The Enneagram & You with Gina Gomez

Today’s guest is the author of The Enneagram & You: Understand Your Personality Type and How it Can Transform Your Relationships, Gina Gomez. I am fascinated by personality type systems so it was great to learn from an expert on the enneagram. As a relationship coach, Gina shows us how using the wisdom of the enneagram can strengthen your personal, professional and romantic relationships.

The Enneagram & You with Gina Gomez Podcast Transcript:

Hello, and welcome to episode number 43 of Sing Dance Act Thrive. Today’s guest is the author of The Enneagram & You: Understand Your Personality Type and How It Can Transform Your Relationships, Gina Gomez. I’m fascinated by personality type systems, so it was great to learn from an expert on the Enneagram. As a relationship coach Gina shows us how using the wisdom of the Enneagram can strengthen your personal, professional and romantic relationships. The Enneagram is an effective personality classification system that describes the characteristics, behaviors, and core values of nine different personality types, each identified by a number, the Enneagram, & You helps you identify your personality type, so you can discover how to best interact with the people in your life.

You’ll also learn about each type pairing from type one with a type one, to a type nine with a type nine, and every combination in between. I think that’s what sets her book apart from a lot of the other Enneagram books that I’ve come across is she talks about how to effectively communicate and better understand what each personality type needs to feel fully engaged, known and valued. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll begin to anticipate your reactions and responses to various people in your life. And you’ll also be able to better comprehend their reactions and responses to you. By understanding your own strengths, and recognizing areas for growth, you can improve your relationship in ways that might have previously seemed impossible.

Applying the wisdom of the Enneagram based personality types can lead to better connections and a deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. Gina is also the co-host of the Modern Enneagram Podcast. So how did you first get interested in the Enneagram?

Gina Gomez 3:07
So I was about 10 years ago, and I was in Italy, I was going through this very hard breakup. And I saw therapists there in Italy and he advised me that because of the nature of what I was needing, he’s like, I don’t think I can help you in such a short amount of time. But he introduced me to the Enneagram and told me to take a look at it. And I was kind of hooked ever since. Yeah.

Diane Foy 3:43
And so for people who may not know what on earth we’re talking about, could you maybe give a little explanation of what the Enneagram is, and maybe a little summary of each type.

Gina Gomez 3:59
Sure, so the Enneagram is a psychology based personality system. It’s very similar to those like Myers-Briggs, they’re strength finders. But what’s great about the Enneagram is that it takes you more in depth into maybe why you have developed certain behaviors over time. And then it also leads you into like what you can do if you want to change any of those behaviors, or why it would be helpful. So each of the nine Enneagram types has sort of like a sets with the behaviors that they default to. Okay, so we’ll start with type one. Type One is usually called the reformer or the perfectionist and they are usually led by just wanting to be good people. And then you have the type two who is sometimes called the helper or the giver, and they’re really motivated by wanting to help people. Then we have the type three, and they are usually known as the achiever. They are very much motivated by achieving your goals. Then we have type four, they are known as the artist. They’re very romantic and motivated by trying to find their identity. And type five we have a, an observer of the world, and they’re motivated by wanting to gain knowledge and also finding answers. So, type six is the loyal skeptic And this is a type that’s mostly motivated by wanting to stay loyal to their peers, and also wanting that loyalty in return. So with the type seven, and we have the enthusiast and they’re mostly motivated by wanting to live life to the fullest and then we have type eight and type eight is known as either the challenger or sometimes the protector. And they’re motivated meaning by wanting to stay safe, stay in control, and leadership. And then lastly, we have type nine, and they’re mostly known as the peacemaker. Definitely motivated by a sense of wanting to maintain a sense of calm and peace.

Diane Foy 7:11
Do you find that certain types produce more of a certain, like occupation? My audience is probably mostly artists and performing artists, do you find that there is a trend or theme that they tend to be? Or is it all over the place?

Gina Gomez 7:30
There’s definitely a trend and all of the nine Enneagram types have very defined core values. So from that, and it’s usually that one number would be more influenced by a particular career than another. So for example, the three the achiever. These are people who enjoy the limelight or enjoys sort of the idea of success, whatever that may be for them. Whereas the five the observer isn’t really looking for that kind of fulfillment.

Diane Foy 8:11
Right. I’m definitely a five.

Gina Gomez 8:14
Oh, aren’t you?

Diane Foy 8:16
Yeah, I work with artists more,so my type of art is more visual. And more I guess, stuff I do. I’m not I’m not a performer, but I work with a lot of performers.

Gina Gomez 8:31
Yeah. And I have a type five friend and he does installation arts, which is beautiful, but it’s sort of like, it’s not the he’s in the front of the limelight, but rather his artists.

Diane Foy 8:45
Yeah. Actually, I do find like a lot of performing artists even though you would think they’d all be extroverts. A lot of them are introverts.

Mm hmm. Oh, yeah. That’s very true.

Interesting. And so how does it work with the connected ones? That’s where I was confused in the past. But your book was great at explaining the connected types, and I guess, the security type and what was the other one the wings? Maybe if you could explain a little bit about the wings and other connected types.

