• Personality & Love w/Nina Kosubevsky

    If you’ve ever struggled with understanding your partner, you’re not alone. We all, at one time or another, struggle to connect with the ones we love. Perhaps you’ve found that they get short or seem angry with you, but you don’t know why or how to fix that. Perhaps you feel as though they’re not present to you in the way you wish, want, or need them to be. Coming to a more complete awareness of your personality and your partner’s personality can help to bring two people closer. And when we apply that to the concept of Love Languages, we can develop strategies to communicate and understand our partner.

    There are a lot of personality tests floating around out there, from Myers-Briggs to the Enneagram. For this blog, we’re going to focus on one of the most well researched and studied personality indicators, the Big 5, otherwise called the OCEAN as it scores based on Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion,  Agreeability, and Neuroticism. If you want a fairly comprehensive breakdown of your personality using the Big 5, you can take a free test here, which will provide you with a comprehensive report.

    Knowing your OCEAN scores can help you dig deeper into the way you interact with others, such as your friends, children, and colleagues. It’s also worth noting that the Big 5 does not assign positive or negative to any one trait, so even if we might think being conscientious is good, it is possible to be too conscientious, just like it’s possible to be too unconscientious. That’s why we don’t focus on positives or negatives with understanding personality, but rather hone in on using it as a tool to understand how you work  with others and how you interact with your environment.

    For the purposes of this blog, Nina and I are focusing on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, and examining how those personality attributes interact with love languages. As a reminder the 5 love languages are; physical touch, quality time, acts of service, gift giving, and words of affirmation.  If you are interested in learning more about each love language check out our previous blog: (link).

    How Does being Conscientious relate to being a good gift giver or providing acts of service or engaging in quality time? I feel like even if you’re super conscientious, that you could still struggle with being a good gift giver. So how do the two relate?

    Mike:

    Being Conscientious is often connected with the idea of noticing and finding significance in what others may be dealing with or going through. We sometimes think of this as empathy. When you care about someone’s experience, you do what you can to make them comfortable and make them feel cared for. This can take many forms. You might be a person who always remembers to send a birthday text or card. Maybe you notice someone seeming to struggle with a printer and you offer to help them. You might get the sense that someone would benefit from a tea infuser, so you get it for them. This is an example of how consciousness relates to gift giving. All of the above demonstrate how conscientiousness can represent itself within us. Sometimes that’s a gift. Sometimes that’s an act of service.

    Nina: 

    Everyone is different though, as Mike alluded to. If you notice someone in a wheelchair approaching the door, and even if you are not near the door, you might still walk over and hold the door open for them. In this way, being a conscientious person can be seen through your works of service. Not everyone who is conscientious will be a great gift giver, and conversely, not everyone who is mindful of others will be great with acts of service. In relationships, this may demonstrate itself in a way that means you notice that your partner is not aware of when you need additional help taking care of something even though you always make sure everything they need is taken care of. For your partner, it may not be that they’re not as in love with you, but rather that they aren’t as conscientious.

    Mike:

    Exactly. The other important point to make here is that a lack of conscientiousness is not necessarily a bad thing. There is such a thing as being too conscientious. Your partner or child might even annoy you with how overly concerned they are with everyone’s needs. This can come across as doting, and, for some in long term relationships, it can become overwhelming.

     

    Nina:

    That’s why it’s so important to understand how love languages and different aspects of personality work together. You don’t have to be a psychologist to know that when things aren’t working, your relationship can feel like it’s strained or dying. When it’s your spouse or partner, it’s bad enough. When it’s with your child, it can feel even worse.

    What are some other ways personality is connected to your ability to speak the love languages? 

    Nina: 

    Agreeableness is another one of those core attributes to a personality that often gets overlooked. Similar to what Mike said above, you can be too agreeable or too disagreeable.  Being too agreeable can eventually lead to resentment. If you are doing something only because of your need for pleasing people and not because you understand why it is important to do it, this can cause you to not feel independent in your decision making. You may feel like you’re always going along with things blindly or that your partner doesn’t allow you to have a say in things. This act of being agreeable is what can lead you to a feeling of resentment.

    Mike:

    The opposite to that is also true. You may feel as though your partner doesn’t appreciate you because you ‘show them more love than they do’ by being agreeable and going along with their wants and needs, where they don’t. This can also lead to resentment, a feeling like you are unappreciated or even, in extreme cases, undeserving of the love you actually rightly deserve.

    Nina:

    That’s why communication about love languages and understanding your personality is so important in furthering your relationships and developing stronger connections. It’s Mike and I’s primary goal in sharing this conversation about personality and love languages, that you and your partner can grow to understand your loved ones and yourselves more fully.

    Mike:

    Our goal is to help you find healing and work through whatever pitfalls may be ailing you. We sincerely hope that reading this series will help you. If you find yourself wanting to know more about how to strengthen your relationships, whether that be through a deeper grasp on love languages and personality, or by exploring your own struggles and victories in all aspects of your life, don’t hesitate to call us to speak to our intake coordinator, Cess. She’ll be more than happy to help you get set up with an appointment with the therapist that best suits you.

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