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Enneagram Type 2 Personality: Appreciation and Attentiveness

Enneagram type 2

Enneagram type 2 is given a variety of names by those who teach and write about the Enneagram types such as The Helper, The Giver, and The Loving Person. While these names allude to some common characteristics that often appear in the type 2 personality, they only provide a hint of what's going on underneath the surface. What's going on can be found in the core focus.

Enneagram type 2 has a focus on being appreciated by others and showing appreciation for others by way of emotional attentiveness. This produces a habit of attention attuned to the needs and desires of others as well as their emotional states.

Initial Self-Belief: “I am unappreciated as I am.”

Compensation: "I must find appreciation from and connection to people by responding to their needs and desires."

Habit of Attention: Type 2 attention reads the emotional states of others. This starts with responding to their needs and desires but is more broadly about relationships and connections. An awareness of the energy between people and how to bring people closer follows.

The Enneagram types evolved from Oscar Ichazo's ego-types into Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes. The goal with the ego-types was to identify an individual's fixation in order to work on transcending it. The enneatypes fleshed out the ego-types in terms of modern psychology and personality traits.

Type 2 Ego: Ego-Flat

Below are descriptions of Oscar Ichazo's ego type 2 fixation, trap, holy idea, passion, and virtue reinterpreted for today's personality types.

Type 2 Fixation and Trap

Fixation: Flattery comes from praising and giving to others in order to connect to them and be liked or gain favor.

Trap: Freedom comes from being attentive to the needs and desires of others so they'll take care of yours.

The fixation points to the mental preoccupation of the ego and the trap seems like the way out but keeps the individual stuck in the fixation. 

Type 2 Holy Idea

Holy Idea: Holy freedom is taking care of your own needs so that you can freely give to others without expecting anything in return.

The holy idea is the actual way out of the ego fixation.

Type 2 Passion

Passion: Pride is an inflated feeling of self-importance in the lives of others. Others need me because I uniquely understand and can meet their needs and desires.

The passion is the emotional energy that serves the fixation and trap.

Type 2 Virtue

Virtue: Humility appears when instead of seeking favored treatment and regard you accept that you are no more or less important than anyone else.

The virtue is what appears when the passion subsides.

Type 2 Personality Traits: Enneatype II

Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes expanded upon Oscar Ichazo's fixations and passions by referring to modern psychology and other sources.

What follows is the trait structure for type 2 as outlined in Naranjo's book "Ennea-type Structures."

Enneatype II
Egocentric Generosity - Pride and Histrionism

  • Pride
  • Love Need
  • Hedonism
  • Seductiveness
  • Assertiveness
  • Nurturance and False Abundance
  • Histrionism
  • Impressionable Emotionality
The relationships and movements between types can be explored by way of the triads, arrows, and lines as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These elements of the Enneagram are often described as the centers, the stances, stress/security points, and directions of integration/disintegration.

    Type 2 Center

    Heart/Heart-Based Center

    Type 2 Heart Center

    Type 2 is located in the 234 triad which is often described as the heart center. Type 2 pays attention to the needs and desires of others along with their emotional states. They also can be very emotionally seductive in an effort to pull people closer to them or to manipulate others into giving them the response they desire.

    Type 2 Shame

    Types 2, 3, and 4 may also be referred to as shame types. Type 2 often perceives themself as selflessly giving and caring as well as lovable and important in the lives of others. Shame can arise when they are thought of as selfish, unlovable, unwanted, and unimportant in the lives of significant others. A sort of martyr-like complaining may occur when they are not appreciated for all they sacrifice.

    Type 2 Emotional Center

    The core focus approach labels the 234 triad as the Emotional Center and differentiates how types 2, 3, and 4 use that center.

    • Type 2: Emotional Attentiveness - connects to others through emotional empathy.
    • Type 3: Emotional Affirmation - finds validation through achievement and recognition.
    • Type 4: Emotional Authenticity - expresses what feels true and real for oneself.

    You can take a test comparing the three heart types here.

    Type 2 Stance or Hornevian Group

    Compliant Stance

    Type 2 is in the compliant triad along with type 1 and type 6. Type 2 is compliant toward the needs and desires of others. The movement toward other people is one of wanting to pull people closer, to make an emotional connection. This can occur through the role of helper or in service to others but it can also take on a more emotionally seductive nature.

    Type 2 Stress and Growth

    Enneagram type 2 arrows

    Movement against the arrow from type 2 to type 4

    Movement against the arrow is sometimes described as movement toward a type's security point or direction of integration or growth. Type 2 is said to take on characteristics of type 4 when feeling relaxed or secure or moving toward health and growth.

    Movement with the arrow from type 2 to type 8

    Movement with the arrow is sometimes described as a movement toward a type's stress point or direction of disintegration or stress. When feeling stressed and pressured or not in control, type 2 is said to take on characteristics of type 8.

    Connecting points from type 2 to type 4 and type 8

    Some teachers ignore the arrows and simply describe the lines as connecting points. In this case, someone identified as type 2 is said to sometimes take on characteristics of type 4 and type 8. Or to put it another way, type 2 may move to type 4 and type 8 at times when the type 2 concerns are not dominant.

    Although you have a basic or primary Enneagram type there are many subtle variations within type. These variations are defined by such concepts as wings, instincts, tritype, and levels. They're often used to explain why people of the same Enneagram type can look different.

    Type 2 Wings - 2w1 and 2w3

    Type 2 Wings

    The wings are represented by the numbers on either side of a given type as seen on the Enneagram symbol or diagram. These types are said to have an additional influence upon the type being looked at. The wing types for type 2 are type 1 and type 3.

