Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You

Negotiating Success With Enneagrams

December 07, 2023 Attorney Billie Tarascio
Negotiating Success With Enneagrams
Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
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Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
Negotiating Success With Enneagrams
Dec 07, 2023
Attorney Billie Tarascio

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How can a well-known personality test help make your life smoother, influence and negotiate your divorce, and give you turbo power with dealing with kiddos, family and worklife? Meet Tracy O'Malley, who shares the nine powerful personality types of the Enneagram system with Modern Divorce Podcast Host Billie Tarascio in today's episode.

Tracy taught all the attorneys at Modern Law how to use these tools, and the reports back were that the Enneagram - done right - was "life changing."  Billie brings Tracy to the mic so you can learn how to hack your interactions with people to find new success in your life.

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Send us a Text Message.

How can a well-known personality test help make your life smoother, influence and negotiate your divorce, and give you turbo power with dealing with kiddos, family and worklife? Meet Tracy O'Malley, who shares the nine powerful personality types of the Enneagram system with Modern Divorce Podcast Host Billie Tarascio in today's episode.

Tracy taught all the attorneys at Modern Law how to use these tools, and the reports back were that the Enneagram - done right - was "life changing."  Billie brings Tracy to the mic so you can learn how to hack your interactions with people to find new success in your life.

Announcer: [00:00:00] We hope you enjoy this episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. But first, an important message for our listeners.

Billie Tarascio: Hi, this is attorney Billie Tarascio, and my partner, Julie, and I have created a resource for you if you are representing yourself in family court. No one should go into family court without knowing the basics, and we will teach you everything you need to know at Win Without Law School to represent yourself with confidence.

We'll teach you how to get exhibits in, how to draft your pre trial statements, and how to speak to the judge so the judge won't listen. We'll teach you how to defend against false accusations, and everything you need to know to be an effective advocate, both if you're negotiating or if you're presenting evidence.

Don't wait, go to winwithoutlawschool. com. We can help you. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. I'm your host, Billie Tarascio, family law attorney and owner of Modern Law, and today I am joined by Tracy [00:01:00] O'Malley and we are going to talk about the Enneagram as a tool. For communication and conflict resolution.

I initially met Tracy when she came in and did a workshop for my entire team on the Enneagram and communication and using the Enneagram as a conflict resolution tool, and I will tell you, some members of my team have called that absolutely life changing. Tracy works with businesses and families, teaching Enneagram and coaching on Enneagram.

Tracy, welcome to the show. 

Tracy O'Malley: So excited to be here. I'm passionate about what we're going to talk about today. So, yeah.

Billie Tarascio: So, so how did you come to first come in contact with the Enneagram?

Tracy O'Malley: I came into it kicking and screaming. Honestly, I wanted nothing to do with it. Um, I, I had kind of hit this point in my life, post divorce where I was just angry and I didn't know what to do with all that [00:02:00] anger. And my kids were teenagers and they were starting to repeat some of the things that come when you don't know how to emotionally regulate. And the industry career wise I was in was very type A masculine energy and I was really good at it.

But. And I just didn't have anybody model for me, um, what to do next with all of this. I know how to hustle and grind and tough things out and power through, but that clearly wasn't working. Um, on paper it was, but in my soul and in my family home, it was not. And then I had this experience where, um, my dad was diagnosed with cancer.

Literally 12 days later, he passed away after diagnosis, and it kind of put things in perspective. I had also just turned 40. We just got through a recession. I was a few years post divorce, and I was kind of looking at my life like, What the hell am I going to do now? What am I doing? I got a lot of life to live.

And so I made a [00:03:00] decision to kind of go get a whole new toolbox. I also kind of wiped out my entire social network because although the people that I was hanging with were great, they weren't great for me. And I kind of just like, Burned the boats and took my foundation to ground zero and decided to check myself into rehab for a whole bunch of coping mechanisms that weren't serving me well.

And it was in day two, day two, um, in rehab that my therapist said, Hey, I want you to kind of go into this assessment thing and take the Enneagram test. And I told her kindly to go F herself. I was like, listen, lady, I am just here to fix my life. I don't need another label. I don't need. You know, to be put in a box, just kind of help me make my life a little bit better, would you?

And she's wired kind of like you and I, and she's like, my dear, your best thinking has gotten you here. And this might actually help you make more sense of why you are where you're at, might help you look at yourself a little bit differently, and help you get out of the box that [00:04:00] not only the world has put you in, but you've also put yourself in.

And I was like, well, gee, she's got a point there. And, um, you know, my best thinking had gotten me here. So, I opened my mind up, my heart, and the very first thing I felt when I was introduced to this was insane levels of compassion for myself instead of the judgment and the shame and the anger that I had.

