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Basic Desire

To feel loved


Basic Fear

Being unwanted or unworthy of being loved


Long to Hear

You are wanted


Orientation to Time

Focus goes to what is happening right now in relationship to all of their valued connections. 


Stance: Dutiful

Move towards others with compliant solutions in hopes of getting what they want. 

Striving to...

feel connected and manage the others emotions 

Twos are the most interpersonal type, paying attention to what others need and intuiting solutions for those needs. They have a knack for finding points of connection and building rapport with a generous upbeat attitude. They appreciate being recognized for all they have offered and done. When they overdo their striving to feel connected they seek to be needed/indispensable and can have outbursts of anger for not receiving approval and appreciation for their generous acts. They fear prioritizing their own needs will cost them the connections they have earned through always being the one who is doing the helping.

Key Strengths

Twos are warm, friendly, generous, and good listeners, who offer support.

Key Motivations

Twos are motivated by connection with selected others and the feedback they get for being helpful, good, and knowing what is best. Twos incredible abilities to sense other people’s emotions set them up for wanting to meet the needs and help manage the emotions of the people they desire to connect with. 

Basic Proposition

Twos believe you must give fully to others to be loved. Consequently, they are caring, helpful, supportive, and relationship-oriented; they also can be prideful, intrusive, and demanding.

Core Emotion

Grief/Shame: Twos have been setting aside their own needs to meet the needs of others since they were little. Shame arises when their own needs are in conflict with meeting the needs of others, and in the question of ‘if I wasn’t giving so much, why would you want me?”

Common Snares

Twos can become angry and have outbursts for being overlooked for what they have offered, “After all I’ve done, how can you not appreciate/help me more?”. They can also be competitive in looking for attention, offer unsolicited advice, and have trouble setting appropriate boundaries.


Twos wrongly assume everyone else has the ability and desire to intuit and meet the needs of their special others. This false assumption leads them to question if they are truly loved, believing that we can intuit their unspoken needs and are choosing not to meet them because we don’t care enough about them. 

How Twos Engage the World

By offering advice and service towards meeting the needs of selected individuals. 

How Others Experience Them

Warm, generous, empathetic, suddenly angry, intrusive.

What They Like at Work

Being able to play a supportive role in helping others achieve, successful others thanking them for the role they played in that success.

What Irritates / Angers Twos

 Non-recognition, others who are not interested in connection or who lack needs, and being left on their own at the start of a project.

Role in Life

“I know best what others need, and am responsible for making and maintaining key connections to important others.”

Inner Critic Message

You are good or okay if you are loving and close to others.

Mental Habit


Passion / Vice

”Pride” in my own goodness and the belief that I know best what is needed and how to help. 


Humility: Twos step into the deep connection they long for when they are able to learn how to ask for help, receive, and stop assuming they know what’s best for everyone. The capacity to participate in the beautiful natural flow of giving and taking creates authentic generosity and true connection rather than manufactured giving to get relationships.

Unconscious Message

”It’s not okay to have your own needs.” From the youngest ages, Twos hone the skill of being able to repress their own needs in order to focus on meeting others’ needs. They question if others would want/value them if they weren’t always offering. 

Defense Mechanism

Repression: Suppressing “unacceptable” feelings and converting them into a more acceptable form of emotional energy. Twos use repression of personal needs and feelings to avoid being needy and to maintain a helpful self-image. Their genuine need for connection takes the form of “you need me.” In seeking approval, Twos can miss authentic connections in relationships due to their tendency to “shape-shift” by being overly nice, superficially friendly, and flattering. Often feeling indispensable, they also may display an attitude of entitlement.



When TWO’s bottom out of their own strategies’ attempts to feel connected they can slide over to type EIGHT’s striving to feel in control and tap into their anger. “I am always taking care of everyone and they don’t even bother to appreciate how things would fall apart if I wasn’t here!” They can also access the high side of EIGHT to go after what they want for themselves and offer protection to their people.


