2s do genuinely care for and about other people. When they see that someone is in need, they honestly want to help. But the payoff for their helpfulness—and for their efforts at people-pleasing—is that they get to feel needed and important. The fact that they tend not to put themselves in the spotlight and are more comfortable being the power behind the throne doesn’t mean they don’t want recognition. It’s just that what they want recognition for is how much the person taking center stage couldn’t have done it without them.
Yes, pride is considered the 2s passion (or “sin”), but that isn’t the whole story. 2s need to feel valued and appreciated. When they don’t get feedback that lets them know what they do is noticed, they begin to think that what they’re most afraid of is true: they don’t really matter. This often initiates a renewed effort to do more and more and more in order to force others to acknowledge them.
2s are convinced it’s what they do for others that is the source of their significance to the people in their lives. But if they can let go of that belief, they might be able to see that being with others—really being present, warts and all (not helpfully, cheerfully, or flatteringly)—is the greater gift they have to give.
If you are a 2, try embracing your inner Pip-Squeak by recognizing that you can’t be all things to all people, so you might as well relax and stop trying. Maybe you aren’t the most important person in a particular situation. Maybe sometimes they can actually do it just fine without your help. That’s OK. Bring yourself to the party anyway.