Enneagram Type 1 Description

Type 1 ~ The Perfectionist

The Basic Proposition of Type 1

The original, undivided state of perfection in all things in each moment goes into the background in a world that you perceive judges and punishes bad behavior and impulse. You come to believe that you gain worthiness and love by being good, correcting errors and meeting the requirements of the critical mind. Concurrently, you develop resentment and suppressed anger or guilt over impulses and bad behavior. Your attention naturally goes to errors and mistakes. Reaction formation glues the structure together by helping you oppose “bad” behavior even going to the opposite, especially impulses and desires. Your ultimate concern or fear is being utterly wrong and hence totally unworthy. As compensation you sometimes control and dominate by becoming rigid, judgmental, self-controlling, resentful, unforgiving, guilt provoking, and demanding of correct behavior and improvement.

What Stresses You – What Makes You Most Personally Reactive: Feeling that you are not measuring up to your standards; being wrong or feeling unjustly criticized; things being done the wrong way; unfairness and irresponsibility, even if you are not a party to it; and important rules and standards being ignored or violated.

These reactions block being accepted as you are and the serenity that comes from accepting life as it is.

Your Strengths: Persistent effort, correct action, honesty, responsibility, concern for improvement, accomplishment, idealism, high standards, self-reliance and dedication.

The Central Theme for Your Healing and Development: Healing and development for Perfectionists primarily involves becoming less dominated by the dictates of the critical mind and, in time, regaining a sense of being an undivided whole. This means helping you appreciate that what is frequently judged as wrong is actually just different, something that deviates from an imagined ideal. You need to learn to observe the critical mind and detach self-worth from it. The difficulty is not really in the high standards or even too many standards, but in their power in determining self-worth and dictating life.


Strategies for Your Self-Development and Fulfillment in Relationships
  • Release your critical mind’s domination by working with the negative superego, become discerning about the “shoulds”
  • Appreciate errors, mistakes and imperfection as differences
  • Observe your constant monitoring for comparison purposes (good/bad, perfect/imperfect)
  • Welcome anger and guilt as signals of the critical mind taking over
  • Practice acceptance and forgiveness, rather than improvement
  • Integrate your instincts and desires into your life with healthy restraint
  • Encourage your 1-ness to experience more pleasure, accept errors and differences, and detach your self-esteem from internal standards
  • Be non-judgmental, own your own criticisms, and admit your mistakes
  • Take in that you ARE lovable though imperfect
  • Point out what is positive and OK
  • Remind yourself that the goal is to be whole, not perfect


How Others Can Assist Your Relationship Development
  • Encourage your Type 1 to experience more pleasure, accept errors and differences, and detach their self-esteem from internal standards
  • Support them in being non-judgmental, to own their criticisms, and admit their mistakes
  • Let them know that they are lovable though imperfect
  • Point out what is positive and OK
  • Remind yourself that the goal is to be whole, not perfect


Need help finding your Enneagram type? Take the scientifically validated Enneagram test online or through the paper-back book version found in Dr. David Daniels’ The Essential Enneagram.

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