He’s High-Strung, You’re Laid Back: You’ll Fight About This

February 7, 2018  |  
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Gettyimages.com/Couple doing their finances together.

Opposites attract—everyone knows that. Some of those opposites, when they come together, are like fire and gasoline: it’s explosive, dangerous, and really shouldn’t happen in the first place. Meanwhile, some opposites are quite complementary and supplementary. One very common example of this is high-strung types being drawn to laid-back types, and visa versa. High-strung personalities can usually benefit from the relaxed nature of a laid-back partner—of someone to whom nothing is ever a big deal. These personality types can really ease the anxiety of high-strung individuals. Meanwhile, particularly relaxed personalities can benefit from the high motor and drive of high-strung, type A people. What laid-back characters lack in ambition and attention to detail, they can pick up from their high-strung partners. But, naturally, these two types can fight. And they will. If you’re laid-back and he’s high-strung, you’ll fight about this.

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To you, a home that is otherwise perfectly clean besides a couple of items left on the coffee table is a nice-looking place. Your high-strung partner only sees those items left on the table, making you feel like your efforts to keep (mostly) tidy are underappreciated.

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High-strung people are usually sticklers for being on time, and early at that. Laid-back individuals think about stipulations such as “There will be at least 15 minutes of previews before the movie” or “Comedy shows never start on time.” This difference in viewpoint on what it means to be on time can cause some tension.


Attending to everyone’s needs

High-strung individuals usually suffer from some social anxiety, and when they’re in a group setting are hyper-aware of everyone’s moods and needs. For example, it can stress a high-strung individual out if he notices one person at the dinner party is struggling to enter the conversation. Meanwhile, the laid-back person thinks it’s that guest’s own responsibility to get in on the conversation.


The constant need to over-explain himself

Your high-strung partner will constantly insist that you call up this friend or that family member—someone he believes he made a wrong impression on—and explain his behavior to them. You insist that person doesn’t care, and didn’t even notice, and that your partner is just burdening you with this task.

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Over-planning the social calendar

High-strung people usually need some buffer time between activities and appointments. Laid-back people can breeze in and out of one social encounter to another, without feeling too exhausted by it. For this reason, you might accidentally over-schedule your partner’s calendar.


Mixing friends groups

Remember that social anxiety I mentioned high-strung folks have? Well it gets really bad when you mix friend groups. If you surprise your high-strung partner by inviting a few friends to your dinner party—friends who have never met your other guests—he’ll go into overdrive mode, worrying that people won’t get along. Meanwhile, you’ll say, “They’re adults. They’ll make it work!”

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A string of unexpected expenses

Naturally, your tightly wound boo worries about money more than you, with your care free nature, does. As such, if you have to buy plane tickets for a wedding, around the same time you have to buy a new couch, your partner becomes upset. You, on the other hand, accept that sometimes you can’t control these things, and that you’ll make up the money later.

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Sharing “personal” information with outsiders

Laid-back personality types usually don’t have many insecure bones in their bodies. They have the mindset of, “This is who I am. If you like it, great, and if you don’t, that’s not my problem.” Because of this, they don’t filter the information they share with outsiders. This can cause some disputes in their relationships.

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A need for quiet time

Your tightly wound honey needs a lot of quiet time. Too much noise or commotion exhausts him and causes him anxiety. So if you have girlfriends over to drink and chit chat for two hours and then put on your dance party workout video after they leave, your partner might fly off the hinges.

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The kids’/dogs’ items everywhere

Laid-back people find dogs’ or children’s toys sprawled everywhere a welcome, endearing site; high-strung people can feel that they’re losing control on everything if they see this.

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It should come as no surprise that your high-strung partner likes to stick to a bedtime, and if you do anything that gets in the way of that—even if it just pushes his bedtime back by ten minutes—there will be a disagreement.


An obsession with showing gratitude

There’s that social anxiety kicking in again. Your nervous partner will often worry that he didn’t show gratitude enough to your parents for hosting him, your friend for making dinner, your aunt for the gift and so on. He’ll ask you over and over again if this person received the thank you note, if they seemed happy with it, if they like him…It goes on and on.

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Over-analyzing interactions

Relaxed personality types have social interactions, and then go on about their day, leaving those interactions in the past. High-strung types dwell in their interactions, over-analyzing them and making their partner listen to it.


Everything travel-related

When the two of you travel, it can either be a making of a romantic comedy…or a trip from hell. Happy travels require a mix of spontaneity and excellent planning skills. Sometimes you and your partner complement each other in this regard, and sometimes you drive each other crazy.


He stresses you out

You’ll mostly be glad that you are able to mellow out your high-strung partner, but sometimes, his anxiety will rub off on you and you’ll run out of patience. This causes its own fight, in which your partner says you’re being insensitive to his anxieties.

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