Illustration of Enneagram Misidentifications for Type 2

Misidentifications

Common Mistypes for Enneagram Type 2

Since the Enneagram looks at much more than just how different personality types behave, some types can look very similar at first glance (because they behave similarly in some situations). This is especially true when only certain aspects of them get emphasized.

Yet in order for the Enneagram to benefit you, it’s crucial that you are sure which type actually reflects your personality and don’t end up mistyping yourself. This page is specifically for Enneagram Type Twos to have a quick check, whether they might have mistyped themselves.

If you want to know more about how and why misidentifications happen in the first place, you can do so here.

Illustration of Enneagram Misidentifications for Type 2

What are The most common Mistypes for Enneagram Twos?

Some Enneagram types are very hard to mix up, while others get misidentified more often. Let’s see how this looks like for Twos:

Often Mistyped

Type Twos quite often get confused with Type Sixes or Type Eights.

Sometimes Mistyped

Sometimes Twos mistype themselves for Type Sevens and Type Nines and they can also get confused about whether one of their wings, Type One or Type Three, might actually be their main type.

Rarely Mistyped

Type Twos rarely get misidentified for Type Fours and almost never get misidentified for Type Fives.

 

Below you find a description of each potential misidentification. You will learn how to distinguish Ones from all other Enneagram types. Note that all types are compared at an average level of health. Find out what that means.

To give you a quick indication on how likely certain types get confused with Type 2, we have created different bubble sizes for each pair of misidentifications.

Click on a bubble to read all about the reasons why these two types get confused with each other and what tells them apart.

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rarely
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Illustration of Enneagram Type 1: "The Teacher"

sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 1: The Helper and The Teacher

As with all types that are next to each other on the Enneagram, Ones and Twos don’t get so much misidentified but rather confused about which one is their main type and which one their wing. Since we talk about wings in more detail somewhere else, we will just mention the main difference between the two types for now.

The areas in which the personalities of Ones and Twos overlap are their conscious-driven urge to be of service. However, the motivation behind those drives are fundamentally different. Ones are principle-based. Their wish to be of service comes from their need to do the right thing. Twos on the other hand are much more personal. They see the help they offer from the basepoint of forming relationships. That’s why they’re much quicker to form close connections than Ones, who value their autonomy much more. You can also see it in their expressions: Ones restrain their positive feelings much better than their critical ones, while with Twos it’s the exact opposite: They are quick to express their positive feelings, but much slower to express their anger and frustration.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 3: "The Performer"

sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 3: The Helper and The Performer

As with all types that are next to each other on the Enneagram, Twos and Threes don’t get so much misidentified but rather confused about which one is their main type and which one their wing. Since we talk about wings in more detail somewhere else, we will just mention the main difference between the two types for now.

The main source of confusion for these two adjacent types is usually that both have lots of charm and the desire of being liked, as well as the skills to make other people like them. But the difference becomes pretty clear once you look at exactly how they do it:

Twos shower other people with attention in the hopes of being valued as a friend or partner. They prioritize other people over their own needs in order to create closeness. Threes however are less concerned with pleasing the other person by giving them attention as much as making themselves the irresistible center of attention.

The easiest way to boil it down is this: Twos seek intimacy and are great at making you want to be with them – Threes are actually afraid of intimacy and are therefore great at making you want to be around them (but always at a comfortable distance).

Illustration of Enneagram Type 4: "The Romantic"

rarely mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 4: The Helper and The Romantic

This is one mistype that rarely happens. True, both Twos and Fours can seem to be all about emotions and relationships, but they usually become aware of their radically different approaches very quickly: Twos go out of their way to move towards others and offer themselves to them, while Fours withdraw from others in the hope that the other will go looking for them.

Twos are very attuned to the feelings of others and tend to neglect their own feelings. Fours are very attuned to their own feelings and tend to neglect the feelings of others.

Or to make it even snappier and more dramatic (something both types will surely appreciate): Fours look for someone to rescue them, Twos look for someone they can rescue. Which kind of makes a good (if somewhat dangerous) team – but also very unlikely to confuse the two.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 5: "The Investigator"

rarely mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 5: The Helper and The Investigator

Well. Let’s just say this doesn’t really happen. You see, if something like polar opposites even exist on the Enneagram (which they don’t, really), one of the few valid pairs would be Twos and Fives. Twos are emotionally expressive people-persons. They want and need to be around others and be needed by them in return. Fives on the other hand are emotionally detached and decidedly non-people persons. They want to be left alone with their wonderful heads and ideas and preferably be needed by nobody. This alone should clarify why this mistype gets the shortest paragraph of them all.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 6: "The Loyalist"

Often mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 6: The Helper and The Loyalist

Twos and Sixes wear their potential for misidentification in their names. Doesn’t offering help imply some kind of loyal disposition, and doesn’t loyalty usually mean offering yourself to the people you love? Yes. But of course the names are not what defines these personality types. Since they get misidentified quite often however, we’ll look a little bit deeper into why that is and how you can keep the two apart.

