Ones are defined by their desire to do things correctly and to avoid being wrong or making mistakes. To others, they appear perfectionistic, responsible, and exacting. Ones are typically sticklers for rules and details, and get frustrated when they are not given the opportunity to make sure things are up to their very high standards.

Ones fear being flawed or imperfect, and cope with this fear by being very strict with themselves. They are always striving, seeking the best and most correct way to do things.

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 1

  • Serious and straightforward during conversation
  • Attuned to practicality and frugality
  • Hardworking and diligent as employees
  • High internal standards
  • Rigidity in plans and decisions
  • Intense ability to concentrate
  • Natural talent for teaching and instructing

Not sure if you're an Enneagram Type 1? Take our free Enneagram test.

What are Perfectionists like?

Perfectionists are responsible and serious-minded pragmatists. They seek to improve the welfare of people and make things better for the greater good. To do this, they use their best judgment to find solutions that can be applied in the real world. They have a deep appreciation and interest in ethics, and frequently spend time evaluating and adjusting their moral compass as necessary. Often struck with a crystal-clear life mission, Perfectionists hustle behind the scenes to transform their powerful vision into reality with a strong sense of duty and tenaciousness. Quiet and controlled, they will follow through with their words and commitments.

Perfectionists are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their work is top-notch and curated to perfection. They take great pride in crafting streamlined schedules and ways to carry out tasks in the most efficient manner possible—optimization is a lifestyle choice.

What are the Perfectionist’s core values?

Perfectionists have a set of very high internal standards. They desire to improve every aspect of their lives. They aim for their actions to be consistent with their values and principles, and work extremely hard to do so.

Responsibility and due diligence are the golden pillars of a Perfectionist’s values. They strive for accountability and appreciate the functionality of various products and systems. Integrity is a key factor in their life choices and stands the test of time. Loyalty, justice and honesty are the core ingredients in shaping a Perfectionist’s down-to-earth character.

How can I recognize a Type 1?

A clear and organized life, both inside and out, is the Perfectionist’s ultimate goal. Steadfast and diligent, Perfectionists seek to improve the state of the world through intention and reason. They have a clear sense of duty and feel obligated to serve society through willpower and perseverance.

Their method of communication is typically direct, honest and deliberate. With little patience for small talk, they take charge of their duties in a contained manner. Fashion trends are of little concern—they prefer to invest in high-quality pieces that’ll stand the test of time with relationships that follow a similar outlook.

With their keen ability to discern they gravitate towards careers in the military, law, forensics, finance and academia. In the workplace, they carry tasks carefully and methodologically, A Perfectionist may be the star employee who goes above and beyond to complete all work to a high standard.

What are Perfectionists like under different levels of health?

At healthy levels: Perfectionists see an abundance of situations to improve and accept the dynamic chaos of life as it is. They have a strong sense of justice and fairness, and are willing to tolerate and understand the diversity of humanity to further progress for the greater good. The Perfectionist achieves an ideal work-life balance and understands how to relax.

At average levels: Perfectionists organize and compartmentalize all aspects of their lives, follow strict ideals and are likely passionate about various social causes. This is evident in their professional or personal pursuits and societal memberships. Often rigid workaholics, Perfectionists may suppress emotional needs in order to get things done.

At unhealthy levels: Perfectionists become out of touch with reality and focus on irrelevant factors. This can lead to a self-affirming spiral of prejudice to the point of obsession and compulsion. They may discredit others’ opinions and nitpick to keep their distorted self-image in check. There is little room for error in this state, and Perfectionists can fall into explosions of rage and fury when principles are under attack.