How to Achieve Social Know-how
Learning personality types’ strengths can help you gain skills you lack.
Posted Aug 20, 2013
Do you ever wish you more popular or socially cool? My writing partner, Renee Baron, was a 2–Helper in the Enneagram and an ENFP in the MBTIR. Two’s focus on their image, their social skills, helping and giving to others, and making the environment pleasant for social interactions. Renee was charming, made new friends easily, and took a great interest in her clothes and appearance. She was tuned in to other people, at times more than to herself. Her strengths were relatively foreign to me as a 5–Observer. Though I appreciated looking good and pretty clothes, I preferred to devote little time to them and I was rather shy.
Two’s often give advice, especially when extraverted, like Renee. When she thought I had made a social or fashion mistake she’d let me know. Sometimes I was too outspoken for her. Though I would sometimes object when I thought someone had said something stupid or hypocritical, Renee would rather stay friendly in similar situations. Two’s want people to like them (and the person they’re with), so what I said when we were together was important to her.
Renee could always find something positive or polite to say and I tried to learn this from her. My memory of her still influences me. When I try to fill in some of the social skills I am weak in, I try to think of what Renee would do.
If you want to improve your social skills, you can copy some of the personality traits of famous people who are Two’s or of Two’s you know. A good place to start is by noticing how others react to you. If you want to be more extraverted and gregarious, copy people like Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dolly Parton, and Richard Simmons. If you want to be friendly but reserved, Ken Burns, Mia Farrow, Arianna Huffington, and Desmond Tutu might appeal to you.
Two’s are valuable for helping others value themselves and for finding and acknowledging the goodness in people. Some, like Anita Bryant, Erica Jong, Pamela Harriman, and Danielle Steel work hard on accomplishing something themselves. Others, like Nancy Reagan, are a force behind an accomplished other. At their best, they convey unconditional love and caring. They’ll pitch in and help you when you need it.
Here are some famous Two’s from my list and Tom Condon's:
Tammy Faye Bakker, Brigitte Bardot, Claire Bloom, Pat Boone, T. Berry Brazelton, Anita Bryant, Ken Burns, Ellen Burstyn, Leo Buscaglia, Lynne Cheney, Petula Clark, Glenn Close, Bill Cosby, Doris Day, Celine Dion, Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Farrah Fawcett, Kathie Lee Gifford, Melissa Gilbert, Danny Glover, Melanie Griffith, Pamela Harriman, Leona Helmsley, Whitney Houston, Arianna Huffington, Anne Jackson, Erica Jong, Sally Kellerman, Diane Ladd, Jessica Lange, Monica Lewinsky, Jerry Lewis, Susan Lucci, Alma Mahler, Imelda Marcos, Florence Nightingale, Merlin Olsen, Christina Onassis, Yoko Ono, Suze Orman, Dolly Parton, Eva Peron, Susan Powter, Priscilla Presley, Patsy Ramsay, Sally Jessy Raphael, Nancy Reagan, Della Reese, Debbie Reynolds, Mr. Rogers, Virginia Satir, Richard Simmons, Danielle Steel, Sally Struthers, Ron Suskind, Marlo Thomas, Richard Thomas, Jennifer Tilly, Tiny Tim, Ivana Trump, Desmond Tutu, Liv Ullmann, and Lesley Ann Warren.
Visit http://wagele.com to check out my books, CD, cartoons, and essays, and Famous Enneagram Types.
Read my WordPress blog of 8-13-13: “The New DSM: Abnormal is the New Normal.”