The Giver is a nickname used to describe the Enneatype 2, one of the possible nine types in the Enneagram.

Defining Characteristics of the Enneagram Type 2

  • Warm smile and eyes
  • Approachable, radiates kindness
  • Vocal volunteer or activist
  • Excellent team player
  • Caring and gentle
  • Nurturing and patient
  • Smooth, flowing movements

Not sure if you're an Enneagram Type 2? Take our free Enneagram test.

What are Givers like?

Givers are highly empathetic and caring individuals who put others’ needs above their own. They have intuitive abilities to anticipate the emotional gaps of others and support them. They find great joy in being available and are seen as a source of encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. Through thick and thin, they’re the ride-or-die companion and friend. Usually open and popular, Givers find themselves in a variety of groups and are liked by many. Their encouraging and supportive nature draws in people from all stages of their lives.

What are the Giver's core values?

A strong sense of meaning, acknowledgment from loved ones, and emotional intimacy with others are Givers’ grounding principles. Altruism holds a strong place in their hearts and they readily go out of their way to volunteer their time and energy to bring others up. Kindness and reciprocity are the guiding values for their decisions. To improve someone else’s life or mood is an immeasurable times better than helping themselves. The shared experience of spending quality time with a loved one is among the best feelings in the world to Givers.

How can I recognize a Type 2?

In public, Givers are the people that strangers are naturally drawn to for directions or advice. They possess a strong aura of approachability. They’re highly attuned to the needs of others and can be seen as the ‘mother’ or ‘father’ figure of a group of friends. At home or alone, they continually make an effort to keep in touch with loved ones. Whether that’s through homemade dishes, tender words, or surprise gifts—they’re attuned to others’ love languages and enjoy putting a smile on their faces.

What are Givers like under different levels of health?

At healthy levels: Givers are selfless caregivers who are fulfilled by freely giving unconditional love. They’re comfortable with sharing their own needs to others and secure a healthy give-and-take balance. They acknowledge when others require distance and develop secure attachment styles. They’re able to practice mindfulness and understand the meaning of altruism. They recognize their own self-worth and can gently guide others towards theirs as well. Givers understand the meaning of empathy, and are able to have genuine, heart-to-heart connections with others.

At average levels: Givers assume the martyr role in relationships and constantly seek ways to feel important by attending to others’ needs. They feel fulfilled when others remind them how grateful they are to have them in their lives, and work hard to maintain this image of the constantly accessible friend. By continuously attending to others’ needs, Givers may burn out and overcompensate for their energy levels. They may use flattery or compliments in order to gain acceptance and appreciation within a community or relationship. They’re hypersensitive to the approval and appraisal of others, especially those they truly care about.

At unhealthy levels: Givers fall into a pit of self-despair and criticism—constantly looking for others’ faults and wrongdoings. They try to gain control over relationships and may become either overly clingy or overbearing. There’s now an excuse for their every action and they play the victim card in order to gain sympathy and reassurance. Finally, they unleash their manipulative side, and mindlessly blame other people for their suffering and misery. Givers base their self-worth on the opinions of those they’ve helped—and if received with criticism, they’ll wallow in despair and develop various forms of physical illness: aches, fevers and nausea.