I felt like this warm kind of compassion for the 40 years prior, and so I started to dive in. Very quickly, I recognized within this understanding of this framework that, oh my goodness, I have two children that are wired very differently than me. And I only know the one way to communicate and that was the way in which I saw the world.

And so I started to dive in and explore where my kids may have fallen into the framework of the Enneagram and I came home from rehab and started kind of just integrating what I understood without even mentioning it. And things changed overnight. The communication in our [00:05:00] home changed overnight and they're teenagers at the time and if you raised teenagers or been around teenagers, that's not an easy task, especially on the heels of rehab.

Uh, but things overnight changed, and so then I switched career industries, and I was in the health and wellness space in a more female dominated industry, and I knew I needed to figure out how to communicate to women. I knew how to communicate to men very easily. But I didn't know how to communicate to women.

And so I started applying what I knew about the Enneagram and just the way that I communicated with the mass, um, audience that I had at the time. And I was able to take that business that I started in a female dominated industry from zero to a million dollars within a very short period of time. And although that number is great, what I was most proud of is the way that I was able to lead women and women that were very different than me. And I was like, wow, there's something to this Enneagram thing. Even though I wasn't even mentioning it at the [00:06:00] time. And then, um, where this became what I do day in and day out was about six or seven years ago when the Enneagram became trendy and it pissed me off.

It pissed me off because it was being used as this cutesy little tool. Kind of like how we thought about TikTok. Like, Oh, that's cute. And now people are using it to like scale businesses and escalate things. Like the Enneagram was. treated kind of like how cute TikTok was. I was like, you guys are missing the whole point.

Like, seriously, when you know how to leverage and integrate this tool, it is life changing. Like your staff, people in your staff, like me and my home, like the people that I've been able to help integrate this. So that's when I decided like, now I'm mad. Now I'm mad this is being used in a way that is out of integrity and not the way that it could be.

And so that's when I decided to start leading with the Enneagram and bringing it into families, teams, and organizations. And the rest is history. You know, now I work with your team, teams [00:07:00] like Google, Amazon, John Deere, um, all different kinds of organizations, families, and businesses today, teaching them how to use this beautiful tool to create change.

Billie Tarascio: It's amazing. It's amazing. 

Let's talk about the tool. For those people who are not familiar, what is Enneagram? 

Tracy O'Malley: Yeah, it's, you know, it's a personality assessment. And before you get turned off by that like I was, I get it. I get it. It's like, well, You know, I can change at any time. I don't want to be set in any kind of ways, but what I have learned along the way is like, we're born and we have this divine wiring and I have carried two babies in my body and they were very different in utero and how they kind of entered the world is very different and their personalities were different, right?

I believe we've got that nature in which we are wired and then we're dropped into family situations. Um, all sorts of traumas and, and [00:08:00] conditioning that can change the expression of our nature. And so nature and nurture collide. And the Enneagram kind of helps you see are kind of divine wiring and then how that might express out in the world depending on what you've experienced.

And this framework allows you to use all different parts. It's like, yeah, we are our one type. And that's where our core motive and core fear resides. And that really doesn't change, but the expression of it. Absolutely can. The other part of that, aside from knowing yourself, is understanding there are 8 other ways in which people view the world, have perspective on the world, and the way they process the world.

And when I understood that, instead of trying to force people to see things and understand things the way that I see the world, it opened up A whole different world of understanding and compassion and empathy and grace and service in the way I do it. But, you know, it is nature and nurture colliding. It [00:09:00] is, um, the way we see the world.

It is understanding that we have a core motive and a core fear. And then what do we do with that? And how do we navigate when things come up that trigger us when, um, we're communicating with people that are different than us? When we are Taking ourselves to another level, understanding the blind spots that are going to come up.

It's just a system and just a framework. And when you can use it effectively, you can move through things a lot easier with a lot less wreckage left behind. That's my interpretation of the Enneagram. Um, there are a lot of ways you can geek out on it, but You know, I'm a what's in it for me person, and so that's kind of how I explain what the tool is.

That's what's in it for you. Right, 

Billie Tarascio: right. It's, it's almost like a cheat code. Like, if you're having a conflict with somebody and, um, I'm an 8, you're an 8. We are, we are solution driven, like nothing [00:10:00] matters, but solving the problem and moving on to the next thing. And many times when I'm interacting with people who are bringing me problems, they don't want my solution right away.

And I know we've heard that, you know, don't solve, don't solve, don't solve. I know we've heard that. Um, I can't help my instincts, they always get in the way. And so the tool, the Enneagram tool, really helps like me intentionally, um, approach, Conflicts or communication, um, issues more intentionally and, and I, I get a better result, which is all 

Tracy O'Malley: that AIDS cares about.

