the beautiful and the world of dreams and symbols. Strives to find novel and unexpected solutions to problems that others might overlook.

Fours are creative, unconventional individuals. They are motivated to express their individuality and demonstrate fear when perceived as ordinary. They value authenticity and stand by their beliefs.

Fours can also be empathetic in relationships, supportive, gentle, playful, passionate, and witty. They are self-revealing and can form bonds quickly with others.

Type Fours have an innate talent for identifying and expressing a sense of harmony within their surroundings. They have a gift for helping others to see beauty in their work and are great teammates to help identify unexpected solutions to problems that others may overlook.


  • 3: The Achiever: The Three wing creates an increased level of energy, extroversion, and productivity that is often used to turn ideas into reality. A heightened sense of self-awareness and image consciousness helps reign in emotional intensity and overly-eccentric tendencies. On the downside, it can foster a roller-coaster of emotions with high highs, and low lows.

  • 5: The Sage: The Five wing fosters a need for solitude, introversion, and intellectual retreat which creates a freedom to create, innovate, and be wholly unique without having to contend with the opinions of others. On the downside, too much time in isolation can easily lead to feelings of depression.


  • 1: The Reformer: Becomes more self-disciplined and focused on solving the practical problems of today by moving toward the positive qualities of Ones. Develop a centeredness and a calm that makes it possible to experience feelings without being completely controlled by them. When Fours feel secure, they act on their ideals, practice organization, and use self-control.


  • 2: The Helper: Can begin to exude an overinflated sense of self-importance by moving toward the negative qualities of Twos. Attention-seeking behavior and manipulation combine in order to seize credit for past accomplishments, while simultaneously complaining about feeling unappreciated. When experiencing stress, Fours can become overly dependent upon others and seek assurance.

Communication Style

Intense, authentic, creative, and empathetic. Fours have a strong desire to be understood and want to know how those around them feel. Enneagram Fours value relationships and connections with other people. They seek to experience authentic feelings and to be understood. This type avoids the ordinary and searches for deeper meaning in their work.

Your work habits and communication strategies depend primarily on fear and internal motivations. When you identify these in yourself and others, you will have better self-awareness and a heightened appreciation for teamwork.

For more help with Cloverleaf, check out these articles:
​What is the Enneagram?
​My Assessments
​Heart Triad: Types 2, 3, and 4

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