Collaborative Opposites

Collaborative Opposites

The definition for the word collaborative embraces the ideas of cooperation and combining, which is necessary for maintaining healthy and strong relationships between temperament-type/personalities. Collaborative is especially applicable for this week’s focus describing total opposites who deal extensively in understanding, appreciation and patience as they link arms, minds, and hearts cooperating with others whose major preferences, although God designed, are very different. Opposites also reap benefits.

Definition: Involving two or more people working together for a special purpose:          Synonyms: accompanying, cooperation, allied, along, combined, oneness,  partnership and united.

My Blending profile for total opposites begins with: Given that you are complete opposites should not alarm you but promise access to each of the four arenas of behavior which is tremendously challenging but also advantageous in the long run. Respectful communication will certainly be a major goal. Adjusting to family members and friends who are often opposite in some way also requires practicing the essentials for getting-along: understanding, appreciation, respect, humility and patience. The advantage of knowing yourself and understanding others, utilizes the strengths from all of the preferences.

Rather than jumping right in on how opposites collaborate with each other, let’s take a brief half step for those unfamiliar with MBTI (Myers Briggs Temperament Indicator) which describes the makeup of the 16 temperament types/personalities.  The four areas of behavior with the preferred preferences and the shadow side of each determine the individual unique personalities. People normally differ in one or two areas, but occasionally, we all brush shoulders with total opposites requiring extra understanding and appreciation. This topic merely hits the high spots pinpointing general adjustments and benefits which I trust will provide encouragement for in-depth understanding of parent, partner, friend, boss, child, family, club member, or neighbor.

When the main and shadow-side preferences are identified in each areas describing you the most accurately and that of the other person, you’ll be enabled to understand and appreciate the legitimate differences that tend to disrupt dialogue with silly and detrimental arguments. Knowing who you are and not, and who the other person is and is not, paves the way in establishing the respect necessary in nurturing healthy and warm relationships.

The Four Behavioral Areas Common to Everyone:                                          

1. What people do to you and for you—Extroversion or Introversion

2. Information-gathering of facts, figures and, reasons—Sensing or iNtuition (N keeping MBTI letter).

3. Making Decisions—Thinking (Head Logic) or Feeling (Heart Logic)

4. Lifestyle—(Judging) Structured or (Perceptive) sPontaneous/Unstructured (Keeping MBTI J/P letters).

  1. Introversion (25% of world) Extroversion (75%).

Everyone is both—but leans more strongly to one. Introverts are quiet and prefer privacy; they think, then speak; prefer one/two persons at a time. Conversation and noise drain them of energy. Extroverts are outgoing, needing people. They speak, then think, and may want to detract. Conversation and noise charge up their energy level.

Introverts, quiet and often unsmiling are not necessarily disinterested. They prefer to ooze into their days, quietly and slowly and dislike being pelted with questions. They’re good at keeping confidences. Allow time for Introverts to think before speaking. In mixed group settings, Extroverts who understand Introversion give them a caring gift by providing a path for response by saying, “I’d like to hear your opinion, Joe/Jan.” Then, give Joe/Jan time to formulate his/her response. Introverts have great opinions to share and are often profound, but learning to speak up in a group is difficult but can be learned.

Extroverts are most often smiling and usually put their two cents in.  As soon as their feet hit the floor, they are usually talking. They speak then think and maybe erase. Wise Extroverts practice reducing their dialogue, learn to think before they speak and being aware that they have a tendency to monopolize conversation. Learning to listen attentively is an excellent goal for Extraverts.

2. Sensing (75% of world) iNtuition (25%)

Everyone possesses both—but leans more strongly to one. Sensing people collect, remember and depend on black/white facts and figures; are practical, mechanical, and hands-on. They are closer to the conscious world noticing things that others do not see. They dislike change and are comfortable and insist on repetition. As long as their hands have something to do, they are not bored. They trust past decisions and need time to adjust to untested ideas. Producing workable and efficient products is satisfying to them.

iNtuitive (25%) prefer possibility thinking and reasons and are full of ideas, analysis, design, problem solving. Dreamers; repetition bores them. They like doing a lot of things a little bit. ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ is descriptive. They read between the lines; knowing and learning are goals. Reputation is of utmost importance. They pick up vibes which provide ideas and possibilities concerning new situations revealing solutions for people-relationship problems. They prefer to delegate rather than to be the boss. With practice, they learn to access their shadow-side of Sensing.

3. Thinking Feeling

Thinking (60% Male—40% Female) Head Logic bases decisions on facts, figures, practicality and common sense. Thinkers’ first answer is ‘no” and their second answer is ‘no”. They tend to get mad first, then hurt. Disagreements are not normally upsetting. They do not need approval but prefer trust and respect. it’s difficult to give what you don’t need. Head-Logic men and women can access their Heart-logic shadow-side, but they feel weak when they do.

Feeling (60% Female-40% Male) Heart Logic, must have harmony, disliking arguments. Feelers say ‘yes’, when they mean ‘no’ in order to keep peace. They get hurt, first, then get mad. Soft-hearted men and women dislike making difficult decisions; they need approval, affirmation, affection and attention and it’s difficult for them not to give what is needed.  Feelers are easily taken advantage of. Heart-Logic people, with practice can learn to access their shadow-side of Thinking but using it wears them out.

4. Judging (structured) Perceptive (spontaneous)

J (Judging-changed to structured for clearer understanding)—the world is 50/50. Structured people are time conscious; make plans, work plans, finish projects; dislike wasting time. They work first then play. They have to have a schedule.  Work it must be done! They can either lead or follow but are comfortable giving directions. Everyone possesses both but leans more to one.

P (Perceptive-changed to sPontaneous (unstructured) for clearer understanding)—the world is 50/50. Spontaneous—unstructured people are not time-conscious, enjoy the process of a project more than finishing; play first, then work; are good in crises; do not like to be in charge and do not like to be told what to do.  Sticking to schedules is difficult.  Everyone possesses both but leans more to one.

The opposite pairing is not easy. Myers Briggs is the best approach that I have come across. We have two key factors in our favor. Common morals and intellect. Understanding the valve of different preferences and embracing them requires both to support the differences. If only one sees and accepts the differences and the other does not, it would be really difficult. Both have to move toward the other a little. Because every comment, though, opinion and intended action becomes something to deal with. Giving, accepting and compromise become very important. -W

I should re-read our blend often to calm my frustrations with my daughter. When I remember to remind myself how she operates, it does help. But seemingly only me, as she’s not interested when I try to discuss our differences. -D

Total opposites are gifts, rather than curses as stressed in my books, blogs and sessions. For more information check out my book, How to get along with Everyone (Nurturing Faith Publishers) or on Amazon/Kindle.  Send an email if you have a question.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient; bearing with one another in love. Eph.4:2 (NIV).