Today we will have a look at the last Enneagram type of the ACTION CENTRE, the Enneagram 1 – The STRICT PERFECTIONIST. They are often also called The TEACHER, The ACTIVIST, or The MORALIST.
“The world is imperfect and I must work towards improving it. I must be good/right/perfect and avoid mistakes. I must distinguish between right and wrong and apply myself diligently to make the world better.”
“We shall never have friends, if we expect to find them without fault.” — Thomas Fuller
Enneagram Ones value being a good person, they are principled and idealistic. Ones have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and are ethical and conscientious, seeing things through to the end. They are able to see and judge details, people, and situations objectively, without emotion. Ones enjoy opportunities to structure things and are naturally adept at organising, prioritising, and creating an order. With their idealism, they bring a sense of discernment, integrity, and dignity to their world. They are always striving to improve things but are afraid of making mistakes and being criticised for them. Ones have a knack for detail and will pay attention to quality standards and the application of rules and procedures.
The four V’s of the Enneagram 1 are:
Vulnerability (or core fear) – Criticism
This is the one thing Enneagram Ones fear most. They are particularly vulnerable to criticism as it challenges their need to be good or right, connecting to their fear of not being good enough.
Vice – Anger
Enneagram Ones have very high standards and ideals of perfection. This leads them to see what is wrong with their world. When things are not as they should be, Ones feel personally responsible and this creates hostility towards what is and towards other people, as they believe others should conform to their views of how it should be. They feel if everything is perfect, they can finally relax. When ideals are not met, Ones become resentful towards themselves and others for not being good enough which results in anger.
Value – Goodness
Driven by the need to be good, do the right thing, and avoid mistakes, Enneagram Ones value principles, integrity, order, and goodness.
Virtue – Serenity
When Enneagram Ones accept the world as it is instead of standing against it, they no longer need to correct everything and everyone. Critical anger has no place, and they become open to whatever presents, allowing themselves to be at peace.
“The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are.” — Jack Kornfield
When Ones are at their very best, they are wise, discerning, realistic, and noble as well as morally heroic.
At their worst, they may be judgemental, critical, uncompromising, and even pedantic, driven by their acute awareness of imperfections and that nagging sense of not being good enough.
The blind spots of the Enneagram One include:
- They may appear critical or impatient even when they are trying to be constructive in interactions with others.
- Ones may be unaware of how irritation, anger, and resentment show up in body language despite their best efforts toward controlling and repressing these emotions.
- When feeling righteous about an issue, they may struggle to move from this righteous position to accept that others may also have a valid, different perspective/response.
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Just one simple example of what is so typical for an Ennea 1, is when I look into one of my friends’ handbags. Everything has its place and is in perfect order. She always finds everything she needs in an instant. I do envy her as my handbag is pure chaos and no matter what I do, within just minutes after cleaning it up, chaos seems to be attached to tit like gum on a shoe. She does nonetheless shake her head often enough in slight disdain over the state of my bag – I on the other hand can’t be bothered, except when I desperately try to find something.
To summarise, Ones emphasise being correct, organised, and sensible. They focus on standards, improving themselves, and knowing and following the rules. They manage their feelings by repression and denial. Feelings are channeled into activity and getting things done perfectly. Feelings are also held as physical rigidity in the body. Ones want to work with the system. They do their best to be a “good girl or boy” and are irritated with people who have a disregard for rules.
“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world.” — Mohandas K. Ghandi
🎶My Song of the Week
For more good music, go to this Spotify playlist where you can find all the songs from the Blog!
📚My Poem of the Week
Is by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)
“Inert Perfection, let me chip your shell.
You cannot break it through with that soft beak.
What if you broke it never, and it befell
You should not issue thence, should never speak?”
Perfection in the egg, a fluid thing,
Grows solid in due course, and there exists;
Knowing no urge to struggle forth and sing;
Complete, though shell-bound. But the mind insists
It shall be hatched…to this ulterior end:
That it be bound by Function, that it be
Less than Perfection, having to expend
Some force on a nostalgia to be free.
The totem of the Enneagram 1 is the always-busy ant aiming for perfection
If I piqued your interest to find out more about the Enneagram, your type, and yourself, and how it can transform you and your life, I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here, go to my website or simply hit reply and get in touch with me directly.
Wishing you a wonderful start to your weekend and as always look forward to your comments and feedback!