13 comments


  • Sue Garland

    Wendy, your Enneagram course last year was a real eye-opener for me, and it truly has enhanced my self-awareness in a way that nothing else has done. Maybe I was just “ready”, who knows?
    I am a toughTwo. I have spent the past 25 years working my way out of destructive patterns and relationships and building a satisfying and healthy life. And, thanks to a compassionate and insightful therapist some years back, I’ve gained a lot of insight into my past. However, now looking at myself through the eyes of Enneagram, I’ve been able to evaluate present relationships and present behavior and begin instantly to make improvements. Not always comfortable, but unmistakably right.
    Most significant was a relationship I had cultivated for over 20 years, trying all the time to ingratiate, be useful and important, and — toward the end — be an instrument of this person’s healing. When I realized my own hidden motivation in this activity, it was like having a bright light shined on the whole picture, with all the shadows revealed for what they were! I knew I had to stop.
    With sudden clarity, I realized that I had to walk away entirely from the relationship. And I did it without drama or elaborate explanation, and without imposing mystery. There have been questions, of course, and I’ve answered in terms of other aspects of my life getting in the way, making it sound like the natural order of things — which, in a way, it is. After a while I realized, with some humor, that by now I’m probably just a remembered name. So much for “indispensable”.
    I can’t tell you how freeing this has been, or how much light it has shed on other aspects of my life. I’m still working on the part where I look appreciatively at all my Two characteristics — there’s a lot to reflect back on and re-evaluate — but I’ll get there! You’re a blessing!

    August 26, 2012
    • Dear Sue,
      I am deeply touched by your comments–not just because of your kind words, but because of your honest self-disclosure and the courageous path you are on.

      The phrase you used at the end, “I can’t tell you how freeing this has been,” is one of the most significant gifts from work with the Enneagram. We attain freedom from our patterns, our roles; we are free to choose. We don’t have to “do our Type.” Sounds like you are breaking free!

      I have to tell you that every time I see your email address, I read “sugarland.” And you are as sweet as sugar!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your journey. I know it will be useful to many others.

      August 26, 2012
  • LC

    Hi Wendy,

    I just ‘discovered’ I’m a two last night. Thank God, I did because it gave my sanity something to grasp and a realization of how dark my life could become if I didn’t put the brakes on. The most eye-opening thing, for me, was how I expect people to know “how much I sacrifice for them”, however, they have no idea of what I actually do! Then, of course, there’s no “love” from all this sacrifice (since, to them, it doesn’t hit their radar), so I try even harder to please them! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m broke and exhausted and still not personally satisfied.

    I need a nap from living this crazy loopy loop!

    June 27, 2013
    • Hi Lisa,

      Smiling at, “a realization of how dark my life could become if I didn’t put the brakes on.” True for us all … when we wake up and realize we’ve been asleep to our habits and patterns. The good news is that when we see it, we are at choice and can take back control of our lives. Most important is to explore: what is the payoff for continuing “as is?” We all do stuff because we are getting something out of it. Until the cost becomes greater than the payoff (which it appears it has for you), we are not apt to choose differently. It takes a strong commitment. My next post is on this subject.

      Meanwhile, it sounds like you are ready to try something new. Let me know how it goes for you. Thanks for sharing your story. It will be helpful for many others.
      With gratitude, Wendy

      June 27, 2013
  • […] me. Could it be really just that I don't know I'm actually anxious about what people think of me? Busting the Myths of the Enneagram People Pleaser: Type 2Wendy Appel Reply With […]

    August 01, 2013
  • […] love; they want power through other people needing them and loving them. First of all, read this: Busting the Myths of the Enneagram People Pleaser: Type 2Wendy Appel Secondly, some sources here on the forum: Type 2: Excerpts from Maitri Naranjo: Pride and the […]

    August 13, 2013
  • Great post, its nice to move beyond the caricature of a two to more subtle qualities. I also know 2’s leading organizations etc. Thanks for sharing!

    August 30, 2013
    • Hi Elan, thanks for stopping by to comment. Yes, there is a lot of misinformation out there and ‘caricatures’ as you say.

      August 31, 2013
  • Jeromy

    Wendy, I’ve dabbled in the enneagram for the last 9 years or so. I’ve used it within my ministry as a military chaplain on several occassions. I’m hoping to have the opportunity to invest more time in learning about it through group participation or week long training. Finger’s crossed…
    This article was helpful in some ways. I have a tendency towards 4 and 9 more than i do 1 and 3. I did feel like this article helped explore the myths of two.

    I will check out your book inside out. Thanks for sharing your work.

    August 31, 2013
    • Hi Jeromy,
      When you are looking to identify your best fit Enneagram Type, look at the underlying motivations for the ones you are considering. That is what distinguishes one Type from another. Behaviors can be attributed to more than one Type, but it is what is driving the behaviors (fears and desires) that is at core.

      Type 9 is fearful of losing connection and they “believe” conflict will cause a loss of connection. Type 9 desires peace and harmony within and therefore ‘without’ They are driven to maintain comfort. They accommodate others to keep the peace and in the process, may suppress their own wants and desires (as well as anger and strong feelings).

      Type 4 is fears not being a unique expression in the world so they strive to be unique and different in some way. They long for or envy others for seemingly having what they believe they don’t (this is not necessarily of a material nature). Their life script is to find and express their themselves and their authenticity.

      Hope this helps! Of course, there is more to it but this can give you a start at seeing the distinctions. Glad you are continuing to explore …
      Warmly, Wendy

      August 31, 2013
  • […] on this a little later. Although this is an article which touched upon many of my own thoughts: Busting the Myths of the Enneagram People Pleaser: Type 2Wendy Appel I think the problem here is confusing behavior with motives. Let me use 4 as an example, because […]

    December 03, 2013
  • […] of the claims on their time and energy, to know the parameters, so to speak. More myth-busting: Busting the Myths of the Enneagram People Pleaser: Type 2Wendy Appel Reply With […]

    December 18, 2013
  • […] 'The Helper' doesn't help. I think one of my closest friends is a 2 and she shows a lot of f Busting the Myths of the Enneagram People Pleaser: Type 2Wendy Appel Reply With […]

    February 15, 2014

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