Enneagram Type 1 (The Perfectionist): Complete Profile Analysis

Personality intervenes in all the important moments of our lives. That is why it is of vital importance to know ourselves and work on it to advance our lives positively and achieve our personal goals.

Many people do not know the power of knowing their personality and how to work on it to achieve their goals and improve as people. That is why a free enneagram test can be very helpful to know ourselves and positively develop our personality.

The Enneagram is a map of human behavior that has 9 types. It is a dynamic system that allows us to understand our personalities and to know our strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we will talk about Enneagram type 1, its strengths, weaknesses and all the characteristics of this personality called “The Reformer” or “The Perfectionist”.

Enneagram Type 1

Brief Overview of the Enneagram Type 1

Other names: The perfectionist, the reformer, the judge, the angry one, the anger.


They tend to be practical, organized, hard-working, honest and respectful. Are detail-oriented and always notice the faults of themselves and others. They need to improve in everything, a fact that can be beneficial in some cases, but can also be counterproductive in others.

Can be loyal, responsible and capable friends. They are people who have strong principles and like to follow rules. Besides, they expect others to be as integral and responsible as they are.


Their inability to achieve perfection fuels a sense of guilt for not living up to their standards. The imperfections of the world also fuel his anger. They express stress and anger in the form of impatience, frustration, annoyance and criticism.

Although they tend to be “good-hearted,” the anger they accumulate can flare up in an occasional attack. Can be difficult to deal with, as they find it hard to express their feelings.

This is because they are emotionally repressed and see emotionality as a sign of weakness and lack of control.


Their main fear is of being wrong or perceived as a “bad person” by others. The perfectionist wants and strives to do the “right” things. He fears that his ideals are wrong and counterproductive; he is afraid of being bad, corrupt, perverse, or imperfect.

Desires and Needs

Doing things “right” and being “right” people is what makes them feel worthy. This represents the social acceptance of their values and principles since they act based on them.

Core Motivation

The reformers want to be right and consistent with their ideals. They strive to improve everything so that they can justify themselves and look to be perfect in front of everyone to stay away from criticism.

Speaking Style

The type 1 corrects others based on their perfectionism. They do so in a preachy way, insisting that they must share their criteria or values.

Justify themselves by appealing to what they consider “the right thing to do” and claiming that this is how they would act.

Wings for Enneagram Type 1

Enneagram type 1 wings are Two and Nine. This means that some traits of these enneagram types influence Enneagram One while maintaining their main characteristics. The influence of the wings varies as follows in “The Perfectionists”:

Wing 9 (1w9)

These Ones possess great discernment of what is good and what is bad. Besides being more flexible and receptive to perspectives and ideas outside their own. They tend to be more peaceful and withdrawn than other types.

Wing 2 (1w2)

These Ones focus more on other people and advocate social causes to help them. Sometimes they are overly critical of other people in terms of making them take the “right” stance on some situation. But deep down, they just want to help and feel appreciated.

Enneagram 1 Key Characteristics


They are integral and coherent in their actions. Stand up for what they believe to be right by pursuing the truth and striving to be an example to follow.


Their purpose is to be perfect and for everything around them to be perfect too. It is their credo and what motivates them to demand and perfect themselves to achieve it.


Are hard-working, responsible, obsessive with their routine and serious. Discipline reigns in all aspects of their lives, as they feel they are in control.


They like to be in control of their emotions and actions. Are extremely meticulous. This leads to worrying too much about what people will say and repressing their emotions constantly.


Everything must be in place. For them, nothing is ever good enough. This makes them extremely perfectionists and with strict standards on everything.


The Ones are very reflective and put what they believe to be right before emotions. They like to think and act rationally and encourage others to do so too.


Are very ethical and give great importance to morality. They question the actions of others and harshly criticize the faults of others, boasting of their impeccable morals.


They demand more and more of themselves, trying to meet their idealized standards. Never are satisfied with themselves and this generates stress and disappointment.

Enneagram Type 1 Core Values


Wanting to be better day by day is their main motivation. They want to demonstrate it with their actions and principles. And desire to be perceived by others as an example to follow.

Responsibility and Commitment

They love to follow the established rules and commit themselves to all social aspects. Expect others to show the same commitment and responsibility as they do.


As people who pursue the truth and what is right, this value is fundamental for them. They rely on it to establish their belief system, expecting others to act fairly.


They care about being honest and transparent in all their actions and decisions. That is why they strive to be a role model for society and for others to recognize their personal achievements.

Careers Paths for Enneagram Type 1

In the business environment, are strict perfectionists with a tendency to be very punctual and efficient. They like to follow the rules and record everything in a written and organized way.

Are excellent at guiding and helping their co-workers. Besides ensuring that everything runs smoothly in their work area, due to their perfectionism.

