Type Two: Importance and Belonging

Hi, my name is Halle Camilleri and according to the enneagram I have a type 2 personality.

I took this test after hearing a lot about it from my friends. When I read my results I got wrecked (If you don’t know what “wrecked” means, think of having a significant emotional awakening). The first thing I read said:

  • Basic Fear: Of being unwanted, unworthy of being loved
  • Basic Desire: To feel loved

What. Have you been reading my prayer journal? It was the bottom line I had been searching for in counseling, books, prayer, you name it. To feel loved. The fear of not being worthy. My big learning experience in college was learning to love others for the purpose of loving others. Not to be loved in return. Not to be recognized as a loving person. Just to love.

Well it turns out this is an entire personality type and as I went further into my research, many of my friends and family struggle with exactly the same thing. Type two people think the most valuable way to use their time is by helping others and making them feel loved. However, it can be really difficult to accept the same love and aid from others. It is easy to be graceful to others, but hard to show yourself grace.

Type twos can be very healthy, loving, giving people. They feel validated by being needed and purposeful in a role of service. They are the “mom” of the friend group. However, the shadow side of type twos is the secret pride, self-deception, and over-involvement in the lives of others.

Bingo.

The exact flaw I had spent my entire life grappling with. The thing about my mom, my brother, my friends, that we all try so desperately to either keep hidden or justify. But there was the answer. We want to be loved, we make ourselves needed, and we can either act in humility with no strings attached or we can grow to resent those we serve when they don’t love us back in a way that helps us cope with our fear of being un-needed.

I needed a minute.

Being human is not one of my favorite attributes of myself but if there is anything I have learned over the past few years, it is that when we acknowledge our struggles and work to be vulnerable to overcome them, we can live transparently in our community. My personality requires that I question my motives. I have to watch my thought process in order to track with my emotional well-being and keep my pride in check.

Pride is dangerous. It is 100% true that everyone needs to be loved and feel like they matter. But there is a difference between belonging and feeling important. Belonging is having a place where you are loved and cared for. Being important is seeking recognition and accomplishment in order to gain a reputation for your “selflessness”. Belonging brings healing, being important causes pain and insecurity.

Love is selfless. There are no strings attached. Type two people can love people so well but we have to be aware and intentional of the tendency to replace belonging with pride. Giving isn’t about receiving. Love isn’t about being recognized.

Sleeping at Last recently released a single about the type two personality. The words have given me so much peace and better understanding about how my own heart works. I highly recommend that you take the test for yourself and do some research. Learning how you relate and validate yourself helps us to build healthy habits. I don’t have all the answers, and I promise I never will, but I can keep investigating and working to help us better understand one another.

Love and life are precious God-given gifts. I want to be able to share mine with all of you the best ways I can.