Nicknames: Perfectionist, Reformer, Critic, Advocate
Energetics: Internalize and Absorb - anger and imperfection absorbed into the body/gut/core
Hidden Essence: Purity, Divine Perfection


People with the One pattern fixate on improving themselves and the world. They want to be right, good, and useful. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and personal purpose.

They view anger as inappropriate, useless, and ineffective. They more readily acknowledge feelings related to anger such as irritation, resentment, aggravation, and annoyance. Holding in anger gives them a stiff uptight posture. They seem to have a foot on the brake and the gas at the same time.

They have the most judgment and anger about their own behavior and it is for them to receive criticism from others. They feel a deep inner flaw, and feeling wrong is the most painful experience. Because of the illusion of an inner flaw, they self negate and reject their own needs.

They go through life saying no and have a build up of anger and resentment. They suppress “imperfect” desires, urges, and flaws hidden from themselves and others. 


Their talking style seems stiff and long winded. They repeat their opinions because they want to be as well thought out as possible. It is difficult for them to be spontaneous - the fear of making a mistake is so great that they tend to stay away from anything they don’t know how to do well. They are hard workers and feel that fun activities are indulgences. 

They often have tight bodies, tense muscles, stiff joints, and pursed or pinched lips. They hold themselves upright and seem coiled. They seem to be looking over the world with hyper-vigilant judgment.

Others often feel, or feel the potential to be criticized and judged by them. It seems like they are watching for mistakes and they frequently share their strong moral code, which others find difficult to live up to.


Children with the One pattern try hard to be good. They have an unconscious feeling of needing to justify their existence. They became their own disciplinarians and often the discipliner of other siblings.

One or all authority figures are either inadequate, not present, or too demanding and punitive. When the parent is not present, they decide to make their own rules and moral code. When the parent is too punitive, they internalize these rules.

They feel deep guilt, intrinsic inner flaw, and try to cover it up with an identity of being good and responsible. They can perceive others as having less integrity, being lazy and messy.



They are more nervous than the Sexual or Social subtypes. They are the most obsessive compulsive, the most self-perfecting, and self punishing. They tend to be insecure about their survival.


They are moral reformers have a stronger presence than the Sexual or Self-Preservation. They can be arrogant and stick with their perspective even if they are wrong. They appear regal, poised, and composed. 


They seek an idealized partner and aggressively go for a desired mate. Anger infuses desire and they must have their objects of desire. They try to perfect their partners. They are passionate, intense, and often do not look like the others with the one pattern; they are counter-points.



Teachers rather than reformers, more contained, more self-negating, more introverted


Aggressive reformers, interest in improving human kind, willing to get in the trenches to help, more reactionary, more extroverted



Self-righteous, punitive, obsessive compulsive, angry explosions, extreme guilt


Opinionated, preaching, disciplined, stiff, and self critical


Discerning, open, wise, and still ego based


Intrinsic perfection is known deeply and they radiate purity and effortlessly improve the world. 


The essence of each type is the quality of character - a particular expression - that remains when the fixation softens and releases. While these qualities are human they are not personal and cannot be developed.

The essence is revealed when fixation is recognized and freed through awareness and compassion. We all have the potential to realize the essence of our type - our more subtle authentic nature. This authenticity means living from open, free, wholeness.

The essence of the type One is grounded, relaxed purity.

Each type has a blind spot that creates a unique experience of separation. Each blind spot is directly related to the essential nature of each type. People with the One pattern have a blind spot for grounded, relaxed purity - divine perfection.

This blind spot prevents them from perceiving and experiencing perfection. All nurturing environments are inadequate to some extent. This inadequacy is experienced personally and interpreted through the enneagram pattern. When this is experienced by the child with the type One, they fixate life's flaws and imperfections both inward and outward.