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Personality & Pacemaker: Type Two- The Helper/Giver

Welcome back to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. We recently looked at the principled- but prone to criticism- Enneagram Type One: The Reformer/Perfectionist. If you’d like to join us as we continue on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 2- The Helper/Giver

The deep, underpinning desire of every Enneagram Type Two is to be loved, but they will settle for being needed and/or appreciated. They are uniquely gifted with an empathy and sensitivity that allows them to anticipate your needs, and with a capacity for selflessness and generosity that allows them to leave no stone unturned in seeing that your needs are met. Type Twos thrive in relationships and wherever they find themselves, will get to work connecting with people on a deep, intimate level, in hopes of building a meaningful friendship. They are usually the first to show up with whatever you need- a kind word, a warm embrace, a care package full of everything you like or -remember that obscure thing you casually mentioned to them that one time 10 years ago? Yea, they bought that for you, just because! There truly is no limit to a Type Two’s care, support and love.

When a healthy Type Two sets their attention on you, expect to feel seen, catered to and deeply loved. However, if they are unhealthy, you might experience them as smothering, overbearing and manipulative. This is because Type Twos have a real problem expressing their needs. You see, to a Type Two, expressing needs opens the door to the painful possibility of the rejection of not having those needs met. So instead of articulating their needs verbally, you might find them acting out love by helping you in some way, or giving of themselves, in hopes that you will return it.

Type Twos can therefore begin to see relationships as purely transactional, saying to themselves, ‘The way I’ll get my needs met is by meeting and exceeding your needs, and hope that you will be so grateful, that you will feel compelled to meet mine in return.’ One of the many problems with this, of course, is that oftentimes people are satisfied to keep receiving without necessarily feeling compelled to give back. Put another way, people don’t always feel, or want to feel, indebted to someone simply because they have shown them love, no matter how deep, needed, solicited e.t.c. this love might have been. This can leave the Type Two feeling burnt-out, resentful, unfulfilled and/or used, and, they may then resort to other tactics to get you to meet their needs, like guilt-tripping, manipulation or even force.

On the healthy side, though, this belief in the connecting power of reciprocity makes Type Twos truly excellent team players, and their ability and willingness to be generous and altruistic, makes them exceedingly warm and empathetic when in leadership and support roles. They will do their share and will help you with your share with hopes that it will make the bond you have stronger. This, however, can easily turn into doing more than necessary in order to be liked, or to get you to do something for them in return, and Type Twos very frequently find that they can’t say ‘no’ for fear that their refusal or inability to do something for someone will spell certain doom for the relationship. Boundary setting, awareness of true motives and realistic expectations of relationships, therefore, become key skills that a healthy Type Two needs to develop, and fast!

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to practice good personal boundaries and to choose more carefully when and how much they help others.” 

How it may be affecting your writing process

Setting boundaries, prioritizing their own work, and setting realistic goals are important growth points for Type Twos, in social life as well as with their writing. Type Twos love pleasing people, and often find themselves sacrificing their own needs to fulfill those of others. This could mean that writers with this personality type may find themselves frequently missing their own deadlines, or feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted when finally attending to their own work, that they’re unable to do their best.

Type Twos also struggle with validation and use the degree to which they are meeting others’ needs as a gauge of their own usefulness and success. Prioritizing their own work has the added benefit of helping Type Twos develop productive habits, celebrate their own progress and goals, and lessen their need for validation from others!

Pacemaker can help!

One of our goals in developing the Pacemaker tool, is to help our users set realistic goals. Part of that is the mathematics, but a larger part is giving users the options to create plans that will reflect, as closely as possible, the rhythms of their day to day lives. Now, ‘life happens’ often for Type Twos, and competing interests tend to win out too frequently. Thankfully, Pacemakerplans can automatically adjust to compensate for these expected but unplanned for interruptions! Because Pacemaker helps users create custom writing plans around their real schedules, users get to factor in lost time so they have a clear picture of how much real time they actually have, to dedicate to their, and others’, projects. So when these things pop up- miss a day here, miss a week there- with a few clicks they can see exactly how much work and time they have left, and conceptualize different ways of getting to the finish line!

Type Twos might be particularly helped, however, by the other option which would allow them to see how far ahead or behind their original schedule they are. Being able to see in black and white how the cumulative effect of de-prioritizing their own work compromises their own progress, they can make better decisions with proper planning and boundary setting. In other words, Pacemaker can’t help you say no to others, but it can help show you how not saying no to others might prevent you from meeting your goal, or at least set you up for a mad blitz of sleepless nights before the deadline!

Type Twos can sometimes feel overlooked and unappreciated even as they go out of their way to make sure others feel seen and loved. This is why it’s doubly important for Type Two writers to make a point of celebrating themselves and not look for that validation from others. At Pacemaker we encourage our users to celebrate their progress, not just their achievements, so we think Type Twos will particularly love our confetti canons! Each time you save progress on Pacemaker, you’re celebrated with a burst of confetti which is our little way of saying a BIG congratulations! You’re doing well! Keep it up!

Lastly, Premium features like Reminders can further help Type Two writers prioritize their own work, and practice setting boundaries. With Pacemaker Premium you can opt to receive either daily or weekly reminders at the top of the day, so that you know exactly what your writing commitments are for the day/week ahead, and therefore how much time you have to give to others otherwise. Type Twos, let these reminders, and all the other Pacemaker features help you build a habit of showing up for yourself consistently!

Next we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Three: The Achiever. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!