Enneagram Type 2

Type Two: The Helper / Giver

Twos belongs to the Heart Centre and they use this strong heart connection to sense the feelings of others much faster than the other types. You feel the loving warmth of the Two consistently especially if you know they are Twos. Sometimes, because we might be oblivious to the life of a Two, what might be noticeable is a calm demeanour though some of them are more outward and gregarious. Their warmth and kindness allows them to see who they are connected to much faster than others and it helps in their bonding, affection, love and intimacy especially with those whom they care for. They are usually friendly & warm-hearted.

Early childhood

The Type 2 child felt loved only if they stepped up to be there for others, helping or sacrificed their needs for others. As a result they denied themselves of their own needs and feelings and chose to focus on others. Hence their definition of love as a child became one of outpouring and sacrifice without understanding or experiencing much reciprocity.

Strengths of the Type Two

1) Sacrificing: Twos have a preoccupation with making a difference in the lives of others almost to a point of living to support people and as the Scouts motto goes, they believe so much in “Service before self”.   If a friend has a problem, the Twos use their warmth, kindness and unconditional giving to comfort and care.

2) Twos are usually enthusiastic, energetic, fun-loving, and have a good sense of humour. They will hardly rain on your parade and can be your most ardent supporter.

3) They are perceptive to feelings, almost possessing a radar on those whom they care about. They give good eye-contact and can pace with you on every level if you are on their list of people they choose to make a difference to. Rest assured you have a devoted friend for life.

4) They are generous leaders and motivators. They see the best in others and can motivate and inspire through their energy and enthusiasm. There is a sense of happiness in their presence and a charm that feels authentic and peaceful.

5) They sense feelings very quickly thanks to their constant levels of eye-contact and emotional attunement. They are comforting, empathic listen well and hence very therapeutic to have around when others are in distress.

Limitations

Any type becomes Unresourceful when they begin to over-do some of the thoughts and behaviours that are typical of the type.

1) Overindulgent: Sometimes Twos find it difficult to refuse or say ‘No’. Their inclination to make others happy is usually accompanied by a resistance to say what’s really on their minds since it might mean rejecting others and being rejected. This runs counter to the personality of the Type 2.

2) Since some Twos have a challenge rejecting others and putting the needs of others before their own, their focus of attention is hardly on themselves and people may take advantage of their kindness and start to expect such consistency from them. This vicious cycle of focusing on others and neglecting self leads to low self-esteem.  

3) Self-neglect: Twos can feel drained from overdoing for others because of their unconscious need to serve and this cycle can continue until they recognize that their own needs are being neglected and especially so if they have rejected others requests to give back to them. Twos sometimes do not indulge in things they really like to do for fear of being labelled selfish which goes against the grain of their mantra or motto.

4) Manipulative: Certain Twos can be manipulative when they get upset that others don’t reciprocate their kindness when actually they have an inner need to be in the lives of those whom they want to make a difference to.

5) They work so hard to be tactful and considerate that they suppress their real feelings. They find it hard to accept anything from others and hence find themselves taken for granted when they get used to rejecting other’s advances for help.

Reflections for the Type Two

1) Try not to be concerned about winning everyone’s heart. You can’t please everyone as you have a duty to be yourself. Realize that it is okay and healthy to take care of yourself.

2) Recognize the fact that not everyone will express their affection in the same way as you do because few are “other centred” like you. Try to recognize the different ways that others show appreciation instead.

3) Learn to develop boundaries when you choose to help people. Remember, that your duty is not to be responsible for others and forget about your own interests.

4) Learn to recognize if you are using excess flattery and how it may affect your level of sincerity.

5) Enlarge your perception of yourself to include activities and contributions to life rather than just caring for others.

6) Twos tend to give too much and then regret it. Be brutally honest about your motives and if it’s really not “manipulative” or conditional. Your need to be needed might be causing you to care for others so that they become dependent on you. Once you are intentional, you build authenticity, pride and integrity and can start focusing on your needs as well.

Self-Preservation Type Two

Known as The Nurturer and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Privilege or Me First. They create warmth and personable relationships in supporting others, which leads to a feeling of entitlement, prideful attitude, or false modesty.

Sexual or One-to-One Type Two

Known as The Lover and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Seduction or Aggression. Their high empathy and ability to change themselves to get attention and approval of people can be experienced as seductive or aggressive.

Social Type Two

Known as The Ambassador and their Vulnerabilities / Vices is Ambition. They need to be with the right people for social approval and are attuned to other’s needs where they create an indispensable and influential role.