If you are a Perfectionist, you are an honest, responsible improvement-oriented personality with a strong belief that perfect people are worthy of love and respect. You habitually focus your attention on what is right or wrong; correct or incorrect.

You are driven by anger which usually shows up as irritation, resentment and guilt at whatever appears wrong or does not meet high standards. Challenges for this industrious type include being overly critical, rigid and judgmental.

Each Enneagram Type has its own idealization, avoidance and defense mechanism which holds the idealization “in place”. 

For Type 1:

Idealized Self-Image: “I am correct and good”.

Avoidance: Error

Defense Mechanism: Reaction formation; expressing the opposite of your real feelings in your behavior. An example would be acting very friendly to someone you actually don’t like because you feel like that’s the right thing to do. (Usually you aren’t aware you are doing this on the spot).

Virtue: Serenity

What to expect if you are in a relationship with a One:

  • Ones are detailed conscious. They appreciate small gestures: being on time, remembering names, proper instructions.
  • Speak respectfully. Make sure no one feels foolish. Ask for permission.
  • Notice thrift, effort and dependability. General compliments sound false.
  • Cultivate character. Set improvement goals. Don’t flaunt your achievements.
  • Admit error immediately. Admission clears the air and prevents resentment.
  • Bring novelty and fun to the relationship. Ones tend to repeat what works.
  • Avoid power struggles. Ones need to be right so demonstrate how two right ways can co-exist side by side.
  • Maintain your own interests. Ones work long hours on their own.
  • Humor is especially helpful. Worry vanishes with gentle humor.

Learning to recognize the patterns of type, accepting them with compassion and learning to relax them brings us to the present moment where life can be experienced more fully. Recognizing these patterns in others helps us understand and relate to them.

The practices for growth for the One:

  • Understand that rightness and correctness are not part of the natural order.
  • Compassion for the self.
  • Recognize and minimize the internal critical voice.
  • Allow time to relax, play and accept yourself  as you are.
  • Leslie’s meditations for Body types.

Feeling grateful for something helps keep our focus and energy on it. This is helpful when working with the Enneagram because gratitude automatically shifts focus away from those things which habitually grab attention to perhaps more productive or nourishing things.

Intentionally cultivating a gratitude practice is an excellent way to broaden our focus of attention.

If you are a One, cultivate gratitude for small things. This can be as simple as appreciating nature. Ones tell us that nature is nourishing as they can’t, for instance, ask a tree to move a few inches as they walk in the woods. 🙂  The woods or a creek are perfect as is. 

Watch a short video as Leslie gives a short intro and then explains Type One, The Perfectionist:

If you are a One, you are going to have a pattern of being irritated or resentful when others don’t put in the amount of effort you do or when things don’t play out the way you think they should. Here’s a video explaining how you might work with these tendencies.

If you’d like some coaching in order to form some new habits, contact us and we can schedule you for our 4-Session Coaching Process. Feel free to reach out if you have any suggestions that work for you!


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