    Although type 2 is influenced by both wings, an individual will generally be influenced more by one of the wings than the other. The wing with more influence is said to be the preferred wing.

    Type 2 wing 1 (2w1) - preferred 1 wing
    Common Name: The Servant

    • more dutifully of service
    • more self-critical and unselfish
    • more emotionaly restrained

    Type 2 wing 3 (2w3) - preferred 3 wing
    Common Name: The Host/Hostess

    • more ambitous and goal oriented
    • more attention seeking and image oriented
    • more direct about what they want

    Click here if you'd like help finding your preferred wing.

    Type 2 Subtypes

    Type 2 Instinctual Subtypes

    The instincts of the Enneagram types are self-preservation (sp), sexual (sx), and social (so). They are traditionally used to define three instinctual subtypes or variations of a basic type (e.g., SP 2, SX 2, and SO 2). One of these three subtypes is called the counter-type because it can look different from the basic type. Below are brief descriptions of the three type 2 instinctual subtypes.

    SP 2 - Privilege, Me First (counter-type): child-like seduction in order to get for themselves what they need; exaggerated sense of entitlement or privilege; wants to be taken care of but doesn’t want to be dependent.

    SX 2 - Seduction, Aggression: seduces or pulls others into close connection and relationship; looks to others to get what they want; aggressive through emotional seduction and manipulation in relationships.

    SO 2 - Ambition: wants to lead, stand out, have influence and advantages; promotes themselves through association with people of status and influence; generosity is used strategically to influence and gain advantage.

    While an individual may be identified with type 2 in general, that same individual may be more specifically identified with one of the three instinctual subtypes as well. 

    A more recent approach to using the instincts is instinctual variant stacking which can be used independent of Enneagram type.

    If you'd like to find your instinctual subtype or instinctual variant stacking then click here.

    Type 2 Tritypes

    Enneagram type 2 tritypes

    With tritype you are not simply one type but three, one type from each center. There is also an order of preference for the three types (which type is 1st, 2nd, and 3rd).

    The type 2 tritypes have type 2 as their first type and heart type. The second and third types come from the gut (8, 9, or 1) and head (5, 6, or 7) centers.

    Tritype® Archetype goes a step further by also looking at tritype in terms of the three types alone (independent of order of preference). Below are the Tritype® Archetype names if Enneagram type 2 is your primary type.

    The Mentor - 215 or 251
    The Supporter - 216 or 261
    The Teacher - 217 or 271
    The Strategist - 258 or 285
    The Problem Solver - 259 or 295
    The Rescuer -  268 or 286
    The Good Samaritan - 269 or 296
    The Free Spirit - 278 or 287
    The Peacemaker - 279 or 297

    For a description of any Tritype® Archetype above click the name. If you're not taken to the correct part of the web page when it appears then scroll down to the middle of the web page and look for the Tritype® Archetype you're interested in.

    If you'd like to find your tritype, tritype with wings, dominant type in a given center, or order of preference then click here.

    Type 2 - Enneagram Levels of Development

    Enneagram Levels

    The Levels of Development create a vertical dimension within each Enneagram type.

    There are nine levels ranging from healthy (levels 1-3) to average (levels 4-6) to unhealthy (levels 7-9). A person will operate within a range of levels (e.g., levels 2-4, levels 6-8, etc.). This range will vary throughout a lifetime. Two people of the same type will look different when they're operating from different levels.

    Below are two words associated with each level for type 2 as described in the book "The Wisdom of the Enneagram" by Don Riso and Russ Hudson.

    Healthy Levels

    Level 1 - Self-Nurturing, Unconditional Loving

    Level 2 - Empathetic, Caring

    Level 3 - Supportive, Giving

    Average Levels

    Level 4 - Well-Intentioned, People-Pleasing

    Level 5 - Possessive, Intrusive

    Level 6 - Self-Important, Overbearing

    Unhealthy Levels

    Level 7 - Self-Justifying, Manipulative

    Level 8 - Entitled, Coercive

    Level 9 - Feel Victimized, Burdensome

    Click here for descriptions of all nine type 2 levels. If you're not taken to the correct part of the web page when it appears then scroll down to the middle of the web page and look for the section on Levels of Development.

    Even though Enneagram tests are not 100% accurate they can provide a starting point for finding your Enneagram type and variations of type by narrowing down and validating your choices. The tests below can be useful if you think you might be a type 2 or you know you are a type 2 and want to explore the type 2 variations.

    Enneagram Mistypes - Type 2 Comparison Tests

    Some people correctly identify their Enneagram type on the first try. For most other people typing yourself correctly can take some time.

    If you feel that you may have wrongly typed yourself as type 2 and have one or more alternative types in mind then click on a link below to take a quick Enneagram test comparing type 2 to another type.

    To find some alternatives to type 2 you can take the type preference test below. Afterward you can compare these alternatives using the links above or the type comparison test.

    Enneagram Variations - Tests to help find Type 2 Wing, Subtype, and Tritype

    Find your type 2 wing preference by comparing the two wings of type 2.

    Find your type 2 subtype by comparing the three instictual subtypes of type 2.

    Find your missing tritype head or gut type by comparing the three types in a center.

    Find your tritype order by comparing your 2nd and 3rd tritype types.

    Quick Guide to the Enneagram

    This page is part of the Quick Guide to the Enneagram available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and history of the Enneagram types visit the Quick Guide main page.

    The Nine Enneagram Types x
    The Nine Enneagram Types