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Ancient symbol. Modern psychology. 

The Enneagram Type 1 Journal:
A Guide to Inner Work & Self-Discovery for The Idealist

Check out the newest resource now available for your Type 1 Enneagram journey!


Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic


to have integrity, to be good virtuous, to do the “right thing”, to live up to their ideal of ethical and moral perfection



manifests as an internalized fury aimed at anything that challenges their idea of right or good, or anything that points out the One’s own flaws; typically unable to acknowledge the anger at all


to be wrong or make a mistake, to be corrupt or unethical, to cause harm to others, to be inappropriate or feel defective




actively engage in directing anger and judgment towards others to avoid acknowledging the reason for their anger, outward channeling of inner rage and criticism


to strive higher, improve everything and everyone, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone



acceptance of the imperfections of life by accepting what is instead of “what should be” while maintaining a pure definition of integrity and a genuine moral compass


Body / Gut / Instinctual

wisdom held in the body is used to maintain a boundary between external environment in order to control internal boundaries


Expel energy outward to hold back impulses and emotions so as not to be bad/wrong/corrupt

Internal pain often transforms in bodily action & instinctual external rage



negative — redirecting emotions or avoiding them entirely, detachment, inflexible, stubborn

positive — calm approach to conflicts, peacemaking tendencies, balance and harmony



negative — self-righteousness and criticism aimed at others, frustration and controlling

positive — deeply connected to helping and advocating for others, supportive and sensitive



negative — become self-absorbed and deeply judgmental, harsh criticisms, hypocritical behaviors, moody and detached

positive — deeply connected to compassion and emotional honesty, ability to internalize anger



negative — disregard, impulsive, hypocritical judgment, scattered and unfocused

positive — balanced, joyful, open-minded, relaxed, ability to adapt and become flexible


Enneagram Ones are compelled by a moral compass, or a "higher calling" in some cases, and strive to behave, think, and live in an ethical, good, and "right" way. They are usually fastidious, orderly, and polite. They avoid making mistakes or causing harm to others by attempting to live up to their impossibly high standards. Ones are oftentimes viewed as controlling, perfectionistic, and judgemental. 

Ones exemplify the desire to be good, to live up to the highest ethical standards, and to effect positive changes in the world. They are people of high standards, and they expect themselves and others to live by those standards.  They tend to see things in terms of long-range objectives, and they can be aware of how current actions might affect future situations. Most Ones report feeling a powerful sense of mission, a deep feeling of purpose that they remember from their early childhood. They sense that they are here for a reason. This sense of mission impels Ones to rise to their highest standards, to see if they are falling short of their ideals. They feel that they must live a balanced, sensible life in order to have the clarity and inner resources necessary to fulfill their purpose.


Healthy Levels of Development:  When operating from a healthy level of development Ones are willing to be reasonable, kind, flexible, and hopeful in the face of divisiveness, confrontation, and conflict. Ones have found serenity in the imperfections of life by accepting what is instead of “what should be” while maintaining a pure definition of integrity and a genuine moral compass; they become flexible in their approach to finding solutions and communicating across differences. People are no longer objects; the One is able to move past polarities and treat other humans with dignity and respect instead of judgment and resentment. They become flexible in their approach to finding solutions and communicating across differences. They are truly magnanimous and altruistic in their search for integrity, justice, and respect for all humans. Ones become virtuous, ethical, flexible, accepting, fair, objective, practical, compassionate, empathetic, understanding, willing to compromise or negotiate, balanced, philanthropic, benevolent, highly principled, and connected to true integrity.

Average Levels of Development:  Ones become emotionally constricted, internally motivated without external motion, overly opinionated, moody, irrational, rigid, unfeeling, intrusive,  unwilling to listen, stubborn, highly judgmental, abrasive, scolding, cruel, angry, and uncompassionate. They have impossibly high standards and get frustrated when things don't meet these standards, and they have a deeply repressed anger that can surface from time to time. They are oftentimes deeply judgmental humans who conceal a great deal of anger for self. No one escapes the judgment. The anger morphs into a resentment of all things that point out their mistakes or corruption to their morality. Ones in this position will lash out in a hypercritical but polite way to redirect the blame onto other people as a way of maintaining a false sense of integrity.

