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Chances are you have experienced this: you and your spouse have an exchange that leads to hurt feelings and conflict. At the end of that exchange, you find yourself thinking: ‘my spouse took that completely out of context. I feel totally misunderstood. What just happened?’

Opposites often attract, but sometimes when opposites get married they clash. There are a lot of dynamics that fuel disagreements, but personality differences are toward the top of the list. We thought it might be fun for our listeners to wrap their brains around the personality continuum and where you and your spouse are on the spectrum.

1. Perceiving

This is how you perceive the things that come toward you in life.  Here are the two ends of the spectrum:


Few things are a big deal to them. When troubles come they think, “Oh well, it will just pass.”

  • The disadvantage of being a Minimizer is that things have to be really big or bad for them to take action.
  • The advantage of being a Minimizer is that they are easy going, tending not to create unnecessary drama or chaos.


They tend to make everything a big deal. Using words like “everything,” “never” and “always.” Typically they want more of something—more love, more passion, more everything.

  • The disadvantage of being a Maximizer is that can create unnecessary tension.
  • The advantage is that nothing slips up on a maximizer. They want to take care of problems as they come.

2. Processing

This personality type is how your process information and come to conclusions. Here are the two ends of the spectrum:


They are very contemplative and thoughtful.

  • The disadvantage of being an Insider is they think they have shared more than they have. Saying things like, “I thought I told you that.”
  • The advantage of Insiders is that actually think more than they speak, which I’m pretty sure is biblical.


They think out loud. They talk to think.

  • The disadvantage of being an Outsider is that they say hurtful things they really don’t mean.
  • The advantage of Outsiders is that they want to talk things out and get things out in the open.

3. Responding

This personality type is how you respond to information. Here are the two ends of the spectrum:


Wants to keep connected with their spouse by telling them what they think they want to hear.

  • The disadvantage of being a Satisifer is that they can be passive aggressive. The mouth may be saying yes, but their heart is saying no, and one day it shows up, often in unproductive ways.
  • The advantage of being a Satisifer is they are outwardly focused, because they have to really listen to their spouse’s needs to know how to satisfy them.


When they hear new information, they say, “Whoa, what do you mean by that?” Another term for the Resister is a “devil’s advocate.”

  • The disadvantage of being is a Resister is they often make their spouse feel rejected.
  • The advantage of being a Resister is that tend to want to make more balanced decisions by looking at both sides of the issue. They aren’t always saying no, it just takes them a while to get to the yes.

Your one simple thing this week

When you encounter the disadvantage of your spouse’s personality traits, you can take it a little less personally. Also, the next time you encounter the advantages of your spouse’s personality type, you can affirm them.

As for your own personality traits, I suggest you try to pull yourself somewhere nearer the middle of the spectrum, especially if you spouse has the opposite of that trait.

Show Closing

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