Enneagram Type 2 Relationships
What is an Enneagram Type Two?
Let’s take a look at Enneagram Type 2 relationships. To do that, let’s first have a quick review/overview of Type Two.
Enneagram Type 2 is called The Helper by Riso & Hudson. In her wonderful book Self to Lose – Self to Find, Marilyn Vancil refers to this Type as “A Reflection of God’s Love and Care.” Twos reside in the Heart Center of Intelligence, where they perceive the world through their emotions. A Compliant type, Twos have what’s called a “fat superego,” which means their Inner Critic can be particularly harsh to them; they are compliant to its demands. What the superego demands is that the Two focus on serving the needs of others. With a Positive Outlook, they are great at helping and encouraging others. Riso & Hudson describe them as “The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive.”
Enneagram Type 2 Relationships
What is the Enneagram Type Two in love like? Twos at the Average Level of Developmentpour themselves into romantic relationships and their uncanny ability to know how to serve and please others makes for an amazing start. It’s almost as if the Two can read the loved one’s mind. I remember a line from the movie Gosford Park, where a woman is describing her life as a domestic servant: “I am the perfect servant. I know what people want before they do.” That sums up the Two’s life – at least, in their own minds. Twos can suffer from the sin of pride, where they assume [but wrongly] that they alone know best what the other person needs.
Twos give and give, but they will need affirmation or resentment will set in. They will either amp up their “love” activities to gain that affirmation or explode in anger at the Two’s stress point, Eight. People in a relationship with a Two will need to recognize these signs as ways that the Two is trying to say, “I need you to appreciate what I’m doing for you.” Then it’s easier to de-escalate the situation and make your Two feel loved.
At their best, Twos are able to give without (silently) demanding recognition. They serve from a place of deep love that is satisfied just by the serving. Because they are able to acknowledge their own needs, the partner has the opportunity to serve the Two, creating a more reciprocal and healthy relationship. As an example, it is thought that the Apostle John was a Two. He refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and is perhaps most famous for his verse that begins, “For God so loved the world…”
People who are newer to this personality model sometimes have a mistaken idea about “Enneagram compatibility.” They either assume or have been told by a not-so-great teacher or author that some Types make better romantic matches than others. This simply isn’t true. If two people who are emotionally mature enjoy each other’s company, it doesn’t matter what type they are. If two very wounded people get together, things will probably not go well, irrespective of their Type.
In short, the success or failure of relationships has much more to do with the Level of Development of each person. These Levels were discovered and articulated by Riso & Hudson, and this teaching contains a great deal of important information – not just about relationships but about all aspects of a person’s life. I strongly recommend learning about the Levels.
I hope this overview of Enneagram Type Two relationships helps you continue your journey of understanding and compassion for all the Types.
Quick Start Guide to Centering Prayer
This short guide gives you the essentials for learning to be still and quiet before God so you can hear his voice and feel his love in a deeper way.