Type One Personality
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
– Serenity Prayer
The Type One personality pattern is driven by anger or wrath. Anger shows up in what Oscar Ichazo called “standing against reality.” Type Ones use anger to control anger – constrain it, tame it, civilize it. It is an anger against anger.
With respect to their own well-being, Ones can direct their anger inward to improving themselves and perfecting their home and family environments. Anger thus shows up as a relentless Inner Critic.
Ones are notoriously different when they cut loose with friends or travel on a truly relaxing vacation. A One touring Australia with no particular plan, except enjoying every day anew, excitedly emailed a friend back in the United States with a revelation. “I discovered the secret to a good life: make every day back home feel like vacation!”
In personal relationships, Ones can direct their anger at improving others with an intention of being helpful. “Even when my wife is silent,” the partner of a One reported, “I can still feel the heat of her rising irritation with me. She’s like a portable space heater toasting and tensing the area around us until I stop whatever it is I’m doing.”
When Ones focus energy in the social realm, their actions can show up as an impassioned force for societal change. They tend to take public policy personally. It feels appropriate to express anger on behalf of others.
After quizzing a waitress about the biographies of the various fish in the dinner specials – where they were from, how they were caught – a Type One methodically scrolled through a new app on his smartphone. “None of these fish are acceptable by sustainable fishing standards,” he pointedly lectured. Without missing a beat, the waitress replied, “Well none of these fish dinners are going to be sustainable if no one eats them!”
Crusading Ones in the social arena strive to be the models of perfection. As a result, they struggle with hypocrisy. Twentieth Century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, likely a Type One, famously observed, “hypocrisy [is] an inevitable byproduct of all virtuous endeavor.”
Ones transmute anger into the virtue of serenity – the cool wisdom of letting go and forgiving that which cannot be changed. Niebuhr is also credited with writing the Serenity Prayer, adopted by many in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Ones gift our collective consciousness with a moral compass. Ones have an intuitive, gut-level wisdom of proper relating, proper consideration, proper boundaries, proper proportion, and proper spatial arrangement. These qualities guide the collective in evermore subtle, joyful flow as we continue the human journey of sharpening the edges of our uniqueness, that which makes each one of us special and beautiful.