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Enneagram Type 1 Personality: Acceptability and Correctness

Enneagram type 1

Enneagram type 1 is given a variety of names by those who teach and write about the Enneagram types such as The Perfectionist, The Reformer, and The Good Person. While these names allude to some common characteristics that often appear in the type 1 personality, they only provide a hint of what's going on underneath the surface. What's going on can be found in the core focus.

Enneagram type 1 has a focus on being acceptable or making things acceptable by way of correct behavior or doing things the right way. This produces a habit of attention that notices what doesn't measure up to standards for what's considered right.

Initial Self-Belief: “I am unacceptable as I am.”

Compensation: "I must monitor and improve myself in order to be acceptable and remain above criticism."

Habit of Attention: Type 1 attention goes to what needs to be corrected or improved. This starts with the self but can also extend to immediate surroundings, other people, and the world at large. A sense for how things should be is learned or intuited and it's noticed when things fall short. 

The Enneagram types evolved from Oscar Ichazo's ego-types into Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes. The goal with the ego-types was to identify an individual's fixation in order to work on transcending it. The enneatypes fleshed out the ego-types in terms of modern psychology and personality traits.

Type 1 Ego: Ego-Resent

Below are descriptions of Oscar Ichazo's ego type 1 fixation, trap, holy idea, passion, and virtue reinterpreted for today's personality types.

Type 1 Fixation and Trap

Fixation: Resentment comes from trying to live up to standards for what's acceptable and right while others aren't.

Trap: Perfection comes from striving to attain or model an ideal that is free from flaws or criticism.

The fixation points to the mental preoccupation of the ego and the trap seems like the way out but keeps the individual stuck in the fixation.

Type 1 Holy Idea

Holy Idea: Holy perfection is about discovering the perfection of the world as it is instead of trying to impose your own set of standards upon it.

The holy idea is the actual way out of the ego fixation.

Type 1 Passion

Passion: Anger is an energy that corrects and improves what's unacceptable. It's primarily directed at myself and secondarily at the world around me.

The passion is the emotional energy that serves the fixation and trap.

Type 1 Virtue

Virtue: Serenity appears when you become more accepting of things as they are instead of demanding that they meet your standards for how things should be.

The virtue is what appears when the passion subsides.

Type 1 Personality Traits: Enneatype I

Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes expanded upon Oscar Ichazo's fixations and passions by referring to modern psychology and other sources.

What follows is the trait structure for type 1 as outlined in Naranjo's book "Ennea-type Structures."

Enneatype I
Angry Virtue - Anger and Perfectionism

  • Anger
  • Criticality
  • Demandingness
  • Dominance
  • Perfectionism
  • Over-Control
  • Self-Criticism
  • Discipline
The relationships and movements between types can be explored by way of the triads, arrows, and lines as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These elements of the Enneagram are often described as the centers, the stances, stress/security points, and directions of integration/disintegration.

Type 1 Center of Intelligence

Gut/Body-Based Center

Type 1 is located in the 891 triad which is often described as the body-based or gut center. Type 1 keeps busy with physical activity that revolves around organizing, correcting, and improving what doesn't measure up to how things should be. There's also a gut sense of knowing what's right and how things should be done even in situations that are new.

Types 8, 9, and 1 may also be referred to as anger types. Type 1 anger is the energy that goes into getting things right or getting people to see what's right. Although it may be expressed outwardly in a self-righteous or critical way at times, it's more something felt under the surface as an anger at the self for not living up to expected standards or an irritation with people for not doing things right.

The core focus approach labels the 891 triad as the Behavioral Center and differentiates how types 8, 9, and 1 use that center.

  • Type 8: Behavioral Assertiveness - pushes through obstacles to get what's wanted.
  • Type 9: Behavioral Accommodation - yields to or joins in with the flow of movement.
  • Type 1: Behavioral Correctness - discerns right from wrong and acts accordingly.

You can take a test comparing the three gut types here.

Type 1 Stance or Hornevian Group

Compliant Stance

Type 1 is in the compliant triad along with type 2 and type 6. Type 1 is compliant toward internalized standards for what should be and how things should be done. These internalized standards may or may not match the external standards of society. If they don't match then the internalized standards are generally seen as right and the external standards as wrong.

Type 1 Stress and Growth - Movement along the lines

Enneagram type 1 arrows

Movement against the arrow from type 1 to type 7

Movement against the arrow is sometimes described as movement toward a type's security point or direction of integration or growth. Type 1 is said to take on characteristics of type 7 when feeling relaxed or secure or moving toward health and growth.

Movement with the arrow from type 1 to type 4

Movement with the arrow is sometimes described as a movement toward a type's stress point or direction of disintegration or stress. When feeling stressed and pressured or not in control, type 1 is said to take on characteristics of type 4.

Connecting points from type 1 to type 7 and type 4

Some teachers ignore the arrows and simply describe the lines as connecting points. In this case, someone identified as type 1 is said to sometimes take on characteristics of type 7 and type 4. Or to put it another way, type 1 may move to type 7 and type 4 at times when the type 1 concerns are not dominant.

Although you have a basic or primary Enneagram type there are many subtle variations within type. These variations are defined by such concepts as wings, instincts, tritype, and levels. They're often used to explain why people of the same Enneagram type can look different.

Type 1 Wings - 1w9 and 1w2

Type 1 Wings

The wings are represented by the numbers on either side of a given type as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These types are said to have an additional influence upon the type being looked at. The wing types for type 1 are type 9 and type 2.

