How To (Not) Annoy Your Partner
Part 1: You're a Guardian
By Dr. Lovegood
We can all annoy our partners without help. That's exactly part of the problem. Without thinking about it, we naturally
annoy our partners. The key is to evaluate how we annoy them to figure out ways of getting along which will make both of us
happy. Once we understand what is really annoying our partners, (which is often not what they say is annoying them), we can get
a better idea of how to modify our behavior without becoming someone different.
As a Guardian, you have a strong sense of right and wrong. You know the right way to do things, including sticking by
rules and having proper procedures.
If your partner is an Artisan, they are much more concerned with getting things accomplished than with following regulations.
You are likely to annoy them if you:
- Try to fence them in with too many rules and regulations
- Can never step out of a routine to have some fun with them
- Carp about their past mistakes - as if they could never change
- Are so afraid of risk that the relationship becomes stagnant
If your partner is a Rational, both of you can nitpick each other to death. They can nitpick about grammar, words, logic, and ideas.
You nitpick about doing things properly, whether it's manners or chores. You are likely to annoy them if you:
- Expect too many maintenance tasks out of them
- Remain focused on the past and can't see their great ideas
- Try to get them out of their heads and into the real world
- Bombard them with too many concrete details
If your partner is an Idealist, you probably have found that you can hurt their feelings in unexpected ways. Idealists
are more sensitive to criticism than the other types, so tread gently. You are likely to annoy them if you:
- Try to get their heads out of the clouds and their feet on the ground
- Always insist on justice instead of offering mercy to those around you
- Ignore their visions of how to make life better for the people around you
- Dismiss them as being too optimistic and not facing up to unpleasant realities
If your partner is also a Guardian, you can still easily annoy each other. You are likely to have different views of the right
way to do things. Your routines and habits may collide. Generally speaking, the partners of Guardians tend to be the more flexible
ones, working around the relative inflexibility of the Guardian. If both of you are Guardians, you will be likely to have to be more
flexible in your ways of doing things than if your partner were another temperament.
Korin's husband is an Artisan and she is a Guardian. She used to constantly nag her husband to do chores. He'd always say he'd get around
to it, but then he'd forget, something else would come up, and so on. She found it very frustrating. She knew he liked competition, so she
decided to try and make a game out of weeding. She challenged him to a weeding duel. He took her up on it, won handily, and loved it. She made
sure she admired his grace, speed, and rugged good looks. When she applied the same idea to vacuuming, it didn't work so well. He finished
faster, but the floors weren't as clean. She revised the game so that each of them checked the other's area and took points off for every
piece of dirt/litter/etc. they found. She was pleased to see he was still motivated and surprised to see that he actually found places she
had missed cleaning.
Trish is a Guardian whose partner is a Rational. Trish is very involved with her birth family. It has really upset her that her partner
doesn't want to go to many of her family get-togethers. She figures that if he loves her, he should love her family. When she can get him to
go, he tends to sit in a corner alone or lecturing others on his areas of interest. After learning more about Rationals, Trish has realized
that it is unreasonable to expect him to come most times. They have negotiated a few events where she really wants his company. Now that he
knows Trish accepts his dislike of socializing with very different people, he has begun to put more effort into the few events he does attend.
Her family is warming up to him, making Trish very happy.
Drew is a Guardian whose partner is an Idealist. It bothers him that she seems to be such a lousy housekeeper. He takes care of
all of his stuff, and everything has a place and is in its place. But her stuff is all over. He'll sit on a brush in the couch, find
underwear in the kitchen (she has no idea how it got there), and see books and papers piled on every flat surface. When he talks to her
about it, she will get better for a while and then chaos slowly returns. Finally he asked her if there was any way to contain her things
to a single area. She now keeps her stuff in their bedroom or in her office. The living room and kitchen stay relatively neat. When he does
find something of hers, he just opens her office, and tosses it in. When she felt she had to keep the whole place neat, she couldn't do it,
but having an area to keep messy enabled her to keep other areas tidy.
Marc is a Guardian whose partner is also a Guardian. Marc has many requirements about the proper way to keep financial records.
His partner has many requirements about household chores, such as how to load the dishwasher. Each considers the other's rules as overly fussy.
When the two of them sat down and shared how they arrived at their rules and what types of problems they prevented, each found it easier to obey
the other's rules - at least most of the time. Now they laugh about each other's small lapses. Humor has been much more effective than
anger in helping them to adjust to each other's ways.
Understanding how your partner operates and making some adjustments in your own style can make life run more smoothly for
both partners and leave them with a more positive attitude toward one another.