I think I’m an optimist and my partner seems like a pessimist. Can that work? How?
PAIRS’ creator, Dr. Lori Gordon, recounted a counseling session with a couple where the man, sounding somewhat annoyed, said “We’ve been together for years. I thought I’d heard we were going to “be one!” To which Dr. Gordon said “Well then, which one?” It’s very tempting to see our environment, our choices, our partner — through a belief that expects and wants both of us to see things the same way. Which is to say… the way WE do.
It really works a lot better if instead we can see what each of us brings to the relationship as a contribution to the entity called “the Us.” Neither probably has all the wisdom or information. However, with good will, together the “Us” can find ways to navigate through the ups and downs everyone faces. The glass is both half empty and half full. What does each of those viewpoints have to say that needs to be considered on any given issue? Sometimes, for instance, caution or deliberation (possibly from a pessimistic viewpoint) may be an excellent approach. Sometimes, when appropriate, the optimist’s approach of being more spontaneous and risky can produce delightful results. Your partner will never be you. And vice versa. Together, however, with respect, inquiry, willingness to negotiate and try new ways, and strong listening skills – our differences can become our best feature.
“I was continually surprised by the practical nature of the skills discovered for building an even deeper, sustaining and equal partnership between my wife and me. Thank you!” – PAIRS graduate
PAIRS workshops are offered throughout the year. See Class Schedule on our website: http://www.PAIRSVirginia.com