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Things Ones Can Do To Help Themselves Grow
Heart and Defensive Point
Common Descriptive Names: (1) The Perfectionist, (2) The Reformer, (3) The Moralizer
The Enneagram teaches that Reality (All That Is) is one infinite, multi-level organism. Everyone is born with complete union with All That Is (Being, Spirit, Essential nature or whatever you call God) but without the capacity for self-awareness or self-reflection. As the personality (the separate sense of self, the "ego") begins to form in infancy each of us gradually but traumatically experiences a sense of disconnection from our blissful union with All That Is. One aspect of our Essential nature most predominantly fades into the background (gets "lost") for each Enneagram type and so each Enneagram personality type forms by trying to mimic that lost Essential aspect or quality. Ones believe that Reality judges and punishes their imperfect and "bad" behavior. Of course, the personality self (the ego, one's Enneagram type) just feels disconnected from All That Is but it never can be really. So Ones (and each other Enneagram type) will always feel painfully separate and disconnected from All That Is as long as they experience themselves as their personality. Since everyone has an Enneagram type, this system asserts that everyone was supposed to develop a separate sense of self. After the ego (personality) structure is well-developed, however, it is possible, usually through some form of spiritual work, to relax it (let go of identification with it) to such an extent that we can consciously know our blissful oneness with All That Is. So, we are each born into an unaware embodiment of Being (without a sense of having a personality) but we each have the privileged opportunity - although few pursue it - to be aware of ourselves as Being (with a whiff of a sense of having a personality). Whether you believe this is one of our purposes as human beings or not is your prerogative but what is irrefutable is that regular people like you and me have moved beyond identification with their personality, their Enneagram type, to know themselves as Being.
Unconscious Fear for type One: Of being imperfect (bad, no good, defective, disordered, corrupt, etc.).
To compensate for their Unconscious Fear an Unconscious Desire arises:
Unconscious Desire for type One: To be perfect, balanced, virtuous, impeccable, etc.
As our ego personality was forming in early childhood we each developed subconscious beliefs about ourselves, others and the world to compensate for our painfully felt sense of separation from All That Is. These subconscious beliefs, which stem from the unconscious fear and desire for each type, drive the personality.
Limiting Subconscious Beliefs for type One:
Core Coping Strategies for Ones: (where Ones focus their attention because of their subconscious beliefs)
Here's a brief profile of some healthy, very healthy, average, unhealthy and destructive One traits.
Healthy Ones have worked through their limiting subconscious beliefs that fight against reality (see above), at least partially, depending on their level of psychological healthiness. By paying close attention and intuitively tuning into their experiences and thoughts that brought feelings of pain and separation they were able to heed the call of their quiet inner voice to adapt and let go of their self-limiting beliefs and behaviors, at least partially.
Healthy Ones are truthful, reasonable, ethical and highly principled. They are hardworking, conscientious, organized and productive. They have a strong sense of morality, of right and wrong, and live by their principles. They have extremely high standards for themselves but are tolerant of human shortcomings and foibles, in themselves and others. Healthy Ones are self-disciplined and strive for excellence at all times. They are service-oriented, want to contribute to others' welfare and often have a strong sense of purpose or a mission they want to fulfill. They also practice moderation in all things. Healthy Ones have strong convictions yet are fair and just, impartial and objective, respectful of others' values and open to hearing other peoples' points of view. Healthy Ones are highly idealistic, always striving to improve themselves, others and the world. Because of this they are often advocates, teachers and/or in some way agents for positive social change. Healthy Ones are constantly looking for better ways to live and do things. They set long-term goals and patiently work towards them, often delaying gratification and sacrificing rewards for themselves in the short-term.
Very Healthy Ones. The more healthy Ones have paid attention to what their life experiences are teaching them about their limiting beliefs the more "enlightened" they've become and potentially may have moved beyond identification with their personality to know themselves as All That Is and live in the present moment fully. For this level of self-awareness most often they've done some form of intense spiritual work and deeply explored their fallacious subtle thoughts that kept them feeling separate from everything. In order to let go completely of identification with the ego, the separate sense of self, (it is impossible to get rid of the ego otherwise their would be no sense of self) they had a great willingness to surrender "self"-control and let everything be as it already is. Very healthy Ones recognize the outer form of things, like everyone else, but they also realize the inner nature of Oneness too.
