Enneagram Type1 (The Reformer)

The Reformer: According to Riso and Hudson (1995),  Reformers have solid principles and live in peace by acting guided by strong standards, traditions, and rules. When healthy, Riso and Hudson (1987) claim the Reformer becomes “wise, discerning, and tolerant.”Type One is the idealistic type, has a very well developed sense of right and wrong, and enjoys teaching others the path they find so comforting; they live up to their convictions. Also, they are always working hard on improving things around them; they are conscious of their behavior and strive to avoid making mistakes of any kind.

Reformers are well-organized, orderly, and meticulous. They have very high standards on everything they do, firmly believe in the work they do and its importance. Though this is an excellent quality, sometimes they may be too hard on themselves and others, as they forget to leave room for unexpected situations.

According to Morgan Cron and Stabile (2016), Reformers are ethical, committed, and reliable, driven by a  desire to live the right way,  improve the world, and avoid fault and blame, also, won’t settle for less than what they have set up as their expectation. Additionally, they can find themselves in times of “disintegration” when unhealthy behavior presents. At these moments, they can be forceful, judgmental, or condescending. People around them need to stay close listening to them but don’t put them in the spot about their harmful train of thought in these moments. On the contrary, people should praise their efforts and share their suggestions as possibilities, not solutions to “fix things” as they may see these types of comments as attacks or, in a less aggressive way, as problems that interfere with whom they are and what they expect of themselves.

Though they will always find ways to provide their best work and behave at their best behavior, they seem to experience problems with repressed anger and impatience, which might even be difficult for them to be empathic with others sometimes. At their best, healthy Reformers are wise, discerning, realistic, and noble, as well as morally heroic. If you have a Reformer in your team, you can be sure they will deliver excellent, detailed, and high-quality work, but they may be too demanding with themselves and others. They need constant reminders about resting, putting themselves in other people’s shoes and looking for time out to clear their heads to remain healthy and at peace.

Keep in consideration that Reformers wish only functional to the world, they thrive on being useful at all times. Since they have an influential inner critic, others need to be patient with them. At the same time, they search for that perfection they long so hard.

According to Baron and Wagele (2009), Reformers (also called Perfectionists) need to be encouraged to lighten up and laugh at themselves, as they tend to get uptight quickly. Though sometimes Reformers may look like they are justifying what they do and giving excuses, it is essential to remember their actions have a sense of purpose at all times.

By:  Dr. Graciela González Calderón-Psychologist


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