In all relationships there exists two personality types based on the Taoist philosophy of the Yin-Yang. The types are based on one person being the initiator for the relationship and the other supporting that. Great relationships, flow with each partner moving in and out of each type naturally. Which type you are is determined by where you spend the majority of your time in the relationship.
The importance of knowing your type, and the characteristics, is in understanding what you offer to a relationship as well as what you should look for from others. This allows partners in a relationship to complement one another, rather than compete. Knowing your type will also show you why you become anxious, and when you are not acting within your nature and why.
Typically, the initiator of the relationship offers follow through, care or protection, and responsibility, while the Supporter offers creativity and support to the relationship. As mentioned, we all offer both, but just like being right or left handed we favor one.
For single people, my book, "The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships" shows how to identify the right match for your type. This is a way to create a head start that will help to minimize and overcome the challenges every relationship faces. For those in a relationship there are many techniques for finding harmony but it answers the question, “Is this the ‘right’ person for me?” There are many techniques for knowing this, and one can be found in discovering the level of each partner’s commitment. Using techniques to measure each partner’s commitment level, allows a person to know if they are being too needy, offering too much, or with a person that is not offering enough to them. If you have found yourself in relationships where you have accepted abuse or repeated inconsiderate behavior, this is important to know moving forward. Too often, people find themselves in the same type of relationship one after the next, repeating the same patterns. The communication exercises in the book are designed specifically for those who have trouble expressing themselves and the difficult things people want to say but don’t because of a fear of conflict.
Is conflict part of a loving relationship? Of course! The only people who never have conflict are afraid of it and avoid it unnaturally. If we were able to split ourselves in two, we would have conflict with ourselves. In fact, we don’t even have to split ourselves; almost every person I’ve ever met has tons of conflict within themselves. The conflicts within ourselves come out in all negative emotions: anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, unhappiness— and anything other than absolute love. If you add another person to this, of course there is going to be conflict, so don’t fear it. You can try to run from it, but it will just be there in the next relationship. The only thing you can plan for is how to respect and care for one another despite the conflict. One of the most important lessons from my book, is that we are absolutely different from each other, yet absolutely need one another, and thus the source of the conflict.
Without expressing this conflict resentment builds and then explodes, and things are said that a person will later regret. I studied with a shaman that used to say, if you don’t let the little cats out, a roaring lion will emerge. The good news is, when you operate in your conflicts with love and respect for one another, it creates more intimacy, more connection, and more understanding.
Any therapist will tell you the fastest way to improve your relationship is by improving yourself. Knowing your type and the characteristics of each will help with this.
The most important aspects to know about yourself to find contentment are:
- Knowing your nature versus your neurosis, and the difference between them. When you are in your neurosis often it is because you are spending time outside of your natural type based on fear, self-protection, insecurity, or ego. So if you are supporting when you would prefer to initiate, you will be unsatisfied and vise-versa. This is a cause for resentment or anxiety in any relationship.
- The ability to express your nature. You want to surround yourself with people that allow this, and also inspire it. Dismantle your fears and insecurities and allow yourself the confidence to express who you are naturally. If you prefer to create and support others following through on your ideas, then do this. If you prefer to lead and initiate, you should be expressed in these areas.
- Finding people whose nature complements yours, rather then competes with yours. Be mindful to look for a person who naturally receives what is natural for you to provide and vice versa. Initiators can learn from other initiators, but spending too much time with them will make them competitive. Same with supporters.
- The ability to receive the nature of people who complements yours. It takes a certain confidence and trust to allow others to support or take care of you.
If a relationship lacks substance it is often because the partners are not connecting on a level of complementing nature or personality types. Knowing and understanding these types will allow you to do what is required to find harmony even between competing types. You can learn more about the book, "The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships," including a free questionnaire to discover your type, and many ways to improve your life and your relationship at www.TheArtofUnity.com
Billy Farr is the author of, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships,” a wellness coach, an instructor in various forms of martial arts and meditation, a former kickboxing champion and professional Tango dancer. He travels worldwide teaching the principles in his book as well as meditation and wellness. His concepts are designed to help people become healthy and united in mind, body, and spirit in order to prepare themselves to find their perfect mate as well as a path to fulfillment and higher consciousness.You can read more about Billy Farr here.