Have you taken an Enneagram questionnaire and gotten a Two as a result? Enneagram Twos, or “the Helpers” as they are described, enjoy making a difference in the lives of people. If you’re trying to confirm that this is your true type, then read through this list of 21 common traits!
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21 Signs That You’re an Enneagram 2 Type
- You have a desire to have meaningful relationships with others
You are at your very core oriented around people. You don’t want shallow acquaintances, you want close friendships that revolve around intimacy, authenticity, and mutual support.
- You find conversations that don’t involve other people draining
Learning about mere things is rarely an interest of you. You want to know how people tick and you’re interested in stories and life lessons that involve the people you care about. If somebody want to dissect the ins and outs of a car engine, then they might want to talk to someone else. If someone wants to know what makes their friend tick, then you’re going to immediately be interested in the conversation.
- You enjoy making people feel important and valued
You enjoy knowing that you’ve had an impact on someone’s life and will go out of your way to acknowledge the impact people have had on you, as well as their talents and skills.
- You feel hurt when people don’t reciprocate your helpfulness
You hold yourself to high standards when it comes to your level of generosity. It’s natural for you to notice what people need, when they’re uncomfortable, or when they’re afraid to ask for help but want it anyway. It can bother you sometimes when other people don’t notice these same things and step in to help when you need it.
- You love being asked for advice
Trying to help people work out their complicated problems is what you live for. You enjoy being asked to weigh in on something because it gives you the opportunity to show how much you care about people and it makes you feel needed by others.
- You are drawn to service-oriented careers
Helpfulness is your calling card, so naturally you are drawn to careers that allow you to do what you are most passionate about. You are often drawn to working in teaching, healthcare fields, or senior care because of the opportunities these jobs give to help people.
- You have a tendency to overcommit
You believe that you can solve any problem if you try hard enough, but sometimes this means saying “yes” to more projects than you realistically have time in a day to do. You hate disappointing people, and often struggle to value yourself as much as you value other people. Thus, when someone asks for your input, help, or support, you may feel selfish saying “no,” even if it’s what you should do.
- You innately know what people are seeking in a friend
You seem to instinctively know what people want and often feel an inclination to adapt to this information. Sometimes this is amazing and gives you incredible personal skills, and sometimes it can lead to you becoming out of touch with who you really are.
- Creative exploration relaxes you
You feel soothed and rejuvenated when you have time alone to be creative in some way; whether that’s crafting jewelry, drawing, making your own recipe, or shooting photos!
- You think more clearly alone
It’s no secret that you love being with people, but when you’re socializing you find yourself constantly responding to others’ needs and even taking on their feelings. You prioritize the people you’re with, and sometimes your own priorities disappear in the process. You may eventually shut down when you’re in a crowd because of the feeling that you can’t think clearly. Twos like you need peace and quiet sometimes to “recharge your batteries” and regain a sense of clarity. When you’re alone, you’re able to recognize your needs, wants, and feelings with much more accuracy.
- You sometimes worry that you’re worthless unless you give to others
Beneath your warm, generous exterior is someone who occasionally struggles with self-doubt, insecurity, and shame. Twos, Threes, and fours in the Enneagram have underlying fears of worthlessness. For you, that worthlessness becomes more of a fear when you feel like you’re not loved or needed by other people. When you’ve been alone for long periods or your help has been rejected you can grapple with overwhelming insecurity. It’s crucial for you to meet your own needs, because if you aren’t doing this, you’re unlikely to be able to meet anyone else’s needs adequately. Also take time to assess your motives: Are you helping because you sincerely want to or because you’re afraid of being unloved or discarded? Maybe you want to be noticed? Try to make decisions because you want to in and of yourself.
- You are sensitive to criticism
Feeling unwanted, unlovable, or not “good enough” is an anxiety that often plagues Twos. Because of this, you try to give selflessly to others and regain some sense of security and belonging. Criticism, especially when given brusquely, can be debilitating, especially from a loved one.
- You never want to appear needy
You strive to be selfless and don’t want to give others the idea that you need anything from anyone. This can be problematic if you never ask for help and are constantly in a position of giving. You may be taken advantage of, or you may find yourself resenting people who don’t reciprocate your favors.
- You fear being “selfish”
Being “selfish” is the last thing in the world you want to be seen as. At average to unhealthy levels, you believe that if you take care of yourself you are somehow being unproductive and self-absorbed. Sometimes this can be true, but it’s rare. You need to learn how to say “no” without beating yourself up for it. Making time for self-care and rest is crucial for your overall mental and physical health. It also helps you to avoid resentment of others, and resentment can be the kiss of death to relationships you value most.
- You easily relate to others
You love having a sense of belonging and getting into other people’s shoes. You truly believe that we’re all in this together, and you relish the opportunity to connect with someone on an emotional level and say “I understand.”
- Having a warm, inviting home is important to you
You place a lot of value on making people feel welcome and comfortable. You love having people over, decorating your home nicely, and giving food as gifts. Sharing with others and providing a sense of sanctuary if only for a little while, gives you tremendous joy and purpose.
- You enjoy children and have a playful, quirky side that comes out with them
You feel a special sense of protectiveness around children. You love their innocence and exuberance for life and enjoy the opportunity to let loose and be silly. When you can let go of inhibitions and responsibilities, you show children your playful, goofy side and can get surprisingly creative and imaginative in their presence!
- When you’re overwhelmed with stress, you become more isolated and distrustful
You try very hard to present an unflappable face to the outside world. When you’re overwhelmed, however, you can shut down and pull away from all the people who care about you. Friends might be shocked when you give sharp criticisms, are less concerned about others’ feelings, or start making demands. This is usually just as shocking to you, and it may even feel like you’re experiencing an out-of-body moment.
- At your best, you feel creative, authentic, and comfortable with who you are
You’re happiest when you’re able to find meaning in your life, help others, and maintain a positive sense of self. At your healthiest, you have a creative streak and enjoy exploring artistic pursuits. Instead of being terrified of disappointing others, you can express your needs and say “No” without guilt. It usually takes some work to get to this point, but it’s worth the effort!
- It’s hard for you to take credit for things
Acknowledging your own worth is something that can be difficult for many Twos. Saying “I did this” or smiling and saying “thank you” when given a compliment can be stressful. You may even attribute achievements to luck or happenstance as if you somehow stumbled upon being helpful inadvertently.
- You sometimes worry that having needs and expressing them is “bad”
Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson say in their book The Wisdom of the Enneagram, that Twos “learned that to acknowledge their own needs was a form of selfishness and was strictly forbidden by their superego (“Good people do not have needs. Taking too much time for yourself is selfish.”)”
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you relate to these typical Enneagram 2 traits? Do you have any thoughts or insights for other Twos who might be reading? Let us know in the comments!