Your personality may determine how you approach conflict in marriage. If an extrovert, you tend to think as you talk. If you are an introvert, you tend to think and then speak. Now, put together an extrovert and an introvert in conflict. Do you see the potential problem? (By the way, for you super spellers, “extravert” correctly reflects the Carl Jung/Myers-Briggs Type Indicator spelling for this tendency.)

The extravert may try to unravel the relational knot by immediately discussing the matter. On the other hand, the introvert will tend to pull inward to think through the issue and then discuss it.

If the extravert begins the discussion before the introvert, neither partner can complete the resolution process. The extravert doesn’t receive feedback from the introvert. The introverted mate’s thinking process is interrupted by the extravert’s conversation. The conflict may actually escalate even though each partner desires resolution!

Viva la difference . . .

At this point, a bit of understanding and acceptance of differing personalities goes a long way toward resolution. And for this reason, both my pre-marital and marriage coaching spend time looking at the partner’s personality similarities and differences. Then, we apply the results to real-life couple situations to see how the personality differences at least partially shape communication responses.

As a couple begins to understand how each other processes conflict, they see new ways of communication that accept and respects the differences. Consequently, the extraverted spouse can offer the introverted mate time to process internally. The introverted partner understands that the extravert needs to process with discussions and agrees to a scheduled discussion as soon as possible.

Acceptance equals respect . . .

I have witnessed this one realization transform unfinished and escalating conflict into a calmer and successfully concluded conflict on numerous coaching occasions. The net result equals a greater sense of respect stemming from acceptance. With respect climbing and conflict lowering, the couple feels closer and more satisfied in their marriage!

Extraversion and Introversion describe only a part of the complex personality matrix affecting couple communication. Add to the mixture the conflict model learned from our family of origin. Did your parents fight in front of you? If so, did they fight fairly or brutally? Did they make up in front of you? Did you witness verbal or physical abuse? These factors shape how you engage in conflict as an adult, often unconsciously! We also discuss these issues in coaching.

I’m offering a taste of coaching . . .

If this sounds interesting or promising to you, then try a taste of my coaching. For a reduced investment, I’m offering two sessions of coaching, based on your personalities. The goal will be to foster understanding, appreciation, and acceptance.

Follow this link to a 30-minute Discovery Call: Then, find a slot in my schedule that fits your calendar to discuss the possibility of trying this slice of coaching.

I look forward to talking to you . . .

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