At Best: Twos show Humility (authentic self), loving themselves as they are and expressing needs in appropriate proportion to their giving. They embody the Higher Quality of Holy Freedom (flowing with life with no strings attached). Twos are naturally devotional -- giving themselves in loving service -- and gifted at cultivating relationships. Twos create happenings where everyone feels at ease enough to blossom.
Habits: When driven by Pride (inordinate inflation or deflation of self worth), Twos start Influencing: plucking on others' heart (ego) strings to get them to give the attention the Two needs. Focus of Attention: other people's needs, what others pride themselves on.
Twos Forget: Reality flows exactly as needed. Twos maneuver others into meeting their needs without the “shame” of having to ask directly. Twos do this through aggression towards their (unacceptable) true feelings and identity. Twos Believe: I must work hard to be loved in order to get my needs met; to be loveable, I must appear as having no needs. Twos shape-shift into the other's heart’s desire. Twos feel good mainly when in the giving role and often resist directly receiving. Twos try to be indispensable and create dependencies, expecting their needs will be met tit-for-tat. They can get angry & histrionic when their hidden expectations for return giving are not met. Twos can be The (Too) Giving One by losing themselves self entirely or playing the martyr. Twos Excel: at spotting & nurturing potential in others, caring for people, and good communication skills. Twos tend to be very attentive and devoted to the ones they love.
If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do In His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.
- Florence Nightingale
Type Two Personality Reflections
There is a natural flow of give-and-take happening constantly. Twos love “going with the flow” of life. All needs are attended to naturally in this flow. In some religions, this is what it means to follow God’s will in humble service. Florence Nightingale – a likely Type Two – said if she could tell you everything, “you would see how God had done all, and I nothing.”
Twos struggle with pride. Twos naturally attune to others’ emotional needs. Twos habitually give attention to important others in a pleasing way. Others become increasingly dependent on the Two’s attention. Twos then experience the power to influence others emotionally, the power to influence the flow rather than simply going with it. This is how the Two gets their needs met covertly: through the return giving others feel compelled to provide.
Some Twos please others by appearing childlike, no matter what their age. People tend to like receiving attention from innocence, and they naturally give in return. Other Twos flip this dynamic by taking on a motherly role and tending to the inner child of others. Both of these kinds of Twos tend to express entitlement to attention from others.
One Two recalled his days in the 1990s rave culture. “I was the ‘mother hen’ of our party crew, making sure everyone had enough water and candy and costume glitter. At the time, I’d get pissed off if friends brushed me off or asked me to ‘chill out.’ Looking back, I see how much I needed to be the caretaker. It felt good to feel needed.”
Some Twos, particularly focused on interpersonal dynamics, please others seductively. The Two shape-shifts to appear as the heart’s desire of the other. People tend to enjoy being the object of flirtation and flattery, and these Twos are masters of the art. All the shape-shifting, however, takes a toll: these Twos are less in touch with their true feelings. “I admit I like the challenge of the hunt,” one Two reports. “But then even some of my friends end up falling in love with me. It gets me into drama because I don’t feel the same way.”
Twos focused in the social arena tend to be more ambitious. They like becoming indispensible to groups, connecting people in 'back-scratching networks' or being the ‘power behind the throne’ of key leaders. Twos in the social arena are also prone to spiritual pride – the martyr who sacrifices for the divine, while secretly keeping a heavenly scorecard.
The habits of pleasing and influencing imprison the Two in others’ expectations for continued giving and in their own expectations for return attention. Humble submission to life’s natural dance of give-and-take is freedom from all expectations.
Twos gift the collective consciousness with a willingness to attend sensitively to the needs of other people. When able to express what they need directly, and when living from a place of authenticity, the power of the Two to nurture the best in all of us is boundless.
Type Two Interview
This clip is from an interview with a representative Type Two. For the full set of interviews with all 9 types (about 20 minutes each), along with downloadable charts, check out this online course: Enneagram Interviews.