Putting it all Together for Type One

Hillary Clinton has a Type One personality.

Hillary Clinton has a Type One personality.

Last week we looked at the Harmonic groups discovered by Riso & Hudson, one of the many ways to slice and dice the Enneagram Types. This is interesting and useful, but looking at the different triadic groups (Hornevian, Object Relation, Centers and Harmonics) separately tends to leave us with just a piece of the puzzle. So, what I am going to do in this series is to put the puzzle together—at least a bit more—by bringing all these elements together to create a more full-bodied picture for each Type.

As Maria Von Trapp would say, let’s start at the very beginning – in this case, with Type One. Here are the groups One is associated with:

Center: Gut/Body (underlying emotion is anger)

Hornevian Group: Compliant (to the Superego)

Object Relation Group: Frustration

Harmonic Group: Competency

As a Body or Gut type, the One personality engages “directly with the world,” writes Michael Hampson, “so any judgment on what they do…feels like a judgment on who they are.” Gut types are guided by instinct or “go with their gut.” As Riso & Hudson put it, Ones are focused on “creating boundaries for the self that are based on physical tension.”

So, Ones are concerned with creating and maintaining internal boundaries for their selves. This relates to their Frustration group membership. Ones are frustrated that neither they nor the world are perfect, so they create elaborate rule sets to govern themselves by so that they can be as close to perfect as possible.

In abiding by these rules, they are conforming to the message of their Superego: “You are good or okay if you are doing what is right.” This message is very loud and demanding in the One, so they must be very compliant (their Hornevian group) in order to feel all right.

This also plays into the One’s need for competency (Harmonic group). Michael Hampson, in his book “Head Versus Heart and Our Gut Reactions,” talks about how the Center adjacent to a Type gives it a certain flavor. The One is an anger type, but it’s sitting right next to Two, in the shame center. So, as he would put it, Type One is anger with a side of shame. Ones are not only angry at the seeming irrationality and imperfection of the world and of themselves, but they are also ashamed. Ones deal with difficulty by setting aside these intense feelings and striving to be competent in all areas. They rely on their rule sets to guide them into competency.

Well, this is a shortened version of what could be an entire chapter in a book, I’m sure, but I hope that it gave you more insight into the underlying factors that work together to make Ones act and think as they do. Did it? Do you have other insights into these connections for the One? Let me know in the comments section!




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