It Takes All Kinds    Type 2

This article appeared in Mueller Living, May 2017, as part of a series. For more information about the enneagram go to

Some people are easier to appreciate than others. At least, at first. 

As we get to know one another’s point of view, we can appreciate our differences and the variety and richness that make up the texture of community. 

We are looking through the lens of a personality system called the enneagram. Last month we introduced the Perfectionist whose attention goes to what’s wrong in the world. Now we’re going to look at the Giver whose attention goes to what other people ne

If I identify with the Giver:

I am aware of the needs of people who are important to me. I care that your needs get met, but I really want to be the one who anticipates them and meets them in the best possible way. I don’t want to be in the limelight. But I’ll give my all with warmth and enthusiasm for you to get what you want. I can bring out qualities in you that you didn’t see before.I

My attention goes to the needs of people who matter to me. Boss, spouse, children.

I have a hard time knowing what my own needs are and if I do identify them, I can’t stand asking anyone to help me. I prefer the feeling I get from helping others.

Somewhere deep inside I believe that my being lovable depends on my being able to take care of others. Ido everything possible to avoid being needy, myself. Teachers loved me because I helped without their needing to ask. And I made them look good.

At home: Relationships matter to me more than anything and I’m committed to realizing the potential in people close to me. I usually do this at some cost to my own needs for time, relaxation and sleep. I have excellent ideas about how you can improve your work and how I can help you. I’m good at asking you questions about yourself but I’m not so comfortable turning the focus onto me.

At work: If you are my boss, I know what you need before you walk out the door to the meeting. Papers are in order, phone calls made in advance. Your favorite kind of water will be next to your place at the table.You sometimes say you could not succeed without me. 

My co-workers love that I bring homemade cookies for everyone. And I have fun surprising someone with their favorite flavor ofTopo Chico that you can only find at one HEB.

In the community I can pinpoint whose needs in the community are not being addressed. My empathy serves me well in identifying such problems. I have good ideas about solutions, I can inspire others to help and I have a great capacity for seeing the project through. 

What pushes my buttons? You, when you don’t let me help you or if I don’t feel appreciated.

Something people who love me often say to me: You don’t give me a chance to choose for myself.

The things I have to be aware of so I can grow include being more tuned in to my own goals and needs. I need to notice that I can sometimes take too much pride in my helpfulness.

Don’t confuse me with another type who’s a good caretaker but not so energetic and focused as I am.