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relationship

You want to go out but your partner wants to stay in

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You want to go out but your partner wants to stay in

Pic Credit: Ambro

Pic Credit: Ambro

You want to go out and be sociable; your lover prefers watching TV. 

What do you do?

1. Compromise

Draw up a social calendar with events you'd like to attend and activities you'd like to participate in as a couple. Let's say there are 10 events in a month. If your partner doesn't really want to go to any of them, perhaps you can agree on going to the Top Five.

Result: Nobody is getting what they really want. You'll be miserable watching Law and Order repeats when you know something more exciting is going on elsewhere. Your partner'll be miserable on the days you are going out - making you also miserable for having to drag 'em out and look at their miserable face all night.

2. Avoid

Who needs friends when you have the perfect relationship? Who needs face-to-face interactions when there are dramas to be witnessed and lived out through the magic of the silver screen and YouTube? You stay in with your other half and spend time together, cuddled up on the sofa. There may even be foot-rubs for a while, if you're into that kind of thing.

Result: Eventually, your dreams turn into technicolor avant-garde chaos, and during waking hours you resent your partner for not paying attention to you anymore. Not even during commercial breaks. You find yourself working late trying to schedule meetings for 5.30 pm, and more often than not you want to scream. You also get too tired to actually go out and do something. This completely confuses your partner, who at this point is trying to understand what's wrong with you, because they never asked you to stay in with them in the first place. 

3. Break up

Life's too short to spend it in front of the TV - you're going out there and finding someone who's also into going out!

Result: Your new lover is spending so much time and money on all their hobbies and friends that there's no time to be had to just relax and be. You wonder if they're slightly mad, and all of a sudden your quiet ex doesn't look half as bad anymore. And if you're really honest with yourself, a) you kind of begrudge 'em the attention, and b) you're tired and want to stay in tonight. 

4. Honor Your Preferences

Understand that your brain is wired to need a larger amount of outside stimuli to feel alert. Understand that you will feel drained and without energy if you don't interact with the actual real-life outside world. Understand that your partner's brain is active and processing most of the time anyway, so having outside stimulation and trying to follow 3 conversations, say, at a social gathering is quite literally frying their circuits. Understand that they feel most alert and energetic when they have time to reflect. 

Result: You go out by yourself, meet friends, do your thang, as it were, and then come home and tell your partner about it. They'll live through you and love hearing stories and anecdotes. And if you invite one or two friends at a time to your house, your partner will slowly get to know them and vice versa.  

Adios resentment, buh-bye miserable face, hello loving encouraging equal respectful learn-from-one-another partnership. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with this or other relationship issues, may I interest you in my MBTI® for Couples? :-) 

Image by metku, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

 

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Supporting Expat Spouses

Pic credit - fdecomite

Expat spouses often find themselves having to choose between a rock and a hard place. Moving every few years, relocating your sense of self and establishing new social circles are great fun and fantastic adventures if you have an outgoing, curious and flexible personality. If you're looking for stability on the other hand, your patience will be tested.

When it comes down to it, are you prepared to choose between your relationship and your livelihood?

The 2012 Brookfield Global Relocation Trends Study reports:

Although they are still in the majority, there are far fewer married international assignees than in the past. Given that the re-emergence of optimism in some segments of the economy is widely divergent and cautious at best, the desire of many families to preserve their two-income status is likely a strong factor in this result. In this year’s report, the percentage of international assignees that are married was 60%, the lowest in the last four years of the survey, and a full 7% under the historical average (67%). Furthermore, this year’s percentage is down 8% from last year’s report (68%) and 14% from the survey high of 74% that was reported 12 years ago. As economic realities continue to remain in flux for many employees with families, it is possible that companies’ current international assignment programs are not adequately meeting the needs of employees with spouses, causing them to decline international assignment opportunities. In any case, the identification of this as a longer term trend affords companies the opportunity to ensure their policies and benefits are aligned to meet the changing profiles of their assignees.

Imagine your partner presents you with the fact that it's a 3-year stint in Malaysia, or bye-bye VP promotion. He really wants and needs to go, but he will turn it down if you're not on board.

Great! You're involved in the decision!

Now let's see: you have a great life, your family and friends live nearby, your parents are getting up there in age, you've a fantastic job, your kids adore their school, you love your house - and you love your spouse, too.

If you decide not to give up what you have, will he eventually resent you for it? Probably right around the time that other guy gets the promotion.

If you decide to support him and move, effectively giving up your life as you know it, to a place where you cannot read grocery labels, your hairdresser doesn't understand you wanted blond not red highlights, and the culture is completely alien, will you resent him for it?

