Do you raise your hand to volunteer even before you know what is being asked of you? If so, you may be Enneagram Type 2. Type 2s strive to help others and are often drawn to service roles that center on providing assistance. This video provides a peak behind the curtain of what motivates the 2’s desire to help others.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
Being the external emotion type, Enneagram Type 2 energy is focused on helping others. During Step 2 in problem solving, the 2 will know instinctively who will benefit from a successful outcome of the problem-solving venture. The people involved in that venture, both actors and beneficiaries, are collectively the stakeholders in the project. Type 2s can build emotional bonds with the stakeholders, connecting them emotionally and viscerally to the project. The 2 is the ideal person to take the lead during this phase of the project and build the relationships necessary for the ultimate success of the problem-solving initiative.
Do you go out of your way to help others? Do you expect thanks when you help others, or is appreciation not that important? Do you find yourself focusing more on the people affected by a problem than the problem itself? How do you feel when you do not receive appreciation for assistance you provide?
The external feelings Type 2 wants to have an emotional connection with you. So, that’s the external part, right? It’s building an emotional bond with other people and what they’re after is to receive appreciation. So, that’s the underlying motivator for the 2. As they’re building these connections, their go-to dynamic is to figure out what people need and then try to give it to them in a way that they can receive appreciation. And for 2s, appreciation is like oxygen. So, how long can you go without oxygen? Not very long. So, you need to keep breathing to get that oxygen. Well, the 2s need to keep helping to get that appreciation.
So, they’re constantly looking for ways to help. One time I asked a group of people, “so who here feels like they need alone time?” And then everybody says, “yeah, yeah, yeah”. And so, then I asked the 2, “so do you need alone time too?” And the 2 said, “oh yeah, I do”. And so, then I asked, “when was the last time you were alone?” And then, thinking it’s like, “oh I was alone a couple of days ago,” and oh, okay. So, for how long? Says, “yeah, I had just pretty much had it with the kids and then I just had to get out of the house for 30 minutes”. So for the 2, being away from other people, being away from having emotional connections with people, 30 minutes seems like a long time. As opposed to, say, the Type 5 can be a way for 2 years. And it’s like, oh yeah, I’m still good.
So, there’s just like these different levels of need to be connected and the 2s are just constantly. Another thing about the 2s is boundaries because they need to have these close connections, they kind of lose sense of the space in between people. And so, you kind of might feel like they’re crowding into your space. They don’t even understand that. They don’t even realize it. It doesn’t even register. They can’t get close enough to you. So, that is one of the things with 2s.
So, you see them migrate to jobs where they can help people all the time. They’ll go into, say, sales roles where they can find out what people need, give it to them, and get appreciation; or nursing; or teaching. Also, service roles, like being in the (military) service. Imagine you’re in the service and you’re a 2 and you’re on leave; you’re walking down an airport in the public; you’re wearing your uniform. What does everybody do? “Thank you for your service.” All that appreciation. They just can walk down and just absorb all that appreciation. Perfect job for a 2.
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