Sometimes when I tell people I’m an Enneagram Four who has a lot of emotions, I can see them silently doubting me. And it’s true, in daily life (especially work life) I’m fairly even-keeled and logical. But one day I was listening to the Prince of Egypt episode of the Good Christian Fun podcast, and I burst into tears when they played a ten-second clip of the song “Deliver Us.”
Everything became clear: I express my emotions through fiction.
It is in books and movies and television shows that I feel comfortable feeling the anger, longing, and joy that lives inside me. This is probably why the only time I made progress in therapy was when my therapist finally asked me, “If you had to choose one book to symbolize your life, which would it be?” and I immediately said, “WELL.”
This is also why I can be embarrassingly possessive of my favorite stories. Here is an actual text conversation with my brother from a couple days ago illustrating how well he knows my neurotic mind:
I infamously got pissed at my mom when we were watching the season 3 finale of LOST and I realized she hadn’t been keeping up with the show while I was at college. “I just want to enjoy the thing you enjoy with you!” she said (as an Enneagram Two). I made her leave, because I didn’t want someone who wasn’t emotionally invested ruining my experience. When I recently told a friend about this, she said, “You’re awful,” and while I see that, I…would do the same thing again.
I see now that as an Enneagram Four, I very often conflate my emotions with my identity. I’m therefore very protective of them. I will not show someone The Fall (my favorite movie of all time) unless I am sure they will like it, because my heart cannot handle someone looking at my soul for two hours and then saying, “Eh.”
Now that I think about it a little more, I think that emotionalism is definitely present in me all the time. But I don’t trust many people to accept, let alone enjoy, the intensity of my feelings, so I keep them inside. It’s in stories, which are spaces inherently designed for emotion, that I feel safe enough to let everything out. So if someone doesn’t know the nerd side of me, they will probably be surprised to hear that I’m an Enneagram Four.