Yeah, it's like, okay, and once our ego can get over the fact, because we AIDS. In general, love to wear the superhero cape. You know, we're really good at swooping in and tech. I mean, we love conflict. I mean, geez, we should all be lawyers. All H should be lawyers for crying out loud because we just love, um, solving conflict and we're not afraid of it.[00:11:00] 

And sometimes we can put that hero cape on too much and not only, um, make people unintentionally feel not understood or seen or heard, but also we actually clip their confidence wings. if they let us help them, then they don't necessarily believe they can do it without us. And although our ego might like that, um, we end up judging them for being weak if they can't figure it out themselves, right?

Like unintentionally. And that's the beauty of this framework and understanding where my pattern goes, you know, and I'm raising an empath and I'm raising like a visionary. And you and I, very tactical. So when they're talking to me, I automatically kind of default to, okay, how do I fix this? Or how do I solve this?

And they're like, listen, lady, we just want to talk to you. Right. And, and thank God this gave me permission to pause in understanding and, and not trying to just make them like me, you know, make them like me, not like me, like care about [00:12:00] me, but like make them more like me. Right. 

Billie Tarascio: Make them behave more like you behave.

And as parents, oh my gosh, we, we, those are our instincts, but at humanity's core desire, I believe is to be understood. 

Tracy O'Malley: Yes, and valued. 

Billie Tarascio: Yeah, and so if we are not speaking or listening in a way that they, you know, other types of humans need to be heard, we're invalidating them, we're not giving them that, that sense of understanding, so, um, and that can be a real fail for everybody.

Tracy O'Malley: The other thing about the understanding the Enneagram is one thing understanding the motive of like the nine different types and we can simplify that, which is what I did early on. But the other thing that has been really pivotal is understanding the core fear as well. So [00:13:00] usually when People's core fear is being compromised, nicked, exposed.

We start to see the parts of that personality that really piss us off. And then it becomes like, you know, we're going toe to toe with each other. And this was especially apparent. At the time that I was learning about this with my children, they were both under stress. They were both in major fear and the parts of their Enneagram type that go into fear are very triggering to me.

And so they would fight me. And of course I love to fight. So I don't care if I birthed you, I'm like putting on the boxing gloves and making things way worse than way better. And so understanding when I start to see a shift in their personality from what's natural for them instead of assuming it's personal or disrespect, I understand kind of help guide them through that rather than make it worse or like put on my defenses.

It's like, Oh, this is a two under stress. [00:14:00] Okay. They feel X, Y, Z and how can I speak to that so they feel seen, heard, understood rather than me just trying to fix it. Or make it stop, which is another thing. When we're annoyed by somebody's behavior, we're like, geez, we want to fix it. So it stops. And that's more self serving than, than serving them.

Game changer when you can understand. Cause it feels personal when somebody's popping off and in dysfunction and their fears are, are activated. It feels really personal because usually the person that they trust the most, they care about, especially if you're a parent, you get, you get the brunt of it.

And it feels terrible and it feels, especially if you're dealing with their pain from somebody else, you know, their other parent or a friend, and you're the one taking all the hits, it can feel really personal and it's not, but if you're taking it personal and reacting like it is, it's going to create this cycle of [00:15:00] conflict that never ends and nobody feels heard and understood.

And then you'll feel like a shitty parent and it sucks. Um, so understanding that. pause before we react, which is very hard for you and I to do because we're very reactionary. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. 

Billie Tarascio: No, go. Well, let's, let's talk about each type and their core strength and their core fear. And then I'd love for you to help us kind of think about some ways to identify what the people in our life might be without the 

Tracy O'Malley: tool of the test.

Yes, exactly. Cause that's the flaw in this is because all those online assessments are inaccurate. A lot of the time I have one that is more accurate, but I used this for five years without using tests and putting it in front of people. So I'm really good at helping others kind of at least get ballpark, right?

Obviously, as long as you're really darn close, it's going to make a hell of [00:16:00] a difference. So let's just start there, right? So before we get to the nine types, I kind of want to help you identify who might be in front of you, and this will kind of break into the nine types. So when we operate At our highest level, we're operating on intuition and a healthy nervous system, right?

We're regulated. It doesn't matter what's happening around us. We can kind of deal with it. But especially when we're talking about a divorce, family situation, like intuition and regulated nervous system usually fly out the window. Let's just be real. It's one of the most stressful things you could ever be through.

