Enneagram 1: The Reformer | Personality Description

enneagram 1 (The Reformer)


Human personality is a subject that has long been an area of interest for psychologists.  Many scholars have developed personality tests that allow us to discover more about ourselves. However, it can also help businesses when recruiting new hires for their company. A famous test, also known as the Enneagram, has nine categories of personalities. The first group is the enneagram 1. This category is also known as The Reformer (Also known as the Transformer, Perfectionist or Idealist).

If you want to learn more about the enneagram 1 personality, keep reading.

enneagram 1

Overview of the Enneagram 1

Individuals with an enneagram 1 personality are known as reformers. This is because their purpose in life is drawn by a “sense of duty” to make the world a better place. These people are often rational, hold themselves to high standards, and are motivated by justice.

As enneagram type 1’s strive to succeed, at a glance, they tend to:

  • Avoid making mistakes at all costs
  • Are determined to overcome adversity
  • Enjoy planning and problem solving
  • Take conversations seriously
  • Be advocates for others
  • Seek and chase wisdom

Overall, these individuals perceive themselves as morally just. They also seek positive change in their communities and relationships.


Furthermore, as a reformer, an enneagram 1 holds many strengths. Some of these strengths include:

  • An increased self-awareness.
  • Attention to detail.
  • The ability to care for those around them.
  • The ability to foster genuine connections with others.
  • Defending and advocating for the rights of others.
  • Leading others with integrity and humility.
  • Practicing self-control.
  • Being a hard and determined worker.
  • Holding themselves to high inner standards.

Therefore, when individuals with enneagram type 1 personalities are at their best, they can lead those around them. They can also help others succeed.


Although these people have many strengths, they also have weaknesses. Some of these weaknesses include:

  • The tendency to act as a perfectionist in all areas of their life
  • Being critical of others and themselves
  • The inability to accept circumstances that are out of their control
  • The failure to be patient with others

Furthermore, when individuals with enneagram 1 personalities fall short, they can allow their weaknesses to block their success. This can not only cause trouble for themselves but also those around them.

Healthy Type 1 vs. Unhealthy Type 1

As mentioned above, not all enneagram type 1 personalities can be positive when they allow themselves to be ruled by their weaknesses. When this occurs, rather than holding themselves to high standards, they can be harsh and controlling. Here is a look at the differences between a healthy type 1 and an unhealthy type 1 personality.

Healthy Enneagram 1 Personality

  • Purposeful in their actions and behaviours for the good of themselves and others.
  • They act fair and unbiased towards circumstances and when dealing with others.
  • Generous individuals are more than willing to give to others around them.
  • These individuals are kind and compassionate.
  • Modesty and tolerance are healthy aspects of their personality.
  • They are hopeful individuals, yet realistic at the same time.

Unhealthy Enneagram 1 Personality

  • Unable to accept feedback or criticism well. However, they are more than willing to be critical of others.
  • They cannot tolerate ideas and beliefs that waver from their own.
  • They are to relax and take time away from their responsibilities.
  • These people can be judgemental of others. As a result, they are unwilling to look at perspectives that are not their own.
  • They perceive others as lazy, corrupt, and incompetent.
  • They mask and repress their anger by making critical comments or jokes.
  • They can become co-dependent on others and experience a loss of control in their lives.
  • They are impatient when things do not go their way or are not completed quickly enough.

When people deal with unhealthy type 1 personalities, they can leave negative impressions. On the other hand, when someone exhibits a healthy type 1 personality, they can be perceived as honourable and selfless. Therefore, it is essential to strive to be always the best version of yourself.

The Enneagram 1 in Relationships

When in a relationship, enneagram 1 personalities can bring balance between adventure and efficiency. However, as they naturally hold themselves to high standards. Therefore, it is likely that they will overanalyze their mistakes. It is also likely they will overanalyze their partner’s mistakes as well.

Furthermore, when this occurs, it can create tension in the relationship caused by built-up anger. Nonetheless, to counter conflict between partners, enneagram 1 personalities should:

  • Focus on self-care
  • Remain mindful and grounded

This will allow them to deal with negative emotions positively.

Best Careers for Enneagram Type 1’s

Moreover, as enneagram 1 personalities enjoy helping others and being leaders, they can succeed in the following career positions:

  1. Judge or Justice
  2. Police Officer
  3. Politician
  4. Activist
  5. Social Worker
  6. Teacher
  7. Life or Business Coach
  8. Counsellor
  9. Editor in Chief
  10. Sales Executive
  11. Financial Planner
  12. Computer Analyst
  13. Software Designer

As you can see, each job listed is challenging in nature. However, it allows them to take charge of their work. It also helps them support others while doing so. Therefore, if you are an enneagram 1 personality, you may benefit from choosing a listed job.

Famous Enneagram 1 Individuals

Those with enneagram 1 personalities are born leaders. As a result, many with this type of personality have been involved in politics, acted in movies, and been the inspiration for many fictional characters. Here are some names you may recognize:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Steve Jobs
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Hilary Clinton
  • Emma Watson
  • Meryl Streep
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Michelle Obama
  • The character Steve Rodgers from Captain America
  • The character Ned Stark from Game of Thrones

As you can see, having an enneagram 1 personality is a great strength that many individuals worldwide have. Therefore, when used to their advantage, they can create significant change within their profession and the larger community.

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