The following information provides you with some of the insights we share with the participants of the Natural Superheroes events.
Type Two – The Carer
Also known as: Helper, Giver World View: I support and help others Focus on: Being of service Underlying Fear: Of not being liked or loved Virtues: Humility Natural Coaching and Leadership Style: Servant leadership
Overview of Type Two Enneagram Profile
TWOS are known for their genuine desire to help, love and support others unconditionally, with patience and compassion. They are incredibly attuned to the needs and wants of others on a moment-to-moment basis. When that help is conditional, however, it stems from a need to be needed, from a growing unawareness of their own needs (or a belief that they have none) and an inability to say no to others’ requests and demands. There may be a desire to seduce, manipulate and to flatter others to get their approval. They invest much more time and effort in relationships in which they themselves feel wanted and needed. Healthy aspects of the personality develop when TWOS realise the importance of meeting their own needs themselves, and accept unconditional help from others. Compassionate and humane, TWOS value people and are concerned for others’ well-being. They are proactive in praising people and making them feel important. Often perceived as being the power behind the throne, TWOS can be ambitious and dedicated to helping people in positions of power to succeed.
Underlying Issues that arise for Twos
There is a core belief that to gain approval and love of others one has to be ever sensitive and willing to fulfil the needs and wants of other people and by doing so to have one’s own needs fulfilled in return. This results in feelings of pride in the belief that one is so indispensable to other people.
The following information offers insights into behavioural tendencies specific to the ‘two’ type that arise when certain feelings are present or brought to the surface:
At their worst (when feelings of apathy, grief, fear, lust and anger arise) Twos can be aggressive, manipulative, insincere, giving compulsively, needy, dramatizing, martyr-like, direct, possessive, overly demonstrative, pushy, bullying, over eating, overly accommodating, controlling and hysterical.
At an average-healthy level (when feelings of pride arise and courage) Service orientated, empathic, nurturing, loving, accepting, caring, enthusiastic, affectionate, friendly, adaptable, perceptive, encouraging, and sensitive
At their very, very best (when they are feeling acceptance for what is and completely at peace) Creative, intuitive, light, expressive, joyful, romantic, unconditionally loving and unique
These behavioural tendencies are highlighted through the enneagram diagram by the lines of integration (healthy behaviour) and disintegration (unhealthy behaviour). The arrows within the diagram below follow the direction of where the types move towards when they are feeling stressed.
Healthy – When relaxed and productive TWOS take on some of the healthy characteristics of FOURS (Artist)
Unhealthy – When stressed, TWOS take on some of the unhealthy characteristics of EIGHTS (Leaders)
Enneagram Type Twos in Relationships
With a core motivation that reflects a desire to be of service to others, twos are the most relationship-focused of the nine types and have a strong external focus which allows them to feel others’ feelings and needs. There is a very proactive approach in their going out of their way to help others. At a healthy level they can thus be very helpful, attentive, generous, warm, supportive, nurturing and encouraging. At the average to unhealthy level, an overly heavy emphasis on the importance of relationships to them can make the two very vulnerable to rejection or loss. They can spend much effort changing themselves in a way that they feel will get them more acceptance from others. There is often a desire for attention from significant people. There is a fine line between helping and then manipulating. When the two feels used and abused, drained and sold out by their desire to please others, they can turn to emotional blackmail to get what they need. The stereotype of this would be the Italian, Indian or Jewish mother. “Do you realise how much I have sacrificed for you? What have you done for me?”
Twos at Work
The Two will be a very caring, supportive member of the team who will go out of their way to please others and authority. There is a desire to associate with people who are important and prestigious in
the workplace organisation and a desire to gain their respect. Altering themselves to meet the needs of others leads to their own identity becoming confused with that of the people they are trying to support. (“It’s who you know that counts” mind frame.) This can lead to the development of the role of the office know it all, the right hand man, the boss’s pet, the power behind the throne; and thereby to feelings of pride in being indispensable to others. The continual emotional sensitivity to others and desire to please them allows for tremendous intuitive empathy with others, but can also lead to a neediness of others for a sense of approval and appreciation.
The Leadership style of Twos
Healthy Twos make for excellent mentors who are unconditionally devoted to the welfare and development of others. They also make great supporters of excellent customer service. These leaders love to build a community of trust and cooperation, truly appreciating others’ gifts and having a genuine sense of humility. They are often known for sending personal notes and gifts offering thanks and praise clients and members of their team. The downside can be an attitude of pridefulness which places their sacrifices above those of others. A smothering attitude develops that conveys the message, “I know what’s best for you more than you do, so just do as I say”. In business, the focus can be so focused on the people that they lose sight of important objectives.