I've been through it. It was terrible. It's not fun, even when it's ideal. for it to happen, right? It's stressful. And so when we're not operating in our intuition, we kind of default into the parts of our personality, um, that kind of help us survive this and deal with whatever's in front of us. And this is where the three centers of intelligence fall into play.

And this [00:17:00] is the most important part. If you don't understand anything else about the Enneagram, This is what can help you. Um, so wherever your core Enneagram type is where you'll default to first. So we do use all three of these centers of intelligence, but for each of us, one is where we go first. For you and I, we go into the instinct, like you said very clearly.

So the eights, nines, and ones fall into the instinctual center of intelligence. The Instinctual Center of Intelligence, those three types are all motivated by some form of independence, autonomy, and control, and justice. That is what motivates us. Now, how an 1 view and go about it, very, very different, but the same basic motive is there.

And you can tell, like if you get curious enough and ask the right questions, you will be able to tell if somebody is motivated like this. Um, these three types, like you said earlier, go into what is happening right now and [00:18:00] what do I need to do about it, right? That's where we go first. That's why we're great in crisis.

Now how we go about it, those three types, a little bit different, but it's very what is happening right now. And what do I need to do about it? The underlying emotion for all three of these types is anger. Now, eights, we're more evident with it. We're more out and external with it. It's why a lot of people are mistyped as eights that aren't, because that anger is a behavior, not necessarily a motive.

Um, so that's why, like, if somebody's angry, don't just assume they're eight. Okay. Um, nines have a different kind of way that they express anger. There's this more, um, passive aggressive, stonewalling, procrastinating, selective hearing, but that's still a form of anger, right? And one's anger is more in the form of resentment and inner critic stuff and kind of external critic.

It's not necessarily explosive anger like eights can portray, but there's this more internal. So kind of looking for [00:19:00] Cues of, are they motivated by independence, autonomy, and control? And when that is compromised, do we see or feel anger coming out? So that's the first center of intelligence. The other center of intelligence that we also use is the feeling or heart center of intelligence and the two, three, and four fall in here.

And I have one child that's in this center. And all three of these types are motivated by some form of significance first. Again, we do use the center of intelligence, but you and I, that's not our first go to. Like yeah, we like to do well and execute, but we go for independence, autonomy, and control over significance first.

The twos, threes, and fours, they want significance, and it's important because that's where relationship, connection, um, interpersonal stuff is rooted. So it is important. It's where they go first, how they go about it, and what it means to all three of these types. Very, very different. The underlying emotion [00:20:00] for all three of these types is shame.

And just like with the three in the instinctual center being anger, the three in the feeling center with shame, it can look really, really different. Twos kind of wear it more on their sleeve. Threes shove it down. They don't really want to deal with it, so they just kind of chase the goals and performing and making things happen.

And fours internalize it like the ones do with anger. The fours internalize the shame. When things happen, these three types ask themselves, how do I feel about this? What do I feel about this? Where the eights, nines and ones are, what do I need to do about this? The twos, threes and fours, what do I feel about this?

And that's how they make their decisions. And even though some of those, like the three doesn't maybe show feelings a lot of the time, they feel it. They just may not externalize it. Same thing with their shame. They also go into what has happened. So they kind of look back for evidence of what happened before so as [00:21:00] not to maybe change where their significance lies moving forward.

Okay? And finally, the thinking center. These are the 7's. I also have a child in this center. So, it's like, oh, this made a heck of a difference in understanding where they go when things are happening. So, if you're a 5, you go into what could happen. Futuristic thinking. What do I think about this? Right?

Okay. That's why they're great visionaries, strategists, troubleshooters, experts, because they're always forward thinking. They can get into trouble by forward thinking so much by not dealing with what's in front of them sometimes, right? All three of these types are motivated by some form of certainty.

Now, what that means to each of these, also very different, but you can tell certainty is the driver here for all three. When that is compromised or they feel like certainty is being rocked or they're not getting their questions answered to have certainty, [00:22:00] you will experience fear and anxiety as their underlying emotion.

And just like the other three or the other two centers, how they express it or don't express it, also really different. Fives kind of internalize the fear and anxiety. Sixes are more external with it, typically, and sevens kind of shove it down and move on to something else to kind of quiet that, but it's there.

So just understanding the three centers of intelligence seriously will help you narrow things down and kind of. how you operate. Knowing somebody is motivated by certainty, I need to give them their questions answered, even though it annoys me sometimes because I'm so tactical. I'm like, well, just do it.

Just take charge and just do it. But when you're dealing with somebody in that center, it can feel very disrespectful if we dismiss their questioning, right? And same thing with the twos, threes, and fours. If I dismiss and if they say something to you like that hurt my feelings, and we just say, who cares what they [00:23:00] think?

