What Does An Unhealthy Enneagram 1 Look Like?

This article will look at the type 1 enneagram and not only introduce it to the audience by highlighting their traits, fears and desires but also explain how this enneagram behaves in its unhealthy state. The article will also comment on how they can improve their own self so they can reach their healthy state.

Unhealthy Type 1 Enneagrams – How They Behave?

In their unhealthy state, this enneagram type is self righteous. They think everyone else is wrong whereas they are right. They become explosive when others do not adhere to their criteria of right and wrong. What is worse is that they become very obsessive about how things should be rather than trying to understand others’ needs – they view the world through their own lens.

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.

In this article, we will examine the unhealthy state of the type 1 enneagram by exploring the following levels:

  • Level 7: Unhealthy State
  • Level 8: Very Unhealthy State
  • Level 9: Extremely Unhealthy State

Before we explore all these levels, let’s take a look at the type 1 enneagram in detail.

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 Unhealthy Levels – Type 1 Enneagrams

In this section, we will take a look at the levels of the type 1 enneagram which are considered unhealthy!

Level 7: Unhealthy State

At this level, the type 1 enneagram is someone who considers their own self as righteous and the only one who is always right whereas others are wrong. They think their standard of determining what is right or wrong is indeed the only correct one. 

Also, they are very inflexible which means they will not move away from their stance even if the other person is compromising. This often results in deadlocks and zero progress because they are not willing to move away from their desired way of working in things. They keep up this act by rationalizing their actions and demands not only to others but themselves too. This enneagram also has the habit of dealing in absolutes – either something is completely wrong or right and usually it is their opinion which is indeed the real truth,

Level 8: Very Unhealthy State

In this stage, they become very obsessive. They start to notice more of what each person does and will think over it a lot. They will point them out more frequently and this may even get to their head; hence, they become more angry, frustrated and vocal about how they feel when others do things in their own preferred manner. 

They view people only in terms of the ‘bad’ they choose to do; they tend to develop negative views of people who might do a few things the enneagram considers to be wrong – they have a very strict criteria of good people.

Level 9: Extremely Unhealthy State

This is a very troublesome stage for the enneagram 1. They are trying their best to retain their moral code despite it causing them many problems in their day to day and practical life. It becomes even more difficult when their awareness increases and they almost realize life is not so simple hence being flexible is necessary however, they refuse to do so and this is why they begin to experience mental issues and fall into episodes of depression, obsessive compulsive disorders and even anxiety and stress.

During this stage, they are quite blunt with others and will adopt a demeaning attitude towards others telling them what is right and wrong. Also, they will have nervous breakdowns too from time to time.

How Can Enneagram Type 1 Work On Self Improvement?

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.

Everything Cannot Be Objective.

Type 1 enneagrams must understand that everything in life cannot be viewed in an objective manner – there will always be grey spots which we must accept and live with until we are able to figure them out. Hence they must accept people who have different views because as a species we are still understanding how the world works and anyone could be right or wrong. 

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.


This article took a look at the type 1 enneagram and introduced it to the audience by commenting on it’s traits, fears and desires. Furthermore, the article also discussed the unhealthy levels of this enneagram and pointed out ways to improve their personality and hence become a better version of themselves!



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