Callie Ammons is back for another conversation on the Enneagram. This time Brian is joining us and we’re talking about how the Enneagram works in romantic relationships. Let’s dive in!
In this episode Allie, Brian and Callie discuss:
How to connect using the Enneagram
How to communicate using the Enneagram
How to understand each other using the enneagram
Mentioned in this Episode:
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This is going to be such a good conversation. Brian is in this episode with me and we have this conversation with Callie Ammons. Callie was just on the show with me. We had an Enneagram conversation and now we’re having a conversation about romantic relationships and the Enneagram.
Brian and I did an episode a few years ago with Beth McCord where she gave us a marriage coaching session based on the Enneagram. It is such a popular episode. It really helped a lot of people. I get so many DM’s that it helped people feel really seen.
And so, I thought we would revisit this topic. I’ve gotten to know Callie really well through her being in the Up and Up Academy, where I coach her in her business. I really respect her, love her, and I wanted her perspective on this.
We have this very open conversation. Brian and I are, as always, really raw. We’re ourselves, just hanging out and being in our own personalities, which is always fun and terrifying because we’re obviously ourselves and different from a lot of other couples.
You just never know what people are going to say or think about the way you are. But I’m just here to help, share my experience, have these conversations. I hope that it inspires you in some way or helps you in some way.
Callie gave some free resources in our last interview and she did the same thing for this one. It’s really great. It’s really going to help you in your relationships.
She’s giving you a description of every Enneagram type, what they most desire in a romantic relationship, and then how each type handles conflict in a relationship. We do get into conflict in this conversation as well. I think it’s going to be super helpful for you!
To get those goodies, go to callieammons.com/thepurposeshow. Or you can go to alliecasazza.com/podcast and search for this episode and get it there at the show notes as well. Okay. I’m going to let you listen. Don’t forget to take a screenshot, share, and tag me.
I love you so much. You are so beautiful. You are so worthy of love.
You are so worthy of feeling safe in your romantic relationships. So worthy of feeling safe in who you are and who you were made to be. I hope you remember that as you listen. Love you.
ALLIE: I am here with Callie again and Brian is here with me, too. Thanks for hanging out with us again, Callie, and doing this with us! I’m super excited.
CALLIE: Yes, I am so excited for this conversation!
ALLIE: Me too! Okay, so we’re just going to jump right in because I think this is going to be super juicy and helpful for people. We’re an open book.
So, I know we’re going to shift to where you’re almost interviewing us and asking questions, but before we do that, do you want to give a super brief explanation of what the Enneagram even is?
CALLIE: Yeah, I know it sounds weird. Enneagram just means nine points on a graph. The quickest way to explain that is that it’s basically nine types of different personalities and you’ll identify with one main type. The types are numbers, so there are Types 1-9.
Allie’s a type 8. Brian’s a type 2. I’m a type 3.
You figure out your type based on the core motivation of that number. Each type has a fear they’re running away from and we have those messages inside of us.
ALLIE: I’m 8w7, but we actually recently aired an episode with Callie and I where we talked about how you can pull from either one of your wings. The wings are the two numbers that are on either side of your main type on the wheel.
For me (an 8), my wing is either 7 or 9, but I can also play into both of those wings. There’s so much that goes into it. Definitely go listen to that episode first, if you haven’t, because it explains things a lot better.
Brian and I had a marriage episode, a marriage coaching session together with Beth McCord, who is another Enneagram expert, two or three years ago now. And we want go talk about this in a different light to help people understand each other and communication.
Maybe less specifically about everything for 8’s and 2’s, but to see we’re different, we’re opposites. Some things don’t really go so well together, but some do, and this is how we worked through strengths and weaknesses as a couple. Then you guys can learn about the Enneagram, your own numbers, your partner’s numbers, and go and do it by yourselves.
BRIAN: It’s been a while and we’ve lived a while now knowing these things about us. Before we had just learned about it and a lot of things made sense. But now that we know that, we’ve used those things to help us.
ALLIE: We’ve actually lived it out. And it’s come up in conversation a lot.
Because I know and understand myself a little better and understand Brian a bit better, I do less attacking or freaking out because I’m not being understood and more asking myself, “Where is this coming from?” in my own self, my own stuff and from him also. At least when I’m in an emotionally healthy place I ask that question more than just us having constant misunderstanding.
CALLIE: I feel like that’s the hardest thing. In the last episode that Allie and I talked about other types and it’s like, “What the heck? I had no idea people had that fear or thought that.” It feels so out there.
If you’re in a relationship with someone and you have no idea what’s happening internally, their behavior just looks ridiculous. That’s where the attacking can come from.
My husband is a Type 5 and when we first got married I thought he was so lazy. But it’s a lack of energy and I just didn’t understand that he was doing things to take care of his energy so that he could take care of other responsibilities.
And he was looking at me thinking, “What the heck is wrong with Callie? She’s going 24/7 and doesn’t know how to chill out for a second.”
Having that language where when I’m wanting to brain dump on him, he says, “Hey, I’m low energy right now. Can we talk about this in an hour? I really want to hear what you have to say.” That means so much to me versus me coming in and feeling like my husband is ignoring me and just doesn’t care what I have to say.
Can I give a quick overview of a Type 2 and a Type 8 in a relationship and what that looks like?
CALLIE: Allie is a Type 8 and has a very strong personality. Her core fear is being taken advantage of. So, she’s putting up this strong front subconsciously to protect herself.
Whereas Brian is a Type 2. He has a deep desire to be wanted and loved. Type 2’s are the helper. They love serving and doing all these things, but it’s so that they feel connected and loved.
Brian, maybe you can speak to this. I don’t know what tasks you enjoy doing, but let’s say you clean the house, you do the dishes and no one notices it or thanks you for it. That could probably make you feel like no one notices you; you’re not seen; you’re not loved.
Does that brief explanation resonate in your relationship with how you two interact with each other?
BRIAN & ALLIE: Yes!
CALLIE: Can you give an example?
ALLIE: In the little day-to-day things, I feel like initially it’s anything at all that he could say or do that feels like I just got my rights taken away. Something was done without my consent.
My go-to-reaction is that I want to have some say in everything that has to do with me or the kids or anything. And as a Type 2, he’s The Helper, so he’s trying to take things off my plate. But I feel like, “Who are you to take this off my plate? Who are you to even put your hand on my plate?”
CALLIE: And Brian was literally was just trying to help.
ALLIE: And my emotions over it are a hundred percent. Whatever I’m feeling is a thousand percent, so I’m really upset and all he wanted was to help. Then his biggest fear is happening right now and so is mine.
CALLIE: Yes. Then how do we fix this? Because now you guys are both feeling like, “Holy crap.”
Brian, how does it make you feel when that happens? When Allie says, “What the heck are you doing?”
BRIAN: I feel like what’s the point? I want to help you. I feel like you don’t understand that I’m just wanting to help you. I’m just wanting to be here. That’s what I love doing and that’s part of my job.
