Ones (Enneagram of Personality)

Ones (Enneagram of Personality)

Ones, in Enneagram of Personality teaching, are people of the psychological type represented by point number one on the Enneagram figure.

According to the Enneagram of Personality there are nine interconnected ego and archetypal psychological types. Although the nine Enneagram types are usually called 'personality types' (or 'character types') they are now increasingly called 'Enneatypes'.

Enneagram of Personality teachers also often use other words to describe certain distinctive characteristics of each Enneatype. Ones are sometimes referred to as 'reformers', 'perfectionists' and other terms that seek to indicate their more distinctive personality characteristics.

General characteristics

Ones are people who are motivated to improve their environments and overcome moral adversity in order to make themselves, and ideally the world, more in line with their morals.

Ones learn to repress their emotions and instincts (particularly rage) in order to stay true to their principles. By trying to become perfect they may create their own personal hells. When they understand that it is important to trust life and accept things the way they are they begin to improve themselves.

Childhood issues

As children, Ones may have believed that they had to be good in order to be accepted. Therefore they may become serious and take on responsibilities at a young age.

Many Ones may feel a disconnection from their biological fathers. This does not mean that their fathers were bad parents but that an essential bonding didn't happen. As a result Ones may decide to become his or her own father-figure and try to live up to this rigorous standard.


Ones with a dominant Nine wing

When Ones with a dominant Nine wing are psychologically healthy they are often scholarly and reclusive. They may be viewed by others as kind, generous and considerate. They are often intellectuals and are devoted to their principles.

In more average psychological health they tend to also be reclusive but may become elitist and condescending to people they consider "less" than themselves.

When in unhealthy psychological states they may cut themselves off from their emotions and contradictions. They may also resist opinions contrary to their own and have no compassion for others. They may become obsessed with the wrongdoings of others and try to rectify them while ignoring contradictions in their own behavior. They may not have an understanding of the harm they inflict on others.

Ones with a dominant Two wing

Ones with a dominant Two wing tend to use their moral ideals and desires to move others into a movement for reform. They may be persuasive and seek to enlist other people to help with their good causes.

In more average psychological health they may be adept with political matters but may also become critical and irritable when frustrated.

When unhealthier they may become intolerant, condescending and manipulative. They may deceive themselves about their motives and be self-righteous when their motives are questioned. They may also become hypocrital, develop compulsive habits, or have nervous breakdowns if they are anxious about their self-contradictions.

Instinctual subtypes

According to mainstream Enneagram teaching, personality is strongly influenced by which of the three instincts of the Instinctual Center - self-preservation, social, sexual (intimacy) - is more dominant. In Enneagram of Personality teaching the dominant instinct is usually called the instinctual subtype.


More average Ones worry about their material well-being, and have a strong drive for self-gratification. However, their superegos tend to counter such drives. Each mistake they make is a catastrophe to them. They are often fastidious about their environments, such as Felix Unger in The Odd Couple. Whatever they worry about, they scold in others. Health conscious Ones would scold others for not taking care of their health, while penny-pinching Reformers would scold others for not taking care of their finances.

Unhealthy self-preservation Ones often become obsessed with health matters and go between unhealthy extremes of binging and purging.


Social Ones the reforms they see as important come into reality. Their sense of themselves comes from their ability to hold strong opinions and argue about them. Their views are rigid and become a sort of armor that protects them from the world.

When unhealthy, Social Ones hold unrealistic standards for themselves, others, and society as a whole. They rant and rave about what they see as the imperfections of humanity.


Sexual Ones search for an idealized partner who holds similar ideals, leading to broken relationships because their partners do not reach their standards. They put a high emphasis on fidelity and often fear abandonment. They may feel a need to monitor their partner's actions and whereabouts, and become very critical and controlling.

More unhealthy Sexual Ones may feel alternating bouts of desire and repression of that desire. They may believe that controlling the partner is the solution to their problems. Their jealousy leads them to question the partner constantly. In extreme cases, they try to punish themselves or their partners in order to get rid of their desires.

Principal psychological issues

* Feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders
* Feeling the need to educate others in condescending ways
* Anger for not living up to their own ideals
* Striving for their (often impossible) ideals
* A need to make progress in order to justify their existence
* Always being right
* Being fastidious and rigidly punctual
* Unhealthy self-restraint
* Being hypercritical and hypocritical
* Perfectionism

Riso and Hudson's psychological levels

According to the Enneagram theories of Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, each person's Enneatype is expressed in nine distinct psychological states on a continuum from very healthy to very unhealthy. A summary of the levels for Ones follows:

Positive personality qualities

* Honesty
* Integrity
* Not being motivated by personal advantage or gain
* Ethical standards for personal guidance that aren't shoved in others' throats
* Self-discipline
* Wisdom and discernment


Ego fixation: Resentment
Holy idea: Perfection
Basic Fear: Being corrupt/evil, defective
Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
Temptation: To be hypercritical or hypocritical of others.
Vice/Passion: Anger
Virtue: Serenity
Stress/Disintegration point: Four (Objective, principled Ones suddenly become moody and irrational like Fours.)
Security/Integration point: Seven (Angry, critical Ones become more spontaneous and joyful like healthy Sevens.)

Notable Ones

* Al Gore
* Ayn Rand
* Cliff Richard
* Confucius
* George Bernard Shaw
* Eleanor Roosevelt
* Harrison Ford
* Hilary Clinton
* Jane Fonda
* Joan Baez
* Joan of Arc
* Jodie Foster
* John Paul II
* Julie Andrews
* Katherine Hepburn
* Mahatma Gandhi
* Margaret Thatcher
* Martha Stewart
* Martin Luther
* Meryl Streep
* Mr. Spock (Star Trek)
* Ong Teng Cheong
* Vanessa Redgrave

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