Enneagram 2 Helper core desire to feel appreciated and love, hands holding heart


General Archetypal Names: Helper, Caretaker, Giver

Core Motivational Theme: Love/Care, Appreciation/Acknowledgment

Core Fear: being unlovable, unwanted, unappreciated, unacknowledged, unworthy, undesirable, not good enough in the context of close personal relationship (ie partner/child/parent)

Core Desire: to be love/loving; to feel loved/lovable, wanted, appreciated, worthy of love, good enough in the context of close personal relationship

Center of Intelligence: heart/feeling

Connecting Points: 4 (heart), 8 (gut/instinctive)

Archetypal Journey (Levels of Consciousness)

From least to most conscious, these archetypes represent the varying ways that a human may respond to the core motivation arising out of point 2 on the Enneagram.

Sexy woman with black heart chaining partner to chair. Toxic Femininity. Enneagram 2 tarot archetype, Seductive Servant.

“No one could love me for who I am so I must serve them to be worthy of their love. If they don’t appreciate my sacrifices I have the right to flatter, shame, guilt, and manipulate them to get what I want.”

Traditional housewife serving unattentive, breadwinner husband. Enneagram 2 tarot archetype, Codependent Caretaker.

“I don’t know how I would survive or what I would do with myself if I didn’t have others to care for. They need me to attend to their needs; it’s selfish to attend to my own.”

Hindu masculine feminie compassion god archetype with pure heart. Enneagram enlightened, Unconditionally Loving Household.

“I dignify all beings by loving like a family loves a child–being firm when love requires firmness, and soft when love requires softness.”

Integration and Disintegration / Connecting Points

2 integration 4: self-reflection, ability to be alone, emotional responsibility, healing. Excess sympathy, over-mothering
2 disintegration 8: giving to get, expectation, resentment, control. Boundaries, self-respect, interdependence, assertiveness

Examples/Helpful Resources/Suggestions

1. Nonviolent Communication (NVC: communication practice)

When it comes to communication in intimacy and relationship, violence is not only limited to outbursts of yelling or derogatory name calling, as the provocatively titled Nonviolent Communication (NVC) points out.

While I recommend NVC for all types, it is particularly relevant to 2s because it forces one to break the cycles of giving to get, resentment, and covert control that characterize 2’s disintegration to 8. As NVC rightfully points out, the byproducts of giving with strings attachedblame, assumption, and criticismare also “violent” communication methods that are counterproductive to long-term relationships, getting one’s wants and needs fulfilled, and also one’s own mental heath

While NVC doesn’t automatically guarantee that a significant other will meet one’s needs or wants, it should be remembered that years of sacrifice and favors doesn’t eithersomething many 2s come to know all too well at one point or another. What NVC does do, is give one the best chance to improve an existing relationship or build a new one; and if not that, a commitment to NVC can provide answers in regards to whether a relationship is healthy and truly capable of serving those involved.

2. Premka: White Bird in a Golden Cage: My Life with Yogi Bhajan: Autobiographical Memoir

Many 2s find themselves in a relationship with a powerful, yet somewhat unavailable other. For a person that just naturally wants to give warmth, companionship, and gifts from the heart; a relationship with a powerful other seems to be an attractive way to get safety and security needs met without directly having to find a way to monetize their love or work at a soul sucking, uninspiring job. Secondly, the relationship represents a challenge and an opportunity. If a 2 can prove their indispensability and win the partner over, the relationship seemingly promises to alleviate the core fear of “I’m not lovable.”  This relationship pattern can of course describe a marriage, but nowhere is this story more dramatized than in an unhealthy guru/devotee relationship.

Premka: White Bird in a Golden Cage, describes such a relationship dynamic between the devoted author, Pamela Saharah Dyson (Premka) and her posturing guru Yogi Bhajan.  For all that she was taken advantage of, it could be quite a scornful book, but it’s not. It’s written from a place of self-awareness, acceptance, and healing. It’s written with an understanding of how one’s own fears, patterns, and attachments contributed to the situation that they found themselves in.  Because of that, it is powerful resource for a person who may have similar relationship wounds to heal from or simply for a person who can see Premka’s longings and fears in themselves and then recognize their own relationship dynamic for what it is before becoming equally trapped in an unhealthy situation of dependency, resentment, and self-doubt.