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Opposites Attracts: Couples with Different Characters Work Well

Opposites Attracts: Couples with Different Characters Work Well

There’s always been wonder toward why opposites attract. Yet, we’re told that relationships are stronger and generally easier when you share a lot in common. But is that the truth?

Ongoing research on both sides of the argument definitely beg the question: though opposites attract, can they be happy with each other and sustain a relationship? Here are a few truths that will prove that you and your lover can be completely unlike and entirely in love.

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You expand each other’s horizons.

Most of us are stubborn by nature. When you have a strong belief or opinion about something, it’s really hard to change. If you truly love the other person though, you will put your pride aside and listen to their opinion no matter how strongly you disagree. Choosing to love someone who has different opinions encourages you to see the world a little bit differently. Respecting and openly listening to your partner’s worldview and opinions will build a foundation of mutual respect, which is key to a happy relationship.

You’ll learn to walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

There’s no better way to practice this age-old saying than spending time with someone who’s much different than you. In regards to relationships, this will expose you to a different thinking process and a new way of doing things. When you know you and your partner have these differences, over time you’ll establish a higher range of patience for both your lover and other people in your life.

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They will encourage you to be your best self.

If you have too many things in common you may begin to worry or stress when your partner acts out of character to those similarities. This, sadly, invites partners to try and control one another because they aren’t meeting expectations. When you have more differences than similarities, you’re encouraged to do the opposite because you’re already expecting them to act differently than you. The resulting acceptance will allow your lover to be an unfiltered, honest version of themselves.

You’ll learn and adapt practices you always wish you had.

The largest fallacy of mankind is feeling like what we have is permanent. No one stays the same over time, in relationships or otherwise. When you’re in a relationship, chances are high that your partner possesses a trait or characteristic that you wish you had. Perhaps your lover’s opposite habit is something you want to learn and practice. There’s no better way to implement new practices than by mimicking someone you love. They will often have more patience with you than you’ll have with yourself.

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You’ll learn to embrace spontaneity.

Boredom is bred from knowing what to expect. Expecting a certain result happens more frequently when you’re dating a carbon copy of yourself. On the flip side, when you’re dating your “antonym”, if you will, you learn to expect the unexpected, or leave expectations out entirely. Arguments and bickering occur when expectations aren’t met in relationships. Having no expectations, or expecting the unexpected, will add unpredictability to your life and extra spice to your relationship.

You build higher tolerance for your lover and for others.

To echo the previous point, expectations can easily lead to frustration. Dating someone who’s very different from is a never ending test of patience. This patience won’t always be easy, particularly early in the relationship and in times involving ultra-sensitive topics. But tolerance and patience build quickly when you spend a large amount of time around someone who’s different. You learn to understand and adore their differences, resulting in higher tolerance, compassion, and love in and out of your relationship.

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You will be complements to one another.

Really, you shouldn’t need another person to feel complete. You, and you alone, are all you need to feel fulfillment. But the saying “(s)he completes me” is the most true for those who share multiple differences. She’s eccentric and he’s a homebody. He’s not the best driver and she’s never been in an accident. He’s emotionally intelligent and he is terrible at reading people. She’s a fantastic cook and she burns water making ramen. The list of opposites and complements are endless.

We may not know exactly why opposites attract, but there’s no denying that opposites who date each other can have extremely fulfilling relationships. Because a successful relationship isn’t about dating the same character, but learning to love what makes you different.

Featured photo credit: young modern stylish couple urban city outdoors via shutterstock.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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