Opposites Attract…And How To Live With Them (Episode 86)
Do opposites attract? HOW do opposites attract? And how in the world do I handle them? February’s episode is all about love and the ups and downs of living with your opposite.
In this episode, we'll discuss living with your opposite...and how to actually enjoy it.
Yes, my dear, Opposites Attract...
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In many respects, it’s harder to have the SAME personality styles than it is to have your opposite. Two of the same styles may end up never accomplishing anything, or constantly trying to fight for who is in charge.
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Oftentimes the biggest struggles in opposite couples is the desire to have the other person view things like you do.
When you push your partner to be/do/think the same as you and that's not their natural behavior, it can be a slippery slope of disappointment and frustration.
Where are we this week?
"Family Reunion" rally for Full Time Families, with over 70 families joining us for a week of fun! We love the rallies and our "binge friending" times - it's like a big ole' family camp that our whole family looks forward to. I'll be posting about all the fun over on Instagram.
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
I Married My Opposite
When I asked listeners about their thoughts on opposites, here were some responses:
- We are aligned in principle and fundamental beliefs, but hardly at all in lifestyle or methodology or practices or “ways” about doing life.
- We have a soul contract, clearly, and I believe her opposites have the opportunity of helping refine me and help me experience exactly the things I want more of in life (patience, grace, unconditional love, kindness, validation, etc.).
- My husband’s lack of structure used to drive me bonkers. Now I’ve come to appreciate where he is strong and I am weak - he balances me.
- It’s a dance, for sure. But I don’t want to marry the same person, or even hang out with people that are exactly like me. I want variety and depth.
- I’m happy in many ways that I married my opposite. But I’m still learning how to navigate that so it works for both of us.
- How do I honor her uniqueness from a symbiotic relationship?
- Instead of trying to “fix” each other, we embraced our differences.
- Just tradition is not enough to continue a relationship - something more has to drive it.
Complete, Don't Compete
We want our partners to understand where we’re coming from, so we ask them to step into our shoes. Yet if you have a different personality style, that can be hard, because your perspective can be entirely different.
Don't impose the way YOU do life on someone else.
What works for you may not work for them.
Are you trying to change their behavior, or who they really are?
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So often those differences are what attracted us to our partner in the first place!
What story are you writing around your relationship? How is your mind wired?
Honor their uniqueness - what did you fall in love with to begin with? What are those unique traits that you don’t have that they do? Can you remember how that inspired you?
Know Your Personality Style
Season 1 of the podcast is all about diving deep into personality styles - here is your brief summary of the different styles:
- D = highly driven, big picture thinkers, all about the end result. Fast-paced, speak in bullet points. Begin with the end in mind.
- I = outgoing, gregarious. Love the spotlight and being the spotlight. They are spontaneous and playful - they love to have fun.
- S = all about comfort - great listeners, supportive, loyal. They like to have time to go at their own pace. They flow like water.
- C = detailed, analytical, logical, systems-oriented. They will check those big picture ideas and poke holes in them to see what really will work.
It’s important to have an opposite to keep you in check.
What does a proactive relationship look like when you understand how your spouse is bent and you give them room to shine? How are you giving them the space to thrive in their strengths? Do you trust them enough to back off of your own agenda?
Unspoken expectations lead to pre-meditated resentments
Do you have a code/clear communication to let your family know when you are fried? Don’t expect them to be mind readers. Unspoken expectations lead to premeditated resentment.
Know Their Triggers
There are four key triggers that can set someone off to react without really thinking about the impact they make:
- Loss of control
- Loss of security
This is what can take a strength and trigger a negative reaction. Communicate what helps and what doesn’t. If you see a strength go to an extreme, like leadership moving to dictatorship, listening moving to apathy, and details moving to crippling perfectionism, pay attention to the deeper why that may be triggering it.
Give a break from the constant dialogue. Allow their minds to rest and their thoughts to gather.
We don’t get offended when people need to sleep or eat. There are other things we need to recharge. Let go of taking it personally.
When do you feel the safest? When do you feel at peace?
Not many things are solved by, “you need to…” Living in a world that requires you to be direct and clear does not mean it always is the method to use. Workplace cultures may be what we’re trained in, but if that’s not the core of our personality style, we’re going to get burned out. It’s not sustainable.
Know What Motivates Them
Maybe it’s a walk alone, reading a book, or taking a nap. It could also be intense exercise, competing in a game, or being a workaholic. For others it’s socializing and others it’s solitude. Motivators have many different perspectives - so think about what recharges you most, and recognize that may actually be a drain to your partner.
Give them Grace - and space - to be
How do you navigate the opposites in your family? There is beauty in our differences - the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us. Can you highlight those elements about yourself that are your strengths? Those that make you react?
And what is your goal? Is this something that is adding to your relationship?
It is not just based on that one wedding day - it’s a daily decision to make things work and clearly communicate.
Are you wanting to get something out of it, or to see your loved one blossom and grow? If you are both seeking to shine a light on the other’s strengths, you both win.
It is hard to love another when you don’t love yourself. When we are dealing with insecurities and self-doubt, sometimes we need to borrow the confidence of another. Help each other out and build one another up. If you need help in this area, I'm here for you.
Identify those unique traits that your partner has - give them space - and grace - to explore who they are.
We are all doing the best we can with what we know at the time. We may be a genius today…have grace, flexibility, and a growth mindset. Celebrate your strengths. Recognize your triggers. And remember, the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.