My sister is an Enneagram type 1, and I admire her a lot. Her tenacity, detailed approach, and high standards are remarkable. Thus, I have a lot of respect for type 1s. However, an unhealthy enneagram 1 is a different ball game.
They become different, a bit extreme, and sometimes scary. There’s more. If you want to find out, keep reading.
This article discusses the unhealthy enneagram 1 and what you can expect from them.
What Does an Unhealthy Enneagram 1 Look Like?
Unhealthy type 1s are fixated on being seen as good and not actually being good. In other words, they focus on calculating their righteousness instead of actually doing things that are actually good.
Several factors can lead to unhealthiness, as we shall see. However, the bottom line is unhealthy 1s will live double lives. They will project an image of integrity but deviate completely from it in private.
Other factors also play a significant role in their unhealthiness. First, the principle of disintegration. When under stress, enneagram 1s will take on the weaknesses of type 4.
Secondly, their wings also change the dynamics of their unhealthiness. There’s a lot to explore, and we’ll cover it all.
First, let’s consider how type 1 can become unhealthy.
How Does a Type 1 Become Unhealthy?
What causes unhealthiness in type 1s? Here are some of the most common reasons.
1. Constant Failure to Hit Their Goals
Type 1s have high standards. They want to be perfect. When this doesn’t happen, their confidence takes a hit. When it becomes a constant reoccurrence, type 1 can become very stressed and self-critical.
If this continues, this will keep going downhill as they get unhealthier.
Betrayal can come in various situations or circumstances. It could be a betrayal of a loved one or even an employer. What this does is that it creates a certain paranoia with type 1s.
They start overthinking and depending less on people, even when it’s bad for them.
3. Going Against Their Principles
Type 1s have solid principles they stick to. When they have to go against their principles, it hurts them. It gives them a guilty conscience and robs them of peace.
If they have a religious background, this is amplified. They might spend a large chunk of their lives trying to atone for their mistake.
Trauma is a constant when it comes to stress and anxiety. Enneagram 1s can become so traumatized that it affects their daily life.
Trauma can take any form or situation.
5. Lacking Guidance
A lack of guidance on the right path to take can be frustrating for type 1s. This is especially true because they hold themselves to higher standards.
Once they make a mistake, they start to overanalyze and criticize themselves. Then, stress and anger follow. It never ends well.
Signs of an Unhealthy Enneagram 1
1. Double Standards
As mentioned earlier, type 1s often have high standards. However, this all goes down the drain when unhealthy. It becomes a “do as I say” rather than a “do as I do” affair.
Type 1s will lay down the rules and brutally enforce them. However, they might break this same rule on many occasions. Unhealthy 1s are largely perceived as hypercritical and even power-hungry.
2. Lack of Empathy
There’s a lack of empathy that comes with type 1’s unhealthiness. They never pause to think about how their actions affect others. It becomes simply about the rules.
This is one reason why unhealthy type 1s are more likely to become extremists.
3. Extremely Controlling
Again, it’s all about the rules. Unhealthy type 1s not only seek to follow the rules but want everyone else to do so. They might become very assertive and controlling. They fail to consider the context or the bigger picture in any situation.
For gentler types, this can be intimidating. More outspoken types will resist and often have serious problems with unhealthy type 1s.
Once they believe that a rule has been challenged or disobeyed, they’ll ruthlessly bring punitive punishments.
A good example of a fictional character who was an unhealthy type 1 is Eugene Achike in Purple Hibiscus. Eugene poured hot boiling water on his daughter when she stepped out of line at home or in church.
As their unhealthiness worsens, they become even more ruthless. This eventually leads to disaster.
5. Unbearable to Others
Their ruthless and double standards slowly make them intolerable. People often find ways to avoid them. They might notice this but convince themselves that it’s the price they pay for being morally upright.
It definitely is not.
6. Failure to Acknowledge One’s Mistakes
Unhealthy type 1 might shout or insult others when they make mistakes. However, they fail to realize no one is perfect.
