My therapist suggested I was somewhat of a perfectionist according something called an Enneagram. I was surprised because I don’t think I’ve ever thought of myself that way…until now. After our session, I immediately looked it up and was surprised to see how much of the perfectionist I fit into.
You want to be accurate, thorough, fair and objective. More importantly, you want to be respectable, to do what is right and what you feel is appropriate. You see yourself as rational, orderly and principled. You would like others to see you as reliable, responsible and ethical. Your idealized image is that you are hardworking and do what is right.
Gifted with a strong sense of purpose, you have high ideals and like to follow protocol, policies and procedures. You are sincere, earnest and diligent. You like to excel and take pride in doing things well. You value honesty, integrity and objectivity. Conscientious and methodical you focus on paying close attention to detail. Earnest and hardworking, you are particular and constantly strive to improve. You take action from your heart because, for you, the heart is the only thing that is truly perfect.
You have a strong ‘internal critic’ that reminds you of what you should and shouldn’t do. At times, you can be judgmental and critical of others, telling them what you think is right. You behave this way because you want to help people avoid mistakes. You believe that there is only one way to do things and that is the right way. As a perfectionist, you feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. As a result, you are only satisfied with what appeals to your strong sense of what is moral. Idealistic, you naturally wish to educate others to help them improve themselves.
Life for you is about adhering to your strong internal set of standards. Sometimes, you wish that you could let go and have more fun. This can be hard for you to do unless you are on vacation because of your strong work ethic. You innately recognize that in most situations there are standard operational procedures. Privately, you may criticize yourself for your shortcomings far more than you ever criticize anyone else. Because you can be so hard on yourself, you long for positive feedback, serenity and happiness.
You need to know what is expected of you so that you can act accordingly and excel. You want to know what is considered appropriate and to do things by the book to avoid making a mistake. You continuously strive for self-improvement and expect others to do the same. You always act in accordance with your high standards, moral beliefs, philosophies and principles, instead of basing your behavior on another person’s rules.
You avoid impropriety, irresponsibility, high risks and/or extremes. Most importantly, you avoid expressing your anger, feeling that to do so is wrong or inappropriate. Underneath your attitude of moral superiority and need for correctness, you have a deep fear of being wrong, bad, evil or corruptible. You prefer what is practical, grounded and stable and avoid appearing silly or frivolous to others.
Your integrity, wisdom and adherence to sound procedure can bring clarity and guidance to a confused world. You are a true pioneer with the ability to envision utopia and the discipline to put in the hard work necessary to make it happen. Like a White Knight, you are not afraid to act according to your strong convictions– even if your actions go against the beliefs of your parents, boss or society. You have a special gift for teaching and you enjoy helping people learn and improve.
Your vice is resentment because you work so hard to repress your negative emotions. You feel that showing overt anger demonstrates a loss of control, so you suppress your wrath when others are not working as hard as you and don’t feel the same level of responsibility that you do. At times, you can be self-righteous, overly strict and rigid. You can become irritable, nit picking and critical when others don’t abide by your lofty moral code and need for procedures. Remember, that people think of you as a teacher, and the best teachers lead by example, not criticism.
Your attention goes outward, to the environment, creating improvements, correcting imperfections and righting what is wrong. In your search for what is perfect, you can become mired in details and lose sight of your original goal and intention. Often it is more important to compete a task than wait for perfection.
Your spiritual journey is to reclaim a sense of serenity. Even flaws may have a purpose. Recognize that true perfection and spiritual growth will come to you when you realize that all things are inherently perfect just as they are.
True perfection already exists in every moment, and there is nothing that needs to be reformed or improved in the eyes of God.
If you are the Enneagram Type 1 with the 9 Wing, you desire to appear patrician. You see yourself as classic, casually elegant, simple, relaxed and natural.
If you are the Enneagram Type 1 with the 2 Wing, you desire to appear cultivated. You see yourself as put together, fashionable, moody, apropos and unique.
Amish, Julie Andrews, John Bradshaw, Tom Brokaw, Susan Brownmiller, William F. Buckley, John Calvin, Cesar Chavez, Ong Teng Cheong, Hillary Clinton, Confucius, Crusades, Jane Curtin, Angela Davis, Michael Dukakis, Mary Baker Eddy, Dr. Dean Edell, Daniel Ellsworth, Harrison Ford,Jodie Foster, Barry Goldwater, Al Gore, Lillian Hellman, Katharine Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Inquisition, Glenda Jackson, Peter Jennings, Joan of Arc, Samuel Johnson, Dean Jones, John Kerry, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Ted Koppel, Dr. Laura, Laura Linney, The Lone Ranger, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Miss Manners, Thurgood Marshall, George McGovern, Arthur Miller, Ralph Nader, New Zealand, Leonard Nimoy, Gregory Peck, H. Ross Perot, Pioneers, Sidney Poitier, Pope John Paul II, Emily Post, Colin Powell, Puritans, Marilyn Quayle, Yitzak Rabin, Ayn Rand, Tony Randall, Vanessa Redgrave, Donna Reed, Cliff Robertson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bernard Shaw, Singapore, Gene Siskel, Kenneth Starr, Martha Stewart, Peter Strauss, Switzerland, Margaret Thatcher, Emma Thompson, Harry Truman, Jack Webb, Joanne Woodward, Jane Wyman.
All content Katherine Chernick Fauvre and David W. Fauvre, Enneagram Explorations, © 1995-2007