Enneagram Type 1: Typical Stressors & Strengths

enneagram type 1: strengths and stressors

The Enneagram Type 1 personality (The Reformer) marches to its own drum beat, i.e. a different set of motivations, desires and fears from the other EnneaTypes. Let’s decode the typical factors – both Stressors & Strengths – that can impact the Enneagram Type 1’s health and well-being. 

Important caveatThe insights provided here are noticeable patterns drawn from many years of studying thousands of people around the world. They are indicative only, and not predictive or judgmental. Also, not all of these observations may apply to you. The aim is to prompt reflection and inspiration, rather than put you into a box. 

Enneagram Type 1: The Reformer

  • The principled, idealistic type.
  • Ones are not only conscientious and ethical, but they also have a strong sense of right and wrong.
  • They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake.
  • Being well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic.
  • Also, they typically have problems with resentment and impatience.
  • At their Best: they are wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.

Strengths & Stressors

People with the Enneagram type 1 personality display certain traits, which can influence their health and well-being at multiple levels.

Typical Stressors Typical Strengths


Enneagram type 1’s tend to operate at the extremes. They may under-eat, and fast more than is necessary. Also they may over-use supplements, or stubbornly refuse them. Besides, they can also over-exercise or even minimise sleeping hours to pursue their passions. Caution: Risk of addiction to alcohol. Cultivate moderation – they find the sweet spot between extremes. To balance their idealism and perfectionism, they learn to relax and also be energised and nourished by a self-accepting, spontaneous, playful lifestyle.


They frequently experience negative emotions like anger, resentment, impatience and joylessness. Given their perfectionistic nature, they may also be prone to OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or can display depressive tendencies. They can let go their attachment to how things “should be” and accept things “as they are”. From this place, acquire inner calm, patience, balance and dignity. Their essential “goodness” shines through.


They view the world as black-or-white, good-or-bad, pure-or-impure but they find it hard to accept shades of grey. Particularly, they fear being wrong, bad, defective or “corrupted”. Might use phrases like “I am mostly right, others should listen to me” or “It isn’t OK to make mistakes” or “I have failed if I deviate from my purpose or compromise my values”. They live by their values of integrity, equity, justice. Also they tend to use their strong moral/ ethical compass to stay on purpose: Do the right thing, and in the right way.


People with Enneagram type 1 personality are usually disturbed by disorder, indiscipline, errors/ sloppiness and also making compromises. Besides, they can become self-righteous and judgmental, constantly criticizing and correcting others. Inspire others to stay focused on the higher purpose and the highest good.


Losing contact with the innate rightness and perfection of Presence makes them feel defective and corrupt. Hence, their ego copes by judging itself and others harshly, struggling to correct things outside its control. This is how Anger (“Krodha” in the Indian tradition) arises. Staying ‘Present’ helps them rediscover the ‘Serenity’ they have lost. Now they can experience reality without evaluation, reaction or contraction.

Further Exploration

If these insights regarding the Enneagram Type 1 don’t resonate with you, please also review the typical Stressors & Strengths of the other EnneaTypes, whose links are below. If you wish, you can learn more about your Personality type and also take a more detailed (paid) test at www.enneagraminstitute.com.

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