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Enneagram Type 2: The Helper



Enneagram System  » Enneagram Core Types

#2  #Type 2 

The Strengths, Weaknesses, Fears, Motivations and Love Style

Enneagram Type 2:

"The Helper"   

 Key Phrases

  • Caring and helpful
  • Relationship-oriented
  • Can be people-pleasing
  • Struggle with self-care
  • Seek love and appreciation
  • Struggles with possessiveness & manipulation 

Enneagram Type 2 is known as the "Helper". People with this personality type are caring, helpful, and relationship-oriented. They can be people-pleasing and often struggle with self-care. They seek love and appreciation, and may struggle with possessiveness and manipulation. 

2's Strengths

Enneagram Type 2 individuals are known for their empathy and interpersonal skills. They are caring, helpful, and dedicated to their relationships. However, their desire to be loved can lead them to neglect their own needs and to be overly accommodating.

  • Compassionate and Empathetic: Type 2s have a natural ability to empathize with others and show genuine care and concern. They are highly attuned to the emotions and needs of those around them, often providing support and comfort.

  • Nurturing and Supportive: Type 2s have a nurturing nature and enjoy taking care of others. They are skilled at providing emotional support, practical assistance, and making people feel valued and appreciated.

  • Relationship Builders and Connectors: Type 2s excel at building and maintaining relationships. They have a knack for connecting with people and creating a sense of warmth and harmony in their interactions. They often serve as a bridge between individuals or groups.

  • Generous and Selfless: Type 2s are generous individuals who genuinely enjoy giving to others without expecting much in return. They derive satisfaction from helping and making a positive impact on the lives of those around them.

  • Intuitive and Perceptive: Type 2s possess a natural intuition and perceptive abilities when it comes to the emotional needs of others. They can often sense what others require in terms of support or care, and are proactive in meeting those needs.

2's Weaknesses

Despite their strengths, Enneagram Type 2s can also exhibit certain weaknesses. They may be overly self-sacrificing and dependent on others' validation, which can lead to neglecting their own needs. Their desire for approval can also lead to manipulation or passive-aggressive behavior.

  • Over-Identification with the Needs of Others: Type 2s have a tendency to prioritize the needs of others over their own. They may struggle with setting boundaries and can become enmeshed in the lives and problems of those they care for, neglecting their own well-being.

  • Self-Sacrifice and Neglecting Personal Needs: Type 2s can be self-sacrificing to the point of neglecting their own needs. They may have difficulty asking for help or asserting their own desires, leading to potential burnout or resentment.

  • Approval-Seeking and Need for Validation: Type 2s often seek external validation and approval to validate their self-worth. They may place an excessive emphasis on pleasing others and can become overly sensitive to criticism or rejection.

  • Manipulative or Resentful Behavior: Type 2s, when under stress, can exhibit manipulative behaviors to ensure they receive the attention and care they desire. They may also experience feelings of resentment if they perceive their efforts to help others are not reciprocated or appreciated.

  • Difficulty Recognizing Their Own Needs: Type 2s can have difficulty recognizing and addressing their own needs. They may be so focused on caring for others that they neglect their own emotional and physical well-being.

2's Basic Fears

Enneagram Type 2 individuals harbor a fundamental fear of being unloved or unwanted.

They deeply desire to be appreciated and valued by others, making their fear of rejection or being seen as insignificant particularly poignant. This fear drives them to be exceptionally giving and nurturing, as they believe that by meeting the needs of others, they can secure love and acceptance.

They often prioritize the needs of others above their own, fearing that if they don't provide constant support and care, they will be deemed unworthy of love.

2's Motivations

Enneagram Type 2s are primarily motivated by a genuine desire to be loved and to feel connected with others.

They derive immense fulfillment from supporting and assisting those around them, seeking to be seen as indispensable and indispensable to others' well-being. Their motivation stems from a deep empathy and sensitivity to the emotions and needs of others, which fuels their selfless acts of kindness and nurturing.

They find meaning and purpose in being relied upon and recognized for their generosity, cultivating relationships based on mutual care and support. The motivation to create and maintain strong emotional bonds drives their actions, as they strive to create a harmonious and loving environment for themselves and those they hold dear.

Healthy vs Unhealthy 2's

When healthy, Enneagram 2s use their nurturing and empathetic qualities to uplift and support others. They are generous and compassionate, able to give without expecting anything in return. They are loving but not possessive, helpful but not intrusive, and self-aware while maintaining their sense of self-worth.

On the other hand, when unhealthy, Enneagram 2s can become overly focused on pleasing others and seeking validation. They may struggle with codependency and have difficulty setting boundaries. They may also resort to manipulative tactics to fulfill their own needs while appearing selfless.


Growth Recommendations for Type 2

  • Set healthy boundaries: Learn to prioritize your own needs and take care of yourself. It's important to avoid becoming overly dependent on others.

  • Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your own worth, independent of what you do for others. Self-care is essential.

  • Develop assertiveness: Express your own needs and desires openly and directly. It's important to have a balanced give-and-take in relationships.


Expressing Love

When a Type 2 loves someone, they often express it through acts of service and emotional support.

They go out of their way to make their loved ones feel special, cared for, and appreciated. Their goal is to make sure that the people they care about know they are loved and valued.

2s are generous, empathetic, and take pleasure in making others happy. However, they sometimes run the risk of losing themselves in their relationships, as they have a deep need to be loved and appreciated in return. Their love style can sometimes lean towards over-giving or becoming overly involved in their loved one's lives, and they may struggle with setting boundaries. Despite this, at their heart, Type 2s are loving, giving, and deeply dedicated to their relationships.

For an in-depth understanding of Type 2's Compatibility see 2's Compatibility with the other Types.


Explore the Wings

Each Core Type has a Wing Type. Exploring the Wings offers a more comprehensive view and valuable insights, and offers opportunities for personal growth and development by tapping into the unique qualities and strengths of the adjacent Enneagram types.


2w1 "The Servant"

2w3 "The Host"


Betty Baker M.A. Psych, M.Ed

About the Author

Betty Baker is an awarded marriage and family therapist and contributor to the internationally renowned PeaceBuilders® Program - a science-based, research validated violence prevention curriculum and professional development program for children, grades pre-K to 12.