What is an Enneagram Type 1 (The Idealist)?
People with an Enneagram type one personality tend to be rational, principled, and judicial in their behavior. They usually have a desire for justice and equality. They are motivated by a strong sense of right and wrong.

Type 1 Personality Traits

Basic Fear

People who identify as a type one generally have a basic fear of being immoral or unethical. They work to avoid making choices that are impurely motivated and tend to have a strong sense of objective right and wrong. Ones dislike those they believe are corrupt or ill-intentioned.

Basic Desire

They also have an innate desire to be morally good. They tend to fight for the rights of others and make choices that have positive impacts on the world. Ones are bold advocates who tend to actively share their opinions on social justice, ethics, growth, and reform.

Idealists tend to respond to negativity by redirecting their emotions in order to gain a sense of control. This may lead them to push themselves even deeper into their work.


In summary, Enneagram Type 1 personalities tend to...

  • Be advocates for change and justice
  • Passionately pursue what they perceive to be right
  • Make rational, balanced choices
  • Seek love and approval from those around them
  • Chase knowledge and wisdom

Strengths and Blindspots

Every personality archetype has strengths and blind spots, and these are often amplified in professional settings where we often encounter a diverse group of people with vastly different backgrounds and value systems.

Strengths that are typically associated with the Enneagram Type 1 personality include...

  • Defending the rights of others
  • Awareness of and attention to details
  • Idealistic and optimistic worldview
  • Being deeply motivated by personal values
  • Ability to connect to and care for their community

Blind Spots that are typically associated with the Enneagram Type 1 personality include...

  • Tendency to be perfectionistic
  • Difficulty accepting hard realities
  • Being highly critical of themselves and others
  • Possibility of becoming obsessive or self-righteous

Growth Opportunities that are typically associated with the Enneagram Type 1 personality include...

  • Practicing breathing exercises
  • Recognizing the beauty in “flaws”
  • Being aware of the ways in which they unnecessarily judge themselves and others
  • Working to understand the grey areas and subjectivity in life
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How Enneagram Type 1 personalities like to work

Communicating with a Type 1

Take them seriously, understanding their motivation to do what is right.

Meeting with a Type 1

Abide by the scheduled meeting time and focus on conveying the message clearly.

Emailing a Type 1

Keep emails sparse; address specific assignments or concerns and encourage them to share their thoughts.

Giving feedback to a Type 1

Be gentle and express feedback in a constructive way; give specific ways to improve.

Resolving conflict with a Type 1

Admit your own mistakes, while also expressing how you feel; allow them an opportunity to reflect by themselves, if necessary.

Motivators and Stressors

When people experience pain, stress, or dissatisfaction, it can usually be attributed to energy-draining activities. Therefore, it’s important to know what kinds of activities energize each personality type and which activities drain them.

Ones tend to be motivated and energized by...

  • Fighting for issues of social justice
  • Volunteering and helping those less fortunate
  • Finding the right solutions to problems
  • Pursuing their own personal growth

Ones tend to be drained by...

  • Being perceived as rigid or inflexible
  • Receiving criticism from those they admire
  • Feeling as though they can’t make a difference
  • Overwhelming reminders of corruption in the world

Work Environment

With a firm grasp of reality and pragmatic value system, type Ones tend to thrive when they can create order and organization, especially when they have the autonomy to change existing processes.

Ones feel energized at work when...

  • They are asked to share how they would do something
  • Their boss values ethical action and fairness
  • Their peers appreciate and follow their advice
  • Their direct reports listen and do high-quality work

Ones feel drained at work when...

  • They are surrounded by negativity or pessimism from coworkers
  • Their boss ignores their ideas
  • Their peers perceive them as overly critical or meticulous
  • Their direct reports do not follow specific instructions
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Best Jobs For Enneagram Ones

Enneagram type ones are deeply self-controlled and conscientious. They will pursue their passions endlessly and work well when they are allowed to put their desires for moral justice into action.

Common jobs for people with Type 1 personality types

  • Lawyer
  • Judge
  • Social Worker
  • Politician
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Journalist
  • Doctor

Professional Relationships

When type Ones work alongside others with a more open, outgoing perspective, they can be a stabilizing force and help ground a team in reality. If they work with another type One, it is critical for them to be aligned in their values and goals, otherwise, they risk conflicts over process and control.

Ones tend to work well with others who...

  • Appreciate their desire for improvement
  • Work with efficiency and accuracy
  • Demonstrate dedication to a broader mission

Ones may hit obstacles in professional relationships when they...

  • Give feedback in an overly harsh or blunt way
  • Correct or overlook others’ suggestions too often
  • Put too much pressure on their coworkers to maintain their high standards

Romantic Relationships

Type Ones can be honest, motivated partners when with someone who is more open-minded and relaxed. When in a relationship with other Ones, they should share similar views to avoid regular conflict.

In a romantic relationship, Ones bring strengths like...

  • Communicating openly and honestly
  • Consistently trying to do what is right for their partner
  • Regularly pursuing personal growth

In romantic relationships, Ones may have trouble...

  • Resetting or adjusting their original expectations for the relationship
  • Accepting and looking past the flaws in their partner
  • Being forgiving when their partner makes a mistake

Famous Examples of Enneagram Ones

Julie Andrews, Mahatma Gandhi, Al Gore, Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, C.S. Lewis, Michelle Obama, Natalie Portman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Rore, Margaret Thatcher, Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter).


Click a link below to explore the wings for Enneagram Type 1


Type 1


Visual Summary

Click through the slides below to learn more about Idealists:

Related Personality Types

Below are the DISC and Myers-Briggs types that are similar to Enneagram Type 1. 

DISC Type Cd, CD, Dc, or D

Myers-Briggs Type ENFJ, ISFJ, ISTJ, or ENTJ

You can find your DISC, Enneagram, and Myers-Briggs types by taking Crystal's free personality test.

Enneagram is a personality framework that can help you understand other people and why they behave in certain ways.
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