Post at Apr 23, 2021
Conflicting Personality Couples
Many couples, married and unmarried, have expressed their frustration due to differences in their personality and approach to life. Even their love expressions differ far too much. However many fail to understand how to bridge the gap or appreciate their differences as strengths.
In Jane Austen’s novel “Sense and Sensibility”, Marianne was looking for a partner who would be exactly like her. She expected him to have similar passions and interests. This inclination initially made her choose a partner who was impulsive and extravagant like her. He broke her heart. Afterwards she ended up marrying a man who was reliable and mature and very different from what she had imagined.
Conflict arises from differences, whether large or small. Conflict occurs whenever people have different outlook and disagree over their values, beliefs, perceptions, ideas, aspirations, desires etc. This can lead to a cold war with each other. And if they are unable to find common ground, it can leave them feeling insecure, disrespected and not valued. Intimacy and closeness begins to wither away. That which first got them attracted now repels them!
Let’s us try and discover the reason behind this. Let us compare certain opposites and see what they bring to the table, together.
1. Reserved and Open partners
Reserved people often tend to keep a lot of their complications inside and hence they are drawn to people who are open and expressive. They are attracted towards people who simply act on their feelings and are unrestrained. This relationship brings a different kind of adventure to both partners as the unrestrained one brings in the free spirit and the reserved one, self control.
2. Liberal and Conservative partners
Now this is an intense match which is very uncommon to find. But when it happens, the liberal partner would bring in all the new perspectives that were not visible to the world before and would help the conservative understand it. The conservative would share the aspects of the culture he is trying to sustain and they can evaluate the benefits and harms of both. This partnership could be extremely intellectual and would bring drastic understanding to both the sides.
3. Passive and Aggressive partners
People subconsciously tend to find a partner who completes them, who has strengths different from their own. Passive partners, who have difficulty standing up for themselves are drawn to partners who are strong. Cinderella, a girl who was easily dominated and controlled by her step mother, ended up finding a partner in the prince. It was a relationship where the prince brought in strength and protection. Cinderella had humility and compassion. Two qualities that complimented each other and made them a strong team, together.
4. Extroverted and Introverted partners
Two people could have the exact same interests and yet pursue them in drastically different ways due to these two varying traits. Say, a couple loves to travel. Now the extroverted partner would love to meet new people and explore new cultures while the introverted one would be drawn towards nature, books and architecture. Being together they would each bring in so many unexplored angles to their journeys and will drag each other out of their comfort zone, for good.
5. Simple and Mysterious partners.
Their differences often create a good story for multiple fantasy and Rom-Com movies. One of the partners takes life easy, does not think too much or aims too high, lives a life without complications. Suddenly a character enters into the story who is mysterious, holds many secrets and together they go on an adventure. The plain partner learns to embrace the intricacies of life and the mysterious one learns to find joy in simple things.
6. Socialite and Home-bound partners
A social bee and a couch potato is a very interesting combination. One loves moving and interacting while the other just loves to snuggle up, be cozy on the couch and watch Netflix. Here the home-bound partner reminds the other of the value of cozy private time while the social one shows how to find happiness in the company of people. Together, they can learn to balance social life and family life in a way that fulfils both of them.
7. Spiritual and Materialistic
With spirituality comes the elements of self-knowledge and contentment but if a very spiritual person is left to deal with the world by themselves, it may drive them into bankruptcy. To balance this, a materialistic practical partner who can play by the rules of the jungle is a great fit. The spiritual partner could help the materialistic partner see beyond material things and find contentment even without them. The materialistic partner would bring in the financial stability and the needed practicality into the mix.
People are not incompatible just because they have contradicting traits. People often blame their conflicts and disagreements as the cause of their separation. But what we need to understand here is that we can find common ground and learn from the differences. A difference in opinion helps us learn things that we were not aware of, and if we learn to come to a mutual agreement, it enhances the quality of the relationship. Just like the similarities, the differences in our traits can also contribute positively to our relationships.
As Criss Jami puts it, “Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction.”
How to Bridge The Gap
Make conflict resolution your priority, rather than being right or proving the other wrong!
- Appreciate the Differences
- Allow Space to Each Other
- Accept the other as they are
- Be each other’s Strength
- Empathize with each other
- Be Receptive and Open
- Be a Good Listener
- Don’t suppress each other
- Communicate without accusing
- Be Tolerant of each other’s weaknesses
In Uniqueness We Grow… In Acceptance Love Deepens
If the differences are hard to digest and you seek to even out the Odds with a more mature outlook then book an online appointment with the Relationship Counselor