Hi everyone! It’s Laura here for the Two post. I’m not a Two, but I hope to do them justice!
The Basics for Type Two
Twos are often known as The Helper, and recently I’ve heard them called The Befriender, which I think is really nice sounding and maybe even more accurate! Twos are kind, compassionate, and, unsurprisingly, helpful. They’re the ones hosting guests every chance they get and making a casserole for every new baby, friend with an illness, or really any other occasion. They’re often social butterflies, but don’t take that to mean they enjoy shallow relationships. Twos often have a wide net of friends, including many deep and fulfilling relationships.
All About Relationships
Twos are the most relationship-oriented type on the Enneagram. Their whole world revolves around relationships- “Who can I help? Who cares about me? Who appreciates me? What do you need? How can I meet that need? How can we connect?” This means that most Twos are very attuned to the needs of others, and that can be a beautiful thing. Healthy Twos are truly altruistic, compassionate, and un-self-conscious. Highly empathetic, they can intuitively sense the emotional needs of others, and they easily express emotions and affection. They can bring people together who might otherwise never even meet, let alone like each other.
What Do You Need?
Until Twos really start doing their soul work, they are likely to be people-pleasing. It can be very difficult for a Two to separate “what do you need?” from “what do I need?” Twos can get so caught up in meeting everyone else’s needs, that they forget they have needs themselves. Because Twos value the opinions and feelings of others so strongly, taking an opposing position or setting a boundary with those they love can be very difficult. It takes a lot of gumption and courage, and self awareness, for a Two to realize their needs matter. They forget they’re allowed to stand up for themselves.
In addition, average Twos see the world as a “give to get” place. They believe their value lies in how they can help others and in having relationships with others, so they continually give as much of themselves as possible. In exchange, they hope to feel appreciated, receive thanks, or know that they are valued. This speaks to Two’s deadly sin of pride. Words like, “how could I live without you?” are music to a Two’s ears. Ultimately, like all of us, their desire is to be loved for who they are. Twos struggle to believe they are loved for who they are, without that “transactional” mentality, which prompts so many of their giving behaviors. As a Two becomes healthier, she is able to see her value as separate from her ability to help people. This allows the helping and giving that come so naturally to a Two to be shared with the world in a positive and beautiful way.
Deep down, although Twos often suppress their own needs, they rarely truly forget that they have needs. When a Two repeatedly feels that their constant helping isn’t appreciated, they find their “bucket” being emptied a lot faster than it’s being filled. A Two in this stressful place can exhibit manipulative, flattering behaviors to elicit that appreciation. If that still doesn’t work, they can become resentful and show many of the behaviors of unhealthy type Eights, like being confrontational and dominating. When a Two realizes they’re heading in this direction, their saving grace is to remember the effect they really want to have on people, and to step back and intentionally take time for self care to fill their bucket back up.
The Two’s virtue is Humility. As they grow in health through self-awareness and addressing that shadow side, their pride begins to diminish. When you encounter a truly healthy Two, their altruism, kindness, and empathy shine through. They are less concerned of what everyone thinks of them, and more concerned with true joy and the good of others. It’s a beautiful thing.
Growth Tips for Twos:
- Practice self care alone. ALONE is key here, my Two friend. It can be so hard for you to see your value apart from your relationships with others, and it can be almost impossible for you to focus on your own needs if someone else is in the room. Take time to truly focus on your heart and spirit.
- Take time to determine what you are truly passionate about vs. the expectations of others. If there are activities, jobs, organizations, even relationships in your life that you know are there just because of others’ expectations, it’s time to re-evaluate. What and who really matter to you? What is actually worth your time and energy?
- Practice positive affirmations and remind yourself of spiritual truths. I identify as a Christian, and central to my faith is the belief that God loves me as I am right now, without having to earn his love. This is such a sweet reminder when I am struggling to believe I am loveable. Whatever your spirituality or belief system, there are many beautiful reminders of human worth and self love on just about every spectrum.
For more reading on Type Two, a few of my favorites:
The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile (a Two!)
The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile
Understanding the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz