A Therapist Explains
Why Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2


Before I share why Michael Scott is Enneagram 2, let me give you a bit of info on the  Enneagram & Therapy.


As it is important to state upfront:

The enneagram is not thoroughly scientifically researched. Because of this, it cannot be used as an evidence-based personality test. 


Yet- for some clients- I believe it can be helpful to incorporate the Enneagram into the therapy room.   Sometimes the explanations of the various Enneagram types can give words to something a person may not be able to articulate. 


In studying the enneagram, I believe it is a useful tool to help you understand parts of yourself.   

Ultimately, I think the enneagram is both useful and has limitations.  


With that, let’s move on to examining the characteristics of Enneagram 2.

Enneagram 2 is termed “The Helper” or “The Befriender.”


Key characteristics include:

  • Friendly & Generous
  • People pleasing
  • Deeply caring
  • Self-Sacrificing
  • Sincere
  • Warm
  • Unconditional in their Love

These characteristics make the Enneagram 2 pretty freaking amazing!

Hopefully, you are lucky enough to have some Enneagram 2’s in your life.


Of course, there is a shadow side to all Enneagram numbers… and Enneagram 2 is no exception.  

Under stress, the shadow side of an Enneagram 2 brings out the following:

    • Possessiveness
    • A need to be needed 
    • Passive aggression
    • Domination
    • Feeling unwanted & unworthy
    • Invested in seeing themselves as very helpful and caring
    • Over-involved in the lives of other

See the infographic below to understand Enneagram 2s better.  Please keep in mind that these levels are not static!  Under stress, we all move to lower levels of functioning.  At times of relative stability, we move up on the continuum. 


Using the above information, I’ll share why this therapist believes Michael Scott is a (very unhealthy… but very lovable) Enneagram 2:  


When Michael Scott comes from a healthy place, he is well-liked, loving, generous, and considerate.  We are drawn to him like fish to water. 


And then there’s the Michael Scott we encounter most of the time… 


Michael Scott desperately wants praise and adoration from the people around him.  He uses his position as the boss to feel worthy of love and belonging… 


He thinks he puts people first- but in reality- if the people he “serves” don’t act in the way he wants, he gets angry and resentful.  


Anger and resentment are like all other feelings.


If you don’t deal with the feelings, they leak out.  In other words:

Feelings ALWAYS win.


Enneagram 2’s may be too afraid to show their anger and resentment outright.  Rather, it leaks out passive-aggressively.  They inadvertently reveal their inauthenticity.  


Let’s investigate how this works with some of Michael Scott’s own words: 

Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2:
Quote #1

Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it’s not like this compulsive need like my need to be praised.

Michael Scott

Did I mention that our feelings leak out?  


The above statement is an over-the-top example of feelings leaking out.

Michael needs validation- to the point that the poor guy is blinded by this need.    


He needs to be loved more than he needs other people.  This is a sure sign of an unhealthy two.  


While he wants to put others first and be loving, he can’t do it at the expense of his ego.  

Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2
Quote #2

You cheated on me?....When I specifically asked you not to?

World's Best Boss

Michael made the above statement when he learned that Jan had become pregnant while they were in a romantic relationship.  


Michael made an understandable assumption that Jan cheated on him. 


If a core motivation of Enneagram 2 is to be wanted, the level of anxiety Michael would have upon learning about the pregnancy cannot be understated.  


How does he quell this anxiety?  Well, in his case, it was fairly easy. 


Once he discovered that the pregnancy was a result of artificial insemination, his main concern of feeling wanted was alleviated.  


He didn’t have to face the of being cheated on- and the accompanying feelings of being unwanted and unloveable.


Therefore, he felt relief.


But, Michael Scott, like any unhealthy  Enneagram 2 *NEEDS* to be needed.


He needs pregnant Jan to need him.  How does he achieve satiating his own need?  

By inserting himself into the preparation for birth and getting involved in Jan’s Lamaze class.

Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2
Quote #3

I learned a while back that if I do not text 911, people do not return my calls. But people always return my calls because they think that something horrible has happened.

Michael Scott

Ummm…. How manipulative is this?

And… poor Michael Scott doesn’t have the social acumen to realize this.  


When he pulls stunts like the one above, it is almost like he is walking backward away from what he really wants:  to be loved and connected to those around him.


The need for attention is a compulsion and he’ll engage in extreme measures to get attention (good or bad).  

While he thinks he is being upbeat and friendly, it comes off as manipulative and needy. 

Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2
Quote #4

I saved a life. My own. Am I a hero?… I really can’t say, but yes.

World's Best Boss

Unhealthy twos are known for their self-inflation because they want to appear powerful enough to do anything and be anything! 


And how can a person be more indispensable than being able to save a life?  


After all, don’t you want to connect with an altruistic person that saves a life?  


The problem, of course, is made obvious in Michael’s statement-

He wants to be seen as valuable and important- but can’t bring himself to put in the work to have connected and healthy relationships. 


That is too vulnerable for Michael- as he has an underlying fear of being unlovable!  


So, he makes up ridiculous stories where he is the hero in hopes of gaining a long-lasting, deep, and caring connection.  


Of course, this doesn’t work. 

Michael Scott is an Enneagram 2
Quote #5

The most sacred thing I do is care and provide for my workers, my family. I give them money. I give them food. Not directly, but through the money.

Michael Scott

Being the boss is a the perfect job for an unhealthy Enneagram 2… and a nightmare for Michael’s subordinates.  


Michael needs to appear super supportive…. he “cares,” he “provides,” he “gives.”


However, this supposed care, support, and generosity are not altruistic.


Rather, his motivation has strings attached: 

If he is supportive he believes they should be obligated to support him.  


An unhealthy Enneagram 2 hopes to get their needs met by making you feel indebted to them.  


Michael Scott’s statement indicates how scared he is of rejection.   He doesn’t feel comfortable opening up and being vulnerable.  


By “giving them money,” he hopes to buy his employees love and affection without having to be open, honest, and vulnerable.  


However, his giving is strategic and manipulative.  He gives- first and foremost- to get.  While his actions appear heroic, his words provide the uncomfortable truth to all those around him! 

What are your thoughts on Michael Scott and his Enneagram number?  Do you agree?  Disagree? 

What to talk more about the Enneagram?

Free free to contact me directly if you have questions or to schedule a brief call to see if I might be able to support you as you journey forward.


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