Chapter 4 | Enneagram Type 1

How You Can Grow

Understand yourself when you’re healthy and unhealthy. Learn how other types contribute to your growth.

Finding out about your Enneagram type shouldn’t be the end of your journey of discovering your personality. In fact, it’s only the very first step. If you truly want the Enneagram to be more than just a fancy personality test – if you want the money you spent on this report to actually be well invested – then this section is the most important one.

In this section we will get practical. We will look at how your type changes in certain situations, how different types influence your type and how you can use that to grow. And we will give you four concrete steps to get started on your journey to more self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Before we do that, we want to show you how the Enneagram can help you on that journey. There are a handful of things we want you to know before you go into the weeds of working on yourself. Ready?

Your personality isn’t always helping you

Day in, day out, you make decisions, do some things, avoid others, just generally live your life without knowing most of the time why you do the things you do. Some of those patterns help you get through life. But some of them limit you and make things harder than they have to be.

This is the most basic power of the Enneagram: Pointing out your strategy with all the good but also all the bad that it holds. Because one of the most liberating things we can do is realize that we are sometimes the worst. Not to make us feel guilty or shame ourselves, but to simply be aware of our worst traits and hold them lightly.

This awareness of celebrating your strengths but also accepting your weaknesses will change everything for you. It will give you the chance to fully accept yourself. But self-acceptance starts with being honest. Not pretending we don’t have flaws. But neither pretending we don’t have strengths. Honesty means being able to hold both at the same time.

Is there anything about who you are that you find hard to accept? Write it down. This way, you can stay aware of it and hold it lightly while you work through this section.

You are more than your type

You, the real you, your most true and inner self, is not the same as your personality type. We are all relying on the behavior patterns of our personality to get us through the day, so much that we usually think that this is all we are. But that’s not true.

Think of yourself as a big house. Lots of rooms, fancy curtains, big garden in the back. But instead of using all the rooms of this house, you spend all your life in the boiler room in the basement. Well, no one says you should get rid of the boiler room. There’s just, like, so much more to explore and enjoy.

The Enneagram can help you see that you are so much more than your type. You have the capability in you to engage with life in a myriad of ways. By showing you all the other perspectives of the nine types, you can start expanding your personality to make space for all aspects of human behavior.

Take a moment to step into the metaphor of your personality as a house.
If your personality is the one room you limit yourself to, what other possible aspects of your personality could be in the other rooms?
What character traits would you like to have that you feel are presently missing from your life?
This is not about self-critique, but about engaging a fantasy: What kind of person do you dream about that you would like to be?

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Ones

Every type has specific ways of behaving when they're healthy, happy and well-adapted, and others when they’re less happy and healthy. This can change during a single day, but it also applies more generally to where you are in life right now. Again, if you read something that stings, don’t take it as judgement. We all work with what’s available to us on any given day. Keep going, we will give you concrete tips on how to work with wherever you are right now later on. 

Ones when they're unhealthy

When Ones are psychologically unhealthy, their controlled and seemingly rational exterior is more a façade than reality. Since their identity is so closely built around „being good“, they can’t cope with the fear that they are not as high-minded as they tell themselves to be. They become close-minded and unwilling to compromise or accept any criticism of their views. In order to keep the appearance of control, unhealthy Ones obsess over every little detail while refusing to recognize when the big things around them start falling apart.

Unhealthy Ones can be described as
Scathingly critical
Unable to accept any criticism
Obsessive compulsive

Ones on Average

At average psychological levels, Ones are serious, principled, kind but also strict, mostly with themselves. They are clear and convinced of what they see as right and wrong and don’t mind arguing their point of view. They are often frustrated by the lack of effort others seem to show, but tend to repress their anger, feeling resentful instead. They have a hard time letting things be and relaxing, but are proud of being self-controlled and disciplined.

Average Ones can be described as

Ones when they're Healthy

Healthy Ones are able to see themselves as they are, imperfect but loveable. It gives them the ability to forgive themselves as well as others, become kinder, softer and more relaxed when things don’t come out perfectly. They quietly give their best effort to make themselves and the world a better place, but with grace and without needing to be right all the time. Healthy Ones give others their space to be and encourage other views and approaches, knowing they are simply offering their little part and are allowed to enjoy themselves in the meantime.

Healthy Ones can be described as
Wise and discerning

Growing Through Your Wings

In the Enneagram, every type has two potential wings. If you line up the nine Enneagram types on a circle, your wings would be the two types next to your main type. Imagine it this way: Your main type reflects the strategy you rely on the most and that has the greatest influence on your personality. Your wing, however, adds important (and sometimes contradictory) elements from a second type to your personality.

But your wings aren’t just static facts. You can also use them to think about ways to grow. Your wings can help you to understand who you are, but they can also help you to see new behaviors that you may or may not already see in yourself and want to develop. Because your wings are closer to you than other types, it’s easier for you to integrate them into your life.

As a One, your main wing will either be a Nine or a Two wing, or a bit of both. Without them, many additional aspects of your personality would go unexplained. If there are some aspects of who you are that your primary type doesn’t seem to explain, then understanding your wings may explain why.

When you read your wing descriptions, think especially about the wing that’s not dominant yet. This can be a great starting point to think about other options you have for your behavior apart from your primary type and dominant wing.

How you scored for both of your Wings
Based on your personality test result we have calculated a score for your match with both of your wings. 

