Enneagram type-based obstacles to relationships | type 2
In this 10-part blog series, each blog covers a different Enneagram type, focusing on one essential way – of course, there are many per type – they get in their own way of having real relationships with others. These can be seen in the graphic above. Diving deeper, the blogs will connect the particular way the type creates specific obstacles in genuine relating to the issues and dynamics of that type. In addition, there will be one activity, process, or idea that can relax or relieve this ego-based way we constrain ourselves from having what we deeply want in relationships.
Biggest obstacle | Overemphasizing relationships; not asking for help
How does overemphasizing relationships and not asking for help get in the way of creating real relationships? After all, Twos value relationships highly and often think they are good at them, at least better than most other people. So, what is the issue with overemphasizing relationships, especially when, in the Twos’ view, most other people don’t pay enough attention to others. In addition, how would not being comfortable asking for help be detrimental to real relationships? After all, thinks the Two, people who ask for help tend to be perceived as ‘needy,’ and other people don’t like being around ‘needy’ people.
Ironically, this lack of asking for help can harm real relationships in several ways. First, in real relationships, the relationship is reciprocal, not a one-way street. Not asking for help makes the relationship one-way only. Second, Twos build up resentment when they perceive themselves as always doing for the other person without Twos realizing that they themselves have unintentionally generated their own source of resentment. Third, most people in a real relationship with another person like to feel needed. However, because Twos act as if they have no needs of other people, others may feel wanted, but they don’t feel needed. Finally, Twos do have needs, although these are often unexpressed. Unexpressed needs often come across as unexpressed neediness. In other words, Twos often come across as needy, even if they don’t think they are. “Neediness” is not a particularly attractive quality and unexpressed neediness can feel ambiguous or manipulative.
Get in touch with what you really need and express these needs to others; don’t expect them to intuit your needs or infer your needs based on the indirect expression of desires. Start first with getting more clear about what you feel and why? Ask yourself what you want at any given time or what you want from a particular person. From the answers to these questions, formulate what you need and practice asking for what you need. And remember, if someone says ‘No,’ as they sometimes will, don’t let this derail or disappoint you. People have the right to say ‘No,’ just as you do. And if someone takes issue with the fact that you are asking – they may be people who are takers and not givers – or if someone disappoints you too many times, these may not be people with whom you want to have a relationship anyway.
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | email@example.com