The Enneagram Type 2 (The Helper)

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Ennegram Type 2 archetypes. From definition of the ennegram, examples and why it is useful.

What is The Enneagram Type 2? (The Helper)

Type two on the Enneagram is known as the helper (or sometimes the giver) and is defined by the tendency of those who fall into this type to want to be loved by others or belong to something.

This desire means that they are always keen to involve themselves in the lives of others and find it difficult to say no if anyone asks them for help.

Their need for love makes them fear being on their own and loneliness.

They then deal with these fears by acting as caretakers for other people, making themselves central in the lives of those around them.

How do Enneagram Type 2 individuals act?

Type twos find going out of their way to help other people the best way to bring meaning to their life, though when they are less healthy they can become too highly invested in seeing themselves as being helpful.

They are extremely generous with time, resources, love, concern and compassion for others.

The good that they are able to do for others makes them feel positive about themselves and a sense of worth.

Enneagram Type 2 and others

Type twos enjoy sharing with others, particularly the things they most value in life, such as love, family, friendship and community.

When they are healthy and in balance people are drawn to the warmth of the type two individual, finding them genuinely loving, generous, considerate and helpful in nature.

The warmth of the type two is infection and people are instinctively drawn to them like a moth to a flame.

They bring life and vitality to others through the attention, appreciation and recognition which they display towards them.

They allow others to see positive qualities within themselves which they may not have been aware they had, but which are exposed through the eyes of the type two.

Many people would describe the type two as “the good parent” – the type of parent people wish they had themselves.

This is because type two people see others for who they really are. They understand other people and show them compassion. They help others, provide encouragement and show them tremendous patience.

They are always willing to help others but also instinctively know when they have helped enough and need to step back.

Through their open hearts they are able to show others how to be better people and the more positive aspects of humanity.

Darkside of Enneagram Type 2 personalities

Despite all of these amazing positive qualities, type twos can also be restricted by their darker “shadow side” when their personality becomes unbalanced and unhealthy.

They can be too proud of themselves and the positive way they are viewed by other people. They can become too involved in the lives of others when they lose perspective on the need to step back.

They have also been known to manipulate other people in order to meet the emotional needs within themselves.

They can seek validation of their worth through self-sacrifice on behalf of other people, despite the cost to themselves, believing that it is imperative to be unselfish if they are to be loved.

However, deep down this can make them resentful and angry, feelings which they deny and repress but which eventually come to the surface in harmful ways which can damage their relationships.

Enneagram Type 2 Growth

In order for a type two individual to grow they need to be able to master the following:

  • To become conscious of the true motivations behind their desire to help others as, if they are helping others in the expectation of admiration or something in return rather than simply for the act of doing good then they are likely to end up being disappointed. If the type two is unable to master this then they risk falling into codependent patterns of existence.
  • To be aware that if they are not addressing their own emotional and physical needs then they are unlikely to be able to truly help others. They need to understand that taking adequate care of themselves is not selfish, but rather will help them to more effectively take care of other people.
  • To be able to resist any desire to call attention to themselves or to the good works which they are doing. Type twos need to remember that doing this will only create resentments or uneasiness in others rather than improving relationships. It is better to trust that others will remember the kindnesses displayed rather than emphasising it to them.
  • To remember to ask if others want help first rather than just making assumptions that they do. Whilst type twos have a gift for understanding when others need help, it is wrong to assume that those people will always actually want to take the help that they need. Understanding and accepting this, rather than taking it as a rejection, is something the type two needs to learn how to do.
  • To learn to accept the thanks, recognition and affection of others in whatever form they choose to display it, whether this is in the form they would desire or not. Whilst these demonstrations may not always be in ways which are familiar or expected to the type two individual, learning to recognise and accept them is important to their feeling of fulfilment and mental wellbeing.

Enneagram Type 2 Characteristics & Traits

  • Need to be loved
  • Involved in lives of others
  • Compassionate
  • Warm
  • Kind eyes and bright, warm smiles
  • Approachable
  • Radiate kindness
  • Vocal activists
  • Active volunteers
  • Strong team player
  • The ‘good parent’
  • Caring
  • Gentle-natured
  • Nurturing
  • Patient
  • Intuitive
  • Smooth, flowing movements
  • Manipulative
  • Proud
  • Seeking validation
  • Self-sacrifice

Enneagram Type 2 Examples

There are numerous famous examples of type two personalities throughout history, including:

  • Pope John XXIII
  • Guru Ammaji (“The Hugging Saint”)
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Monica Lewinsky
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Barry Manilow
  • Dolly Parton
  • Josh Groban
  • Priscilla Presley
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Danny Glover
  • Robin Williams
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