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1 vs 2

Ones and Twos can appear similar because both have sets of rules that they expect others 

to adhere to, and become upset and reactive when others do not follow those rules. 

However, on closer examination, Ones have a far more rules and expectations than do 

Twos, and their expectations cover a wider array of behaviors. For example, Ones often 

have rules governing work style, work product, how things should be organized, how 

people should behave in a variety of situations, dress codes that define what is 

appropriate and inappropriate attire in a variety of circumstances, and more. Twos’ rules 

are far more focused on interpersonal relationships and how people should treat one 

another. Although Ones and Twos can both be self-critical and critical of others, most 

Ones are more consistently self-critical than Twos—and also more overtly judgmental of 

others. For example, the One’s “inner critic” or judge is activated eighty to ninety percent 

of the time or more, whereas the Two’s criticism of self and others is less frequent and 

more activated by highly distressing events like rejection and the perception of having 

failed others. 


Some may confuse Ones and Twos because both are dutiful and want to perceive 

themselves (and have others view them) as “good” and “responsible.” However, Ones 

and Twos have very different meanings for these words. Ones believe they are “good” 

and, therefore, valued, if they do everything right and make few mistakes, and 

“responsible” means they keep their commitments, do their work well, deliver it on time, 

and are punctual. Twos believe they are “good” and, therefore, valued, if they are 

thoughtful, considerate, and selfless, and “responsible” means they are always available 

when others are in need and they don’t disappoint the people in their lives. 

Ones and Twos are markedly different in many ways. For example, Ones speak 

definitively, offer opinions, judgments, and ideas, and use language that suggests they are 

evaluating people and situations—for example, Ones use words such as should, ought, 

right, wrong, and appropriate with great frequency. Twos, by contrast, speak in softer 

tones, ask questions of others to engage them and draw them into conversation, offer 

advice frequently, and focus on others in a way that makes people feel important. While 

Ones can be very warm, they are rarely as consistently warm and empathic as Twos. 

A helpful way to understand the distinction between Ones and Twos is that while Ones 

look internally to determine whether or not they have done a good job or made a mistake, 

Twos are more highly affected by how others perceive them than by how they view 

themselves. In other words, Twos have a strong inclination to perceive themselves 

through the eyes of others rather than having a strong interior sense of how valuable they 

are and how well they did something. While they may not directly solicit the opinions of 

others regarding the merit of their work or behavior, Twos pay greater attention to the 

nonverbal cues and interpersonal behavior of others and are far more affected by their posiitive

and negative relations.



The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge
Written and maintained by PDB users for PDB users.