Very healthy Ones like Mahatma Gandhi* and Stephen R. Covey* (the best-selling author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and "Principle-Centered Leadership") see the transcendent perfection in all of life and accept reality on its terms. They are extraordinarily wise, objective, discerning, noble, visionary and realistic. Deeply in touch with universal values, they help others arrive at their own truths. They willingly sublimate their own desires to discern the best choice to make or the best thing to do for the greater good of humanity or a cause they believe in. They are the epitome of integrity in action and authentic, moral heroes who inspire others to "be the change they wish to see in the world" by their example.
* These are my speculations based on their lives and my experience with the Enneagram
Average Ones have some good life coping strategies but haven't yet learned how to work through their limiting subconscious beliefs that fight against reality. This is quite normal unless someone has done some personal growth or spiritual work on themselves because subconscious beliefs actively filter for data from life experiences that reinforce themselves. Data taken in from the environment that doesn't reinforce a person's subconscious beliefs get unconsciously dismissed as not even being real! The person doesn't even realize that other data are present that could offer another perspective. Since everyone's subconscious beliefs bring to them many of their life experiences average Ones are convinced that there is imperfection and injustice everywhere! And their life experiences just reinforce their subconscious beliefs as being true. Average Ones don't even suspect that their fallacious, limiting, subconscious beliefs are the cause of many of their problems so it never occurs to them to even question them. It is just the way things are!
Average Ones see imperfection and disorder everywhere because that is what they focus on. They filter out the possible perfection in a seeming tragedy or injustice. For example, perhaps the injustice of the Tibetans being driven out of their country by the Chinese gave the Tibetan Buddhists the OPPORTUNITY to serve the Divine purpose of bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the rest of the world. Perhaps Helen Keller being born blind and deaf gave her the OPPORTUNITY to serve the Divine purpose of helping millions of other people with disabilities. Who's to say what is good or bad, right or wrong Average to unhealthy Ones!
Average Ones, like healthy Ones, are motivated by the need to live life the right way and improve themselves, others and the world. However, unlike healthy Ones, average Ones are highly opinionated about everything. They're high-minded idealists who feel "better than" other people (more morally righteous) and believe that it is there job to instill wisdom in the ignorant and show others how to live righteously. They believe they know what is best for others and that people need their instruction and guidance. Unfortunately (for average Ones at least), people don't like being told what to do and how to live even if there is some truth in what the One is saying. People tend to be resentful of the One's unspoken judgmentalness and sense of moral superiority and resist even the One's good advice. So, average Ones tend to be chronically dissatisfied with reality, other people and also themselves (for not being able to live up to their own ideal of perfection). They don't realize that their own subconscious beliefs reinforce their life experiences and perpetuate their own frustration. They feel as though nobody measures up to their high standards (including themselves) and can be impatient with others seeming incompetence and lack of conscientiousness.
Some average Ones who feel as though they have a mission in life can be single-minded and are very conscientious about how they use their time and resources. They can be reformers, activists, crusaders, ministers, politicians, critics or educators who feel that the world's salvation depends on them and they often get angry at others' indifference to their efforts and hard work. They can feel as if they are working so hard to make positive changes in the world and no one else seems to care. They can be very vocal, convinced that their views are the right and objective ones and that others need to shape up and see the error of their ways. Average Ones tend to worry and get overwhelmed easily. They see disorder everywhere. They can feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders because they feel personally obligated to do everything and improve or "fix" everyone. Ones truly believe "if you want a job done RIGHT, you've got to do it yourself."
Average Ones subconsciously fear getting out of control so they suppress their real feelings, desires and impulses and discipline themselves to do what they ought to do, what they believe is right to do. If average Ones are under a lot of stress (as they often are), they will work even harder to keep their feelings and impulses in check. As a result, they can come across as tense, stiff, repressed, puritanical and anal compulsive. Average Ones experience a constant internal tug of war between following their personal desires versus doing what they feel they should do.
