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 from The Dynamic Enneagram - Twos

   Twos are part of the emotional trio who reject their themselves, over-identify with roles and get confused about how they really feel. Twos get confused between who the Two really is versus who he seems to be when playing a helpful role towards others.
    This “helping” is fueled by an emotional habit of jumping into other people’s skin. The Two relocates his own rejected needs over in the other person and then tries to give to himself by metaphor, via the medium of the  other person. Anyone can be co-dependent, but the contours of pure co-dependence are built into style Two: I’ll give to you so that you will give back to me, so that I will feel nurtured and cared for. As a Two wryly summarized her first marriage: “I gave him everything I had and then I said, ‘Now, give it to me!’”
    So an entranced Two might enter a seminar feeling tired and thirsty. Rejecting his own needs as selfish he sees a woman in the seminar who looks tired and thirsty and sits down next to her.
    Next the Two begins to make conversation, drawing out his companion. After some initial chitchat, the Two begins to flatter as a prelude to asking about his companion’s comfort: “That’s a beautiful shirt, you sure have good taste. Are you comfortable in that chair? I was just thinking you might like a pillow. Gee, it’s hot in here. Are you thirsty? Can I get you some water?” If the companion says “yes” to the water then the Two might reply, “Well, maybe I’ll join you.” Now that the other person wants a glass of water, the Two has permission to quench his own thirst.
    Another Two first realized the difference between his helpful self-image and his true feelings when, as a child, he was told by his mother that the family’s ailing dog had been put to sleep: “When I heard the news I felt myself starting to get upset; a cry, a sense of outrage rose up in me. ‘How dare you do this to my dog!’ was the thought that fueled my indignation. I remembered the many times that I had taken care of Shaggy, how much I had played with her and given to her, how much she had meant to me. A sense of irreparable loss began to grow. The thoughts and feelings swirled through me. Tears formed in my eyes, and I opened my mouth to protest. My mother, who had been watching me evenly, said, “Before you say what you’re about to say, I just want you to know something: we had Shaggy put to sleep two weeks ago. You just noticed today.”

    Speaking at Oxford University, English politician Lord Longford was asked his views on humility. Longford advised the questioner to read his new book, which, he said, “is the finest book about humility ever written.”
    Entranced Twos control through pride. After rejecting their true feelings and adopting a helpful role towards others, they develop an exaggerated, compensatory idea of their value and worth. Swept up in a cloud of self-importance, the Two rationalizes his selfish motives and is simultaneously blind to the true needs of others and their uncomfortable reactions. When Twos feel rejected, needy or unloved, pride can become their most striking feature.
    When they first learn the Enneagram, some Twos balk at the notion that they are prideful since they don’t gloat, brag or preen. But pride can come out in subtle ways. A Two might, for instance, talk of helping others while implying that he is indispensable, or by making himself the actual subject of the story. Here, for instance, is a Two speaking of nursing a dying friend: “It mattered so much to her that I was with her. And she held on for me to be with her when she passed on. It was very hard on me. I’m not going to lie to you and say that it didn’t devastate me.”
    Another implicit expression of pride can be seen when Twos treat other full-grown adults like children, patronizing and infantilizing them, trying to evoke childlike needs so that the Two will then be needed as a nurturer. A Two explains: “When you’re always filling somebody else’s need, when you’re jumping into them, there’s something very condescending about it. The prideful idea is that other people can’t possibly take care of themselves without me.”
    Psychotherapist Ed Dunkleblau tells a related story about a woman who was one day pushing her son through a shopping mall in a wheelchair. She was approached by a friend who voiced his surprise, saying “I didn’t know that your son couldn’t walk.” “Of course he can walk,” she replied. “But thank goodness, he doesn’t have to.”


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