Wednesday 16 May 2018

Different minds

My husband and I were playing a fun game the other day. He would point to random objects in the house and I had to say where they came from. For example, he picked up the juice squeezer and I responded, "Engagement present from Cathy and John." 

Testing times:
Who gave us the juicer?
This went on for a while, eliciting gasps of admiration from him every time I nailed the answer. He eventually caught me out on the toaster (I couldn't recall where we got it or what the old one looked like). "I can't believe you can remember all this stuff," he said. This is from a man who spends on average five minutes a day looking for his keys/phone/work pass. 

The point is our brains are wired quite differently. While I'm obsessed with the provenance of stuff (ideas, theories, conversations - who said what - as well as possessions), he's better at remembering his maths GCSE syllabus from thirty years ago. 

Similarly, he can't understand why I get so stressed about catching trains, while it's beyond me why he's never particularly bothered about being late. And yet, when faced with a major event in our lives, he figures out EVERYTHING that could go wrong, while I remain blithely optimistic. At our most fundamental level, I'm an archivist (control freak?) and he's an analyst.

Two heads...

Although these differences can create flashpoints from time to time, they also allow us to function quite well as a couple. We make a good team because between us we've developed a rounded skillset to navigate life's ups and downs. I've always believed that two heads are better than one. Equally, I'm a fan of consensus decision-making, assuming someone has an expert view to share.

Which means even in discord, there is the opportunity for growth, as long the process of reaching an agreement is managed with empathy and understanding. Life is subtle business, full of twists and turns. To remain adaptable, there's got to be an advantage to seeing a problem/challenge from all sides, from embracing different modes of thought. 

So next time you have an argument with someone, bear in mind you might just have the potential for a promising partnership 😉. And with that in mind, I'm off to figure out the origins of the toaster...

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