Average Ones have a harsh inner critical voice yet are convinced that this inner voice is right and the voice of reason, no matter how undermining it is of their self-confidence. They can be really hard on themselves and others, especially when under a lot of stress or feeling overburdened. Ironically, average Ones are very sensitive to criticism themselves and try to avoid it by doing everything perfectly. They can also be perfectionistic, nitpicking and fault-finding when under pressure. Average Ones live by an internal list of rules, schedules and shoulds. Average Ones are meticulous planners. They can be orderly, methodical and well-organized but they can also be impersonal, rigid and emotionally constricted. They are afraid of making mistakes so they can be incredibly fastidious, scrupulous and painstakingly thorough in their work. Unfortunately, this level of detail coupled with a strong sense of obligation and an idealistic, mission-oriented mindset often causes average Ones to become driven workaholics. Not surprisingly, time conscious average Ones expect punctuality and can get quite frustrated when people are late. They may or may not say something, however, as they internally struggle with whether to be nice (and thus more "perfect" themselves) or get angry (to point out and help correct the other person's "imperfection"). Average Ones see things in simple dichotomies of black and white, good or bad, right or wrong. They feel that right is right and so tend not to be concerned with exceptions or people's subjective needs. They have a difficult time accounting for subtlety and individual differences.
Unhealthy Ones are consumed by their limiting subconscious beliefs.
Unhealthy Ones can exhibit one of two different behaviors and often both. On the one hand, they can become extremely impatient and frustrated with anything less than perfection in themselves or others. They can be closed-minded and convinced that they're always right, that they know "the truth." They begin to reproach others for not living up to their ideals, for not being all that they could be. They tend to alienate others by being dogmatic, controlling, rigidly inflexible, self-righteous and intolerant. They can be moralizing and preachy, scolding and lecturing others to try harder lest they continue to make mistakes or sin. They can become indignant, bitter and angry at others for not listening to them. This is the kind of person that is a Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christian who stands on the sidewalk of a busy street yelling, "You must repent for your wayward sins in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ or you will go to the fiery recesses of hell!"
Some unhealthy Ones can become more depressive and feel alienated. They feel as if nobody understands them and their ideals. They work so hard and for what? Nobody even seems to care about their ideals. They can become hopeless, melancholy, withdrawn, resigned and inwardly angry. They yearn to be free of their responsibilities, burdens and obligations and may spend more time daydreaming, fantasizing, romanticizing and longing for things to be different (like unhealthy Fours). They can become envious and resentful of others' better lives. They can become painfully self-conscious and socially withdrawn.
Unhealthy Ones may realize, on some level, that life is not working for them. If they can see that other people don't share their same beliefs and yet their lives are working for them they may begin to recognize that their own beliefs and way of viewing the world may be distorted, limited or flawed somehow. This realization can be a turning point if unhealthy Ones are willing to claim some responsibility for their lives and seek assistance from a counselor, therapist or other support person. If unhealthy Ones continue to feel victimized rather than claiming responsibility for their life then they may deteriorate to the destructive level.
Destructive Ones lack adequate life coping skills. They probably came from a highly dysfunctional family and/or suffered a severe crisis in life that totally devastated their self-esteem and self-worth. Their mind torments them and unless they get some kind of help they will continue to live a miserable existence.
Destructive Ones have intense feelings of disillusionment and severe depressions alternating with outbursts of rage and condemnation. They can exhibit obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior. They are extremely self-righteous, judgmental and obsessed about the wrongdoings of others yet they are hypocritical because they may do the very same things they are condemning in others, or worse. Destructive Ones can alternate between instinctive self-indulgence and punitive self-control. They may, for example, get drunk, binge and purge or carry on an affair with someone but then will feel extremely guilty, berate themselves and repent, only to find themselves acting out the same behavior again. What is going on is that the destructive One's unconscious instinctive drives are at war with their own superego (inner critic). They are unconsciously acting out all their repressed desires and can't stop themselves. While doing exactly what they are condemning others for they somehow manage to rationalize and justify their own contradictory behavior to escape punishment from their superego. If they come to believe that some part of themselves is responsible for their immoral acting out they can become masochistically self-punishing or self-mutilating. At worst, they may have a nervous breakdown, commit murder or suicide.
