Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Type 2: Love-Seeker

Examples - Description - Equivalents - Misidentifications - Variations - Wings - Instinctual Variants - Health - Levels of Development - Levels of Integration and Disintegration - Growth Recommendations


Tom Cruise 2w3 so/sx
American actor and film producer.

"You know you have to understand, in Hollywood, when people need help, they call me. When they're having trouble with something they call me. Because they know that I'm the type of person they can depend on."

"I always felt that, that I wanted, in terms of taking care of things or, around the house, if something was broken, I was always the one that came to, or like, if the chain was all knotted up or something, you'd say, 'Tommy, come here and fix this.'"

"Sure, I think it's in anyone, I mean you feel a tremendous amount of pressure..."
"Before it was released they sent it to me and said 'take a look at it'..."


  • Riso and Hudson's Overview "The Helper"

    Because it has so many facets, love is difficult to define. It means different things to different people in different kinds of relationships. The word can be used to cover a multitude of virtues as well as vices. Of all the personality types, Twos think of love in terms of having positive feelings for others, of taking care of others, and of self-sacrifice. These aspects of love are undoubtedly important parts of the picture. But what Twos do not always remember is that, at its highest, love is more closely aligned with realism than with feelings. Genuine love wants what is best for the other, even if it means risking the relationship. Love wants the beloved to become strong and independent, even if it means that the Two must withdraw from the other's life. Real love is never used to obtain from others what they would not freely give. Love outlives a lack of response, selfishness, and mistakes, no matter who is at fault. And it cannot be taken back. If it can be, it is not love.

    Twos believe deeply in the power of love as the prime source of everything good in life, and in many ways, they are right. But what some Twos call "love" and what is worthy of the name are very different things. In this personality type, we will see the widest possible uses of love, from disinterested, genuine love, to the flattering effusions of "pleasers," to the outright manipulation and the dangerous obsessions of a "stalker." There is tremendous variety among those who march under the banner of love, from the most selfless angels to the most hate-filled devils. Understanding the personality type Two will help us understand how they got that way.

  • Palmer's Description "The Helper"

    Enneagram type 2s are friendly, outgoing, helpful, and aware of the needs of others. The superego message of 2s is that they should “be helpful and loving.” One of the most outwardly emotional types, Type 2s overexpress their feelings, particularly love and sadness. When average to unhealthy, Twos need to be needed, and will praise and flatter others so that others will come to like them and rely on them.

    Twos are very in tune with the needs of other people and try to meet those needs. And they expect others to be equally in tune with their needs, and to pay them back. When fixated they keep score, and when not paid back get resentful and manipulative. Twos seem to take on self-destructive behaviors like overeating, drinking too much, or smoking. They internalize their hurt feelings, and somaticize easily. This can lead to actual physical illnesses in which others are forced to take care of them.

  •'s Description

    People of Enneatype Two are essentially related to other people, and they relate to them from a standpoint of helpfulness. Twos have a built in radar for what the other might need, and they see themselves as the correct person for satisfying that need. This places Twos, even though they are serving others, in a sort of “one up” position with respect to those they are serving. Twos see themselves as being not only strong enough to care for themselves, but able to care for others as well. They want to occupy a central position in the lives of chosen others, and they accomplish this by being “indispensable.” From the standpoint of the Two, it is always others who are needy and dependent, not the Two. In reality, the situation is a bit more complex, as Twos also have needs. They need to be appreciated; they need to be needed; they need to receive a considerable amount of attention and gratitude.
  • Myers-Briggs Equivalents

    More Common:
    ESFJ "The Helper" - Fosters warmth and efficiency to get self and others to get a job done.
    ISFJ "The Nurturer" - Sympathetic traditionalists quietly self-sacrificing to get a job done.
    ESFP "The Joker" - Sympathetic socialites generously meeting needs in a fun, lively way.
    ENFJ "The Sage" - Able communicators who facilitate interpersonal sensitivity.
    ENFP "The Visionary" - Love the fluid and changing, expressing creativity and charisma.

    Quite Common:
    INFP "The Dreamer" - Desire their world to be in line with their inner ideal vision.
  • Riso and Hudson

    1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


  • 2 and 8

    This is a common mistype for a disintegrated 2, especially males, often due to a desire to seem like a more "manly" or powerful personality type. However, there is nothing innately more masculine or powerful or more feminine or weak about any of the personality types, especially when healthy. There are only different inner motivations and different resulting patterns of behavior.

    An 8 or 8-winger disintegrating can actually look quite different from a 2 disintegrating. The 2 needs to see his enemies writhing in pain and he feels entitled to it. He doesn't plan so much as to manipulate and cajole for awhile before letting his heart lead him to outbursts of anger when he just can't take it anymore. The 2 manipulates warmly or fiercely, while the 8 positions coolly and coldly. When the 8 explodes, it is his anger at the situation caused more than out of exasperation that he recieves no gratitude. Beneath the disintegrated 8's aggressiveness is a cold, heartless, thinker-killer. He will enact revenge without needing to watch the person suffer like the embittered 2 may desire.


