Have you ever met a Type 4 that couldn’t construct an entire mountain range out of a pebble in the road? Me either. For 4s, there’s always a deeper level of meaning, if not actually a hidden meaning, to almost everything that is said or done or observed. Without it, life would be, well, boring. And boredom is the fate worse than death for 4s. Better to be abjectly miserable than be bored.
4s have extremely active imaginations, which is one of the reasons they tend to be very creative. But one of the ways they misuse their imagination is to interpret an event (especially one involving other people), draw a conclusion, and then act as if the imagined scenario is uncontested fact. They usually accomplish this without going to the trouble of checking in with the other parties involved as to their intentions. This can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings, ruptured relationships, hurt feelings, etc., keeping the emotional pot whipped into a frenzied froth. So drama abounds in the lives of 4s, whether real or manufactured, and they of course are at the center of the drama.
One of the driving forces in the compulsion of 4s is their need to believe they are unique and special. They are exempt from the rules; they deserve special treatment; they can’t be expected to behave like everyone else. Yet they crave acknowledgement and intimacy and fear rejection (which they are quick to identify even when it isn’t there). Trying to maintain a position as both an outsider and an intimate sounds exhausting. One of the personal prices 4s pay for being in the grip of their compulsion is depression.
Come as You Are
What happens when 4s recognize that, although they are indeed special in some ways, there are other ways in which they are just like everyone else? One thing they discover is that they don’t have to put so much energy into creating a unique image so instead they can put that energy to more truly creative uses. They may also find out that they can relate to people more easily, that much of the rejection they “experience” is in the eye of the beholder, and that intimacy and drama are not synonymous.
When 4s embrace their Inner Everyman, they can stop trying so hard to project and protect their image. They can come as they are to the party the common folk are throwing. They will always be recognized and appreciated for the unique qualities they contribute, but they won’t have to hang out on the sidelines forever, sitting out all the dances.