Enneagram Type Two ~ Polarities
Enneagram Type 2 has the Primary Polarity of “Trying not to be seen as selfish.”
The Polarity of the Type shows a movement towards a set of qualities and a movement away from its opposites. Like a pendulum in an old clock, the Type is sustaining this duality. Once the Type grows to its highest expression, the polarities collapse into natural wholeness.
This means that Type 2 is masking and avoiding anything that makes them be seen as selfish rather than selfless. For Twos selfless means being your ideal someone (perhaps friend, lover, team member, parent, child, leader or hero). Selfish means being unkind, taking, doing things for themselves alone.
A few Secondary Polarities for Twos at their lower expression:
- It’s much easier to give rather than receive.
- Twos show kind behaviors and suppress unkind behaviors.
- They prefer to meet your needs rather than meet their own needs.
- They can be proud of being your ideal person, instead of being humble.
- At lower to medium expressions, they find it easier to pretend to be emotionally strong than to be emotionally honest about their suffering.
A few Secondary Polarities for Twos at their highest expression:
- Instead of only giving they now can receive with guilt or deflection.
- From only showing kind behaviors they now can free appropriate unkind behavior.
- Instead of only meeting your needs they can now meet their own needs.
- They can be proud with dignity and also humble and free of holding up an image.
- At higher to medium expressions, they no longer pretend to be emotionally strong and become more emotionally honest about their suffering.
Enneagram Type Two ~ Personality Pearl
Type 2 has the InnerLifeSkills GREEN Pearl of Heart Emotional Need + Exaggerating + Been Seen + Worth Continuum.
This means that Type 2 is operating from a combination of the hearts emotional need, an unconscious avoiding of shame (think about the sensation of showing the world the face you feel hiding what you are embarrassed about in yourself), plus exaggerating certain qualities of self to been seen as worthy.
Add this to the Polarities and you understand the REASON for the behaviors of Type 2.
Examples of reasons for behavior:
- Twos use their heart’s emotional need to build an image of being the ideal person for others, exaggerating selfless behavior to prove themselves worthy.
- Twos can get angry when the pride protecting their worth is threatened by been seen as selfish.
- Twos work hard to make their words, actions and feelings as selfless as possible, to be seen as worthy.
If you understand the Personality Pearl + Polarities, you understand how the Type arises. This forms a part of the InnerLifeSkills 8 Step Coaching Typing Test Method, where we teach you to use a narrative style to coach your clients to understand all 9 Types, and using trademarked worksheets of the Pearls, Polarities and Types, you help a client to discover their type.
Infographic for Type 2 Enneagram
If you look at our InnerLifeSkills Enneagram infographic, you’ll see body posture of Two giving an apple away even though they are hungry.
You’ll see the eyes closed, proud to be kind – offering you all of who they are to be loved.
The heart symbol on the chest is a reminder of the Primary Polarity.
Here are some voices for Type Two (from our InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Coaches)
- “I don’t want to be rejected, so I don’t mind giving up what I want to be liked and loved.”
- “I look for the right words to use to show care.”
- “I say I don’t need a thank you, but it hurts and I feel angry if I’m not appreciated.”
- “My partner told me that when I get angry it’s because my pride is wounded, that’s tough to hear.”
- “I’m irritated by people who are dramatic and show their pain.”
- “I’m charming and I enjoy connecting to people.”
- “It took a lot to humble myself to start really looking at my emotional needs, and learning to be honest about my hurt.”
- “I didn’t recognize myself as a shame type, because I’m fine.”
Enneagram Type 2 Map for Growth
At the lowest expression Twos have created a false sense of selflessness by polarizing away from their own needs and feelings.
“It’s only at my highest expression that I discover what real selflessness is, that real love needs my self-love first, it needs my emotional honesty.”
Twos Lowest Expression
When our Enneagram Type is at its lowest expression, it tends to have a CLOSED door to its opposite polarized Type, denying the balancing qualities of that type, to restore wholeness. And it tends to have only one OPEN door to the other type, which because of the lack of balance, adds lower functioning qualities to the primary type.
- At Enneagram Type 2’s lowest expression, the energetic door to Type 4 which is their polarity opposite is closed. This means all the healthy functional qualities of Type 4 like honest self-expression of suffering, focusing on the self, honoring personal needs and talents are denied to Twos.
- Leaving the only energetic door open to Type 8. This lets in the gut type anger, control and power into the type.
“At my lowest expression, I tend to access the worst characteristics of Type 8, which means I control with kindness, feel possessive and that people owe me for my generosity.”
“As a Type 2, when I go to 8, it’s a wounded proud heart in rage.”
“It’s all anger for feeling taken advantage of, for giving to others without recognition.”
“Resentment for not being appreciated when I have sacrificed so much.”
Twos Highest Expression
When our Enneagram Type 2 is at its highest expression, it tends to have a OPEN door to its opposite polarized Type, allowing the balancing qualities of that type to restore wholeness. And it tends to then also have an OPEN door to the other type, which because of the balance, adds more higher functioning qualities to the primary type.
