Previously, we discussed what it means to be a relator versus an evaluator in my post Relator or Evaluator? How to Know Your Relationship Strength.
To sum up, a relator approaches relationships through communication, trust, and empathy. Whereas, an evaluator is good at problem-solving and analyzing problems. Both have their strengths as well as their weaknesses.
But how does relating or evaluating affect relationships? It turns out that both can have positive influences. However, both relationship strengths can also cause problems if left unchecked.
Understand these dynamics is essential in building a healthy relationship. Here’s what I mean.
Both Relating or Evaluating Can Be Strengths
First, let’s consider that either relating or evaluating can be strengths for a relationship. Specifically, when it comes to solving problems. If one of you is a relator while the other an evaluator, you can pool those skills together. That makes you a mighty team!
Those perspectives allow each of you to work on your particular part of the puzzle. Communication, though, is critical for this partnership to be successful. Not only do each of you need to be open to the other’s viewpoint, but you need to respect it, too.
The result is a partnership where you feel close because of the experiences you have shared.
Both Relating or Evaluating Can Be Weaknesses
The problem for relationships with relators and evaluators is that when communication and respect are not present, these traits become weaknesses. Mainly because relators and evaluators see and experience the world very differently.
For example, you both could be presented with a similar issue, yet have differing viewpoints. Both are valid. However, if neither of you respects the other and struggle with communication issues, then these differences become a liability.
Instead of finding workable solutions, you drag the other down quickly. You attempt to force your viewpoint on the other person, which doesn’t work at all. The result is bitter feelings and a relationship divide that gets wider and wider.
How Relators and Evaluators Differ
Let’s take a look at a situation where a relator or evaluator might differ in their approach. Your partner comes home after struggling all day at work. They are frustrated, angry, and tired.
What do you do?
If you are an evaluator, you might try to solve the problem. You ask your partner questions and try to work through possible scenarios for how to avoid this in the future. A relator, however, will approach the situation from a relationship perspective instead of a problem-solving standpoint.
For example, they might want to know how their partner is feeling and listen to them express their emotions. They can empathize with the frustration, and want to ensure that their partner will feel better.
One tries to solve the problem, while the other wants to make sure the other partner is okay.
When These Styles Backfire
These differing styles can backfire when the solution doesn’t fit the problem. For instance, if the struggling partner is a relator, then they don’t want their problems fixed for them. They want to be understood and validated.
Or, an evaluator will want their partner to assist in coming up with workable solutions. These differences can thus trigger arguments and create emotional strife in the relationship.
If you are struggling with how to navigate the gaps in your relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out today. Or, you can visit our page about couples counseling in NYC.