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Enneagram 1 in Stress: Moving in the Direction of Disintegration

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

A stressed mom holding her child

Enneagram type 1s are called perfectionists. They want to do things the right way. They want to be good. But when life gets stressful (and it will), they tend to get overwhelmed and overly critical of themselves and others.

In this blog post, we will go through where Enneagram type 1s go when they are stressed, what behaviors trigger them, and where they go when they are healthy and thriving.

Let's get started!

Table of Contents

Stress Triggers of Enneagram Type 1 Personality

A mom trying to control her two sons

You get stressed and triggered when you feel like no one else cares or works as hard as you. I don't think you ever missed a day of work. Am I right?

When you see others slacking off, you get annoyed because you don't get to slack off. There's always work to be done. You'll relax when all your work is finished.

Enneagram 1 Personality Traits

A woman writing things to do on her checklist

You have many great personality traits, so let's name a few.

  • You're organized

  • You're a self-starter

  • You're disciplined

  • You finish what you start

  • You're loyal and responsible

Remember that you can use these strengths to help yourself and others, but don't use them as a crutch to burden yourself.

It's ok to relax and let loose sometimes.

Stepping Into Growth As An Enneagram 1

A smiling woman writing in her notebook

You can step into growth when you realize that you can make mistakes and that everything doesn't have to be perfect.

Letting go of that perfectionism will allow you to grow into a healthier version of yourself.

You won't be controlling everything in your environment. You will allow things to flow and just be yourself.

Enneagram 1s feel drained at work when...

A hand typing on the computer

  • You're the only one that's on time for the SCHEDULED meeting.

  • It feels like no one heard or understood what you said. (You know you talked clearly).

  • Everyone else is on their phone or messing around. (Are you the only one getting work done)?

  • You give suggestions to make things work smoother, but no one complies.

Growing With Both Wings

A family of four sitting on the couch laughing

You have two wings on either side of your number. So for type 1s, they can have a 9 wing or a 2 wing. You can grow with both wings. Some people lean more towards one wing than the other, but it's beneficial to use both wings. It's good to have a balance.

The 9 wing will help you be a little more relaxed and at peace when it comes to confrontation. The 2 wing will help you be comfortable building relationships with those around you.

So, lean into both wings and see how balanced you feel in your life.

Enneagram 1 Relationships

A husband and wife holding hands while looking at each other

You care about your family and friends immensely. You are loyal and kind. You keep everyone else on track.

We need you in our lives to let us know what time we need to be there for the party (cause other types might be late).

You are always there to listen and offer advice that makes sense and helps us think logically and rationally.

Type 1 Moms in Stress

A stressed mom sitting on the couch

  • You get stressed when you're in a rush. You timed it perfectly last night to have extra time to leave, but you're still running late because of everyone else.

  • You get stressed because your husband just asked you for the third time when the appointment is, and you already told him it was on the family calendar.

  • You get stressed and feel guilty when you have so much on your list to get done, but the kids want you to play with them.

  • You get stressed after certain conversations. You think over everything you said, and your inner critic tells you that you should have said something else instead.

Lazy and irresponsible people


Don't get type 1s started on lazy people! You get along well with everybody. That's very true, but you can feel like others are not keeping their weight and that you have to pick up the slack. This definitely stresses you out.

My husband is a type 1, and I always have to remind him that not everyone thinks like him.

Some people like to relax before they start working on something, and some people like to have fun while they work.

So, it's good to know and recognize that everyone does things differently, and that's ok!

When you learn how to let go of control, you will feel more relaxed and less frustrated with those around you.

Check-in With Your Internal State Every Time You Feel Stressed

A woman sitting on a bench thinking

You might not like checking in with yourself because your inner critic is so MEAN, but it's good to check in to really see what it is that is worrying you.

You don't like to admit that you're upset or stressed because, HELLO, you're a type 1, and anger is bad!

Side Note: It might help to give your inner critic a silly name. Whenever (Patsy) tells you all the things you should have done and how lazy you are, just tell (Patsy) to go somewhere else.

Check in with yourself to see what's really going on with these activities...

  • Write the things that are making you upset in a journal.

  • Print out a list of different emotions to keep nearby and go through it when you're upset. Give how you're feeling a name.

  • Go for a walk and process your emotions. Is this thing really something to be upset about?