Time Management Strategies for Twos
Healthy two’s will use proven time management processes to consciously decide what they want for themselves as well as other people. This includes taking time to look after themselves as well as others. i.e. going to the gym, eating a healthy diet. It has been proven that the quality of service that twos provide others improves when they spend a good balance of time on their own attending to their own agenda. They learn to not be the one who always offers help to others as their proactive tendency lands them with an unnecessarily long to do list. Offering so much help often leads to unconsciously taking responsibility away from other people and spending time doing things that they actually don’t want to do. This leads to resentment and blaming other people. By focussing more on developing their creative talents natural positive motivation, two’s are naturally able to sustain great performance over time. Two’s also benefit from knowing and communicating their personal boundaries. i.e. an open door policy does not mean leaving oneself open to being interrupted at any time, any place and anywhere.
Enneagram Type Twos as Coaches
Two’s natural sense of enjoyment for coaching arise because by its’ very nature offers them an opportunity to be of service to other people. When the coaching is focused wholly on the coachee’s agenda they make marvellous coaches. However, their strong motivation to help can lead them to force coaching on others when it is maybe not desired or even required. Their natural ability to understand other people’s emotions can also lead them to get too emotionally involved with the coachee. Useful empathy turns into sympathy which allows them to lose their objectivity.
Twos in Sport
Two’s in sport often gravitate towards and succeed at more artistic and creative sports such as dressage, ice skating, dancing, synchronised swimming, diving. As the most externally focused of all of the types they benefit from developing a range of skills that limit the impact of competitors on their own performance. Out of all of the types they are the potentially most easily ‘put off’ by their competition. A positive ‘internal’ frame of reference serves them for competition purposes. Their frequent desire for other peoples’ approval is wasted energy that would better serve them if they learn how to consistently re-channel it into their sports performance. Two’s with three wings can have difficulties in managing their weight as when stressed they have a tendency to food for comfort.
Suggestions for the personal development of an Enneagram Type two
Start to notice:
- How angry you get when you find it hard to say no to someone?
- How much you deny or put aside your own needs to serve others in order to get their approval?
- What have you done to sell yourself out to please others?
- What do you give with the expectation that you should get something back in return?
- How much energy do you put into sensing others’ needs wants and feelings?
- What do you do to mould yourself to meet others’ expectations of you?
- How does it make you feel when someone doesn’t give you something or do something back in return?
What you can do:
- Allow yourself to give and receive in equal measure
- Ask what you truly desire for yourself and notice if this produces any anxiety
- Spend time alone and for yourself
- Stop people pleasing
- Practice setting limits and saying no when others demands appear too much
- Practice dealing directly with makes you angry instead of diverting attention elsewhere
- Allow yourself to be your own individual person and not who you perceive others would have you be
- Allow others to ask for help before you volunteer to give it
- Let go of ‘wanting’ so much approval
with a ‘one’ wing
- Tony Blair
- Martha Stewart
- Bob Geldof
- Desmond Tutu
- Indra Nooyi
- Nicola Sturgeon
- Chris Evert
- Jane Torvill
- Martina Hingis
- Meg Ryan
- Snow White
- Jodie Foster
- Diane Keaton
- Sirgourney Weaver
- Helen Mirren
- Florence Nightingale
- Mother Theresa
with a ‘three’ wing
Current Business/Political Leaders
- Oprah Winfrey
- Peter Jones
- Karen Brady
- David Cameron
- Angela Merkel
- Jack Welch
- John Chamber
- Serena Williams
- Pippa Funnel
- Sam Warburton
- Charley Hull
- Rory McIlroy
- Rebecca Adlington
- Harry Redknapp
- Eddie Jones
- Warren Gatland
- Jason Day
- Dylan Hartley
- George Michael
- Kylie Minogue
- George Clooney
- John Travolta
- Jennifer Lopez
- Angelina Jolie
- Catherine Zeta Jones
- Denzel Washington
- Angela Lansbury
- Bob Hoskins
- Andrea Bocelli
- Mary Kay Ashe
- T.S. Elliot
- Elvis Presley
- Benazir Bhuto