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What’s Your Relationship Type?

written by Robert Taibbi June 17, 2019
What's Your Relationship Type?

In our desire to understand, manage, or untangle our relationships, it’s helpful to recognize there are different relationship types.

As we constantly try to view our relationships through different lenses, we struggle to connect the dots: Is it about me or about him? Has the tension over the last couple of weeks been just a blip due to stress or the tip of the iceberg of some bigger problems? If I do x, will she do y, or if I stop x, will he stop y?

But in order to truly make sense of the state of the union, it’s often helpful to step back to see the broader landscape. Here are five of the most common types of relationships: four bad, one good.

1. Competitive/Controlling

There’s a jockeying for power about whose way is better, who wins the argument, whose expectations and standards do we follow, whose career is more important. There are a lot of arguments that quickly turn into power struggles, battles over getting the last word.

Emotional climate:


Underlying dynamics:

Two strong personalities battling for control; self-esteem based on winning, being in charge; often there are rigid ideas regarding how best to do things, about criteria for success, for what makes a good life.

Long term:
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