Do you live to help others? If you do, you might fall into the second enneagram personality type. Folks who fall into this category find meaning in life through acts of service to other people.
While this may make members of this classification seem like Mother Teresa, that doesn’t mean this personality doesn’t have quirks like everyone else. Knowing your enneagram can help you build a deeper understanding of yourself and your strengths. Understanding what drives and motivates those around you — like your spouse or employees — can help smoothen your relationships.
Here’s what to know about the helper personality type.
Enneagram Type 2: The Advisor
Enneagram type 2s base their sense of self-worth on providing value to others. They consider love to be their highest ideal, and selflessness is the greatest virtue they can imagine. They’re the first to wish you a happy birthday on your social media timeline, and they’ll often include an adorable GIF image.
Those with this personality type prioritize their relationships. They’re the sort who live for their families and always show up at their kids’ soccer practice — usually with treats for the entire team. They give of themselves selflessly and go above and beyond to put a smile on other people’s faces. They’re the nesters of the universe, and their homes nearly always welcome guests with the scent of freshly-baked cookies and cozy places to rest.
Even though advisors do so much for so many, they don’t perform acts of charity for free. They feel those that they assist become indebted to them in a way, and they take a lack of gratitude as an insult. They need to feel needed and can fall victim to codependency in relationships.
Additionally, because this personality type has a strong moral compass, they tend to hold others to exacting standards, too. They can grow suspicious of the motivations of those they perceive don’t jump in and help the way they want them to do so. They look with skepticism at practices like self-care and might judge your weekly pedicure appointment as an unnecessary luxury, not a way to reward yourself for work well done.
The Advisor’s Strengths
If you fall into this personality type, nurturing comes as naturally to you as breathing. You probably have a natural affinity for animals and children, and you feel a sense of pride when your best friend’s aloof kitty singles you out for affection. If a friend calls you in tears at midnight, you not only pick up the phone, but you also get dressed and visit her with a box of tissues in tow.
You go above and beyond to support your family and may serve as the primary breadwinner in your household. Even if you do not, you’re the first to hop on the household chores, especially when it comes to making your environment more comfortable. Your sense of duty extends beyond your home, however. You often passionately support causes you consider right and can become a leader in bringing about positive change in the world.
The Advisor’s Weaknesses
Sometimes, the advisor’s nurturing nature can lead to disappointment and even depression. Because you care so deeply about others, you expect them to extend the same attitude toward you. If you’re always the first to whip up a batch of chicken soup for your spouse when they get the sniffles, you feel resentful if they offer a lackluster, “I’m sorry you’re sick,” when a raging flu lays you flat.
When you start to feel resentful that others fail to reciprocate your efforts, you begin to look for flaws. Over time, this can lead to a reputation for being overly critical or harping. Your challenge is to recognize the efforts of others, even when they don’t live up to your exacting standards. You should learn to give genuine compliments, such as praising initiative in your children for running the vacuum — not scolding them for missing a dust bunny or two.
Relating to Type 2 in the Workplace
Employers often adore the enneagram type 2s on their staff because these individuals can bring a much-needed dose of humanity to the office. Who is the first to arrive and put on the coffee for everyone else? It’s probably this personality type — and they might bring in a batch of homemade brownies on Fridays, too.
If you have this personality type, you’re drawn to helping-based professions. The following career fields may suit you perfectly:
- Teaching: Your nurturing nature makes you a natural in the elementary school classroom. You know how to make all children feel included and worthy, and you boost their self-esteem during their formative years.
- Health care: You’d make an ideal doctor or nurse because your warm bedside manner puts patients at ease. You’ll stop at nothing to alleviate their pain and nurture them back to health.
- Customer service: While other personality types might crack when dealing with irritable customers, you delight in solving their toughest problems. Your genuine empathy helps to diffuse tense situations.
If you manage an enneagram type 2, take care that you notice and appreciate their efforts, even when they don’t relate directly to their job. Thank them graciously if they take the initiative to decorate the office for holidays or organize a gift exchange. Don’t take for granted that they’ll always step up and clean the grimy office microwave without a word of acknowledgment.
Relating to Type 2 at Home and in Love
If you fall into this personality type, you value a comfortable and harmonious home. You throw everything you have into nurturing your spouse and kids. If they gave out Mother of the Year awards, you’d win one, hands down.
That said, you can grow resentful when those you live with don’t reciprocate in kind. Remember that people show affection and appreciation in different ways. If your kids rush out the door without thanking you for packing their lunches, control your emotions. Take satisfaction in the knowledge that you did your part to nourish their growing bodies.
If you love someone who falls into this category, show them appreciation by thanking them for their gestures. Better yet, jump in and help when you see them busily tackling household chores. Asking, “What can I do to help?” shows that you recognize the work they’re performing.
Enneagram Type 2 — Show You Care but Love Yourself, Too
If you’re an enneagram type 2, pat yourself on the back for the way you nurture and care for others. Just remember that self-care isn’t selfish — take time to replenish yourself, too.