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Personal Growth Recommendations
for Enneagram Type Twos



  • First and foremost, remember that if you are not addressing your own needs, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to meet anyone else's needs without problems, underlying resentments, and continual frustration. Further, you will be less able to respond to people in a balanced way if you have not gotten adequate rest, and taken care of yourself properly. It is not selfish to make sure that you are okay before attending to others' needs—it is simply common sense.
  • Try to become more conscious of your own motives when you decide to help someone. While doing good things for people is certainly an admirable trait, when you do so because you expect the other person to appreciate you or do something nice for you in return, you are setting yourself up for disappointments. Your type has a real danger of falling into unconscious codependent patterns with loved ones, and they almost never bring you what you really want.
  • While there are many things you might want to do for people, it is often better to ask them what they really need first. You are gifted at accurately intuiting others' feelings and needs, but that does not necessarily mean that they want those needs remedied by you in the way you have in mind. Communicate your intentions, and be willing to accept a "no thank you." Someone deciding that they do not want your particular offer of help does not mean that they dislike you or are rejecting you.
  • Resist the temptation to call attention to yourself and your good works. After you have done something for others, do not remind them about it. Let it be: either they will remember your kindness themselves and thank you in their own way or they will not. Your calling attention to what you have done for them only puts people on the spot and makes them feel uneasy. It will not satisfy anyone or improve your relationships.
  • Do not always be "doing" for people and above all do not try to get people to love you by giving them either gifts or undeserved praise. On the other hand, do not pointedly withdraw your service when others do not respond to you as you would like. Do not make what you do for others depend on how they respond to you. Help others when they ask for it, especially helping them to become more capable of functioning on their own.
Personal Growth for Enneagram Type Twos
 

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Thank you that was really helpful. :)
here are the levels of type 2
Type Two—More Depth by Level

Healthy Levels

Level 1 (At Their Best): 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 2: Empathetic, compassionate, feeling for others. Caring and concerned about their needs. Thoughtful, warm-hearted, forgiving and sincere.
Level 3: Encouraging and appreciative, able to see the good in others. Service is important, but takes care of self too: they are nurturing, generous, and giving—a truly loving person.

Average Levels

Level 4: Want to be closer to others, so start "people pleasing," becoming overly friendly, emotionally demonstrative, and full of "good intentions" about everything. Give seductive attention: approval, "strokes," flattery. Love is their supreme value, and they talk about it constantly.
Level 5: 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 6: Increasingly self-important and self-satisfied, feel they are indispensable, although they overrate their efforts in others' behalf. Hypochondria, becoming a "martyr" for others. Overbearing, patronizing, presumptuous.

Unhealthy Levels

Level 7: Can be manipulative and self-serving, instilling guilt by telling others how much they owe them and make them suffer. Abuse food and medication to "stuff feelings" and get sympathy. Undermine people, making belittling, disparaging remarks. Extremely self-deceptive about their motives and how aggressive and/or selfish their behavior is.
Level 8: Domineering and coercive: feel entitled to get anything they want from others: the repayment of old debts, money, sexual favors.
Level 9: 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.
 

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The power that comes from this quote will be a thread that is woven through many different things we do here at Thinking Matters Academy, so be familiar with this as you will see it again.
I would suggest, if you tend to find yourself complaining, putting this quote somewhere that you will see it every day. This will server as a reminder to you that the power to change a situation is in motivation – not complaining about it.
 

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Thank you so much for this! I'm not a core 2, but have a 2 in my tritype and I can definitely identify with this. I've been scaring myself by bordering on codependency lately and reading this makes me feel a lot better.
 

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Sometimes, killing others with kindness is an easy way to get used by less scrupulous people.

I miss my little 2.
 

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I've been subscribing to the Enneagram Institute's daily EnneaThought emails for the type 2 and I thought I'd share some of the quotes, advice and insights that it has shared with me:

As children, Twos felt rejected by the protective-figure who was responsible for guidance, structure, and discipline. Young Twos reacted by creating an identity that was supportive to the protective-figure and became "little nurturers." Notice how this childhood pattern affects you now.


Learn from this universal truth: Once we understand "not doing," we see that the real struggle is to relax into greater awareness so that we can see the manifestations of our personality. By neither acting on our automatic impulses nor suppressing them, we begin to understand what is causing them to arise.


Your key defense mechanisms are identification, reaction formation, and denial. Notice if these impulses arise today.(This one's pretty powerful when you understand how these mechanisms work.)


Addictions for Twos can include abusing food and medications, overeating from feeling "love-starved," and hypochondria for sympathy. Be aware of these tendencies today.


Your hidden complaint is: "I am always loving, although people don't love me as much as I love them. I am taken for granted and unappreciated." Notice if this occurs today.

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 withdrawing from their life. Ponder this insight today.

Ponder this universal teaching: Awareness is vitally important in the work of transformation because the habits of our personality let go most completely when we see them as they are occurring.

Reflect on this teaching: One way to work on your self is by being present in the body. Another way is by expanding the heart. A third way is by quieting the mind. The wise person finds a way to work on all three at the same time.

The Direction of Growth for Twos is Four. When healthy Twos go to Four, they get in touch with the full range of their feelings, not only their positive and loving ones, and become aware of themselves as they really are. Notice what you are really feeling today.

