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Ancient symbol. Modern psychology. 

The Enneagram Type 2 Journal:
A Guide to Inner Work & Self-Discovery for The Helper

Check out the newest resource now available for your Type 2 Enneagram journey!


Generous, Compassionate, People-Pleasing, and Manipulative


to be loved, needed, and wanted by others



manifests as the formation of a love-worthy appearance on the outside to mask an internal sense of being unlovable


to be unlovable, unneeded, and unwanted by others, to be unworthy of love




seek out connections to feel valued and manipulate their true emotions in the hopes that people will value them for what they offer and not for who they truly are


to strive to be lovable, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to them, to vindicate their claims about themselves.



acceptance of authentic self allows for a deeply unselfish and humble human who is free to give to others with abandon, generosity, and no strings attached


Heart / Feeling

wisdom held in the heart and through emotional awareness is used to create a self identity that will manifest a worthy exterior in order to conceal the deep shame and guilt around the feelings of unworthiness


 expel energy outward to create opportunities to prove their value

Pain & suffering often transforms into internalized & redirected shame & guilt 



negative — self-critical, seeking approval and becoming insecure, uncomfortable

positve — aware of own growth, encouraging, supportive, deeply connected to helping



negative — overly competitive and obsessive, manipulative and dishonest, difficultiy taking care of own needs and wellbeing

positive — adaptable and communicative, connected to optimistic world-view and serving humanity, flexible and highly responsive



negative — become self-absorbed and deeply judgmental, self centered and manipulative, sad

positive — deeply connected to compassion and emotional honesty, find their own voice



negative — deeply angry, belligerent of others who do not value them, distorted emotions and manipulative behaviors

positive — anger used as wake up call to find their truth and strength, deeply connected to protecting humanity by leading with compassion


Enneagram Twos are empathetic, devoted, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be manipulative, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs.

Twos exemplifies the desire to feel loved, to connect with others in a heartfelt way, and to be a source of benevolence and love in our world. They focus on relationships and feel best about themselves when they are meaningfully engaged with others. They want to share the good in their lives and genuinely enjoy supporting others with their attention and care. Twos make good things happen for people. They will stay up late to take care of children or older family members, drive across town to bring food or see to it that others get medical treatment. When there is practical work to be done for others, healthy Twos will be there, throwing themselves into the effort heart and soul. Twos are genuinely interested in other people and in the details of their lives.


Healthy Levels of Development:  When operating from a healthy level of development the Two can embrace their authentic self and understand that they do not need to conform to what they “should be” in order to gain love, have value, or create connection. They are unapologetically true to their own beliefs and operate from a pure heart full of compassion and genuine empathy for others in the face of divisiveness, confrontation, and conflict. The force of their inner strength guides them to choose spaces where they can support, lead, or create change from a purely good heart with no hidden agenda.

Average Levels of Development: Twos become people-pleasing, emotionally demonstrative, condescending, flattering, and codependent, dehumanizing behaviors resulting from a betrayal of their own true feelings. They seek out connections to feel valued and manipulate their true emotions in the hopes that people will value them for what they offer and not for who they truly are. In this space Twos are manipulative, domineering, placating, coercive, reticent, self-deceptive, presumptuous, guilt-ridden, and apathetic.

Unhealthy Levels of Development: Shame, guilt, and manipulation are the primary motivators that distort their reality resulting in their self-inflicted suffering and a deeply selfish campaign of seeking out validation or sympathy for their “efforts”. They become highly manipulative, self-serving, individuals who play the victim card to pull people into their pity party in the hopes of gaining sympathy and reassurance that they are loved. Blaming everyone around them for their wrongdoing, all the while never seeing the depth of their manipulations, they become deeply disconnected from their authentic selves and their true heart.


Triggers / Baises: injustice towards marginalized communities, unnecessary cruelty or unkind behavior, bigotry, outward racism, anything that looks like inhumanity, lack of compassion, harsh/blunt/cold-hearted people, a disregard for the feelings of others, witnessing someone being dismissed or diminished based on identity, devaluing of dimensions of diversity that cannot be controlled ie. race/ethnicity, physical/mental ability, disabilities, or gender and sexual diversity

IDEA Challenge: The deep guilt or shame the Two holds around their own self-worth can block the ability to access the authentic self and strip them of humility. While radiating an energy that manifests the appearance of a selfless person, the distortion of self-worth challenges the very thing the Two lives by: love and compassion. They may seek out causes and people “in need” but fail to follow through authentically when they realize there is no reciprocation of the energy they have invested. The justification becomes a self-serving excuse of false martyrdom which is entirely manipulative and hollow.

Disconnects: They often experience a blindspot for manipulative behavior or emotional distortion. A typical disconnect for Two is turning against the people with whom they are trying to connect and aggressively reminding that person of how much they do for them and that they are “owed” something in return. This behavior can cause even more disconnects when authenticity is replaced by false flattery, manipulations, and a choreographed approach to connection. They may hold onto the image of being a selfless and caring person by claiming “allyship” or being part of book groups, causes, or organizations dedicated to IDEA work. In reality, they have long abandoned these outlets as they did not fill the hole in their hearts left by low self-esteem and self-image.


Unhealthy Reaction: manipulation, flattery, inability to access compassion, emotional distortion, shame, misdirected anger, claiming false martyrdom, playing the victim to gain attention and sympathy, distorting the truth to fulfill a need to be needed, emotionally demonstrative displays aimed at people who challenge the Two's identity of being a good/loving/caring/generous person.

Healthy Reaction: pause for honest reflection, courage, compassion, empathy, emotional honesty, genuine desire to help with no hidden agenda, develop the humility that comes with self-worthiness so that they can connect with others beyond disingenuous manipulation and find the inner strength as a fierce healer of humanity, acknowledge healthy boundaries to manage honest reactions during conflict, using their healthy anger as a warning system and wake up call to find the inner strength to honor what they really believe and then take right action.


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Dr. Deborah Egerton and her team of Trinity Transition consultants are inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism specialists. Our culture change initiatives utilize the Enneagram and trademarked TTC tools to design workplace and community workshops. Our work creates the mindset shift necessary within communities and organizations to respect the diversity of every individual at all levels of society. We coach individuals, organizations, and communities to move from the space of apathy & tolerance to acceptance & inclusion.
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