You not seeing that feels so frustrating. Sometimes I spend so much time working on cleaning the house or doing something but it’s not stuff that you could see right away and you’ll think I didn’t do anything.
ALLIE: I’ll come out with an eye scan of judgement and think, “Why is this not done the way I would do it.”
Because our roles have been so strange and have switched pretty dramatically and quickly, we both still have pieces of the other role. He used to work constantly and for barely anything. It was so stressful. I was fully in charge of the kids, the house, and I had to do all that myself.
Now, it’s shared, which is almost harder than it being switched. Communication has had to become key, otherwise these examples we’re sharing are the most unhealthy versions of our relationship and it would be like that all the time if we didn’t figure it out.
CALLIE: So when that happens and Allie you come out, scan the room and it’s not what it “should be.” But Brian has done things, it just looks different. In a healthy moment, how are you able to communicate about it?
What does that dynamic look like and how is it a safe space? There’s truth in a relationship to Allie being able to come out and express that frustration, but then Brian, you also being able to express what you have done.
ALLIE: The first thing I’ve noticed is that the first part of this going better has to fall on me because it’s my expectations that start the whole thing. I think, as an 8, I can be a really good critic. That critical eye being turned on in judgment of how things are going, or with that I-obviously-would-have-done-this-way-better mentality is unhealthy.
And it’s in anything. Even something I’ve never done before. Something I’ve never done before, I’ll think, “Obviously I would be way better at that,” which is an overconfidence sometimes.
So, we’ll make a game plan and I’ll communicate that I’m going to go and record for one hour and when I come out I would love it if the kids’ chores were done and they had done this writing assignment so we can go to the beach. Then the expectation is set because I communicated.
Sometimes those things are just not done though, because it’s life and something happened or somebody cut their foot open or whatever. So, before I come out, the first step is basically dropping the expectation.
Not because he’s not capable (which is another thing that we’ve had to work through and I’ve had to learn) but because life may have happened and he’s out there dealing with that part of it. I’m not out there doing that part of it, so who am I to even say anything?
That’s the first step. That everything else will fall according to the expectation, or being there or not being there.
CALLIE: I feel like in romantic relationships, expectations are one of the biggest things. The hard thing is that we don’t always realize we have expectations until they aren’t met.
For example, Kramer won’t realize I’m expecting him to take me out for dinner, but I’m subconsciously hoping he will, and then when he doesn’t, I’m so upset. It’s becoming aware and checking in with yourself.
What are my expectations before I go into this meeting? Or before Allie goes into this meeting, what am I hoping to get done? Being able to create that game plan.
Let’s go all the way back to when you were in Arkansas. Brian was working all the time and Allie was at home with the kids. And then let’s move to where you guys are now.
What has that transition looked like of creating a safe environment to communicate those expectations to understanding your Enneagram types? I’m guessing it wasn’t always that way, right?
BRIAN: You feeling the expectation of having to do everything at home and it being done before I come home, with dinner made and taking care of all the kids and all that, which after switching and being in these different roles, I see now is so much. It’s so crazy.
ALLIE: It was dramatically opposite so quickly.
We did switch at first. At first I said, “Hey, either you quit or I do, because I feel like our quality of life isn’t okay. But I want to start this business and I really think I could change things for us.” And we made that decision. He quit and our roles did switch.
And I was everything in my business. My team is 17 strong and I was doing all of those roles. And I have low energy internally, so it was really exhausting. I was working 17-hour days, not sleeping much, nursing Emmett at night. So, it did switch.
BRIAN: I did feel happier being at home, supporting you doing your thing. And you had that drive inside to want to go do something, to do more than what you were doing. I felt like this is really what I feel better at doing.
CALLIE: Yeah. It probably felt like a relief for you not to have to go to work at a job you hated for 12 hours a day.
ALLIE: Yes. That was the dramatic switch.
We said in the beginning that this is not how I want things to be. This isn’t sustainable. I want to homeschool my kids and run my company. I just need to get it going so I can have help.
Then we moved away from the complete opposite and started to share. And that, I think, was the hardest. I thought it was going to be the easiest thing, and it was way harder than just straight up switching.
CALLIE: Right. I’m sure when Allie was taking care of the house, you had a way you did everything and then when Brian was taking care of the house, he had a way he did everything. And now it’s like, what the heck is happening?
ALLIE: Now we’re both going to be in the business? I feel like I get territorial over things sometimes if I’m being super honest. I’ll be like, “Wait, wait, wait, what are you going to do? I know I said that I wanted you to edit that video, but how are you doing the video? Make sure my face looks like this. Leave this part in.”
I’m stressed out. Then that stresses me out at home, too, because I’m like, “Why wouldn’t you prep the food first?”
I think the sharing of everything was a way harder adjustment for us because of our personalities. It was messy.
CALLIE: I’m curious, Brian, when you hear that feedback from Allie why you don’t take it personally? Allie, have you learned how to communicate it in a different way? What’s healthy for you guys? Because it could look different. I’m just curious what that is.
BRIAN: I used to take it really personally. It really bothered me and depressed me. It would be the worst.
But then, I realized that is just the way you are, the way you communicate. You are just being honest and you say everything. I have learned to not let it hurt my feelings because I know that it’s not necessarily like that.
I understand now how you’re feeling. I realized what I could have done differently or I could do better. I don’t take it personally anymore. And because I know I get so much out of you telling me I did a good job, I did this right, or I’m helping, and I get the recognition because that’s how I get love.
ALLIE: It was very hard to figure that out and understand it. Super hard. We’ve had those conversations, of “I’m not trying to attack you” and working through his side of it and then also working through my side.
While he’s not taking it as personally, one shift that I’ve made that was super hard and still is super hard for me but I’m working on it, is saying “I feel” something instead of “you did something.”
CALLIE: Allie, that’s so good that you’re doing that.
ALLIE: Like I’ll say, “I’m feeling like this feels really chaotic and you were out here, so I thought it wouldn’t feel like that, and I am wondering why this happened.”
And not saying ‘always’ or never’. My tendency is to be extreme. Those are some little tweaks I learned from therapy of, “Hey, this is just how I’m feeling.”
How many times have we stopped and said, “This isn’t about you. I’m just going back to how I’m feeling about this.”
CALLIE: Which is so important I think in any relationship, but specifically romantic relationships, because you need that permission to express your feelings. It’s also saying, “I know this may not be the truth, but this is what I’m experiencing.”
You’re not taking away some other human’s experience and it’s also taking ownership. Allie’s owning it and putting it on herself and saying, “I feel this,” instead of the attacking, which is so powerful.
This is so interesting listening to both of you talk. In the Enneagram, we have specific things we desire to receive in a relationship from different types. For Allie, as Type 8, how you can best love a Type 8 is being very direct with them. They don’t want all the fluff. Just get to the point.
