Enneagram 2w1 vs. 2w3

Enneagram Type Twos are often called the Helpers. They have a desire to fulfill the needs of others; often in order to get their own buried needs met. They can sense emotions with clarity and precision and are in the Heart Triad, meaning they experience the world through the lens of feeling and relationships. They know you very well, but when healthy, also know themselves well, maintaining good boundaries and practicing self-care.

Type Two with a One Wing (2w1)


In Integration:

Type 2w1s are the warm, generous, loving people you’d expect, with a shade of moral obligation and resolve thrown into the mix. Their desire to do good in the world and to meet the needs of others is amplified by the 1w motivation of correctness. Their generosity is often turned toward social justice and they truly wish to change the world for the better through their efforts. “They are often Good Samaritans, willing to take on thankless and unglamorous tasks that others generally avoid.” (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Riso & Hudson, pg. 130) Type Twos are in the Heart Center Triad, but the 1w brings a measure of the Body Center. This is advantageous to the 2w1 because they have help processing their reality with body energy, more easily recognizing when their feelings threaten to overtake them. The 1w is also empowering, supplying the Type Two with a sense of physical presence and backbone.

In Stress/Disintegration:

In stress, the 2w1 experiences the drive for perfection of Type Ones. They still want to be needed and give, but the 1w makes them think that they know best. Often, 2w1s in stress will begin to impose their “help” onto other people, intruding into their lives in order to tell them the correct thing to do. They can often seem preachy, going on and on about what they perceive to be right — in your life, not theirs — and rub others the wrong way. 2w1s in stress can also struggle with severely judging themselves. Type Twos have trouble recognizing their own feelings and needs, and the 1w makes them further think that personal desire is somehow wrong or selfish. They toil away for others but often resent the fact they are not recognized for their work. In extreme duress, the 2w1 can even begin to neglect their bodies, melding together the body shame of Type Twos and the strive toward physical perfection of Type Ones. This can lead to bodily neglect, eating disorders, or extreme exercise regimens.

Type Two with a Three Wing (2w3)


In Integration:

2w3s are solidly in the Heart Triad, therefore they will be more good-humored and social than 2w1s. They will be more driven by their feelings (often unconscious) and the feelings of others. 2w3s seek security by trying to foster as many relationships as possible and by supporting those they love. Because they are innately more social, they have more socially pleasing manners than 2w1s—they are charismatic, alluring, chatty, versatile, adventurous, and generally pleasant to be around. They often like to be the host or hostess and gather people in their homes or out at parties. They want to offer all their good qualities and advice to others. It makes them feel good to give wholeheartedly of themselves and they do so to advance the experiences and lives of those they care about. They are less caretakers and more the attentive host.

In Stress/Disintegration:

2w3s in stress will find it challenging to see past overwhelming feelings; their entire reality will seem clouded by the feelings of others that they perceive so strongly and their own emotions that are repressed but bubble up from time to time. The fact that they lack a wing in a different Center/Triad makes self-awareness much more difficult. The influence of a Head or Body energy would help pull them out of their conditioned patterns of behavior. 2w3s will have to work extra hard to overcome autopilot. They might have more problems in relationships as they see the huge, self-sacrificing gift of their friendship as “enough”. They are sensitive and easily affronted by any criticisms directed their way because the Type Two has poured themselves out for another and the 3w cares about how they are perceived. Criticism is thus a double offense to their overinflated pride. 2w3s in stress can become arrogant, overbearing, authoritarian and are prone to bursts of anger.

8 thoughts on “Enneagram 2w1 vs. 2w3

  1. I thought I was a 9, but after giving it more serious thought and investigation, turns out I’m actually a 2w3…my mind was blown! I discounted that I could be a 2 because I don’t really love cooking or cleaning, but everything else about me as a 2 is spot on! Thank you for sharing this, my friend!

    1. Me too! I thought I was a 9 for the last year and recently realized I am a 2w3… I laughed when I saw your post.

  2. This makes a lot of sense. I find myself very different from my 2 friends, but that’s because they are heavy one wings! And I’d rather host a party than sit down for coffee with someone.

  3. I’m apparently a 2 with balanced wings . . . how would that manifest with the two wings equally influencing the two? I can see how the influences are there but wonder if you can provide an additional interpretation

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