Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

In this blog post, we will describe Enneagram type 1, known as the perfectionist. We will also talk about the Enneagram type 1 subtypes: 1w9 and 1w2.

Enneagram type 1 – The perfectionist

Basic fear: Being “bad”, full of flaws, evil, corrupt

Basic desire: to be good, full of virtue, balanced – whole

Message from the superego: “You’re fine or okay if you’re doing the right thing.”

Rational, idealistic type: Simple, With a purpose in life, Controlled and Perfectionist

The Enneagram type 1 is called the Perfectionist because the people in the One typology feel that they were meant to have a certain mission, and they want to make a better world using the degree of influence that they have. 

They do their best to break down obstacles of all kinds  – especially moral obstacles – so that the human spirit can shine and transform the world. They struggle to attain ever higher moral values, even at the cost of personal sacrifice.

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

The history of humanity is full of representatives of the One typology who gave up a comfortable life because they felt they had a great calling. 

In World War II, the middle-class Raoul Wallenberg left his comfortable life to devote himself to protecting thousands of Jews expelled from the Nazi invasion. In India, Gandhi gave up his wife, family and prosperous life as a lawyer to become an ardent preacher of Indian state independence and social change through non-violence. 

Joan of Arc left her native village in France to re-crown the heir to the throne and drive the English out of the country. The idealism of these representatives of the One typology has inspired millions of people.

People from typology One are people of action, practices  – they want to be useful in the best sense of the word. At a certain level of consciousness, they feel that they “have a mission” to fulfil in life, even if it is just to do everything possible to reduce the chaos they see around them.

Although people in type One perceive very clearly their purpose in life, they feel that they have to justify their own actions, both to themselves and to others. This causes them to spend a lot of time thinking about the consequences of their actions, as well as how they might proceed to avoid acting against their beliefs. 

Because of this, people in typology One are often convinced that they are a “rational” typology that uses their minds and acts only by virtue of logic and objective truth. But the truth is relatively different: Representatives of typology One are actually militants in search of an acceptable logic to justify what they feel they have to do. 

They are instinctive and passionate people, who use beliefs and reasoning to control themselves and to guide themselves in action.

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

 In an effort to be faithful to their own principles, those in the One typology strive not to be affected by their instinctual impulses, consciously resisting them and also seeking not to express them too freely. The result is a personality typology that has problems with feelings of repression, resilience and aggression. 

They are usually seen by others as very controlled, even rigid, although this is not how people in type One perceive themselves. It seems to them that they are sitting in a chest in which very strong passions and desires are locked up and that it would be good “not to lift the lid” so that both they and those around them do not regret it later.

 People of Enneagram type 1 believe that by being severe with themselves (thus becoming “perfect”), they will justify themselves in their eyes and in the eyes of others. But in their attempt to create a mark of perfection, they become the creators of their own hell.

Instead of agreeing with the statement in the book of Genesis that God looked at His own creation and that it was “pleasing before His eyes,” people in type One believe that it was not perfect — and certainly there were some mistakes there! ” This type of orientation makes it difficult for them to trust their own inner voice  – and as a result, to have confidence in life.

People of type One come to rely heavily on their superego, a voice they learned to hear as children, to guide them to the higher truth they so fiercely seek. When people from typology One are completely subjugated by their personality, there is not much difference between them and this severe and unforgiving voice.

In the case of typology One, the transformation implies precisely the separation from this voice and the real perception of its advantages and limitations.

Note that the pattern of childhood described here does not actually determine the typology of personality, but rather describes the trends that we observe in the early stages of childhood and that have a major impact on adult relationships of this type.

Enneagram type 1 – behavioural model learned in childhood

When they are children, people of type One try hard to be good and often say that when they were little they felt the need to justify their own existence. Being simply a child was somewhere unacceptable, and many teenagers developed a certain sense of seriousness and a mature responsibility at an early age. 

They understood that their parents expected a lot from them and, like typology three, often played the role of family hero, in their youth, people in typology One responded to these expectations with great seriousness.

For various reasons, people in type One feel somewhere that they are “disconnected” from the person who embodies the protector in their lives (and who usually, though not always, is not their biological father). By the fact that there is another adult person with whom the child can identify and to whom he can go, he acquires the ability to separate from his mother, perceiving more and more his own individuality and autonomy. 

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

However, if the image of the protector does not fulfil its role properly, young people in typology One perceive a certain fundamental separation. They realize that their real or symbolic father does not match their temperament and needs.

This does not necessarily mean that the image of the protector is bad or abusive, but simply for one reason or another, no particular natural connection is established between them. The result is a feeling of frustration on the part of the child, as well as the feeling that he has to be his own “father”.

In some cases, children of type One respond to the chaotic conditions around them by becoming excessively responsible, being the “voice of reason” in their family. In this way, they can acquire a certain autonomy as well as the necessary borders – key elements of their typology.