Thus, when they make basic errors, they often fail to acknowledge them. They might make excuses for themselves in their heads.
The incredible thing is that they will not take a breather from correcting others regardless of their mistakes.
7. Terrible Leader
All these signs lead to one conclusion. Unhealthy type 1s make terrible leaders. People often feel suffocated by them. People who suffer from low confidence will see this as a nightmare.
As the unhealthiness worsens, their leadership skills fade. This is unlike healthy type 1s, who are excellent leaders.
Enneagram 1 Under Stress (Type 4 Signs)
As mentioned earlier, type 1s take on the weaknesses of type 4 when under stress. Here are some of them.
1. Serial Procrastinators
Type 1s are the opposite of procrastinators. However, things change when under stress. They might lose motivation and put off doing their chores/tasks.
When type 1s feel this way, they might struggle to tell others because of their high standards. However, the energy to push themselves will go missing.
Type 1s might start to feel special. In other words, they might start feeling like bad things always happen to them, or they’re blessed.
Because they are stressed, it’s more likely they’ll feel cursed. However, nothing really is wrong with you. You’re just stressed.
Type 1s will overthink and analyze every issue and sub-issue. With overthinking comes worry and anxiety. Thus, an unhealthy type 1 might be a very anxious person. Their overthinking can affect their decision-making process.
Type 1s can isolate themselves when in type 4 mode. They might simply listen to music all day and ignore messages.
This might leave their loved ones worried. This doesn’t happen often to their brave, studious type 1.
Enneagram 1 and Their Wings Under Stress
The presence of their wings can somewhat affect each type under stress. Enneagram 1w2s will become more manipulative and controlling. They might also fish out compliments more often as some form of reassurance.
Enneagram 1w9, on the other hand, might become more complacent and indecisive. They’ll become less assertive and try to avoid conflicts.
How to Help an Unhealthy Enneagram 1
Do you know an unhealthy Enneagram 1? Here are some tips that might help.
1. Get Them to See A Therapist
Seeing a therapist can help type 1s to put things into perspective. These are professionals who are trained specifically for this purpose.
If their unhealthiness seems to be worsening, advise them calmly to perhaps see a therapist. Prepare for some backlash, as they’ll probably become defensive.
Make it clear that it’s in their interest to do so.
2. Patience and More Patience
You have to have a lot of patience when dealing with an unhealthy type 1. This is especially important in the workplace.
Not responding in like manner but quietly stating the facts will sink deep even if they deny it. However, don’t say or do anything to provoke them.
3. Show Yourself Competent
Even when unhealthy, type 1s respect others who also have high standards. So, show yourself competent. Thus, when you advise them, they’ll be more willing to accept it.
4. Stand Your Ground When Necessary
Sometimes, it’s necessary to show that you have boundaries. It’s important to speak out calmly but firmly if they do upsetting things. Let them know how you feel and that their actions will not be tolerated.
How to Recover as an Unhealthy Enneagram 1
Trying to become healthy again? Here are some things that might help.
1. Understand Your Triggers
Learn what triggers you and pushes you to unhealthiness. By knowing this, you’ll know exactly how to stop or control it.
Your triggers will also help you understand yourself better.
2. Seek Help if Necessary
If you’ve tried everything or feel you cannot do it alone, seek help immediately. This can be in the form of mental health experts or a friend.
They can help you kickstart your recovery.
3. Practice Self-Care
Ensure you practice self-care. Hit the gym or go for a walk. Take time out to be with friends or read a book. Do what makes you happy and ignore the little things for some hours.
It works, trust me.
4. Learn More About Yourself
Finally, take some time to learn more about yourself. You’ve identified that you’re a type 1. Try to find out more about your wing and perhaps your MBTI type. This website is a great place to start.
Being an unhealthy type 1 is not a curse. It’s something you can improve on. We are all imperfect, after all.