The Differences between 4w3 and 4w5

Most wing descriptions emphasize too much the aspects that are actually related to the instincts; making 4w3 typically sound like Social first, and 4w5 typically sound like Sp/Sx.

This leads to most people mistyping Social 4w5 individuals as 4w3, for instance.

The stereotypes for those wing types don’t come from nowhere; it’s true that a lot of 4w5 individuals are Sp/Sx (e.g Edgar Allan Poe), and an iconic 4w3 So/Sx individual was Michael Jackson. But there needs to be a distinction made between wing type and stacking.

For there are 4s of all stackings out there (with perhaps the exception of Sp/So), so it is paramount to distill the true essences of the two wing configurations.

  • 4w5 in a Nutshell

The 4w5 tends to work or develop their ideas rather behind the scenes, walks in the shadows, is more mentally detached, and concerns themselves more with spending their free time gaining and deepening their knowledge of the world in an attempt to prepare themselves for its challenges – like a 5.

Even the Social 4w5 will have some kind of protective bubble around them in the social situations they find themselves in; the healthier they are, the less so.

But generally, 4w5s are more detached from worldly affairs, more protective of their personal boundaries, and much more closely embedded in their own fantasy world. They are focused on synthesizing their specialized niche knowledge either into works of art or complex systems in order to gain deeper self-knowledge.

4w5: Tim Burton
  • 4w3 in a Nutshell

The 4w3 on the other hand is more in touch with the external world and its inhabitants, and based on experience, it has a stronger tangible grasp on the world, which can give them a superficial Social instinct flair. They are often basking themselves in some kind of Hollywood-esque glamour.

4w3: Lana Del Rey
  • Society and 4w3

3s are naturally “pseudo-Social”, in the sense they have an eye on whatever their culture deems as “success”, and they will try to adapt to that. In that manner, a 4w3 has a much greater awareness of how to sell themselves and their art, for they have more of a focus on the culture’s ideals of success; and being like a 3, they typically have internalized those ideals.

4w3: Prince
  • Society and 4w5

Social 4w5s may also be aware of those ideals, due to the Social instinct; but there is typically a reluctance to fully give in to those ideals, they are not the main focus for them. They’d rather focus on what appeals to them personally and bring that to society rather than what is already appealing to the public. 4w3s tend to deal much better with outside expectations; they are much more open to catering towards them. 4w5s are more attached to delivering what they perceive to be deeper “truths”.

4w5, So/Sx: Neil Gaiman
  • Society: 4w3 vs 4w5

Sx/Sp and Sp/Sx 4w3s may relate to not wanting to just jump on board with whatever society expects, being Individualists first and foremost; but invariably, they end up delivering exactly what their culture is looking for, if they intended to or not. With a 4w5, their mental occupations are typically to some extent too removed from the general public to appeal to it on a massive scale.

In that manner, it is typical for the art of 4w3 celebrities to spread wider, and for the art of 4w5 to not spread as wide but be of more intense significance for a smaller group of individuals.

4w3: Michael Jackson

4w3s are more gifted at finding their way into an already existing trend, or at becoming a trendsetter. 4w5s are more inclined to create their own niche, which typically requires people to have a specialized penchant for that niche already, or to become more specialized themselves in order to fully grasp and appreciate it.

  • Work ethic: 4w3 vs 4w5

On another note, many 4w3 individuals tend to be more persistent, disciplined, and conscientious when it comes to their work ethic and so forth compared to 4w5s, who often work rather on creative impulse and/or in total isolation (for a while). (Having said that, 4w5s with a 1 fix can have a better work ethic, similar to 4w3s.)

4w5: Tilda Swinton
  • Darkness: 4w5 vs 4w3
4w5 Sx/So, 468: Marilyn Manson

Being double withdrawn (4+5) and more fear-based (5 wing), 4w5s usually do have a darker edge to their persona and occupations than 4w3.

This applies especially if the 4w5 in question is 8 fix, like Marilyn Manson.

Social and/or 9 fix 4w5 individuals are less classically dark and usually more socially adapted (if healthy enough), e.g Neil Gaiman, but like with the other subtypes of 4w5 their works of art do contain darker, more potentially disturbing psychological imagery or ideas than the art of 4w3 individuals – for the 4w5 takes in information about the world in a fear-based manner like a 5, and ends up reflecting the underlying horrors of it in their art.

