The Enneagram suggests that there are 9 basic human types. Enneagram – No. 1 is considered the perfectionist. The different types are characterized by the numbers 1-9 as points on a circle. As humans, we all participate in all the types, but you can start to figure out your type as the number “where the traffic is heaviest”.
Enneagram – No. 1 Traits
Let’s start with Enneagram – No. 1: The Perfectionist, or Reformer. Ones are motivated by the need to live their life the right way, including improving themselves and the world around them. They intuitively know when something is wrong and can become critical of others who don’t see it their (the right) way. They can also be very critical of themselves and very much like structure.
The movement pattern of a one is to 7 or 4. A healthy move to 7 is to become more creative, to become curious rather than judgmental. The healthy move to 4 allows No. 1 to be more in touch with their feelings and emotions.
Each number of the Enneagram can also be influenced by the types on either side of them (their wings); a one, for example, may have some characteristics of a 9 or a 2. “Ones with a more developed Two wing tend to be warmer, more helpful, critical and controlling. Ones with a more developed Nine wing tend to be cooler, more relaxed, objective, and detached.” (The Enneagram Made Easy, p. 17)
The Perfectionist Actions
Another way perhaps of discovering your type is to think of things you would NEVER do. For example:
“Things Ones Would Never Dream of Doing
- Being half an hour late to work
- Not sending thank-you notes for birthday gifts within two days
- Not making reservations for every night of their vacation
- leaving their clothes in a heap and their dishes unwashed all week
- laughing it off when criticized
- eating with their elbows on the table and using their sleeve for a napkin
- taking a relaxing bath just before guests come over instead of going over the house for another cleaning.” (The Enneagram Made Easy, p.22)
Obviously, this is a very simple approach to a very complex understanding of human nature that has been around for centuries. My goal in introducing the Enneagram is to encourage any of you who might be interested to get more information. It is a great tool for better understanding yourself and your partner or your children and provides alternative approaches for coping mechanisms that might not be serving you well now.
For more information please check out my wife, Crystal’s, website Journey to Inner Wisdom for her next workshop on the Enneagram. She is the expert. Cheers.