An explanation of the Wings can be found here, which opens in a new window.
Are you more like a One with a Nine-wing or a One with a Two-wing? Read below to find out.
Type One with a Nine-Wing: Ones with a Nine-wing (1w9s) tend to take on more of the attributes of Nines than of Twos (the other wing), although both wings (9 and 2) can influence their personality. 1w9s tend to be more calm, composed, dispassionate and moderate than 1w2s. They can be scholarly and somewhat impersonal or detached emotionally like Fives. They are usually more objective, philosophical, otherworldly and emotionally reserved than 1w2s but are still kind, considerate and caring of others. Like 1w2s, they too are idealistic and want to improve themselves and the world around them but they tend to work by themselves much of the time as opposed to with people on the front lines (with the possible exception of social subtypes who can be a little more openly moralizing). They like to teach and explain their views calmly but resolutely rather than debating with people or passionately raising their voice to persuade others to change. They also tend to love animals and nature because of their naturalness, simplicity and purity. This subtype is gentler and less likely to show anger overtly than 1w2s.
Negatively, 1w9s can be too idealistic and have perfectionistic expectations of others that are not humanly possible to live up to. They can appear to be too impersonal, cold, remote and stubborn - focused more on their ideals than on individual people. At their worst, they can be disdainful, contemptuous, condescending and seemingly elitist - "People are just too ignorant, immoral, undisciplined, profligate and hedonistic for their own good. When will they ever learn?""
You may find that you can relate to the description of Type One with a Two-wing also (see below) because Type One does have Type Two as a wing also. However, there is a fundamental energetic difference between these two descriptions. See if you can discern which description sounds more like you, however slight that difference might be.
Type One with a Two-Wing: Ones with a Two-wing (1w2s) tend to take on more of the attributes of Twos than of Nines (the other wing), although both wings (2 and 9) can influence their personality. 1w2s tend to be more empathetic, compassionate, warm and overtly helpful than 1w9s. Like 1w9s, they are genuinely interested in improving the world and especially helping people. They are more willing to get passionately, hands-on involved to bring about the changes and reforms that are important to them. They are sensitive to others needs and willingly sacrifice their time and energy to be of assistance to people. Their high standards are nicely tempered by humanitarianism and altruism. They are more zealous than 1w9s and can be quite vocal and persuasive, getting others fired up to join their mission or cause. As Ones, most 1w2s need their alone time but they are more interpersonal and energized by engaging with others than 1w9s. Some 1w2s like to get involved in politics (especially social or sexual 1w2s) since they have strong opinions about how to improve conditions for people, are good at debating and have a strong desire to make a big difference with their life in service of others.
Negatively, 1w2s can be image conscious, emotionally volatile and attention seeking (especially sexual 1w2s). They can also be rather authoritarian, controlling and self-righteous. They can easily get frustrated with people when things aren't working out the way they think they "should." They can become critical, touchy, emotional and outspoken about their discontents. At their worst, 1w2s can become aggressive, hypocritical and volatile. They can develop dependency in their relationships and conveniently overlook inconsistencies in their own behavior. This wing is prevalent in sexual Ones (see the subtypes section next) although it can appear in any of the three subtypes.
You may find that you can relate to the description of Type One with a Nine-wing also (see above) because Type One does have Type Nine as a wing also. However, there is a fundamental energetic difference between these two descriptions. See if you can discern which description sounds more like you, however slight that difference might be.
An explanation of the subtypes can be found here, which opens in a new window.
What subtype are you?
Can resemble 6s at times when they're worried and anxious
Can resemble 4s at times when depressed and/or feeling misunderstood for their passionate ideals
Can resemble 8s at times with their capacity to express their anger easily
Can resemble 4s at times with their longing for perfect love
An explanation of the Heart and Defensive Points can be found here, which opens in a new window.
