Enneagram Type 1 - The Reformer

Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement

Enneagram type 1 - The ReformerPeople of this personality type are essentially looking to make things better, as they think nothing is ever quite good enough. This makes them perfectionists who desire to reform and improve; idealists who strive to make order out of the omnipresent chaos.

Ones have a fine eye for detail. They are always aware of the flaws in themselves, others and the situations in which they find themselves. This triggers their need to improve, which can be beneficial for all concerned, but which can also prove to be burdensome to both the One and those who are on the receiving end of the One's reform efforts.

The One's inability to achieve the perfection they desire feeds their feelings of guilt for having fallen short, and fuels their incipient anger against an imperfect world. Ones, however, tend to feel guilty about their anger. Anger is a "bad" emotion, and Ones strive sincerely and wholeheartedly to be "good." Anger is therefore vigorously repressed from consciousness, bursting forth in occasional fits of temper, but usually manifesting in one of its many less obvious permutations - impatience, frustration, annoyance and judgmental criticality. For this reason, Ones can be difficult to live with, but, on the high side, they tend to be loyal, responsible and capable partners and friends.

Ones are serious people; they tend to be highly principled, competent and uncompromising. They follow the rules and expect others to do so as well. Because they believe so thoroughly in their convictions, they are often excellent leaders who can inspire those who follow them with their own vision of excellence. Reform movements are frequently spearheaded by Ones.

Ones are often driven and ambitious, and are sometimes workaholics. But whatever their professional involvement, they are definitely active, practical people who get things done. They are natural born organizers, listmakers who finish everything on the list, the last one to leave the office, the first one to return, industrious, reliable, honest and dutiful.

The relentlessness of their pursuit of the ideal can make Ones tense people who have a hard time relaxing and who unnecessarily deny themselves many of the harmless pleasures of life. They tend to be emotionally repressed and uncomfortable with expressing tender feelings; they generally see emotionality as a sign of weakness and lack of control. They are seldom spontaneous. They have multiple interests and talents however; they are self-reliant and seldom run out of things to do.

Ones are often intelligent and independent and can easily mistake themselves for Fives, but unlike Fives, Ones are primarily people of action, not thought. Ones tend to worry and are prone to anxiety and can sometimes mistype as Sixes, but they are far less affiliative than Sixes and their standards are not reached by seeking consensus with a group. Finally, the relentless pursuit of perfection can take its toll and lead to depression. At such times, a One can mistype as a Four. But Fours have a tendency towards self-indulgence whereas Ones are self-denying. Fours are emotionally expressive; Ones are emotionally constrained.


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