Book Review: Forty Days on Being a Four

Book Review: Forty Days on Being a Four

About the Book:

“How are you feeling?” Christine Yi Suh says that this has always been a hard question. She writes: “The more accurate question for a Four may be, ‘What aren’t you feeling?’ I can grab my prevailing emotion and tell you how I’m doing from that emotion’s point of view (joy, elation, sadness, grief, confusion—you name it!). I live and breathe a kaleidoscope of living, feeling, conflicting emotions.” Many times Fours are labeled “emotionally intense” or “too much,” but for a Four this is just how life is. This is why Fours are ideal companions in the midst difficult times: the death of a loved one, the birth of a baby, transitional seasons in career, relational conflict, and so on. The Enneagram is a profound tool for empathy, so whether or not you are a Four, you will grow from your reading about Four and enhance your relationships across the Enneagram spectrum. Each reading concludes with an opportunity for further engagement such as a journaling prompt, reflection questions, a written prayer, or a spiritual practice.

My Thoughts:

If you didn’t know, I’m an Enneagram four. And so I was curious to read what Christine had to say about her experience of being a four. I could certainly relate to her comments about the question “How are you feeling?”

One of the goals of this series of books is compassion. It’s driven by the idea that we need to stop boxing people in with descriptions on a page and try instead to see through their eyes. I love that. And the reality is that this book isn’t entirely about being a four. It’s about Christine Yi Suh’s experience of being a four.

There was a lot I could relate to. There were also things that were nowhere near true to my experience. There were moments when I nodded my head in agreement and moments when I sat back and pondered. Christine’s experience of being a four has overlap with mine and it also has areas that are as different as night and day. This is the beauty of a God who creates us each individually and yet gives us overlapping passions, motivations and emotions.

I think that the book is very helpful for stirring compassion. It might also be really helpful for someone who thinks they might be a four but hasn’t done much Enneagram work. I think for someone who has researched and evaluated personality types as much as I have that it carries the gift of getting to know Christine Yi Shu through her own eyes, to share her journey and to discover the beauty and the burden of her life as a four.

I received a digital, pre-release, unedited copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.