Enneagram Type 2 Overview - The Nurturing Advisor - TrueSelf
Helper, Giver, Caretaker Nurturer, Advisor, Altruist, Good Samaritan
Worldview of the Type 2
You are a thoughtful, generous, warm-hearted person that strives for connection and being a helpful and personal. You love to anticipate, read and respond to the needs and concerns of others, often being of great service.
On occasion, when your own needs go unmet, you can feel unappreciated and become exhausted, depleted, and resentful. Your keys to growth include recognizing and balancing your own needs with those of others, and seeing what is truly “needed” in the present moment.
What You Are Great At
Making people feel included in a cohesive, supportive group or team.
Willingness to go beyond mere empathy and actively assist those in need.
Cheerleaders and appreciators of people.
Being sympathetic and conveying genuine and selfless care.
Anticipating others’ needs – sometimes even before they do!
Generously giving to others and serving them in times of need.
Putting your own needs to the side for the greater good.
Comforting others and staying positive when others feel down.
Flattering others and winning them over.
Helping people feel at ease due to your charming, friendly nature.
Working hard for the team (sometimes at great sacrifice to yourself).
Engaging others in worthy causes or projects with your enthusiasm.
You want to be appealing, giving, caring, and heartfelt; but most importantly, you want to feel needed. You want people to consider you important and appreciate your efforts.
You naturally pay attention to the needs and concerns of others and are ready to lend a helping hand. Under stress, you may have problems with pride, find it difficult to ask for help, and become manipulative to get attention or have your needs met. At your best, you are an empathetic, altruistic people-person that sees, intuits, and tends to others' needs.
What Drives You
You are driven to create interpersonal relationships and are motivated by a desire to be needed. By meeting others’ needs, you may secretly hope that your own needs will be met.
By taking care of others, you may desire at some level to be taken care of. You long to be loved and appreciated for who you are, to be wanted by others, and to express yourself in relationships.
Inner World of the Type 2
Your core fears are of being inherently worthless, inconsequential, irrelevant, or unwanted by others. You may also fear being rejected, not being needed, not having a role with others, being ignored, useless, or left out. Stemming from these core fears, you may fear that actually having any needs of your own may cause people to leave.
To be needed, wanted, connected, appreciated, and worthy of attention.
You need approval, recognition, and admiration. Most importantly, you want to be seen as a 'special' friend.
You go out of your way to notice what others need, and others' expressions of appreciation are your greatest motivators. Sometimes, you are so focused on others that you don't pay attention to your own unmet needs and feelings. You may feel that to have your needs met, you must first meet other's needs.
People depend on my help. It's better to give than to receive. My own needs are not as important. If I take care of you, you will take care of me.
Being the “wind beneath others’ wings”.
Relationships, closeness, and romance.
Being a supportive friend and coworker.
Making others feel good about themselves.
Being on a cohesive team.
Love, connection and harmony with others.
To be seen as enthusiastic, vivacious and cheerful.
Being seen as friendly, caring and personable.
Being seen as thoughtful and considerate.
Giving others thoughtful gifts.
Being the special one.
Solitude and impersonal dealings.
Cold, insensitive people.
Disconnection or separation from others.
Feeling disapproved of, rejected, or unappreciated.
Feeling overwhelmed, over-taxed.
Feeling obsolete or not needed.
Not feeling welcomed.
Feeling shut out when another person is suffering.
Not having a special role.
Not feeling “tuned in” to others.
Having others suddenly turn away, go cold, or stop communicating.
Outer World of the Type 2
You attend to and please others so they will appreciate and care for you. You often give even when you're empty or suffering. You repress you own needs to serve others.
Impact of Strategies
People who are important to you pay attention to you and appreciate how valuable and helpful you are.
What's Great About You
You are warm, welcoming, and establish rapport easily with others. You are emotionally demonstrative, attuned to the needs of others, and happy to be of service.t.
Attention goes to...
Your attention goes outward toward being helpful, flattering others, meeting people’s needs and finding someone who can meet your needs. You may be unaware of how much time and energy you spend giving until you feel sad that others are not able to do the same for you.
Operating System of the Type 2
At Your Best
You are cheerful, outgoing, vivacious, and sympathetic person who focuses on the concerns of others and what is needed in any given situation. You have an innate gift of listening and making people feel heard and understood. Your ability to tune in to others and sense their needs puts people at ease.
Generous in expressions of warmth, you have a way of making people feel special and important. You want to be of service and often reach out to help others.
At work, you are very welcoming and can put your own needs to the side and offer tireless support for the good of the organization or project. Your people skills and sensitivity to the needs of others make you a valuable asset to your team in the areas of trust, collaboration and support.
When your focus is so resolutely set on others, you may deny your own needs and therefore make it very difficult for them to be met in return. Your desire for appreciation can give rise to an unconscious “give to get” dynamic where you make yourself indispensable to others and may look for ways to ingratiate yourself -- not always seeing any strings that you’ve attached or ways you may try to get your needs met indirectly.
