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Enneagram Type 1 Descriptions: Sample Interpretations

Enneagram type 1 names

Enneagram type 1 names and descriptions vary between different authors, teachers, and schools of the Enneagram types. Two common names are The Perfectionist and The Reformer.

The descriptions for Enneagram type 1 in books and on the Internet often emphasize a particular school's interpretation or borrow elements from various interpretations. Although these descriptions of type 1 can be similar in many ways, there can also be differences.

Below are samplings from some of the more popular interpretations. Click on the sources after the descriptions to further explore these interpretations.

The Reformer, The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic1

Basic Fear: Of being "bad," defective, evil, corrupt1

Basic Desire:  To be good, virtuous, in balance--to have integrity1

Basic Proposition: You must be good and right to be worthy.2

Strengths: Honest, responsible, conscientious, hard-working, dependable, practical, self-reliant2

Challenges: Resentful, rigid, judgmental, non-adaptable, overly critical2

Energy goes into: Getting things right. Issues about integrity. Maintaining standards judged to be important. Being responsible and self-reliant. Suppressing personal needs and natural desires.3

The Perfectionist: Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame.4

Perfectionists are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.5

Focus of Attention: Like the “superego” function of Freud’s model, Ones focus on noticing error (in the form of deviations from an internally generated ideal), discerning right and wrong, and displaying a reliance on rules and structure.6


1Book: The Wisdom of the Enneagram; Website: The Enneagram Institute

2Website: The Narrative Enneagram

3Book: The Essential Enneagram; Website: Dr. David Daniels

4Book: The Road Back to You

5Book: The Enneagram Made Easy

6Book: The Complete Enneagram; Website: Chestnut Paes Enneagram Academy

Enneagram Guide

This page is part of the Enneagram Guide available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and origins/history of the Enneagram types visit the Enneagram Guide main page.