Enneagram Type 1: A Profile

By Kara Reynolds | Feb 24, 2020

Do you know your enneagram type? How about your child’s or your partner’s? This personality assessment can provide you with valuable insights about what motivates and drives you. Knowing which profiles match the most critical players in your life helps you improve your relationships. The first step in relating well with others involves knowing yourself. What makes you tick? What gets you excited, and which tasks bore you to tears? If you fall into enneagram type 1, what career and hobbies suit you best? How can you improve your interactions with your partner or children if they share this personality type?

Enneagram Type 1: The Perfectionist

The first of the nine enneagram types is known as the perfectionist. If the diagram of types matched the zodiac, folks with these personalities would fall under the Virgo sun sign. If they were a religious organization, they’d most closely resemble the Puritans. Does that mean that folks with this personality type never cut loose and have fun? Of course not! However, they have a sharp sense of practicality and frugality, and they maintain high internal standards. They’ll tear up the dance floor only after they ensure that the party decorations are hanging straight.

The Perfectionist’s Strengths

If you’re a type 1, you bring a host of positive qualities to the table. You continually seek ways to improve not only your welfare but that of all people. You exercise careful and precise judgment, and if folks need a job done right the first time, yours is the first number they call. You maintain a strict moral compass. If you follow traditional religious practices, you adhere to the tenets of your faith and appreciate the consistency of others in doing so. You tend to see the world in black and white terms and have a highly defined sense of right and wrong. However, you turn your judgmental eye inward as much as you direct it toward the ills of the world. You strive to act with integrity above all, and if you find yourself in a situation where you have to stretch the truth, you grow uncomfortable. While most people don’t think twice about telling a little white lie to a friend who asks how their new shirt looks, you struggle to balance kindness with honesty in your reply. However, cruelty is anathema to your nature. While you speak in a direct, no-nonsense manner, you rarely resort to name-calling. Indeed, you have little patience for small talk at all and prefer actions over words.

The Perfectionist’s Weaknesses

Each of the nine personality types has their weaknesses. If you’re a type 1, yours might be your rigidity. You can forget that everyone is human and makes mistakes, and you can judge others unduly. Sometimes, you get so fixated on having things done the “right” way — a.k.a. your way — that you let resentment simmer. For example, if your partner rinses the dishes but doesn’t load the dishwasher just right, you might roll your eyes. However, if it happens consistently and you fail to address it, you can lash out in a moment of weakness. Another downside to this personality is your inability to relax. Because you’re so duty-oriented, you tend to feel uncomfortable when you have unstructured time left in your planner. One tip is to consider self-care as part of your responsibilities. That way, you’ll prioritize time for taking that yoga class or unwinding in a bubble bath. You can’t pour from an empty pitcher, so if you see this time as necessary for performing at your peak, you’ll indulge. Finally, you can fall prey to depression with this personality type. You have such exacting standards that you can fall into despair when the world fails to meet your expectations. You need to learn to let go and live and let live.

Relating to Type 1 in the Workplace

If you fall into this enneagram type, your employer probably delights every time you walk into the office. You’re hardworking and meticulous, and you understand the importance of playing by the rules. Once you embrace the mission of your organization, you’ll do everything in your power to help your team achieve their goals, even if that means putting in overtime. As far as careers go, you’d probably do well in the following fields:

  • Lawyer or judge: Because of your love of the rules, you’d make an excellent prosecutor or judge.
  • Academia: People with this enneagram type are natural teachers. However, given your love of cleanliness, you probably won’t do your best work in an elementary school setting. The somber traditions of higher education appeal to your sense of order.
  • Bookkeeping or accounting: You have a keen attention to detail and an eye for perfection. As such, you excel in fields that require precision, such as bookkeeping and accounting.
  • Editing: Once again, your eye for detail serves you well in this occupation.

If you manage someone you suspect is a type 1, you can fall into the trap of thinking they’ll find hard work a reward in itself. However, these individuals appreciate a hierarchical structure and they want to know what they must do to get to the next level in their careers. Providing them with a detailed outline of the activities needed for advancement will ensure they get the tasks done — often well ahead of schedule.

Relating to Type 1 at Home and in Love

On the homefront, you could experience tension in your relationships unless your partner shares a similar style. Because of your no-nonsense personality, you can come off as harsh or cold. You struggle to express tender feelings and may consider shows of emotion as signs of weakness. If you study the five love languages, you most likely prefer acts of service as ways your partner can show that they care. You’d rather come home to a sparkling clean house than a bouquet of roses. However, you need to remember that your loved one lacks a crystal ball, so communicate your desires to them when you both feel calm. As a parent, you can hold your children to exacting standards. Make a conscientious effort to remind yourself that they’re only young once. Childhood is messy and unpredictable — and fabulous. Let your kids break you out of your shell a little. Spend a sunny Saturday making mud pies with your littles at a neighborhood park. You’ll soon see it doesn’t kill you to get dirty — grime washes away, but precious memories don’t.

Enneagram Type 1 — Celebrate Perfection but Embrace Letting Go

If you’re an enneagram type 1, take pride in your attention to detail and your keen sense of right and wrong — but do let loose sometimes. If you love someone with this type, learn how to see their need for things to go a particular way, but help them to let their hair down on occasion.

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