In both personal and working relationships, these habits have a way of leading to feelings of being overextended and underappreciated, as well as fostering dependence. Relying on the approval of others to feel good about yourself can lead to a loss of self-worth.
What Holds You Back
Operating from “false abundance” in your ability to meet the needs of others.
“Needing to be needed” in order to feel valuable and lovable.
Exhausting yourself trying to meet the needs of others.
Becoming resentful when others don’t give as much as you do.
Not being authentic and losing yourself in becoming what others want you to be.
Becoming entangled with others who don’t take care of themselves.
Meddling and giving advice or assistance that wasn’t requested.
Feeling hurt when others aren’t there for you in times of need.
Denying your own needs and feelings of grief, loss, and sadness.
Feeling unworthy and unappreciated when the attention goes elsewhere.
Using manipulation to indirectly have your needs met in relationships.
Promising more than you deliver and delivering more than you promise.
To cope with fears of being unwanted and unworthy, you may seek to be irresistibly pleasing, loving, charming, and helpful to others. Using your natural gifts of tuning into people, you may find yourself flattering others in just the ways that will win them over. You may become hyper-attentive to others’ desires and wants and seek to fulfill them - often even before they realize it themselves.
For example, you might bring a glass of water before someone is aware of being thirsty. Rather than face the possibility of your own needs being ignored, it may feel safer to just deny that you have them and intensely focus on meeting the needs of others. This sets up an unconscious desire for your own needs to be met in return, and for you to receive the attention you secretly crave.
You use self-control to avoid expressing anger and other “unacceptable” emotions by repressing them and expressing a more “appropriate” emotion in its place. This usually gives rise to frustration and resentment that others are not working as hard as they should.
Hot Buttons & Triggers
Others not appreciating or recognizing your help and support.
Feeling unwanted or unneeded.
Experiencing any need, which equates with potential rejection.
Being perceived as selfish, insincere or disingenuous.
Feeling isolated, disconnected.
Being exhausted and overextended trying to “do it all”.
Others becoming withdrawn, cold, or uncommunicative.
Feeling threatened by another who seems to be special.
Not being taken care of by others in times of need.
Having attempts to help others be thwarted or unaccepted.
Perceived loss of connection or influence in an important relationship.
Any threat to your special position next to the one in authority.
Repressing undesired parts of yourself and focusing intently on others may lead to blind spots like not seeing your own unmet needs. In the unrelenting pursuit of supporting others, you may not recognize your own potential, and essential contribution.
Given the fact that having a generous nature is such an admirable quality, it may keep you from recognizing the ways that you may be self-centered, needy, manipulating, or “giving to get”. Your pride in thinking that you know what others need and want may prevent you from seeing when it becomes invasive or is off-putting to others.
Mistaken Beliefs / Trap
It is a cognitive mistake to believe that by meeting the needs of others, one’s own needs will automatically be met in return. Similarly, there can be a distorted belief that “I will only be taken care of by others if I take care of them first”. One may be unconsciously “giving to get,” and not realize it isn’t actually selfless giving.
One can only truly meet one’s own needs directly. Most important, the belief that “others love me for being what they want me to be” is a trap that actually brings less love and acceptance and a greater loss of one’s true sense of self. Pleasing others to get love only creates a deeper sense of unworthiness.
Growth Journey of the Type 2
Your transformation journey involves:
Turning your natural gift for nurturing others towards yourself and realizing that you are worthy and lovable just as you are.
Relaxing and enjoying life and relationships without feeling the need to jump in, help, or rescue.
Being self-loving and self-aware enough to give freely from true abundance with no expectations.
When your fears of being unappreciated and unwanted have taken the reins, which can happen under stress and in any situation that triggers feelings of being rejected, your safety and control strategies are likely to take over unwittingly. You may move to make yourself indispensable to others in order to avoid abandonment, perhaps overrating your efforts and feeling an inflated sense of self-importance.
When you need to be needed, you can deny your own needs, and try to please others, you may also overstep your boundaries and resort to meddling and belittling those closest to you. Others may be confused or upset by mixed messages; you give but expect something in return. You exhaust yourself trying to be everything to everyone and can resent those that do not show appreciation for your efforts.
An Average Day
As you begin to see the self-serving aspects of “giving to get” and realize that pleasing can be inherently manipulative and controlling, you will become more focused on yourself, acknowledge your own needs and recognize your intentions. Becoming more aware and internally focused, “people pleasing” can drop away and you will become more sincere and genuinely attentive to others.
Your primary focus is self-responsibility and taking care of your own needs directly. You become adept at setting healthy boundaries, saying “no” with love, embracing and expressing your needs, and allowing others to be in integrity and self-accountable.
Love is truly your primary purpose now, both love of self and other. You are positive, appreciative, supportive, compassionate, and truly of service to others. Your natural affinity for nurturing and giving flows sweetly and easily.
In The Zone
When the full realization of self-love and self-acceptance dawns, one’s preoccupation with getting love and approval from others can drop away. It becomes clear that all needs are met spontaneously and naturally by aligning with unconditional love. Truly empathic, deeply compassionate, and generous with all, a wellspring of love and care seems to flow from you without the need for receiving anything in return.