However, sometimes they delay the work to verify that it is perfect, and can also hurt others with their temper and criticism. The Perfectionist develops very well in areas such as administration, systems control, quality control and justice, where they can shine thanks to their order and meticulousness.

The list of best career paths for enneagram type 1 are:

  • Medical
  • Accountancy
  • Administration
  • Process control
  • Law
  • Professor
  • Police Officers
  • Computer analyst
  • Software designer
  • Financial officer

Development Levels for Enneagram 1

Healthy levels

At the first and best level, they can achieve harmony with themselves and the world around them. At this point, they stop pursuing perfection and accept everything as it is. Becoming wise, serene and inspiring individuals.

At a second level, they seek self-control and become more disciplined. Their personal convictions and principles give them security. It allows them to act and express themselves with firmness, being clear about the difference between right and wrong through reasoning.

At a third level, they are strongly focused on principles and seek in an extreme way to be fair and objective. Are obsessed with their primary values, which are truth and justice. Besides being involved in social causes, they are committed to and elevate their purpose to defend justice and truth at all costs.

Average levels

At a fourth level, the Ones tend to be disappointed with reality because of their unrealistic idealizations. They feel a great responsibility to reform everything, becoming judgmental and commanding people to be as they believe is right.

At a fifth level, fear of mistakes and of being imperfect reigns. They put too much pressure on themselves to make their actions consistent with their ideals. Despite being organized and orderly, at this point they are rigid and inexpressive. Perfectionists can also become workaholics and develop negative and obsessive behaviors.

On the sixth level, they are very demanding, strict perfectionists, nagging and critical. Are easily stubborn and irritating when they disagree with something. They correct people compulsively and are never satisfied with anything.

Unhealthy levels

At a seventh level, believe themselves to be the owners of the absolute truth and become intolerant and inflexible. They believe they are superior to others, making harsh judgments about their actions.

At an eighth level, they can become hypocritical, acting against their principles. They also become obsessed with the imperfections of others, not only judging them but also ridiculing them for their mistakes.

At the worst and lowest level, they become cruel executioners of others. At this point, they are prone to nervous breakdowns and even consider suicide. Aside from developing possible depressive and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Personal Growth for Enneagram 1

Be aware of your demands and learn to relax

Unlike other enneagram types, the Ones are constantly feeling pressured and frustrated. They want to reform everything to be perfect according to their ideals. It is never enough for them. They have a hard time stopping to meditate, stop making demands on themselves and worrying about others.

Recommendation: You can’t take responsibility for everything. Take time for yourself and to understand that everything is perfect just as it is, with its processes and imperfections. The best way to change the world is to change yourself and sometimes self-pity brings about the transformation you desire.

Accept yourself as you are

They constantly demand more and more, which keeps them dissatisfied with themselves. They idealize their ideal self, without imperfections, and torture themselves with such strict standards.

For this reason, their greatest challenge is to assimilate their weaknesses and work on them by building on their strengths.

Recommendation: We are a mirror. We will see reflected out there what we don’t like about ourselves. Accept that no one is perfect and no one needs to be perfect. Take a break from self-criticism and learn to accept yourself and reality as they are. When you do, you will find harmony in yourself out there too.

Talk less, listen more

We know how faithful reformers are to their ideals. They believe they are the owners of reason and tend to teach, and even pressure, others to adapt to their criteria.

Are excellent at expressing their ideas, but sometimes do not tolerate listening to others when they do not agree. This causes them anger and resentment which, when constantly repressed, easily leads to chaos and mental unhealthiness.

Recommendation: Absolute reason does not exist. Everyone looks at it from their own perspective and in that diversity lies the beauty of life. Learning when to be silent will make you wise. And learning to listen to those perspectives will broaden your reason and improve your actions. This will allow you to be more flexible and condescending with your environment.

Understand that you are not in control of other people

Ones have high demands and are very rigid. They tend to get annoyed with people who don’t do exactly what they say. Believing that they are in the right, they do not tolerate seeing other people acting differently.

They repress all this frustration and then become hurtful with their criticisms, irritating and grumpy with the outside world.

Recommendation: Understand that everyone has their own process of change. Just because someone doesn’t do exactly what you told them doesn’t mean they don’t value your advice. Change doesn’t happen overnight. At some point, they will start to become the best version of themselves thanks to your advice. But you must be patient and respect each person’s metamorphosis.

Identify your emotional needs and connect with them

This Enneagram type tends to repress their emotions and hide behind criticism and denial to cope. Aside from hurting others with this, also hurts himself. And in the long run, it will become cruel, painful and obsessive.

