I work a lot with behavior tools at work. I’m sure you’ve used one along the way; DISC; Meyers-Briggs; Predictive Index; The Big Five; The Harry Potter Personality Test (seriously, this is one); The Five Minute Personality Test where you’re labeled a Golden Retriever, an Otter, a Seal or a Lion, the list goes on and on. All this had me thinking, how would I describe myself, from an animal perspective, in relationships?
What if I just looked at it from a high level, I mean, fun level. Here’s what I decided. I am a cat. Let me clarify for a minute, I am not particularly a cat person. I am cat neutral. I have not adopted 10 cats to be my surrogate children, no, I am not a cat lady. But, if I think about how I would see myself in a relationship, a cat might be it. Here’s the dialogue that would go on in my cat brain, “Oh, hi, hey, yeah, I do want to see you, yep, I’ll nuzzle up against you, oh, you want me to get closer, uhhh, no. See ya. Ok wait, I’ll come back, did you mention food? Milk? Fish? That’ll get me getting closer, maybe rubbing on your leg. Mmmmm…that food was good, I’m out. Hi, yeah, I’m back, don’t ignore me, I’m right here, I’m loving you, adoring you, ok, you win, it’s cold and your feet are warm, I’m staying right here.”
So maybe that’s not 100% me, but kinda, and I don’t know how I feel about it. What if you were a cat and married a dog. They’d be all in your face, needing a lot of attention, wanting to play all the time, the cat in you would first swat them in the face and then back away, finding your own space again. Eventually though, you would start to get used to the dog, it would amuse you and you’d become its friend. You’d cuddle with it, maybe, and your styles would eventually mesh. The thing is, I think most relationships are a combination of cats and dogs, or other types. They do eventually mesh. But if you have one person who insists it’s all dog all the time, or all cat all the time, chances are you’ll end up with problems.
In order for any relationship, whether it be friends or in marriage, to work, they’re needs to be an understanding that some of us are cats and some are dogs. If someone were to try and get rid of the cat in me, I’d probably dash away, and visa versa if I tried to get rid of the dog, they’d sulk away. Seems pretty simple but I think we forget sometime. So whether you actually take one of the fancy personality tests or not, the key understanding for any of us is that we’re different. What I’ve learned is that you shouldn’t have to change yourself to be with someone and that’s not always easy. People pleasers like me want to be liked, but I know that doesn’t make me happy. So, if I’m a cat, I’m going to stay a cat, embrace the cat, and know that the cat has just as much to bring to the party as anyone else. I encourage anyone else to do the same.