Enneagram Type #2
The Giver – The Generous, Supportive Advisor
Enneagram Type #2
Twos are warm, caring and welcoming at their core. Twos want to be liked and try to meet the needs of others. They are demonstrative and want to be valued for helping others and being a positive influence.Twos have their sense of self worth, pride and value linked to how others respond to them.
If you believe these 3 sentences, then you might be a Two.
-You can intuit what others need if you just pay close enough attention.
-Relationships are what matters most
-People like people who are as generous and thoughtful as I am.
Core fear: Being alone and unloved, rejected and unwanted, being thought of as needy, inconsequential and unworthy.
Twos cope with this fear by taking care of others and making themselves central to other people’s lives.
Core desire: To belong and to be loved by others.
Core Motivation: To feel loved and appreciated, which is what motivates them to give love and appreciation to others. Two’s value kindness, generosity, and self-sacrifice. Caring and compassionate, Twos place a strong emphasis on relationships and have highly developed people skills. They can be generous with their time and resources and can easily become overcommitted and overworked.
Twos are most likely to become co-dependent and exhibit “exploding doormat syndrome”, surprising overreactions that come from suppressing their own wants and needs.
Instead of setting boundaries, Twos can give and give, then explode with “I can’t take it anymore” “No one appreciates me”.
Ellie was a loving and generous mother who liked to dote on her kids, and her partner. She loved cooking them healthy meals and making them happy by buying and preparing them special food they loved to eat. Her family got used to her generosity and started expecting it. “When’s dinner?” “What did you pack me for lunch?” and, of course, “I don’t want to eat this.”
This made her annoyed, resentful, and guilty because she blamed herself for creating this situation.
Ellie realized that she liked cooking for her teens when she wanted to, or because they were pleasant dining companions. She was happy to cook when her family appreciated it but as soon as her gift turned into an expectation, she no longer enjoyed it.
Ellie decided she would cook for herself. She told her family what she was making for herself and that she would happily double the recipe. If they didn’t want it, they were welcome to help themselves or make a peanut butter sandwich.
Putting her own desires first, helped her not feel resentful and continue to give, but only when the recipients desired her gift.
Two Supermoms are adept at intuiting the needs of their children and providing time, attention, advice, referrals and more. Twos tend to LOVE parenting young children and enjoy the hugs, appreciation and dependency that young kids can shower upon them. When these open hearted kids become grunting teenagers who no longer express appreciation, moms can feel sad or resentful.
The sensitivity to other people’s feelings allow the Two to recognize and often experience the feelings of others as if they were her own. This high empathy means Supermom Twos can often ride the emotional roller coaster ride of adolescence right along with their child. Twos take great pleasure in helping others and love to help their kids live up to their potential. If they perceive their kid is being treated unfairly, they will rise to their defense.
The middle school years were tough on Supermom Jasmine. She knew her daughter was struggling with her friendships and it pained her. Watching her daughter get left out as the friend group shifted was unbearable. She reached out to other moms to help include her daughter and smooth things over but her daughter didn’t want her mom to get involved. The more Jasmine tried to get her daughter to open up about her feelings, the more she withdrew and shut her out.
Jasmine reached out to see if I would be a good life coach for her middle schooler. After talking, I suggested she and I start coaching together to see if we could help her daughter in a different way.
Jasmine learned the benefit of healthy boundaries, her daughter stopped seeing herself as a problem that needed fixing. She learned to let go of believing she was the only one who could and should solve her daughter’s problems. The more Jasmine built confidence in her daughter’s ability to handle life’s ups and downs, the more confident her kiddo became. She learned to see her daughter’s growing independence as a good thing and started focusing on the parts of her she left behind when she first became a mom.
Because Twos focus primarily on other people’s needs, they are often unaware of their own needs, frequently acting as if they have none. Two’s are the most reluctant to come to life coaching because they think self sacrificing is good and hiring a coach is indulgent, but this is the type that gains the most from having a coach.
Stephanie felt lost. She had been looking forward to this time when all her kids were in school so she could finally get time to herself. But quickly, she learned that having alone time didn’t magically reconnect her to herself. She spent her days doing chores for her family and friends. When she went out on dates with her partner or friends, the conversation always came around to the children. She really wanted to feel like herself again but was confused on how to get there.
