Enneagram and Politics: Authenticity and Sensitivity, are Type 4s the politicians we need?

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Enneagram and Politics: Authenticity and Sensitivity, are Type 4s the politicians we need?

It’s happening! The anticipated General Elections is just a day away. I hope by this time you have made up your mind on which party to vote for.

Previously, we’ve covered Types’ 8, 5, 6, 1, 9 and 3 – on how these types can be an excellent political leader. Today, we’ll be discussing how a Type 4 can potentially be the kind of leader that we needed in today’s modern society.


Understanding Type 4’s Essence

At their core, Type 4s value authenticity – they want to be seen as raw, true to themselves, and exactly who they are. They have the curiosity to experiment with different ideologies, philosophies, and modalities. They desire to create things rather than consume them.

A Type 4 worldview is: “My work us authentic – with depth, insight, and style, yet… if only things were different.” They tend to focus on what’s missing, which is a double edge sword- it allows them to pursue growth within themselves, but at the same time, there’s a sense of dissatisfaction.

With a high-mastery, Type 4s are socially aware, responsible, and emotionally resilient. They are able to transform painful experiences into opportunities to create growth and healing.


Type 4 Strengths:

  • Ability to connect deeply with their own emotions. Type 4s does not shy away from painful emotions. They are able to endure suffering with quiet strength. Being in touch with their own darker nature makes it easier for them to process painful experiences that might overwhelm other types. This ability helps them connect and empathise with people who are struggling and dealing with difficult situation. Type 4s will be able to feel for and be the voice of the people that has been neglected by our society (e.g. homeless, elderly, people living in the poverty line).
  • Sensitivity to and understanding of others’ feelings. Empathic by nature, 4s are the kind of people who are genuinely curious about others. 4s value vulnerability and honesty. You can be at the lowest and darkest point in your life, and you’ll be sure that a Type 4 would be there to support you.
  • Imaginative and creative deep-thinking. Type 4s seek meaning and desire to create beauty. As leaders, they’re able to give people meaning and purpose so that they are inspired to do excellent work. They have the power to transform the dull and ordinary into exciting and extraordinary.
  • Authentic Individualist. Type 4s remind us that every individual is uniquely their own, and that emotional depth is valuable. Authenticity creates trust and deep connections. In today’s world where dogmatism is still prevalent, 4s encourage us to live our lives that is true to ourselves and not what others expected of us.


Type 4 Weaknesses:

  • Withdrawing in times of difficulty. As part of the Withdrawn Stance triad, Type 4s tend to withdraw when they’re experiencing heightened stress and overwhelming emotions. Because of this, it may take them a while to come up with solutions or address the problems when processing emotions take precedence over resolution.
  • Fixating on what they don’t have. Type 4s have the tendency to fixate on what is missing, instead of what they have. For lower-mastery 4s, they can struggle with so much envy so they push themselves too hard. In some other cases, this can lead them to fall into moodiness and despair.
  • Too much of “I, me, mine”. Type 4s have the tendency to direct conversations back to themselves, over share their stories (when people are no longer keen) and become overly self-focused and self-absorbed. They might engage in “emotional dumping” when they let all their emotions and over express, and this can be overwhelming for others. Sometimes they may even think that things go wrong solely because of them and they spiral into a self-pity mode.
  • Reacting strongly and emotionally to hardship. Type 4s often indulge in their feelings and can be reactive, especially when dealing with a difficult situation. When this happens, others may be thrown off by their intensity, and 4s may also say something extreme, which they don’t mean, that can potentially hurt others.


What are the gifts a Type 4 politician brings to the table?

In today’s society, where most people are concerned about status and wealth and are shying away from discussing difficult issues – Type 4s are never afraid to go deep with what matters.  Aside from economic problems and environmental issues, I think we can all agree that we also need to prioritise mental and emotional health.

A Type 4 leader would not be afraid to discuss anything that is considered taboo and find creative solutions to issues.


Examples of Type 4 Visionaries

Of course, these visionaries have never done our Enneagram Tests. Still, they’re believed to be Type 4s by many Enneagram teachers based on their beliefs, values, traits, and actions through historical and interview records.

From left to right: Edgar Allan Poe, Johnny Depp, Prince Charles

Many famous 4s are known as artists but you can’t deny that they have a certain influence on people through their creative pursuits. Maybe it’s time for us to seek out unconventional ways in resolving today’s world issues.

Have a good (voting) holiday tomorrow!!



Curious about your Enneagram type? Here’s a quick overview of the 9 Types. I know reading through these descriptions can be confusing. So save yourself from second-guessing and figure out your type with the help of our online test.


Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
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