It was a classic showdown - the challenger vs. the peacemaker. “I’m not mad, we need to talk about this!“ I told my wife as she began to tear up and I began to feel more frustrated. We were one month away from our wedding day and I couldn’t understand why my wife wouldn’t address the issues before us. She couldn’t understand why I was so angry and wouldn’t just let it go.
I was trying to ”make” her more confrontational. (I’m a Type 8- Challenger)
She was trying to “make“ me more agreeable. (She is a Type 9- Peacemaker)
Both of these things were not naturally in our nature and yet instead of seeking to understand each other we were positive we could ”change” one another or maybe even “meet in the middle” both, the wrong answer.
Relationships are not 50/50 they are 100/100. Both parties doing all they can to empathize, understand, and connect with each other. The Enneagram helped us achieve this 100/100 goal.
Two years later my wife knows that, to me, conflict means connection. I know that conflict is her greatest fear. We understand this about each other and truly know what it means to serve each other instead of seeking to be served.
Ask yourself these questions to begin working your way towards 100/100:
How does my spouse perceive this situation?
How am I trying to “change” them instead of understanding them?