Different Strokes for Different Folks

I was reading a post by a friend who referred to a post by another person regarding a personality test.  Not a big Meyers-Briggs test, just a simple 17 question test that indicates your tendencies toward a type A or type B personality.  Tim and I were both in the same range, mine a couple of points more toward type A than his, but generally speaking, the description was that we were both somewhere in between.  That's pretty accurate I think.  It's funny though, the more I thought about it, I realized that he's probably a little more toward type A than he used to be and I'm a little more toward type B than I used to be.  We're different.  Always have been, but we've rubbed off on each other...balanced each other out a little...learned a lot and adapted to our environment.  The environment of being parents, spouses, of being busy.  Don't get me wrong, we each have our personality tendencies that don't really contribute positive things...bad habits, unfortunate responses in the "heat of the moment".  I don't like to be late and it makes me anxious.  Tim can be timely, but often it is necessary for him to be prodded encouraged to move a little faster or plan ahead or stop hitting snooze.  He is calm and easy going and I'm a little more animated and uptight.  The list goes on, but we're perfect for each other. 

I was reminded today that we agree on the big things.  We see eye to eye on the things that are "deal-breakers":  openness to life, love of God, discipline, how we raise our family...So what if we don't both make the bed the same way or drive the same way, or agree on what color the bathroom should be.  I honestly can't even think of some of the things that we don't agree on, so they're pretty trivial.  They didn't used to be--trivial.  They used to seem huge.  I used to feel like my way was the right way:  from how the kitchen cupboards were arranged to how/where dinner is served to when Santa delivers presents, and OH-SO-MANY-OTHERS.  Silly.  Just silly.  It's all part of learning about each other.  Part of growing and maturing and letting go of pride.  Part of becoming a family and making our own traditions and combining ideas, methods, traditions.  There is give and take.

I was also reminded that it is ok to be different and like different things.  One of my friends uses black wash cloths!  WHAT??  Who has ever heard of such a thing??  White...only white for me.  Or getting up before the sun to buy groceries?  Or cracking the window open when it is cold outside to have fresh air?  Or using natural, unprocessed sugar instead of refined white sugar for baking?  Eww...I've tried it and I don't care for it.  These things are different than what I prefer, but they don't define my friendship with them.  (Sorry for picking on you girls!)  :)  I love them...despite their weird ideas.  LOL.  We all agree on the big things, which is why we probably have developed the solid friendships we have.  We have a lot to offer each other and much to learn from each other...and I think we've all reached that place in our lives where we understand that while our ways work for us, it doesn't make them the only ways.  And, we've discovered the freedom of humility.  Not humiliation...humility.  (And if it is significantly noticeable in friendships, think about the magnitude it has in a marriage!)  We've learned that someone may have a WAY better idea that will enhance our own ways of doing things.  Hmmm...I might have to give those black wash cloths another thought...nah!

Different strokes for different folks...it's what keeps everything interesting!

Comments

Aubrey said…
Ooh, well written! In nearly 10 years of marriage, Jeremy has rubbed off on me just enough and I have rubbed off on him a little. The best and hardest part was for Type A me to stop trying to be the leader of this family, to let him get his Type B personality in gear and lead as he was meant to do. :) The things we do disagree on are so small, so insignificant. I think we balance each other well. I wish I could learn to relax even more, but I think we'd be late for everything....
Laurie said…
Just had to smile and smile when I read your blog post (Especially the "fresh air")! I think that you may just be right that people who use black wash cloths are a little "different!" :) Nice reflection, Janel.
Laurie said…
Just had to smile and smile when I read your blog post (Especially the "fresh air")! I think that you may just be right that people who use black wash cloths are a little "different!" :) Nice reflection, Janel.
Sandi said…
Well said. AMEN. Did you read Gina's blog on wanting her husband back? I thought of you when I read that!!!

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