Fine Distinctions – Ones – Tom Condon

Fine Distinctions – Ones – Tom Condon


Self Preservation Ones

• Talented at getting things done and attending to practical detail.
• Ultra-reliable; do what they say they will on time.
• Tend towards worry and negative anticipation about material well being. • Can catastrophize about money; could be “penny-wise and pound- foolish.”
• A petty, finicky quality; may magnify small tasks into large problems.
• Prone to a mild form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
• Distorted sense of responsibility; feel like they have to make the sun come up in the morning.
• Can seem like anxious Sixes but they lack a Six’s underlying core of helpless fear. Ones don’t doubt their capacity to take action.
• Could believe that everything has to be just right to avert disaster.
• May have a sense of being undeserving or inadequate; compensate with worry.
• If something goes wrong it will painfully confirm their lack of worth.

Intimate Ones

• Able to bring out the best in people. • Personable, with good social skills.

• Motivated by a desire to improve for a mate.
• Can feel like relationships are exercises in mutual improvement.
• More vain, especially with a Two wing; aware of how they look.
• Idealize their beloved and have high expectations in close relationships. • Grow up in atmospheres of criticism and high standards.
• Sensitive to the possibility of being rejected by intimates.
• If a beloved is even slightly critical the One hears the criticism as though through a megaphone.
• Distinct capacity for possessive jealousy.
• May have conflicts around sexuality; might feel inhibited and yet be attracted to wild sin.

Social Ones

• Genuinely self-sacrificing, can work tirelessly for the good of others and enjoy putting their ideals into action.
• Forgive the world for being flawed but still try to improve it.
• Believe they are representatives of a larger social order or tradition.

• Preoccupied with rules and how they apply to (other) people’s behavior. • Can apply the same rigid standards to each new situation; unconsciously ask themselves, “What is the rule?” rather than “What is necessary or sensible?”

• Can become preachy, won’t change their mind and won’t change the subject.
• Escape themselves by focusing on things that are essentially none of their business i.e. What others are doing wrong, issues of public morality. • Especially prone to black and white thinking; can cling to wrong-headed certainty to avoid the unknown.

• Can be hypocritical; “Do as I say not as I do.”
• May resist modernity, and fail “on principle” to adapt to new trends or realities.
• Consider being rigid, inflexible and closed a virtue, proof that they are living by an infallible moral or religious code.
• Can value structures, systems and rules; can be impersonal and dictatorial in positions of power.
• Most schools of religious and political fundamentalism are ruled by Social Oneness.

Connecting Points One with a Nine Wing

• Brings Ones a tolerant, receptive, mellow quality.
• Objective and balanced; moderate in their evaluations.
• Good at making difficult or unpopular decisions based solely on the facts.
• A cooler quality to the emotions; Ones with a Two wing burn hotter.
• A dryness of spirit, tending towards emotional constriction.
• Modest and unpretentious in their personal demeanor.
• Often appear a little colorless, prefer functional clothing that is possibly drab.
• Practicality is highly valued, nothing is ostentatious.
• Have an aura of Nine-like calm although eruptions of temper are possible.
• They tend to be slow burns, get angry gradually.
• Have a detached quality and can be mistaken for Fives.
• Austere, resistant to modernism. Think of the Luddites or Amish.
• Can take stubborn inflexible positions that are pointless or malformed. • May have perfectionistic expectations that are not humanly possible to meet.
• They can hold simplistic opinions that are superficially logical but ultimately heartless.

One with a Two Wing

• This wing brings more interpersonal warmth and awareness of emotions.
• Generally more passionate and intense.
• More interpersonal; temper their high standards with humanistic sympathy.

• Able to empathize with the motives underneath behavior rather than simply judging surfaces.
• Sacrifice time and energy for good works that help people.
• May elect themselves to play parental or big sister/big brother supervisory roles towards others.

• Can be bossy, self-righteous, severe and eruptive; could give scolding lectures or display a touchy emotionalism.
• Hot shots; can be haughty or even overtly arrogant; may overrate themselves

• Hypocrisy and moral vanity are more likely.
• Convinced their motives are pure their pride can override their principles.
• Overlook or rationalize the inevitable inconsistencies in their own behavior.
• Can have more trouble admitting mistakes due to Twoish pride. • “Do as I say, not as I do” attitudes are possible.
• Can also be dependent in relationships.

One’s Connection to Seven

• This connection brings Ones qualities like playfulness, flexibility and good cheer.
• Helps them loosen the rules, enjoy life and see what’s going right.
• They embrace paradox, and see multiple options and choices.

• Sensuality can emerge along with an improved sense of humor.
• May have more of a positive motivation strategy, motivating themselves through a system of rewards. Use carrots rather than the stick of judgment.
• Focus on the inherent opportunities in new situations; More likely to ask, “What do I want?” or “How can I make the most of this?”
• This connection also bring Ones an exploratory sense of adventure and a wide range of interests.
• May fight their Sevenish feelings, especially their “illicit” impulses; squelch them in the service of being good.
• See their own Sevenish qualities in others; indict the others for being libertine and irresponsible.
• Tendencies to addiction; can live secret lives or episodically escape, breaking completely free of the rules to have illicit adventures.
• Can be narcissistic, hypocritical and undependable.
• Slippery about facing the consequences of their actions.
• May start things they don’t finish.
• Might demand good behavior from others and blame them for failings the One shares.
• Can be more intellectual, theoretical and scatterbrained.

One’s Connection to Four

• Their Four streak gets them into their feelings and inner life.
• They discover how they really feel in contrast to how they “should” feel.

• The connection enhances a One’s creative, artistic imagination.
• They are attracted to art and nature, the aesthetic and the spiritual.
• Ones are prone to melancholy, it is a portal feeling; they pass through it on their way to other feelings.
• Dissatisfied with reality; could feel sadly alone in a world that doesn’t appreciate their efforts to reform it, surrounded by incompetents.
• May compare the present with a romanticized version of the past.
• Can be self-pitying like an unhealthy Four, bemoaning their lot in life and implicitly asking others to support or rescue them.
• Could yearn to live in a finer, more ideal world, a quality of wistful nostalgia.
• Have sentimental streaks and can occasionally be maudlin.
• Can idealize their parents and romanticize their early family life in a way that blinds them to the family’s darker undertones undertones and less healthy patterns.
• Can over-react emotionally; may tend towards morose depression.
• Self-critical and depressive; they can harbor an inner sense of defect; turn their high standards against themselves.
• They may remorsefully vow to suppress their flaws, which then sets up the next episode of “bad” behavior.
• A few are morbidly interested in death and disease.
• A self-indulgent Fourish sense of being exempt from normal consequence.
• May project and then indicting their own sensitivities in others.
• Can become anti-subjective and anti-intuitive to defensively protect the primacy of reason.


Excerpted from The Dynamic Enneagram by Tom Condon

Copyright 2009, 2013 by Thomas Condon

Available as an ebook serial at Tom’s website


Tom Condon has worked with the Enneagram since 1980 and with Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP since 1977. These three models are combined in his trainings to offer a useful collection of tools for changing and growing, to apply the Enneagram dynamically, as a springboard to positive change. Tom has taught over 800 workshops in the US, Europe and Asia and is the author of 50 CDs, DVDs and books on the Enneagram, NLP and Ericksonian methods. He is founder and director of The Changeworks in Bend, Oregon.

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