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How To Navigate Your Differences

Talking about personality differences doesn’t do us much good in and of itself. It is how those differences impact how we experience the world, the pace we want to make decisions at, the way we handle conflict, how much we love process, etc.

So, when it comes to our most intimate relationships, how do we navigate and maximize on our differences and our similarities?

Wether we are talking about love languages, DISC, extroversion/introversion or an other way to measure styles, personality or strengths there are 2 key principles:

1) Where we are very similar to our partner we will find communication more seamless and usually experience less friction with each other BUT it may mean that together some key strengths and perspectives are missing.

Functions carried on by different qualities are areas you may have to be either very intentionally planned or outsourced. For ease of example, let’s say that neither of you cares if your house is clean. You don’t get mad at each other likely for leaving yesterday’s clothes on the floor. How will you make sure the house gets cleaned up though?

2) Where we are different there is room for resentment, conflict, judgment, etc. My core values or personality have me caring about behaviors, attitudes and belief-sets that don’t line up with my partner’s. This can lead to combined strength or trouble.

Let’s use this simple, yet common, housecleaning example.

Sally is very relaxed about how clean the house is. She doesn’t even see the mess. Her love language is quality time and touch. She is amazing about being fully present and enjoys moments alone with her partner.

Fred is quite detail oriented. His love language is acts of service. On DISC, his “C” is high, meaning he is strong at organization and process and order.

Let’s paint a few pictures:

Picture 1

Fred comes home after work on a day Sally has had off. The house is a mess. Before asking anything about her day he starts to tidy up the living room. He loads the dishwasher, makes their bed and starts to vacuum.

She doesn’t feel loved, she has been excited for him to get home to have time together. He comes home and doesn’t feel loved because she hasn’t made any visible effort to speak his love language to him that day.

Picture 2

Fred comes home after work on a day Sally has had off. The house is a mess. He sees that the dishes are all done though. Fred grabs Sally’s hand and leads her to the couch. He wants to hear about her day. She had really needed a day off and some space for herself. Sally was super happy to connect emotionally with Fred about her day. Fred was able to tell Sally that he knew she needed that day to fill her tank back up and he is so grateful that in the middle of having a day off she took time to do the dishes. He felt loved knowing that she hates to do the dishes.

What are the strategies that would reduce your tensions as a couple?

How can you speak your partner’s love language more often?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!


your coach,


Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy. Learn how to listen better, handle conflict in productive ways and bring out the best in your partner. Contact Marilyn and grow your Luv Life skills today!

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