Core motivation: desire to be perfect, desire to be right
Coping strategies: constant improvement, avoiding or correcting “mistakes”, reaction formation
Fundamental needs: perfection
Other names: The Perfectionist, The Reformer, The Idealist, The Teacher
Be that teaching, designing buildings, cooking, cleaning, or exercising, Ones do their job well. Doing things “properly” and in the best way possible is extremely important for Ones.
If you don’t know your Enneagram personality type yet, you can take this test.
Ones have incredibly high standards, and their entire life is an attempt to achieve those standards. But as time goes by, their goals become ever more elusive as Ones always can think of a better and a more perfect way of doing things.
Many a time, Ones appear somewhat rigid and judgmental.
Not only are Ones hard on themselves, but they also expect others to strive for perfection just as they do.
Ones are particularly bothered by messy, disorganized people or people who aren’t reliable.
Despite being perfectionists, Ones aren’t usually narcissists.
On the contrary, they are often plagued with self-doubt and self-blame because they never feel satisfied with themselves.
Being their own worst critics, they never believe that they are good enough.
Ones are future-oriented people. They like the idea that their future could be better and more exciting if they study harder, work more, practice more diligently, acquire more wisdom and experience.
A typical One is a self-improvement addict. But unlike some self-improvement junkies, who only enjoy gaining new insights and shifting paradigms without ever doing anything, Ones are real action takers.
Generally, Ones tend to be rather serious people, but occasionally they may decide that they need to have a perfect sense of humor.
Or they may decide that they want to be the best party hosts, or the best performers and entertainers. They may paint, play musical instruments, write books, or even sing.
More Facts About Ones
1. Ones want to be respectable.
2. Ones appear very confident.
3. Ones often suppress their desires because they believe they are either selfish or inappropriate.
4. Ones may sometimes discipline themselves for perceived “mistakes”. The punishment could be anything from working even harder to food restriction and forced exercise.
5. Ones tend to think in black and white terms and struggle with the concept of a gray area. To Ones, it’s either good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable.
6. Not all Ones necessarily have tidy houses. Some Ones focus on cleanliness. Some others, however, may choose to focus on something else, such as their career or their ideals. It isn’t a condition that all areas of their lives must be perfect.
7. It’s not easy to receive praise from Ones. No matter how good your work is, you are more likely to get some constructive criticism and a few ideas on how to improve things even further.
8. Ones are prone to workaholism.
9. Ones may sometimes procrastinate because they don’t feel they are ready to do a perfect job. They may put off the task until they gather a sufficient amount of information and acquire all necessary skills, which can be quite a long time.
10. Type 1s fear that someone might blame them for something — another reason for doing things properly!
11. Type 1s’ preferred defense mechanism is reaction formation — a conversion of unacceptable feelings and thoughts to their exact opposite. If you behave overly friendly toward a person you secretly dislike, you are using reaction formation. You can learn more about it here.
12. Although Ones constantly criticize themselves, they are sensitive to external criticism and do everything to avoid it.
13. Ones follow established rules and procedures to avoid criticism.
14. Ones only like practical ideas. They don’t appreciate something that doesn’t lead to action as Fives do.
Jobs for Ones
- quality manager
- fitness coach
- air traffic controller
Healthy vs. Unhealthy
Healthy: reliable, diligent, responsible, hard-working, orderly, organized, principled, idealistic, honest
Unhealthy: judgmental, critical, inflexible, rigid, resentful
The One with a Nine-Wing (1w9)
Enneagram Type 1 and MBTI
If you are still unsure about your Enneagram type, try this.
Image source: freepic.diller via Freepik
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