In an earlier post here I talked about the basics of personality clashes, and how they begin with differences of agreement in content and progress to differences in the behaviours used to try to remedy the disagreement.
The more extreme the differences in behaviour, the higher the tension rises, and the more emotions come into play, ultimately producing a full-blown personality clash.
If you are in one of these “clashes”, here are some practical steps you can take:
- Separate the content from the behaviour so that you can deal with each separately.
- Accept that they are using behaviour that is different from the behaviours that you would use. And, there may well be a reason for their choice of behaviour!
- Notice how your behaviour may be contributing to the difficulty. If you are struggling to accept their behaviour, they will be struggling to accept your behaviour too.
- Decide if you wish to simply accept their behaviour (at present) and dive into the content, or decide to adapt your behaviour - yes, so you are more like them.
- Take steps to help them also separate content from behaviour (perhaps apologising for the way you may have aggravated them).
- Try to find a way to truly appreciate their choice of behaviour, even if you still don’t like it (which is okay, that’s your right). This will make it far easier for you to live with without stressing about it.
- Attempt to build more trust into the relationship. This will help both of you to understand and accept both content and behaviour differences, and focus more on solutions (win/win).
The bottom line is that the only time personality differences are a problem, is when they are not recognised and accepted. There is no need to agree with their behavioural choices for you to accept their choice. And, if you have sufficient levels of trust, you’re on to a winner.
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