The Enneagram Type 1 is called the Perfectionist or the Reformer because their attention automatically goes to what needs improvement and correction. Enneagram Type 9 is called the Peacemaker or the Meditator because of their focus on harmony and their mellow, go-with-the-flow attitude. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 1 with a Type 9 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.
Enneagram Type 1:9 When Ιn Balance
Perfectionist (1)s and Peacemaker (9)s offer each other a blend of shared and compensating personality traits. Both can be altruistic, working in the service of others and subjugating their own needs for the greater good. Both can be committed to improvement and growth, albeit with large energetic differences. Neither type need the spotlight, and both can stay focused on the task at hand, leaving their ego to the side to focus on concrete goals. And with these foundational shared values, they also have many balancing differences.
Peacemaker (9)s bring an accepting, nonjudgmental nature, steadiness and a human focus to their interactions. They are kind-hearted, good listeners with a soothing, easy presence. They easily and naturally accommodate multiple viewpoints and perspectives making others feel unconditionally accepted.
Perfectionist (1)s bring clarity, rational thought, an action-oriented approach, and precise and critical thinking. They are ethical, fair and driven to improve themselves and their environment.
In the relationship, the Peacemaker (9) softens the rigidity of the Perfectionist (1) and helps mute the Perfectionist (1)’s drive to be right. They can broker compromise and help maintain harmony. Perfectionist (1)s give inspiration to the Peacemaker (9). They may push their Peacemaker (9) outsider their comfortable zone, helping them to achieve more of their full potential.
This can be a highly idealistic, hospitable, altruistic couple who create good in the world and bring out the best in each other.
Enneagram Type 1:9 The Downward Spiral
The downward spiral of the relationship begins because of the opposite way the two types behave when fixated, with Perfectionist (1)s expressing criticism and contempt and Peacemaker (9)s stonewalling and becoming stubbornly avoidant. With tightening defenses, Perfectionist (1)s become more openly critical, frustrated, prickly and dissatisfied. This can be directed at themselves, their partner, their other relationships and their environment. They become fixated on finding fault and determining who is to blame. They become increasingly rigid in their views and disconnected from their hearts. Isolationism can occur with no one meeting the harsh standards strictly set by the Perfectionist (1). Compassion is usually nowhere in the picture.
In this environment, Peacemaker (9)s head in the opposite direction and become more shut down, withdrawn, internally confused and uncomfortable. They numb out as a strategy to deflect the criticism and dissatisfaction of the Perfectionist (1). Internally, they try to convince themselves that nothing is wrong or it is a phase the couple is going through.
This further triggers the Perfectionist (1) who feels the Peacemaker (9) isn’t addressing the issue. The two partners polarize with the Peacemaker (9) resisting the situation even more, becoming more passive and more withdrawn. The Perfectionist (1) interprets this as passive defiance. The Perfectionist (1) starts to lose respect for the Peacemaker (9), and the Peacemaker (9) starts to lose confidence and trust in the Perfectionist (1).
If the downward spiral continues, the Perfectionist (1) becomes even more condemning, disdainful and critical of the Peacemaker (9). The Peacemaker (9) reacts by becoming more unresponsive, passive, resigned and withdrawn. To the Perfectionist (1), they feel they are merely living up to their own internal high standards. To the Peacemaker (9), they feel they are accommodating their very frustrated partner in the best way they know how. To the outside world, this couple may be hard to be around because of the barely suppressed anger seething from the Perfectionist (1) and the unresponsive passive energy of the Peacemaker (9).
Once the couple reaches this stage, any heart connection is lost. Because of the Peacemaker (9)’s resistance to change, the relationship may continue for long periods in this state before it ends.
Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 1s in relationships with Type 9s
Enneagram knowledge can be transformative in improving your relationships and an important tool in cultivating compassion, both towards yourself and others. In my book, “The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” I explore intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
The Nine Keys
This book contains Enneagram relationship theory for all 45 type combinations as well as personal testimonials all 81 relationship perspectives. Drawing on over 1,500 years of relationship experience from over 100 couples from around the world, the descriptions and testimonials are instructive, uplifting, cautionary, and sometimes scary and humorous – all real, all good. Browse the entire book here.
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- Read more: Peacemaker (9)s talking about their relationships with their Perfectionist (1) at page 74
- Read more: Perfectionist (1)s talking about their relationship with their Peacemaker (9) at page 392
- Read more: Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for Peacemaker (9)s and Perfectionist (1)s at page 474