Enneagram ONE detail

ONEs possess a comparing, critical, judging mind. They seem to be searching for perfection. Life rarely measures up. ONEs know the error that others don’t see.

The compulsion of the ONE is anger. They live out of anger, but it is buried. They fail to see the anger signals. They don’t know what they’re really angry about, however. Their anger is usually turned inwards, where they encounter a severe inner critic. They have a tough time loving themselves, and accepting themselves as they are. Their anger can often be expressed as resentment: that critical sense that others are not pulling their weight, are being sloppy, or are just plain incompetent. And they resent others who are rewarded without doing the hard work.

They were often raised as good and polite children, but they always felt judged by their elders, as if they couldn’t measure up, weren’t good enough. They live in a world of ‘ought’ rather than ‘want.’ ONEs live out of “shoulds” and duty.

They are highly critical of the way things are run – in almost any situation. They analyze situations and can quickly see what is going wrong. When given the chance, ONEs will fix the problem. They tend to be detailed in work; their decisions need to be thought through; they like rewards for achievement. They might get involved in righteous causes, when they see that their criticism is listened to.

They are committed to family life; yet others don’t feel their warmth because they are not emotionally expressive. They experience a good deal of distrust: thus, their need to keep feelings under control. They engage in lots of black and white thinking: if one small aspect in relationship goes wrong, everything is put into question. They don’t put themselves forward – they would consider that rude. They tend to take rigid social stances. They are often self-forgetting: they do what is right, not what they want. They really do suffer with their inner critic; there is nothing nice about this critical voice.

ONEs make wonderful moral leaders because of their sense of correctness.

Under stress, ONEs move to FOUR. They might adopt the moodiness and melancholy of the FOUR; they might end up hating themselves and punishing themselves instead of others. To escape their tormenting superego, they might find refuge in fantasies about life somewhere else, with someone else.

When they are feeling secure, they can be quite playful. The healthy ONE moves to the healthy SEVEN. This helps ONEs loosen their moral chains, mellow out, and enjoy the pleasures of life. As they release the need to be perfect, they learn to approach life with enthusiasm rather than obligation and constraint. They can allow things to unfold without judgment or manipulation.

If you feel this describes you fairly well, then click here to explore spiritual practices that might be best suited for your type. Otherwise, click here to return to the summary descriptors of the types.