Advice to Enneagram type 4s

09b89588609698697b03d11163eec4e1.jpg“The Enneagram refers to the nine different types or styles, with each representing a worldview and archetype that resonates with the way people think, feel and act in relation to the world, others and themselves.” – integrative9.com

After hearing a lot about this ‘personality test’ last year, I finally decided to give it a go without expecting much, I just wanted to find out what number I was on this seemingly popular scale. (I am a 4) I wasn’t ready for how precisely it would pin down my biggest fear, my drive, behavioral patterns and my relationship with friends. It felt like someone had studied my behavior and beliefs for the entire course of my life and then summarized it. So if anyone of you reading is interested in learning about your driving motivations and basic belief, you can take the test here (https://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php) . Personally, I use the enneagram as a tool to understand myself better, improve on my shortcomings and understand what certain feelings/emotions actually mean.

After reading every possible article, watching every video, listening to podcasts on type 4s, I still found a lack of helpful advice or tips that might ease the harshness of everyday realities for 4s, so I decided to start a list of things I’ve learnt about being a type 4, especially after being in the most tumultuous period of life so far with a hope that it will help other 4s out there in navigating this crazy, messy world. I’ll keep updating this post as I learn more about myself and grow into a more tranquil and cohesive 4.

  1. Don’t overwhelm yourself: Being idealistic and driven, you can take up too much at once, give it your best shot and then start burning out. I have done this countless number of time by taking up 4-5 huge goals at once instead of starting out steadily and then building up. It seems strange to not take up everything you want to be good at so you plan extensively and then find yourself exhausted 4 days down the road. Take up 2 long term goals (both should NOT take a lot of willpower, they should differ in their intensity) and a very-short term one (think reading a book, decluttering, making notes) at a time so that while you are building productive momentum by ticking off the very-short term goals, riding the wave of optimism with the low will-power goal, you are fulfilling a long term one without feeling entirely spent. 12 months, 8-12 long term goals and you are so much closer to who you want to be.
  2. Patience:  Continuing on from 1, it is easy to get tired with seemingly ‘low rate’ of growth but know that no one gets to their best self in a week. What we want to build is not a stamina for a summer hobby but the ‘grit’ for an entire lifetime and that takes more failures than successes and the patience to be a beginner over and over again. It is hella scary but worth it in the end.
  3. On taking everything personally: This has probably wasted SO much of your time and tears. I still struggle with being extremely sensitive but what has helped me get a bit better with it is accepting that what a person says about me/to me has more to do with what kind of person they are rather than who I am. This seems like cringy, old-school advice but it works.
  4. Melancholy: The most important thing I learnt about the intense melancholic moods 4s experience comes from a podcast (can’t remember the name, will link if i find it). The speaker was a 4 too and she said,” Know that you are feeding the melancholy; at any moment you can choose to snap out of it and do something that’ll make you feel better.” What struck me was how it clarified that I had a choice in the matter because when I am down in the dumps, I feel so stuck that I start believing that the only thing I can do is stay there and wallow in self-hate and be morose.
  5. Emotional Turbulence: What can help you be more tranquil is ensuring your basic needs at ALL TIMES; keep hydrated, eat at regular intervals, get 40 minutes of exercise, manage stress by taking breaks, because often feelings can seem to be totally separate from the body but really, well-balanced health regulates your emotions and help you lead a wholesome, well-rounded life.
  6. Identity: As a creative 4, it is important for my mental health to keep writing poetry, reading books or consuming art to feel like myself. If I take long breaks from doing those things, I feel less confident in my ‘identity’ than I already am. Find what are those things that ground you and help you feel more yourself  and do them regularly.
  7. Perfectionism: Being idealistic can also lead to 4s giving up on doing any basic or small task because it isn’t ‘significant’ enough or ‘perfect’ enough but almost always, I’ve found that doing these small tasks is extremely important to get closer to a balanced state. So try to overcome the crippling need to be ideal at all times and try to jazz up the small things by listening to a podcast or TED talk to take your mind off of them. Similarly, take care of the small things about yourself even if they seem insignificant.I have also found resistance to keep creating art because it didn’t feel good enough but I try to keep in mind that a great artist always chooses volume over perfection and to reach a certain level of greatness at my craft, I must keep at it.
  8. Nostalgia: I still struggle with letting the past go but have certainly come a long way from when the past was all I could think of. I made a realistic list of things to look forward to, I planned stuff with friends and family, occupied myself with new goals and books, changed my style and surroundings to not fall into the dark pit of nostalgia. Another thing that worked for me was allowing myself to think of a moment gone by but actively helping myself realize that there was nothing to gain from the past.
  9. Support: Even if you maintain a steady emotional and mental health, it is best to have a close friend to confide in when you feel dreadful and incompetent. Trust someone who has similar thinking patterns as you or is very empathetic and a good listener and let them help you untangle the threads of confusing emotions.
  10. Confidence: This comes last as it is something I am still working towards improving. 4s think of themselves as fundamentally lacking. I used to struggle with immense self-hate but I got over it by continuously reminding myself all that I liked about myself till I started liking what I despised in me. Continuous positive self-talk can create wonders yet, I have a long way to go in this regard.

Disclaimer: This is written from a personal experience POV and may or may not work for every type 4. The trick is to take what works for you, leave what doesn’t and try to come up with other mechanisms that might help you be a tranquil, joyful 4.