However, Sp/Sx and Sx/Sp 4w3 individuals may also slip into darker topics as well; but typically, the deeper psychology of such will remain untouched. 4w5s yearn to look beyond the veil, or the shadows; whereas 4w3 can be content with focusing on where the shadows are being cast and going from there. 4w3s question and analyze the world much less than 4w5s do, on average. 4w3s do not delve as deeply into the inner workings of their mind or the world as 4w5s; and this shows in their art or personal expression.

4w3, Sx/Sp: Bill Kaulitz

That’s why the art or presentation of (especially unhealthy) 4w5s often has a more (self-)tortured and/or terrifying quality to it, compared to 4w3.

4w5, Sx/Sp: Victoria Francés
  • Stereotypical Roles: 4w3 vs 4w5

Stereotypically, Emos are 4w3s and Goths are 4w5s.

4w3 on the left, 4w5 on the right

To summarize the differences between the wings:


• behind the scenes (mentally and/or physically)
• mentally detached from worldly affairs and/or other humans
• prepare themselves with knowledge to deal with the world better in advance
• deeper embedded in some kind of fantasy world
• niche expert or artist
• more isolated
• more protective of their own (physical or mental) space
• focused on deeper truths
• delves deeper into dark psychological subjects and hidden aspects of the world and their mind; constantly analyzing the world
• often “darker”/disturbing (e.g gothic) or more minimalistic presentation


• more in touch with the world, more experienced
• often cultivate hollywood-esque glamour
• better at selling themselves
• more in tune with external expectations and more willing to cater to them
• art is more widely relatable and less niche
• often trendsetters, or follow the trends in a unique way
• tend to have a better work ethic
• may deal with dark subjects, but typically do not delve too deeply into its inner workings
• often “lighter“ and/or glamorous presentation, or “semi-dark” (e.g emo )


Social 4w5s may feel the pressure to emulate w3 behaviour in favour of their Social instinct, whereas Sp/Sx 4w3 can fall into w5-like behaviour at times due to their Social blindspot.

Also, it is common for 4w5 individuals with a strong 5 wing to be mistyped as 5s (e.g Tim Burton, David Lynch), and for 4w3 individuals with a strong 3 wing to be mistyped as 3s or even 7s (e.g Lady Gaga). 

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  1. gothed out 4w5 black haired boy, black trenchcoat that in the right light chimeras to joker purple in the bright sun light of a picture perfect town , flourish the coat , two fingered point at himself,… : ‘What can I do?. …Chicks dig it’ fade out


  2. this is really high quality

    its traditional to tease the INTJs and refer to them as ‘Ms Professor’
    i’m like I’ll talk to you next week Ms Professor


  3. Thanks so much. This was very well explained and helped to clear a lot of uncertainties. I think I am natural four winged three I am much more light hearted than the description for the dark, menacing style of the four wing five, from the 4w5s I’ve seen on YouTube, they come across as much more serious and reserved people, in spite of having what I believe the same personality type as me. Whereas I naturally come across as naturally more bubbly and charismatic when I’m speaking to people. My dad, who is very observant to me, often tells me that I live in my own little world, in fact a lot of people tell me that, but he is certain that I also have an extroverted dimension to me. I would also say that 4w3s have a stronger desire to fit in than 4w5s and have a strong desire to influence the world in some kind of special way.


    • Thanks for sharing your perspective! Do you know about the instinctual stacking in Enneagram? It is still possible you could be 4w5 So/Sx. The So/Sx stacking is the most “bubbly” and can make even a 4w5 come across as more “extroverted” and “less dark” at healthier levels.


  4. There’s a lot of good info in here, so I hope this doesn’t come across poorly, but I feel like it doesn’t really represent 4w3s very well? The part about how 4w3s can try to be authentic individuals but will “invariably end up delivering exactly what their culture is looking for, if they intended to or not” and the ‘in a nutshell’ part seemed to paint 4w3 as shallow. The 3 wing definitely adds that societal pressure to succeed in a way that resonates with others, but not for the sake of success sacrificing purpose (that leans more 3w4). I do have an awareness of society and culture with a deep-seated “need” for their approval, but even as an so-dom the idea that no matter what I do, invariably it will just be what’s expected… destroys me. Not unique to myself, not from a place of authenticity, just fulfilling an expectation.

    I hope this didn’t sound critical, I just wanted to add my thoughts from my own experience (4w3 so/sx).


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