Core motivation: to be loved, to avoid loneliness, to feel needed by others
Coping strategies: pleasing others to be loved and accepted by them
Fundamental needs: to be loved
Other names: The Helper, The Giver, The Cheerleader, The Rescuer, The Fixer, The Altruist, The Host, The Facilitator
Enneagram type 2 is the most people-oriented type. They want to feel connected to people around them. They want to do good, help others, and feel happy. If you aren’t sure about your Enneagram type, try taking this test.
Twos often appear positive and energetic. They are sociable and extroverted. From their clothing to the tone of their voice, everything is meant to please others.
There are a lot of female Twos, but men can be Twos as well. In addition, many women feel pressure to behave like Twos even if they don’t belong to this type.
Twos try to emphasize everything positive and ignore everything negative because they fear that being negative is unlikeable.
They will give you gifts, they will invite you for meals, and they will offer their shoulder to cry on.
Twos want to be loved; there is no mistake about it. However, some of their beliefs may prevent them from feeling at ease and cause a great deal of emotional suffering:
- They believe that love is only available through relationships with other people, i.e., they don’t understand the concept of healthy self-love.
- They don’t believe they are loveable the way they are. They think they have to work hard to please others to deserve their love.
- They believe that expressing their own needs is selfish and expect others to guess their needs, which of course doesn’t happen very often. When others fail to care for Twos the same way Twos care for them, Twos become resentful.
Twos confuse being needed with being loved. Their usual strategy is to make others dependent on them by providing for them and catering to their needs.
Not everyone buys that, though. Some other types may think that Twos’ people-pleasing ways are controlling and manipulative.
They may reject Twos and everything they have to offer, causing Twos a lot of pain.
As always, this problem is more evident in unhealthy Twos; healthy Twos are genuinely nurturing and empathic.
Unlike their unhealthy counterparts, they are forgiving, altruistic, and warm-hearted. Healthy Twos love with no conditions.
Enneagram Type 2: Healthy, Average and Unhealthy
Healthy: unselfish, humble, sincere, thoughtful, forgiving, caring, warm-hearted, generous, uplifting.
Average: positive, uplifting, people-pleasers, extremely friendly, sometimes may seem intrusive, give but expect something in return.
Unhealthy: needy, resentful, controlling, manipulative, guilt-inducing behaviors, want to be indispensable, want others to feel indebted to them.
Looking for love
Twos may seem like warm-hearted and affectionate people, but deep inside, they are searching for love for themselves.
They please themselves by pleasing others. Not only do they focus on what others want, but also on what they want from others.
Unless they are very healthy, their love is not free and far from unconditional.
If they do something for others, they want credit for it.
If you are a Two, you might find this difficult to accept.
You may see yourself as selfless, someone who gives expecting nothing in return.
This may be true if you are a high-functioning or “healthy” Two, but average to unhealthy Twos may not be consciously aware of their own motives.
Some average to unhealthy Twos give out strokes while expecting strokes in return. Sure enough, if someone fails to reciprocate or do what Twos want them to do, Twos will punish them by withholding their attention. And of course, they will feel hurt.
It’s important to mention that this isn’t the case of healthy Twos. Healthy Twos have learned to love themselves. The attention and love they give to others are sincere and unconditional.
Although they want others to love them, they realize this isn’t always possible. They aren’t interested in making others dependent on them while maintaining their own independence.
They give freely without expecting anything back.
What Twos need to understand
Twos often go overboard and shower others with love, gifts, and attention (sincerely or not). They need to realize that this may feel uncomfortable on the receiving end.
Different personality types may have different reactions. Some people will definitely enjoy the attention, but in a lot of cases, it can be counterproductive. Here are some of the possible scenarios:
- They may feel that Twos make them look bad by being more generous than them.
- They may feel bad because they can’t reciprocate.
- They may feel that Twos are acting desperate.
- They may suspect that by being over the top generous, you are playing a role. Consequently, they may feel like they don’t know the real you.
- They may feel like they owe you friendship.
- Those who believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch may become suspicious, wondering where the catch is.
- Some may feel that a relationship where one side over-gives is imbalanced.
- Some may feel they cannot be completely themselves and voice their opinions when it’s not in line with what Twos think.
- Some may feel the pressure to respond to the Two’s gifts with gifts of similar value, which isn’t always convenient.
- Some may take advantage of the Two’s generosity. They will befriend Twos only to benefit from them.
Ironically, type 2s’ tendency to over-give may put a strain on their relationships, which is the opposite of what they are trying to achieve. By overdoing things, they might push away the people they like and attract users and abusers instead.
Questions for Twos:
- What are you trying to achieve by giving so much?
- Could this strategy be counterproductive?
- Are they around you because they love you or because they are dependent on you?
- Is there a particular person who takes too much?
- What if you stop hiding your needs and be open about them instead?
- Are you helping others at the expense of your health and well-being?
Random Facts About Twos
- Twos often find something positive in some of the most challenging situations.
- They like to compliment people and may find something positive to say even about some of the most difficult people.
- A typical Two wants a cozy home where they can live surrounded by people they love.
- It’s easy and natural for Twos to strike up a conversation with almost anyone.
- Twos will cancel their plans to attend to others’ needs.
- They are likely to have rescued animals living in their homes.
- Twos are soft-hearted, but they are not pushovers.
- While trying to fix things for others, Twos often spread themselves too thin.
- Twos find it very difficult to ask for help for themselves.
Jobs for Twos
- PR manager
- event planner
- everything hospitality
- everything marketing
- social worker
Type 2s can have either a Three-Wing or a One-Wing.
- The Two with a One-Wing (2w1) is a more service-oriented type.
- The Two with a Three-Wing (2w3) is a more success-oriented type.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Melanie in Gone with the Wind
Enneagram Type 2 and MBTI
If you aren’t sure about your type, try this test.
Photo by pressphoto via Freepik
Online CBT Platform to Help Deal with Relationship Problems, Anxiety, Depression, Addiction, and More. Includes professional follow-up by a CBT therapist. Click here to get started.