We started by talking about how our essence is connected to our desires and being able to ask yourself “What do I want?” is a powerful place to start. Not only was she unable to come up with any desires, she had resistance to believing it was worth spending time on. In her mind, giving was the only way to receive.
The concept of “putting on your own oxygen mask first” and to “fill up your own cup so that it overflows” were designed for these self sacrificing Twos.
When she could see that “taking care of her kids’ mother” was the greatest gift she could give her children, she relaxed and started reconnecting with her spirit that had been long ignored.
After 3 months together, she sent me a beautiful card (because that’s what Two’s do) that read, “Thank You for giving me back my Stephanieness. My cup is full and I know how to keep it that way.”
Some Twos are more focused on individual relationships, others on helping groups, being in leadership positions, and a desire to stand above the crowd. This ability to prioritize people and relationships serves career minded Two’s very well. They can be very ambitious and successful, it’s just that the motivation comes from wanting to feel loved and appreciated.
Question to help decipher your type:
Do you intuitively know what someone else needs but have a hard time articulating your own needs, even to yourself?
If you’re completely honest, do you believe that you can get almost anyone to like you if you really want to?
Do you feel really good when others respond to you in the way you most want, but particularly deflated when this does not occur?
Supermom Kryptonite: What trips Twos up
1. Giving to Get – manipulative giving, expect return on investment
Assuming you know what’s best, giving unsolicited advice and wanting to be the reason others are happy or wanting others to be unwell so that they can help.
2. Worrying and feeling bad for others, obsessing about ways to help.
Becoming overworked and over committed, difficulty saying no. Difficulty asking for help but getting resentful that people don’t offer. It can be difficult for others to give them enough love to fill their cup.
3. Wanting love, gifts, affection, appreciation but thinking “I shouldn’t have to ask”. Playing the martyr, “I suffer for you and you aren’t grateful”. A disintegrated Two can become demanding, manipulative, controlling and overbearing when feeling insecure. Emotional Insecurity happens when relationships get threatened.
Disintegrated Two’s can be easy to offend and sensitive to criticism.
Codependency – Twos can have a lack of respect for boundaries. They may over prioritizing the needs of others, feel guilty when doing things for themselves and struggle to prioritize themselves in relationships.
Hannah was a loving, empathetic and nurturing mother of three older kids. She loved mentoring them, helping them with their friendship struggles and problem solving personal challenges. They confided in her and she relished this role in their lives.
However, Hannah struggled to set boundaries with them. They took advantage of her kindness and were demanding, rude and disrespectful. She preferred the nurturing role she had when they were little and resisted stepping into an authoritative leader who commanded their respect.
Hannah was scared to be mean and punitive like her father was. It took some work but she was able to find her own calm leadership energy that felt powerful and respectful. Together we established her rules, consequences and overcame her resistance to claiming authority in her home.
Even though she missed being able to cuddle and sing to them, she stepped into her new authoritative role because she knew it would be good for them.
What Twos use life coaching for:
- Reconnect with their spirit and feel valued and worthy from the inside.
- Learn that self care isn’t selfish and that people appreciate it when they prioritize themselves.
- Learn to use their empathy and intuition appropriately, release worry, and set healthy boundaries.
- Maintain balance.
- Recognize the signs of being out of balance and know how to get back into equilibrium.
Twos rarely ask for help but appreciate it when help is offered.
Small Action Steps Twos Can Take to grow in a positive direction
1. Find someone with a mother who doesn’t take good care of herself? Emotionally, financially, physically, notice what a burden it is on the child. The best gift you can give your kids is a well rested, happy, healthy balanced mother.
2. Sign up for my Supermom Challenge www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/challenge
3. Download the “How we feel” app and start paying attention to YOUR emotions multiple times a day. The reason Twos try to control and manipulate others, is because they are trying to avoid a feeling. Learning how to sit with your emotions for 90 seconds and feel them in the body will help Two’s stay in their own business and have clean boundaries.
Are you living with a Two? Healthy integrated Two’s can be easy to live but need others to encourage balance and self care. Disintegrated Twos can be controlling and manipulative, under the guise of being helpful. This toxic manipulation can be hard for outsiders to see but is important to address.
Jump in the Supermom is Getting Tired Facebook Group and tell me if you know what a young Two is as like as a child or teenager. Are they rescuing injured animals? Making homemade gifts for their teachers? Feeling the emotions of all the other kids in middle school or in the world?
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