How to be Married to an Analytic
by Roger Lipp
(Check out our guide to finding out your personality type !)
For those of you who have met Kathi, it will not be much of a surprise when I tell you that she is an “expressive”.
Of the four personality types (analytic, driver, amiable, expressive) it is really obvious that she is an expressive. (You could pick that out without even diving into the details of what it really means to be an expressive. The name alone kinda gives her away…) And for those of you who have met me, you will with equal certainty be able to discern that I am not an expressive. Not even close. In fact, I am the complete and absolute opposite (remember, they do say that opposites attract). I am an analytic.
Let me digress with a word of caution: personality types are not etched in stone. Our entire personality and life journey cannot be reduced to a single word. Even though I am an analytic, I am able to express myself. And my wife is pretty good at math… especially when it comes to sales at Macy’s, but that’s a story for another time. So before I go any further, please promise me you won’t pigeon hole people… especially your spouse!
For those of you lucky enough to be married to an analytic, I have a few words of advice that may make the journey go a bit smoother.
First, take some time to understand some of the keys to their thinking. Unless you are also an analytic, your spouse probably thinks very differently than you do. In the world view of an analytic, facts and accuracy are more important than feelings and perceptions.
Kathi and I were sitting down at dinner to discuss this article. She made a statement about that she sees me more as an “amiable” than as an “analytic”. As soon as she said that my brain started objecting. I know the characteristics. I know the criteria. I’ve taken numerous tests, they have all pointed to the same conclusion. I am an analytic. And of course because I’m an analytic, I needed to set the record straight.
I interrupted Kathi (wisdom is obviously not high on my list of qualities) and let her know that she was mistaken: I am an analytic.
At this point, you can see that the stage is set. The players are all in place. The plot has been developed. We can all imagine what could happen next. Rebuke. Response. Retaliate. Repeat. We’ve all been there.
Fortunately, Kathi has learned a few things about my personality that helps keep this from spiraling out of control. She has learned that facts and accuracy are important to me. So she acknowledges the fact that I am in fact an analytic, and then goes on to explain why she sees me more as an “amiable”.(I try to keep the peace in family situations, I like to just “hang” with people – I don’t necessarily need to be getting things done while we’re hanging out. All traits of the “Amiable” personality – which I also have some of.)
Just that simple acknowledgement of the facts was enough to satisfy my internal need for accuracy. With that need satisfied I was able to engage in the rest of the conversation and learned that what she was really saying is: you’re a great guy and I love you. A point that I really appreciate letting sink in every now and then. Glad I didn’t miss it.
If You’re Married to an Analytic – Hints and Tips (by Kathi…)
Being Around Other People
Roger renews his energy by being alone or just hanging out with me or our kids. It take a lot of energy for him to be “on” for other people. I needed to learn that it was OK for me not to include him in everything. He’s fine with me going out to lunch with a friend on my own. In fact, many times he would prefer it.
When I travel, every once in a while I will stay with a friend that I know so we can catch up on life. This doesn’t work for Roger. He needs to have privacy and quiet. His ultimate nightmare? Spending the night in a stranger’s home. When we are traveling together, I need to let groups know that we need a hotel. It’s nothing personal – but I want to honor my husband.
Doing vs. Chatting
Roger wants to know what his “job” is at all times. When we have people over for dinner, I’m in charge of the chatting, Roger’s in charge of the BBQing, and that’s how we like it. Don’t get me wrong – if you come over to our house for dinner, Roger wants talk with you – he just wants to do it with some grilling tongs in his hands.
His Way or the Wrong Way
So there is the Roger Way doing things, and there is the wrong way of doing things. He’s not obnoxious about it, but he’s great at analyzing the cheaper, better, faster way of doing things, getting places, and buying stuff and in the long run, his analysis of the situation usually works to my benefit. (We find that sale on vacuum cleaners, or he finds us the best reviewed cafe in a town we’re visiting, or we get to our event six minutes faster than if I had been driving.) I make sure that when he has a strong opinion, I honor that to the best of my ability. (In other words, I pick which hills I want to die on…) He can and will change his mind, but it’s best if you have your facts lined up before you try to sway him.