That can feel very dismissive because they are going to care what people think. And so just even understanding kind of those centers of intelligence will allow you to be an effective communicator, will allow You to build credibility and trust even with your own children because you see, like, even though I don't necessarily care what people think about me, this child does, and it doesn't make them weak or, or immature or, um, a pushover.

That's actually their superpower. Right now it's being the kryptonite in their life, but how can I communicate? with them in a way that that very thing that is holding them back can become their superpower. And that is the beauty of understanding this. Now we can go into the nine types if you want, um, and kind of break it down even further.

If, if you want me to take it that far. Yeah, let's do it. Okay. Let's go back to the instinctual center, the eight, nine, and one again, independence, autonomy, and control is kind of the umbrella motive, [00:24:00] right? Eights. What we believe is independence, autonomy, and control is strength. So our black and white thing, we measure everything.

Are we strong or are we weak? And depending on, you know, the experiences we've had, that might be a skewed measuring stick. You know, I grew up in a very abusive, alcoholic home, so, you know, I'm already naturally wired to believe that strength gives me independence, autonomy, and control, and then that was modeled for me, and so guess what?

I was repeating that pattern, right? So in my work, to kind of be the highest version of myself, I had to recalibrate what strength really meant. It's actually vulnerability. It's not power and aggressiveness and domineering. Right? So you're going to have to kind of learn, like, the healthy version of what that means.

For the nines, how they go about independence, autonomy, and control is by creating harmony in their environment. They don't love conflict. So in their mind, they were like, they are like, okay, if [00:25:00] everybody's happy, then I have control. But a lot of times they'll settle for short term control. And, uh, and harmony and create long term disharmony and a lack of control.

So again, like, understanding, is this time for conflict or is harmony actually the thing that we go for? How ones, um, achieve independence, autonomy, and control is by being righteous. Good or bad, right or wrong, no gray area, very black and white thinkers. Okay, so there's a one word 

Billie Tarascio: description for 

Tracy O'Malley: each type, right?

Yes, they're, they're kind of archetypes. Yeah, 

Billie Tarascio: so, and I know that the nine is the peacemaker, which is exactly what you were describing. Um, I don't know, what is the name of eight? Or the challenger. Challenger. And then what is the name of the ones? 

Tracy O'Malley: They are called either the reformer, the perfectionist, I like to call them, like, the warden.

You know, because they're always kind of making [00:26:00] sure we're all doing the right thing, which is their superpower, but oftentimes it's coming from a dysfunctional place where that very thing can, you know, create distance and, um, disconnect, actually. Okay, for the twos, threes, and fours. Um, these three, again, motivated by the umbrella of significance.

Now, twos find significance in what they do for other people. And they're tricky. This is tricky because if they don't know that they are worthy without that, that's where, you know, the overgiving, the overcompensating, the self abandoning can come. So for twos, the real glow up and flex is learning that they're significant without self abandonment.

And they're called the considerate helper, right? Um, but they have to understand that just because they can help, it doesn't mean they should. Right. That's their, yeah, that's their growth. This is the hardest type for me 

Billie Tarascio: to manage in, as a, as a boss. And I've [00:27:00] consistently struggled to help this, this type.

So any words 

Tracy O'Malley: of wisdom there? Yeah, me too. And the fact that I was. Gifted, a beautiful son that falls into this type, um, has been one of my greatest teachers because I found myself judging him because I was like, just suck it up, who cares what they think? Like, don't be such a pushover and, and the ironic thing is connected to the AIDS framework is the Enneagram 2 because we have a growth number that when we're our best, we lean more into and ironically.

It's the two for us. So they are, you know, usually the things that grow us the most are the most challenging for us as well, right? So I'm not surprised by that. Um, and you know, some of the greatest people that teach me the most about myself are twos today, but if you don't. compassionately understand that their feelings are real and they're real deep without judgment, we lose [00:28:00] that credibility and trust.

So not only do they not trust us, but we also judge them and it's, it's a terrible thing. So the cool thing about When you understand that, even though they're wired very differently and all of that is like, let me see it through their lens and see how that might feel. So now when I'm dealing with a two and they say like, I care about like, this hurt my feelings or this person, you know, I feel like they aren't appreciative.

I'm like, I bet that it hurts instead of just saying, don't let that bother you or, you know, don't do that then. Like, it's like, I bet that hurts. It has to hurt for you. I understand that. And I mean it. I'm not just being patronizing. And really dropping into, if that was my motive, that would freaking hurt.

Right. Right. You know? So again, permission to pause. That's why this, this whole framework's great. For the threes, their significance isn't about being loved and appreciated by what they do for others. Theirs is performing, [00:29:00] executing, winning. So that's why it can appear like they don't have shame because they're just always see a goal, hit a goal.