Type One with a Healthy Connection to Type Seven: When Ones integrate the positive aspects of type Seven their judgments of others and self-criticism begin to relax. They allow pleasure, spontaneity and fun back into their lives in a more balanced way. They shift their attention away from what's not working in a situation to what is working. They make decisions more easily because they recognize what they want rather than fretting over what they "must" or "should" do. They become less inhibited and guilt-ridden and are able to express the full range of their emotions. Their funny, witty and relaxed side can finally come out and they often enjoy telling jokes and stories. They plan more activities for sheer pleasure and lead more adventurous lives. They are better able to see different points of view rather than thinking their way is the right or best way. As they integrate their soul child their minds open to many new possibilities and they have greater access to their curiosity, imagination, optimism and creative intelligence. Rather than feeling resentful and obligated, they will feel lighter, freer, more enthusiastic, accepting and grateful, like healthy Sevens. As they wake up to the way things really are they'll feel much closer to their fellow human beings and wonder how they ever got caught in the trap of focusing on what was wrong with them, others and the world in the first place. Ultimately, they will see the inherent perfection in everything and everyone and come to marvel and delight in life.
Type One with a Healthy Connection to Type Four: When Ones integrate the positive aspects of type Four they get in touch with buried emotional needs and deeper authentic feelings by allowing themselves to turn inward. By allowing some painful and sad childhood memories to surface, they become more self-aware, healed and better able to articulate what they want to do rather than what they should do. They find more meaning in their life by establishing sincere, warm, empathic connections with people. They become more creative, intuitive and develop a more refined, subtle sense of humor. By letting go of control and letting everything be as it already is, Ones at point Four can finally get in touch with their true heart's desire rather than their ego's desire. If they can relax their self-condemnation, the Essence of their being will guide them where they want to go.
Type One with an Unhealthy Connection to Type Seven: When Ones deteriorate to the negative aspects of type Seven they may become more self-indulgent and pleasure seeking. They are angry about years of self-deprivation and now want to let loose. Gluttony, the passion of type Seven, gets acted out through a sense of entitlement. They could become impulsive, selfish, greedy, irresponsible, outspoken or even "naughty" if they feel they can get away with it - like a little child. In light of this understanding, it is not as surprising then to hear about the pious priest who gets caught with his pants down at a motel with a prostitute or the evangelical Christian who has been "playing" with a choir boy for years! At their worst they could become self-destructive through alcohol, substance abuse or some other form of excessive behavior.
Type One with an Unhealthy Connection to Type Four: When Ones deteriorate to the negative aspects of type Four it is usually because they are confronted with the fearful recognition that their beliefs, opinions and views about people and life may actually be wrong or at least flawed because they aren't working or making them happy. They may also fear ever being able to live up to their ideal self. At this point their anxiety and stress can start to exceed their coping strategies. They can become more self-absorbed and turn their anger inward, becoming depressed. They can feel as though life is hopeless and meaningless as they become more disenchanted, disillusioned and disappointed with themselves and others. They can withdraw into romantic fantasies and long for what they don't have and yet doubt ever being able to get it. They can have a profound sense of dissatisfaction with people and reality the way it is. They yearn to live in a more perfect, ideal world and yet feel helpless to do anything about it. They become envious, comparing themselves to happy, successful people OR completely self-loathing because they aren't at all like their ideal self. Their idealistic expectations of others and life are not being met either. They can become emotional, moody, socially withdrawn, painfully self- conscious, self-indulgent, hostile and stormy. At worst, they can turn their own high standards violently against themselves and punish themselves for their fatally flawed self and/or "bad" behavior.
Whatever Ones do they do it to the best of their ability with high standards of professionalism, competence, principle, and honesty. They are hard working, self-disciplined, conscientious and organized. They are passionate about making the world a better place for everyone and take their work seriously. Efficiency and time management are important to them.
