Last week I began my new blog series “What’s a 2 To Do?” I realized after I posted on a Thursday that I wanted to switch days for this series. I do love a good blog theme, so I decided that a series on my Enneagram Twoness really belongs on a Tuesday. (TWOsday, right?!) So, here we are. Part two (of I don’t know how many) on a Tuesday. Let’s go!
I began this series with a quick look at the Enneagram and I’ll give links at the end of this post for those who are interested. Today I’ll be going into more of what it looks like for me to be an Enneagram 2, specifically a 2W3. Everyone is different, so my 2W3 will absolutely seem familiar in some to other 2W3s, but some of my core strengths and challenges might not be exact to others. That’s okay. This is just a look into what makes me my own brand of 2W3 and as you get more familiar with the Enneagram and your specific typing, my hope is that you can use it as a tool to identify your core strengths and challenges in a way that makes you the healthiest and happiest you that you can be.
First of all…what exactly IS an Enneagram 2?
Enneagram 2s are described in a variety of ways, but it basically comes down to being a helper. Other descriptions I’ve seen are “considerate helper”, “supportive advisor”, and “the giver.” In short, in my own words – Enneagram 2s are “come alongside” people. I won’t generalize here by saying “we”, although I probably could for most 2 characteristics, so I’ll stick to saying “I” so that I’m not pigeonholing the entirety of the Two world based on myself. So, what it looks like for me is that I find fulfilment and derive personal value from being able to identify needs and help people. The way I’m intrinsically wired is that I am basically always trying to anticipate, identify and execute ways that I can help and be of service to others. For me, this perfectly holds hands with my strongest Love Languages which are “Acts of Service” and “Gifts.”
Okay, so…what’s a 2W3?
Enneagram types often have “wings” which are characteristics that “wing over” into a directly adjacent Enneagram type. In other words, as a strong 2, my wings could only be a 1 or a 3. And, I am very much a 2 wing 3 because my strongest driving force is being a helper (2), but that is closely tied into being driven to achieve (3) for me. For me, personally, as a 2W3, I see myself almost as a “best supporting actress.” And I say that because of the word “supporting” rather than “actress” because none of this is driven by anything other than being authentically me. What I absolutely LOVE is when I can help/support/uplift someone so that they can be their best selves. Even though I’m pretty outgoing, I am NOT a spotlight seeker. I would much rather be off to the side and let someone else enjoy the spotlight. So, when I say “achieve”, that has a different value for me. It’s not at all that I’m trying to be a super star in life, it’s that I’m trying to achieve being my very best and most healthy self. I don’t need top accolades or honors in order to feel successful, but I do absolutely thrive on being appreciated and valued.
What are some core strengths of Enneagram 2s?
- Helpers – as I’ve said before, Twos are commonly referred to as “the helper.” For me, I definitely find this to be spot on because I find that I seek opportunities to help. In my ever so humble opinion, 2s make ideal employees and volunteers because we are driven by the need to help and be of assistance. Generally speaking, we are not the “it’s not my job” types, but are most likely to roll up our sleeves and pitch in when things need to be done. We find value in what we can do to serve others.
- Relational – as 2s, we draw motivation and sustaining energy in building relationships. In other words, we are “people people.” I would say that many twos are most likely extroverts, but there are some introverts among us as well. We value relationships from family to friends to just being kind to everyone we meet.
- Compassionate – I think that one thing that really drives us as 2s is compassion. We have an inner-working that seeks to not only help, but to anticipate needs. We want people to be happy, healthy and secure and we strive to do what we can to make that happen.
What are some challenges of being an Enneagram 2?
Whereas I went sort of general above in strengths, I am going to look at my own set of challenges here because I think that’s pretty specific to each of us whereas I think the core strengths I mentioned are basically overarching to most, if not all, of us 2s.
- Boundaries – I have definitely found that I need to not only respect healthy boundaries, but I need to establish and maintain them as well. As a 2, I’m motivated to help people, which by now is a given, right? But there are times when discernment has to come into the picture because people don’t always want help or aren’t in a position to be able to accept help for one reason or another. So, even if intentions are pure and motivated by genuine love/compassion/concern, I still have to be mindful and careful not to overstep when the situation doesn’t call for my help. Additionally, I have to be aware of not overextending myself because I have that tendency as well. I tend to GIVE GIVE GIVE until I’m depleted, so I have learned that self care is not selfish and that a part of serving and loving others well is to do the same for myself. And, of course, we always have to be careful that we don’t allow ourselves to be taken advantage of because, unfortunately, that is not entirely uncommon either. It’s always okay to serve when we feel a calling, but it’s also okay to step back and preserve ourselves and our time because there is value within that too.
- Realizing Value – One thing I’m learning and working on prioritizing for myself is not putting quite so much emphasis on drawing personal value from what I can do for others. Now, this is a fine line because there IS value in helping others, of course. So, what I’m learning to put forward in my own life is helping and letting that contribute to my personal value when its healthy, but not letting it fully define me. Just to be candid, one area of vulnerability I have and I’m working on is that I tend to feel unvalued after giving a heartfelt opinion and then having it ignored or seemingly not taken into consideration. This has been known to basically gut me and I can’t let it be that way. What I realize I really need to do is offer my opinion freely, when asked, but then if it’s not taken into consideration or implemented, I have to know that it doesn’t take away any value from me as a person. My opinions and feelings are still valid even if they never go beyond me.
How can I be my best and most healthy self as an Enneagram 2?
Basically, what I’m working on in this is realizing my core strengths AND our challenges so that I can work on each. I never want to quit helping people and I always want to be a person who is known to “come alongside” when there is a need. To kick it back to the my teen years, I want to be that “wing beneath your wings” person. I want to be known as a person who loves and genuinely cares for people. I want it to be apparent that relationships matter to me. And I can only be my best and most healthy self if I am taking care of ME also. Us twos tend to back-burner ourselves because we get so caught up in helping that we don’t always remember that the helper needs help too. So, I’m working on prioritizing self-care as well as learning to ask for help when I need it. The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is so true, so my encouragement to other twos is to take care of YOU too. We can go out and help and make a difference for good in this world and the best way to do that is to make sure we are healthy and that our own needs are met. It’s not selfish. Put that on repeat in your mind, please – self care is NOT selfish!
Remind me, how can I find out my Enneagram type?
There are plenty of tests out there and many of them are free. I like “Classical Enneagram” test on Eclectic Energies’ website and have found it to be accurate. Your Enneagram Coach also has a free assessment online.
I’ll be doing a deeper dive into my own Enneagram twoness, looking more at strengths and challenges, as this series progresses. I don’t have any set number of blog posts planned, so if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on what you’d like to see here, please post and let me know.
Be Happy & Healthy, Y’all…
Additional Enneagram Resources:
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron