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Type 1  

Enneagram Type One

Personality Profile - Personal Growth Recommendations


The Rational, Idealistic Type:
Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

Basic Fear: Of being corrupt/evil, defective
Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
Enneagram One with a Nine-Wing: "The Idealist"
Enneagram One with a Two-Wing: "The Advocate"


People with Type One personalities can be the role models for the rest of us when it comes to social responsibility and appreciating the value of moral and ethical living. They tend to have a deep sense of what is right and wrong, and an inherent self-discipline to adhere to the rules they believe in.

Ones appreciate order and are offended when others call them rigid or perfectionists. They have a vision of how things could be if only everything were done the right way. This turns out to be both a gift and a curse, since people, organizations, and Life itself always fall short of that perfect vision, leaving Ones feeling irritable and angry. They try to manage that anger, not wanting to lose control or be judged for their judgmental tendencies, but sometimes it breaks through in self-righteous fury and they suffer. No matter how critical a One may seem, they are never more strict than with themselves.

Ones are great reformers because they really do see how to improve almost anything that matters to them. The problem is that while they may be very bright, they often have trouble thinking objectively but rather tend to be emotionally biased without realizing it.

Early in their lives, little Ones needed a sense of guidance and protection that their families did not adequately provide. Not understanding how to identify and manager their instincts, their basic hungers, they devised rules to keep themselves controlled. Inside every One is a child that still longs to play and have a good time, to indulge themselves without having to worry about doing something wrong and being judged. True freedom comes when that child feels safe to allow its joyful enthusiasm for life to overflow.

FAMOUS ONES: Mary Poppins (and Julie Andrews), Ralph Nader, Hillary Clinton, Kenneth Starr, Miss Manners.


Personal Growth Recommendations
for Enneagram Type Ones

  • Learn to relax. Take some time for yourself, without feeling that everything is up to you or that what you do not accomplish will result in chaos and disaster. Mercifully, the salvation of the world does not depend on you alone, even though you may sometimes feel it does.

  • You have a lot to teach others and are probably a good teacher, but do not expect others to change immediately. What is obvious to you may not be as obvious to them, especially if they are not used to being as self-disciplined and objective about themselves as you are about yourself. Many people may also want to do what is right and may agree with you in principle but for various reasons simply cannot change right away. The fact that others do not change immediately according to your prescriptions does not mean that they will not change sometime in the future. Your words and above all, your example may do more good than you realize, although they may take longer than you expect. So have patience.

  • It is easy for you to work yourself up into a lather about the wrongdoings of others. And it may sometimes be true that they are wrong. But what is it to you? Your irritation with them will do nothing to help them see another way of being. Similarly, beware of your constant irritation with your own "shortcomings." Does your own harsh self-criticism really help you to improve? Or does it simply make you tense, nervous, and self-doubting? Learn to recognize the attacks of your superego and how they undermine you rather than helping you.

  • It is important for you to get in touch with your feelings, particularly your unconscious impulses. You may find that you are uneasy with your emotions and your sexual and aggressive impulses—in short, with the messy human things that make us human. It might be beneficial to keep a journal or to get into some kind of group therapy or other group work both to develop your emotions and to see that others will not condemn you for having human needs and limitations.

  • Your Achilles' heel is your self-righteous anger. You get angry easily and are offended by what seems to you to be the perverse refusal of others to do the right thing—as you have defined it. Try to step back and see that your anger alienates people so that they cannot hear many of the good things you have to say. Further, your own repressed anger may well be giving you an ulcer or high blood pressure and is a harbinger of worse things to come.


Eating Disorders & Addictions