I am helpful

Enneagram Type Two

Type Two

Giver / Helper

People of Enneatype TWO are friendly givers, motivated by a desire to connect with others in a sincere caring way and to receive love and appreciation in return. They are perhaps the most emotionally intuitive of the types, sensing and taking on the feelings and needs of others.

Twos are natural caregivers and supporters, moving forward proactively and generously to serve others.

Twos have a tendency to extend themselves in a self-sacrificial way, often neglecting their own needs in their desire to foster
connection and achieve a central position in the lives of others. This underlying need to be indispensable to others can result in a certain prideful intrusiveness – and an exhausted resentment when they are not given enough appreciation or gratitude in return.

At Their Best:

Warm, generous, helpful, empathic, nurturing, supportive, and relationship-oriented.

When Struggling:

Intrusive, clingy, possessive, martyr-like, and preoccupied with gaining approval from others.

What Type Twos say about themselves:

  • It comes naturally to me to nurture other people.
  • I have found that people respond warmly to me when I give them attention and encouragement.
  • I often find myself trying to win people over – especially if they are indifferent.
  • I am able to express my feelings more openly than most, with openness and empathy.
  • I give compliments freely and regularly.
  • It’s hard to tell where taking care of myself ends and being selfish begins.
  • People count on me being supportive of them.
  • I make sacrifices for others and wish that they would show me appreciation for that.
  • I go to great lengths to meet other people’s needs, but can feel upset when they don’t easily reciprocate.
  • I feel good about the fact that I am a thoughtful, generous person.
  • I may be warm and soft on the outside, but there is more steel in me than others might think.

We each feel that we must show up in a certain way in the world in order to deserve love.

These are internal messages that resonate with Twos:

BASIC FEAR: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved.

BASIC DESIRE: To feel loved.

BASIC PROPOSITION: “You gain love and approval, and fulfill your personal needs, through giving to others.”

AVOIDANCE: Showing anger, losing self-control, or making mistakes.

FOCUS of ATTENTION: Others’ needs, feelings, or desires.

  • Positive aspect: The ability to sense and respond intuitively to others’ needs in a genuinely helpful manner.
  • Negative aspect: The tendency to ignore/repress their own needs, which can create exhaustion and fester into resentment.


Strategies For Growth:

  • Remember that if you aren’t addressing your own needs, it is unlikely that you will be able to fully meet other people’s needs either.. at least not without resentment and frustration. Be intentional in taking time to take care of your own needs: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual.
  • When you are tempted to step in and “help”, try to become more conscious of your own motives. Are you doing it with the expectation of gaining approval or appreciation? If so, this is a recipe for disappointment and can feed into codependency. The goal is to be able to give when you are able to do so with no expectation of getting something in return.

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