Difficult People Decoded: The Helper
We continue a basic introduction to the Enneagram for the office by looking at #2: The Helper.
How are helpers difficult? The fine line lies in their motives.
Twos are masters at discerning what other people need. They are truly driven to serve and are willing to sacrifice themselves immediately where needed. From the outside, this can appear deeply admirable. And it is.
But when other people don’t reciprocate in return, they are strong in resentment. These folks feel gratitude is owed to them based on how much they extend themselves.
However, expressly wanting attention is considered too selfish for a Two to admit to herself. As a result, their shadow is pride.
“The root sin of the TWO is pride, not in the sense of showing off, but pride as a kind of false humility.”
Twos have a strong need to be needed. They justify controlling others “in the name of love”. At the end of a party, these are the people that don’t want to say goodbye.
The flipside, or their virtue, is humility. The challenge here is to have a deeper knowledge of self and not pretend that you are less than you are for the sake of somebody noticing.
It’s important to watch your own expectations of others closely, especially as related to your own efforts. Love begins when nothing is expected in return. Twos are on the road to health when they can wean off a continuous need for affirmation.
- “How can I help?”
- “Have it anyway”
- “You don’t know what’s good for you”
- “Can’t you see I’m trying to help you?”
- Low self-esteem
Examples: “Melanie Hamilton Wilkes” (Gone with the Wind), “Eve Harrington” (All About Eve), Nancy Reagan, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Simmons, Arsenio Hall, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Sheen, Jennifer Tilly, Danny Thomas
How To Work With A Two:
- Say thank you
- Show appreciation in kind
- Take an interest in their problems
- Be gentle with criticism