Fours never accept anything at face value and constantly search for meaning, depth and authenticity. They are sensitive at an emotional and an aesthetic level, and express themselves in individualistic ways. Their sensitivity means they are attuned to their environment, specifically to darker emotions.
At lower levels of integration, Fours seem emotionally tormented, self-indulgent and angry at themselves and depressed, with an over-emphasis on what is lacking in their lives. They feel that everyone has let them down, and may extract themselves from groups and society.
At higher levels, Fours are in touch with their inner voice but able to put a healthy distance between their identity and their emotions.
For Enneagram Type 4 wing 3, the influence of the Three balances the internal drama of the Four with a need to be effective in the outside world. This combination enables individuals to practically implement their creative fantasies and express themselves in ways that engage others. Networking draws on the Three to broaden their interpersonal world and experiences, while the desire to look good and impress others helps the Four to be real and resist dramatizing.
However, there are also challenges that come with this wing combination. The Three may bring form without substance, leading to a flamboyant and dramatic act that is not genuine in self-expression. Individuals may perform instead of engaging and producing to escape their inner turmoil, or they may attempt to fix the world instead of themselves. Adding the pressures of success to a deep melancholy can result in individuals becoming agitated depressives.
The wings offer a way to understand the subtleties of your core type, and connecting to them can help you expand your perspective and increase your emotional and behavioural repertoire. By leaning into the Type 3 wing, individuals can develop their ability to be effective in the outside world while maintaining their authentic self-expression. Similarly, leaning into the Type 5 wing can help individuals develop their introspection and ability to detach from their emotions when necessary.
Remember, the wings are not a second type of ice-cream that you add, just the flavour of the adjacent types. We all have access to both of our wings, and each has a different set of resources and characteristics that we find helpful at times. By exploring both of your wings, you can better understand yourself and develop the skills you need to thrive.