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Ted Lasso's Enneagram Type

Updated: Jan 14



After studying the Enneagram for over a decade and becoming a true Ted Lasso fan (insomuch that we visited Richmond for a couple days in the show's honor), I want to set the record straight about Ted Lasso's Enneagram type: Ted is NOT a Type 3. He’s not a Type 9, and he’s most definitely not a Type 7. It's easy to stereotype an upbeat, energetic character with a silly sense of humor as a Type 7, but that's based on a very superficial understanding of the Enneagram.


Ted Lasso is actually a great example of an Enneagram Type 2 Helper, and here are three undeniable reasons why:


1/POSITIVITY


Ted Lasso’s most iconic personality trait is his unrelenting positive energy. He’s a big ball of encouragement, affirmation, and inspiration which can be summed up in the most iconic image of the entire show: the BELIEVE sign. Enneagram Two's are in what’s known as the “Positive Outlook” group of the Harmonic Triad, alongside Type 7 Enthusiasts and Type 9 Peacemakers.


All Positive Outlook types want to drive themselves and other people towards positive emotions because deep down, they hate dealing with their own negative emotions and are experts at numbing their past trauma by obsessing over silver linings, pretending nothing bad happened, or distracting themselves with lighthearted humor and various scattered activities. This trait is likely where 99% of the confusion lies with people mistyping Ted.


It’s important to remember that from the start of the show, Ted is dealing with a fractured marriage, deep guilt for leaving his son in another country, and the repressed trauma of his father’s suicide. And yet, he wears a big smile at all times so no one has any idea what’s going on inside of him. This is the epitome of the Enneagram Two’s unhealthy ego message that tells them they can only earn love by stuffing their own needs and avoiding their deep pain in order to serve those they hope to win over.


The only time this positivity breaks is when Ted is forced to confront his negative emotions, which then leads him to become far more aggressive and confrontational. Twos, in what’s known as the movement of disintegration, take on some of traits of Type 8 Challenger when they feel unstable, stressed, or insecure--think of it like Ted becoming Roy Kent. We see this happen several times:

  1. First, when Ted is pressured into going to therapy: “You charge for an hour but it's only 50 minutes. This is bullshit!”  

  2. Second, when Ted finally confronts his mother about the ways she failed to care for him after his father’s death: "Thank you and fuck you." That phrase is actually a great framework for Twos to finally speak their truth while letting go of their ego’s need to look like an unrealistically noble, upbeat person.


2/PURPOSE


Ted’s purpose as a coach is a major reflection of his Enneagram Two-ness. His coaching goal is not about being the best, like a Type 3 would want to be, or a desire to have some self-gratifying adventure, like a Type 7 would enjoy. In Ted’s own words, coaching “is not about the wins and loses. It’s about helping those young men be the best version of themselves on and off the field.” 


Ted’s whole life is about having a positive impact on the people around him, and Twos are the most naturally oriented toward people and nurturing relationships of all Enneagram types. Social Sevens can be very service-oriented, but they would be highly unlikely to endure the spurn of someone like Nate as gracefully as an unconditionally loving Two could do. Ted is constantly serving, affirming, and building up those close to him, be it bringing biscuits to the boss, giving advice in his support group (The Diamond Dogs!), and including those that would otherwise go overlooked or taken advantage of.


The average Enneagram Two is so fixated on serving those in need that people often make cliche jokes about them, that sound something like this: “When Ted was born, he asked the doctor if he needed anything." Again, the Two’s ego is defined by the need to be needed, which, when mixed with their constant wave of avoidant energy, can make them overwhelming to be around--which seems to be part of the issue in Ted’s marriage, as we hear in his phone call to his wife at the end of the first episode of the first season. Ted’s wife wants space, and Sevens tend to give their partners too much space, as their sense of purpose drives them out into the world trying to accomplish multiple different goals at once. Sevens just don’t tend to smother people like Twos do, because finding a relational need to meet doesn’t connect to their ego’s sense of purpose.


Lastly, consider the scene where Ted explains how he still has a perfect 5-star passenger rating on Uber. It’s another great, albeit over-the-top, depiction of his Enneagram Two-ness. Sassy says: “How the fuck are you a 5?" Ted replies: "I don't know... I’m clean, tidy, and sometimes I offer to drive if they look tired.” 


3/PEOPLE


You can tell almost everything about a person by the people they choose to surround themself with. Ted endears himself to all kinds of people, as AFC Richmond is pretty much the United Nations of soccer (er...football) teams. Enneagram Twos take pride in being able to love people from all walks of life be it aggressive people (Roy), cocky people (Jamie), deceptive people (Rebecca), lonely people (Sam), timid people (Nate), awkward people (Higgins), invasive people (Trent), and of course, downright weird people (Beard). 


On that note, it's worth zooming in on Ted’s most important relationship throughout the show: his friendship with Coach Beard. If you know anything about the Enneagram, then it should be pretty easy to guess Coach Beard’s Enneagram type: the Type 5 Investigator. Coach beard is quiet, intelligent, thoughtful, quirky, and of course, super into psychedelics, which is actually a trademark Type 5 personality trait.


Enneagram Twos and Fives go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s the old opposites-attract stereotype, as you’ve got one introverted thinker and one extroverted feeler. They also have an connection point at the Type 8 Challenger (aka Roy Kent). We see Coach Beard’s movement to Eight when he calls out Ted for getting too caught up in protecting Roy’s feelings, when he should be thinking about what’s best for the team: “pick a player's feelings over a coach’s duty.” Ted’s empathy for Roy makes it difficult for him to do the right thing, and being blinded by compassion or empathy is a trademark Enneagram Two struggle.


So there you have it: Ted Lasso is an Enneagram Type 2 Helper!




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