- At Enneagram Type 2’s highest expression, the energetic door to Type 4, which is their polarity opposite is open. This means all the healthy functional qualities of Type 4 like being able to share openly about their pain, suffering and emotional needs.
- The other energetic door being open to Type 8 now adds its best. This lets in presence, assertive self-directed action, directness and fire.
“At my highest expression as an Enneagram Type 2, I become emotionally honest about my suffering.”
“As a Type 2 when I access 4 I feel creatively expressive.”
“I can focus on myself and receive without feeling guilty.”
“I still feel caring and enjoy giving but it feels more balanced and I’m free to be myself.”
Enneagram Type 2 Key Words & Voices
- As a Type 2 on the Enneagram I am trying to be nice. I‘m putting a lot of effort into being nice. I’m even going to choose specific words that are kind words. That are helpful and nice words. I expect that people should be doing the same.
- I nurture our connection. I nurture either the fact that you find me attractive or that you find me to be kind and loving. I might be nurturing in a parental way. Or I could nurture our attraction to each other.
- It’s important for you to see me in a way that I know I am a giving person. So, I tend to give a lot and I’m not great at receiving.
- I am helpful. I even help to the point where it becomes smothering.
- I am a people pleaser. I can be interfering, because my attention is on you rather than on me.
- I’m sacrificing my needs for yours after all.
- Love is a very important word for me. I love to be loved.
- I want to be the hero for you.
- I’ll tell you I don’t need thanks, but the truth is I do. And I can get resentful if I’m not appreciated.
Enneagram Type 2 Common Mistyping Misidentifications
Because Enneagram tests are limited, they are often unreliable, with a 50-60% accuracy. This is why we prefer a narrative, coaching approach to helping people to discover their types. Types share common behaviors, but differ in their Personality Pearl “grain of sand” hidden reason for behavior.
Here are a few common Type 2 mistypings showing what is in common and what ultimately separates the types. We train our Enneagram Coaches to use this type of thinking as a framework to ask clients enlightening questions, so that clients can weigh in on the coaching session to find their type (with the expert guidance of their InnerLifeSkills Enneagram Coach).
- TYPE 1 vs. 2: Both sacrifice their personal needs, 1 in favor of the ‘right’ thing and 2 in favor of the ‘other’s needs’. 1 needs to be good, 2 needs to be loved and liked. 1 can be pedantic and harsh with words, 2 chooses kind words to be seen as loving. 1 is an anger type who is learning to relax and let go, 2 is a self-worth type who is learning self-love.
- TYPE 3 vs. 2: Both are sensitive to how they are seen by others, 2 wants to be seen as kind and 3 wants to be seen as successful. 2 needs to be needed, 3 needs to be achieving. 2 can be focused on pleasing others, 3 can be focused on impressing others. 2 is a self-worth type who is learning self-love, 3 is a self-worth type who is learning humility.
- TYPE 4 vs. 2: Both can be focused on helping others, 2 to feel valued and worthy and 4 to feel special. 2 needs to be needed, 4 needs to be unique. 2 can be smothering and controlling with kindness, 4 can martyr themselves for drama. 2 is a self-worth type who is learning self-love, 4 is a self-worth type who is learning to be functional and ordinary.
- TYPE 5 vs. 2: Both can enjoy connecting, 2 for the emotional need to be liked and loved and 5 to share interesting ideas and intense thinking. 2 needs to be needed, 5 needs space to observe and understand. 2 can be warm and show physical affection to people, 5 can appear aloof and is selective about physical affection. 2 is a self-worth type who is learning self-love, 5 is a fear type who is learning to be engaged and confident.
- TYPE 6 vs. 2: Both want to be helpful, 2 to feel loved and appreciated and 6 to be useful and to be of service. 2 needs to be acknowledged, 6 wants support but not necessarily attention. 2 can orientate to the most important people, 6 supports the underdog. 2 is a self-worth type who is learning self-love, 6 is a fear type who is learning faith in self.
- TYPE 7 vs. 2: Both can be social and enjoy connecting, 2 to feel loved and 7 for enjoyment. 2 needs to be seen as your ideal someone, 7 doesn’t care about what others see, they need freedom and space to play. 2 can be emotionally needy, 7 wants freedom. 2 is a self-worth type learning self-love, 7 is a fear type who is learning focus and content stillness.
- TYPE 8 vs. 2: Both can get intensely angry, 2 when their pride is wounded and 8 when they feel betrayed. 2 needs emotional connection to others, 8 needs to feel strong and in charge. 2 spends time choosing kind words, 8 can be direct and harsh. 2 is a self-worth type learning self-love, 8 is an anger type who is learning compassion.
- TYPE 9 vs. 2: Both sacrifice their needs, 2 in favor of the other’s needs and 9 to keep the peace. 2 needs to be liked to feel worthy, 9 needs to be liked to not cause waves. 2 wants to fulfil the needs of the other, but 9 can be out of touch with their needs. 2 is a self-worth type learning self-love, 9 is an anger type who is learning to be assertive and present.