Enneagram Type 2

The Giver

Givers believe you must give fully to others to be loved. Consequently, Givers are caring, helpful, supportive and relationship-oriented; they also can be prideful, intrusive and demanding.

What Type Twos Tell Us About Themselves

  • I am preoccupied with the needs of others.
  • I take pride in giving and helping.
  • I sometimes feel that people take advantage of me.
  • I have a hard time expressing my own needs.
  • I can be manipulative and alter how I present myself to others.

Primary Center : heart
Wing 1 : 1
Wing 2 : 3
Security Point : 4
Resource Point : 8

Type 2 on the Diagram
Focus of Attention

Others’ needs, feelings and desires

Life Lesson

To develop the humility that comes from allowing yourself to be loved without being needed and to have needs of your own

Speaking Style

Twos are friendly, open, expressive, focused on others, and quick to support or give advice. Others may perceive Twos as overly helpful, nagging, controlling or resentful.


Twos excel at making connections and empathizing with the needs and feelings of others. Focused on relationships, they are good at supporting others, but find it difficult to turn their attention toward themselves and their own needs. Emotionally sensitive, they want to be accepted and liked by others, and will adapt or change to earn this approval. Setting personal boundaries can be challenging, and they sometimes relieve the pressure through emotional outbursts.

Basic proposition

You gain love and approval, and fulfill your personal needs, through giving to others.


Caring, helpful, relationship-oriented, generous, sensitive to others’ feelings, supportive and exuberant


Prideful, dependent on approval of others, intrusive, demanding, entitled

Defense mechanism

Repression – suppressing “unacceptable” feelings and converting them into a more acceptable form of emotional energy

Twos use repression of personal needs and feelings to avoid being needy and to maintain a helpful self-image. Their genuine need for connection takes the form of “you need me.” In seeking approval, Twos can miss authentic connection in relationships due to their tendency to “shape-shift” by being overly nice, superficially friendly and flattering. Often feeling indispensable, they also may display an attitude of entitlement.

Awareness practice

Observe your habit of mind or focus of attention with as little judgment as possible. Ask yourself the following questions, while noticing your feelings and how your body responds:

  • How has my attention and energy been going to others’ needs?
  • What do I really want and need? How do I support or nurture myself?
  • How do I allow others to support me?
  • In what ways do I feel or act as though I were indispensable? Take pride in being needed?
  • In what ways do I alter or change myself to fit what others seem to want?
  • How do I express humility?

Relating to Twos

  • Step forward to make contact; offer approval or appreciation when possible.
  • Stay constant and provide steadiness, paying attention to their needs.
  • Join them in valuing warmth, personal contact and partnership.
  • Avoid being critical or not taking them seriously.
  • Head off outbursts by addressing their dissatisfaction or resentment.
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Type Two’s journey is to reclaim freedom from the tyranny of a world that only loves and approves of them if they fulfill the needs of others. When they learn to pay attention to their own needs, receive from others, and give only what is appropriate, then they can experience the pure joy of giving for its own sake, freely and lovingly.

Path of Integration

Mental: Flattery > Freedom
Emotional: Pride > Humility

The aspect of awareness called the Inner Observer allows us to witness the internal patterns that drive outer behavior. The practice consists of focusing inwardly and becoming aware of the thoughts, sensations and other objects of attention that arise within us. As we become more present, our type patterns begin to relax and receptivity increases.

For Twos, take a moment to reflect on the following principles:

  • Love does not come from giving and getting – it is found in oneself.
  • Allowing others to give to us is a gift to them.
  • At first, separateness can feel like loss or pain.
  • We are all responsible for ourselves.
  • Joy can be found in others’ well-being and happiness, separate from what we do for them.

The Enneagram and Spirituality



As feeling types, Twos are full of energy and expressive in their upper bodies, but find it hard to stay grounded or sense their lower bodies. They tend to discharge anxiety or uncontained emotional energy through talking. Empathic and attuned to others, they may restrict their breathing while waiting for other people’s responses.

If you are a Two…

Your task is to attend to the interior landscape of personal needs, feelings and sensations. This might seem selfish, but it will help you set boundaries and separate your needs and feelings from those of others. Follow the physical sensation of your breath. Take slow, full breaths down into the belly and send your energy down into your legs and feet. If you feel overwhelmed, bring your attention out and notice your physical environment or get up and move around a bit.

somatic heart and belly centers

The Enneagram and Somatics