Unhealthy Levels of Development: They become self-righteous, deeply judgmental, inflexible, and cruel individuals who justify their actions and beliefs from the unhealthy energy of Point One. They become vessels for hatred and resentment, harshly judging anyone and anything who challenges their moral compass. This can trigger the defense mechanism of reactive formation, in which the One develops contradictory actions and behaviors in order to hide their true emotions and beliefs. This paradox leads to a deep internal anger that corrupts the One’s ability to see people as people, and instead they view them as objects. Anger, fear, and control are the primary motivators that distort reality resulting in resentment for humans that do not fall in line with the One’s ideals. They are deeply judgmental, callous, cold, inflexible, unwilling to compromise or listen to new perspectives, unkind, dehumanizing, and deeply angry.


Triggers / Biases: Unethical & immoral behavior, causing harm to people, witnessing injustices and unfair treatment, opposing views, “imperfection”, “bad”/lazy/uncivil people, anything opposite of their personal point of view, experiencing people who do not live within the ideals or values they believe are good/right, challenges to a polarity of right and wrong, grey areas of morality or ethical behaviors.

IDEA Challenge: Intersectionality and the complexities of challenges faced depending on how a person identifies is a distinctly difficult polarity for Ones to manage as it contains many confounding factors that must be acknowledged and measured. The duality of Black and White or Male and Female, for instance, can become a disorienting concept when any aspect of multidimensional diversity is added to the equation (ie, nonbinary, queer, transgender, multiracial, bi-racial, etc...). The possibility of more than one “right” perspective is a balancing act that many Ones may find particularly challenging. 

Disconnects: They often experience a blindspot for repressed resentment that is expressed externally toward people who challenge One's point of view. Typical disconnects for One are viewing someone as “less than” due to some attribute that differs from their own ideals, having to deal with someone who is not as concerned with being  “perfect” or “good”, feeling that it is up to them to fix everything and consequently placing blame on others, becoming obsessive about others’ wrongdoings and hypocritically acting against their own core values & ideals. 


Unhealthy Reaction: repressed anger, self-righteousness, rigidity, irritability, unfair/irrational  criticism, avoiding emotional response out of fear of appearing improper/imperfect, displaying judgment/blame/prejudice towards others’ demonstrations of anger/fear/injustice, severe judgments while rationalizing their own unhealthy behaviors, inability to access compassion, holding onto polarities of right and wrong, intolerant, absolutism, obsessive drive to fix whatever they deem "wrong", live in a constant state of resentment and suppressed anger aimed at the world’s faults, may experience a moment of empathy and understanding towards people in similar situations but the fear of having their integrity or ideals questioned quickly shifts them into a reactive state where they can justify their behaviors and actions. 

Healthy Reaction: flexibility, serenity, hope, kindness, intentional pause for reflection, reactivity is slowed down, inspiration through compassion, ability to connect body/heart/head for a balanced approach to conflict, polarities are dissolved and perspective becomes more important than holding onto ideals, people are no longer objects, ability to move past polarities and treat other humans with dignity and respect instead of judgment and resentment, truly magnanimous and altruistic in their search for integrity, justice, and respect for all humans, outspoken powerful leaders of true change and have a way of making everyone else see the path to joining causes to fight social injustice, resentment and anger evolve into a wake-up call to find balance when faced with challenges.


If you would like more information about The Enneagram in business please visit


Dr. Deborah Egerton and her team of Trinity Transition consultants are inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism specialists. Our culture change initiatives utilize the Enneagram and trademarked TTC tools to design workplace and community workshops. Our work creates the mindset shift necessary within communities and organizations to respect the diversity of every individual at all levels of society. We coach individuals, organizations, and communities to move from the space of apathy & tolerance to acceptance & inclusion.
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