Enneagram Type 1 – The Reformer

The battle between good and evil is endlessly fascinating because we are participants every day. – Stephen King

Enneagram Type Ones want to do what is right, and for them there tends to be no grey, only black and white.

The heart in Enneagrams is the basic fear of the type and the basic desire of that type. And this is what makes this type unique. Each of the nine Enneagram types has its own basic fear and basic desire.

Basic Fear: Being evil/defective and of being defective
Basic Desire: To do what is right, and to be good

Overveiw of Type One

Type Ones want to make the world a better place. They want to have a mission in life and to always be able to be striving towards that. They want to do what is right, and will often do their best to do that no matter how high the cost may be. Although they feel that they are doing the right thing, they still feel that they need to justify themselves to others and often even themselves.

They want things to be done right. They tend to be perfectionist, always pushing for perfection and almost always unsatisfied with themselves because they cannot reach the level of perfection that they feel they should.

They are also good at noticing details which makes their quest for perfection even more difficult.

Type Ones tend to have a high amount of self-control. They may seem calm and collected on the outside while inside they are seething. Part of the reason that they do their best to keep themselves under control is that they view any negative emotions, especially anger, as wrong.

Type One with a Two-Wing

Type One with a Two-Wing are called the Advocates.

They tend to be warmer and less worried about perfection. They tend to be more ready to forgive less than perfection in others and also in themselves.

They tend to be more likely to act upon their missions in a tangible way.

They also tend to be dependent in relationships.

Also the world around them influences them more than if they were a Type One wing Nine.

Type One with a Nine-Wing

Type Ones with a Nine-Wing are called the Idealist.

They tend to be more distant and thoughtful than Type One wing Twos.

They want the world to be a better place. They tend to work in the background as teachers and mentors to try to make the world a better place by making the people in it better.

They tend to be more big picture world change than the Type Ones wing Twos.

Type One in Growth and Stress



When Type Ones become stressed they tend to act more like Type Fours when Type Fours are not acting their best: moody and self-absorbed. They tend to be irrational which is very unlike Type One normally.

Then when Type Ones are growing they learn to let go of some of their rigid self-control and be more spontaneous. They tend to enjoy life and the world around them, and be less critical of it.

People and Characters who are Type Ones

This is not going to be a complete list or even a very extensive one, but here are a few people and characters who have the Type One. I have found that looking at people and characters who have a personality type helps me to understand that personality type better.

Real Life Type Ones Include:
Laura Bush
Helen Caldicott
Hillary Clinton
Harrison Ford
C.S. Lewis
Martin Luther

Fictional Type Ones Include:
Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Bruce Wayne (Batman)
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Minerva McGonagall (Harry Potter)
Peter Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia)
Steve Rogers (Captain America)

I hope that this has helped you to understand the Enneagram Type One better. If you want a bit more of an overview of what the Enneagram Personality theory is, here is the post that I wrote on that: Characters Need to be Human. Also if you are interested in learning what your Enneagram type is here is a free test that seems like it is pretty accurate: Enneagram Test.



4 thoughts on “Enneagram Type 1 – The Reformer

    • That is the way that I try to use Enneagrams. Sometimes when I am writing it gets so easy to confuse characters, but if I use Enneagrams or Myers-Briggs and figure out what each character is. That tends to help me a lot.


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