How to Mesh Clashing Personalities

"You guys differ on a lot of different points," Dr. Phil says to Karlie and Aaron. He asks Dr. Gosling, "On agreeableness, she scored 2 and he scored 13. What does that suggest in terms of interaction pattern?"


"The real difficult pattern is if somebody is actually low on agreeableness and at the same time, likely to say things. It's kind of dangerous, because you have somebody who is willing to say things directly and will say them, and then the other person won't communicate back," he says. "It's kind of a classic bad combination, which needs to be addressed."


Karlie scored 2 on agreeableness and 16 on extroversion, and Aaron scored 13 on agreeableness and 7 on extroversion. "You don't say a whole lot. You're not as outgoing, but you're highly agreeable," Dr. Phil says. He asks Karlie, "Did he switch after you married?"


"Oh, yeah," she says. "When you're dating, you talk a lot, because you don't know anything about each other, so you end up talking and sharing about your childhood and just getting to know each other. We would do more things and see more people, and he would talk and interact better. Then we got married and had children, and I don't know if it's the stress of everything else, that he just doesn't want to think about it."


"Did you change after you got married?" Dr. Phil asks Aaron. "Were you putting your best foot forward, and then you relaxed?"


[AD]"Yeah, I got into a comfort zone," he says. "This is where I want to be. This is what I've strived all my life to be. I married, have a beautiful wife, nice place, beautiful children we're raising. Then, autopilot." 


"This is kind of like a garden. You can put a lot of work into creating a garden, and you can plant it, and water it and get it going. Then you can go, 'Wow, I've got a great garden.' Then you can go back up to the porch and sit down, but if you don't tend it, it's going to fall apart on you, right?" Dr. Phil says. "You can't just say, 'I've arrived. I've got what I want. I'm now where I want to be so I can just go on autopilot.' You've got to know that won't work."


"It's slowly coming to realization," Aaron says.  

Dr. Phil asks Dr. Glass, "What do you read, body language-wise?"


"When I first saw them sit down, she was very affectionate. She leaned toward him, put her hands on him, and he just completely ignored her. He wasn't receptive to her affection, and that's a big thing, because it has to be mutual," she says. Looking at Aaron, she adds, "When she touches you, you've got to touch her back. You've got to connect with her."


"He's also nervous too. He's shy," Karlie says.


"See, you're very agreeable," Dr. Glass points out. "We're not picking on him or making him wrong, because he's a great guy, and he said you were beautiful, and he loves you and wants to make this work. That's the beautiful thing ... One of the ways you can make this work is to be more affectionate to her when she touches you, when she communicates with you, when she looks at you."


"Thank you. I've got to do something," Aaron says. "Once in a while, I think about it, and I'll stop by the store and bring her home some dark chocolate candy bar or something and say, 'Hey, hon, I was thinking about you today.'"


Dr. Phil points out that it doesn't matter what he brings home for Karlie, it's the idea that he was thinking about her. He turns to Dr. Gosling and says, "You don't have to be somebody you're not, right? It's just that these things are ranges, and you can move to the high end of your range and still be genuine to yourself, but that means you have to have some sort of flexibility though, right?"


[AD]"Right, and there is a strong genetic component to all of these traits, but there is still a lot of room for variance within that," Dr. Gosling says. "You're never going to have somebody become a complete extrovert who is an introvert, but there are ways to change one's actions, if not your personality."