Have you identified yourself as a One enneatype? Today we’re looking at some of the most recognizable traits of this personality type so that you can get clarity about your type. Keep in mind, some of these traits will be more obvious with unhealthy Ones, while others will be more obvious with healthy Ones. You can find out more about this type in our Enneagram One Type Profile.
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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
21 Signs That You’re an Enneagram 1 Type
#1 – You Hold Yourself to Very High Standards
You’re a perfectionist when it comes to everything you do. Making sure tasks are done on time and done well is crucial to you. Being a good person and living up to your moral standards is central to who you are as a person.
#2 – You Repress Anger
You worry that by expressing your anger or “exploding” you will fail to live up to your high standards. Therefore, you hold in your anger, repressing it under clenched fists, a tight jawbone, and gritted teeth. However, your irritation tends to leak out through sarcastic remarks or critiques.
#3 – You Aim to Be Grounded
Having a steady head is something you pride yourself on. You want to know that your decisions are based on objectivity and real-world experience. You refrain from flying off the handle or making emotion-driven decisions. Instead, you try to focus on the facts and the reality of what you’re facing.
#4 – You Fear Being Evil or Bad
Underneath all your actions is a deep fear of being defective or “bad.” When you make mistakes you get wrapped up in worry that you’re somehow worse than other people. You notice when your intentions are less than pure and you try to put aside anything selfish or morally ambiguous.
#5 – You Need to Know the Rules
Clarity about expectations is very important to you. You like knowing what’s expected of you and what the boundaries are so that you can make sure you’re living and behaving in the correct and reasonable way.
#6 – You Experience Physical Tension Regularly
Because you hold in so much of your anger, you often experience muscle aches or IBS symptoms. If you’re at a healthier stage in your life, you may have grown past this phase. But it’s very common for Ones to feel a lot of physical aches and pains from repressing anger, stress, and emotional expression.
#7 – When You’re Highly Stressed, You Introspect
When you’ve been experiencing ongoing, increased stress, you can disintegrate to 4. When this happens, you withdraw from people and get absorbed in your own feelings. You might imagine being “rescued” or found by someone who will finally understand you and all the sacrifices you’ve made. You can find out more about this here.
#8 – You Try to “Civilize” Your Natural Instincts
Because of your high internal standards, you suspect anything that doesn’t feel “controlled” inside yourself. Being silly, spontaneous, or giving in to your impulses can make you feel like you’re out of control. Until you reach a high level of maturity, you tend to stifle your instincts because you fear being irrational or doing something reckless.
#9 – You Believe in Fairness At All Costs
You hate nothing more than preferential, biased treatment. Justice and fairness guide you, and you strive to treat everyone with a basic level of respect and decency. You hold yourself to high standards so that others won’t ever be able to blame you of being hypocritical or unfair.
#10 – You Try To Separate Your Emotions From a Problem
When you have a decision to make, you try to step outside your emotions so that you can look at the situation reasonably. It’s crucial for you to stay grounded, objective, and practical. You don’t want your decisions to be clouded by untrustworthy emotions.
#11 – You Aim to Make the World a Better Place
It’s not enough for you to come into the world, have some fun, and leave the planet no better than when you found it. You want to make a difference for people, for a cause, and for the ideals that matter to you. When you’re at a healthy maturity level, you can be a revolutionary world-changer.
#12 – People Count On You
Your word is your bond, and your commitments can be depended on. You will work tirelessly to be someone your loved ones can depend on and rely on for help and sound advice.
#13 – You Were Pressured to Take On a Lot of Responsibility as a Child
The childhood wound of the One is self-judgment. Ones often felt disconnected from the protective figure in their lives. Maybe this happened because your mom or dad had to work a lot of hours. Maybe one of them was an alcoholic. Perhaps the other children in the family took a lot of care, so you became the “helper” and tried to be responsible and reliable rather than a hindrance. To cope with this, you became your own judge and critic. You developed a need to be “the dependable one” and the hero. Many times this was encouraged by the parental figures in your home. You tried to repress your emotions, especially anger, and be reasonable and mature beyond your years. You can find out more about that here: The Childhood Wounds of Every Enneagram Type.
#14 – As a Child, You Needed to Hear That You Were Good
You needed to get the message that you were good as you were, not for what you accomplished or took responsibility for. You needed to feel like you were accepted, protected, and loved regardless of how much you did to help. You needed to hear that you were good even without having to be perfect.
#15 – You Have An Inner Critical Voice
There’s a parental voice inside you that proactively criticizes you and berates you when you fail or could fail. This voice becomes less apparent as you grow in maturity and health, and you learn to separate the voice from who you are or maybe a deity or parent you associated it with.
#16 – You Feel Frustrated That Others Don’t Have the Same Standards You Do
Because you strive so hard for perfection or at least moral integrity, you feel frustrated that so many others don’t even consider these things. Life can seem like a long, hard struggle of trying to live in alignment with your values. If you’re at a stressful or unhealthy point in your life you might feel plagued by resentment of those who seem more relaxed and carefree.
#17 – You Believe That Everything Can Be Improved
Personal growth and living up to a higher calling are all vitally important to you.
#18 – You Are Sensitive to Criticism
Because you beat yourself up so much and push yourself so hard, criticism can feel debilitating. You strive to be above reproach and you often work yourself to burnout in attempting to do so. Because of this, when other people put you down or call out errors you can feel crushed. You can also feel angry if you sense that the other person is pointing fingers at you without noticing their own weaknesses and mistakes.
#19 – When You’re Healthy, You Are Deeply Compassionate
A lot of what we talk about in the Enneagram are unhealthy coping mechanisms and weaknesses. But there are good qualities to each Enneatype as well! When One’s like you are healthy, you are deeply compassionate and accepting. You realize that no one can be perfect and you’ve diminished the voice of your “inner critic.” You have extraordinary patience with people and observe your negative thoughts and feelings before you express them out-loud to make sure you’re being fair and helpful.
#20 – You’ve Learned to Laugh at Yourself
One of the signs that you’ve reached a healthy place as a One is that you have learned to laugh about your mistakes. While you still try to do things well, you’ve learned that failure is a teacher and that the universe has a sense of humor. You’ve learned to be accepting instead of feeling compelled to “fix” everything or make it “perfect.”
#21 – You Are Detail-Oriented
You have a very attentive eye and strive to have an organized, structured world. You notice things that other people don’t – particularly things that might need fixing or correcting. This attentiveness can show up in enjoyment of giving advice or in re-organizing your environment to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any insights or suggestions to share with other readers? Let us know in the comments! Find out more about this type in the video below:
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The Complete Enneagram – 17 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge by Beatrice Chestnut, PhD