Guelma Penn Anthony

In my mind, Annie Osborn Anthony is Type Two, a Giver on the enneagram wheel. But please keep in mind that some of the details I mention below have been created to coordinate with my understanding of her type. Here’s why:

As a writer, I’ve had to ponder Annie more than her husband Daniel or her sister-in-law Susan B. Anthony. It’s been eleven years now that I’ve contemplated the few written clues of her life—a letter here, a news snippet there. But during that time, I’ve been gratified to find hard evidence that some of her characteristics that I originally intuited were eventually confirmed in written form.

This is the second of four enneagram studies with Anita Plat-Kuiken. Here are the previous ones:

  1. Introduction to the enneagram
  2. Type One: Susan B. Anthony

When you come across an *asterisk, that indicates material that will be published in future novels in my Dauntless Series. My final enneagram post will cover Daniel Read (D.R.) Anthony, who blazed through life as a Type Eight.

Annie Osborn Anthony as Type Two

People with this enneagram type are caring, helpful, generous, sensitive to others’ feelings, supportive and people-oriented. While they excel at making connections and empathizing with the desires and feelings of others, they find it difficult to focus on their own needs. Women are more likely to be Type Twos, with the type making up 15% of women as compared to only 7% of men.

Annie’s helpful nature began to show itself in her teenage years on Martha’s Vineyard, where she helped a freedom seeker escape from his slave master. As a more mature woman in Leavenworth, she took responsibility for providing basic needs to the impoverished in a particular segment of the city. She mothered five children and served as an essential healthcare provider for Daniel. And as she got to know Susan more, Annie supported the suffrage movement in a big way – she held an open house with two thousand attendees!

A childhood wound in Type Twos

As children, Twos often appear as overly sensitive. As a result, they tend to hide sadness and disappointment to be accepted and cared for.

Annie’s mother died when she was ten and her father soon remarried. She may have had to temper her sadness about her loss and appear happy for her father and stepmother.

Type Two’s need for appreciation

The need for appreciation and love looms large for Twos. They’re the ones you want to plan your milestone birthday bash or bring you dinner when you’re sick. However, they may fall into a funk when the person they’ve been helping no longer needs them. As parents, Twos often feel this way when children leave the nest. As spouses, they may experience this when their ill partner recovers or passes away, leaving a huge void in their own life. When they don’t receive a steady stream of thanks and appreciation, they feel like nobodies.

In *Book Two of my series, Annie greets her husband with sympathy the morning after he loses an election. She is stunned when he brushes her off and moves to his Plan B. He hasn’t asked for her help, nor does he need it!

Annie suffered even more disappointment after caring for Daniel during his three-month convalescence from a severe gunshot wound*.  Because he needed hands-on care around the clock, she not only gave him her personal attention but also coordinated a team of other caregivers. During her many hours of putting compression on his wound, he came to rely on her compassion and gentleness above everyone else’s. For a time, she truly was indispensable to him. So focused was she on his recovery that she put aside everything and everyone else in her life.

After his recovery, Daniel bounded back into his active life, defying expectations and (some might say) common sense. He no longer needed care 24/7. At this point, Annie took some desperate measures that show her extreme level of stress. (Sorry for being vague, but telling you more would spoil the story.)

Balancing Act for Type Twos

Type Twos find balance when they recognize their tendency to get over-involved with others and take as much care of themselves as they do of others. Their mantra could be, “I am human, I can say no, I can ask for help, I can give and expect nothing in return, I am loved even when not needed, and I owe it to others to admit that I have needs of my own.”

Music restored Annie’s stability. We know that her childhood home on Martha’s Vineyard had one of the first pianos on the island, which gave her a lifelong hobby to fall back on. We know from Leavenworth newspapers that she was a respected commentator on music and opera. She sang at funerals, soirees, and public fundraising activities.

A famous Type Two giver

Mother Teresa is a good example of enneagram Type Two. Responding to a strong call from God, she nursed the poor and disfigured, often easing them into a dignified death. Despite her drive to do this work, her diary records extreme bouts of depression and feelings of worthlessness. She achieved balance by meeting with a spiritual director and spending daily prayer in communion with the Divine.

4 Responses

  1. From what I understand, Type Twos make great mothers, although their tendency may be to do too much and burn out.

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