Ones With a Wing Nine

Nines want to secure their peace of mind and create harmony around them. They are great at bringing people together and healing wounds, but they can also be held back by being passive and stubborn in the face of conflict.

A Nine wing makes Ones often a bit more introverted and calmer about their idealistic approach to life. It’s easier for them to consider other opinions and be gentler in their quest for self-improvement. Rather than throwing themselves head-first into the trenches to change the world, they tend to stay on a more intellectually idealistic level. This softens their resentment, lets them be more abstract and willing to take a break – often into nature or the company of pets. The stronger their Nine wing, the bigger the chance they give up on their emotional side and turn people into abstract problems to be solved. On the other hand, it also gives them the chance to translate their worldview into words and actions that are helpful because they aren’t emotionally charged.

How your Nine Wing can help you grow
The healthy aspects of the Nine wing can add these traits to your personality:
Becoming more laid-back and relaxed
Being more considerate and kinder towards themselves and others
Aiming to improve with a gentler touch
More willing to explain their ideas than trying to persuade others
Easier to back down and allow others to do what they think is best

Ones With a Wing Two

Twos are generous, supportive and caring. They have the drive to make the people around them feel loved and comfortable. They want to feel involved in the lives and needs of the people around them, but it’s hard for them to respect their own boundaries and openly ask for the things they need.

Ones with a Two wing are often more extroverted and empathetic towards what other people want and need. Others experience them as less cold and coolly rational. Ones and Twos both want to be seen as „good“ – Twos by being selfless, Ones by doing what’s right. A Two wing therefore makes them less judgemental, gives them energy to roll up their sleeves and get involved. On the other hand, both Ones and Twos have issues with giving up control, and this combination can reinforce this. While their Two wing gives Ones a better sense of what people need, they don’t feel the same urge to fulfill those needs as Twos, but instead can use their empathy to manipulate people into becoming who they want them to be.

How your Two Wing can help you grow
The healthy aspects of the Two wing can add these traits to your personality:
Being caring and being concerned with others
Warmth and passion
Being more persuasive
What would you say is your dominant wing?
How does the fear / desire of your wing express itself in your life?
What would you count as positive qualities your wing brings to your personality?
Where does your wing show up in less healthy ways?
Are there any aspects of your dominant wing you would like to explore?
Lastly, take a look at your less developed wing. Anything here that excites you?

Growing Through Your Arrows

Have you ever noticed how you can be a wildly different person than usual when you’re really relaxed or really stressed? The Enneagram explains these changes with two arrows for each type:

The arrow pointing away from your type indicates how you “borrow” traits from this personality when you are under too much pressure. It is also called your stress point.

The arrow pointing towards your type shows how you “get” traits from this type when you feel relaxed and secure. It is also called your peace point.

How you scored for both of your Arrows
Based on your personality test result we have calculated a score for your match with each of your both arrows.

But more than just a description of how things are, the numbers your arrows point to also give you specific opportunities to grow. If you work with these numbers, they can bring meaningful change in your life.

Growing Through Type 7

When you work with your arrows, think of your peace point as your security point. In a way, we are all “recovering children”: We all lost, forgot or rejected something in our childhood that we need to recover now. For Ones, the message they got during childhood was that they needed to be self-controlled in order to be deemed „good“. So they gave up their ability to enjoy the whimsical, self-indulgent, playful side of life.

This is where the Seven can help you rediscover your spontaneity, your free, mischievous and emotionally unconstrained spirit. It helps you see again, as you did as a child, that the world is full of wonder and unlimited possibility. You can let yourself go, reconnect with your sense for silliness and adventure without having to worry if you will do something „inappropriate“. The Seven allows you to see the joy you get from just having fun as an essential part of who you truly are, not something you need to cut yourself off from.

When you start working with your arrows, start here: With the healthy aspects of Type Seven. When you feel like you have made some progress here, you can move on to your other arrow, Type Four.

When was the last time your challenge point showed itself?
How did it manifest? On the high or low side?
What can your challenge point teach you?
How could you implement its teachings in your life?

Growing Through Type 4

When you start working with your stress point, think of it more as your challenge point. Rather than just submitting to the less healthy traits of Type Fours – becoming self-centered, sulky and wallowing in self-pity – let the healthy aspects of Type Four challenge you:

Fours are deeply emotional, and they like to explore all of their emotions – the good as much as the bad. Feelings of melancholy, fear, loss, anger, yearning and sadness are things the Four isn’t afraid of. They are highly creative people who seek ways to openly express those feelings.

As a One, you were told these feelings were inappropriate, so you instinctively repress and bury them. The Four can help you rediscover and accept those emotions as a natural part of who you are. Both the Four and the Seven challenge you to let go. The Seven is more physical, allowing you to just go out and do things even if they’re not completely „in line“. The Four asks you to let go emotionally, to allow yourself to consciously look at and find ways to creatively express all the things you pushed down for too long.

We know your challenge point is not your happy place. Growing through Type Four will feel uncomfortable, stressful and sometimes even embarrassing. But that’s exactly how it can help you grow. When you actively sit with the discomfort of the healthy aspects of Type Four, you will add a powerful ingredient to the healing potion for your life.

When was the last time your recovery point showed itself?
How did it manifest? On the high or low side?
What can your recovery point teach you?
How could you implement its teachings in your life?

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