Your lost childhood message was "You are wanted." Give yourself this message today.(this one makes me sad...)

Understanding others' personality type allows you to respect boundaries and know when help is needed and when it's not.(I found this one to really help me in how I treat others. When you realize that most people may not be like you and have your same wants or needs, and that they may be expressing all the things you wish they did, but in a different way than you expected, it becomes reassuring.)


Anyway, I have received tons of these since they are daily and I just picked some random "in depth" ones. I recommend you subscribe to them as reflection brings awareness, and awareness understanding and acceptance. Once you get to that point you can really take better reign of your actions and reactions. EnneaThought
 

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I had a really tragic childhood, and I told myself for a long time that I didn't want people to feel sorry for me...
Eventually I realized that other's sympathy would be what got me out of the situation
sometimes craving other's sympathy isn't a bad thing; it feels good to know others care.
All people need empathy, and some types need it more than others. There is nothing wrong with need. Hugs and love to you! I am sorry about your childhood.
 

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What does that mean, that twos should become more like 4s? Fours seem to have a lot of challenges themselves.
I think all types have a dark side.

But I also get a little confused by the statement that we should give without receiving, etc., but then that we should also be like four's.

I think we have to get clear in our head about giving first and foremost. We can do it instinctively. But we need to pause and ask, "Why am I doing this? One some level, do I want something back? Does this person want me to give to him or her? If I want something back, what is it that I want? Is giving the way to get it? Do I need to let go of what I want back? Do I give a part of myself away when I give this particular thing?" We may have lapses. But in the end, perhaps at times we can give and have that be it's own reward without wanting back. At times, we may give in a more calculated fashion knowing that it's understood that both parties are getting something--i.e., we pay our rent knowing that we get a good apartment with good service in exchange. At times, we may realize that we cannot give all of ourselves away and must take care of ourselves so that we might give and receive again another day--i.e. if we already donated one kidney, we can't give the other one away too.

The more we raise our consciousness the better we will be. It is easy to idealize--but no person is a perfect saint--not even those who were sainted. The more we accept that we are all human the more we accept the lapses of others as well.
 

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But I also get a little confused by the statement that we should give without receiving, etc., but then that we should also be like four's.

I think we have to get clear in our head about giving first and foremost. We can do it instinctively. But we need to pause and ask, "Why am I doing this? One some level, do I want something back? Does this person want me to give to him or her? If I want something back, what is it that I want? Is giving the way to get it? Do I need to let go of what I want back? Do I give a part of myself away when I give this particular thing?" We may have lapses. But in the end, perhaps at times we can give and have that be it's own reward without wanting back. At times, we may give in a more calculated fashion knowing that it's understood that both parties are getting something--i.e., we pay our rent knowing that we get a good apartment with good service in exchange. At times, we may realize that we cannot give all of ourselves away and must take care of ourselves so that we might give and receive again another day--i.e. if we already donated one kidney, we can't give the other one away too.
For me, the way I see it is that we should avoid the mafia effect. We can be really good at keeping score of how imbalanced the giving/receiving may be in a relationship, and if it tips into the red zone then we get our panties in a bunch. The challenge we face is that we should give for the sake of giving, not to receive love, not to receive future favors, etc. An extreme example of giving to get is the mafia. Sure they're willing to do stuff for you as long as you're willing to kill someone on their behalf, and if you don't agree then someone will come after you too.
 

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So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
~Jorge Luis Borges

:proud:
 

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Thank you that was really helpful. :)
here are the levels of type 2
Type Two—More Depth by Level

Healthy Levels

Level 1 (At Their Best): 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 2: Empathetic, compassionate, feeling for others. Caring and concerned about their needs. Thoughtful, warm-hearted, forgiving and sincere.
Level 3: Encouraging and appreciative, able to see the good in others. Service is important, but takes care of self too: they are nurturing, generous, and giving—a truly loving person.

Average Levels

Level 4: Want to be closer to others, so start "people pleasing," becoming overly friendly, emotionally demonstrative, and full of "good intentions" about everything. Give seductive attention: approval, "strokes," flattery. Love is their supreme value, and they talk about it constantly.
Level 5: 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 6: Increasingly self-important and self-satisfied, feel they are indispensable, although they overrate their efforts in others' behalf. Hypochondria, becoming a "martyr" for others. Overbearing, patronizing, presumptuous.

Unhealthy Levels

Level 7: Can be manipulative and self-serving, instilling guilt by telling others how much they owe them and make them suffer. Abuse food and medication to "stuff feelings" and get sympathy. Undermine people, making belittling, disparaging remarks. Extremely self-deceptive about their motives and how aggressive and/or selfish their behavior is.
Level 8: Domineering and coercive: feel entitled to get anything they want from others: the repayment of old debts, money, sexual favors.
Level 9: 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.
Anyone know of a more in depth look at these health levels? Understanding these would be beneficial for personal growth (myself included).
 

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@luminous beam
Your hidden complaint is: "I am always loving, although people don't love me as much as I love them. I am taken for granted and unappreciated." Notice if this occurs today.
I really needed to see that. This is how I feel so often. I feel the need to serve, love, and support, but I often feel like since they don't do the same, they think I'm not worth it. Sometimes that gets really lonely. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.
 
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