The Happiness Connection  

What doesn't kill you...

Do you ever look at your partner and wonder what planet he or she is from, because everything they do is foreign to you?

Perhaps they are incredibly messy and disorganized, while you like to keep your environment looking good, or they live on a precision timetable while you like to flow with the changing wind?

Isn’t it amazing how these differences seem charming while you are in the honeymoon phase, but transform into major annoyances as time goes by?

I loved how my husband was spontaneous until I discovered his total inability to knuckle down and follow my schedule. Being like me was the goal I set for him. Strangely, he refused to work toward it, preferring his own haphazard journey.

Unfortunately, I had not discovered the precept of everyone being on their own journey, at this point of my life. I believed we were on the same path and needed to do things the same way.

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t convert him to my way of doing things. This was a bone of contention for me until one day, out of the blue, I had an a-ha moment.

When I was working as a Microsoft Office Software trainer, I decided to become certified as a Myers Briggs practitioner, so I could help the businesses I worked with improve their communication and teamwork skills.

What I didn’t expect was to learn skills that would help my husband and I communicate better and learn to work as a team.

If you aren’t familiar with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI,) it is an assessment tool that gives people vocabulary and insight to help them understand themselves and others better.

I went to Vancouver for the four-day certification course. As I was listening to the instructor one afternoon, her words made my mouth gape open.

Did she know my husband? How could that be? She was describing him to a T.

My a-ha moment was realizing that my husband didn’t behave the way he did just to annoy me. He acted the way he did because he is not the same person as me.

If you want to be happy in your relationship, this is an extremely important concept to grasp. We are all on our own journeys, and we are all unique individuals.

My husband and I are very different types and as a result living together has been a challenge. I am organized and like to get my work done before I play. My husband is more haphazard and can play at any time. It doesn’t matter how much work he has waiting to be done.

I like to make decisions, so I can cross them off my list; he is happier to wait and consider every possible scenario.

I used to believe that I should have married someone who was more like me because life would have been so much easier.

It might have been easier, but not necessarily better.

By being such different personality types, we bring different strengths and weaknesses to our relationship. This makes us stronger. I have someone to slow me down when I want to rush into a decision just to cross it off my list. I enjoy more spontaneity and give my husband more structure.

Approaching life differently can be a challenge as long as you think your way is right and their way is wrong. Instead you need to embrace the fact that you are just different.

Rather than resenting the time you have to spend negotiating to find a middle ground, focus on the fact that the negotiation will make sure the best decisions are made. You will make up for each other’s weaknesses.

Whether you are with someone who is very different than you or someone who is similar, there are positives and negatives.

Life is more peaceful when you have similar personality types, but it doesn’t always push you to grow in all the uncomfortable ways that you don’t want to grow.

When you are with someone who is very different, life is likely to be more tumultuous, especially in the early days while you are adjusting to each other, but you will learn and grow in more ways than you ever thought possible.

It doesn’t matter which route you take, both can lead to a strong partnership. It isn’t so much who you marry, as the marriage you create with the person you choose.

Learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and uniqueness’s and remember, what doesn’t kill you makes your stronger.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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