The Helper: The caring, interpersonal type. In the theory of Enneagram, Type Two personalities are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. Therefore, they thrive on feeling useful, accommodating, and feel at ease when they know they are part of something bigger, or someone’s success or well-being.
Also, Helpers are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, nothing is ever too complicated when they feel part of an accomplishment, and they will do anything to make others happy and fulfilled. Still, of course, all these traits as givers can undoubtedly take a toll on them: they can also be sentimental, resort to flattering behavior a little too often, and let other people-pleasing take the best of them sometimes. For instance, In “Personality Types Using The Enneagram For Self Discovery” (1987), Riso tells us that Helpers “actively lookout for the welfare of others — nurturing them, encouraging them, and empowering people to grow and discover their strengths.”
Further, Riso and Hudson (1995) in “The Power of The Enneagram: The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (Version 2.0)“, define Helpers as:
“Possessive of others, doing things to be needed, they have hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Proud and self- deceptive, they can feel unappreciated and victimized, becoming manipulative and controlling. At their best: Unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.”
As a result, given that definition, it is essential to understand that, though Helpers are useful and trustable team members, they will require micromanagement to some extent. Baron and Wagele (2009) also suggest being gentle when providing feedback or criticism. And last but not least, to draw lines and keep clear limits to make sure that everything they do for others remains inside professional behavior and not trespassing into a less than healthy relationship with others ( they will do things to be needed).
Overall, they typically have problems taking care of themselves. They are also warm, caring, motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs. Therefore, if you have Helpers amongst your team, make sure you check on them regularly and give self-care time, they may even have issues asking for time off, or even acknowledge when they need medical attention.
Certainly, Helpers are a great asset for any team: they will get things done, enjoy being part of something, and will work hard to achieve goals at all times. Also, a Helper can be trusted with deadlines, detailed oriented tasks, and essential responsibilities. Because Helpers always want others to like them, they can be great hosts, or represent the team or company; their confident personality makes it easy for others to love them and enjoy having them around. In short, they can relate to a wide variety of people; this trait is essential as it helps them connect and empathize easily and well with others.
By: Dr. Graciela González Calderón-Psychologist
- Riso, Don Richard. Hudson, Russ. The Power of The Enneagram: The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (Version 2.0).Page 21. Enneagram Inst. 1995
- Riso, Don Richard. Hudson, Russ. “Personality Types Using The Enneagram For Self Discovery. Page 59. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1987
- Morgan Cron, Ian. Stabile, Suzanne. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery. Page 25. InterVarsity Press. 2016
- Baron, Renne. Wagele, Elizabeth. The Enneagram Made Easy: Discover the 9 Types of People.HarperOne; 1 edition. 2009