Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Helping couples with the emotional literacy to understand and appreciate each other, rather than blaming each other for their differences

In couple counseling, we do see a lot of misunderstanding between 2 people, and although initially, they find the “opposing” characteristics attractive, over time, their mind focuses on the negatives of these traits. Part of couple counseling is to give these folks the emotional literacy to better understanding each other, and through that understanding, they can work towards accepting, acknowledging, appreciating, and reconnecting with each other again, rather than blaming each other for their differences. 

The common observed differences in the couples that I see are....

1. One tends to be the “bigger picture” person, and the other more detailed focused.

2. One tends to be more introverted, and the other more extroverted.

3. One tends to be more emotionally detached and logical in decision making, and the other tends to be more fused and “feeling” orientated.

4. One tends to entertain big, dreamy goals, and the other one more orientated towards SMART realistic goals.

5. One tends to be more present and loves to go with the flow, and the other more past and future orientated.

6. One may be more focused on connection, stability and control, and the other more into newness, growth and novelty. 

7. One may tend to follow the feelings and thinking of others/society, while the other has a tendency to follow their own principles, rules, values, and feelings.  I refer to these as the “outer compass” folks vs the “inner compass” folks. 

The outer compass folks have great sensitivity for outer rules and values of society, but can have a blindspot for their own inner principles, values and feelings. 

Whereas the inner compass folks have a great ability to trust their own principles, values or feelings, but sometimes at the cost of not following social norms and political correctness. 

The outer compass folks can blame inner compass folks for not being sensitive enough to others, while inner compass folks will blame outer compass folks for not being who they are and are too influenced by others. A balance is required of course, and the reality is, these two types need each other to balance. 

There are many more perhaps. You might like to add them here in the comments.

Of course, these can complement each other very well, and at the same time, can also create ongoing conflict if unaware.

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