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Enneagram type 1s are honest, dedicated, self-disciplined, responsible, and ethical when at their best and living in healthy levels. Often called perfectionists but I prefer to call them Enneagram Type 1: The Improver!

How Do You Know If You Are a Type 1?

As is true of all enneagram types, your type is determined by core motivation. Yes, there are traits that are more common to type 1s but traits are not what determines your type. (You could be a messy, not organized type 1!)

So if you are trying to figure out if you are a type 1, you’ll want to look into the core motivations to see which one resonates with you.

Enneagram Type 1 The Improver

Enneagram 1: The Improver


Core Motivation of Type 1

Core Desire: to be right/good
Core Fear: being wrong/being bad
Wounding Message: “It’s not ok to make mistakes”
Core Longing (what they wish they believed to be true): “You are good.”
Core Weakness: Anger (better known as Resentment to 1s)

Positive Traits of Type 1

Honest, dedicated, rational, self-disciplined, responsible, hard-working, ethical

Negative Traits of Type 1

Critical, inflexible, rigid, self-denying, judgmental, resentful, uptight

Type 1 Wing Options

Type 1s have wing options of 9 and 2.
Keep in mind that while most people have one dominant wing (hence 1w9), but some people find they have balanced wings, and some find that they do not make use of their wings.

Type 1 Stress Number

In stress, 1s take on the negative traits of type 4 (moody, melancholy, envious, withdrawn).
Check out Enneagram Types Under Stress for more info.

Type 1 Growth Number

When 1s are growing they take on the positive traits of type 7 (more spontaneous, more ok with having fun, more self-accepting, optimistic)

Triadic Groups of Type 1

Enneagram Centers of Intelligence - Gut Center
Center of Intelligence:
Gut/Instinctual Center
This means 1s take in and process the world through their gut instincts.
Check out my Centers of Intelligence post for more info on the Gut Center.

enneagram compliant group

Hornevian Group (also called “Stances”): The Compliant/Dutiful Group
The compliant/dutiful group means that 1s move towards people to know what is needed/expected of them in hopes of earning what they desire (autonomy).
Check out Enneagram Hornevian Groups for more info.

competency group for enneagram harmonic groups

Harmonic Group: The Competency Group
Harmonic groups explains how the types deal with conflict and 1s are in the competency group meaning they put emphasis on solving the conflict in a competent way.
For more info, check out my post on Harmonic Groups.

Harmony Group: The Idealist Group
Harmony groups explain how your type relates to the world. Type 1s are in the idealist group because they have an idea of how the world should be (and they get frustrated when it’s not that way).
My post on Harmony Groups has more details.

Levels of Health for Type 1

Depending on their level of health, a type 1 can look a bit different from another type 1. The three main levels of health are Healthy, Average, and Unhealthy.

1s when healthy: bring their integrity and insight to the world without the perfectionism. They understand that their black and white thinking does actually have gray in it and that allows them to be more understanding of the differences in those around them. They still are hard workers but they also know how to relax and give themselves grace.

1s when average: have strict rules on how things should be, they can’t help but focus on imperfections and mistakes. Their inner critic is quite loud and they have to really work to recognize it and put it in its place. They suppress their “bad” emotions and “selfish” needs because they believe this is what a good person would do.

1s when unhealthy: feel they need to have complete control on how things are done by them and around them. Anger is much closer to the surface for them at this time because they have very little room for mistakes or different ways of doing things in this state.

These are just the three main levels of health. There are actually a total of nine levels of health; three levels in each of these main levels.

If you want the full break down with all the details for the levels of health, I highly recommend picking up Riso and Hudson’s book: Personality Types.