The Altruist

Through helping others, Altruists demonstrate an idealistic commitment to unconditional love. Unfortunately, they can be other-oriented to self-destructive extremes.

You can recognize Two-wing-Ones by their warmth, encouragement, and overall air of acceptance. They enjoy giving smiles, hugs, compliments, and gratitude.

Probable examples of personality type Two-wing-One are Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, and Mary Kay Ash. Tutu’s Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference (co-written with his daughter Mpho Tutu) reads like a manifesto for the Two-wing-One way of being. Other reported examples are John Bradshaw and Danny Glover.

Two-wing-Ones’ commitment to service springs from both the heart and the head. Since perspective Two is the main influence, they have a real talent for helping others. Although they may devote themselves to others in a quiet, personal way, their secondary perspective, which is One, gives them a sense of duty and purpose that may nudge them toward business or community work rather than strictly family or personal service.

Giving too much of themselves is always a risk with this type. As illustrated in the biography of famous Two-wing-One, Florence Nightingale, somatizing is a common defense against not being able to say no. Nightingale believed that God had called her to be a nurse. In the ninenteenth century, that vocation was not acceptable in a young woman of her social class, yet she persisted in spite of disapproval. Convinced that marriage would interfere with her ambitions, she rejected at least one seemingly advantageous offer.

Through her experience of nursing soldiers in the Crimean War, Nightingale revolutionized nursing care in both military and civilian hospitals of Victorian England, and her influence spread around the world. But she eventually fell ill and became an invalid. Some biographers have thought there was an element of hysteria to her illness, which did, in fact, have the effect of getting her out of a lot of things she didn’t want to do, while still allowing her to dictate social and healthcare reforms from her bed.

Two-wing-Ones try to stay detached and objective about their projects but often descend into emotionality and impulsivity. When they allow the impossibility of fulfilling others’ unremitting needs to get under their skin they may spiral downward into despondency, feeling abandoned and worthless. Strategies like illness and escapism may help them avoid or begin to emerge from total despair, but these strategies are time wasters and can prevent Two-wing-Ones from ever fulfilling their own larger purposes.


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