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How The Healthy and Unhealthy Behavior Patterns of Enneagram 1 Looks like?

How The Healthy and Unhealthy Behavior Patterns of Enneagram 1 Looks like?

Updated on Jan 10, 2023 | Published on Jan 02, 2023

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

How The Healthy and Unhealthy Behavior Patterns of Enneagram 1 Looks like?

Are you aware of the healthy and unhealthy behavior patterns of Enneagram 1? Do you know that all the nine enneagram types can either grow or disintegrate and take up the behavioral characteristics of the other types?

As we know that our personality is not static. Instead, it is dynamic and can change, alter, or adapt itself with changing circumstances and situations. 

The innate personality type of the person will not change but can take up several characteristics of other types under stress or challenging life events. 

Enneagram 1s can adapt, or alter certain aspects of their nature as well. Either they will become more mature within their core structure or they may seem to disintegrate or crumble, breakdown during stress or adverse life situations. In both ways, probabilities are such that they tend to behave like someone else inside their personality covering.

Since this transformation into healthy and unhealthy style is different for each of the nine types, we will discuss only the details of enneagram type 1 in this short post.

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Healthy and unhealthy behavior patterns of Enneagram 1

The Enneagram model of personality typing describes nine types of people to be found around us. Each of them carries certain personality traits that are enduring and stable and makes up their natural type. However, each of these are interconnected and thus chances are higher that a particular type may start showing off the behavioral patterns of some other types depending upon the situation the person is in.

An Enneagram One always prefers to live their life with virtue and goodness. They are passionate and devoted to their work and prefer perfection in everything they do, otherwise they may seem to fall apart from their basic type of functioning. 

Enneagram Ones are honest and loyal, full of integrity and righteousness. They are the reformers who walk along the path of truth and never move away from their high-held beliefs and values. 

These individuals are called perfectionists for a specific reason. They will do things in the right way, just the way it needs to be done. 

People with Type 1 preferences are pragmatic and rational on any given day. However, if life throws challenges and they seem to struggle to maintain their ethical standards, then they may suffer from intense disintegration. 

In such a situation, Enneagram 1s can behave like enneagram 4. The systematic and methodical Ones may disintegrate and show many behavior patterns of type 4. They will become unhealthy and become moody and erratic, irrational and critical. Under the impact of stress, Ones will be ruled by their weaknesses. Thus, their overall type characteristics may not seem that positive. This is the reason they are known as unhealthy Ones.

Moreover, they will turn towards anger and annoyance, frustration and irritation too soon.

On the flip side, When Enneagram 1s walk along the path of growth and become more self-assured beings; they tend to ease down a lot with their perfectionist tendencies. They may turn to pleasure seeking tendencies. 

Their overly judgmental and perfectionist nature will become flexible and easygoing just like Enneagram 7. When the stress arrows turn towards personality growth, enneagram 1s turn healthier and become playful and spontaneous.

In the next sections of the article, we will discuss in detail how the healthy, unhealthy, and an average enneagram looks like in reality.


Healthy Enneagram 1s

The healthy Enneagram 1 is purposeful and seeks opportunities for growth. They are fair and not judgmental in anyways, instead accepting the chaos of life as normal and acceptable. To put it in a very simple way, when Enneagram Ones are in a healthy state of existence, they behave in ways that are in tune with their type. 

Sometimes, they show signs of growth by harnessing and honing their strengths. In such a time, Enneagram Ones may become obsessed with integrity and honesty and look for fairness and justice for all living beings.

They will accept the opinions of others and tend to become more flexible and agreeable by nature. Their perfectionist and stubborn nature may become easygoing and humble. The healthy ones are less dominating and more adjusting. They will accept the diversity of humanity as real and trustworthy. 

Under the healthy patterns, enneagram 1 takes in many characteristics of enneagram 7. They will maintain a proper work-life balance and will realize the necessity of relaxation as well.

