First Words: Supportive or Destructive~Your Choice!
We’ve all felt it. Each of us have experienced the sting of criticism. Words can carry so much more weight when they come from someone you’ve partnered with or is the other half to your whole self.
The problem lies in combinations of people. Commonly in a marriage situation, or parent/child bond, one of the partners is of a creative personality and the other is analytical. The creative person tends to live in the moment or by the seat of their pants. They see change in life as an adventure. The analytical person lives with numbers and planning for the future. They find their security in planning for the future, knowing where they’ll live, or that their finances are secure.
The problem can arise when one of the partners brings an exciting proposition to a discussion and the first words out of the other person’s mouth are not in the same vein as the originators. Let’s look at a first words response:
Person #1 is a creative type, a glass-half-full person if you will, they’ve decided to open their own business. They’ve thought about it for weeks and they sit down with their partner to share their excitement.
The partner is an analytical type, very calculating and security driven. This news whether they are excited or not need to know the nitty-gritty details and the facts surrounding the costs, workload, and bottom line. Their response maybe framed with questions regarding those concerns. Rather than their first words being, “Oh My Gosh! That’s so exciting, I’m in all the way!” more likely their first words will be, “How can we afford that? How much will it cost?” For the free spirit individual, these words will be like a bucket of cold water thrown in their face.
Now let’s flip the situation. Let’s have the analytical person approach the creative type individual and share the same information. Their approach is more likely to be, “I’ve assessed the cost, projected our financial future and the new workload but I think we can make a successful business with this new idea.” If the creative type’s response is “Ok, whatever, we’ll fly by the seat of our pants and make it work” rather than “Tell me more about this and you know I’ll do what it takes for you to do this.” The first response has no foundation of security to it, yet the second response appears to be seeking more information followed by a commitment to help. To the analytical person there’s a huge difference in the responses.
It’s valuable to understand what type of personality you are as well as what personality type your partner is to avoid our first words being hurtful or destructive. That knowledge can help you pepper your responses to important topics. This information might also help to understand why they’ve answered you the way they have.
Bottom line is this: Filter your words through your mind before you speak them. Try to feel how the receiver will hear them…then and only then, speak them.