We’ve been discussing the four basic temperaments that we all fit into. But we also have a strong secondary temperament that has a strong interplay with our primary. For example, I am primarily a Peaceful Phlegmatic, but am nearly as strong secondarily as a Perfect Melancholy. That makes me top-heavy as an introvert, pessimistic analyzer.
However, my wife is my opposite, Powerful Choleric primarily and a Popular Sanguine secondarily. So she tends to be top-heavy as an extrovert, optimistic leader. But we are both balanced between people-oriented and task-oriented skills. How do people who are so opposite get along in life? The answer is that we have had to learn to appreciate what the other brings to the table.
Anita encourages me to speak up and I encourage her to be quiet. We balance each other out. But that took about ten years for us to figure that out. The first ten years of our marriage were not a pretty picture. I was the perfectionist trying to correct her and she was the powerful voice trying to control me. We both thought we were the standard for everyone else. That didn’t work very well. When I discovered that God had made her different from me, I began to release her to be herself, and she likewise. And the healing began.
We still have communication glitches, although we’re learning each other. She thinks out loud. I process inwardly. I only speak after I have thought it through. So, when Anita says something, I assume she’s thought it through and that’s her final answer. So I respond to her final answer. Then she tells me that wasn’t her final answer. I get confused. And she gets just as frustrated when I won’t think out loud with her. I’m afraid I’ll say something I really don’t mean. So she gets confused.
I’m interested in knowing how your oppositeness is working out in your relationships.