The Enneagram suggests that there are 9 basic human types. The different types are characterized by the numbers 1-9 as points on a circle. It “teaches that early in life, we learned to feel safe and to cope with our family situations and personal circumstances. We do this by developing a strategy based on our natural talents and abilities.” Like other personality tests, the Enneagram answers the question of what; going beyond the what, to the why, and how of our personality.
What Motivates Us
Specifically, it shows what motivates us at the deepest level. For example, last week, we saw that Ones are motivated by the need to live their life the right way. This includes improving themselves and the world around them. Showing us what motivates us doesn’t put us in a box. Rather, it shows us the box we are already in and how to get out of it.
Motivations of Enneagram Two
Twos have a different motivations. They are motivated by the need to be loved and valued and to express positive feelings toward others. Twos are often in the “helping professions” because they tune into how others are feeling and know what others need to make their lives better. They want the world to be a more caring place.
The Two (the Helper), is also known as “The Giver” because of their ability to give so much of themselves. They often do this in the form of words, gifts, acts of service, resources, and time in general. The downside is Twos can have a hard time saying no. Therefore, they can burn themselves out taking care of everybody else, but not themselves. Their biggest desire is to feel loved and needed, and their biggest fear is to be unwanted in life.
Enneagram Two: Being Aware
So, Enneagram twos find it helpful to be aware. An unaware two can fall into the trap of not taking care of themselves. Denying their own needs can lead to feeling resentful that “I am taking care of everyone, who is taking care of me?” Whereas a two who is conscious of his or her type can give themselves some of the attention and care they usually give to others.
Movement of Enneagram Two
The movement for a two is to four and eight. By moving to the positive side of four (the Romantic) they learn how to express their own needs more including saying no and finding other sources of self-worth besides helping. Moving toward the positive side of eight (The Asserter) they feel more self-confident and powerful and become less concerned with others’ opinions of them.
Wings of Twos
The Wings for two are three (the Achiever) and one (the Perfectionist). Twos with a stronger 3 wing tend to be more self-aware, ambitious, outgoing, and competitive. They are better able to set goals and then work towards them.
Twos with a stronger one wing tend to be more idealistic, objective, self-critical, and judgmental.
A Life Example of a Two
I think of a good friend of mine, who was an aware Two. He has passed since but was a great counselor and therapist. We lived together for five years and whenever I had clients or students who had a problem I didn’t know how to deal with, I would turn them over to him. He invariably would be able to help. He was very much of the mindset that the client knew, at some level, the answer to their problem. Seeing his job as helping them find the answer and become more independent and responsible for their own behaviour.
So there you have it. A little insight for all you Twos out there. For more information go to my wife’s website Journey to Inner Wisdom, and for anybody who might be interested, she has an Enneagram workshop starting in June. Next week we will take a look at the Three – The Achiever.