TYPE TWO: THE HELPER
Twos believe that to be loved and appreciated, they are personally responsible for providing a supportive, warm and caring environment. In the workplace, this translates to the belief that
- an organization’s strength lies in the value it places on its people
- when people are cared for, morale and productivity are high
These beliefs reflect an underlying set of values that focus on giving of oneself and one’s time, creating a caring and friendly climate, and building relationships and a sense of community. These values are reflected in how Twos think, feel and act in their everyday lives. At high functioning levels, they have a very strong focus on meeting personal needs in a thoughtful, sensitive, and caring way. They build close relationships, are great listeners and are warm and encouraging to others. They want to please and are very considerate and understanding of others’ needs. In fact, Twos have a natural antenna that tells them immediately when someone is in need of help, not feeling well, or not satisfied. The Twos will not only be able to identify the problem, but may feel compelled to address it. Their generosity and selflessness are admired by all who know them. Service to others is primary in their lives.
Sometimes, however, their helpfulness can translate into a need to be needed and appreciated. When their need to help others becomes intense, it can cause them – and those who know them – considerable stress. They may become overly friendly and effusive, even gushy, using flattery and demonstrativeness to ensure that they are seen as loving and caring. Others may see them as intrusive and possessive when their desire to help is unwanted. At work, they may become chatty, to the annoyance of others who may see their friendliness as a distraction from the task at hand. Twos may exhaust themselves trying to help others, and lose touch with their ability to identify and meet their own needs in the process. When they feel unappreciated for their efforts, Twos may over-compensate and try to create dependencies that only they can fulfill. A “give to get” thinking becomes an unwitting strategy as they try to cope with an unresponsive or unappreciative world.
Twos grow when they shift their focus from gaining love by meeting others’ needs to an objective view of the situation that may be causing them hurt. Learning to recognize and meet their own needs before taking on others’ problems helps restore objectivity and allows them to truly help others by letting others help themselves. They also grow when they focus on their work and meet task challenges without worrying too much about the feelings of the people involved.
At their best, Twos give of themselves unconditionally and personify the genuine love they so value. They are warm and caring and feel privileged that they can serve others without seeking personal recognition or reward. In the process, they also learn that by nurturing and caring for themselves, they are better able to nurture and care for others.