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No Time for Beige

When I teach people about the Enneagram, there is usually one particular number that hates it the most. Admittedly, I’m stereotyping here, but most stereotypes have at least some grain of truth in them. This particular number has the strongest dislike for the Enneagram because they, more than any other number, do not want to be “labeled” because there is a deep burning, driving desire within them to be unique. We’re talking about the Enneagram 4.

If you’re a 4 on the Enneagram, you may have already stopped reading because the previous paragraph hit a little too close to home. If you’re still here, good for you. Stick with me. If you’re not a 4, chances are that you know someone who is, and so this post is important for you to keep reading.

Fours are beautiful creatures. Unlike any other number, 4s have an innate capacity for creativity and authenticity. The 4 may experience the world in terms of colors and saturation. The more vibrant the colors of their life experiences, the better. Fours have little-to-no desire for a world of grays, khakis, or beiges. Originality and intense reality is what life is truly about for the 4.

At their best, 4s breathe raw expression in a way that evokes a transformative response from themselves and from others. They express truth in creative new formats, new perspectives, and new mediums. They can be incisive, quickly cutting through the facade of the world around them and helping others see what really matters in life. A powerful poetic line, a masterful brushstroke, or a deeply resonate lyric is often used by 4s to bring others face to face with reality.

At their worst, 4s can be insensitive, insisting that all masks and pretense be dropped immediately, even though many people don’t know how to live in a raw, and often violent world. Fours may judge themselves either as too special for the rest of the world or as too normal, and thus not worthy of love or acceptance.

For 4s, the deep need is to be unique, and much of life may be spent in pursuit of that end. But often, the path to a life of true, deep, resonant meaning is shorter than they realize. Ultimately, Fours must come to faith in the paradox that each individual person’s uniqueness does not sully their own very real and unique gift to the world.

Fours can take comfort in the fact that the human experience of “not being understood” is both an extremely common yet extremely real and unifying experience. And it’s in that depth of reality that Fours can offer the world a deeply personal and special response.


We believe that the best way to get to know ourselves and each other is to come together around a table. Good conversation, face to face, with people you know and trust can lead to incredible discovery and transformation. We also believe that the Enneagram is a great tool to catalyze that conversation.

To learn more about the Enneagram or to schedule an Enneagram Training, follow us on social media or check out our website,


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