Enneagram type 1 subtypes

1w9 – The idealist

Famous examples: Plato, Gandhi, Sandra Day O’Connor, George Harrison, Henry David Thoreau, Martha Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Al Gore, George F. Will, Noam Chomski.

Healthy subtype: People belonging to this subtype have a special discernment, being full of wisdom and civilized. It is possible to be taught very scholarly, with an imperturbable philosophical attitude, focused on long-term goals – looking to see the “overall” image. 

They can be introverted and hidden, seeking to be away from the “unleashed world,” often in a quiet natural setting. They are reserved with their emotions, being at the same time generous, kind and considerate, lovers of nature and animals and appreciating innocence wherever they meet it. they want to create a better world, but in a more detached and delicate way than the other representatives of the One typology.

Medium subtype: They are idealists and less likely to get involved in politics and the “unorthodox actions” needed to carry out the reforms they believe in. The middle-level representatives of this subtype prefer to express their ideas rather than to personally convince others of their correctness. 

The anger characteristic of typology One is more difficult to detect in the case of this subtype than in the case of the other, having the tendency to express oneself through rigidity, impatience and sarcasm. Representatives of this subtype prefer to be alone. Look for situations where they can work on their own to avoid the disappointment and clutter caused by interpersonal relationships. 

They may be more distant, as if in another world, and more impersonal than the other subtype, potentially contemptuous, elitist, and condescending to their fellows.

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

1w2 – The Lawyer

Famous Examples: Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, Celine Dion, John Bradshaw, Emma Thompson, Jane Fonda, Joan Baez, Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Nader, John Paul II.

Healthy subtype: The representatives of this sub-typology add to the search for their ideals and high principles a lot of empathy and compassion for others. With less pure ideals than the other subtype, they are really interested in creating a better world, also eager to get involved in the fight in order to generate the changes they support. 

They are also more open, more passionate in interacting with other people, enjoying the benefits and requirements of “political” involvement. People belonging to this subtype are very convincing and go out of their way to make others care about the causes and beliefs they have adopted.

Medium subtype: Extremely active and full of personality, the middle-level representatives of this subtype can be quite aggressive and convincing in their search for the ideals and reforms they pursue. 

Although they feel very well alone and need “rest” to recharge their batteries and analyze things, they also feel extremely energized by interacting with others, especially by debating and refining their own ideas. This makes them naturally acquainted with politics, at whatever level they approach this field. 

They focus altruistically on the needs of others, as long as they feel they are making a difference in their lives. When they feel frustrated, they can become extremely critical and irritable, expressing their dissatisfaction out loud. 

They are also more proud and involved in the action than the other subtype, and therefore the possibility of being frustrated by people around them and the events that happen to them is greater.

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

Conclusions

In this blog post, we described Enneagram type 1, known as the perfectionist. We also talked about the Enneagram type 1 subtypes: 1w9 and 1w2.

The Enneagram type 1 is called the Perfectionist because the people in the One typology feel that they were meant to have a certain mission, and they want to make a better world using the degree of influence that they have. 

They do their best to break down obstacles of all kinds  – especially moral obstacles – so that the human spirit can shine and transform the world. They struggle to attain ever higher moral values, even at the cost of personal sacrifice.

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations on the subjects, please let us know!

FAQ about enneagram type 1

What is an Enneagram Type 1?

Enneagram type 1 people are people of action, practices  – they want to be useful in the best sense of the word. At a certain level of consciousness, they feel that they “have a mission” to fulfil in life, even if it is just to do everything possible to reduce the chaos they see around them.

What does a healthy Enneagram 1 look like?

A healthy Enneagram 1 is instinctive and passionate and uses their beliefs and reasoning to control themselves and to guide themselves in action.

How do I find my Enneagram wing?

EachEnneagram type has two wings and three instinctual variants. These two “lenses” help us focus on our personality traits with greater precision and specificity. The enneagram is also unique in that it shows us the ways to develop, to evolve. It accurately traces the paths of our growth and evolution, but also those that lead us to involution. 

What is a 1w9?

A 1w9 is an Enneagram subtype. People belonging to this subtype have a special discernment, being full of wisdom and civilized. It is possible to be taught very scholarly, with an imperturbable philosophical attitude, focused on long-term goals, looking to see the “overall” image.

Which Enneagram is most empathetic?

Enneagram Type Two is considered to be the most empathetic Enneagram type. They are extremely aware of other people’s thinking and feelings.

Further reading 

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso 

Enneagram Self-Discovery: Understand Personality Types to Enhance Your Spiritual Growth & Build Healthy Relationships, by Elliot Hudson 

The Enneagram Of Personality: Why Discovering Your Unique Personality Type Is Essential For Your Personal Growth, by Arthur Canfield 

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (The Road Back to You Set), by Ian Morgan Cron

The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth, by Christopher L. Heuertz  

References

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso 

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

Enneagrampaths.com

Enneagram type 1 (Everything you need to know)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.