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The Enneagram 1w2: The Driven Perfectionist Type

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

A mom with her two sons in the kitchen

Let's talk about our sweet Enneagram 1w2s.

They're also known as "The Activist," and it's a pretty cool personality type because it combines the traits of Type One with parts of Type Two.

I looked up "Activist" in the dictionary, and it described it as:

"A person who campaigns to bring about political or social change."

So, 1w2s are all about making a difference in the world and helping others. They're super disciplined and responsible, but they also really care about people.

As a Type 9, I can relate to 1w2s. I might not be as aggressive about making changes, but when it comes to people I care about (like my kids), I can definitely get into activist mode.

Anyway, let's dive deeper into Enneagram 1w2s and see what they're all about!

Table of Contents

What it Means to be an Enneagram 1w2

A woman standing with confidence

Core Fear and Desire

If you're an Enneagram type 1w2, you might worry about making choices that don't align with your principles or morals (source). But honestly, that fear can actually be a good thing and push you to make more responsible decisions. Each type has a childhood wound that creates this basic fear. Realizing that this fear stems from childhood is the first step to growth.

Motivations and Emotions

You're all about making the world a better place and helping others. That's pretty cool! But sometimes, all that passion and high standards can lead to some serious anger and stress. Trust me, I get it.

When you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be tempting to power through on your own. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself. "Am I right, 1w2s?"

But taking a minute to breathe and reflect on your feelings can actually be super helpful. It'll help you make better decisions and get back on track. So, next time you're feeling the pressure, take a second and check in with yourself. You've got this!


A woman sitting and working on her laptop


As a 1w2, you have a higher sensitivity level than 1w9. That can be a great thing - it means you're good at understanding the needs of others and how they're feeling. And that can make you an excellent problem solver and creative thinker - pretty cool, huh?

Strengths and Weaknesses

You're a kind and understanding person who cares a lot about other people's feelings and what they think. You always try to be fair and do the right thing, and you're really good at focusing on your goals and making them happen.

But sometimes, you can be pretty hard on yourself and others, and it can be tough for you if you don't get the support you need.

It's important to remember that everybody has their ups and downs and that it's okay to not be perfect all the time.


A happy family picture

Friends and Family

Your empathy and compassion help you connect with your loved ones more deeply. At the same time, your strong sense of responsibility enables you to offer support genuinely.

When it comes to relationships, you need to communicate your feelings and thoughts clearly.

Sometimes, you might come off as critical because you really value justice, but if you talk things out with your family and friends, you'll be able to create a warm and understanding environment.

Conflict Resolution

It's super important to communicate when dealing with a challenging situation. That means being clear and calm when you're expressing yourself. But it's not just about talking - you've gotta listen too! Understanding where the other person is coming from can help you find common ground and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

If you're an Enneagram type 1w2, you know you have some awesome strengths and traits like empathy and compassion. These qualities can really come in handy when you're trying to resolve conflicts in your relationships. By staying open-minded and caring, you can turn tough situations into opportunities to grow and strengthen your connections with the people you care about.

Type 1w2 as a Mom

If you're a 1w2 mom, you are loving, sweet, and very attuned to your children's needs. At the same time, you can be a stickler for getting things done and being on time. Remember that it's okay not to have everything perfect all the time. Take the pressure off of you and your kids. Try to be spontaneous and ask them what they want to do.

With your strong wing 2, you might feel like you want to fix all your kid's problems. That's very nice of you, but your kids don't need everything fixed. Sometimes, they just need a listening ear.

Professional Life

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Suitable Jobs for 1w2

Attention Enneagram 1w2s, you might be into gigs that let you make a difference in people's lives and keep up with your high ethical values. Here are some jobs that could be right up your alley:

  1. Nurse or Doctor: In these roles, you can directly care for people's needs while sticking to your strict professional guidelines.

  2. Lawyer: Representing clients in need and fighting for the greater good would be a dream come true for you.

  3. Social Worker: This career would allow you to be the voice of vulnerable individuals and communities, focusing on improving their quality of life.

  4. Politician: As a public servant, you can shape policies and decisions that promote fairness and benefit unfortunate communities.

Your Work Style

  • Ethical Choices: You always aim to do your best and encourage others to do the same. You want to make sure your decisions benefit everyone.

  • High Standards: You have a natural desire to always give it your all when it comes to work and constantly strive to do your best. You're super detail-oriented and always make sure everything is top-notch.

  • Stress Management: When work gets tough, feeling stressed out is normal. But there are ways to deal with it in a healthy way. Finding ways to cope and talking to others for support can make a big difference in managing those high standards.

  • Creative Ideas: You're all about being creative and thinking outside the box when it comes to work. You're great at finding new solutions to problems and always willing to try different approaches to get things done.

If you tap into your strengths as a 1w2 and find workplaces that vibe with your personality type, you can totally crush it and make a positive difference wherever you work.

