Enneagram Type 1’s Personality Pearl
Let’s start with a little insight into the grain of sand of the ‘personality pearl’ of the type 1.
As we layer onto this never forget to stick with this critical foundation understanding, it’s the central reason for this personality pearl.
So, the grain of sand for type 1 is gut + anger + resistance.
So, what do we mean by a GUT type?
As a type 1 on the Enneagram, I’m unconsciously or consciously operating from my gut.
In other words, I have a body based instinctive response to life, I am moving into life and making decisions with the gut as my center of gravity.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a heart or that my mind isn’t influencing, in fact as a 1 on the Enneagram because I am trying to be good, I use my mind to try and justify my gut.
Sometimes I even fight with my gut because my mind looks for logic and reasoning in an attempt to follow the rules and the policies and the procedures.
But I am a gut instinct type.
What does it mean that my enneagram is about ANGER?
Under stress I go to anger, this can be mild irritation, grumpiness, all the way to full blown hysterical rage.
But as a type 1 on the Enneagram I am trying to be ‘good’ (this is what I call the primary polarity of GOOD vs BAD) which means that I try to manage my anger and contain it.
So, the sense that you get from me as a type 1 is that I’m containing my anger.
I might not even like to think of myself as angry, because that admits to myself that I’m not perfect, that I am human, and so I’m working really hard to contain my anger.
I have a fierce inner critic that’s always looking to be perfect, to try to be good.
So, my anger is contained and managed.
What does it mean that I am resisting reality?
I have a body-based unconscious resistance to reality as a first instinctive response.
When I meet life, especially if I find things are below standard, if things aren’t perfect or good, there’s a reflex body resistance that happens.
My body actually feels the impact of that.
Type 1’s primary Polarity
My primary polarity as a type 1 is:
“I’m trying to be ‘good’ which means that I’m trying not to be bad.”
I’m resisting everything that’s bad and bad means:
- below par,
- not perfect,
- not following the rules,
- nor right etc.
You’ll see the highlighted word ‘impact’ amongst the key words in the InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Toon. This is a key to my grain of sand, I feel impacted in my body by anything that triggers this polarity.
Anything that triggers my efforts to try and be good causes an anger-impact instinctive response
When I feel impacted I feel it in my gut, I have an anger response and I push against it with resistance.
Type 1 Key words
As a type 1 on the Enneagram I am “trying”; there’s a lot of effort.
I strive for “ideals”.
My “inner critic” can become an “outer critic” where I am looking to either impose or educate or teach or instruct others in how to be “good”.
I tend to be quite “strict” on myself and others,
You see, I want to “improve” things all the time – I’m striving for mastery in every area of my life.
“Perfect”, and perfection is what I am working towards, which means I am very hard on myself, because perfection is so difficult to attain.
I think in terms of “right or wrong”, no grey, nothing in the middle, something can’t be 60% right, it’s either right or wrong.
I find myself attempting to “fix” myself and others, often carrying the burdens of others and carrying responsibilities that aren’t even mine.
I am hyper “responsible”, because I always feel like I’m trying to be correct and I’m trying to correct others.
“Rules” are important to me and I have a vision of what the world would be if only people followed the rules.
You can imagine I have high “standards”.
I tend to be on the “realistic” side, but I move the goal posts higher, always trying to reach these high “standards”.
I might say the word “should” a lot, to myself and others because I believe there is a way that you should behave, there is a way you should dress, there is a way you should live.
I tend to have high “morals” and I enjoy “structure”.
Picture Enneagram Type 1…
Have a look at my cartoon, notice that my face shows some of this containment.
Some of this creates disciplined feeling and sometimes even a sense of not approving.
Notice my little finger is pointing and this pointing finger is a wagging finger, it’s you “should”, and you “shouldn’t”.
On my gut is a little check mark for “correct”, “right” because that is what is important to me.
Now have a look at my stress point and my secure point.
When I operate at my ‘lowest expression’, I tend to display the worst characteristics of type 4 on the Enneagram.
What this looks like sometimes is I explode with theatrical anger.
I don’t like to think of myself as “angry”, but when I am provoked and if finally, someone breaks the rules or is below par, all my suppressed anger can come out in a very explosive way.
Even around small things, the proverbial “you didn’t put the cap back on the toothpaste tube” explosion or finally at the restaurant where someone gave me the wrong meal, there could be this hyper response.
So, when I do collapse into accessing 4 on the Enneagram and I express some of the “worst characteristics” of 4, it tends to be theatrical.
“Mountains out of molehills” as they say.
And I might find myself feeling quite martyred where I start to complain or describe how much I’m upset, with a tone of ‘righteousness‘.
But I’m endlessly trying to fix and endlessly trying to correct the world.
That can be some of the full martyrdom coming out here.
What I need to do is encourage myself to access my secure point which is very difficult for me because this is my polarity.
Type 7 on the Enneagram represents an opposite of everything about me.
Because 7 is free spirited, youthful, spontaneous and fun.
And I’ve been working quite hard to be responsible almost growing up too quickly.
But at my highest empowered and enlightened expression I take on this freedom.
- I start learning to “colour outside the lines”.
- I relax.
- I give myself the freedom to play.
And this enables me to find my wisdom, to realise that “right and wrong”, although very important, are flexible.
They’re flexible because in each moment there is an appropriate response that can change.
At my highest expression I start to use my gut instincts as intuition and this softens me.
This enables me to flow like a river instead of a straight line.
Where I can bend appropriately to each moment.
This enables me to have fun, to let my hair down finally and to walk with dignity and grace in my life.
That is type 1 on the Enneagram.