That's how they manage their shame is like, if they feel it, they're like, I don't have time for this. I can't win if I have shame. So let me, you know, create another business, another goal, another thing. Um, and unfortunately their drive for significance can make people feel like they're a pawn in their life.

if they're not careful. So the real flex for a three is learning to slow down, that their worth is not tied in what they do, what they achieve, or how they appear in the world, but because they are just amazing humans. Period. End of story. Um, something without measurables. Threes love measurables to gauge if they are the best and if they are winning.

And so when I'm When I'm with a three, they either love me or they hate me because I won't feed them measurable compliments because I don't want to feed into that. I don't want to feed into that. And they're like, but did you see what I did? [00:30:00] I'm like, your energy is so beautiful. They're like, I can't measure that.

Tell me I'm the best. Oh, that's 

Billie Tarascio: really good because there's got to be a lot of people, a lot of parents out there with kids who get straight A's, and that's right, that would be the way that they're demonstrating, the kids are demonstrating like their value and you know, you don't want them to just be motivated only 

Tracy O'Malley: by grades, so.

Machines. Yeah, you don't want them to be machines. No, 

Billie Tarascio: so we want to And 

Tracy O'Malley: because although threes can make things happen, and they do, and they're high I mean, we all want to be like that. Because seriously, I wish I could put the blinders on like a three can. But it is a very dark, lonely experience sometimes when they get to the end zone.

or the the goal line and they realize they don't under understand even their soul line and it feels very empty and so instead of feeling the emptiness, they just move on to the next thing and Usually, they are the most prone to burnout of their bodies and their relationships. [00:31:00] So, um, how you can help a 3 is not telling them, Oh, slow down, take a break.

Cause they'll be like, you don't get it. You don't get it. It's, it's more like, I think you're amazing just because. They're not gonna slow down. Just like a two's going to care about people and what they think. Telling a three to slow down, they're like, disrespect, goodbye, moving on. Okay. So, so 

Billie Tarascio: let's talk about this for a minute because we all see these people who are working incredibly hard.

They, we think they should slow down. How can we best support them besides saying, you know, I love you and see you for who you are and would value you if you slow down? How are we supposed to support 

Tracy O'Malley: them? Well, they're tough, they're tough, they're a tough nut to crack because you can imagine if your entire significance is based in you, you are in dysfunction, right?

If you believe that your worth is tied to what you do, what you achieve, or how you appear in the world, it's going to be hard to crack that. Uh, quality time, activities [00:32:00] that don't involve an end zone or a measurable, they will be resistant to it. especially if they are in high stress situations. So loving them not for what they do, um, not for how they appear.

It's very, I have lots of really cool threes in my life that are in this metamorphosis of kind of understanding that and it is super, super, super painful for them. And the hard part is, is they could be in a shame spiral and you not even know it. And so it is challenging, but compassion and understanding that.

Everything they, about who they believe they need to be is and what they do and you just trying to clip that from them, um, makes them feel less understood. So kind of just like try to have more, um, intimate conversations with them. They might be annoyed because it slows them down, but like be very curious that you want to get to know them for them, not for what they can do, what they [00:33:00] achieve or how they appear.

Still really hard to crack, especially if they're in stress. Awesome. Awesome. Okay. Four is significance. Um, their, theirs is an internal job. Theirs isn't what they do for others. Theirs isn't for what they achieve. Theirs is like, who am I? Who am I in this lifetime? And I'm, am I in my most unique, authentic self, a lot of creatives, artists, um, comedians.

Um, fall into this, they're the storytellers, imaginative, intuitives, um, they're always on this constant quest of figuring out their significance just in who they are. It's a beautiful thing, but the problem is, is they're in this world where comparisonitis kind of takes over and oftentimes they'll quit before a miracle happens, right?

They're like, if they're in their kind of zone, it's amazing. They're highly emotional. in the full scope of emotions, which is great because the full human experience is emotional and they can feel all the range of emotions [00:34:00] at any given time. It's a lot. It's a lot when there's shit to do, right? And they can get kind of dark and, and because they feel alive in their emotion, they can be a little dramatic with it.

And if you aren't wired that way, You know, we are like, that's just too much for me, and their biggest fear is abandonment, and so their too muchness, they know that that can be taken that way, so then they isolate and withdraw, and that's when it can get really, really dark for a four. They're called the individualist, the three is called the achiever, the individualist or the romantic, and Robin Williams was a four, um, Anthony Bourdain was a four, so you can see how dark this can kind of go.