Characteristics of healthy Enneagram Ones

  • Healthy Ones are discerning and morally sound.
  • They will live a purposeful life that is more humble and accepting of change and transformation.
  • Fair and unbiased treatment of all.
  • Becomes less critical of others. Accepts others with differing opinions and lifestyle.
  • They become easygoing and their level of patience also improves.
  • Enneagram Ones will become more generous, willing to contribute positively in the lives of others.
  • Healthy enneagram ones are forgiving and accept change easily.
  • They become more mature, self-disciplined individuals and set examples for others to follow their path of righteousness.
  • Under a healthy development process, Enneagram 1 is kind, modest, and tolerant.
  • They are optimistic of a better tomorrow.
  • The healthy One has learned to accept circumstances that are out of their control. They will no longer feel frustrated and irritated in trying times.

Unhealthy Enneagram 1s

Unhealthy Ones are those who resonate more with their weaknesses. Ones can become critical and nitpicky in such times. They become more negative and tend to indulge in criticisms and judgmental reviews of people and situations. Under the unhealthy patterns, enneagram Ones will behave more like an enneagram 4.

Sometimes, judging others’ actions can leave a bitter taste in their relationship patterns. Their brutal honesty can impact their personal and professional relationships as well. 

An unhealthy enneagram 1 is non-compromising and will not leave an inch space to accommodate and accept others the way they are.

The unhealthy One is self-blaming as well. In the case of making a mistake, they may become too obsessed with fixing the issue as perfectly as possible, even when the situation appears out of control. 

They may show their anger and annoyance outwardly. Rage outbursts, verbal abuses are the common ways of externalizing negativity. The unhealthy One is pessimistic and loses hope quite often. 

They may lose touch with facts and reality and start dismissing others’ opinions and feelings openly. Immense self-esteem issues will appear at this stage. They will try to keep up their distorted self-image intact by analyzing everything negatively.

Characteristics of unhealthy Enneagram Ones

  • Obsessed with imperfection and incorrect things around them.
  • Critical and nitpicking tendencies are prominent all the time.
  • Cannot accept feedback from others in positive ways.
  • They cannot accept ideas, beliefs, and values that waver from their own ideals.
  • An unhealthy enneagram one is critical and fights for their ideals badly even if it seems to be unjustified for the current situation.
  • Unhealthy Ones will consider others as corrupt, incompetent, and lazy.
  • Their brutal honesty can appear toxic at this stage because they will exert mental pressure on others to follow their ideals only.
  • Blatantly dismisses the opinions and feelings of others.
  • An unhealthy One represses their anger and can pass critical comments and jokes on others.
  • They never take a time-out from their responsibilities and then blame others’ for their ill fate.
  • An unhealthy One is impatient and never accepts others easily. When things do not work out as per their preferences, they may shout out the blame on others.

Average Enneagram 1s

When Enneagram Ones behave as an average type, they are planned and organized in their actions and behavior. You can say that they become an absolutely no-nonsense type who believes in high thinking and idealistic living only.

The average One is stubborn and rigid. They remain unhappy and dissatisfied if things are going wrong in front of them. When Ones operate in an average way, their life is completely under the moral compass that they hold dear to themselves. 

The average One is keen to do the right things always, no matter what the circumstance seems to be like. They are self-disciplined and organized freaks at this stage of their psychological functioning.

The average One is reliable, hardworking, and keeps their emotions in check. They are balanced and less critical even in times of stress. However, they are scared to make mistakes and try to keep things as perfectly as possible.

Characteristics of an average Enneagram Ones

  • Deep concern about how everything should be.
  • Feels dissatisfied if they fall off from their expected moral standards of living.
  • The average enneagram one is a reformer and feels that syncing with ideals is the primary motto of their life.
  • They are well organized and neat, meticulous and planned with all their actions.
  • At times, impatient and resentful however never externalizes their negative emotions.
  • Emotional constriction is present. May appear affectless and emotionally blunt under stressful situations.
  •  For an average Enneagram One, morality is everything.
  • Puts a lot of effort in improving oneself.
  • Their anger and annoyance can turn into a boiling pit inside them because of their controlled emotional manifestations. 

To Sum Up

The end note of this article suggests that Enneagram Ones should strive to maintain a balance between the healthy and unhealthy types and try to stay on an optimum, average level of functioning. 

In the average level, they will be able to stay close to the innate traits of their own type. Moreover, they would get the chance to move towards the level of personality growth.

As Ones are the idealists, it is better that they remain tied to their ideals and at the same time remain open to new learning from others. Enneagram Ones need to slow down and learn to become more considerate and easygoing in their daily lives, so that their overall growth process shows an upward moving alignment as always.