You can hear when Allie’s giving these examples with Brian, that’s how she’s communicating to him. It’s easy for her to walk out of her office and say, “Why is the food not prepped? What happened?” She’s just direct.
Now, Brian, as a Type 2, what he wants in a relationship is connectedness. That’s going to increase his emotional connection with that person, which creates the sense of love. And 2’s can be very wordy. Brian, I don’t know if you are, but they like to explain themselves, explain what happened and why they didn’t get to something.
With Allie, just saying she likes directness, you can see how that can cause you two to clash if you don’t learn that and let each other have that space to be yourselves or give each other permission to be who you are. But you also want to try to work on yourself.
ALLIE: This house has a jacuzzi in the backyard and most nights we’ll turn the spa on and go sit out there. Brian, I don’t know if you know that I cognitively decided this, but I’ve made that time when we are in the spa the time for me to listen to you.
He just talks. He talks the whole time. And I’m just listen. I let him go. I’m a hundred percent engaged because I can be. It’s frustrating to be engaged the rest of the day.
I never communicated it to him, but I decided that’s going to be a time where I am all in. He can talk. I will just listen.
CALLIE: That’s amazing.
ALLIE: Now every evening, he says, “You want to go in the spa? Wanna go in the spa?”
And I know… As soon as we get there he starts in with, “So today…”
BRIAN: I want to tell you everything. You’re my best friend. And that’s definitely how I am. I want to explain everything—how something is, the way I feel about it, and the details about it.
But I know that a lot of times you don’t want to know the details, so I chop it to, “Ok, here we go. This point. This point. This point. Done”
CALLIE: I relate more with Brian. I’m a 3, but I wing to a 2. I’m in that feeling triad too Brian.
With my husband Kramer, I’m the same where I want to tell him about my entire day, every conversation, what was said. He’s low energy, so he’s like, “Holy crap.” Just listening is too much.
I think what you just said, Allie, about how you’ve made up in your mind that spa time is where you’re going to listen to him is so healthy and incredible. You know Brian feels loved when you do that and it’s important that you do that. Just like it’s important for Brian to be direct with you at different times of the day, because he knows that’s how he can love you.
When we learn about the Enneagram types with our significant other, it’s so important that we’re not trying to mold them to be like us where it’s like, “Okay, you have to always be direct with me and you can’t tell me about your entire day.”
We have to learn how to compromise and compliment each other and say, “Okay, how can I create the right time and space where I can give you attention to listen to you? But during work hours, it would really mean a lot to me if you can just be direct if you need something immediate. I just don’t have the emotional capacity to listen to you during this time.”
There’s the expectation and it’s so clear.
ALLIE: There are obviously days where it doesn’t go like that at all, where I’m like, “Wrap it up.” And that’s so rude. I can feel that it’s rude. I don’t want to be rude, but where we’re at isn’t matching, which I feel like every marriage has that. It’s just the fact that you’re not syncing up at the same time.
It’s the opposite for me. This has actually been a problem in my friendships as well as my marriage, where I will straight up forget to tell people things like big life changes. Once I forgot to tell one of my closest friends that I was pregnant and they were so offended.
Just the other day, I told Brian, “Oh, by the way, I just pitched this huge deal, and it’s probably going to happen.”
And he’s like, “How could you not tell me? What?”
I also notice that a lot of the time I will forget to share details. I’m just plowing through. I just keep going and I forget to share important details. Then in spa time, he will start talking about all the little tiny details like what kind of pepper was on the salad that he ate and where the pepper was sourced from. He Googled it and he found out that this is from the mountains of somewhere.
And then I’m like, “Hey, I haven’t even gotten to tell you about this thing that happened this morning, and you’re talking about chips.”
It’s not his fault. I am an external processor, but I have to be ready to process. He’s just always ready to talk. All of these differences without proper communication or cues that are like, “Hey, just like shut up right now,” it just plows into each other and make a huge mess. It’s hard.
CALLIE: Yeah. This is so interesting.
I want to explain this and you tell me if this resonates with you. So Allie, all those examples you just gave me of the details you’ve forgotten to communicate with Brian or a close friend, I think connects to your time orientation as your Enneagram type.
Here’s another layer to the Enneagram. We have different time orientations. Some are in the present. Some are in the past. Some are in the future.
Allie, this is where you and I are actually similar. Type 3’s and Type 8’s are very futuristic. When you’re saying you just forget to share the details, my guess is because you’ve already moved on from it. You land this huge deal, it’s super exciting, but now you’re thinking of the next project or the next thing that has to be done. You’re not stuck in the moment.
Type 2’s are very present and that’s why they’re able to process so much of what’s happening, because they’re enjoying the moment and they’re living right there. It doesn’t mean they’re not ever futuristic. It doesn’t mean 8’s and 3’s can’t ever be in the past or the present either. That’s deep work we can do to be fully present, but your default is to move on fast.
If that’s a common pattern you’re seeing of forgetting to share details with people, something that might be helpful is to check in with yourself every Wednesday night or every Tuesday and Thursday and ask yourself, “What big things have happened in the past month, two weeks, past week? Is there anyone that would feel valuable if I shared this?”
Make that a journal prompt as you do your other journal work, because that’s a pattern in your life.
We just had our son. The other day I was talking about when he gets married, college, this bank account for him, and what we want to do. Kramer, as a Type 5, is not futuristic and he said, “Can we just learn how to change his diaper today?”
I get so ahead in the future and it can stress other people out. But knowing that about yourself can bring so much awareness and cause you to stop and reflect. Does that resonate?
ALLIE: It does.
I feel like lately this has been one of our bigger frustrations with each other. For example, something that I’ve said a lot lately is, “Gosh, do I have to be the one to think of everything?”
Because I will think, “Hey, our lease here is up down the line. What are we going to do? What if they don’t want to renew?”
And Brian thinks, “Why are we even here right now?”
BRIAN: Yeah, that’s not till way later. I feel like we just got here. Let’s just enjoy the time that we’re here.
ALLIE: But we need to know. Why am I having to be the responsible one?
This tension of thinking in the future and him being very present, which is funny because for our adoption, the lady that was certifying us, one of the things she asked is, “What do we like about each other?”
I think I went first and I said that he teaches me to stay grounded and just enjoy the moment. And he said that she sees the big picture and she can see everything for the rest of time and hold space for it while also being an awesome mom.
The things that we love about each other are also the things that irritate us. Is the solution then to just own that and be like, “This is what my strength is, so I will handle the planning and then just remind you that we need to talk about it.”
Where’s the line between that and getting the other person to change to help you carry the load?
CALLIE: This question is so good. So yeah, I think there are two folds to this.
Number one: Yes, you both a hundred percent own who you are in those strengths. Brian by helping Allie be more present in the moment and come back to reality. And Allie, you by painting the big picture and helping Brian come up to that when he needs to.
