Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

In this blog post, we will describe Enneagram type 2, known as the altruist. We will also talk about the Enneagram type 2 subtypes: 2w1 and 2w3.

Enneagram type 2 – The altruist

The typology that takes care of others: generous, demonstrative, aiming to please them

to others, possessive.

Basic fear: of not being loved and desired only for oneself.

Basic desire: to feel loved

The message of the superego: “You will be fine or okay if you are loved by others and if you are close to them. ”

We call Enneagram type 2 the Altruist, because the people belonging to this typology are either really altruistic towards other people, helping them, or, in the lower aspects, they are very involved in perceiving themselves as altruistic and helpful to others.

Being generous and giving up their own needs for the interests of others, those in type two feel that their way of life is the most fulfilling way to be. The love and care they have – as well as the selfless help they offer – it brings them joy in their souls by making them feel that they are not acting in vain. 

People of type two are interested in what they consider to be the most extraordinary thing – love, closeness, generosity, family and friendship.

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

In their healthy and balanced appearance, those in type Two are truly loving, selfless, generous and caring. People are very attracted to them, just like bees with a honeycomb. The superior type of typology Two spreads the light from his heart over the others. 

Altruists enliven others with the appreciation and attention they give, helping them to discover certain qualities they were not aware of before.

 In short, in their superior aspect, they represent an embodiment of the ideal parent we all wanted: someone to see us as we are, to understand us with immense compassion, helping and encouraging us with infinite patience, always eager to lend us a helping hand – also knowing exactly how and when to set us free. In their superior aspect, those of typology Two make us open our souls because their hearts are already so open to us. 

They show us how to be more complex and deeply human.

However, the inner development of type Two people may be limited by their “shadow” appearance – pride, self-deception, the tendency to be overly involved in the lives of others, and the tendency to manipulate others to meet their own emotional needs. 

In order to transform, it is necessary to penetrate the dark parts of their being, and this greatly contradicts the substance of the structure of their personality, who prefer to see themselves only in the terms that flatter them the most.

Probably the biggest obstacle in the work of inner transformation that types Two, Three and Four faces is the fear of not being deserving. These three typologies fear that they have no value in themselves and therefore must be or do something extraordinary to win the love and acceptance of others.

 At the middle-to-lower level, people of type two present the false image of total and unselfish generosity, claiming that they do not want any reward for themselves, when in fact they may have huge expectations and very unrecognized emotional needs. 

At this level, people in typology Two seek to validate their own value by showing their submission to the superego’s demands to sacrifice for others. They believe that if they want to be loved, they must be loving and unselfish and always put others first. 

The problem is that by always putting others first, those in type Two will secretly feel angry and full of resentments – feelings that they strive hard to repress or deny. However, feelings will erupt at some point, causing ruptures in their relationships and thus bringing to light the lack of authenticity of many of the middle-to-lower level statements of individuals about themselves and the depth of their love. 

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

Enneagram type 2 – behavioural model learned in childhood

As children, those in typology Two come to believe in three things. first, in the fact that he must put the needs of other people before his personal needs; secondly that he must give in order to receive and thirdly that he must win the affection of others because love cannot be offered to them on the tray. 

They felt that in order to be loved they had to repress their own needs by offering help for the needs of others, giving abundant attention to all in an effort to be loved and desired.

Depending on the degree of dysfunction of their childhood environment, they also learned that recognizing their own needs is a form of selfishness, and is strictly forbidden by their superego. (“Good people have no personal needs. Giving yourself too much time is an act of selfishness.”) 

Thus, those in type Two have learned to live together in the family system – as well as in all subsequent relationships – adopting the role of the altruist, of the unselfish friend, of the one who thinks everyone else, giving them attention and valuing them very much.

It is possible that in their youth, those of type Two gained their place in the family by caring for their relatives, doing household chores, or caring for their parents in many ways. They are deeply conditioned to believe that by sacrificing themselves, they will be rewarded with what is called love in their family system. 

To fully identify with the role of caring and in order to maintain the positive feelings that the role brings them, they must deeply repress their own needs, sufferings, and lack of self-confidence. Once these feelings are repressed, those in typology Two find it increasingly difficult to recognize their own needs and sufferings and are automatically drawn to the needs and sufferings of others. 

On a deep psychological level, they try to remedy in others the sufferings they are not able to acknowledge to themselves.

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

Enneagram type 2 subtypes

2w1 – The servant

Examples: Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Desmond Tutu, Danny Thomas, Ann Landers, Barbara Bush, Lewis Carroll, Florence Nightingale, Albert Schweitzer.