TWOs often avoid their line to FOURs striving to be authentic believing that acknowledging their own needs and desires will cost them connection for being too needy. However, when TWOs are more resourced they tap into the FOURs immense creativity and display their own talents and passions.

YTY Enneagram Symbol - Stress Arrows.png


Begin to notice how you discredit your voice at the table by first saying things like “ Well, I don’t really know much about this but….” Or “ I’m not sure this is a good idea but I was thinking….”. Experiment to see how it feels to just state your thought without diminishing it.  Invite an ally to gently point out when they catch you down playing your brilliance!

Intentionally tap into your line to type 3 and choose to develop your own skills and talents. Is there a training you can attend, a class you can take or a book you can read to up your skill level in an area of life that is meaningful to you?  Notice the anxiety or discomfort that arises when you go to prioritize yourself, and then take action anyway. 

Notice when you have retreated into your numbed out inner state rather than staying engaged with the people you are with. Invite yourself to wake up to the present moment and re-engage, even insert yourself, into the conversation.

Take a break from yourself: Pick a day and engage in the world as someone who believes their presence matters deeply to everyone around them. Assume everyone wants to know you more! Be the first to say hello. Share your thoughts about something that is important to you without waiting for someone to ask you to share.  Initiate a call to a friend or family member to tell them that their presence matters in your life.  Teach a kid one cool/fun/or important lesson you have learned in life. Take time to enjoy something you love, giving the experience your full attention rather than using it to zone out.

Let someone important to you know that you are better at sharing your thoughts when you have had time and space to think about what you want to say. Ask them to give you a heads-up when they are going to ask for your opinion. “Tomorrow I’d like to talk about this with you and get your thoughts on it. “ Or if the conversation needs to happen immediately ask them to circle back to you a day or two after to ask what thoughts and feelings you have had about the conversation and if there is anything else you would like to say. 


By Don Riso & Russ Hudson

NOTE: Getting to Level 1 is not the goal. We all move up and down these levels throughout the course of a day, rarely hitting the top or bottom levels. The goal is to be able to recognize where you are at any given time and to choose how to respond to life with that knowledge.

Healthy / Integrated Levels

Level 1 (At Their Best): Become deeply unselfish, humble, and altruistic: giving unconditional love to self and others. Feel it is a privilege to be in the lives of others.

Level 2: Empathetic, compassionate, feeling for others. Caring and concerned about their needs. Thoughtful, warm-hearted, forgiving and sincere.

Level 3: Encouraging and appreciative, able to see the good in others. Service is important, but takes care of self too: they are nurturing, generous, and giving—a truly loving person.

Average Levels

Level 4: Want to be closer to others, so start "people pleasing," becoming overly friendly, emotionally demonstrative, and full of "good intentions" about everything. Give seductive attention: approval, "strokes," flattery. Love is their supreme value, and they talk about it constantly.

Level 5: Become overly intimate and intrusive: they need to be needed, so they hover, meddle, and control in the name of love. Want others to depend on them: give, but expect a return: send double messages. Enveloping and possessive: the codependent, self-sacrificial person who cannot do enough for others—wearing themselves out for everyone, creating needs for themselves to fulfill.

Level 6: Increasingly self-important and self-satisfied, feel they are indispensable, although they overrate their efforts in others' behalf. Hypochondria, becoming a "martyr" for others. Overbearing, patronizing, presumptuous.

Unhealthy / Dis-Integrated Levels

Level 7: Can be manipulative and self-serving, instilling guilt by telling others how much they owe them and make them suffer. Abuse food and medication to "stuff feelings" and get sympathy. Undermine people, making belittling, disparaging remarks. Extremely self-deceptive about their motives and how aggressive and/or selfish their behavior is.

Level 8: Domineering and coercive: feel entitled to get anything they want from others: the repayment of old debts, money, sexual favors.

Level 9: Able to excuse and rationalize what they do since they feel abused and victimized by others and are bitterly resentful and angry. Somatization of their aggressions results in chronic health problems as they vindicate themselves by "falling apart" and burdening others. Generally corresponds to the Histrionic Personality Disorder and Factitious Disorder.

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