A friend called to ask if I wanted to take our wives to dinner.
I checked with Laura. Our calendar was clear. So, I said “yes.”
“Cool,” he said. “Where do you want to go?”
That’s where things got complicated.
I am an Enneagram Two. For twos (who are first in the feeling triad of the Enneagram), everything is seen through the lens of relationships. How will this decision (any decision…every decision) affect the relationships of those who are involved? It’s not just in the large, sweeping choices we make. It is in every small movement and action that could have any impact on those involved.
So, round and round we went, via text. They simply wanted me to decide for the group. “Pick a place,” they said. “No big deal. We’re easy.” They were telling the truth. They simply wanted me to pick a spot, and we would meet. But for a Two, it’s a little more complex than you might imagine. Within the span of about 30 seconds, here is the stream-of-consciousness going on within…
I knew we would likely meet in about 30 to 45 minutes. I knew he was calling from work, on the other side of town, and was ready to eat. Laura would be coming from school, tired from a late meeting, and wouldn’t want to make a whole night of it. I would be coming from the church (wearing a suit), but HIS wife would be coming straight from the tennis courts, sweaty, with no time to change clothes or take a shower. In addition to finding a geographically convenient, quasi-casual restaurant with quick service and a menu everyone would enjoy, I was also aware that two of the four of us were on a Keto-diet—so there would have to be a good “no carb” option as well.
Exhausting, isn’t it? That kind of thinking goes on in the mind of a Two…all the time.
Why? Because we are thinking about relationships, constantly!
In Enneagram language, the Two is known as the “Helper” or “Giver.” Twos have honed the capacity to recognize and meet the needs of others–often before the others even know what they need. In many ways, it is like a super power. But I said on Sunday, for every superpower, there is a Kryptonite.
The Kryptonite for twos is that they spend their energies meeting the needs of others in order to mask their own needs—often leading to resentment and complete exhaustion.
This is why the deadly sin for Twos is pride.
On Sunday, Suzanne Stabile reminded us that pride (in Enneagram language) is the inability or unwillingness to recognize one’s own needs and sufferings, by focusing on the needs and sufferings of others.
Twos do this because (like all numbers) they carry around a wounding message within.
The wounding message of Twos is: “It is not ok to have your own needs.”
As a result, they create co-dependent relationships with those who are closest to them.
They work to prove themselves “indispensable” to others, hoping that by meeting the needs of others, they will be needed and wanted. They (unconsciously) give in order to get.
That is why the healing message Twos need to hear is simple: “You are wanted.”
Not because of what you can do, or how you can serve, but rather, you are wanted simply because of who you are.
Do you have a Two in your life?
Let them know today that you not only need them, but WANT them.
Show them you want their presence, their energy, their love, their company, their conversation, their insight, their opinions, even their disagreements, their objections, their bad attitudes, and mood swings.
And when you ask them where they would like to eat on a Tuesday night,
trust them when they say, “Mexican.”
Have I told you lately how much I love being your Pastor?
Well, I do.
*Remember to checkout these great Enneagram Resources at jcbc.org/enneagram-resources
Dr. Shaun King
Johns Creek Baptist Church
Thanks for your clear message about the 2s. I find some of those qualities in myself but unsure if I am a two. Thanks again for Suzanne and Joe. What wisdom! Looking forward to this series of messages!