I have been digging hard into the Enneagram profiling process. I’ve become fairly well versed in it as I have read and researched. My goal is, as it should be, to grow myself by learning my own type and the way I interact with others.
I am an Enneagram type 2 with a dominant wing 3. Meaning I am terrified of being unloved and unappreciated, and I need to feel those two things to feel like I am okay and thriving. I also lean dominantly towards the achiever, who needs to feel like what they are doing is important.
It has been a challenging path to walk. Realizing that being labeled a servant is not just a positive thing, because when a 2 goes unappreciated their serving can become manipulative as a tool to try to fill up with other people’s gratitude. The cycle goes that if we don’t get it, we try harder – burning ourselves out and growing bitter with the people who aren’t filling us in return.
At our best, we understand that our nature to help and serve others is a good and positive thing that does not require gratitude. We remain filled up – even without the “correct” response from others. I would be lying if I said I was always (or even usually) at my best.
I’m really determined to keep an honest eye on myself. I’m watching for those manipulative tendencies to rear their ugly head. I’m disappointed in how often I’m staring them down, reminding myself that I cannot live that way. Manipulation isn’t good for me, or the people I truly desire to love well.
So here’s my list of practical things I’m doing to aid on my journey towards the healthiest version of myself, and the healthiest path to spiritual growth as an Enneagram 2w3:
- Determine who my safe people are. The people who can help me see myself more clearly. The people who can handle the ugly version of me, to help me find the better one. Often this is a spouse, but not always – because sometimes it is our marriages that need the most help. We need to have a person (or people) who we can share our inner dialogue with to get an outside opinion.
- Pause. I have been pausing a lot. Pausing before I post, pausing before I offer to help, pausing to evaluate my intentions behind each action. This has been incredibly eye opening and HELPFUL. Often I can take a manipulative intention and alter it before I make the mistake of going in to service with an unhealthy mindset.
- Self care. So. Much. Self. Care. This has been uncomfortable, but pivotal. There are plenty of cliches out there. Plenty of memes and motivational quotes about not giving from an empty tank, and that’s all good and well… but it wasn’t until I made a conscious choice to view self care as necessary to my health and the health of everyone I love that I figured out how to do it. Self care – the act of caring for your SELF. This looks different for each of us, because we are different. I’ll write more on this later, specifics that have worked for me. But you have to learn your self and invest. I’m talking more than just 10 minutes a day or once a week. It has to be routine.
- Grace. I am extremely hard on myself. Even before I dug into the Enneagram, I was very aware of my shortcomings. I hate when I mess up or do something that causes someone else pain. So in this new path of understanding and growth, I have had to be willing to give myself grace. Lots of it. More than I have ever really been willing to give myself. Grace to take time to figure it out. Grace to say the wrong thing, and still be okay. Grace to move forward and not be stuck where I fell short.
I find it really enjoyable to read from various people’s perspectives on their own Enneagram type. I love how different we all are. Even within a type, there is so much room for growth and differences. It’s a beautifully challenging invitation towards healthy spiritual, emotional, and mental growth.
If you’re into the Enneagram, I’d love for you to drop a link to information or opinions you have enjoyed.
If you’re a fellow Enneagram 2, I’d love to get your thoughts on ways you work to improve yourself!
Should I write more on this topic?
Give me your feedback! (Enneagram 2 here, so y’all know your comments mean wayyyyy too much to me ;P)
Want to learn more? My favorite resource (other than the Enneagram institute online) has been a book called “The Sacred Enneagram” by Chris Heuretz. I’d highly recommend purchasing a copy on kindle, audiobook, or a hard copy.
Happy Enneagram typing!