"Love contains the acknowledgement of the personal dignity of the other, and of his or her absolute uniqueness."
- John Paul II, Letter to Families
I am reading The Temperament God Gave You by Art and Laraine Bennett. It has given me great insight into understanding my own temperament, Ryan's temperament, and the temperaments of my family and friends. What a blessing!
Deeper understanding of what makes us tick is an important aspect of being in a successful relationship. Without this understanding, we tend to take things personally and have a difficult time resolving conflicts.
For example, Ryan is a melancholic and I am a sanguine. It's the classic case of opposites attracting. For a brief overview, melancholics are:
"Introverted. Loves truth, justice, principles. Reflective; slow to react of initiate. Wants the right thing done the right way. Not a follower of a joiner" (p. 85).
Whereas a sanguine is:
"Extraverted. Optimistic; interested; creative; adventurous; fun-loving. Seeks joy and happiness in relationships...Outgoing; involved; enthusiastic; eager to please" (p. 84).
These qualities are what have attracted us to each other because we see in the other what we are lacking in ourselves. I appreciated Ryan's ability to be reflective and he appreciated my enthusiasm for life (though I don't think he knew just how much enthusiasm I could have at times). I am grateful for this book because it has helped me understand that he needs to have times of reflection and soul-searching. I am able to shower him with praise and affection which helps him feel more confident and cheerful.
In turn, I am able to understand myself better, to realize why I act the way I do, why my emotional reaction is so strong but so short-lived. And Ryan is better able to understand and appreciate the way I work as well.
God is good. I'm amazed at the knowledge He has given to people like Art and Laraine Bennett which has helped so many people become better friends and lovers.
Jesus, help us all to better love and understand each other.