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Enneagram Type 1: The Perfectionist



Enneagram System  » Enneagram Core Types

#1  #Type 1 

The Strengths, Weaknesses, Fears, Motivations and Love Style

Enneagram Type 1:

"The Perfectionist"

 Key Phrases

  • Principled and idealistic
  • Highly self-disciplined
  • Can be critical of self and others
  • Strives for perfection and order
  • Tends to be responsible and reliable
  • Struggles with anger and rigidity 

Enneagram Type 1 is known as the "Perfectionist". People with this personality type are principled, idealistic, and have high standards. They are highly self-disciplined and strive for perfection and order. They can be critical of themselves and others. Type 1 individuals tend to be responsible and reliable, but they may struggle with anger and rigidity.


1's Strengths

Enneagram Type 1 individuals are known for their strong sense of responsibility and reliability. They are principled and strive for perfection in their actions. However, their pursuit of perfection can sometimes lead to rigidity and an excessive focus on the negative.

  • Strong Sense of Integrity and Morality: Type 1s have a strong inner compass and a deep commitment to living in accordance with their principles and values. They strive for ethical behavior and maintain a sense of integrity in their actions.

  • Detail-Oriented and Conscientious: Type 1s have a keen eye for detail and exhibit a high level of conscientiousness. They are thorough and meticulous in their work, often going above and beyond to ensure accuracy and precision.

  • Self-Disciplined and Responsible: Type 1s are self-disciplined individuals who take their responsibilities seriously. They have a strong work ethic and are reliable in meeting their obligations and commitments.

  • Idealistic and Strive for Perfection: Type 1s have a vision of how things should be and strive for perfection in their endeavors. They set high standards for themselves and others, aiming to create a world that aligns with their ideals.

  • Problem-Solvers and Reformers: Type 1s have a natural ability to identify areas in need of improvement and work towards finding solutions. They are driven to make positive changes and often advocate for justice and fairness.

1's Weaknesses

Despite their strengths, Enneagram Type 1s can also exhibit certain weaknesses. They may be overly critical and perfectionistic, which can lead to self-judgment and others' criticism. Their desire for order and control can also lead to rigidity or inflexibility.

  • Tendency towards Self-Criticism: Type 1s can be highly self-critical and have a strong inner critic that highlights their perceived flaws or mistakes. They may struggle with self-acceptance and can be excessively hard on themselves.

  • Judgmental and Critical of Others: Type 1s have a tendency to be critical and judgmental of others when they perceive a deviation from their standards or principles. They may struggle with accepting different perspectives or approaches.

  • Rigid and Inflexible: Type 1s can be rigid in their thinking and have a strong desire for order and structure. They may resist change or find it challenging to adapt when things don't go according to plan.

  • Difficulty with Relaxation and Playfulness: Type 1s often have difficulty letting go and embracing leisure or playfulness. They may feel a sense of guilt or a need to be productive at all times, finding it challenging to relax or engage in activities solely for enjoyment.

  • Repressed Emotions: Type 1s may have a tendency to repress or deny their own emotions, viewing them as distractions or impediments to their pursuit of perfection. They may struggle with accessing and expressing their feelings authentically.

1's Basic Fears

Enneagram Type 1 individuals are driven by a deep-rooted fear of being corrupt or defective.

They harbor a constant concern that they may fall short of their own moral and ethical standards. This fear fuels their relentless pursuit of perfection and compels them to be highly self-disciplined and self-critical. They strive to avoid any perceived flaws or imperfections, as these would signify a deviation from their ideal of righteousness.

The fear of moral compromise drives their quest for integrity and motivates them to uphold high standards in all aspects of life.

1's Motivations

Enneagram Type 1s are primarily motivated by a profound desire for integrity, responsibility, and perfection.

They possess an unwavering commitment to doing what is right, both ethically and morally. This internal drive pushes them to maintain high standards not only for themselves but also for the people around them. They find fulfillment in adhering to their principles and upholding a sense of order and justice in their personal and professional lives.

The motivation to live in alignment with their values and ideals fuels their tireless efforts to create a world that reflects fairness, where righteousness and ethical conduct prevail.

Healthy vs Unhealthy 1's

When healthy, Enneagram 1s use their integrity and attention to detail to bring about positive change. They are principled and fair, inspiring others with their dedication to excellence. They are responsible but not overly perfectionistic, organized but not rigid, and purposeful while maintaining flexibility.

On the other hand, when unhealthy, Enneagram 1s can become overly critical and judgmental. They may struggle with anger and have difficulty accepting imperfections, both in themselves and in others. They may also become rigid and inflexible, disregarding different perspectives and becoming overly focused on maintaining their own standards. 

Growth Recommendations for Type 1

  • Cultivate self-compassion: Learn to embrace imperfections and be kinder to yourself. Allow room for mistakes and personal growth.

  • Practice flexibility: Try to be more adaptable and open-minded. Embrace different perspectives and allow for spontaneity.

  • Balance justice with forgiveness: While it's important to uphold principles, also learn to forgive and let go of resentments for your own well-being.


Expressing Love

Enneagram Type 1s express love in a manner that's deeply tied to their core values of integrity, honesty, and their desire for improvement.

They are usually principled and responsible, showing their affection through acts of service, striving to make things better for their loved ones. When a Type 1 loves someone, they often express this by helping their loved one to grow, to improve, and to live up to their potential.

They may take on tasks and responsibilities to create a more orderly and ethical world for their partner. They tend to express their love in straightforward and honest ways, valuing truth and fairness above all else. However, their high standards and their tendency to be self-critical and critical of others can sometimes come off as nitpicking or never being satisfied.

Remember, at their best, their intentions are to uplift and to help their loved ones become the best versions of themselves, stemming from a deep place of caring and commitment.

For an in-depth understanding of Type 1's Compatibility see 1's Compatibility with the other Types.

Explore the Wings

Each Core Type has a Wing Type.  Exploring the Wings offers a more comprehensive view and valuable insights and offers opportunities for personal growth and development by tapping into the unique qualities and strengths of the adjacent Enneagram types.


1w9 "The Idealist"


1w2 "The Advocate"


Betty Baker M.A. Psych, M.Ed

About the Author

Betty Baker is an awarded marriage and family therapist and contributor to the internationally renowned PeaceBuilders® Program - a science-based, research-based, research-validated violence prevention curriculum and professional development program for children, grades pre-K to 12.