Number two: Communicate those expectations. So Allie, if you’re feeling like you’ve really been handling a lot of personal things and business things in the future and you’re feeling drained (back to that whole energy thing with you) and you’re feeling the weight, you don’t have permission to be frustrated with Brian if you haven’t communicated that to him.
I know I can talk bluntly to you, so you don’t care. That’s how I talk to myself when I find myself getting frustrated at my husband. I ask myself the question, “Have I asked him or told him I feel alone in this or that I need more support? No? Then I don’t have permission to be upset.”
Maybe that’s where you guys have check-ins. Kramer and I created weekly check-ins where I go over our schedule because it really stresses me out when it’s the day of and he asks, “When are your calls again?”
Then I say, “I shared my calendar with you. I already told you about it.”
ALLIE: This is us literally every day. The night before I’ll say, “I have appointment tomorrow at 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM. Then we’re free. And I’m also dropping a hint that I would like to spend time with you and I hope that you plan something.”
Next day happens. Brian’s slow stretching in the morning and drawing one of his King Louis XIV dramatically elaborate baths, and then says, “What’s the day look like today?”
And I say, “Are you kidding me right now? I am going to kill you for real and it’s not going to be okay. Literally, are you kidding?”
And then he says, “Oh yeah, sorry,” and fakes that he remembers.
Anything to say?
CALLIE: I love how real you guys are. Brian, what are your words?
BRIAN: There’s always so much every day. I know that it’s in the calendar, but sometimes I’ll just forget. I have to remind myself and then I’ll see it and be like, “Oh yeah, I remember this is going on.”
CALLIE: It’s not exhausting for Brian to talk to you. In that moment, Brian, it probably sounds more exhausting to have to pull it up on the calendar than to talk to Allie because you enjoy talking to her. That’s where it can be easy to say, “Oh, can you just refresh me on the schedule?”
Whereas, Allie, back to your energy of, “I just told you all of this. This is exhausting.”
ALLIE: I gave energy to telling you. And then it hurts my feelings. I feel like I’m not valuable to you because you can’t even listen to me.
And it’s not that all. He just wants to talk.
CALLIE: Yes, exactly. And that’s where it’s between a 2 and an 8.
Let’s play through this scenario. Brian says, “Allie, what’s your schedule today?”
And Allie you need to communicate, “Hey, it takes a lot of energy for me to just communicate and tell you my schedule. When you remember it makes me feel so loved.”
But also, Allie, you need to do it in a gentle way because you’re recognizing that Brian is coming from a place of wanting to feel connected and he probably just didn’t realize how high of a priority it is to remember.
Then you guys have to be able to have the conversation of, “I don’t want to be in this situation again. We know this pattern and it keeps happening. What can we do to brainstorm together to change this because it is frustrating and exhausting.”
I think in a marriage, being able to talk about the conflict, which you guys do, is so healthy. You give so many healthy examples.
It’s being able to have an ‘adult conversation. That’s what Kramer and I call it. He says, “Talk to me like an adult, not like a child, and let’s brainstorm and problem solve together. How do we avoid this situation again? Because we’re both frustrated and we’re going against each other’s personalities.”
It’s not that you have to completely change, but how can you compromise and create the right space for both of you? Which I think is fine.
BRIAN: I know that Allie likes to outwardly process and talk about things. She will say stuff to me and I automatically go to sitting there quietly, trying to figure it out, and I’m processing, thinking, figuring it out.
I’ve been learning to outwardly talk and process what I’m thinking when I’m with you, so that you’re understanding or hearing me. I’ve adapted to doing that more with you.
But it is, for some reason, easier for me to want to say, “Hey, what’s going on today?”
Just tell me this at 10, this at 11, and this at 1 o’clock, even though I could have just looked in the calendar and not asked you.
I feel like I’ve been trying to be in that position of talking to you more about all the things.
ALLIE: The places where he naturally wants to communicate and talk a lot, and the places where I don’t, are opposite and they conflict. I’m an external processor and want you to be helping and talking, not just sitting there internalizing everything.
But otherwise most of the time, I’m very in my head. I’m thinking, usually feeling a lot, thinking about the day, and already getting into the energy of the person I’m going to interview later. There’s a lot going on. It’s like a storm inside all the time.
So when he says, “What’s going on today?” and I’ve already laid it out, this infuriating fire rises up from within. And then he’s so shocked and like, “Geez! Sorry!”
CALLIE: It’s because you felt like your flow was interrupted, correct?
Brian, I do that sometimes with Kramer too. He’s a Type 5 and he’s in his head. To me, it looks like he’s chilling on the couch, and I think, “Cool, I can start talking.”
But really it’s like, “Oh crap. I just interrupted him solving all the world’s problems. He was just about to end world hunger and he just figured out what we’re doing differently in our businesses.”
It would be good if you guys could communicate messages of when it is safe to ask. Allie, this is going to be different for you when you’re in that state of flow. I almost told Kramer, “I need a sign that says ‘open’ or ‘closed’ because I can’t read your mind.” Sometimes it is okay for me to talk and sometimes it’s not.
You guys being able to articulate that or communicate, “In the morning time, that’s my most creative work or when I’m getting in my flow, so when you talk to me it’s really hard during that time.”
And then Brian, you respecting that or whatever that looks like for you guys. Having those safe zones. Knowing if Allie’s in her office, don’t talk to her.
Or Kramer says, “If I’m looking at my computer, don’t talk to me because I’m either editing, taking notes, or really prepping for something in depth. But if I’m in this room, it’s a safe place and I’ll make sure that I’m in a safe place and I don’t have a right to get mad at you when you talk.”
ALLIE: That’s what we’ve done with me being on the phone.
BRIAN: Especially lately, I feel like a lot of times I don’t think about that or realize that. I see you sitting there and you’re not on a podcast, you’re not doing work, you’re writing or whatever, so I’ll just be like, “Hey! Blah,blah, blah!”
And you’ll say, “Hold on. I didn’t hear anything you said. I’m still writing.”
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ALLIE: I’ve said this to the kids too. We have four kids that all have their own personality types.
I always tell them, “Look I don’t really have anything on my phone that’s for me just because I want to do it. If I’m having my phone in my face, I am working. I worked really hard to create a business that I could literally run from my cell phone. Because you have a mom and a wife with this cool perk, it means respect the phone. If it’s out, I can guarantee you that I’m working.”
He’ll still come and interrupt and then stop himself and say, “Sorry, keep going,” and it’s enough where I’m fine and I can keep going.
CALLIE: That’s awesome that you guys have created that visual with the phone.
Allie, as you learn the exact moments you are in that energy flow, you may not be on your phone, but you’re in your head, you’ll start to see your own patterns of what’s happening.
Or Brian’s about to wake up for the day and you say, “Hey, I’m doing some deep thinking right now. I’m going to be in the bathroom for 20 minutes. Don’t talk to me.”