2w1 - Seeking Love and Rightness
  • LifeExplore

    This wing brings conscience and emotional containment to the basic Two style. When healthy, they act from general principles about the value of serving others. Ethics come before pride. May hold themselves to high standards. More discreet and respectful of other people's boundaries. When upset, tend to go quiet and experience strong emotions internally. More melancholy than Twos with a 3 wing. When less healthy and entranced, tend to confuse their sense of mission with self-centered needs. Go blind to their own motives; invade and dominate others. Believe their actions are perfectly justified by their ethic of helping. May repress their personal desires and focus on others as a way to avoid guilty dilemma between the rules and their inner needs. If really blind they will warp their ethics crazily to justify personal selfishness and prideful hostility.
2w3 - Seeking Love and Image
  • LifeExplore

    This wing brings Twos an extra measure of sociability and the capacity to make things happen. When healthy, can be charming, good-natured and heartfelt. Really get things done, serve effectively on projects that involve the well-being of others. Thrive on group process and are generally good communicators. Enjoy keeping several threads or projects going at once. Entranced Twos with a 3 wing can be quite emotionally competitive and controlling. 3 wing brings a double dose of vanity. Strong tendency to live in one's images. May grow brazenly deluded, preferring their glamorous, self-important scenarios to reality. Tendencies to deceit and emotional calculation. Highly manipulative. This wing is also more extroverted; dramatization of feeling in the form of hysterical snit-fits is far more possible.

Instinctual Variants

Sexual 2 - Seeking Intimacy/Intensity
  • Udit Patel Craving Intimacy (Ichazo's "Aggression")

    Sexual Twos feel that they will feel loved by attaining complete, profound intimacy with someone. Thus they are driven to be as close to their loved ones as possible. They attempt to win a place with people by focusing intensely on the other's needs, hopes, and interests. They enjoy the process of learning about potential partners and make it their business to become acquainted with the other's world. It is as if the Sexual Two was seeking to get "in synch" with the other in as many different ways as possible. Similarly, the Sexual Two will enjoy finding out what the other likes, whether it is a favorite food, cologne, style of music, or favorite place for vacationing. Needless to say, Sexual Twos will then do their best to provide these things for their intimates. Moreover, most people love to be the center of attention, and Sexual Twos know this, lavishing the other with attention, affection, and praise. In this sense, they are seductive-getting others interested in spending time with them by making the other their object of adoration. Sexual Twos also like to touch and be touched by the people they are drawn to, often initiating physical contact in a relationship—even in a friendship. When less balanced, Sexual Twos can become obsessed with a lover and can have great difficulty letting go of a relationship.

  • LifeExplore

    Tend to act seductive and aggressive by turns. Basic interest is in finding romantic union. Generally confuse sexual desirability with being loved and valued. Act receptively interested in others, use inviting touches. May ooze some combination of charm and sexuality. When they encounter resistance will begin to push and challenge. Try to find a way around the other's objection. May go militant and angrily blame (connection to 8). Behind these flare-ups is a melancholy desire for total enmeshed connectedness to another. Yearning is related to the low side of 4.
Social 2 - Seeking Acceptance/Belonging/Inclusion/Status
  • Udit Patel Everybody's Friend (Ichazo's "Ambition")

    Social Twos feel loved by having an important place in the lives of their friends, family, and colleagues. They fear being left out of social events and gatherings, so they try to make themselves indispensable to whatever groups they are involved with. They often become advisors, mentors, matchmakers, and social-event coordinators for many people in their lives. They enjoy introducing people to one another and generally act as the "social hub" of whatever they are involved with. They derive great satisfaction from giving advice to trusted friends and often initiate new relationships by offering some kind of service or counsel. Social Twos have a subtle "radar" for people in need of a sympathetic audience and may appear with a smile and some kind words. They especially like to give counsel to people they see as important. While the pride of the Two does not allow them to have social ambitions of success and fame for themselves, they often achieve these things indirectly by becoming "the power behind the throne." Thus, they are able to rise socially by attaching themselves as advisors and primary supports to someone who is successful in some way. Social Twos tend to be outgoing and high-spirited, often resembling Sevens, and to get energy from their interactions with their friends. Indeed, Social Twos think of all of their colleagues and acquaintances as friends and their friends as family. They usually know the names of all of the local shopkeepers, the mailman, the waiters, and bartenders at their favorite restaurants and bars, and so forth. When less balanced, Social Twos can scatter themselves in a large number of social commitments-trying to serve many people, but often causing primary relationships to suffer.

