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Enneagram Type Two and MBTI Preferences







There are no direct correlations between MBTI and Enneagram since they measure different parts of our personalities—namely, WHAT we do versus WHY we do it. That being said, some preference pairings from MBTI could have a higher prevalence in certain Enneagram Types. With this in mind, let's explore Enneagram Type Two and see how the MBTI preferences correlate.


Review of Type Two

Enneagram Type 2, often known as "The Helper" or "The Giver," belongs to the Heart triad, which they filter their experience through their emotions first and generally struggle with feelings of shame and insignificance. Specifically, Twos fear feeling unwanted, insignificant, rejected, and unneeded and will combat the threat of this by helping others, ingratiating themselves on others, and generally making sure others need them (and like them). What Twos really want deep down is to feel loved for just being themselves, but since they don't believe they will receive this they settle for feeling needed. Their "selfless" (because it's not selfless if they get something out of it (i.e. appreciation)) sacrifice to helping others, however, often leads to their own detriment as their own needs are often ignored until they either explode from resentment or suffer serious physical, psychological, or emotional ramifications.



Possible MBTI Correlations:

Each Preference Pair describes the median range Preference of the Pair and does not address the nuance of each individual. May people who actually prefer one side will be able to competently use skills presented by the other side. The descriptions below are done in broad strokes and are at not meant to pigeon hole people into ways of thinking or behaving.


Extroversion/Introversion Preference

Extroversion/Introversion describes a person's Preference for directing and receiving energy, which can sometimes be explained as that of a balloon either inflating with interaction with the outside/inside world or deflating. Extroverted Preference people’s bubble inflates with contact with the outside world—people, experiences, places, stimulation—and deflates with too much time with their inside world—reflecting, time alone, journaling, thinking—and those with an Introverted Preference deflate with contact with the outside world and inflate with time reflecting on the inside world.



Applying to Type Two:

Type Twos are more likely to prefer Extroversion:

Type Twos would likely (though certainly not 100%) lean toward Extroversion. The reasoning is that if a Type Two's ego requires them to look outside themselves toward others' needs in order to feel significant and wanted, then Extroversion with its Preference for the outside world as a means of giving energy matches the ego's need better than Introversion. This is not to say that Type Two's ALWAYS gain energy from others, but that they look outside themselves to others to inform who they are and therefore will find this more stimulating than looking inside themselves and reflecting. In fact, Twos, who thrive on external validation to feel significant, can paradoxically feel quite exhausted by social interactions, because, in their world, people equal needs, and everyone has a limited well of energy to meet those needs. Nevertheless, the external world significantly informs their experiences and fills them up to a certain extent. While introspection and self-reflection may occasionally come into play, Twos might perceive these as selfish endeavors. Even introverted Twos tend to engage actively with the outside world because connecting with others is a powerful means of satisfying their egoic desires.


Sensing/Intuition Preference

This Preference Pair explains how people prefer taking in information from the outside world. The Sensing Preference types will take in information from their five senses and experience the world as very tangible, tactile, and concrete, and will focus on what is presently possible or possible in the past. Those with an Intuition Preference, on the other hand, will take in information as abstract, ethereal, imaginative, and inferred, and will focus on what is new and possible in the future.


Applying to Type Two:

Type Twos likely prefer either equally.

One could make a compelling argument that Enneagram Type 2s might not necessarily have a strong Preference for either Sensing or Intuition Preference, but regardless of the Preference of the particular Two, they would use their natural method of taking in information to HELP others. For example, if a Type Two leans towards Sensing, they will naturally use their abilities of tuning into concrete, tangible details of the past and present, as a way of offering practical observations to others. Conversely, if a Two's Preference gravitates towards Intuition, they will use their abilities of tapping into future possibilities, abstract thinking, and the bigger picture to provide innovative support to others. Regardless of their information-processing style, the core motivation of a Two remains the same: to win affection and significance by giving care, love, and attention. Therefore, Twos skillfully employ either Sensing or Intuition to fulfill their altruistic aims and forge meaningful connections with others.


Thinking/Feeling Preference

This Preference Pair explains how people make decisions- do they make their decisions based on logic, numbers, objective criteria (Thinking Preference) or do they make decisions considering their values, collective harmony, and empathy for others (Feeling).


Applying to Type Two:

Type Twos would (almost 100%) prefer Feeling.

A Type Two's ego is built around taking into considering the experience, opinions, and needs of others as a means of getting the appreciation and affirmation that they need to feel significant and wanted. In fact, the ego of the Type Two can often make the Two feel as though their very survival hinges on this empathetic approach, which shields them from the crushing weight of disapproval, unwantedness, and shame that arises from failing to meet others' emotional needs. They may be able to tap into the objective, logical skills of the Thinking Preference, but would always bring these hard facts back to how they impact others.


Judging/Perceiving Preference

This Preference Pair explains how people interact with the outside world. Those with a Judging Preference prefer closure, step by step progress, planning, organization, and control. Those with Perceiving Preference like options, adaptability, flexibility, spontaneity, and openness to new information.


Applying to Type Two:

Type Twos may prefer either equally.

Type Two's desire to feel wanted and needed require them to offer help and support to those around them. This can come in the form of practical, physical, emotional, spiritual, or creative help and support depending on the Type Two in question. For that reason, both Preferences (Judging and Perceiving) can be equally likely for a Type Two as long as the talents and skills of that Type Two are focused on helping others.


Possible Preference Types for Type Twos:


ESFP

Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.


ENFP

Warmly enthusiastic and imaginative. See life as full of possibilities. Make connections between events and information very quickly, and confidently proceed based on the patterns they see. Want a lot of affirmation from others, and readily give appreciation and support. Spontaneous and flexible, often rely on their ability to improvise and their verbal fluency.


ESFJ

Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, follow through even in small matters. Notice what others need in their day-to-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute.


ENFJ

Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.

*Descriptions credit to https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/the-16-mbti-personality-types/



What do you think? If you love MBTI and the Enneagram, I’d love to hear your experience using both!


For questions or help with finding your Type, contact Kimberly at Enneagramreflections@gmail.com.







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