Be direct and respect each other’s space.
I’m really curious to ask you guys about conflict and how you handle it if you’re okay if I go there?
ALLIE: Yeah, totally.
CALLIE: There are different conflict coping styles for each Enneagram type. I’ll explain your two and you guys tell me if you resonate with this. Maybe give us an example of what this looks like.
Type 2’s are in the Optimistic Triad with conflict, meaning they want to reframe things in a positive way. Brian, let’s say you’re actually frustrated at something Allie did, it might be easy to forget about it and move on and have a fun time because the emotional pain or losing that connection in the moment feels like too much. You don’t want to risk it. You’d rather just be positive and move on.
BRIAN: Yes. But because I’m like that, she thinks I’m wanting to just sweep it under the rug and never deal with it.
ALLIE: And I have a huge issue with rug sweepers because I’ve seen it destroy families. So, let’s get that rug, shake it up, bring all the dust out.
CALLIE: You want it all on the table.
We’ll come back to the whole rug thing because both of your styles of conflict, actually every style is healthy and unhealthy. We can talk about when it looks healthy and when it’s very unhealthy. And then that way you guys can recognize for yourselves.
Like Brian, where you’re like, “Oh crap, I am actually sweeping this under the rug. Even though it’s uncomfortable, I need to push through this.” And then, helping Allie sometimes be optimistic and know how to move on.
So Allie’s conflict coping style Type 8 is reactive. It’s basically what you just explained—shaking the rug. If there’s a problem, you want it right there in the face of everyone, not just yourself. And you often want people to match your energy.
If you’re intense and frustrated about it, you don’t want Brian to just be sitting on the couch being chill. If you’re worked up, you want Brian to be worked up too. You often want people to mirror your energy of what’s happening. Does that sound pretty spot on?
CALLIE: Let’s talk about the unhealthy and then you guys can maybe talk about your relationship scene where this comes out. There is this whole concept with the Optimistic Triad of burying your head in the sand and acting like there’s not a problem.
If things are in the dark, they cannot grow. There is so much truth in that. You have to expose things to the light—the good, the bad, the ugly—so that we can problem solve, work around it, and continue to create an environment of growth and self-awareness.
It’s unhealthy to move on when there truly is a problem or there’s some deep-diving that you need to do within yourself in order to move through it.
What’s really helpful for Type 2’s is to ask yourself, “Do I actually feel affected by this emotionally? Is there some hurt, bitterness, or frustration?”
And you have to be real with yourself. I feel this tension in my body. I actually feel frustrated when I see Allie right now, or the fact that she’s not doing whatever it is. That is a communication to you that there is a problem and it needs to be dealt with.
Let’s say she forgot to put a cup in the dishwasher and you’re like, “This is not a big deal. I’m just going to put it in there for her and move on from it.”
That’s using your optimism and choosing to move on when it’s not a big issue. But if that’s happening every day and it’s building resentment, you guys need to have a conversation.
For Allie, your heart behind your reaction is: “I want to get to the root of the problem. I want to solve this. I don’t want to brush it under and then 10 years later our marriage is falling apart.”
ALLIE: Yes, because I feel like I’m being a protector of our relationship by not letting there be any stagnant, suppressed issues.
CALLIE: Yes. That’s such a great heart desire. Perfect.
Then it’s asking yourself the question, “What is actually going to help us get to that result where I truly am protecting us?”
If you freak out on Brian or one of the kids, is that creating a safe environment for you to talk about this conflict? Or is it scaring Brian to where he’s like, “Oh my gosh, I never wanted to see Allie like this again,” and that’s why he tries to be positive to move past it.
It’s using that passion and intensity to bring the conflict up, but doing it in a tactful way where it’s like, “Okay, Brian cares about connectedness. He wants to be seen. He wants to be loved. He wants to be wanted. How do I validate his core fear and bring this conflict up so we have a safe place to talk about this?”
Maybe get him in the spa and talk about the conflict.
ALLIE: Our role is shared, so the house stuff is frustrating on one side or the other. The work stuff is frustrating on one side of it. And the kids stuff and parenting stuff.
So, like with the cup example, Brian would see that and literally not say anything. I don’t even really fully know what it would be like for him to even say, “Why did you leave this out?”
He just never does when it’s a little thing like that. For big things, he will eventually volcano and it all comes out, but for little things like that, he never would.
I actually have a lump in my throat thinking about myself not saying something if he left the cup out. I couldn’t not. It would take great strength to not say, “Can you just put the cup away?” Imagine if there had been a conversation a bunch of times or something where he said, “Yeah, I understand. I’ll do better about that,” and it continued to happen?
I would literally struggle so much with the dumbest, smallest things to make sure that you knew that I noticed that you did that. I noticed that you said it like this. Or “Hey, let’s deal with this right now. Let’s pull it out and look at it and go all the way through all the times this has happened to make sure you understand.”
That energy feels unhealthy. It feels draining. But I find myself not being able to reel that in. I have to make sure he knows.
CALLIE: For you guys to both do this deep work. So for Allie, you explaining that lump in your throat, I would like you to start asking yourself the questions of: What would happen if I didn’t say anything? What does that make me feel like?
Does it make you feel like you’re not being protected? Does it make you feel like you’re not standing up for yourself and now you’re weak (because it’s going back to that core fear)? What is it saying?
This is where it’s so cool to give ourselves grace, because we have to build emotional capacity to handle situations like that.
Allie, you’re saying it would take great strength to not say anything. Yeah, you’re right. And you might have to do some workouts emotionally to get to that point, to be able to keep your mouth shut.
There’s so many things I’m working on so I don’t just lash out with Kramer because I feel like I’m lying or not taking care of our marriage if I’m not honest. So, I’m just being honest, but there’s a tactful and healthy way to do that and I’m having to build my emotional capacity.
For Brian, I want to explain this to you, Brian. Tell me if this resonates. With Type 2’s, they subconsciously heard this message as a kid: your needs are a problem. And so Type 2’s often never have needs and that’s why they want to take care of everyone else’s, because they feel that it’s a problem if you have a need.
Talking about conflict, like you saying to Allie, “You left this cup out.” Well, now you’re communicating that you have a need, that you need Allie to put that away. And that subconsciously can feel not safe for a Type 2. Type 5’s can also really struggle with that.
I’m curious if you resonate with what I just said? Does it feel just terrible within yourself to have to ask for something?
BRIAN: For sure.
It’s hard for me to make time for myself to go do something, because I feel like with the kids and with Allie, that I care more or I’m being selfish because I want to go do something. I would just rather not make anybody feel upset or like I’m taking something away from time or whatever. Instead of dealing with that, I’d just rather not do anything and just forget it so that it doesn’t make anyone feel like that.
ALLIE: And I would say as your wife, that is probably the biggest thing he’s overcome in the last two years. Just the other day he went snowboarding all day, super last minute, just for fun. It didn’t serve a purpose. It didn’t help anyone except himself. And it was awesome.
