Everyone feels the emotions of the Heart Center. We all know how
it feels to grieve, to love, to long, to feel another's pain,
to sense when someone else is sad despite the smile on their face.
These are the instincts, the intelligence and the "knowing"
of the Heart Center.
The driving emotions of types Two, Three and Four are grief, sadness
and shame. It's like a constant refrain of loneliness and unworthiness
playing softly, sometimes imperceptibly, yet unrelentingly in
This center is also known as the "image" center because
of all three types' preoccupation with how others perceive themhow
they come across to others. The sadness of these types results
from substituting their image for their true self. Twos externalize
sadness by trying to fix others' sadness. Threes have forgotten
about their sadness, being optimistic and busy. Fours internalize
their sadness by focusing on and amplifying their deepest emotions
as that part that makes them special.
The shame these types feel results in them trying to construct
images for themselves that will fix their dilemma of needing to
bolster a real identity that was not seen or supported as children.
The resulting feeling is that there was something wrong with them.
So, all three types in the Heart Center attempt to escape their
shame by making themselves seem valuable by their self-images.
This manifests itself differently in each of the three types;
Twos go all out to please others so they will be liked and therefore
be valued. Threes strive intensely to make themselves successful
or outstanding somehow so they will get value from being admired
and approved of; and Fours make up beautiful deep, dramatic stories
about themselves to get value from being special and unique.
Because Heart types are concerned, consciously or unconsciously,
with prestige and image, they are usually quite responsible. In
fact, Twos, Threes and Fours are so responsible that they assume
that they are responsible for whatever is going on in their lives
and the lives of everyone around them. If someone in their life
feels needy, lonely, left out or disconnected, or if there is
conflict, they assume it's somehow their faultthey did something
wrong or did not do enough right.
Consequently, they are always doingtrying to make themselves
good enough or right enough. The shame of never being able to
do enough is so hard to bear that they increase their efforts
in a never-ending cycle of continual activity.
Twos externalize grief and sadness. They feel others' feelings,
empathize with their pain and try to heal others and meet their
needs. Threes have basically just forgotten their grief, repressing
it under the facade of successful image and avoiding it by staying
constantly busy. Fours represent internalized grief with their
focus on their own sadness and their stories of loss and longing
for what's missing. Twos are rescuers, Fours are rescuees, and
Threes "don't need rescuing."1
The natural instinct of Heart Center types is to focus on other
people. They innately ask "How do I feel about how you feel
about me?" "Will you like me?" "Do you see
me in a favorable light?" "Who am I with?" They
are very sensitive (without even being aware of it) to the moods
and feelings of others.
Twos, Threes and Fours experience themselves primarily in response
to the feelings or behaviors of other people. Ironically, apart
from others, they often have little real access to their own feelings.
It is therefore hard for these types to be by themselves, and
they keep busy doing things to get the love, attention and approval
of others. They can be easily ruled by what others think of them.
Because they are so attuned to what others are feeling, they often
think they know what's best for others.
Heart types have primary issues around their ability to love and
be loved. They look for connection and change themselves to get
it. They are the shape-shifters. They design themselves to get
the desired effect. They are also the scriptwriters.
They believe the stories they write about themselves and others
and actually believe themselves to be the way they have designed
themselves to bethe parts they are playing. Noted Enneagram
author Don Richard Riso says, "They want to believe their
own press releases."
Always doing and trying and still never being enough can end up
as a general feeling of hostility as a defense against the shame
experienced by this center which they act out on themselves or
others. It shows up a little differently for each of the feeling
types. Twos direct it out to others and get resentful and huffy
if their many efforts are not appreciated the way they think they
should be. Fours direct it in on themselves, punishing themselves
and making themselves victims. Threes lie to themselves and othersthe
grand lie (which they believe) -- that they have no hostility.