~ Saadia

pic sources: pinterest

 

 

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Rent Party Jazz by William Miller – Book Review, Themes and Rating.

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Rent Party Jazz is a short book about a young boy Sonny Comeaux and his mother living in New Orleans in poverty and how an empathetic stranger helps them pay rent and stay in their lodgings.

Review: This book represents the conditions of African-Americans in the 1920s and onwards realistically. The elements of optimism, empathy and love within the community made this a heart-warming read. This book, within a few pages, shows how art can bring people together and help us be more hopeful in times of hardship and impending disaster. The illustrations by Charlotte Riley Web are a perfect fit to the story line.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Themes: 

  1.  African-American representation
  2. Poverty
  3. Responsibility
  4. Hope
  5. Community
  6. Empathy
  7. Art (Music)

Grab yourself a copy here:

https://amzn.to/2HoucRj

Or you can listen to it on YouTube:

~ Saadia

Today’s Media

20190420_164830.jpgMalcolm X said, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Research shows that people tend to ignore information that goes against their beliefs.
This is the reason for mass misinformation which ruins people’s lives.
Stay alert, don’t accept everything you see, think it through in your head because less than 29% of mainstream media news is accurate. This has led to most people getting their fix of news from social media platforms like Twitter.

Many 24/7 news channels are funded by Political Parties and facts are twisted to misinform, create fear to validate crime against minorities and the marginalised.

The media has become a propaganda machine even worse than it was in the early years of the 21st century.

Verify the facts before sharing news, steer clear of mass media that show one sided stories (CNN & BBC) and never let news inspire such fear in you that crime against certain communities seems justified.

Peace

– Saadia

 

Hate Speech and Intolerance

20190331_120214.jpgLiving in a world where inclusion is withering by the day and hate crimes and intolerance have become the norm, it is important for us to remind ourselves of the importance and power of empathy and kindness.

While it may seem like tyrannical forces can crush empathy easily, the truth is that only the things planted in empathy survive at the end.

Your words can change the course of a person’s life, for the better or for worse. If you look without prejudice, you’ll only find yourself in everyone.

Weigh your words before you say them.

Ask yourself

“Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?”*

-Saadia

* source: hadith

Art in the background by Jenna Bowlercooke

Color me Grey

 

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The grey had found a home in the white, it consumed ruthlessly until it was dark and dull, like the sky had turned ashy. But it was beautiful, it was the color of death yet it felt like the beginning of all we never had, it was grey fog on our work of art but it was breathtaking.

Bronze, auburn and heather have their share of beauty but mauve is a breath of fresh air. The air tasted sharp the day grey took over, like droplets of water, the color of sea foam were dispensed somewhere inside. The air looked like the color of broken bones but it was stunning, like ivory had met stone.

Raven and ink have their share of hiding our scars but slate is the color of invincibility. The ground was soft the day grey took over, like its burden was already gone, like broken promises and unmet dreams had sailed away like dandelion seeds. The ground still looked shaken but it was bracing, like obsidian had met tangerine.

~ Saadia

At Night

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Go on and try,

Try to fit me,

into the mould,

Break my bones,

and twist my body-

Shake me up,

and turn me around,

to something else,

I’ll still be me-

dear world,

For my heart was made,

from  the tears-

strength shed,

when it was alone,

at night.

~Saadia

Check this out : Motivational Quotes: A Gallery

Thank you :* ❤

Be Brave

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A hollow plunges you into a dimension where existence hurts. If I tell you that I understand what you’re going through, I mean that I have been in that place, fighting for a way to live, battling the problems made out of me , being both the sculptor and the statue. I do not mean that I fathom what you feel because pain is unique- it hits you at your weakest, knowing where to strike.

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But perhaps the best thing sometimes is to face life head on – to tear away the cocoon that safeguards you because temporary solutions won’t work for this permanent problem. Brace yourself, look in the direction of a brighter tomorrow because you can never have something until you ask. I know that all salvation is temporary but trying to live the best moments to the fullest is what matters because who knows what lies ahead?

Have fun. Good luck. Be Brave. You’ve got this and I know that you can because you are made of the cosmos. Look for the best because there is a long way to go. As Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal has said:

  ” abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain,

                     sitarun ke agee jahan aur bhi hain”

                   Translation: There are more tests of love yet to go through, there are more worlds beyond the stars yet to be found. 

And …

” Kabhee kise ko muqamal jahan nhi milta,

kabee zameen , kabee aasman nhi milta.”

Translation: No one has even resided in a perfect world, sometimes you don’t possess the world , sometimes the sky.

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~Saadia

 

Power to Change Lives

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That moment was so brief….., it seemed to be, but a dream……. I came to know the power……..that each word and gesture possessed…………the power to change lives…….which maybe, just maybe ……………makes our life worth living.

Life is hard and beyond anyone’s control……….but that is what The Almighty made us for………….to touch each others lives……………with the compassion we have inside us………………by forgiving and forgetting………………even when it is hard………..because maybe someone, somewhere……….is happy…………..just because you exist.

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You, yes you………….have the immense power…………the empathy to make a change……………to lift a life……..YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE LIVES………..Many may choose to ignore it,……………..but remember , no happiness is greater,………….than the happiness of making others happy 🙂

~Saadia

Maybe this will make you smile :)
  Maybe this will make you smile 🙂