Gina Gomez 9:27
Sure. So I think what you mean by connected types is they’re called in integration lines. So every type has two integration lines that move to other types. So for example, a type two would be connected to the type eight and also to the type four. And what this means is that when the type is insecurity or in stress, they’re going to look like another type of their behaviors are going to look like the two types that they are integrated towards. And then I know this can be a little bit difficult if you can’t visualize it. Or if you don’t have a visual in front of you, but inside the book, it definitely goes into depth into like, what that what that means. And then with the wings, those are fun. So every type is they have two types adjacent to them. So they’re on the circle here. And if we go back to the two again, they have a one wing, and then they have a three wing. And those types are basically influencing the personality with their own traits as well. So kind of rounds out your core type.

Diane Foy 10:47
Right, okay. And so you have a book called the Enneagram & You that comes out on the 24th, and also you have a podcast.

Gina Gomez 10:58
Yeah, we have a podcast It’s called the Modern Enneagram. And it’s me and my best friend who you know, I also introduced the crown 10 years ago, I was like I have to, you have to read on this and we’ve just kind of become a bit obsessed and did our own work and research and accreditations and things like that. And we started a podcast back in October 2018. So there’s lots of episodes on there right now to kind of dive in

Diane Foy 11:31
So you’re kind of on the podcast, I guess, teach more about it?

Gina Gomez 11:36
Yeah, we definitely talk and teach about just the different elements of the Enneagram and then we also do some fun episodes, talking about not just the enneagram itself, but maybe how it can correlate to astrology or just different psychological teachings.

Diane Foy 12:00
Right, I’m fascinated by all the different personality tests that are out there. There’s a lot.

Gina Gomez 12:08
There’s, yeah.

Diane Foy 12:10
So why the Enneagram over, say Myers-Briggs or the Ocean Model? Those are the two I kind of know more about.

Gina Gomez 12:18
Yeah and so I think when we’re looking at the source of our pain and suffering, for example, if you’ve, you know, spend most of your adult life in, let’s say, a people pleasing mode, you may come to terms with it, and not really know how to kind of break down those patterns. So within the Enneagram, there’s different elements that kind of help you become more self aware and bring some mindfulness to those behaviors. And it can help promote, you know, self compassion rather than judgment, or I feel like a lot of other personality systems out there. They don’t really go as in depth. So if someone’s really wanting to work on themselves with self development, the Enneagram, like a great place to start.

Diane Foy 13:10
Right. I was finding like the big five was an easy, easier, I guess one to understand. Because again, it’s just the five things and it’s like, where do you fall on that?

Gina Gomez 13:21

Diane Foy 13:23
Maybe it’s a little bit easier to read other people. But you mentioned in your book not to try and read other people with it, because only they will know who that what they are in the Enneagram?

Gina Gomez 13:37
Yeah, so I mean, it’s, it can be very easy to fall into, like, oh, that person looks like a three or that person acts like a six. And that, while that may be true, the Enneagram is it’s based on your core type is based on your motivations behind why you’re doing what you’re doing, not necessarily just the fact that you’re doing it. So you know, type four might be people pleasing for totally different reasons than a type seven. So it’s just better not to type someone like that, because you don’t actually know if that’s, you know, you only they know their motivations basically.

Diane Foy 14:14
Right. I understood it more when you think of oh, but when they’re in stress, they’re going to act like a seven.

Gina Gomez 14:23

Diane Foy 14:23
Or when they’re being protective.

Gina Gomez 14:26

Diane Foy 14:27
Or threatened they’re going to behave like another one.

Gina Gomez 14:30

Diane Foy 14:30
So makes sense that it’s hard to really peg someone else.

Gina Gomez 14:34
Yeah, yeah. I think that that’s where the compassion comes in, because when you know we are in and maybe like a heated argument or, just when someone does something that you don’t maybe approve of.

Diane Foy 14:49

Gina Gomez 14:50
It’s a lot easier to give them the benefit of the doubt that there’s probably something else deeper going on than just them being a jerk or yeah. So I think that that’s one of the biggest reasons that the Enneagram is so just amazing at giving you tools to navigate those situations with people and giving you a much better way to communicate.

Diane Foy 15:18
Yeah, that’s what’s great about the different personality types, because one thing it makes you understand your own motivation. But when you find out about someone else, it makes you really understand why people are doing what they’re doing. And there’s always like, you know, some core values behind it, so it makes you understand other people better too.

Gina Gomez 15:40
Yeah, exactly.

Diane Foy 15:43
And so, how did the book process?

Gina Gomez 15:50
Well, Simon Schuster reached out in May, and I was just shocked and delighted all at the same time and they wanted a book about the Enneagram and relationships and that’s what I was promoting at the time on my Instagram my social medias and yeah, it was it was a very interesting ride because I’ve never done it before.

Diane Foy 16:23
Usually everyone else’s like knocking down their door the publishers door. Like, please publish my book.

Gina Gomez 16:31
Yeah, Adams media the they had reached out and I honestly like I it felt like such a gift because it’s never been really at the top of my like, I want to write a book one day kind of goal. But then when it came to me, I’m like, you know what, I’ve been training for this for 10 years, so yes, I’ll take it. I’m ready.

