Of all the ways that opposites attract, the thorniest may be when emotionally giving types pair up with types who are emotionally reserved.
Reserved types certainly may love deeply, but they are uncomfortable showing it. Often, they rely on their partner to initiate a display of affection. Sometimes, they don't even enjoy receiving expressions of love.
Initially, emotionally giving types are attracted to emotionally reserved types, and vice versa, because they are so different, experts say. Giving people often find reserved people intriguing; they like to elicit affection from someone who doesn't express it easily. And deep down, reserved types often like to be drawn out.
Over time, though, the two types can bring out the worst in each other. The giver starts to seem needy. The reserved partner reacts by pulling away. This makes the giver give even more in order to elicit attention; the reserved one backs away even further.
In the psychology field, these different ways of relating are called "attachment style," and they are partly learned and partly genetic. Attachment is believed to be a basic human need with an evolutionary basis. Many children, such as orphans, who aren't held or given physical affection fail to grow at normal rates.
The good news is that attachment style can change. Experts say couples need to tell each other what they need and be specific. For example, they can say, "I know it's difficult for you to be affectionate in front of my friends, but at home I really need a hug every day."
Displays of love don't have to be 50-50, as long as both people show something.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2012
Each of us is defined by many things – our emotional habits, our belief systems, our pattern of thoughts, our cultural upbringing, our preferences, our motivations, our style of relating to others, to name a few.
Some characteristics we share in common, some we don’t. What we need to function well will often be quite different from what someone else will need. This is where self-knowledge and personal insight comes in.
There is a big advantage in knowing ourselves and the type of environment in which we feel nurtured. But there is also a huge advantage in knowing how a partner, a child, or a co-worker thinks, feels and sorts information. Once we recognize that not everyone is like me and that each of us sees the world through their own lens, we will quickly realize that individuals will approach similar situations differently. It is not necessary that they do it just like me.
You cannot afford to miss the richness that comes with understanding your own personality and the benefit it brings to relationships.
Let’s face it: you are the most interesting and important subject in the entire world. You will always be at or near the center of your world. It’s a comfortable place to be!
So, one of the most exciting experiences lies in gaining a fuller understanding of just who you are.