Misidentifying Fours and Eights

At first, it would seem extremely unlikely that Fours and Eights would be mistyped for one another, but it does occasionally occur. More often, Eights mistake themselves for Fours because they see themselves as passionate and intense feelings, and this is usually true. Similarly Eights may well recall childhood hurts and identify with the Fours’ sense of alienation or loneliness. But Eights cope with these feelings in radically different ways than Fours do. Eights learn to toughen themselves up and to “get over it” so that they can do what they need to do to maintain their independence and personal authority. Fours find it difficult to let go of their childhood wounds and do not want to “get over it.” Fours do not necessarily want to be dependent on anyone, but they are willing to rely on others if it gives them the time and resources to work out their feelings or to develop their creativity.

Eights do feel vulnerable inside, but as much as possible, they steel themselves against any feelings of insecurity and weakness in themselves. Eights tend to see such feelings as self-indulgent luxuries for people who have no serious responsibilities. Fours show their vulnerability, but can be much tougher and controlling than they generally realize. In fact, Fours are quite resilient and can endure emotional difficulties and losses that would cause most other types to collapse. In a strange way, Eights are like Fours turned inside-out. Contrast Fours like Roy Orbison and Johnny Depp with Eights like Frank Sinatra and Sean Penn.