Enneagram 2 Profile
I’ve seen firsthand how the Enneagram has influenced my therapy practice, my clients, and my own personal growth. In order to better understand its impact, I interviewed a representative of each number to see the world through their lens.
What do you love the most about your number?
I love that it represents a very empathetic, helpful, altruistic person. It almost feels like a super power (when used correctly, of course).
What is the hardest thing about your number?
That it represents a very empathetic, helpful, altruistic person. Our greatest attributes it seems can also be our Achilles heel. I struggle with setting boundaries because I feel everything, and then my immediate reaction is to want to help anyone in distress. Because I can sense when others are even in the slightest amount of distress, I am often overwhelmed by the number of people I feel the need to help. Sometimes it makes me want to hide from the world because if I can't see it, then I won't feel compelled to help.
How have you used the knowledge of your Enneagram number to grow toward your best self?
Quite often, recently! The more I learn about my number, the more I understand my reaction to others and my environment. I move to an Enneagram 8 in times of stress, becoming aggressive and controlling. Sometimes, though, I don't realize I am stressed. So if I (or my partner) recognize this aggressive and controlling behavior, then I can start to unravel what is the cause of the stress. Just being able to name the thing that is stressing me helps bring me back to myself - and once I am aware of what is stressing me, I can go about the task of neutralizing the stressor.
How has the Enneagram been useful to you during the therapy process?
It has helped me to better understand the core force that is motivating my behavior. Somehow having a deeper understanding of what drives me helps me feel more connected to myself and makes me feel more calm. Just knowing there is literature out there that really understands how I think and behave and what values drives that behavior is very comforting. I know I am able to read this literature and gain an even deeper understanding of myself. I can also understand where I need to push to grow - this has been especially useful. For example, a driving force for me is to take care of others (help) in order to feel loved and valued, and as a result I tend to ignore my basic needs. Things as simple as eating enough and on a schedule, showering regularly and drinking enough water become time away from helping others. Recently, I have been pushing into this area, recognizing when I am hungry, thirsty, and in-need-of-a-shower, and building a routine around these basics. This seemingly simple thing has been empowering for me.
What advice would you give to other people of your same number?
Learn to be OK with being uncomfortable. Say no, set boundaries, and take care of yourself. Remember that you can't help others if you are not taking care of yourself, and that you deserve to be taken care of as much as anyone else. Most of all, try not to be too hard on yourself. You're a good person and the world needs you to shine as your true self.