Type Two 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. Twos are easily the most people-oriented of the Enneagram types. They focus on relationship 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. Insofar as they can, Twos make good things happen for people. They will stay up late to take care of children or older folks, 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. They remember to send birthday and holiday cards long after their friends have moved away. They also remember your spouse's name and the names of your children and pets—plus who has which allergies and what their major was in college. Twos are the first in the kitchen after a party to help out with the cleanup. At the office, Twos have a bowl of candy or a tin of cookies at their desk—not for themselves, but for anyone who drops by to chat. They are constantly thinking of others, and they try to do nice things so that others will think well of them.
Twos get into difficulty, however, when they begin to attend to others' needs without adequately dealing with their own. They can get into denial about the extent of their own needs while insisting that their only concern is taking care of others. At such times, Twos may develop "boundary problems." They disregard their own boundaries, doing things for others that take them away from what they need to do for themselves, and they disregard the boundaries of others, doing things for others that they do not necessarily want done. When others feel crowded by the Twos' efforts to help, and try to set boundaries with them, Twos can feel hurt and insecure about the relationship and feel rejected.
When Twos doubt that others want them, they redouble their efforts to win people over. They get caught up with "people pleasing" and ingratiating themselves with others, looking for things to do and say that will make people like them. "Relating" with people becomes a full-time job: they are constantly making new friends while maintaining a network of old friends. Talking about "the relationship" with people becomes a habit, as Twos continually seek reassurance that their friendships and love-lives are secure and on track.
They also begin to seek ways to make themselves more interesting and useful to others. Thus, they may pursue such interests as massage, psychic readings, energetic healing, nutrition, and other ways of being of service as a way of making people feel good about themselves —and about having the Two in their life. They want to have a unique place in others' lives and to know privileged information about others that no one else knows. They want others to regard them as their "best friend," and to seek them out for personal advice, and to share special secrets and intimacies. They may begin to wear themselves out for others, giving unwanted advice and assistance, and becoming "martyrs" to get attention and affection. When Twos go too far with this kind of behavior, however, it ironically has the opposite effect on people-driving them away rather than creating stronger relationships.
In brief, Twos want to feel loved, to have intimacy, to express their feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to be close to valued friends and family, to "rescue" potential friends and partners, to get others to respond to them, and to get and hold on to the love they want. Twos do not want to be out of touch with loved ones, to be in impersonal settings, to be left out of social situations, or to be in situations where there is nothing for them to give.