Healthy subtype: People of this type combine warmth with the seriousness of purpose, striving hard to be better and better and provide selfless services. The combination of the morality of those in typology One and the empathy manifested by typology Two gives rise to a fierce desire to alleviate human suffering. 

These people are often the prototype of the Good Samaritan, eager to complete ungrateful and lacklustre tasks that others generally avoid. They are more serious than the other subtype, taking care of others visibly and are often noted in education, public services, alternative medicine, the priesthood, caring for illegal immigrants, or people suffering from physical or mental disorders.

Medium subtype: People belonging to this subtype feel compelled to struggle with their “selfish” attitude and feelings: they feel responsible for the well-being of others, being usually indebted, fair, and severe to themselves. 

They are emotional people, but they tend to censor their emotional expression because they do not feel comfortable drawing attention to themselves. They prefer to work behind the scenes, but still want to be important and matter in the lives of others. 

They experience conflicting states between their emotional needs and their principles, which often causes them to become involved in the moral or religious education system. They can become extremely self-critical, neglecting their health, denying their personal needs, and tending to be martyred.

2w3 – The host

Examples: Luciano Pavarotti, Sammy Davis, Jr. Sally Jesse, Raphael Arsenio Hali, Anne Meara, Jack Paar, Anne Jackson, Delta Burke, Merv Griffin, John Denver.

Healthy Subtype: People in this subtype are more externalized: they seek love through the personal bonds they create, as well as by making others feel good. The self-esteem of a person with type Two with the third wing is more related to personal qualities than to the quality of services rendered to others. 

They are sociable and talkative, charming and adaptable, with a very visible “personality”. They love to share their personal talents and resources for the benefit of friends and family – cooking for them, making them feel good, singing or listening to them – all of which are a way to share their personal treasure.

Medium subtype: People belonging to this subtype are friendly and with a sense of humour, although they are also focused and ambitious. They are usually not openly involved in caring for others: most often they feel that their own friendship and the quality of their attention is a sufficient gift to others. 

People belonging to this subcategory can be quite seductive, being also much more focused on relationships, sometimes excessively friendly, overly sentimental and theatrical, because the result of the desire to accept those of the Three typology mixes with the strong tendency towards the intimacy of those from typology Two.

Less serious and more goal-oriented than people with wing type Two, they tend to become more involved in laborious processes of self-analysis and self-criticism. People belonging to this category are direct beings, they know what they want, drawing attention to the services they provide. 

They may attach too much self-importance to being dominant and sometimes arrogant.

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

Conclusions

In this blog post, we described the Enneagram type 2, known as the altruist. We also talked about the Enneagram type 2 subtypes: 2w1 and 2w3.

We call Enneagram type 2 the Altruist, because the people belonging to this typology are either really altruistic towards other people, helping them, or, in the lower aspects, they are very involved in perceiving themselves as altruistic and helpful to others.

Being generous and giving up their own needs for the interests of others, those in type two feel that their way of life is the most fulfilling way to be. The love and care they have – as well as the selfless help they offer – it brings them joy in their souls by making them feel that they are not acting in vain. 

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations on the subjects, please let us know!

FAQ about enneagram type 2

What is an Enneagram Type 2?

Enneagram type 2 are either really altruistic towards other people, helping them, or, in the lower aspects, they are very involved in perceiving themselves as altruistic and helpful to others.

What does a healthy Enneagram 2 look like?

A healthy Enneagram 2  love and care they have – as well as the selfless help they offer – it brings them joy in their souls by making them feel that they are not acting in vain.  People of type two are interested in what they consider to be the most extraordinary thing – love, closeness, generosity, family and friendship.

What is Enneagram 2w3?

Enneagram 2w3 is a personality subtype. People in this subtype are more externalized: they seek love through the personal bonds they create, as well as by making others feel good. The self-esteem of a person with type Two with wing three is more related to personal qualities than to the quality of services rendered to others. 

What Enneagram type is Obama?

Barack Obama Enneagram type is 9, the 9w1 subtype. The 9w1 people are concerned about their respectability and image in society and, in many cases, feel morally superior to other classes, cultures or lifestyles. It happens to have a puritanical side, as well as a perfectionist, orderly and typical side.

Further reading 

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso 

Enneagram Self-Discovery: Understand Personality Types to Enhance Your Spiritual Growth & Build Healthy Relationships, by Elliot Hudson 

The Enneagram Of Personality: Why Discovering Your Unique Personality Type Is Essential For Your Personal Growth, by Arthur Canfield 

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (The Road Back to You Set), by Ian Morgan Cron

The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth, by Christopher L. Heuertz  

References

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso 

Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types, by Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

Enneagrampaths.com

Enneagram type 2 (everything you need to know)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.