The Self-Preservation Two- The Helpless Child Archetype

Several years ago, two of my friends aged about 25 and 45 worked for the same employer, and they held the same job title- the older one being a Self-Preservation Two.  In time, the younger woman applied for a promotion, and I asked the Self-Pres Two how she felt about potentially having to report to someone younger than her.  To my surprise, she cried, "I'd love someone to tell me what to do!  Love it!  Love it!  All I want in life are people to tell me what to do." 

As I wrote last time, Twos present themselves as kind, generous, friendly and accepting, but underneath the presentation, unconsciously, there's a denial of personal power, which means she goes after things in a round-about way- heaping flattery and kindness upon certain desirable people, and complaining and piling guilt upon the recipient when the attention isn't returned.

This, however, is only the modus operandi of Social and Sexual Twos- giving to favored others in hopes of having the love and acceptance returned.  Self-Preservation Twos, the countertype of the Twos, don't want to be loved for what they do or how much they give; they want to be loved for who they are, so according to Beatrice Chestnut, they unconsciously adopt the archetype of the helpless, yet adorable- child who naturally engenders care, love and attention; the flip side to their child archetype being that they suspend their judgement in favor of those of others.

Self-preservation Twos grow into adults like we all do, but they keep the supports in their lives in place by maintaining a childlike demeanor (Chestnut, 2013).  They even look younger than other people their age, and may have "young"-sounding voices.  Because children, due to their inherent helplessness and loveability, automatically become the family's first priority to feed, clothe, and give attention to, Self-Pres Twos see themselves as the cute dependent in a group, and want to be acknowledged as such without having to give and flatter others like the other Twos do.  Failure to appreciate these Twos may result in pouting and withdrawal.

These Twos don't want to have to prove their importance to be important.  Despite wanting to be the centre of attention, they experience no accompanying feeling of having to do anything for it.  They want to be seen without showing themselves.... They "unconsciously [aim] to attract love and attention through being cute and expressing a childlike sense of need" (Chestnut, 2013).

To bolster their right to dependence, although they actually may be quite competent, they seek out partnership scenarios where they won't have to take care of themselves (often financially), won't have to make adult decisions, and will be on such a pedestal that they'll never have to ask for things. 

There is an ambivalence, however, about the freedom they give up for unconditional love and support.  On the one hand, they desperately want to be singled out to be nurtured, cuddled, petted, and adored, and on the other hand, they long for their freedom, much like a child might long for theirs. 

Because it's nearly impossible to maintain that carefully placed scaffolding throughout their entire lives, Self-Pres Twos, like all Twos express bitter frustration, complaining that nobody loves them.  Frustration is a core feeling with Twos who depend on it to feel like "themselves".  Thus is the life of someone who doesn't ask directly for what they want, nor do they pursue what they want directly out of life.

This same woman I mentioned at the beginning lights up and talks animatedly in anticipation of being old enough to enter a nursing home so people will take care of her.  Such is the fate of a Two who hasn't become self-aware enough to see her pattern and start making her own decisions.