Enneagram Type 2 - The Helper

In a nutshell

Type 2s are generally active and focused on fulfilling the needs of others, with a tendency to ignore put themselves second. They seek out people who want or need their help, and can be highly motivated, dedicated, and practical, inspiring others to be more charitable. Their core desire is to be loved, but at times can paradoxically keep themselves from fulfilling that desire by trying to control others, feeling that the help they give "should" get them love in return. To grow and be satisfied in life, they learn to accept this tendency and accept that they cannot control others' feelings, and let go of the desire to do so.

What it feels like on the inside

On the inside, average 2s generally feel at ease when they know what is expected of them and are working to fulfil that, but can become tense when they feel under-appreciated by those they love. They are very action-oriented and can become impatient or compulsive when they feel vulnerable, wanting to take action to change how others feel about them. 2s on a growth path focus on establishing a healthy level of self-love and self-care, learning that they are just as worthy of love as the people they tend to focus their efforts on. 2s on a resistant path tend to focus on manipulating others to meet their need, feeling powerless to provide for themselves while simultaneously feeling they have the right to control others.

What it looks like on the outside

Type 2s will generally present themselves as in a positive light. Depending on the 2's background and other personality variables, that can mean many different things. For example, they may want to appear successful, or seductive, like a capable worker, or like a good samaritan. Regardless of the specific role, they want to appear like they can be of some use to you. Because of this somewhat chameleon nature it can be difficult to identify a 2 if you do not know them well, but you can generally recognize them by the context of their actions - they will generally want you to notice them by showing you something positive (and this can be done in a healthy or unhealthy way).

Qualities when Growing

Confident. Peaceful. Self-Control. Nurturing. Trusting. Realistic. Self-Love. Independent. Humble. Down-to-Earth. Relaxed. Proactive. Deep.

Qualities when Resisting

Judgmental. Aggressive. Domineering. Unreflective. Hyperactive. Immoral. Impatient. Rejecting. Bitter. Impersonal. Unempathetic. Insecure. Yearning.

Growth tips

-Accept that you are the only one capable of creating the feeling of self-love that you are ultimately looking for. Others might not appreciate what you do for them, and that is up to them. But you can love yourself no matter what others have to say about it.

-Rather than dwelling on people who do not appreciate you, find people who do. Even at your best you enjoy giving to others and being appreciated for it - in growth the goal is not to change that, but to respect it.

-Be aware that you may have learned to feel validated by others by taking actions that are ultimately negative. Examine what you do for others, and ask yourself if they are things you really want to do.

-Connect to your purpose and find the best way you can to serve others. Everybody has a true purpose of service, regardless of Enneagram type, but it may be more important for you as a 2 to find exactly what that means for you.

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