Personality tests are an excellent way to study psychology and the human condition to learn and categorize behavioral patterns. It can also help others figure out who they are and see how they fit in with others. The Enneagram type 2 personality focuses on loving and helping others.

Enneagram type 2’s or “the helper” are driven by feelings of love and aim to live as caregivers. In turn, they also wish to receive similar treatment from others, yearning for feelings of affection and appreciation.

Whether you know a type 2 or maybe one yourself, recognizing and understanding the associated traits will help you navigate your life. Knowing the internal mechanisms will help you achieve your goals and solve your problems. Read on to learn about the Enneagram type 2 personality.

Enneagram Type 2 Characteristics

Common enneagram type 2 characteristics come from the motivation to feel loved and appreciated. Type 2’s meet most people with a caring attitude and enjoy socializing. The helper personality trait desires for love and nurturing they provide to others to be reciprocal.  

Enneagram type 2’s like to be on both the giving and receiving end of relationships. An enneagram two may not express their need for affection and appreciation, hoping for others to give back in the same manner. Some may even assume that others want and desire the same things and find it difficult to understand when friends or loved ones do not express care in the same way.

Enneagram twos, while on the surface can seem happy-go-lucky, often struggle with a fear of being unlovable, creating emotional instability. Unsure of themselves and their relationships, they can attempt to control, even if they are overbearing or clingy. As a result, their longing to express and receive love can reverse into bitterness and hostility.

What It’s Like to Be an Enneagram 2

what its like to be an enneagram 2

Enneagram type 2’s approach each situation and relationship selflessly, eager to help meet the needs of others. Two’s feel a strong sense of fulfillment by helping those around them and naturally build strong connections. By doing this, they see themselves as helpful and valuable, securing their self-image as someone worthwhile to know.

Enneagram type 2’s are in the heart triad and wrestle with a sense of shame over their life. Their strong feelings of being unlovable can cause them to selflessly attempt to meet the needs of others while disregarding their desires.

This need for attention can stem from an emotionally unfulfilling or painful childhood where guardians or parents were insufficient to meet their need for acceptance and nurturing. Such an environment can lead to feelings of insecurity and a high empathy for others.

When an enneagram type 2 begins to address trauma or hurt, they can become more secure over time and rely less on people for acceptance.

At their best, enneagram type 2’s draw people in, developing relationships based on mutual support. Two’s feed on social interaction and use this cycle to form their circle of friends and loved ones. Their good deeds bring happiness to others and create a deep sense of satisfaction. However, if unaware, two’s will seek to validate their worth by how dependant others are for their friendship or care. 

Enneagram type 2’s have a big heart and are more open to forming friendships with various people. With a large social group, 2’s would rather spend time helping others than work on their problems. As such, they may end up overcommitting and stretching themselves too thin. This pattern can significantly develop in non-reciprocal relationships.

Remember that a 2’s motivation to be kind can come with an unconscious ulterior motive. As a result, two’s can overlook motives of giving in hopes of receiving a return. However, as two’s become aware of this, they can become more selfless in their intentions and establish a healthy attitude concerning service to help create a safe and caring environment.

Healthy Enneagram 2

Healthy enneagram 2’s can recognize their ability to help others as they become more realistic about the wants of others. A healthy awareness of their limitations will empower enneagram type 2’s to make fewer but better commitments, knowing when to act or not. With new levels of health, enneagram two’s can live and interact beyond their need for validation, accepting that they are worthy as they are.

As adolescents, enneagram type 2’s learn the fundamentals of sharing, probably even earlier than their peers. They can also recognize when others need help or feel upset, creating possibilities to make friends. They also develop an open mind while seeing potential friends in everyone, regardless of demographics.

As adults, healthy type 2’s will still help others but also recognize the necessity of personal time. Rather than overlook their needs for affection and self-care, a healthy two will make time and space for themself.

Healthy enneagram 2’s are secure and loving regardless of what others do or think. They spend some time on their own and love themselves for who they are.

There is a sound understanding of give-and-take within their relationships to better meet both sides’ needs.

Overall, a healthy enneagram 2 knows how to appease their desire but can handle situations if things don’t go their way. They also see others as human beings, not just ways to feel better about themselves. Above all, they value their relationships and experiences and understand when to say yes or no.

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Unhealthy Enneagram 2

Unhealthy enneagram 2’s are less charitable in comparison to their healthy side. Rather than learning the intrinsic value of helping others, they view service as a way to fulfill their desires. When enneagram two’s are unhealthy, other people are just a means to an end, rather than individuals deserving of kindness and service.

Unhealthy 2’s are unstable in their feelings, have low self-worth, and lack validation. In cases where they feel they aren’t receiving enough attention, enneagram type 2’s can become clingy and overbearing with those they know. This relational strife can lead to developing c0-dependencies and strain.

In greater levels of unhealth, two’s will become manipulative, using guilt to get what they want. They will still help, but only to leverage getting from others, rather than mutually edifying service. When they do not get what they want, two’s may also feel that they’ve been wronged and abused.

By attributing negative traits to others, they can rationalize their predicament as the fault of others rather than their own. They can use these rationalizations to justify their bitter outlook or convince others to give them attention. If this behavior develops for too long, 2’s will fall into self-despair and criticize others for their feelings of inadequacies.

Unhealthy 2’s fixate on their feelings of emptiness and loneliness, resulting in abusing food or medication. This fixation can substitute genuine feelings of warmth and plunge them further into unhealthy cycles. Enneagram type 2’s can avoid these cycles by being less selfish and not viewing relationships purely on how it benefits them.

