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Enneagram Type One and MBTI Preferences

Enneagram MBTI Personality Typology Workplace

There are no direct correlations between MBTI and Enneagram since they measure different parts of our personalities—namely, WHAT we do versus WHY we do it. That being said, some Preference pairings from MBTI could have a higher prevalence in certain Enneagram Types. With this in mind, let's explore Enneagram Type One and see how the MBTI Preferences correlate.

Overview of a Type One:

Enneagram Type Ones are the "Perfectionists" of the Enneagram, though they by no means are the only Type that grapples with the lure of perfectionism, but that Ones believe that being perfect will ultimately quell their fears of being bad, deficient, or reprehensible at their core. As a little person, Type Ones frequently felt they received the message that they were not "good" unless they were "perfect" and so started a lifelong journey of squashing their instincts and wrestling their impulses into submission at the direction of a relentless inner critic. Ones, when they are healthy, are some of the most integrous, dutiful, loyal, trustworthy, hardworking Types on the Enneagram. They can be trusted to hold themselves and others to the highest standards and to stand up for justice and equity in their environment. These strengths though can eventually become a One's downfall when their idealism and hope for a better future leads them to frustration in the current situation, feeling burdened under the weight of upholding standards, and criticizing others for falling short of their idea.

Possible MBTI Correlations:

Each Preference Pair describes the median range Preference of the Pair and does not address the nuance of each individual. Many people who actually prefer one side will be able to competently use skills presented by the other side. The descriptions below are done in broad strokes and are at not meant to pigeon hole people into ways of thinking or behaving.

Extroversion/Introversion Preference:

Extroversion/Introversion describes a person's Preference for directing and receiving energy, which can sometimes be explained as that of a balloon either inflating with interaction with the outside/inside world or deflating. Extroverted Preference people’s bubble inflates with contact with the outside world—people, experiences, places, stimulation—and deflates with too much time with their inside world—reflecting, time alone, journaling, thinking—and those with an Introverted Preference deflate with contact with the outside world and inflate with time reflecting on the inside world.

Applying to Type One:

Enneagram Type Ones could easily prefer both Extroversion and Introversion, however with an innate and internal sense of right and wrong and standards for themselves it is likely that they would prefer Introversion. Ones, being part of the compliant triad as well as fearing that they are bad deep down, are hit with a double sense of duty to both outside and inside standards. That being said, when forced to choose between the two, Ones will choose to uphold their own moral code (and arguably it's more rigid than external moral codes) over external. Ones with this internal moral code tend to develop it through deep introspection and reflection, possibly making them more inclined toward Introversion. On top of this, the One's internal life also allows them to create and reflect on an ideal world free of errors, which gives them more energy than the real, error-filled external world.

Sensing/Intuition Preference:

This Preference Pair explains how people prefer taking in information from the outside world. The Sensing Preference types will take in information from their five senses and experience the world as very tangible, tactile, and concrete, and will focus on what is presently possible or possible in the past. Those with an Intuition Preference, on the other hand, will take in information as abstract, ethereal, imaginative, and inferred, and will focus on what is new and possible in the future.

Applying this to Type One:

Type One's ego does not require the One to process information in a particular way and so either Preference pair would be possible for a Type One. Being that Type Ones are focused on creating a perfect self and a perfect world around them, Ones will use either mode of processing information to do so. If the One prefers Sensing, they will engage and try to perfect the the tangible, concrete aspects of reality. On the other hand, when Ones prefer Intuition, they will engage in imagining ideas, possibilities, and connections, all based on what ideally could be. However, at times, Type Ones with an Intuition preference can become so fixated on these idealized dreams that they procrastinate more than their Sensing counterparts.   

Thinking/Feeling Preference

This Preference Pair explains how people make decisions- do they make their decisions based on logic, numbers, objective criteria (Thinking Preference) or do they make decisions considering their values, collective harmony, and empathy for others (Feeling).

Applying to Type One:

Type Ones would likely prefer Feeling, but could easily accidentally test as Thinking preference. On the one hand, Type Ones certainly would like to think of themselves as logical, unbiased, and objective when it comes to decision-making and in many ways they are. EXCEPT that Type Ones are some of the most value-driven of all Enneagram Types and therefore are still making decisions based on their values (despite the objective bottom line) and hold themselves to the highest standards of tact and deportment, so would likely prefer Feeling. This is not to say that Thinking Types do not have inner values, but that the logical, objective, bottom-line overrides the people-based and internal values they have. For a Type One, who is almost anchored to this earth by solely their internal values, making a decisions--even an objective, logical, bottom-line decision--will FIRST have to pass the internal values and standards of the One. For this reason, it is likely that Type Ones would actually prefer Feeling more over Thinking preference (though certainly can share facets) but could easily TEST as Thinking.

Judging/Perceiving Preference

This Preference Pair explains how people interact with the outside world. Those with a Judging Preference prefer closure, step by step progress, planning, organization, and control. Those with Perceiving Preference like options, adaptability, flexibility, spontaneity, and openness to new information.

Applying to Type One:

Type Ones may prefer the Judging preference over the Perceiving preference. A Type One's ego calls for perfection through the act of controlling themselves and their environment. This frequently leads to a need for order, meticulous planning, and a step-by-step approach to their lives which fits more with Judging over Perceiving. Testing this area of Ones could give them issue since a One's desire for perfection can lead them to a fair amount of procrastinating (something can't be wrong if it's still not yet done...), which could be misinterpreted as adaptability (a hallmark of perceiving). In these scenarios, it is important to note that the Type One usually knows (if not exactly) what they want and how they want to go about it and are not actually adaptable.

Possible MBTI Preference Types for Enneagram Type Ones


Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.


Quiet, serious, earn success by being thorough and dependable. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized—their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.


Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.


Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what's going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts; don't force their opinions or values on others.


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