I joked about his King Louis baths. They are very elaborate. It’s hilarious to me because he’s basically Chandler in that episode of ‘Friends’. It’s just funny because he’s such a big, strong guy and to see him in the bath with bubbles, the powders you can add, the bath bombs. It’s very elaborate.
BRIAN: I almost did that this morning, but I didn’t have time.
ALLIE: It’s hilarious and so cute. But he does those things all the time now.
The difference in what kind of a dad he is, what kind of a husband he is, how aligned he feels and seems with himself is huge.
It’s funny because he made all that up in his head that it was a problem. I would argue it was a problem that he wasn’t doing those things because he was miserable and had resentment that didn’t belong in our family because nobody was feeling that way except him.
CALLIE: Brian, I just have to congratulate you. For you, as a type 2, not to put 2’s in a box because you can be healthy, but that work you’ve done is not easy. That is so encouraging for me to hear and I’m sure anyone listening who is a type 2, or resonates with feeling guilty for taking care of themselves. I think that’s going to speak to them because it is seriously so encouraging to watch other people take care of themselves.
And I agree. When my husband takes care of himself and when I do, we’re better people. I’m a better mom. I’m a better business owner. I’m a better customer at Costco.
I care about the person I’m talking to. I can look them in the eyes because I’m not stressed out about my life and I’m not a jerk.
We are so connected as humans, and how you take care of yourself directly impacts every single person you come in contact with. That’s awesome that you’ve done that work.
Taking that work even deeper, hearing that you’ve really taken self care seriously, bring that into conflict where you start asking yourself questions like, “What happens if I call Allie out on this?” And knowing Allie’s love language, that she wants you to be direct, that’s serving her.
ALLIE: That’s like my dream.
CALLIE: I love actually getting feedback, so when Kramer tells me ways that I can improve as a wife, I’m like, “Thank you!” I literally love hearing how I can serve you better.
That’s honoring her and that’s strengthening your marriage.
Do that work. Ask yourself, “What happens if I say this to her? Why do I feel so sick to bring this up? What does it say about me? Do I have a false belief about this?”
Going through those questions and getting to the root of it, I think that is what’s so massive. In any romantic relationship, the more we keep working on ourselves that increases the healthy environment for the relationship, because you can have logical, adult-like conversations to problem-solve your relationship together in the conflict.
ALLIE: I feel like as a Type 2 his unwillingness or innate inability to take care of himself before was so unhealthy. And honestly, I think every type has a trait that could turn toxic. It’s meant to help but can harm so much. It was like that.
I have things on my side of things that are the same situation, but seeing him heal from that and from the times that he’s been told in the past that this is selfish or this is wrong. I think also the faith that we grew up in at school didn’t help with that either. All of these stories, all these things, just piling up and growing so much resentment.
You haven’t really shared publicly your health journey, but he’s lost 80 pounds. And you don’t do that without loving yourself. Literally the ‘unhealth’ was packed on his body. Your body is a mirror of what’s going on and it was so hard to see.
Because I want it all to come out. I want to hear about it. I want to know.
It’s crazy how each type’s weaknesses can literally make you sick. I’ve done that to myself in other ways. It’s something that we’ve both been working on.
As he has gotten healthier emotionally, he’s gotten healthier physically. I’ve gotten healthier emotionally and physically. It’s only made our relationship stronger, even though we’ve done it in separate ways.
CALLIE: I feel like that’s the healthiest thing. I think of it like a friend where I could go a year without talking to them, but let’s say we have a phone call and it’s an incredible conversation. It’s only incredible if she’s been growing herself and I’ve been growing myself and now we have things to talk about.
But if I have a friend that’s so dependent on me for her growth and we go without talking, it’s this negative conversation like, “I don’t really have anything. My life’s been hard. I wish you were in my life more.”
I think that’s how relationships should work. You both are so independent, but then you become dependent on each other. It’s this beauty of you’re growing constantly and it just overflows.
ALLIE: Absolutely. What else do we want to cover?
CALLIE: This might be too personal so we can edit this out if want, but have you guys done the love languages? Usually Type 8’s don’t want to be touched and Type 2’s really care about that. Is that a thing in your relationship?
ALLIE: Yeah. I’m curious to know what you think about progress with that. I feel a certain way, but I’m the one that doesn’t like to be touched, so I may think I’m doing so well, but it’s not enough. You know what I mean? That’s a conversation we’ve had a lot.
CALLIE: Yeah. And Brian, is it even little things like hugs you or if Allie just walks by you and touches you, it makes you feel seen? Correct?
CALLILE: So, how have you guys compromised? Because Allie, you’re probably like, “I can’t touch you 24/7.”
How do you create that space? Or how do you try to get outside of yourself to do that for Brian?
BRIAN: I think just understanding that and having to be okay with that’s just how Allie feels. If we’re arguing about something or if we have worked through something, then I immediately want to make everything better.
I want to hold you, kiss you, or whatever, and I don’t understand how you could not want that. Because I’m dying here and I need that so bad. And if you’re feeling so sad, how are you just not wanting that? I don’t get it.
ALLIE: Then I’m like, “How could you try to touch me right now when we’re trying to work this out? Don’t you care?” I’m shocked. It’s so opposite.
Touch in disagreements is the biggest thing. Now, I pick one of two things and it just depends. If I have it in me, I will stop mid-conversation, mid-argument and I will put my hand on his face and say, “I’m really frustrated and I really want to get to the bottom of this. I don’t want to let this sit.”
But if it’s heated and I really can’t, I will remind him, “Hey, not until this gets worked out. I’m freaking out right now. We need to get to the bottom of this.”
I can’t touch until everything is settled and I feel safe, I guess. Like there’s not a threat under the rug. Then I can touch like crazy.
CALLIE: And Brian, you’re probably thinking the touching makes you feel connected even through the argument. You probably subconsciously just want to know that you guys are okay and that’s why you’re seeking that. It’s like a quiet affirmation essentially.
BRIAN: Right. Yeah.
ALLIE: I feel like we’ve basically just learned how to compromise mid-argument. Sometimes I will give in and sometimes he will. It just depends.
CALLIE: Which is great. Like you said, you guys just communicate where it’s like, “I’m not okay. I’m freaking out. We need to get to the bottom of this first.”
The last episode that Allie and I did, we talked about the different Triads of the Enneagram. Different Types lead with different Triads—the gut, the head, and the heart.
So, Brian is in the Heart Triad; Allie is in the Gut Triad. I’m really curious how you guys have learned to empower each other, but also grow in Brian leading with his gut and Allie leading with her heart.
So Brian, Allie shared an example of you being in the Feeling Triad. It’s like you have this connectedness with emotions, not only with yourself but also other people. You can walk in a room and feel people’s emotions and you literally carry that on.