Although type 1 is influenced by both wings, an individual will generally be influenced more by one of the wings than the other. The wing with more influence is said to be the preferred wing.

Type 1 wing 9 (1w9) - preferred 9 wing
Common Name: The Idealist

  • more likely to keep the peace
  • more emotionally reserved
  • more impersonal and dispassionate

Type 1 wing 2 (1w2) - preferred 2 wing
Common Name: The Advocate

  • more easily expresses anger
  • more responsive to others' needs
  • more interpersonal and passionate

Click here if you'd like help finding your preferred wing.

Type 1 Subtypes - Self-Preservation 1, Sexual 1, and Social 1

Type 1 Instinctual Subtypes

The instincts of the Enneagram types are self-preservation (sp), sexual (sx), and social (so). They are traditionally used to define three instinctual subtypes or variations of a basic type (e.g., SP 1, SX 1, and SO 1). One of these three subtypes is called the counter-type because it can look different from the basic type. Below are brief descriptions of the three type 1 instinctual subtypes.

SP 1 - Worry, Anxiety: worries about consequences resulting from things not being done right; avoids mistakes and doing things wrong so as not to be personally blamed or criticized; obsesses about details and likes to be prepared.

SX 1 - Zeal, Jealousy (counter-type): desire to reform people or society to the “right way” to be or do; feels entitled to what’s been “earned” through hard work and high ideals; angry and resentful of those who haven’t earned what they receive.

SO 1 - Rigidity, Non-Adaptable: already knows the “right way” so no need to adapt to what others say is “right”; provides example by modeling how one should be; sense of superiority can come from criticality of others for not behaving the right way.

While an individual may be identified with type 1 in general, that same individual may be more specifically identified with one of the three instinctual subtypes as well. 

A more recent approach to using the instincts is instinctual variant stacking which can be used independent of Enneagram type.

If you'd like to find your instinctual subtype or instinctual variant stacking then click here.

Type 1 Tritypes

Enneagram type 1 tritypes

With tritype you are not simply one type but three, one type from each center. There is also an order of preference for the three types (which type is 1st, 2nd, and 3rd).

The type 1 tritypes have type 1 as their first type and gut type. The second and third types come from the heart center (2, 3, or 4) and head center (5, 6, or 7).

Tritype® Archetype goes a step further by also looking at tritype in terms of the three types alone (independent of order of preference). Below are the Tritype® Archetype names if Enneagram type 1 is your primary type.

The Mentor - 125 or 152
The Supporter - 126 or 162
The Teacher - 127 or 172
The Technical Expert - 135 or 153
The Taskmaster - 136 or 163
The Systems Builder - 137 or 173
The Researcher - 145 or 154
The Philosopher - 146 or 164
The Visionary - 147 or 174

For a description of any Tritype® Archetype above click the name. If you're not taken to the correct part of the web page when it appears then scroll down to the middle of the web page and look for the Tritype® Archetype you're interested in.

If you'd like to find your tritype, tritype with wings, dominant type in a given center, or order of preference then click here.

Type 1 - Enneagram Levels of Development

Enneagram Levels

The Levels of Development create a vertical dimension within each Enneagram type.

There are nine levels ranging from healthy (levels 1-3) to average (levels 4-6) to unhealthy (levels 7-9). A person will operate within a range of levels (e.g., levels 2-4, levels 6-8, etc.). This range will vary throughout a lifetime. Two people of the same type will look different when they're operating from different levels.

Below are two words associated with each level for type 1 as described in the book "The Wisdom of the Enneagram" by Don Riso and Russ Hudson.

Healthy Levels

Level 1 - Accepting, Wise

Level 2 - Evaluating, Reasonable

Level 3 - Principled, Responsible

Average Levels

Level 4 - Obligated, Striving

Level 5 - Self-Controlled, Orderly

Level 6 - Judgemental, Critical

Unhealthy Levels

Level 7 - Self-Righteous, Inflexible

Level 8 - Obsessive, Contradictory

Level 9 - Condemnatory, Punitive

Click here for descriptions of all nine type 1 levels. If you're not taken to the correct part of the web page when it appears then scroll down to the middle of the web page and look for the section on Levels of Development.

Even though Enneagram tests are not 100% accurate they can provide a starting point for finding your Enneagram type and variations of type by narrowing down and validating your choices. The tests below can be useful if you think you might be a type 1 or you know you are a type 1 and want to explore the type 1 variations.

Enneagram Mistypes - Type 1 Comparison Tests

Some people correctly identify their Enneagram type on the first try. For most other people typing yourself correctly can take some time.

If you feel that you may have wrongly typed yourself as type 1 and have one or more alternative types in mind then click on a link below to take a quick Enneagram test comparing type 1 to another type.

To find some alternatives to type 1 you can take the type preference test below. Afterward you can compare these alternatives using the links above or the type comparison test.

Enneagram Variations - Tests to help find Type 1 Wing, Subtype, and Tritype

Find your type 1 wing preference by comparing the two wings of type 1.

Find your type 1 subtype by comparing the three instictual subtypes of type 1.

Find your missing tritype heart or head type by comparing the three types in a center.

Find your tritype order by comparing your 2nd and 3rd tritype types.

Quick Guide to the Enneagram

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

The Nine Enneagram Types x
The Nine Enneagram Types