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  1. #1
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Default Enneagram 4's and self-image

    Are Enneagram 4's especially protective of their self-image? Do they dislike it when someone points out something about themselves that's not in line with their self-image? It's probably true with everyone, to some extent, but is the degree to which they do this pronounced in them? Are they bothered by some of these observation because they are true, or are because they are false?

    I am aware that the truth can be used as the weapon, and there are occasions where I do this. There also may be occasions where that is either not my intention, or I'm not fully conscious of what I'm doing.
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  2. #2
    brainheart
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    Well, think about the words self and image and you'll probably get your answer.

    Nothing is more important to a four than having an intimate knowledge of the self. Ideally, that self is what a four would like to be known for, but fours also withdraw to protect their feelings so the 'real you' is often hidden. So with that comes a lot of frustration. You want to be known for who you really are but you're scared of showing what you perceive as the real you. And with this comes the four image. Fours can appear deep and mysterious because much is hidden. Enigmatic, too, because something will be shown and then retracted, so then who knows what is what. Often fours like to share the 'real them' in indirect ways, like through art. That way they think they can have it both ways. Stay withdrawn to protect their feelings, but express who they really are at the same time.

    I can't speak for all fours, but I know I like it when I am referred to as deep, mysterious, enigmatic, complex, creative, authentic. So if someone says I'm something that counteracts that, it can be troubling. Say someone were to refer to me as "The Girl Next Door" or "A Nice Person," and not mention anything about my complexity, etc, it can freak me out. What are people seeing, I'll wonder. Obviously I'm not doing a good job of presenting the 'real me' correctly. In other words, I don't think they are right and that I'm wrong so much as I'm not doing my job in presenting myself in the right way. It's entirely possible that I do possess these qualities that they mention, but they do feel threatening to my ego, I guess.

    A healthy four would not give a crap about any of this. They would just do what feels natural and not worry about presenting the 'authentic' image, they would just be authentic. As a four, this image-consciousness is incredibly difficult to shake. The irony, of course, is that the art I create that I feel is most true, that I am most proud of, is when I lose the self image consciousness and just do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sanjuro's Avatar
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    I actually get more annoyed when people make observations about me, even if they're entirely neutral, or even positive. "You're very serious", "You're really quiet", or even "You're very patient" can annoy me irrationally. To me, it's like, That's not what you're supposed to see when you look at me! particularly if that's gotten me criticized in the past. THERE IS MORE TO ME THAN THIS.

    Some guy at work was like, "You seem thinner than the last time we met" and that annoyed me, too. Not so much that my feelings were hurt (lol, I'm not that sensitive), but it's more like, Why are you looking? And how the hell am I supposed to respond to something like that? Total conversation killer. I will not take the bait.

    On the other hand, I don't want to walk around blind. I appreciate if someone lets me know something about me (most people don't have the guts to do this) especially when it lets me know what I'm doing "wrong". I just don't have much patience with inane observations that people bring up and don't have anything to do with my real qualities, or are totally irrelevant to the situation.

  4. #4
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    I dont mind getting feedback on what Im like, since I have no idea what Im like. Me and my best friend criticize and compliment each other all the time, I consider him rather lucid in these matters, I love getting feedback, so long as the person knows me. However if someone assumes something(I think is) wrong about me, I wont hesitate to explain my POV.

  5. #5
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjuro View Post
    I actually get more annoyed when people make observations about me, even if they're entirely neutral, or even positive. "You're very serious", "You're really quiet", or even "You're very patient" can annoy me irrationally. To me, it's like, That's not what you're supposed to see when you look at me! particularly if that's gotten me criticized in the past. THERE IS MORE TO ME THAN THIS.

    Some guy at work was like, "You seem thinner than the last time we met" and that annoyed me, too. Not so much that my feelings were hurt (lol, I'm not that sensitive), but it's more like, Why are you looking? And how the hell am I supposed to respond to something like that? Total conversation killer. I will not take the bait.

    On the other hand, I don't want to walk around blind. I appreciate if someone lets me know something about me (most people don't have the guts to do this) especially when it lets me know what I'm doing "wrong". I just don't have much patience with inane observations that people bring up and don't have anything to do with my real qualities, or are totally irrelevant to the situation.
    But you're so tall!

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