If Allie’s upset, you probably feel upset. Or if one of your kids is going through something, you’re sitting in that with them.
Is it weird watching each other at all? Watching Allie lead with her gut, Brian? Or watching Brian lead with his heart, Allie? Well, you already said it was weird watching Brian.
ALLIE: Yeah. I don’t understand it. Like I said in the other episode, I have the ability to feel everyone’s emotions as if they are my own but I can turn it off. It’s not my go-to.
Whereas Brian can’t really turn it off. It’s literally a part of him and it really affects him. It’s weird. I’m like, “What is your problem right now? Just turn it off.”
BRIAN: Your gut is so strong that I let you lead with your gut. When you feel something, I really accept that or understand that because you live your life that way. You have been right about a lot of things that way.
And that’s something that I’ve been trying to be more attuned with or listen to, because I don’t normally want to go there right away. That’s harder for me to hear. I’ve been trying to get better at that.
I definitely feel like that’s your strength. I will always listen to that when you feel something.
ALLIE: When there’s a strong knowing, I will communicate, “Hey, I have this really strong feeling that we shouldn’t do this, or you shouldn’t leave yet, or you shouldn’t go there.” Whatever it is, he will listen and trust it.
I actually can’t think of a time where it hasn’t served us really well. If sometimes it’s just not the case and I don’t have a strong feeling, then we will talk through it and both enter heart territory, be feeling, talking, and our conversation on both sides is very emotional based.
CALLIE: Brian, that is so cool that you know that about Allie’s gut and you trust it a hundred percent. I would say I’m more so like that with Kramer. In the last episode I mentioned that I’ve really been trying to lean into my gut and just trying to become more aware of it. It’s there. It’s just a skill. It’s something I have to practice listening to.
I was telling Allie that I sit in the morning and I try to sense what’s happening in my body, and the first two weeks of doing that felt so weird. Like, what is happening? I’m just ready to go on with my day. But no, I can build this and grow in it.
When you guys both sit in your heart and you try to feel into a moment, Allie, you’re able to switch it on and off. Brian, can you articulate what it feels like to experience emotions from someone else and to not be able to just flip the switch off?
You constantly lead with your heart. Is that exhausting emotionally? Do you ever wish you could just shut it off? Can you articulate what’s happening internally?
BRIAN: I mean maybe sometimes I do feel like I could turn it off, especially if it was something so draining or so much. I just feel like that’s part of who I am and what I want to do. Helping people, taking care of somebody, taking care of someone’s needs. I like being able to be there with them, feel that, or take that on with them.
It does get tiring. Sometimes it could be a lot, but ultimately I just feel like that’s just what I love doing. That’s just how I am.
CALLIE: It sounds like you feel like you can help people better by feeling into it because you’re reading it before they even say it. Is that what’s happening?
BRIAN: Right. Over the years I have found out that more people want to open up to me or tell me stuff. I don’t understand why, but people just do that. Do I have some kind of sign that says, “Hey, I’m going to listen to everything that you want to say.” I’m okay with that.
ALLIE: People can sense that he understands. He understands because he’s literally wearing their emotions. This is how it goes. He talks about it so positively. He seems happy with it.
I will switch it on and then be like, “Whoa. Get it off.” I need to separate myself from that person’s emotions because it was too much for me.
I would say it does show up negatively sometimes for Brian when he gets really frustrated at somebody when they haven’t said a peep, because he could feel how they were feeling. Like if you felt someone was feeling something and you’re like, “Who are you to feel that way?”
But they haven’t communicated anything so you can’t really verbalize through the conflict.
CALLIE: But then Brian, you probably analyze it, right? You analyze what they were feeling and why they were feeling that. I’ll do that after family events where I believe all of these stories are happening and that this is what’s going on. And Kramer will ask, “Did they tell you that?”
No. But I know.
BRIAN: Yeah. I can make an assumption right away about what someone is thinking or feeling.
ALLIE: And then he acts like it’s true. It happens with us too. He’ll treat me like I’ve said something that I never said and I’m like, “Why are you being combative? I didn’t feel that way.”
And he says, “I’m just assuming that you’re probably super mad about this.”
And I’m like, “No, I didn’t even care.”
Then he’s like, “Oh, sorry.”
CALLIE: Since I’m in the Feeling Triad too, I totally get that. It’s really hard not to believe stories and think they’re true all the time, because I subconsciously believe I’m right all the time. I think, “Of course I’m reading these emotions correctly.” But actually I’m not.
There’s one more question I was going to ask you guys if again you’re willing to go here. You guys have mentioned in your story that it really feels like opposite roles that you play, especially from the environment you grew up in the school you went to and you guys switching those roles.
I know when you first went full-time in your business, Brian stayed at home with the kids. You guys have mentioned that you lost friends over that. The dynamic became very weird.
I’m curious Brian, Type 2’s can in general struggle with people-pleasing and really care what people think about you because you care about your character and you care about doing things correctly. How have you guys navigated that?
Do you feel like you’ve come to a healthy place of, “We’re our family. This is what the dynamic looks like and we don’t care what people think.”
Or do you feel like that’s something you are constantly still working through?
BRIAN: I definitely feel like now I’m okay with it for sure. But coming from a place where a guy has something that they do and that’s who they are. Guys are always talking about, “Oh, what do you do?” Not that I really loved what I was doing back then, but it was something to talk about.
ALLIE: It was a more acceptable answer.
CALLIE: Yeah, you could totally rattle that off.
BRIAN: To technically not be providing like I was, was a hard shift for me to work through at first. As to that people-pleasing part, I feel like they think I’m doing something wrong and that’s hard. It does help that it’s more accepted and that there are more people like this.
But I’ve just learned that that’s who I am and it’s not about what I’m doing. I get to be home and live this amazing life. But it was very hard to work through that and let that go at first.
CALLIE: It was a complete 180. Your lives completely flipped.
Like you said, it’s not as acceptable that men are in that role and you wonder what people think. The reality is that I’m sure there are people that judge you and that think it’s wrong. Having to come to that place of peace within yourself where you are confident in what you’re doing regardless of what people think, that’s a hard position to come to.
I feel like you can verbally say that, but internally in your heart to feel that confidence, it’s massive to get to that point. Allie, what are your thoughts about that?
ALLIE: Things have just changed so much. In that time that he’s talking about when we first shifted, it was sad. Oh my gosh, we were just babies. We were just figuring all this out. That was five years ago, so we were in our 20’s.
Figuring this all out felt like a huge relief. He was so happy realizing he loved being here with me. We were growing the business together. We were figuring out webinars together and doing all this together, but he was definitely in the supportive role of it. He was so happy.
Once people found out and people’s responses started to come back to us, then I saw him slip into depression. I saw him start to feel differently. It was really hard for me to see him unhappy.
But I also felt offended, like I did something wrong. I was already struggling with that because of the church and where I came from. It was so messy.
