What Does An Enneagram 1 Go To In The Stress?

This article will take a look at the type 1 enneagram and how they become when they experience stress. Furthermore, the article will also talk about the dark side of this enneagram and introduce it in detail to the audience. The article will then attempt to provide suggestions as to how it can improve and reach a healthier version of themselves.

What Happens When An Enneagram 1 Goes Into Stress?

The type 1 enneagram becomes a more unhealthy version of the type 4 when they go into stress. They feel as if they are different from others and feel extremely out of place; they become depressed and isolated as a result. Also, this enneagram becomes quite emotional and it becomes difficult for them to control how they feel or react – they often internalize everything and blame their own selves for what is happening.

Here are some of the traits or behaviours they exhibit when they go into stress:

  • Out of Place
  • Moody
  • Procrastinators
  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Isolation

Before we take a look at these behaviours in detail, let us introduce the type 1 enneagram to the audience!

Who Is An Enneagram Type 1?

The enneagram type 1 is also known as the Reformer because of their desire to change the world for the better – they believe they are on a mission to set things right! They are rational and idealistic and can be described by the terms self disciplined, purposeful, possibly perfectionists and hold values high.

These individuals are always on the move to make things better but they have this fear that they may make a mistake. Nonetheless they strive to produce perfect output and this may make them over critical of not only their own self but that of others too. This also causes them stress and anxiety as they are worried things may not go as planned – which is usually the case when it comes to life!

People with this enneagram type know the meaning of sacrifice. They may seem very disciplined to others but they are burning with passion and desire. It’s just that they know how to keep a control on themselves but look out – they might explode anything and this will give away their image of being in control! However, this personality type has the ability to forego what it is they desire in order to achieve the greater good for all.

Basic Fear.

These individuals believe in values and strong morals hence they have the fear that they will be corrupted by their innate desires and feelings. They feel they will become evil or defected and abandon the mission they have undertaken. 

This is possibly their fear because of the intensity of their desires that rage inside of them and how they struggle to keep a lid on them. They do not let their desires distract themselves or take over them but yes they do fear this may happen one day.

Basic Desire.

Deep down, this type wants to achieve the perfect balance in life where they feel at peace and complete but at the same time embark on their mission to a better world. They want to be good and have integrity and be honest not only to themself but to others as well. 

This desire is relevant to their inner chaotic state which is constantly struggling to push them to their knees so they give in to their inner desires and leave the pursuit of the bigger goal.

The Dark Side Of Enneagram Type 1.

At their worst, these enneagrams can become so self righteous that they will do everything they can to rid themselves of people who do not meet their moral standards! They will push away those whom they love and enter into an endless battle of who deserves to be with them. They become perfectionists who want to do things perfectly and there is no room for error. If they are not able to do so they can experience episodes of depression.

Sometimes their philosophy backfires on them. Because they are so keen on doing things perfectly, their focus shifts to identifying those who do not meet that standard or are wrongdoers hence they say one thing but do the other now.

Their approach to being righteous, good and someone who achieves goals can be very inflexible and intolerant to the extent that they set unrealistic goals for themselves and others which ends up in an endless circle  where they set goals and kick people out.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Type 1s & Stress 

In this section, we will take a look at the more frequent behaviours this enneagram exhibits when they are in stress!

  • Out of Place: Here the type 1 enneagram just feels out of place! They are unable to relate to anyone and will feel alone in whatever they do or experience. Oftentimes when they are in stress this is how they begin to perceive things – they think they are the only ones going through such feelings or states of mind.
  • Moody: Stress makes the type 1 enneagram very moody and hence they become an unhealthy version of the type 4 enneagram. They are not able to control their emotions and might become reactive – eventually if the stress increases they will become numb and totally shut off from the world.
  • Procrastinators: Another effect stress has on the type 1 enneagram is that they become procrastinators and thus find it hard to initiate work. They fall behind in many tasks and end up missing meetings or deadlines.
  • Addictive Behaviours: Another way of dealing with the stress is becoming addicted to something such as drugs or alcohol. This is not surprising when it comes to this enneagram type.
  • Isolation: The effect of feeling misunderstood and not being able to put a cap on the stress the type 1 feels leads to withdrawing from friends and family and becoming isolated. They tend to stay away from others because they have numbed themselves and do not want any more sources of stress in their life.

How Can Enneagram Type 1 Work On Self Improvement?

There are a number of ways this enneagram can deal with stress!

Learn To Accept The Beauty In Flaws.

It is important to understand there is some good in everything with some exceptions of course! Even in the mistakes we make there is something we can learn from! When we experiment and end up with different outcomes from the goal we learn about new phenomena, ideas and methods to do different things which will help us widen our horizon and things in creative ways when required.

Practice Meditation.

From the sections above, the readers must have realized that the one issue with type 1s is how they think and process their thoughts, feelings and desires. They are in a constant battle with themselves not to mention they think in a negative way. This can cause them anxiety especially if they keep focusing on how they are not meeting their goals in the perfect way they imagined.

Set Practical & Realistic Standards.

The goal of achieving true success is when you choose the right journey. It is not only the outcome that matters but the journey as well because that is indeed what shapes you. It is important that type 1 enneagrams look towards long term success which is not in bouts but is consistent. This is only possible if they set realistic goals that can be achieved. It will make it easier for others to stay with type 1s in their journeys.

The best way to do this is by taking input from their partners before they declare a worthy objective! Set SMART goals.

Incorporating Flexibility In Life.

One thing that all enneagrams must remember is that success is not guaranteed so they must be ready to incorporate failure or the ability to change their route into their lives otherwise they will fall into a deep sense of loss, failure and possibly depression. If this happens again and again it will make it difficult for them to get up and start again!


This article took a look at how the type 1 enneagram behaves when they become stressed out and also what they can do to deal with the stress. The article also introduced this enneagram in detail to the audience. The article also described the ‘dark side’ of the type 1.



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