Before we leave the subject of Inside vs. Outside Thinkers, we need to offer one more piece of advice. You may be wondering why we have spent so much time on this one subject. Here’s why: through our many years of teaching and counseling couples, we have discovered that most couples don’t even know that this difference exists. So they are perpetually annoyed with one another and don’t understand why their mate can’t simply change their annoying habit and be more like them.
So our last advice on this subject is directed toward the annoyed spouse. You now know your mate is not trying to avoid you, but is processing information inside, the way he has been hardwired to do. Here’s your chance to strengthen your relationship by saying out loud, “I know you have to have some silence in order to think this through, so I’ll leave you be for a half hour (or whatever) while you think about it.” In the last blog, we reminded him to remind you to give him (or her) a little space while he thought about the situation. But it works better when both of you are aware of the need to remind the other, then, hopefully, one of you will remember to do it. Cleaver, huh?
This also works for Inside Thinkers as they remember that their Outside Thinker mates must literally talk to think. Instead of reacting negatively to the first thing out or their mouths, they can help their Outside Thinker keep talking toward their conclusion. This is how that might sound. “So you want to build a tower in the back yard so we’ll have a better view? That’s interesting. How much do you think that would cost? Think we can convince our pesky homeowners’ association to approve that?” Get the point? You are simply helping them think it through out loud. Don’t worry. They’ll probably come to a rational conclusion.
Next time, we promise we’ll talk about something more cleaver and scintillating. Until then, remember we are called to clothe ourselves …with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)
More Friendly Advice can be found in our article Reconcilable Differences (https://marriages.net/reconcilable-differences/). Also watch our webinar How to Handle Differences (https://marriages.net/webinars-3/how-to-handle-differences/).