And I'm in a relationship with a four, and knowing that that's the thing, it annoys me sometimes, like, the darkness, and I'm like, just suck it up, that's what I want to say, but reinforcing, like, I get it, you're [00:35:00] feeling all the things, and I'm not going anywhere, I know it's a lot. And it is a lot for you.

And I want you to know, I can handle a lot. So I'm not going anywhere. And just, like, let the freak flag fly. I'm not going anywhere for as long as it takes. And that's the thing, because sometimes it shortens. If they know you're not going anywhere, the dramatics go way down. Oh. Because a lot of the dramatics, you've seen this probably in situations of divorce that, you know, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I was also raised with a four that she didn't care what kind of attention she got as long as she got it. Got it. Sometimes fours can do that because at least they're not going to abandon you. If, if it's getting attention, at least they're not going anywhere, right? So the understanding and the, the real growth for a four is knowing that they're going to be unique.

They're not going to be like anyone else. And that is more than okay. And the more that they can learn to [00:36:00] express their feelings in a way that isn't so dramatic. Right. But it's more of a connection tool rather than a hook tool, um, they'll have the relationships that they've always desired and they'll be able to step into their gifts, which is so unique.

Um, they create beautiful magic in the world, but when it gets dark, we see what happens. Now finally in the thinking center. All three types, again, motivated by the umbrella of certainty. Fives find certainty. They're called the investigator or the quiet specialist. Their certainty comes in information, knowledge, and resources.

That's how they have certainty. So they're kind of hoarders of information. Right? They love to be introverted. They have more introverted tendencies. Fives can be extroverted, but they typically like to be in their own little bubble by themselves gathering, gathering more intel and hoarding their energy.

The thing about fives is they can't manufacture energy like you and I can. Boy, can we manufacture energy, but fives [00:37:00] cannot. And when it is decreasing, they are like, that's when you will see them isolate even more or kind of be more standoffish or like disconnect emotionally because they, they only have so much and their certainty is based on their resources.

So that's when you might see a five pull away. So if you are in relationship with a five, understanding that it can feel very. disconnecting and kind of cold sometimes when they do this. But when you understand that about them and give them their space, they're more likely to lean in because they know you're not going to deplete them.

Important. Now, sixes, certainty comes a little bit differently. Their certainty comes by being prepared. They are the master troubleshooters, the master strategists. They got questions upon questions upon questions, and they need answers. And this was probably one of my biggest ahas, because when I get interrogated, Like, I feel [00:38:00] like you're trying to control me, right?

Biggest fear of an 8 is being controlled, right? Or being put in a vulnerable situation. When a 6 comes in hot with their questioning and fire hosing me with interrogation, I'm gonna fight you before I understood this. Now when I get the incessant, like, What about this? What about this? What about this? I'm like, okay, I have at least a certainty person here.

Now let's figure out if it's a 6. They need to know that Worst case scenario is not going to happen. So the more gentle you can be, one of the things I'll say when I can feel this, I'll be like, listen, I will answer all of your questions and I will sit here as long as it takes, but we are taking action at the end of the questioning, no matter what, no matter what, because they can be in the spiral of needing to know, needing to know that they become paralyzed.

Right. Loyalists. The loyal skeptic, um, and so saying, I will sit here as long as it takes and gently answer every [00:39:00] question so that you feel certain and safe. And even if you feel like you don't have enough, we're still taking action at the end of this so that you don't stay stuck. But you have to be gentle because otherwise you can feel disrespectful.

Like they don't, like sixes might think somebody like you and I don't care about their safety if we're not taking that time. No matter how annoying it can feel to me sometimes, I'm like, I'll put in the front end work to gain long game trust with this person. And when we do that, the incessant questioning starts to let up.

But if you're being like flippant, if you're being flippant, the questions are going to get longer, deeper, more. So I'm like, okay, I'll do the front end work here to earn their trust. So they know I do care about their safety, security, and certainty. And we're still going to make shit happen and do something about it.

It's a beautiful marriage when you can do that or a beautiful partnership, um, because they are, they do see things that you and I don't [00:40:00] like they're, they can be like, did you think about this? I'm like, Nope, didn't even think about that. But because they trust us now to care about their need for safety, we're also more likely to take their troubleshooting advice.

And finally the sevens. The sevens are why I dove deeper into the Enneagram because my daughter is a seven. The sevens are the enthusiastic visionary. I was also previously married to a seven. They appear, you know, they, they have a need for certainty as well, but their certainty comes in the form of freedom, choices, and options.

They want everything. They're insatiable. They're gluttonous. They want all of it, and they want to do all of it today, and they can appear very flaky, childlike, irresponsible, um, unfocused, and I was like, looking at my daughter, I'm like, how did I birth this? I don't know what to do with this, and I was judging her, and I was trying to, [00:41:00] like, box her in, and, like, you have to do it this way, and when I understood that their certainty comes in freedom, choices, and options, they need to believe that you believe all options are going to happen.

