What's it really like to be an Enneagram Type 1? Amelia Peck talked to mom and musician Alyssa Crane and explored this incredible personality type.
Often, when I think of those in my life who are Enneagram One, the Reformer, I think of those who have put themselves into careers that require serious rule-following and might tap into the perfection element in their nature. Doctors or lawyers I’m acquainted with would easily fall into this category. And when I learned Alyssa was an Enneagram Type 1, it made me appreciate the scope that any Type of the Enneagram Personality Types can attach to. Because as I read more about the ones and their traits and tendencies, it is all there, as the beautiful person she is.
She is a wife, mother, and lead singer in her band (that’s right, the ultimate cool mom). Alyssa's personality has strong convictions, integrity, and seeks to know more about what she’s passionate about. And when she is working on a project, she will be incredibly resourceful to ensure nothing looks half done. She is able to chase a vision with focus, and I have always appreciated that about her.
Can you share how you learned about the Enneagram Test, what prompted you to take it, and what you thought about your results?
My sisters came to visit and stay with me a few years ago, and they were obsessed with Enneagram everything at the time. So while they were here, they had me take a test. While I didn't immediately relate to a Type 1 as fully as my test results told me I should, I eventually had these "aha" moments here and there. It made being a Type 1 easier to see in myself. I was close to being a Type 3 as well.
Can you share your Type and what elements of it resonate with you the most?
I'm a Type 1 with a Type 9 wing. When I took the test, Type 3 with a 2 wing was very close behind. So it's an interesting combination. The elements of Type 1 that resonate the most would be integrity and wanting to do the morally right thing (even at personal cost). Desiring to understand and become aware of the world around me, and having rational and objective responses is a big part of my personality.
What is your number's shadow side, and where do you see that part poke its way out in your life?
“The Type One’s Shadow conceals true desires and the need for spontaneity, levity, and joy. To preserve order, the Shadow suppresses undesired emotions like personal pain, melancholy, and deep frustration." (enneagrampaths.com)
I can say that before I ever knew what Enneagram meant, I had to do a good bit of unraveling to figure out how I ended up in a place in life that was so far gone from what I believed to be acceptable. I think that the tendency to suppress undesired emotions and pretend as though everything is fine stunted the better part of 10 years of my life and left me with a pretty inauthentic sense of self. But after a year of "work" (ie: therapy), I do believe that shadow is much smaller now than it used to be.
Where do you see your number show itself in your marriage? And do you know your spouse's Enneagram number? If not, would you make a guess?
Oh, man. I could talk about this for days. My husband is a Type 6 (the loyalist), with NO wing. He's the purest 6 I've ever met in my life. It's interesting that people often confuse Type 1's with Type 6's, and that can be true even of themselves. We both tend to be very certain of our own beliefs. We have to have quite strict boundaries because the head-butting and "my way is the right way" is incessant otherwise.
Where do you see your Enneagram number show itself as a mom?
I try to avoid making messes so that I don't have to worry about cleaning up. My perfectionism means I'm not as eager to introduce my baby to things that are likely to cause a mess. I don't want to leave a mess hanging around for any length of time. And sometimes it's hard to care for my baby girl and clean up at the same time. I have to give myself a pep talk into doing whatever it is. And I tell myself it will be ok if I have to leave the mess until bedtime.
It's a lot of hard work to convince myself to do anything that's spontaneous. I like my comfort zone. I prepare for everything. The idea of being away from home, where I have solutions for a multitude of potential problems (most of which we will never experience) makes me cringe. But leaving the house to do new things (I'm not talking about a trip to the playground or the store, but more like going swimming at the lake.) means encountering potentially new problems that I won't have a solution for. So, I have to research and ask and go with someone who's done it before, etc. It can be crippling if I let it. And yes, I have a TON of stuff in my diaper bag, because you just never know!
How does knowing your Enneagram Type and its traits help you navigate challenging times in your life?
To be honest, I wish I had known my Enneagram profile much earlier in life. I went through a lot of major life changes before knowing anything about it. And in general, I think having this knowledge is a good guide to recognizing your tendencies. Then, make a deliberate choice to move in a healthy direction. It has especially come in handy when trying to understand my husband, and why he does what he does.
Can you share a time that you really honed in on the strengths of being an Enneagram Type 1 to help you?
During this pandemic, my desire to follow logical science-based rules made it easy to stay home. I didn't really get the itch to go out and do anything for nearly five months. And when it did hit me, I was like "Fine, we're going to go to a small restaurant for breakfast. But only one where we can sit outside on a patio. We'll go at 8 am on a Monday, because it won't be crowded." We did, and we wore masks (when not eating, of course), we enjoyed breakfast tacos, and it was fabulous. And, there were only two other people there.
If you want to know your Enneagram Personality Type, visit the Enneagram Institute. See if you have a natural sense of self-control that helps you through a pandemic like an Enneagram Type 1, or if you prefer getting a little messier like some of the other types. It can be a fun journey of self-discovery during this time!