You delight in being an inexhaustible instrument of this love and care for others in a truly selfless way that does not identify at all as the source of help. Your innate gifts of generosity, open-heartedness, softness, understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness issue forth with no obstruction or limit. You are a genuinely kind, humble, and powerful refuge for others in the storm of life, for which you feel only gratitude.
Keys to Growth
Discover what YOU want in your heart of hearts (“What are my actual likes and dislikes?” “How do I actually feel?”).
Practice asking for what you need very directly and politely from others.
Spend time alone and develop a relationship with yourself; do the affectionate, loving things you’d do for another for YOU.
Observe yourself in action and become more aware of the automatic tendencies to morph yourself and please to fit in; recognize where “pleasing” is actually manipulation.
Respond to others’ requests by saying “maybe” and take time to consider commitments before overextending yourself.
Stand back from relationships to observe any dependent dynamics; watch where you take responsibility for others.
Notice the strong pull to be indispensable, wanted, and needed, see the inherent false pride in “needing to be needed”.
Become aware of fears of abandonment and rejection; when they arise, see it as energy passing through if you allow it.
Enthusiastically embrace and nurture your OWN potential.
Become more grounded in the physical body to reduce the intensity of emotional energy; breathe and focus when upset.
Keep the focus on yourself when tempted to be in another’s business; ask yourself, “Whose business is this really?”, “Am I giving to get?”
Become as tuned in to yourself as you are to others, particularly becoming acutely aware of your moment-to-moment motivations and intentions to engage, speak and act.
Type 2 In the Workplace
Working with Others
In a supportive work environment, you take great pleasure in establishing collaborative relationships, working closely with others toward a goal, and making sure everyone is happy. It genuinely satisfies you to feel like a vital, fully contributing and supportive member of a cohesive group.
You manage others by enthusiastic encouragement and enjoy reflective glory. You have the ability to supervise others in many different roles to meet the needs of any given moment. You also work extremely well as the right hand of the one in power or authority, taking pride in being “the one” who can anticipate his/her needs and always meet them.
You work best when you have a strong team you can support and feel supported by. You will go the “extra mile” for any team effort, working tirelessly and without need for your own reward when you are inspired by the group’s collective energy.
In your ideal work environment, your efforts, sacrifices, and help are appreciated and acknowledged. You really like being the problem solver, helper, and the “indispensable one” that people depend on and turn to. You love it when others seek you out as “the one who understands,” “gets it” or has a sympathetic shoulder or listening ear.
You work less effectively in a work environment that doesn’t recognize your efforts and contribution to the cohesiveness of the team. Because you are always willing to sacrifice, back others up and be there for those in need, you may become resentful when others don’t do the same.
You can become conflicted and tense if your team is divided and you want to please both sides to stay in good favor. Secretly wanting to be recognized and have a special position, you might resent always playing “second fiddle,” or being stuck in a supporting role, not being promoted and not getting rewards, praise, and opportunities for advancement.
You work well with a supportive mentor and happily take direction from an authority you respect and you feel understands your ability to see what is needed. In fact, you thrive at the right hand of an able and charismatic person in power (or “on their way up”) because you like feeling special to the one in charge and that others admire.
You also enjoy the sense of connection the comes from being in the “inner circle.” It’s hard for you to respect a boss if he/she is not emotionally astute, doesn’t give his/her fullest to the team, isn’t respected and admired by others, or doesn’t stand up for you during times of stress.
You can be a thoughtful, considerate, and charming leader who enjoys supporting others and helping them to achieve their full potential. You are a cheerleader of people and take great pride in seeing those you've mentored succeed. You are devoted to those under your wing and are willing to stand behind them and encourage them along the way.
Your primary focus is on the success of the team as a whole even if it means putting your own needs on hold. You manage details well and can be very skilled at guiding team members in many different roles and in interpersonal relationships. You might have to be reminded to focus on business structures and strategy, and to not over-help to the point that it creates dependency or is perceived as meddling.
Famous Type 2 Nurturing Advisors
Paula Abdul, Alan Alda, Harry Belafonte, Barbara Bush, Jimmy Carter, Casanova, Glenn Close, Bill Cosby, Barbara de Angelis, Princess Diana, Celine Dion, Fairy Godmother, Mia Farrow, Kathie Lee Gifford, Danny Glover, Melanie Griffith, Whitney Houston, Jesus Christ, Monica Lewinsky, Jerry Lewis, James Lipton, John Lithgow, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Florence Nightingale, Merlin Olsen, Yoko Ono, Suze Orman, Eva Peron, Priscilla Presley, Nancy Reagan, Della Reese, Lionel Ritchie, Mr. Rogers, Richard Simmons, Danielle Steel, Sally Struthers, Mother Teresa, Jennifer Tilly, Tiny Tim, John Travolta, Ivana Trump, Desmond Tutu, Barbara Walters.