  • LifeExplore

    Twos with this subtype are notable for their ambition, particularly to be publicly recognized as someone special. Seek attention either directly from their own efforts or via affiliation with powerful people. In the former scenario, a Two works to draw an audience through socially useful works or some kind of performing. Confuse being noticed with being loved. Can sometimes act provocative or obnoxious as this is better than being ignored. Might also marry someone influential and concentrate their energies on the spouse's ambitions. Can groom their children to become achievers. Stage mothers and political spouses are possible roles. Often have a 3 wing but a 1 wing is possible.
Self-Preservation 2 - Seeking Saftey/Comfort
  • Udit Patel Entitlement (Ichazo's "Me First")

    Twos typically deal with their own self-preservation needs by first taking care of others' self-preservation needs. They feel that they will win others' love by providing them with nurturing and caretaking. They derive a great deal of satisfaction from feelings of service to others or to causes. They are able to anticipate people's needs and then try to fulfill them. ("You poor thing, you look hungry.") Of course, after taking care of others for a while, Self-Pres Twos begin to expect that others will reciprocate and take care of their needs. But because they are Twos, they feel that they cannot ask directly for what they need. They must drop hints and continue to take care of the other person with the hope that he or she will eventually respond with care for the Two. Over time, this gives Self-Pres Twos a feeling of entitlement. ("After all I've done for them, I deserve this treat.") The problem is that Self Pres Twos feel ashamed of having physical needs. Thus, when others fail to reciprocate in the way that Twos hope, they may privately overindulge in self-preservation "goodies"—comfort foods, sweets, drink, and prescription medicines are frequent choices. They keep hidden stashes of their favorite indulgences as a way of compensating for feelings of loneliness and rejection. Unfortunately, the rewards that Self Pres Twos give themselves often endanger their health and well being, which ironically, undermines their ability to help others.

  • LifeExplore

    Self-preservation Twos often harbor a striking sense of entitlement. May act superior to others and expect preferential treatment that reinforces their pride. Can seem shameless in their expectation of pampering. Behind this attitude is a logic that says, "I give and do so much for others, I deserve to be treated as someone special." Like an unconscious collection of fees for sacrifices made. Others who encounter this attitude are often amazed at a self-preservation Two's self- importance and diva-like behavior. Real-life people with this subtype often have a 3 wing. Dip easily to the low side of 8 when angry.


Levels of Development
  • Riso & Hudson's Levels of Development

    Level 1 (Most Healthy - The Level of Liberation): Become deeply unselfish, humble, and altruistic: giving unconditional love to self and others. Feel it is a privilege to be in the lives of others.

    Level 5 (Average - The Level of Interpersonal Control): Become overly intimate and intrusive: they need to be needed, so they hover, meddle, and control in the name of love. Want others to depend on them: give, but expect a return: send double messages. Enveloping and possessive: the codependent, self-sacrificial person who cannot do enough for others—wearing themselves out for everyone, creating needs for themselves to fulfill.

    Level 9 (Most Unhealthy - The Level of Pathological Destructiveness): Able to excuse and rationalize what they do since they feel abused and victimized by others and are bitterly resentful and angry. Somatization of their aggressions result in chronic health problems as they vindicate themselves by "falling apart" and burdening others. Generally corresponds to the Histrionic Personality Disorder and Factitious Disorder.

  • Riso & Hudson's Levels of Development In-Depth

  • Healthy and Unhealthy "Loops"

    Healthy loop: controlled by Basic Desire: Need to be loved -> help others -> loved -> Need to be loved. In the healthy state, the need to be loved induces Type Twos to help others which causes them to be loved. When Twos feel loved, the need is satisfied and a balance is reached.

    Average state: when Twos' are not helping others and are not loved, the need to be loved increases, which helps Twos to again reach out and help others. Thus the balancing loop can help Twos to recover.

    Unhealthy loop: controlled by Basic Fear: Fear of being unloved -> resent and manipulate others -> loved -> Fear of being unloved. In the unhealthy state, the basic fear of being unloved can cause Type Twos to feel resentful and try to manipulate others into loving them. This can cause people to love them even less, which further increases Twos' basic fear. The cycle continues to build up.

    Insight: We can see from the diagram that a way to help break the control of the basic fear is to weaken the unhealthy loop. Twos can refrain from manipulating others but start to genuinely help others. This will cause Twos to be loved, and thus reduce the fear of being unloved.
Levels of Integration and Disintegration

Integration (Two Goes to Healthy Four)

  • Udit Patel

    Integrating Twos become aware of how much they have denied their needs and their darker feelings-and how much they have deceived themselves about their motives. At Four, they begin to accept themselves more completely-not rejecting any aspect of themselves they find. Even their destructive feelings toward others can be held compassionately. They are more honest with themselves (after the manner of a healthy Four) and discover humor and humanity in whatever feelings and impulses they have. This gives Twos the ability to see themselves objectively and without shame-and with love and balance. They are also able to support others from the fullness of who they really are and to have greater intimacy with them because integrating Twos are more intimate with themselves. Gradually and naturally, they become more authentic, expressive, sensitive, and creative in ways that are enriching to themselves and others.

  • Wake-Up Call

    Awareness of believing that they must go out to others to win them over—so that they can rise to unconditional love of self and others, irrespective of others' reactions to them.

Security (Two Goes to Average Four)

  • Udit Patel

    With trusted others, or in situations in which Twos feel sure of themselves and their ability to be honest about their feelings, they may risk expressing their neediness and darker impulses. Rather than keep up the image of being selfless and above feeling wounded by the ingratitude of others, they can become moody, self-absorbed, and temperamental, revealing to intimates the true depth and extent of their emotional needs, self-doubts, and disappointments-particularly with others. At such times, they can be extremely touchy-easily hurt by statements that others would see as harmless or even positive. They may also become more self-indulgent, giving themselves "goodies" that are not very good for them as a way of compensating for all of the sacrifices they feel they have been making for others.

Disintegration (Two Goes to Average Eight)

  • Udit Patel

    If Twos feel that their overtures of friendliness and may expressions of self-sacrifice are continually thwarted or ignored, they may reach a point of stress in which they begin to openly express their anger in the manner of average-to-unhealthy Eights. Their resentment at having been rejected by others (in perhaps subtle ways) reaches the boiling point, and they simply cannot maintain their "loving attitude" any longer. Feeling that others are taking them from granted makes the average Two suddenly act out in an average Eight manner, becoming ego-centric, controlling, and dominating, telling people what to do and when to do it. This kind of behavior puts Twos in the center of things and virtually forces others to pay attention to them. Bossing people around and being somewhat confrontational can be surprisingly out of character for the Two. Under greater stress, it can be expressed in outbursts of temper, aggressive confrontation, and threats of withdrawing support.

  • Enneagram Institute Forum "The Insensitive"

    When unhealthy pressure rises. They want to be lovable and maintain the image of being good but they feel as if people force them to be bad. Or have an image of them being bad. They slowly attempt to attract people without ruining their image. They don't want to blame themselves because they want to be lovable. Eventually though, they need to sacrifice either their caring for the people or their need to be lovable. When unhealthy they say, "It's people's fault that I've become this way, I hate them". Eventually, they become insensitive, caring less and less for people. An example of their insensitivity is Kitty's mother. When Kitty's father (kitty from that 70s Show), Kitty's mother said something like: "Oh, don't you just hate it when people do this? They just ruin it for everyone. Burt was always like this, always thinking about himself".

    In the end, unhealthy twos become egoistic, remorseless, forgiveless, uncaring, apathetic. Its quite freaky. While eights destroy the world, twos break apart people's hearts while sustaining an image that they're better than everyone else and if they're not, then it was someone else's fault ("It's not my fault I'm evil. I'm a good person. You just don't see it.")
Growth Recommendations
  • Riso & Hudson's Personal Growth Recommendations

  • Udit Patel

    Twos grow by recognizing that caring for themselves and caring for others is not an either/or proposition. They can care for others effectively only when they are also caring for themselves and recognizing their own needs. Further, they come to understand that they can achieve real love and intimacy with others only if they truly have love and intimacy with themselves. For Twos, this means acknowledging their real feelings, even if they are not pretty or pleasant, and expressing their needs as they arise. It also entails recognizing when they are tired, lonely, or overextended. By paying attention to their own feelings and inner states, Twos naturally grow into finding a balance between taking care of themselves and their natural inclination to help others. Once grounded and clear about their motives, they are able to abide in the fullness of their hearts and to share this with others.
  • Palmer's Exercises

    At the beginning of a commercial flight on an airliner, the flight attendants give a little safety speech. Included in this speech is something like this: "In the case of rapid depressurization of the airplane, the oxygen masks drop down. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first." There is a reason for this - you won't be any good to others if you, yourself, are passed out from lack of oxygen. For twos, this is a difficult concept. So, try this:

    Go somewhere you can be alone, where there is no one else who has needs that you feel the need to fulfill. Right now, you are not responsible for taking care of a child, feeding your spouse, helping at church, or feeding the starving children in India. Trust that there is a higher power who will take care of everyone else, that there is a bigger plan, that there is enough love to go around, even without yours.

    Ask yourself what you (YOU) want, right this minute, for yourself? Do you want a bubblebath? To take a walk? A cigarette? To eat massive quantities of fudge brownie ice cream?

    Do you want the love you feel you deserve? How can you love yourself without doing things that are self-destructive? Imagine loving yourself and meeting your own needs the way you meet the needs of others. You deserve the best.

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