My husband insisted I take a quiz. He’d listened to the Liturgists podcasts and started calling himself a “peacemaker.”
Nearly overnight, it was as though he’d suddenly met himself and became comfortable in his own skin.
He showed me a symbol that seemed to explain everything - the enneagram. Little did I know it would soon become the tool we’d use to understand most people around us.
I took an initial test, it said I was a type 8. But that didn’t feel right - I wasn’t exactly a challenger.
So I took another, longer test. It said I was a type 1, wing 2, or a 1w2.
I dove into blog posts and books, podcasts and Instagram accounts to learn more about the 1w2 (something I’ve come to learn is typical of type 1).
And I found it couldn’t be more true - this is totally my personality.
Being a Type 1
Upon initially learning I’m a type 1 on the enneagram, I both loved and hated it, depending on the labels it received. And in true 1w2 fashion, I thought I'd unpack it here with you.
When I saw it labeled as “perfectionist,” I struggled immensely. Not only because I hate this side of my personality - the kind that beats myself up if there’s even one error on a page - but also because I’m not the conventional perfectionist - walk around my house and you’ll see why. There are some piles and clutter, mismatched furniture and stains.
But as I’ve come to terms with this, I’ve also realized the perfectionist tendencies don’t necessarily live in my house - but they define my mind. It stresses me out when things aren’t perfect, I’d love to have everything polished, neat, organized and tidy, and struggle to rest well until it is. This is a big sign of a type 1.
I also saw type 1 labeled as “the reformer,” which I liked a lot more. I pictured Martin Luther - the ultimate reformer - changing the landscape for the sake of what was right. I pictured the women in the suffrage movement marching with signs, insisting on their right to vote. I looked at my job at the time - working as the communications director for a nonprofit advocacy organization called “Fight Colorectal Cancer.” I was leading other colon cancer survivors to share their voices and tell their stories.
Reformer seemed to fit just fine.
It explained why my blood seemed to boil when I saw unjust actions, and why I’ve tended to be a “flag-raiser” and mention if something’s not right all my life.
Enneagram 1's love to advocate for others and make lists.
Type 1, Wing 2
I found peace with being a type 1, but I especially loved learning about the “wing 2.” When I took my “helper wing” into account, I became the 1w2, the “servant leader,” I felt at home and at peace with myself.
As a type 1w2, I love to lead and organize people. But I’m the mentor and a buddy - I’d rather lead from the side rather the front.
I’m quick to take the wheel and steer the ship if there’s a gap in leadership. But I’m also quick to turn it over if someone else wants a turn, or if someone with a stronger personality shows up.
Knowing this about myself has brought a lot of clarity, peace and freedom in roles I do and don’t take on these days.
As the enneagram has infiltrated our house discussions, I’ve learned so much of its wisdom rings true. As a type 1, I’ve found I tend to:
- Look for the right answer - and do things the right way. (no wonder I love baking)
- Struggle with the idea that something may be gray - most things are black and white to me.
- Come down on myself pretty hard - I’ve even named my “inner critic” so I can recognize when she’s the one driving me.
- Fight for the underdog, little guy and the least of these.
- Get told I’m very wise.
- Shepherd, disciple and mentor people in my life.
- Stay organized, methodical and process-oriented.
- Struggle with a sudden change of plans. (I'm working on it!)
- Become fun and energetic on my best days.
These are just a few observations I’ve made about myself as a type 1w2.