Now, he has his own photography business. There’s a specific role in the company that he helps me with. But before there wasn’t that for years. We just switched.
Now, I wouldn’t even describe it as “we’re switched.” It’s not even a thing. I feel sad for people that judge us just because he has these body parts, so that changes his relationship to money and he should be making it, and I have these body parts so that changes my relationship with how money comes to me. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
But that’s not where we were then. We were stuck in those limits. We were stuck in those boxes. We needed to come out for our own wellbeing.
It was hard for me to see him being so sad and so affected by people’s opinions. To me, I think, “Wake up!. This is your purpose. You were so happy. And the only reason you’re not is from other people’s thoughts. Screw them if they don’t want to be friends anymore because I’m making more money than their husbands. That’s ridiculous.”
It was weird and hard. It’s hard for me to see him struggle with what people think on an ongoing basis.
CALLIE: It’s frustrating struggling with people-pleasing. It’s something I have to intentionally work at too. It’s interesting hearing Allie’s take on it like, “Just get over it. Move on.”
As a type 2, 3, or 4 you carry that weight on. I really have to do symbolic things to get it off of me. Let’s say I get a really nasty DM. I have to write on a piece of paper what the words were and burn it or tear it. r I have to go process with Kramer, really go pray about it. I have to do something that’s showing me, “I am releasing this because this is ridiculous.”
Allie, I think you talked about that on your judgment episode.
ALLIE: It just depends on what it is. When it’s things like our life shift where we made this decision, it’s so good for us, and I am realizing that the belief system of the people close to us is not aligning with mine, I tell myself, “Whoa, this doesn’t get to affect me. That’s dumb.”
But when it’s a personal attack in that other way, it sticks to me. Brian walked me through many, many nights of just crying and having to figure out how to deal.
When he takes things on that I wouldn’t take on, I really struggle to understand. But in terms of general conflict and people not liking me or thinking that I did something wrong, assuming that I’m hurting somebody, I take it on so much.
I feel like it is just hard and weird the different circumstances that make me like that and the ones that make him like that.
CALLIE: It probably goes back to that core motivation of if you feel like your character is being attacked, you’re possibly more sensitive to that. Or if someone doesn’t think like you’re protecting other people or hurting people, your biggest desire is to help them protect yourself and other people.
Where with Brian and I, we love people. We love connectedness. I want to feel connected to even the guy checking me out at the grocery store. Even if I’m misjudged by a stranger, I care about it because I care to really be authentic and genuine. It just drives me crazy.
ALLIE: I don’t understand that.
CALLIE: Yeah, because you’re just like, “Screw it. They can have whatever opinion.”
ALLIE: Yeah, I’m just not thinking that. I’m in my head. I’m planning what I’m going to do next. I’m thinking about my business goals, if my launch is going to do what I want it to do next month. I’m not even thinking about what’s happening right now or what the people around me are thinking about. Even if I’m on stage speaking, I’m not thinking about that.
CALLIE: That is the coolest thing with the different types that don’t have that ability. That’s what Brian and I can learn from that because it’s exhausting, to me at least, to not be able to shut that off when I am speaking on a stage or I’m doing something. I don’t want to be obsessed with people’s opinions because it really doesn’t matter. I just need to show up and deliver. Yes, there’s power to reading a room or something.
That would be an example of leading with the heart, of Brian or I constantly feeling in whatever environment we’re in and it’s just happening as we go.
I’m curious, what do you guys wish people knew about your relationship or about marriage?
ALLIE: That’s such a good question and I think mine would be a list of things if I spent time with it. People misunderstand and assume all the time.
I wish that people would let go of a lot of traditional gender things, because I think they think that it’s serving the world and it’s not. If those traditional roles serve you then awesome. But just like you feel your way; we feel this way. There are people that are not meant to be in those constricting roles.
BRIAN: This position that I’m in right now, I would way rather have this than do anything else. This is what I want to do. I’m not here because of whatever reason and wish I was doing something else. This is where I feel like as a Type 2, I’m doing my best.
I’m giving my best. This is my purpose. This is what I want to do. I feel happy to do this every day, rather than doing what you were doing, or going to work every day like I was before.
ALLIE: Yeah, same for me. I think about the days, especially near the end of stay-at-home motherhood, where I was really struggling. I felt very depressed. I was absolutely out of alignment with what I’m supposed to be doing with my time and my days. The lack of creative outlet, the lack of leadership on a bigger level, it was crippling.
I feel like sometimes people talk to us as if we were so broke and the business made all this money and now I’m just stuck running a business and making all the money and it’s so hard and just a lot of pressure on me, and Brian’s just kinda here, doing whatever, because he couldn’t cut it.
That is not the conversations that we have at all. That is not how we feel. I feel like God used our business to draw us into the position we were always supposed to be in. It’s brought so much joy for both of us separately and together. He’s figured out things that he’s good at— falling in love with photography, fitness, and finding himself—when his old job gave him no space to do that.
Honestly, I feel like a lot of the judgment that we receive is from fear. I see a lot of fear in other men that have left our lives, being afraid. The traditional job system doesn’t give you a lot of room to find yourself, connect, and take care of yourself.
I think that a lot of men like that and are afraid of what would happen if they looked inside and dealt with their inner child issues like Brian has. He went to therapy, got connected, and got help. I think that what the world needs is for a lot of men to do those things.
CALLIE: It’s like the easy thing is to keep going in the traditional roles.
For us, that wasn’t working. It was bringing so much destruction, confusion, and hopelessness. The energy in our days was so low. We would have to work so hard and fight so hard to get to a happier, higher vibe state because our normal, natural life was so low vibe all the time.
Now, it’s the opposite. Now, it would actually take a lot of intention to bring it down because naturally we’re in happier states. We’re in a better flow as a couple, as humans, as parents.
I want people to understand to stop looking outward and look inward to who you’re supposed to be. Figure that out for yourself. And if you had that figured out, you’d probably be at a happier place where you wouldn’t be projecting on another couple.
CALLIE: That is so powerful. I was so curious how you would answer that, just from a listener’s standpoint. I think you’re right. There are so many assumptions and it’s so cool hearing that.
I love that you said your energy is naturally at a higher place because it’s a reflection of what’s internal. That’s so helpful, even for me to hear. It’s like, “Okay. If I’m having to work so hard at getting my energy up all the time, what’s going on inside of me? What is some work, what are some stories I’m telling myself that I need to dive deep into?
You guys are just such an inspiration to me, honestly. Seeing both of you individually be so confident in who you are, hearing about your family, seeing little glimpses. I know we see 1% of your life on the internet. People feel like they see all of it, but it’s just a tiny piece, but it really is so encouraging and inspiring.
You guys are an amazing couple and I really look up to you guys a lot.
ALLIE: Thank you so much. And thanks for this. I’m super excited for everyone to hear of it, so thank you.
CALLIE: Thank you for having me on! I loved it.
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I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
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