Ones can have either a Nine wing or a Two wing. If you are a One with a strong Nine wing, look at the careers that appeal to Enneagram type Nine as well. If you are a One with a strong Two wing, look at the careers that appeal to Enneagram type Two as well.
Any job where the motivation is to fix others, proselytize or do everything absolutely perfectly is appealing to average and unhealthy Ones. Any job where the motivation is to inspire, uplift and encourage each of us to strive toward living our highest ideals is especially appealing to healthy Ones. Examples of healthy Ones are Mahatma Gandhi, Stephen R. Covey and Nelson Mandela. The following list is representative of where many Ones can be found:
|Ones are often attracted to "causes" and jobs that involve truth, justice, law, order, and reformation.|
|Correctional treatment specialist||Military personnel or officer|
|Law enforcement officer||Probation officer|
|Law professor||Reformer of any kind|
|Leader of a movement||Solicitor|
|Since Ones want to be perfect, they are often attracted to work of a spiritual or religious nature.|
|Many Ones like to teach people how to improve their lives and be the best they can be.|
|Ones are often attracted to jobs that require precision, attention to detail, accuracy, meticulousness and that have practical utility.|
|Some Ones are attracted to jobs that give them an opportunity to help people learn to follow protocol, procedures and rules. These careers may also be related to appropriate and proper behavior, manners, conduct and social etiquette.|
|Finishing school teacher||Social etiquette teacher|
|Some Ones are attracted to jobs that involve neatness and cleanliness (after all, "cleanliness is next to Godliness").|
|Cleaning service worker|
|Many Ones are gifted with the Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (from Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences") because Ones naturally have a logical, rational, analytical, orderly and realistic mind. Listed below are just some of the career areas that fall under this intelligence:|
|Careers that have to do with anger management or self-control can be appealing to Ones (because they are trying to control their own anger and other "bad" impulses/emotions?).|
|Martial arts teacher (it's all about self- control)||Anger management instructor|
|Most Ones are interested in time management, efficiency, order and organization. They enjoy work that involves managing time/money/resources, cleaning, organizing, sorting, systematizing, arranging, ordering, filing, classifying and categorizing.|
|Time management expert||Goal-setting and strategic planning|
|The societally acceptable, well known "professional" careers very often appeal to Ones.|
|Any career related to noticing and correcting errors or mistakes could be appealing to Ones.|
|Careers where Ones get to make the decision as to what is fair or who is in the right are appealing.|
|Judge||Standards Committee chairperson|
|Many Ones like to be of service to people in a hands-on, caring way and are often found in the helping professions (especially Ones with a Two wing).|
|Healthcare worker||Seminar leader|
|Mental health professional||Social worker|
|Advisor (anything from foreign policy to guidance counselor)|
|Ones are often attracted to careers involving ethics, morals, principles, ideology and philosophy.|
|Careers giving advice on or critiquing how to do something better.|
|Author or scholar on a subject|
(especially Ones with a Nine wing)
|Critic (literature, art, theater, movie,|
|Careers that "expose" or "tell the truth" about what's happening.|
|Some spiritual Ones are drawn to "inner" work.|
|Some Ones are interested in jobs that pertain to quality control or judging the worth of something.|
|Auditor||Quality control expert|
|Ones (and self-preservation Ones especially) are often attracted to occupations involving healthcare and hygiene since perfect bodily functioning is often one of their ideals. They are also attracted to careers in finance and banking for the material security they offer.|
|Health care worker||Nutritionist|
|Holistic health practitioner||Hygienist|
|If you are a One with a Nine wing you may be particularly drawn to one of the following careers but also look at the careers that appeal to Enneagram type NINES.|
|Minister (or other religious/spiritual work)||Theologian|
|If you are a One with a Two wing you may be particularly drawn to one of the following careers but also look at the careers that appeal to Enneagram type TWOS.|
|Health care worker||Social worker|
|Therapist (physical, emotional, mental or spiritual)|
To learn more about Type One's relationship compatibility with other types, click below on the Enneagram type of the other person in the relationship. This will open in a new window.
Type 1 in relationship with: