The Romantic Personality


From "The Career Within You" by Stabb and Wagele

From “The Career Within You” by Stabb and Wagele

The Romantic type in the Enneagram is known for its gifts of compassion, admiring and often being able to produce great beauty, and being sensitive to nuances of moods. “Healthy 4-Romantics are capable of a depth of feeling most of us have no access to… {They can] express something universally valid. William Shakespeare and T. S. Eliot are examples of poets in whom the great emotions have been so purified and shaped by discipline that they remain valid for all time. Redeemed Romantics are better than most others at understanding and guiding people in psychic distress. They are not intimidated by the difficult, complicated, or dark feelings of others since they themselves have lived through it all.” (From The Enneagram – A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.)

Romantics are also known for noticing who has more than they have—whether talent, style, attention, class, good taste, or wonderful belongings. If you ever writhed while you watched a fellow worker get attention he/she didn’t deserve and hoped their reward would be taken away, you were probably feeling envy. From The Career Within You: “Romantics are familiar with the all-consuming experience of feeling resentful from wanting what another has. Haythorp is tall, handsome and a brilliant, top-notch speaker on science. The ladies all puff themselves up when he comes in the room. He has what Evan wishes he had and Evan envies him for it.

A mathematician acquaintance set out to prove the most difficult problem Helga had ever seen. She had thought she could prove this theorem after just a little more preparation, but this guy seemed to have so much more innate talent than she, no training would ever compensate. Most of their friends were content to be in awe of his abilities, but she found herself seething with negative emotion.

Loki envies a former good friend who sometimes out-shined him performing music. Unfortunately, their friendship suffered when they marked their progress off of each other. Loki wished they could get past their egos and help each other by collaborating. He said, ‘It’s a shameful indulgence, but my confidence was based on my sense of being better than those around me, so that I would stand out for being good at what I do.’”

Of course, all the Enneagram types can suffer from envy and all the Enneagram types can be compassionate, but they will not usually expresses these traits with the depth of feeling of the Romantic.

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