Dealing with Opposite Personality Types in a Relationship

Dealing With Opposite Personality Types in a Relationship

Dealing with different personality types in the workplace or with family members can be difficult but learning how to deal with your significant other’s (let’s say, “polar-opposite of yours” personality type) can be painstaking.  Can two different personality types really be compatible?

This is certainly not a simple yes or no answer but two opposite personality types can work well together in many ways.  While you can argue the point that they will drive each other crazy because of significant differences, they may work well together to add balance to each other’s lives.

Someone who is always in a rush may need that reminder that life is about stopping to smell the roses. Someone who is always late, should be reminded occasionally, that its rude to keep others waiting and that not being on time can be seen as a sign of disrespect, lack of caring or could be seen (if done often enough) as a character flaw. Someone who is constantly cleaning their home to the point where their lives revolve around cleaning need to be reminded occasionally that time is a precious commodity and that cleaning can sometimes wait.  

When it comes to more sensitive subjects or major pillars of someone’s core values and beliefs (such as politics, religion, and finances), these are the topics where couples should be try find someone who is on the same page (or at least reading the same book).  If your relationship doesn’t have stable, common ground in these important areas, chances are you’re going to have a more challenging journey.  If you and your significant other are fundamentally different, you must be with someone who is willing to compromise and to see things with an open-mind.  However, if you’re with someone intelligent enough to listen (not necessarily agree) to your point of view, that can make a big difference in how to overcome obstacles in a relationship.

If you have trouble approaching how to discuss a difficult topic, it probably best to plan a time to talk when you’re both relaxed and not stressed out due to time constraints or at the end of a long, hectic day.  For example, if you know that spending habits are different and you need to discuss a budget, plan for a Friday date night in, with a bottle of wine and discuss your goals together. Make a list for short term goals and long-term goals and assign a number prioritizing what is important to both of you. If one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, having a goal that you achieve together can be a huge motivation.  Schedule a monthly check-in with each other on the first Friday of every month, to see how much progress you’ve made, and to see if you’re on track. Then you can adjust accordingly or see if priorities have changed.

Remember that time waits for no one.  Don’t waste time bickering, nagging or fighting about little things.  Time is the most valuable commodity that ALL of us have. Spend it wisely with the ones you love.    Looking back at your life when you’re older and regretting that you didn’t spend quality time or didn’t make enough memories with your loved ones must undoubtedly be the worst thing of all. Cherish the one you love.

-Michelle L.