Now, the thing I've learned about sevens is, is I can be intense as hell with them. Like, they're not rattled by my intensity, but I have to be a wordsmith with them. Because if my language at all indicates that I am trying to clip their wings and, and, and piss on their parade and tell them that that's not possible, they'll be like, see ya.

Bye. And when it came to my child, that was the last thing I wanted. The last thing I wanted to do was like have my escapist daughter, you know, seek that elsewhere in the world in a dysfunctional way that didn't have her best interest. I wanted to be her safe place. And so I needed to embrace that. Okay, she does need to believe that everything's possible.

How can I reframe my wording in a way that, yes, I am your biggest fan and I believe you [00:42:00] will do all of the things and all of them are possible for you, even if in my head I'm like, how the hell is that possible? But she needs, and I do believe that now. Sevens are some of my closest friends. I need that, that bigger picture, rose colored look at the world.

But because I do harbor that for her and encourage that for her, guess who's her, her number one person is for strategy? Me. Because she, she gets that, I get her. I'm like, yeah, babe, you're gonna do all of it. What two are you doing right now first? We're gonna get to all of it. Promise. Promise. And I will be like cheering you on and like, hell yes.

And we'll find fun and adventure in all of it. But let's pick the two right now. Sure. That we just execute. So that gives you more freedom and choices down the road. Mm hmm. So that's like the, this, the love language of the seven is like, let's do this right now. I know it's not as fun as all the things.

Let's do this right now so you can have more freedom, choices, and fun for the long game. [00:43:00] And when you speak that and they feel like you get that, it's a beautiful partnership. You know, in my marriage, being married to one, I just thought he was a hot mess, irresponsible, unfocused, and I was pissed off at him all the time.

Now, my marriage probably wouldn't have made it anyway even understanding this, but I probably would have not been an asshole as much, you know, in understanding this, and I might have been able to reframe some things in a way that may have been more helpful. So that is the nine types, basically, um, and what that looks like for all of them.

That was 

Billie Tarascio: awesome. That was super, super helpful. I know this episode is going to be a little bit long, but I think that that was all very, very, very important. And I'm glad we covered it. Um, how do people work 

Tracy O'Malley: with you? You can go to my website, TraceyO'Malley. com. There's a work with me section. I customize a lot of the things like I customize kind of what we did with your team.

I can customize what I do for you, your family, partnerships. [00:44:00] individually. Um, just go to the work with me section, kind of inquire, see what's there. Um, you can reach out to me, email me there. If you're on Instagram, I am on Instagram at Tracy underscore O'Malley. Um, and all the things, but this is like understanding this tool seriously transformed my family.

And my family unit the way it is, and now I'm moving into a blended family situation here too, and thank goodness of my understanding for this, because that's so stressful, and all these moving parts that when you're armed with this tool and you use it with integrity, with the most beautiful of intent, um, you can make even the hardest situations that you've been through turn into something pretty beautiful.

Love it, love 

Billie Tarascio: it, love it, love it. Tracy, thank you so much for coming on the show. If you all have enjoyed this episode of the Modern Divorce podcast, please download it, share it with your friends, leave us a review, check out Tracy's socials. I [00:45:00] will link to everything in the description. Um, the show notes for sure.

Thank you so much, Tracy. We'll see you soon. 

Tracy O'Malley: My pleasure. A consistent theme you'll hear from me, Billie 

Billie Tarascio: Tarascio, is that we do not believe in a one size fits all solution. That's why at Modern Law, you can find anything you need for your family law case. For the highest stakes litigation cases, we've got experienced family law attorneys who can offer you representation.

We also have embraced Newly licensed legal paraprofessionals, who can offer you legal representation for less. And, if you just need your documents prepared, we can offer certified legal document preparers as well. If that's not for you, and instead you are representing yourself, congratulations. You are like one of the 70 percent of people out there doing it on your own.

And our newest offering. Win Without Law School can help. For more information about Win Without Law School, go to WinWithoutLawSchool. com. To get representation options, go [00:46:00] to[00:47:00] 

Stuck. "Your best thinking has gotten you here."
Integrating enneagram concepts-an overnight change
How we're wired
Billie uses Enneagram to approach conflicts
Core fears - finding the power in them
The 9 types of Personalities
Building credibility and trust
The 3's - performing executing, winning
4's are internal- who am I, and am I authentic?
5s-Managing their energy resources
8's fear being controlled
6's- what's the worst case scenario?
7's want it all