Enneagram Type 2 Relationships

enneagram type 2 relationships

Like any of their relationships, enneagram type 2’s desire love and care in their romantic relationships. With their high emotional stake, they will do whatever they can to experience romance with the other person. When connecting with someone, an enneagram two will devote their heart to them and put a lot of energy into making the relationship work.

In a healthy relationship, enneagram 2’s are the best when it comes to helping the other person during emotional distress. Sensitive and ready to express themselves, 2’s will take on the emotional burden and show how much they care. This practice creates a system of mutual care where both partners feel comfortable and secure with their emotions.

Without the attention they crave, 2’s can feel unwanted by the other person. However, unexpected life events or outside interference can make the two feel insecure. If their partner is preoccupied with the death of a loved one or spends more time with someone else, they can lose their sense of security.

When attending to the needs of their loved one, 2’s may overlook their own needs or repress them as they become preoccupied with seeking validation from their partner. If unmet, their needs can eventually lead to issues without the partner realizing the root cause. The partner can go unnoticed in this effort, as an enneagram two will use a happy facade to cover these problems.

If someone is in a relationship with a 2, they can help by expressing your appreciation and love for them. Genuinely sharing your gratitude for them is satisfying and fulfilling to them.

Openly discussing each other’s needs for security and autonomy, even without the other person, can prevent many problems in the future. This discussion can coincide with expressing emotional needs, desire for affection, and the importance of health and well-being.

Type 2 Enneagram Careers

Enneagram type 2’s thrive on social interaction and feel their best when given a chance to be heard and help out. The best work for them involves helping others and forming bonds with clients or coworkers. It’s essential that their bosses make them feel appreciated and that the workplace rewards them for their work and attention.

A lousy job for 2’s would close them off from others, not giving them the chance to help or interact with people. They are also at their worst when put into a workplace that doesn’t value them, especially when working hard. 

Below are some of the common career choices and best jobs for an Enneagram Type 2:

  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Religious/Non-profit leader
  • Humanitarian
  • Human resources
  • Counselor
  • Customer service representative

Enneagram Type 2 Celebrities

enneagram type 2 celebrities

Famous examples of type 2 personality include:

  • Dolly Parton
  • Guru Ammaji
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Pope John XXIII
  • Byron Katie
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • Barry Manilow
  • Paramahansa Yogananda

Key Enneagram 2 Traits

Enneagram twos are relational and selfless people. They are caring and generous, aiming to please. Type two is loving and giving in nature, sometimes to a fault.

The nine enneagram numbers exist within three categories of expression: Action, Feeling, and Thinking. Enneagram type twos are in the feeling center and measure success according to the health of their relationships. Because of this, twos are typically empathetic, supportive, generous, and relationally driven.

The core desire of a two is to be appreciated.

The two most want to hear the message: “You are so loveable and wanted.”

The gifts of an Enneagram Two include:

  • Warm: Their demonstrative and friendly nature makes it easy for others to connect with Twos, who are generally very likable.
  • Giving: Twos are caring and can anticipate the needs of others, generously giving of themselves to others.
  • People-Centred: The Two’s focus on building relationships will positively impact their capacity to step into roles where client and people relationships matter.
  • Sacrificing: Twos will put their needs and feelings on the backburner to support and be there for others.
  • Praising: Being around complimentary, supportive Twos can make people feel very special, giving them a confidence boost. (

Further Signs Of An Enneagram Two

Strength Of An Enneagram Type 2:

  • Supportive: 2’s will encourage those around them to do what makes them happy and offer help to see this through
  • Empathy: due to their own emotional needs, 2’s can tell when others’ needs are not met
  • Positivity: helpers focus on positivity in each situation for their sake and for those they help
  • Persistence: 2’s are committed to seeing their plans through and don’t give up easily
  • Sociable: since 2’s thrive on their social experiences, they are more likely to include others and less likely to exclude

Common Weaknesses Of An Enneagram Type 2:

  • Needy: while 2’s can easily give their love to others, they also depend on love from others rather than themselves
  • Overbearing: due to their approach to socialization, others may think that 2’s don’t respect personal boundaries
  • Self-neglect: since they spend so much time and energy on the needs of others, 2’s may sometimes forget or be blind to their own needs
  • Easy to offend: if confronted with criticism or the possibility of being disliked, 2’s may have their emotional security shattered

Helping others is good but should not mean that self-care is out of the question. To live a more balanced life, those with type 2 personalities should understand that help goes both ways and practice setting more reasonable expectations. Not everyone will react to their service the same way, so preparing for rejection will keep 2’s more secure.

Enneagram Test Type 2

If you feel like you could be an Enneagram type 2 but are still not entirely sure, you can take a test. We recommend the Truity Enneagram Test.

free enneagram test

The Truity online Enneagram test will provide a score to indicate how strongly your answers identify with each of the nine Enneagram personality types. These scores are helpful because you can use them to determine traits you are familiar with or recognize areas you overlook.

To take the Free Enneagram Test offered by Truity, click HERE!

Truity also provides a six-page report of in-depth information and questions to help you identify your enneagram type. Over one million users have taken this test and have been satisfied with their results.

Want to pass on a test, or do you want to do more research to determine if you are an Enneagram Type 2? Check out the post:  Learn How to Find Your Enneagram With 4 Helpful Tips.

Enneagram Type 2 Conclusion

Inside of everyone is needs and desires that are worthy and honorable. Exploring the different personality types can reveal how others have different needs and place more value on particular psychological needs, changing how they live their lives.

The need for love can consume the enneagram twos, leading them to place their stock in others and ignore their own needs. However, if they grow with the right attitude and environment, they can become powerful and genuinely positive influences around others. Recognizing this need and its dangers is crucial for moving forward in life and achieving fulfillment.

Enneagram Type 2 Sources