Not long ago, I was talking with a friend and sharing my long-term plans with them and they shocked the heck out of me when they asked why I always needed their approval. My reaction was very Blanche Devereaux being turned down for a date. And, if you don’t know who that is, you need to binge watch The Golden Girls ASAP.
I was so taken aback by that question because I’m 100% certain I don’t need anyone to validate me. I am an emotionally strong, confident woman with with a vision and goals and plans to back them up. How could I possibly be need to be validated like my friend suggested? But, the fact that they thought that made me do a little introspection and see if they were right. Was I unknowingly seeking approval?
The question lingered for weeks and would pop back into the forefront of my brain every so often and cause me to consider the possibility again and again, only to push it aside still unresolved. That is until I took a personality test.
I saw a lot of people posting on social media introducing themselves as a 4 or a 9 and I got tired of wondering what the heck they were talking about and finally took one. #gamechanger
I took this enneagram test and I was pretty intrigued by the directness of all 126 questions and attempted to be equally as direct and honest with myself as possible, especially if the reality of my answer wasn’t so pretty. Much like a food diary, the results can be greatly skewed if you aren’t 100% honest with yourself.
Turns out, I’m a 2 wing 3. That means I’m a helper leaning towards being an achiever. And let’s be real, as someone writing an advice column that aims to help people achieve all their wild and crazy goals, it’s spot on.
People of this personality type essentially feel that they are worthy insofar as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. Involved, socially aware, usually extroverted, Twos are the type of people who remember everyone’s birthday and who go the extra mile to help out a co-worker, spouse or friend in need.
All the yes. This is me in a nutshell. Here’s the kicker…
Twos are warm, emotional people who care a great deal about their personal relationships, devote an enormous amount of energy to them, and who expect to be appreciated for their efforts.
Yes, yes, yes…..wait, what? I don’t expect to be appreciated for my efforts, do I?
…oh my goodness, yes. Yes, I do! Holy smokes!
That’s when it hit me. Where my friend interpreted my behavior as needing validation or approval, what I really needed was to be appreciated. To know that my efforts were not in vain.
Twos are thoroughly convinced of their selflessness, and it is true that they are frequently genuinely helpful and concerned about others. It is equally true, however, that Twos require appreciation; they need to be needed. Their love is not entirely without ulterior motive.
Gahhhhhh!!!! Also true! I help people and give of my time, energy, and expertise because I feel like it’s the right thing to do – to whom much is given, much is expected – but also because it makes me feel better about myself when I do so. I get an emotional high every day off the feel good endorphins that kick into gear when I help people.
As I continued reading about my own personality, a million lightbulbs went off in my head and I started connecting the dots and understanding more about myself and why I am the way I am and do the things I do. It was a lot like reading The Five Love Languages and I immediately sent the test to all my friends to see what number they were so I could better understand them too and be able to serve them better. #helper #overachiever
So, I encourage you to take the test and learn more about yourself. It takes a few minutes, but is so insightful and sometimes scary when they start pointing out all your qualities that could use some work (hello, bossypants), but what a potential game changer for each of us to be more aware of what motivates us, what our shortcomings are and how we can best use our unique skills, qualities and characteristics to contribute more intentionally to our community.
Also, if you could drop me a like, follow, comment, virtual high-five, this Two would really like to know you enjoy this blog. 😉
PS. When I was looking through my photos trying to find one that accurately depicted a blog about a personality test, I came across this one and my jaw dropped when I realized just how perfect it was. One year, I spent my birthday with one of my best friends and two of her sisters and their total of nine kids (two of which were still babies) during their February break. My BFF asked the kids to write down the things that they loved about me – totally wasn’t kidding about my cinnamon roll pancakes being a big hit, btw – and, simply put, I hit the college roommate jackpot with this one. She knew this would be the best present this Two could ever want. High-five to friends who sometimes know you better than you know yourself!
Julie is a self-improvement junkie who loves to travel, wear pretty dresses, eat big breakfast and watch all the sunsets. She’s been there and done that and sharing all her life lessons with you. Read more
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