Diane Foy 16:58
So you were incorporating the Enneagram into your work as a coach?

Gina Gomez 17:04
Yeah, so I am a women’s coach primarily focusing on women who are going through breakups. And so at the time, I had done this large series on each of the pairings, so like a five and a two and eight and a nine and giving an outline of, you know, what their strengths and challenges are, and then just like a little bit of insight on how to make that relationship a little bit easier. And so yeah, the book is primarily based on all of the pairings together.

Diane Foy 17:39
Oh, cool. So that was an interesting take on it, I guess. Compared to other books out there on it.

Gina Gomez 17:45

Diane Foy 17:47
Cool. So how what did you do before all this? How did you get into coaching?

Gina Gomez 17:56
Very interesting question. I was a professional wedding photographer for about 12 years, and my mom had gotten sick with cancer, she’s okay now. But I kind of became her primary caregiver. And so that sort of stopped my photography business to a halt. And after everything was said and done, it took like a year and a half for her to completely recover. I didn’t actually know what I was going to do. But I had always been, I always felt the calling to work with women. I just didn’t know in what capacity and like what the vehicle was supposed to be, I thought maybe it was going to be photography. And so when I landed with the Enneagram, and started to dive in deeper, I realized how much it had helped me and in terms of not just self development, but understanding why I kept finding myself in these toxic relationships and so, I just knew that like I was going to eventually use it also as the cornerstone of my teaching or supporting of women going through the same thing and so the coaching business kind of just bred from there.

Diane Foy 19:16
Cool. And what first got you into photography?

Gina Gomez 19:21
I was just about to graduate with my liberal arts degree I thought I was going to be a teacher, which I guess now I am. But I was probably going to do like a Montessori school or something like that. And I had been nannying, all through college. And so, one of the parents had given me a very nice professional camera as a gift. And it just, it just kind of went from there.

Diane Foy 19:55
Right. You became interested in that in practice, I guess.

Gina Gomez 19:59
Yeah. I have fell in love with it. And I think mostly the humanity behind it and wanting to, you know, be a part of like big significant moments in people’s lives and capturing that for them. Yeah.

Diane Foy 20:12
Right. So your work has always been about relationships, whether it’s photographing weddings, or coaching through breakup. Very interesting. It’s all about relationships.

Gina Gomez 20:27
Yeah. Yeah.

Diane Foy 20:31
So what’s next for you?

Gina Gomez 20:34
You know, it’s a very loaded question right now with everything that’s going on. I think I’m just taking it one day at a time. Right now, I currently have a program for women, like I said, going through just difficult situations and breakups in their life. And I also do speaking engagements here in Boise, Idaho. Yeah, just want to see where this is all going to take me in very excited and looking forward to it.

Diane Foy 21:08
What are the most common questions people ask you about the Enneagram?

Gina Gomez 21:14
So the most common questions are usually something along the lines of are a, you know, is a six and a seven good in a relationship? Yeah, but usually want to know what pairings like, what are the best pairings and you know the best answers. They’re all compatible. It’s really about everyone doing their own work their own self work. But the other question I get a lot too is if your Enneagram core type can change. And the I guess the locked in theory is that it doesn’t, that it always stays the same. Trying to think of any other common ones think those are the two major ones that usually come up.

Diane Foy 22:04
Right. Okay. What is your Why? Why do you do what you do?

Gina Gomez 22:14
I think for me, it always comes back to my core values, which is community connection. I really feel a sense of purpose when I’m working closely with others and helping.

Diane Foy 22:35
Right and especially during this crazy time. A lot of people are dealing with anxiety and self doubt, just as artists, they deal with that, but now with the uncertainty of are they gonna have enough work? Are they gonna have enough money? Is there any advice that you have for each Enneagram type to better manage stress and uncertainty?

Gina Gomez 23:10
So there’s a lot of information that I give about, you know, not just managing anxiety but like self doubt and confidence and things like that on my Instagram page. So I think for anyone listening who wants more information on their own type and how to navigate difficult situations at I’d be the best place. And I think for now, just general advice. That’s kind of what I’m giving myself as well is to really try and take it one day at a time because all the information everything is changing so rapidly that we don’t really have much of an idea of like what’s going to happen a week from now and really trying to stay grounded as much as you can and giving yourself compassion for this time because we’re all navigating it for the first time ever.

Diane Foy 24:08
Yeah and stay present.

Gina Gomez 24:10

Diane Foy 24:10
There’s no sense making up stories about what could happen.

Gina Gomez 24:14

Diane Foy 24:15
You deal with the facts, what’s happening.

Gina Gomez 24:18
Yeah and stay connected to other people as much as you can online, you know?

Diane Foy 24:24
The book is called Enneagram & You and what is your website and social media addresses?

Gina Gomez 24:32
Yeah, so my, you can find me on Instagram at And that’s also my website address.

Diane Foy 24:42
Okay, wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your expertise on the Enneagram was very cool.

Thank you. Thank you for having me.