Fours are motivated by a desire to be seen as authentic and unique. Being the last of the image types the Four takes the energy of the image triad (focused on validation, mirroring and image) and focuses this inward. The Four thus becomes strongly identified with their own self-awareness, and often identifies themselves as “deep”, “intuitive” and “insightful”. These adjectives all seek to reiterate the Fours belief that they must be special and authentic in order to be valuable and adequate. Self-searching thus becomes a tool the Four uses to bolster their self image, so rather than going out into the world (as the Three does) or toward others (as the Two does) the Four retreats into the self in order to see whether they match their own ideal of what they should be like.
However, the must have their self image mirrored by others in order to be truly happy, and since their image is tied to being unique and different the Four seeks to stand apart from the crowd. Unlike the Three who wants to be the perfect representation of their cultural standards, the Four wants to appear different or above from the standard, exceptionally unique.
Because of their identification with changing internal states the Four is often in a state of emotional upheaval. The more they seek to identify themselves through their changing emotional patterns the more they retreat into themselves in order to find some stable ground on which to base their identities. The behavioral strategies of the Four seek to meet this core motivation.
Fours utilize a variety of behavioral strategies in order to have their needs of being seen as helpful and benevolent met. As with all personality styles Four can range in awareness and health while enacting the behaviors of their core motivational strategy.
Fours are typically very reflective and tend to reflect on a variety of states from their internal feelings to the past or future. The propensity toward reflection serves the Fours need to know themselves deeply and understand things from an emotional/intuitive place. Reflection allows Fours to be sources of insight for others on the high side, but can devolve into rumination at the lower levels.
As the Four becomes less self-aware rumination serves as a way to relive painful emotions and keep emotional states at a fever pitch, because through emotionality the Four believes they are able to find the sense of identity they crave. However the Four becomes stuck in the story rather than the actual experience of the pain.
They become trapped in stories that serve to bolster their feelings of being outcasts and painfully flawed. However, the Four's stories may center on a more promising future, but whatever the case, the present moment is bypassed in favor of the Four's beliefs about what could be or could have been. It is not that Fours are so much deeper than other types, in fact, they aren’t, but it is the identification with the adjective of “deep” which characterizes the Four and bolsters their self conception.
Fours possess an internal sense of drama that reinforces their view of the world. They are inherently able to see the aesthetic sensibility in most things, so the Four wants to create beauty externally because it reinforces a desire to be beautiful internally. On the high side aestheticizing can provide others with the Fours keen and discerning eye for style and help others to see the beauty in life situations.
Dramatizing is the tendency to overestimate the importance of a situation and turn regular life events into a soap opera. Minor relationships turn into star-crossed love affairs and minor setbacks become indications of their eternal punishment. Without a sense of drama there is less emotional juice, and without that juice life seems boring, simple and empty. Drama prevents feelings of normalcy and reinforces their special identities. Dramatizing can also be used to differentiate their problems or issues from others.
Fours like to specialize in a particular arena as this helps them to carve out a niche in the world. Whether they specialize in a particular type of photography, teaching a certain strand of information or delving deeply into a particular spiritual topic there is typically something the Four specializes in as a way to distinguish themselves from the masses.
This specialization is often a gift to others who can use their specialized expertise and gives the Four a sense of self-esteem. On the low side specialization can devolve into feelings of exemption or entitlement, where because of their special talents or knowledge the four feels as though they do not need to follow the same rules and regulations the rest of society follows. This can lead to a haughtiness that allows them to devalue the ordinary world beneath them while bolstering their sense of specialness (which is really effeteness and affected sensitivity at this point).
Proclamations such as “I would never work in a corporate office, how awful to degrade myself like that!” seek to set them apart from the pack but also alienate them from connecting with others beyond their own judgments. However, behind their judgment often lies the envy associated with this type and the anger that others have the normalcy or happiness that they want.
In accordance with the tendency to be specialized there is also a propensity toward being highly selective. Having just the right scarf, stereo, piece of jewelry, or mate that is both unique and beautiful are a way to help bolster the Fours need for specialness. The exterior must match the interior in terms of specialty and thus being selective helps them to show that they are aesthetically, spiritually or intellectually discerning and makes them skilled at locating the special qualities in others.
Being selective can however devolve into snobbery where the Four begins to disdain that which they believe is beneath them, finding anything not meeting their aesthetic or intellectual standards to be “low brow”. Even low-brow things can become a source of snobbery because they must be a true and authentic version of low-brow.
If the Four loves 1950s dive restaurants they must find the purest and most authentic representation of those restaurants and all other things are imitations. The Fours snobbery is often off-putting to others who feel judged and devalued by the Fours attitude and will often create further alienation and rejection for the Four (results the Four wants to avoid).