Deeper into Two
Twos are motivated by a desire to be seen as invaluable in the eyes of the other. The Twos early interactions communicated that they needed to be indispensable, helpful, kind and generous in order to receive the love that they needed. Thus, early on, Twos learned to monitor the needs of others in order to be safe. Through the monitoring of others they could be sure to be seen as the helpful, kind or nice child and thus would often receive praise for their ability to anticipate the needs of those around them and meet those needs without asking. Twos love the praise from this kind of service and thus develop a pattern early on of tracking the desires, needs and wants of their loved ones. By the time the Two is an adult they become adept at reading people according to what is needed and responding to those needs. The Two however needs to be acknowledged for their unique ability to track the needs and wants of others and becomes despondent of others do not recognize their helpful nature. Thus the image of the Two becomes just as important as the giving itself as they become less consciously aware. Nonetheless, even healthy Twos report the need to be seen and recognized as a kind and helpful person.
Twos utilize a variety of behavioral strategies in order to have their needs of being seen as helpful and benevolent met. As with all personality styles Twos can range in awareness and health while enacting the behaviors of their core motivational strategy.
Twos utilize compliments in order to express positive emotion toward others, much like other people. However, because Twos tend to focus on positive outcomes they tend to look for opportunities to make other people feel good. Healthy Twos do this in an effort to spread some of the joy they feel and understand that a well placed compliment can do much for someone’s self esteem (having understood their need for praise and compliments). However, as Twos become less self aware complimenting can move into an ingratiating way to manipulate others into their circles. Twos recognize early on that bolstering the ego of someone else not only places you as “the one with the compliments” which is a form of relational power, but also as a way to take note of how observant and kind you are to others. The Two hopes that by complimenting you, you will like and approve of them and thus see them as kind, which is this image types ultimate goal. However, they also understand the power of compliments and the ability to control others’ behaviors in order to bend the world to their will.
Martyring is more of a mental state for a Two rather than an action but nonetheless serves the aims of the personality motivation of being seen as a helpful/kind person. Twos begin to martyr themselves because they are aware of their ability to track the needs of others and meet those needs. Twos begin to feel that they are working over-time for others but rather than risk blowing their image of being selfless and kind they internalize their efforts and begin to help others in order to maintain an image of the selfless helper. Much of this happens unconsciously for the unaware Two but even the healthy Two may put aside personal needs in order to tend to the needs of others. In the healthy range we refer to this as altruism but it can degenerate into a compulsive need to help to the detriment of their own needs. However, because Twos are not Nines (who also tend to do for others selflessly) they cannot totally erase themselves from the equation and need recognition, praise or payback for that which they have done. For the Two, recognizing when altruism drops into martyrdom is an important step in self-awareness.
Most Twos have a bit of a dramatic streak to their personalities. Twos are, by nature, effusive and demonstrative (even Twos with a One wing who are a bit more understated). Nonetheless, there is a flair for the dramatic which some may mistake as Four, however the Four often finds demonstrative emotional displays to be distasteful or overwrought. Whatever the case Twos like to tell others how they feel about them, and for healthy Twos this includes voicing discontent. However, most Twos like to maintain a positive attitude and like to share their love with those around them. At times the Two may fall into patterns of boisterous complaining, histrionic dramas or surface flattery and showmanship. This happens because Twos are reluctant to look deeply at their own feelings and so tend to externalize surface emotions as a way of expressing their own heart energy. Happiness may be flighty, bubbly or overstated and then could turn into a display of huffy irritation or anger over something minor or trivial. We must remember Twos have a connection to Four, and this connection is often expressed in their flair for the dramatic. It’s important for Twos, and those close to Twos to remember that underneath dramatic displays there are probably deeper more subtle or painful emotions that may need to be expressed.
Twos are one of the more willful types on the Enneagram. Twos, because of their ability to read and monitor the needs of others so well, take pride (this types primary vice) in their keen emotional intelligence. Thus the Two may develop a kind of narcissism about being able to manipulate situations based on their ability to know what people want and need. This ability can be a huge asset when something needs to get done and the person or situation needs a bit of finesse (something Sevens are very good at as well) however the Two can move to their connection to Eight and become quite demanding and blunt in their belief that they know what is best. Twos can become so emotionally identified with others that they begin to truly believe that they know what people need and will do whatever it takes to make sure those people get whatever that is (even if the person themselves protests). The chutzpah of the healthy Two can be a wonderful tool in “making things happen” and can look just as driven as a Three or as authoritative as an Eight. However, Twos pride about their own helpfulness and emotional intelligence can degenerate into a forceful, narcissism about what others need and may undermine or belittle others in the quest to make sure that their will is done. Two’s archetypal role as the Mother can turn into the Destroyer of Life and believes that since they are responsible for people’s security and happiness they have the power to take it away (a representation of their connection to the low side of Type Eight).