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For additional resources visit the old website at davesenneagram.com/d7/home.


Michael Jackson - Enneagram Personality Type 4w3

Michael Jackson's personality can easily be understood by two themes traced back to his childhood: a childhood that demanded focus on performance excellence and a childhood lost because of it. Together they help describe his personality as an Enneagram type 4 with a 3 wing (4w3).

Michael and his brothers were expected to perform to a standard determined by their father. In interview, Michael has described the physical punishment inflicted if these standards weren't met. Performing according to external standards is a big part of what his 3 wing was all about. With the type 3 performer, emotions are also seen as interfering with performing -- interesting because Michael's favorite song was reported to be Smile.

The wing is not a preference for being in the world, but an adaptation to an early world we find ourselves in. The wing is more a strategy forced upon us than chosen by us, yet remains available throughout our lives. Early in life, his performance was honed through this discipline enforced by his father. Throughout his life, this performance excellence could be seen in all his endeavors. The price paid for this excellence however was his loss of childhood.

Personality type 4 on the Enneagram carries a sense of lack or longing. Sometimes this longing is for simple things that offer the potential for filling that sense of something missing. Other times, something much bigger can be found in the background. In Michael's case, that longing seemed to focus on a childhood lost.

Being forced into a 3 wing strategy of demanding performance excluded the opportunity for an authentic childhood experience. Later in life, Michael's type 4 personality did something about that missing childhood. Having the resources to do so, he created a space called Neverland to reclaim that childhood experience he longed for.

Bringing children into Neverland enhanced that childhood experience. Not only did the closeness of children offer the energy of childhood, but also offered the opportunity to give the emotional support and love to children that he himself may have felt missing from his childhood. In the end, it seems Michael was able to love children in a way that he himself longed to be loved. I wonder if he ever learned to give that love to the child within himself.

...if you really want to know about me, there's a song I wrote, which is the most honest song I've ever written, it's the most autobiographical song I've ever written, it's called "childhood"

- Michael Jackson

Childhood - Michael Jackson

 

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for the world that I come from
'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart

No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities...
'Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things
It's been my fate to compensate
for the Childhood
I've never known

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams
Of conquest and kings on the throne

Before you judge me, try hard to love me
Look within your heart then ask
Have you seen my Childhood?

People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things
It's been my fate to compensate
for the Childhood I've never known

Have you seen my Childhood?
I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like fantastical stories to share
The dreams I would dare, watch me fly

Before you judge me, try hard to love me
The painful youth I've had

Have you seen my Childhood


This song isn't so much about type 4 in general but is written by a type 4 about the childhood he missed out on.

...if you really want to know about me, there's a song I wrote, which is the most honest song I've ever written, it's the most autobiographical song I've ever written, it's called "childhood"

- Michael Jackson