As someone who has been in disastrous relationships, I’ve always wondered why I could get along with so many people and yet had such a difficult time in certain relationships with women I loved. After some of the experiences I had I didn’t actually think it was possible to be in a long-term happy relationship. Searching for answers, I studied Taoism and Psychology and learned about two personality types based on the principles of the Yin-Yang. Their basic roles are one person being the initiator in the relationship holding the vision for the couple and the other supporting that, with each partner flowing in and out of each type to create harmony in different situations.
Knowing your predominant type and the characteristics, allows a person to understand what they offer to a relationship and what to look for from others. This creates flowing partnerships, rather than typical competitive and frustrating interactions many relationships endure. Understanding your type also provides insight as to why you become anxious or fearful, and when you are not acting within your nature and why.Typically, healthy initiators, or “Benevolent Entitleds” as they are called, offer the vision for the relationship as well as some version of protection for their partner. Unhealthy initiators are controlling and narcissistic. Healthy “Supports” get behind a path they whole-heartedly believe in and are typically creative and care giving. Unhealthy Supports have difficulty saying no to people and become overwhelmed trying to support everyone. In great relationships we move in and out of each type depending on the situation, our mood, and interactions we have with our partner. Which one you are is designated by where you spend the majority of your time as defined by “The Profile,” in my book, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships: Build a Great Relationship with the Right Partner and Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong one.”
With all the subcategories, there are a variety of combinations of these personality types and couples can identify how to improve their relationship by having awareness of how they match up. A single person can learn how to identify and choose their most complementary match for their type, allowing them a head start for the challenges that face every relationship.
Creating harmony in a strained relationship often requires an equivalent amount of work relative to the amount of change a person is looking for. For that there are many techniques in the book, such as identifying your “Emotional Prison,” “Self-fulfilling Prophecy,” communication and compatibility exercises, and more. But what most people want to know right away in my work is, “Is this the ‘right’ person for me?”
The answer can be found in the techniques for discovering the level of each partner’s commitment. This allows a person to know if they are, offering too much, are too needy, or with a person who is not offering them enough.
If you have been with abusive or repeated inconsiderate partners, it is helpful to understand why someone inconsiderate is at all attractive for you. Too often people find themselves repeating the same relationship patterns without any good result.
All relationships have conflict and that shouldn’t be a problem for either person; problems occur when the conflict goes unresolved. This most commonly occurs because people in strained relationships are unaware of how to express themselves or they are afraid to.
The communication exercises are designed specifically for those who have a hard time expressing themselves. They use techniques to keep the communication proactive and be sure each partner feels heard. This avoids the problem that most relationships have regarding the how they talk to one another when they are emotionally charged. These exercises allow people to get over their fear of conflict.
In my classes people have asked me if the conflict they are having is part of a healthy relationship. The answer is of course! The only couples without conflict are those that are afraid of it and don’t express themselves. In different relationships it looks a lot smoother than others because they feel respect and appreciation for one another but that stems from good communication.
Every person I have met has conflict within themselves, and is revealed within their negative emotions, such as anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, unhappiness, and anything other than absolute love. Adding another person to this creates more conflict, so there is no reason to fear it or think it’s just your relationships. People who run from conflict find it in their very next relationship.
Avoiding conflict allows resentment to build, then explode causing people to say things they later regret. I Shaman I studied with told me “If you don’t let the little cats out, a roaring lion will emerge.” The trick is to plan for ways to respect one another in the process of expressing yourself. The basis for my book shows that we are absolutely different from each other, yet we absolutely need one another as well, thus creating a source of conflict. The good news is, when you operate in your conflicts with love and respect for one another, it creates more intimacy, more connection, and more understanding.
Any relationship counselor will tell you the fastest way to improve your relationship is by improving yourself. Knowing your personality type and the characteristics of each will help you with this.
If you are looking for contentment in any relationship here is what is required:
- Knowing your nature versus your pathology, and the difference between them. Pathologies are negative behavior patterns set up at a young age. When you are in your pathology, often it is because you are spending time away from your natural type based on fear, self-protection, insecurity, or ego. So if you are supporting when you would prefer to initiate, you will be unsatisfied and vise-versa. This is a cause for resentment or anxiety in any relationship.
- The ability to express your nature. You want to surround yourself with people that not only allow this, but also inspire it. Dismantle your fears and insecurities and allow yourself the confidence to express who you are naturally. If you prefer to create and support others following through on your ideas, then do this. If you prefer to lead and initiate, you should be expressed in these areas.
- Finding people whose nature complements yours, rather than competes with yours. Have the awareness to look for a person who naturally receives what is natural for you to provide and vice versa. Initiators can learn from other initiators, but spending too much time with them will make for a competitive relationship. Same with supporters.
- The ability to receive the nature of people who complements yours. It takes a certain confidence and trust to allow others to support or take care of you.
If a relationship lacks substance, it is often because one or both partners are not connecting on a level of complementing nature or personality types. Knowing and understanding these types will allow you to do what is required to find harmony even between competing types. You can learn more about the book, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships,” including a free questionnaire to discover your type, and many ways to improve your health, happiness, and relationship at www.TheArtofUnity.com
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Bill Farr is the author of, The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships: Build a Great Relationship with the Right Partner and Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong one a wellness coach, and an instructor in various forms of meditation. As a student of human behavior, Bill’s work includes that of Western Psychology, Shamanism, Chi Gong and other forms. Bill teaches the connection of mind, body, and spirit and how that relates to everyday life and relationships. (www.TheArtofUnity.com)