The Helper (Enneagram 2 Type) is a selfless and caring mentor figure in the lives of many. They’re ready to jump in and lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed, and actively search for ways to improve the lives of others. Underneath the surface, Twos feel that they must give, help, empathize, or self-sacrifice to “win” love and acceptance from others. They may expect others to reciprocate their efforts and are deeply hurt when it doesn’t happen.
Generous and emotionally aware, Twos seek out opportunities to make a positive difference and touch the hearts of others. They can sometimes overextend themselves to acquire (and sustain) affection from others, which may eventually lead to burnout or other psychosomatic conditions. Because of this, it’s important for Twos to face and combat their underlying fear of worthlessness.
At the core of their being, Twos strive to use genuine affection and connection to leave the people of their community in a better place than it was yesterday. Although they sometimes push themselves too much and deny their own needs, Twos eventually learn how to consciously think and feel for themselves, which is the pinnacle of their self-development.
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A Quick Overview of the Enneagram 2:
- Part of the Heart Triad (along with Enneatypes Three and Four)
- Can have a One or Three wing: 2w1 and 2w3
- Nicknamed ‘The Helper’
- Ego Fixation: Flattery
- Vice: Pride
- Virtue: Humility
- Integrates into the Four (The Individualist) under growth
- Disintegrates into the Eight (The Challenger) under stress
- Basic Fear: To feel unwanted and not needed by others
- Basic Desire: To give love out to others and receive love in return
Values are the core beliefs that make up the most important aspects of life. They have a strong influence over important decisions, especially during critical times, when standing between a fork in the road.
Common Values of the Two:
- Family and Friendship
The Enneagram model of personality identifies three distinct levels of health for each type: healthy, normal, and unhealthy.
Healthy Twos integrate in the direction of the Four and become incredibly creative and self-aware. They’re willing to use and tap into their hidden creative gifts and sensitivity to be innovative, artistic, or offer insightful advice to inspire others and gently touch their hearts.
At this stage, Twos stop pushing themselves to be “all things to all people.” They learn it’s healthy and absolutely necessary to take care of themselves, and confidently stand up for their own needs. They learn to love themselves as well as others and are often joyous, grateful, and modest.
As Twos transform into self-actualized individuals outside of their personal relationships, they gain a stronger sense of self-awareness. As a result, their intrapersonal intelligence grows and flourishes. At this point, they’re fully able to recognize the differences between their inner voice and the voices of parents, friends, significant others, or society.
At normal levels, Twos take extra care in identifying others’ needs to be a “good” friend and cheerfully lend a hand whenever they’re asked to. Their warm, open nature often leads strangers to approach them for directions or to take photos. Wherever they tread, it seems that someone has a favor to ask of them—whether it’s looking after people, pets, plants, or even inanimate objects.
Although well-intentioned, Twos at an average level tend to fear that they constantly fail to do enough for others; that the love they worked so hard to secure will suddenly disappear without reason or warning. They may have periods of being overly people-pleasing, needy, or clingy. They also might have sudden and explosive bouts of anger over feeling taken for granted.
Through an accumulation of sentimental photographs, journals, and other miscellaneous items, Twos preserve the past in order to relive it during stressful times of the present. During traumatic and emotionally taxing events, such as a broken or severed relationship, Twos may go through a period where they debate whether to hold onto what once was, or eliminate and repress negative feelings. The way to healing lies in acceptance and forgiveness.
Under unhealthy levels of stress, Twos disintegrate in the direction of the Eight, and become overly controlling, to the point where they can appear tyrannical—in the sole pursuit of love and affection. Many popular culture personas including (but not limited to) the love-stricken psychopath and overly-attached girlfriend highlight extreme cases of the unhealthy Two.
Sometimes, Twos will overstep boundaries on purpose to test the validity or strength of a particular relationship. Enter mind games, covert manipulation tactics, and all-around unpredictability. Others can feel like they’re “walking on eggshells” to appease the Two’s overwhelming demands on time and energy—to the point of avoidance.
Type 2 Behavior Under Healthy Levels of Maturity:
- Has creative and self-aware initiatives
- Forgives regularly and is patient in their outlook toward life
- Maintains confidence in abilities and identity
- Is incredibly generous and thoughtful
- Has a strong and stable self-concept
Type 2 Behavior Under Normal Levels of Maturity:
- Enjoys regular socialization with wide friend circle
- Has an “open-book” style of conversation
- Preoccupies self with maintaining ties
- Is nostalgic and reminiscent of the past
- Has an outward rather than inward focus
Type 2 Behavior Under Unhealthy Levels of Maturity:
- Overwhelms easily by their suspicious thoughts
- Possesses a sense of chronic codependency
- Can be possessive and controlling
- Uses shame and other rigid manipulative tactics
- Burns out and is prone to bursts of anger
When it comes to vocational preferences, Twos gravitate toward careers where they can heal and connect with people.
- Mental Health Specialist
During down time, Twos aim to use their kinesthetic intelligence to whip up delicious treats for others and lend a hand to serve their community with love.
- Cooking & Baking
Many well-known musicians and singers throughout history were Twos in the Enneagram.
Quotes From Famous Enneagram 2 Types:
- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”– Desmond Tutu
- “Obviously, I feel a great sense of responsibility being a good parent and raising my children.” – Madonna Ciccone
- “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.” – Whitney Houston
- “It’s really all about family, love, and the children for me. I work at that every day.” – Celine Dion
An Enneagram 2 Video to Sum Everything Up…
This video will give you some of the most important characteristics of the Enneagram 2 type to remember.
More Enneagram Type Two Resources:
About the Author: Lily Yuan is a personality psychology writer who has a knack for just missing the bus. She tests as INTP 5w4 and constantly questions her type. Learn more at www.lily-yuan.com or follow her on Twitter @LilyYuanWrites.