Find Your Enneagram Number Ebook Sheets

Related Personality Types

Type 3s are similar to type 1s. They both are very goal-oriented, but they have different motivations for being so goal-oriented.

Type 3 is goal-oriented because they want to succeed and want to be recognized for their success. This makes them feel worthy.

Type 1s are goal-oriented because they are motivated to do what they think is right in their own high standard.

They have their inner, highly critical voice breathing down their neck to get things done the right way. (The Narrative Enneagram)

You see how the action is the same, but the motivation is different? It's pretty interesting.

That's why sometimes the test is not enough to know your type. You have to dig deeper into the motivations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Enneagram Type 4s Go in Stress?

An unhealthy Enneagram type 4 goes to an unhealthy type 2. They become clingy and enter the victim mentality. They are more concerned with people-pleasing behaviors than their unique individuality. (Truity)

What Happens When Type 1s Are In Extreme Stress?

When you're under extreme stress, you withdraw and become extra judgy (unhealthy type 4). You might let go of things you used to do that gave you structure, like working out, eating healthy, and going to bed on time.

How Can Enneagram Type 1 Manage Their Stress?

  • Workout - Because you don't like to express your anger, it comes out as annoyance or irritation, but the anger is there, and it needs somewhere to go. So, working out is a great way to release that pent-up angry energy.

  • Take Breaks - We know that you want to get everything done today, but it's so important to take breaks, too. Do something you enjoy, or just take a nap. Be that compassionate friend to yourself and allow yourself to rest.

  • Talk it Through - You might get upset about a mistake you made and agonize over it all day. Find a close friend or family member and open up about your mistake. They probably will tell you that it isn't a big deal, and they don't think anyone thinks that it is. Don't be afraid to open up about how you're feeling. This will help relieve your stress and help you go on with your day peacefully.

What Do Enneagram 1s Struggle With?

You struggle with anger.

You don't like to show your anger because you think that it's bad and you're not bad. You're a good person who makes good decisions all the time.

But, on your journey to growth, you will realize that everyone gets upset and that it's actually healthy to express it sometimes.

How Does Enneagram Type 1 Relax?

  • working out

  • reading

  • taking a nap

  • hanging out with friends and family

  • Checking off the next thing on your to-do list :)

What is the biggest sin of the Enneagram 1?

Your perfectionism.

No one is perfect. Only God is, and He's not asking you to be perfect. He loves you unconditionally.

Giving yourself these high expectations is only going to make you stressed. Your inner critical voice is lying to you and telling you that you have to be perfect, but that's a lie you don't have to believe.

What are the Enneagram Type 1 Anger Issues?

You hold your feelings of anger inside as much as you can. So, it comes out as annoyance or frustration. You're never full-blown upset. You might become tense and deal with resentment.

When you bottle all of that up, it comes out in passive-aggressive behavior, which is not great for any relationship.

What Number Does Enneagram 1 Go to in Stress?

Enneagram 1 in stress will go to an unhealthy type 4.

Ummm, what!?

Yup, that's true!

A type 1 will disintegrate to an unhealthy type 4 when they are stressed. They will have similar attributes, unhealthy traits, and behaviors that lead to the unhealthy type 4.

Here are some of the ways type 1s will act...

  • You will become moody. You will walk around with your shoulders down and shrug at everything.

  • You will play the victim. You will think that everything that's stressing you out is everyone else's fault.

  • You will become irritated at others for having fun.

  • You will be overly critical of yourself and others.

Being aware of your emotions and what it looks like when you get stressed can help you start to pivot before you get there.

If you feel like you are becoming moody and acting like a victim, you can check internally and figure out what's causing you to be feeling stressed, then do something that brings you joy to help you switch back into a more positive state of mind.

Does the Enneagram Test Work?

A lot of people think that the Enneagram test doesn't work.

I think that it can be a great place to start when you don't know a lot about the Enneagram.

You can take the test and see if the type you get speaks to you. Look at the motivations and really think about what drives you to do the things you do.

If you're looking for a good test to take. Here are 5 great Enneagram test options to help you find your type.

So, there you have it, friend!

I hope you learned a lot about Enneagram 1 in stress. It's so important to know where we go when we're stressed to build self-awareness.

If you want to learn more about your type and want to dig deeper into your motivations, then click on the "Free Consultation" button below. I would love to talk with you.

A quote for Enneagram type 1s


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