Recommendation: We all have limitations and needs. You have the right to be worried, sad or sorry. You can show these needs and ask other people for help. Having vulnerabilities does not mean being weak, it means being human. Expel all those emotions from your being. Do sports, therapeutic massages, yoga or whatever allows you to let go of that emotional burden that does not allow you to move forward in your personal growth.

Behavior and Patterns of Type 1

Action Patterns

Enneagrams type 1 are self-absorbed, so their actions are dedicated to internal development. Among these manifestations, we can find discipline and self-control. They base their actions on their principles, so they show themselves as responsible, critical and organized people.

Are meticulous and organized in everything they do, making them very hard-working and planned people. At work, they tend to be demanding of themselves and others, while working in a structured way.

They are very analytical and oriented to perfection and quality, which is why they can be slow in their activities, trying to take care of every detail.

Feeling Patterns

The perfectionists repress their emotional outpouring because they consider expressing it to be a lack of self-control, even if the feelings are positive. However, in times of stress and pressure, they express their inner anger in the form of criticism of others.

They point them out as irresponsible, unethical and complain, justifying every critique. Despite constantly pushing themselves to be perfect, they are irritated when others point out their imperfections. Are not receptive to criticism from others, even though they are self-critical.

When this enneagram type is upset, they adopt an even more rigid and polite posture. They look for ways to justify every complaint thoughtfully and rationally.

This anger arises when they obsessively think about how they believe things should be and disconnect from their environment, locking themselves into their inner idealization.

Thinking Patterns

The Ones have great discernment between good and evil. Their philosophy of life is “if you won’t do something right, don’t do it”. Are very strict and put pressure on themselves and others to meet their high perfectionist standards.

They have an internal dialogue with their ego that demands more and more, placing responsibility on them to perfect everything. This ego imposes rules on them based on its principles where they seek to fulfill their own expectations.

For example, if they believe they should be more expressive, they will dabble in an activity that allows them, such as dance or plastic arts. Leading them to want to fit into a group to be perceived as a “perfect” and good person. This is what drives them to over-emphasize themselves above others and seek to be the role model

Famous Enneagram Type 1 You Might Know

  1. C.S Lewis – Teacher and novelist
  2. Michelle Obama – Lawyer
  3. Eleanor Roosevelt – Writer and political activist
  4. Mahatma Gandhi – Pacifist and politician
  5. Natalie Portman – Actress
  6. Steve Jobs – Apple CEO and Tycoon
  7. Julie Andrews – Actress
  8. Confucius – Chinese thinker 
  9. Plato – Philosopher
  10. Thomas Keller – Chef
  11. Hillary Clinton – Lawyer and politician
  12. Nelson Mandela – Lawyer and activist
  13. Sir Thomas More – Philosopher and statesman
  14. Jodie Foster – Actress
  15. Martin Luther King – Pastor and activist
  16. Nicole Kidman – Actress 
  17. Celine Dion – Singer
  18. Maggie Smith – Actress
  19. Carl Sagan – Astronomer
  20. Colin Powell – Military and politician
  21. John Calvin – Theologian
  22. Anne Frank – Diarist 
  23. Angela Davis – Philosopher and politician
  24. Noam Chomsky – Linguist and philosopher
  25. Jane Fonda – Actress

Final Words

If you took the free Enneagram test and discovered that you are an Enneagram type 1 you will have identified with this article. Also, you may have noticed that your perfectionism can be your greatest virtue or your worst weakness.

But nothing is lost, as we have made this post to help you understand your nature. Knowing yourself is the only way you will be able to work on your weaknesses by focusing on your strengths.

Just have to accept yourself as you are, learn to relax, connect with your emotions and be condescending to other people’s mistakes.

Then, you will see how everything flows positively and how the perfection of the imperfect begins to manifest in your life and your environment, allowing you to be happier and better every day.

Enneagram Type 1 FAQ

What is the Enneagram Type 1 Meaning?

It means being an ethical, perceptive and realistic person, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They strive to reform things for the better, but fear making mistakes or being labeled as a “bad person”. They try to hold high values but can be critical and perfectionistic at times.

Although they are prone to be angry and impatient in repressing emotions, are also well-organized, orderly and meticulous.

How To Get Along with Enneagram Type One?

Be orderly, educated, responsible and act according to the rules. Sincerely acknowledge your mistakes and value their advice.

They tolerate criticism very badly, so don’t criticize them head-on. Expose your point of view logically and coherently to discuss with him. And do not be ironic, because it will hurt and repress their emotions.

How Does an Enneagram Type 1 Handle Stress?

When the Ones become stressed, they become dissatisfied with reality. They criticize, feeling that everything must be improved because everything is wrong, and they justify this attitude based on their perfectionist criteria.

Is Enneagram Type 1 Rare and How Rare?

Enneagram type 1 is uncommon, representing about 7-10% of the population.

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