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.
In my book I talk about “emotional prisons.” An emotional prison is when you’re in a place of strong negative emotion where your ego is preventing you from asking for what you want. It’s a place that breaks all connection with your partner and prevents your own happiness. It’s the places a person goes to, mentally when they feel they don’t matter, that they are unloved, become jealous, or accuses others of things that are really their own issue and not their partner’s.
Emotional Prisons can be triggered in an instant, but if you know what yours is, and the characteristics of your type, you can also get out of it in an instant by asking for what you want. Knowing your type will show you what you require and what you do to prevent your own happiness allowing you to ask for what you want. In ten years of coaching couples, I’ve noticed Emotional Prisons, along with communication issues (addressed in my book, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships”) are the main factor in problems causing conflict in relationships. The longer a person stays in their prison the further they move away from the path of contentment in their life and relationship.
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:
1.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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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