Personal Growth and Development

A smiling woman reflecting while sitting on a bridge

You have a great combination of type one's desire for change and hard work and type two's drive to help and influence others.

So, why not use that to your advantage?

Try finding ways to grow personally while also helping out your community. That could mean volunteering for causes you care about, attending workshops or classes that interest you, or even trying meditation to get more in tune with your own needs.

And remember to look for opportunities to work with others who share your values.

Tips to Handle Criticism

Getting honest feedback and advice can be tough for 1w2s who always aim to have a sense of control and maintain high standards. But know that taking constructive feedback is important for your growth.

  1. Embrace a growth mindset: Just a friendly reminder - nobody's perfect! But that's okay because we can always learn and grow. When someone gives us feedback, it can actually be a helpful way to improve and promote positive change. So don't be afraid of criticism. Embrace it as a chance to get better!

  2. Separate the message from the messenger: Don't get hung up on how someone's giving you feedback. Just focus on what they're actually saying, okay? It's all about the content, not the delivery.

  3. Ask for clarification: If someone gives you feedback that's kind of vague, don't be afraid to ask them for more details. Getting a better understanding of their perspective can help you take criticism in a positive way.

  4. Practice self-compassion: It's totally normal to mess up sometimes and not be perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself, though. You made a conscious effort, so give yourself a break and some compassion. You're only human!

  5. Take time to reflect: When someone gives you feedback, taking a breather and thinking about what they said is important. You might need to set boundaries, stick up for yourself, or say, "Thanks for your input." Whatever you do, make sure it's the right move for you.

By implementing these helpful tips, you can make the most of the feedback/advice you get and keep your focus on personal growth and development while staying true to your ideals and principles.

Famous People Who Are 1w2

A woman holding a Michelle Obama book in her arms

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is a prime example of an Enneagram type 1w2.

She used to be the First Lady and had a strong desire - to make a positive impact on society. Her natural ability to connect with others is admirable - she is highly conscientious, empathetic, and compassionate. She also has initiated several projects that showcase these qualities.

  • Let's Move!: A campaign aimed at solving the childhood obesity epidemic through healthy eating and physical activity.

  • Joining Forces: An initiative to support military families, focusing on education, employment, and wellness.

You can tell she cares about her community and values what's important. It's clear that she's super dedicated to these causes - it's inspiring!

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, a true icon of social justice and human rights, embodies the qualities of an Enneagram 1w2. As a leader in the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela was motivated by a strong sense of justice, fairness, and equality.

  • 27 years of imprisonment: You know what's impressive about Mandela? Despite harsh times, he never forgot his core motivations or lost sight of what he believed in and fought for.

  • Reconciliation efforts: When Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, he was all about bringing the country back together and making sure everyone was on the same page.

Mandela was such a fantastic role model. He really showed how someone with a 1w2 personality type can put their whole heart into helping their community while staying true to their beliefs.

1w2 Myths

The 'Self-Righteous' Myth

Many people think 1w2s are always self-righteous, but that's not necessarily the case. Sure, they have a strong sense of what's right and wrong, but that doesn't mean they're always judging others.

With their two wing, they're actually really good at figuring out human beings and what they need, so they're less likely to be controlling or critical.

The 'Insensitive' Stereotype

Some people think that 1w2s are insensitive and inflexible. But actually, that's not really true. Sure, Type 1s are all about maintaining control and sticking to their morals, but when you add in the 2 wing, they have an empathetic nature about them.

If you're a 1w2, you don't just care about your own actions and choices - you really care about common goals and the state of the world around you, and you're always looking for ways to help and support people. So, is that stereotype being insensitive? It's totally off-base.

But here's the thing: you do need to be careful not to get too controlling. Sometimes, you might try to push your moral standards on other people, and that's not cool. Just remember that you have a strong sense of purpose - you're just really passionate about making the world a better place.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an unhealthy 1w2 Enneagram look like?

A 1w2 repressed anger may come out in physical rigidity and implosive energy. They can become hostile and withdraw from others. They may also want to punish themselves by wallowing in misery rather than feeling any kind of pleasure. (Personality Max)

How do I know if I am 1w2 or 1w9?

If you're a 1w9, you will be more subdued while trying to make positive social change. You will care more about keeping the peace because of your 9 wing. (Enneagram 1w9)

If you're a 1w2, you will care deeply about helping others and making a difference, but you will be more social. You will understand the needs of the people around you better.

How does an Enneagram 1w2 that's in love act?

They're the type of person who really values their romantic relationships. They care a lot about their partner or friends, but they also make sure to take care of themselves. It's important for them to find a balance between giving to others and giving to themselves.

OK, friends! I hope you learned a lot about the Enneagram 1w2. If you're not sure what type you are and want to find out, try these 5 best Enneagram tests. If you don't want to take a test, then check out my free guide, "Find Your Enneagram Without a Test."

If you're having a hard time figuring out your type or are interested in learning more about the Enneagram, click on the "Free Consultation" Button below. I'd love to talk with you.

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