A dog comes when it is called, a cat tends to respond only if accompanied with the sound of a kitchen can opener.
(part of the Couples’ Program) by Michael Grinder
An easy way to understand how you and your partner interact with each other is to transfer your knowledge of household pets to your marriage. A dog comes when it is called, a cat tends to respond only if accompanied with the sound of a kitchen can opener.
Be mindful that the concept of Cat/Dog is a continuum – not a pigeon-hole. A practical way to identify what is meant by being cat-like and dog-like is to look at the following table.
Being cat-like or dog-like is a way of operating, often times called a style. However, having a tendency to be a cat or dog is not an identity – it is just how you tend to interact in a given context. Your styles are often influenced by the values you cherish. The following table offers several contexts. Want to do something fun? Have you and your partner fill out this table for each other – then share what you estimated yours and your partner’s style was. Put your initial and your partner’s initial on each row.
Both Gail and I are dogs in the area of money, I am the romantic dog and she is romantic cat, I am mostly a career cat, and Gail is a retired dog.
Here’s a printable PDF to make it easier for you and your partner to complete the activity.
Enjoy dialoguing with your partner – have a sense of humor.
Want more – attend “To Love, to Honor, and to Negotiate” our workshop for couples.