Illustration of Enneagram Type 1: "The Teacher"

Enneagram Type 1

The Teacher

Principled – Self-Controlled – Strving for Perfection

What is an Enneagram Type 1 Personality?

“Ones” can lead through integrity and reason, but also be challenged by perfectionism and resentment.

Discover The Great Things About Enneagram Type 1

Ones are idealists. In their eyes, someone left the world a mess, and they feel that if they don’t clean it up, nobody will. This means that they constantly seek to improve themselves and the world around them. It’s why this type is often called the Teacher or Reformer type. If everyone’s their own worst critic, Ones are natural professionals at it. They are hard-working, reliable and conscientious, to the degree that it can inspire others to be their own best versions, too.

Key Motivation

Ones want their actions to be consistent with their beliefs and principles. They want to be people of integrity, justice and honesty who are recognized for their impeccable character. Their greatest and constant fear is that they are not as perfect as they try to be, so they avoid failure, especially moral failure, at all costs.

The Worst, The Best, and The Average of Enneagram Type 1

Your personality isn’t a fixed thing. People grow. While we don’t change our basic personality (as much as some of us would like that), we all can become more mature and healthy inside our personality. But at times, we also revert to less healthy behavior. This looks different for every personality type. Let’s see how it unfolds for Ones.

Average Type 1s

Ones have a super acute sense of right and wrong, and their life is strongly shaped by this inner compass. This applies more than anything to themselves. They feel the need to always do the right thing, so they are usually pretty disciplined, reliable, hard-working and try to have those pesky emotions under control.
But because they put in so much effort into improving themselves, average Ones have a hard time when it looks like everyone else is being highly irrational, undisciplined and lazy. Because they can’t just scream at people – that would be wrong, after all – their anger often turns into quiet fury that’s boiling away under the surface.

Key Challenge

The key challenge of Ones is resentment. Ones try so hard to do the right thing that they repress their anger at the fact that others, the world in general and especially they themselves are not as perfect as they think they should be.

Unhealthy Type 1s

When Ones spiral deeper into their unhealthy tendencies, their calm and rational composure starts to crack under the pressure of trying to be perfect, and they can become surprisingly emotional, irrational and hurtful. Their inner resentment towards themselves and everyone else starts to boil over. Sometimes they manage to keep appearances intact, only to secretly indulge all their „evil“ passions – which they then are ashamed of and angry at, leading eventually to self-hatred. Every type can fall victim to a vicious cycle, and this is the One’s. They forget the wise words of Mister Dali to:
“Have no fear of perfection. You will never reach it.” Salvador Dali

Healthy Type 1s

Since Ones are naturally striving for the highest and best, when they manage to find a balance between their perfectionism and being gracious towards themselves (and others), they make incredibly wise and discerning teachers of all sorts. It helps that their inner drive allows Ones to work so hard. They have it easier than others postponing immediate pleasure for later rewards. Healthy Ones are the great educators and makers of this world. Think of famous Ones like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi: They become people who freely share their gift of learning how to become a better version of yourself.

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All 9 Enneagram Personality Type Descriptions


Common mistypings for enneagram Type 1

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Definitive guide to finding your Enneagram type


Wings of Enneagram Type 1

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What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a pretty amazing tool to help people understand themselves and others better. It does that by describing the nine principle ways of how people view the world and how their particular worldview shapes their personalities. It has already helped millions of people around the world discovering who they are, why they do the things they do and – most importantly – how to use this knowledge to grow as a person.

Find out how the system works