Enneagram Pairing Type 4 & 6
4 - The Romantic Individualist
Individualist, Tragic-Romantic, Connoisseur, Humanitarian, Aesthetic Person, One-of-a-kind, Dramatic King or Queen
6 - The Loyal Guardian
Loyal Skeptic, Trooper, Trouble Shooter, Defender, Guardian, Questioner, Devil's Advocate
Fours are Heart types. They exhibit strong emotions and tend to be very artistic and expressive. They often feel misunderstood by the world and are prone to melancholy.
Sixes are Head types. They are logical and skeptical. They are also warm and open with those they trust, and once they’ve accepted you, they will be loyal for life.
Both Fours and Sixes value creativity and loyalty. They also both tend to have strong reactions to things. They appreciate the warmth, emotional vulnerability, and maintaining strong social connections.
They also both share a love of family and well-designed aesthetics. They are both unique in their way and abhor being penned in by others’ standards, expectations, or definitions.
How You Complement Each Other
Fours and Sixes share a common bond in their emotionality; namely, they are both highly emotional. Both of these types also typically feel insecure around people, primarily people they don’t know, and they act on their anxiety in occasionally extreme ways. These two are also both deeply connected to their inner knowing and tend to work on their intuition without question.
Indeed, these two are look alike types, and Sixes often misidentify themselves as Fours because of the similarities in their emotional processing. The commonalities between these two can lead to intense feelings of connection, bonding, and attachment, with both the Four and the Six feeling emotional, spiritually, and creatively understood by their counterpart.
Additionally, Fours give Sixes the sense they are needed and provide an outlet for the Sixes’ need to care-take as a way to deal with their anxiety. This instills a sense of confidence in the otherwise doubtful Six. Generally, Fours tend toward whimsical while Sixes tend toward practical, an opposition that can facilitate balance and expansion between these two.
Sixes maintain the pragmatic ground for the all-over-the-place Fours, while Fours inspire more profound emotional expression, daring, and creativity in the Six. With Sixes steadiness, Fours can develop their gifts more consistently; with Fours penchant for depth, Sixes can self-examine and work through some of the emotional blockages holding them back.
To the relationship, Sixes bring warmth, loyalty, and a keen intellectual curiosity, while Fours offer depth, genuine feelings, authenticity, and artistic flare. There is a high degree of empathy and tolerance between these two, mainly because both types tend to have a history of feeling abandoned, misunderstood, or rejected. That they can share these feelings brings them closer. In each other, they think they have found someone they can trust.
How You Can Get Into Trouble
Anxiety runs high in both Fours and Sixes. It is especially easy for them to get into negative-thinking spirals when together, and both tend to catastrophize. Both Fours and Sixes also tend toward pessimism and judgmental thinking, which can lead to a feeling of alienation and mistrust.
In Four’s effort to show the world how special and unique they are, they tend to bend the rules, especially if they do not respect the authority from whence the rules came. This can cause Sixes to feel wary and skeptical. Conversely, the Six mentality of staying loyal and sticking to what works can feel too constricting and small-minded to the Four. Along the same vein, these two will also get into trouble because of the differences in the way they tolerate change.
Generally, Fours are eager to explore themselves, and almost always in the process of transformation, healing, and self-examination. Sixes, on the other hand, appreciate steadiness and often feel resistant to change and personal exploration. Fours can start to feel as if they are being held back by the Six while Six can feel like the Four is too much of a wildcard, what with all the changing going on.
As a protective measure, both the Four and the Six tend to withdraw from relationships when there is a high potential they will be hurt. This means, as the connection between these two deepens, there will be more and more subtle ways in which both parties attempt to sabotage the closeness. After all, it is easier to let a relationship slowly fizzle out due to a lack of contact than it is to develop a deep bond and risk being abandoned.
At least, that’s how a Four or a Six would think. In this way, both Fours and Sixes enact a self-fulfilling prophecy: they fear being abandoned, and so they sabotage and withdraw from their relationships, thus producing feelings of abandonment. On the other side of the coin, both Fours and Sixes are prone to codependency, and especially with one another, due to how easy it is for them to become emotionally bonded. They can come to rely on one another in unhealthy ways, and because of their tendency toward extremes when it comes to emotions, this codependency can have dramatic, if not painful, results.
What Each Type Needs To Be Aware Of
High on the list of things to always be aware of between these two is their shared tendency toward worst-case scenario thinking. Fours’ attention goes to what’s missing, while Sixes’ is drawn to what’s going wrong—together, minor inconveniences escalate into high-intensity disasters quickly, even if only in their minds. Reminders to shift their thinking to what’s working, what they feel proud of, what has gone right, and what they feel grateful for will be invaluable for these two.
Sixes need to keep in mind the Four’s tendency to intense emotionality and processing. To a Six, the number of time Fours spend engaged in emotionally laden conversation may seem unproductive and maybe even suspicious or untrustworthy, but for healthy Fours, emotional processing is one of the ways they stay connected in their relationships, and feeling connected in their relationships is one of their pathways to greater health.
Conversely, Fours need to recognize how important it is for a Six that those around them show up consistently, stay on task, and feel steady. Without these aspects in place, Sixes find it hard to trust. Also, keep in mind that Sixes will retreat, surprisingly quickly if not violently, when they feel their trust has been broken.
A typical complain from a Four about a Six is that they are too rigid and unromantic, while the Six complains the Four is not dependable or emotionally stable enough to build trust. Finally, keep in mind that both of these types tend to hold on to slights from the past as evidence that they were right all along, that people truly can’t be trusted, and everyone is out to get them. Watch out for this tendency in yourself and each other, and whenever possible, provide reassurance and support to one another so as not to trigger the pessimism and paranoia.
How You Can Support One Another
In a professional context, Sixes can support Fours by ensuring they can express themselves creatively and add their unique flavor to the work they do. Sixes would also do well to make sure Fours get plenty of attention for their efforts. Fours should make an effort to be in clear, consistent communication with Sixes, and ask them frequently for their feedback.
As already stated, there is an excellent potential for emotional closeness and empathic understanding between these two. If a bond forms and healthy attachment is maintained, in one another these two will find a profoundly supportive, accepting, and healing friendship. In this, Fours can best support Sixes by occasionally stirring them out of their comfort zone and encouraging more creativity, wildness, or emotional honesty, while Sixes will be most supportive to Fours by providing a stabilizing, grounding presence in their lives.
In A Romantic Context
This is a strong romantic pairing with a high potential for deep emotional resonance, closeness, and commitment. As both of these types tend to struggle with feelings of abandonment and often have a history of insecure attachment and emotional turmoil—indeed, both Fours and Sixes may feel at times like “orphans in the storm”—in one another there can be a great feeling of reassurance and connection. The empathy they feel for one another coupled with their shared interest in far-reaching subjects, expressions, and schools of thought prompts a genuine affection and closeness, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
When healthy, these two tend to stabilize one another, often acting as a sounding board or safe space for ideas, expressions, and complaints that would otherwise go unsaid. Typically plagued by feelings of being misunderstood, unwanted, or overly insecure, with one another, Fours and Sixes can flip the script, and experience being understood, desired, and truly secure.
Fours converse freely about their inner lives and emotional experiences, which enables the Six to do the same, often leading to Sixes’ discovering new truths about themselves. Sixes are hard-working, persevering, and extremely loyal, which makes the Four feel grounded, taken care of, and safe, allowing for greater intimacy to develop. In this, these two can find a sense of entertaining, creative play and warmth.
The danger for these two lies in their tendency toward catastrophizing, over-thinking, over-emoting, and just over-reacting in general. Because of their sensitivity around being abandoned, betrayed, or rejected, both Fours and Sixes can have hair triggers with their significant other. There is a strong tendency also because of their distrust and fear of abandonment, both of these types tend to “test” their partners to determine the person’s trustworthiness.
This can look like manipulation, withholding, or extreme emotional reactivity, especially for types in the lower levels. In an attempt to determine how loyal the other is, these two can stir up much drama, and could potentially do irreversible damage to the relationship. The wild ups and downs of a triggered Four will undoubtedly cause the Six to retreat and start to feel nervous about their partner, while the reactive nature of the Six will cause the Four to feel shameful and rejected.
These two can then become mired in self-doubt, which naturally inhibits their ability to show up for the other. Their reactionary natures tend to turn a minor disagreement into a massive blow-up, ripe with projections, blame, and intensity. It is imperative these two make a practice out of focusing on the positive, reassuring one another of what’s working, and pausing during a conflict to allow some space for reflection before either one gets too volatile or agitated.