in the United States in particular, there is a growing myth going around the Enneagram community that 2s are these saintly, dutiful helpers who are constantly putting the needs of others before their own.
first off, it's worth remembering that the vice of 2 is Pride and that they have a stress line to 8.
keeping that in mind, let's look at what Naranjo has to about 2s
While a number of descriptors might be grouped together as direct manifestations of pride—i.e., the imaginary exaltation of self-worth and attractiveness, “playing the part of the princess,” demanding privileges, boasting, needing to be the center of attention, and so on —there are others which may be understood as psychological “corollaries” of pride, and to them I now turn.Hedonism
Hedonism may also be understood as a trait related to the need for love, in that the wish for pleasure can be usually seen as a substitute for pleasure. Indeed these persons typically need to be loved erotically or through delicate expression of tenderness in the measure to which they equate being loved with being pleased, like in Grimm’s fairy tale of “The Princess and the Pea,” whose noble blood is discovered in the fact that she is distressed by the pea under the mattress. The affectionate and tender type II individual can become a fury when not indulged and made to feel loved through pampering such as is characteristic of a spoiled child.
The compulsive pursuit of pleasure of the ennea-type II person naturally supports the gay persona of histrionic people, with its pretended contentedness and animation. It is reflected, also, through a propensity to be frustrated and when not specially pleased (through attention, novelty, stimulation), through a low tolerance to routine, discipline, and other obstacles to an irresponsible, playful life.Seductiveness
It is understandable that the histrionic individual bent on the pursuit of love and pleasure is also keenly interested in being attractive. Such persons work for it, we might say, and are, above all, seductive. There are traits that we can, in turn, understand as tools of seductiveness —whether erotic or social. Thus the histrionic person is affectionate. Those who are in need of affection, because of being secretly insecure in regard to it, are, in turn, warm, supportive, sensitive, empathic ... even though their display of love may have inspired epithets such as”superficial,” “fickle,” “unstable,” and so forth. The support seductively offered by the individual is typically what may be called “emotional” support or perhaps “moral” support in the sense that one is an unconditional friend, yet may be not as helpful a person as may be suggested through the expression of feelings. (Ennea-type III and others can be more helpful when it comes to doing something practical.) Thus their seductiveness entails not only a histrionic love display but also a failure to deliver and, motivationally speaking, a “giving to get” kind of generosity.
Flattery, too, may be valued as a means of seduction exhibited by ennea-type II individuals. It must be pointed out that type II only flatters those seen as worthy enough to be seduced.
Eroticism is thus one of the vehicles of seductiveness. If we look at the erotic inclination of the histrionic individual as something that serves a broader purpose of proving personal significance (rather than in biologistic Freudian terms), we can, I think, understand both eroticism and pride better.Assertiveness
Along with an intense love need and its derivatives, we may say that dominance is also a characteristic of ennea-type II and constitutes a derivative of pride. Rather than the harsh, tyrannical demandingness of ennea-type VIII and the moralistic dominance of ennea-type I, who exacts his due as an authority, type II gets his or her wishes met through daring assertiveness—chutzpah. It is the assertiveness of one who at the same time is supported in a good self-concept and propelled by a strong, uninhibited drive–which contributes to the aura of vitality of this adventurous character. (As I have remarked already, proud character involves a rare combination of tenderness and pugnacity.)
Another descriptor belonging to this category of assertiveness is willfulness, a trait of “having to have one’s own way” even at the expense of an emotional “scene” or broken dishes.Histrionism
I could have written at the head of this trait cluster “histrionic implementation of the idealized self-image,” in reference to what may be abstracted as an over-riding strategy in ennea-type II of which false love and false self-satisfaction are a strong form of expression. The affectionate characteristic, however, can be seen as only one of the facets of the typical ideal image the proud enacts and identifies with.
Such image also contains the happy characteristic that we have already encountered in the analysis of seductiveness, an independence that involves the denial of dependency needs, and also a characteristic for which the word “free” might be an approximate term, if we understand it to be not the true freedom of liberation from characterological structures, but the freedomof willfulness, impulsiveness, and wildness. This freedom is an ideal of impulse gratification that exists not only in the service of hedonism, but also as an avoidance of the humiliation of having to submit to somebody else’s power, societal rules and all manner of constraints. Ennea- type II is not only too proud to conform to such rules, but is rebellious to authority in general —often in a mischievous and humorous way.
Also “intensity,” which can be considered, along with wit, a means of attracting attention (and which feeds on the pursuit of pleasure), can be understood as an ingredient in a larger than life self-image. It is not only an addiction but also a form of posing and sustaining the illusion of positivity. The histrionic posing of ennea-type II is in contrast to the efforts of type III to implement the idealized self through achievement and performance—just as her histrionic manipulation (through scandalous expression of emotion) is in contrast with type Ill’s explosiveness, which supervenes upon the breakdown of over-control.