The main thing that tricks Twos into thinking they’re Sixes (and the other way around) is that their behavior is similarly warm and engaging towards others. They both put a lot of effort into being liked by those around them. They can both be very emotional, too. But like we told you before: Behavior alone is not the deciding indicator – the motivation behind it is. And here’s where the key difference shows:

Twos are warm and friendly because they want to be close and intimate with others, to find out what they need and give it to them in order to feel needed and valued. They want the other person to feel safe. Sixes are friendly because they themselves want to feel safe, and by being friendly they make sure that everybody likes them.

But they don’t wear their heart on their sleeves like many Twos do. If you were to line them up on the introverted-extroverted spectrum, Sixes would be further on the introverted side, having more trouble with anxiety, indecision and self-doubts, while Twos are much further on the extroverted side. Their challenge is becoming manipulative (and in the process self-harming).

In a way, you could say that while both are really good at making people like them, Sixes do it because they depend on others, while Twos do it because they (unconsciously) want others to depend on them.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 7: "The Enthusiast"

Sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 7: The Helper and The Enthusiast

What makes Sevens prone to misidentify themselves as Twos and, though more rarely, Sevens as Twos, is their seemingly similar way of being very emotionally expressive and having deep feelings. Both types like to have people around them and fall on the more extroverted side. They can also both be very generous towards others with their time and resources.

If you look more closely however, you quickly start to see the differences. Yes, they both like to be around people. But while Twos want to be part of their loved ones lives, the center of a community and the confidants of the people they invest in, Sevens really don’t want to get that involved. They’d rather be the center of the party and off to the next one once it’s over.

In other words: While Twos want to be needed and others to depend on them, Sevens very much don’t want anyone to depend on them too much – it would only slow them down and take away their prized freedom.

It also shows in the way Sevens approach life, which is mainly by thinking. Their emotions, while often being quick, volatile and dramatic, kind of stay on the surface. The emotions of Twos on the other hand run deep, they are warm and not prone to change as quickly. It’s a bit like two puddles that look the same on the surface. But while one is shallow enough for you to jump into it without hesitation and just have fun, the other one turns out to be a well that you can swim and dive in.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 8: "The Challenger"

Often mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 8: The Helper and The Challenger

This is one of the most common mistypes for Eights as well as Twos. Even if as an outsider it may seem obvious that they are totally different, there is a common similarity in their behavior (which, by the way, is why they are connected by a line in the Enneagram. More on that here): Twos can be quite dominating and intense, especially when they are in leadership positions (and even more specifically when they are men, whom our culture often pressures into this kind of behavior anyway). These traits are straight from the rulebook of Eights. At the same time, the strong emotions of Eights and their passionate care for others can sometimes make them think they are Twos.

What’s important here are two things: First, Twos never openly dominate others like Eights do. The way they exert control will always be under the guise of being concerned for others. They don’t enter direct and open power struggles, which is something that’s natural to and even preferred by Eights. This goes for the work environment as much as for their personal relationships.

Secondly, the motivation behind their behavior is different. Eights dominate because they need to assert their power and strength. Twos dominate – covertly – in order to guarantee that others stay dependent on them. It’s kind of a top-down versus a bottom-up situation. The results may look similar at first, but the ways to get there come from opposite directions.

Illustration of Enneagram Type 9: "The Peacemaker"

Sometimes mistyped

Misidentifying Enneagram Type 2 And Type 9: The Helper and The Peacemaker

Twos and Nines are another good example for types that may look similar at first but reveal their significant differences at a closer look. Both types are focused on others, putting the needs of others before their own and making sure people feel loved and safe. Nines especially may mistake the Helper type as the „loving“ type, and, because they think of themselves as loving, believe they must be Twos.

But while every type is obviously capable of loving others, they all express their love differently. And that also applies to these two. The love of Nines is quite selfless, unintrusive and accommodating: You can be yourself around them without them asking for much in return. Sure, they want to be loved too, but they can be patient and satisfied with waiting for it.

Twos on the other hand are very conscious of their feelings. Average Twos give out love in order to receive love and the confirmation that they are good and loving. While Nines put the needs of others before their own because they are almost asleep to their own needs, Twos do the same because they think that asking directly for something would be selfish.

To give it a positive spin: Nines make people feel safe without ever making them feel guilty or pressured to respond. Twos make people feel cared for and put in the practical work to actually fulfil their needs.