Summer Lovin’: How to drama-proof your life, part 4

Lovin’ Type Four: Nothing Really Matters At All…

And now for something completely different: On this week’s summer tour we hear from the Enneagram 4 Individualist – that creative, romantic, authentic and insightful member of our team who is not afraid to look at the shadowy side of life …


No one does existential angst – and lives to tell about it in a way that moves us, inspires us, and tickles our funny bones – like you, my dear 4. You dive into the shadows, and when you emerge we benefit from your insights and your art. The ability to see and feel deeply is a gift, but can also be a curse: the root of the internal drama you may be struggling with.

4’s don’t just feel strong emotions, you often get stuck in them. As master storytellers, the tales you tell about loss, loneliness, and the one that got away can rival Shakespearean tragedies – and keep you searching for storm clouds even when the day is bright and sunny.

What if, instead, you could be an audience member to your own story rather than writer, actor, director? What if you could witness from a safer distance as you turn a comedy into a tragedy, or a romance into a horror?

Instead of keeping difficult emotions alive through internal storytelling, what if you could let the wave of that emotion move through you and vanish? All it takes is 90 seconds.

According to Harvard brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, it takes just a minute and a half to identify an emotion – which you’re very good at! – and ride it to dissipation. Internal storytelling has its place, and can reveal deep truths – but it can also keep the wave endlessly crashing, with you trapped against the rocks.

Just think what you could do with all that extra time to create and connect, energized and engaged!


Fours are interesting, unique individuals who will be so real and honest with us it can be disarming. They won’t let you get away with superficiality or subtle disregard. They can withdraw or go dark and moody, leaving us to wonder where they went and why they left.

Their existential angst can be quite dramatic – and draining.

To drama-proof your relationships with 4s, be authentic. If you are struggling, nobody can help you navigate the shadows like a 4. If you sense they are pulling away or growing quiet and moody, check in and see if there’s anything you can do to support them. Let them talk and process their emotions and don’t try to fix the situation – especially with platitudes. Don’t take their angst and moodiness personally; simply support them as they traverse the shadows, and help them celebrate the light that’s shining in them, and on them, right now.

Would you like to activate the superpowers on your team? Are you looking for more insights and tools on how to motivate, engage and lead your team? I’d love to chat with you!

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