Not unlikely. Hell, your marriage may fall apart altogether.

Still, the chances of you going abroad are a lot higher in this scenario than they would be if we swapped pronouns:

Imagine your partner presents you with the fact that it's a 3-year stint in Malaysia, or bye-bye VP promotion. SHE really wants and needs to go, but SHE will turn it down if you're not on board.

As it is, 80 % of expats are men, and only 20 % are women. Brookfield's data does not go into marital status detail by gender, or at least I haven't heard back from them about it. So the reality is, more often than not it's women who have to decide between love and their own careers.

Going back to yesterday's happiness formula, I recommend adopting a positive attitude. If you decide to go abroad, find ways to fill your days with things you love but never had the chance to pursue. Do your best to be prepared for as much as you can prepare yourself for, and maintain open and honest communication throughout the process. Your partner needs to hear how you feel so you can effectively support each other.

Preparing for an international assignment comes in many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes a bit of a Google search is sufficient, many times all out language classes are appropriate. I always recommend cross-cultural trainings - even and especially if you're moving to countries with the same language. And there may also be circumstances that warrant continuous coaching support.

The good news is, your decision doesn't have to be "either relationship, or career". International experiences can lead to a broader range of (marketable!) skills and competencies for everyone involved. They can strengthen a family bond, and you'll create memories ranging from anecdotes to moments of profound shifts in your being.

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Dream Symbol Sunday: Hearts!

heart dream symbol doodleSeeing a heart in your dream signifies the center of your being, your emotional wisdom, or a close loving relationship. If you're seeing your own, there may be sickness and energy-loss waiting for you.

Eating one may mean you wish you consume or be consumed by a loved one.

If you feel one beating it can indicate nervousness and a warning, or perhaps you're fancying someone.

PS happy anniversary, babe!

:-)

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Some Thoughts on Honesty

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Some Thoughts on Honesty

honesty doodle
honesty doodle

Everybody I know has a different concept of honesty. Different Types and cultures approach honesty differently.

Many people I know in my home region in Northern Germany are pretty straight forward - we'll let you know what we think of you to your face. Unapologetically, even if it hurts. Anything else would be disrespectful and a waste of time. After all, it's not about our relationship, it's about the thing. Someone with a preference for Thinking might also put the task before the person, and speak in more direct, logic terms.

In other countries, conversations can be a lot more indirect. Speaking out in clear terms would offend or embarrass, to the point that even the answer "no" is uncommon and needs to be softened. Here, it's not about the thing, it's about the relationship. We are connected and want to nurture the relationship, so we'll both know to read between the lines and interpret what it is we can't say out loud. Someone with a preference for Feeling might also put the relationship before the task, and speak in more informing, values-based language.

Honesty can be a weapon, used to hurt, attack, and put others on the defensive.

And it's a shield we can hide behind, where we don't have to examine our feelings, admit our vulnerability, and show empathy to the other person.

We all know that guy who says he's happy to hang out, but doesn't want a serious relationship, and the girl who is surprised when the guy still doesn't change his mind after six months together. "Well, what do you want? I've always been honest!"

I think honesty shouldn't be an excuse, it's a state of mind. And it starts by being honest with yourself. Living aligned with your values, respecting the law, common sense, and being nice to people. You might still run a Stop sign or advise your friend to wear something more flattering for her body type. Most importantly, you're open to re-examining your past choices and seeing where you can do better in the future.

What does honesty mean to you?

 

Image by Patsy Hendrix, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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MBTI® for You

The power of self knowledge

The MBTI® instrument has many possible applications for individuals, teams, and in organizations. If you are unfamiliar with its background, please read these posts on Type Theory and MBTI(r) Background.

Why you should know your personality type

Millions of people world-wide use this greater self knowledge to support e.g. change processes like an international relocation or a career transition. Many also find it useful during the process of redefining their life's purpose and goals, clarifying their relationship needs, or working on their Emotional Intelligence skills.

For executives, the MBTI® instrument is often used in conjunction with 360 degree feedback and other tools to provide a framework for executive coaching and leadership development.

Does this sound like you?

  • I heard about the MBTI(r) instrument and want to find out what my Type is.
  • I’m entering / changing my career and wonder which job makes the best use of my skills.
  • I’ve been quite stressed lately and want to come back to my normal self.
  • I’ve been having some tough conversations and want to improve my relationships.
  • My company is offering Executive Coaching to develop my leadership skills. How can type help me with that?
When you're ready to go, choose Individual MBTI® or visit our Process & Samples page for next steps!

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