Opposites do attract. Not only is it the law of attraction, it’s the law of physics. By practical design, one person per relationship is more adaptive, the other more assertive. Here’s the rub.
Over time, people become more entrenched and extreme in their contrasting modes. It’s our nature – meaning, it’s natural for an easygoing person to concede and just as natural for an assertive person to insist. Adaptive personalities tend to be supportive, flexible, and compassionate. Assertive personalities lean towards self-centered, rigid, and emotionally neutral-cold. The result?
The assertive person’s preferences generally prevail. And why not?There’s value for both people. The pattern is set. The adaptive doesn’t have to feel that queasy feeling of confrontation. The assertive gets his or her way again, and again, and again.
Chances are, if you’re reading this topic, you’re an adaptor. And knowing you, you’re secretly resentful, kind of wound tight inside, and you have a lot of pent-up inner dialogue that doesn’t make it out of your mouth. OK. You’re feeling trapped by a dominator. Here’s your first step.
Notice your preferences. Really focus on noticing your smallest preferences. If you like the cafe table that’s in the sun, say so. If you want to eat at 7, not 8PM, say so. If you don’t really want to drive across town in traffic, say so. You owe it to yourself and your beloved to be simply honest. Are you ready to be included in your relationship’s preferences?
Here’s your next step: For three months, stop saying “Please.” Just state your simple preference, calmly and clearly. “I want…” or “I don’t want…” It won’t come easy, so make a pact with yourself to speak up. Your relationship’s durability, deepening, and joy depends upon your courage to be in integrity with yourself.