Enneagram Type 2 Helpers/Givers/Lovers are typically warm, concerned, nurturing and sensitive to the needs, preferences and desires of the people around them. Enneagram Type 3 Achievers/Motivators are typically energetic, optimistic, self-assured and goal-oriented. Here we explore the compatibility of an Enneagram Type 2 with a Type 3 and what the relationship looks like when it is in balance and when it starts to spiral downward.
Enneagram Type 2:3 When In Balance
The Helper (2) and Achiever (3) can be a very supportive, charismatic and socially adept combination. While both can be outwardly focused, in their highest levels of development, both focus inward more. The Helper (2) takes more time for self-care, and the Achiever (3) is content just being, instead of doing. This deepens their emotional connection. Externally they can be a powerful combination with the Achiever (3) offering motivation, charisma and leadership, and the Helper (2) offering more in-depth connection and emotional support. Together, they can be well-regarded, charming, generous, positive and high-spirited. In their social circles, this is often a popular couple. They work well together in part because of their balancing differences.
Helper (2)s place a higher value on the emotional world and bring an empathetic personal touch and more individual focus to their interpersonal connections. They are thoughtful and considerate, generous and loving. Their pace is slower, and they speak more directly from the heart. Their goal is a true connection.
Achiever (3)s bring adaptability, charm, charisma and an orientation towards goals and achievement. They strive to be successful in the eyes of others, and Helper (2)s appreciate and respond well to this effort. Achiever (3)s have a faster pace and a greater desire to keep the mood high and positive. They seek achievement and to motivate and inspire others.
When in balance, the Helper (2) feels appreciated by their Achiever (3), and the Achiever (3) feels admired by their Helper (2). When both partners are self-aware, this can be an amazingly effective and accomplished couple, radiating charm, charisma, magnetism, helpfulness, kindness and grace. At their best, themes of quiet altruism may be present.
Enneagram Type 2:3 The Downward Spiral
Appreciation and admiration are like oxygen to the Helper (2) and Achiever (3). If either partner feels a scarcity of their oxygen, problems can arise. With tightening defenses, the Helper (2) may do more than they should and become overengaged and intrusive in the lives of others. They begin to feel underappreciated and worn out by their subconscious efforts to be appreciated thereby triggering the downward spiral. Conversely, with tightening defenses, the Achiever (3)s try to do and achieve more with a subconscious goal to gain admiration. This may trigger workaholism and a disconnect from the relationship itself and their own emotional needs. Both partners may begin to resent the other for not recognizing their efforts and indirectly for not meeting their emotional needs.
The Helper (2) may grow impatient at the drive to achieve and gain admiration that takes the Achiever (3) away from the relationship and a deeper emotional connection. The Helper (2) is highly aware of how image conscious their Achiever (3) is, and this can become a source of discord in the relationship. As the Helper (2) seeks a more authentic connection, the Achiever (3) may feel threatened that their autonomy to pursue their goals is at risk. Both partners polarize, the Helper (2) leaning in for more focused time and attention and the Achiever (3) pulling away to achieve more goals as a way to feel stable.
Conversely, the Achiever (3) may start to resent the amount of time the Helper (2) lavishes on the needs of others feeling this attention is given more sparingly to them and to the relationship itself. The Helper (2) may see the relationship as an extension of themselves, and attention for the relationship may take a back seat for other priorities. The underlying issue is that when fixated, both Helper (2)s and the Achiever (3) disconnect from themselves. In a fixated state, Helper (2)s can’t set healthy personal boundaries, and they lose connection with themselves. In a fixated state, Achiever (3)s focus exclusively on goals and achievement and lose connection with themselves. In both environments, the relationship suffers.
When fixated, the Helper (2) has lost touch with themselves and the Achiever (3) is in denial of their own emotions and self-worth, using constant achieving as a way to feel better about themselves. Misunderstandings become central themes in the dynamic. Unless the partnership finds a way to repair, the connection weakens and breaks apart, and the relationship drifts off course.
Learn more about the Enneagram Compatibility of Type 2s in relationships with Type 3s
Enneagram knowledge can be transformative in improving your relationships and an important tool in cultivating compassion, both towards yourself and others. In my book, “The Nine Keys: A Guide Book to Unlock Your Relationships Using Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram” I explore intimate relationships through the lens of the Enneagram.
The Nine Keys
The Nine Keys is the essential encyclopedia of the Enneagram in relationships. This book contains Enneagram relationship theory for all 45 type combinations as well as personal testimonials all 81 relationship perspectives. Drawing on over 1,500 years of relationship experience from over 100 couples from around the world, the descriptions and testimonials are instructive, uplifting, cautionary, and sometimes scary and humorous – all real, all good. Browse the entire book here.
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- Read more: Achiever (3)s talking about their relationships with their Helper (2) at page 98
- Read more: Helper (2)s talking about their relationships with their Achiever (3) at page 139
- Read more: the Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for Helper (2)s and Achiever (3)s at page 454