Visuals are extremely passionate and inspire others to care about the things they care about. But in moments of conflict, their emotional interpretation of the facts can overshadow what is actually occurring, undermining their ability to empathize with their partner. They can stare you down and insist that it’s their way or no way.
Kinesthetics are generous, compassionate, and accepting of other people. But their caring nature pulls them in too many directions. They try to meet others’ needs at the expense of their own, which can cause mounting disharmony and resentment. During a disagreement, they can seem to shrivel within themselves and might lose all ability to speak or articulate their needs.
Digitals are rational and principled and have a gift for quickly understanding complex situations. But they can become closed to others’ perspectives and feelings. Try as you might, you cannot make them understand how you feel because they are not feeling; they are reasoning.
Tonals have a gift for understanding others and their dilemmas. But during moments of conflict, their ability to read between the lines can shift into hearing what was never said, felt, or thought. They can easily go off on a tangent of futility and heartbreak that you never intended.
For example, Rafe and Esther adore one another. They seem to function by telepathic empathy; everyone can see that. But when one of them gets stressed and they fall into conflict, they morph into strangers who can’t connect at all. As the temperature escalates, so does their inability to comprehend the other. That’s because of the differences in their Energetic Stress Styles.
Rafe is Tonal. Esther is Digital. The minute they start to disagree, they shift into distinctive energy habits that determine exactly how they will each behave. And like most of us, they’ve hooked up with someone who has a different style. Consequently, as our conflicts deepen, so do our differences.
When Rafe and Esther argue, she’ll start collecting “facts” in her closed “digital” world, ticking off all the things Rafe needs to recognize about the situation. Rafe, meanwhile, starts interpreting the emotional “tones” between the lines, thinking he’s heard that she’s lost all feeling for him and wants a divorce. He is so wrong, and so is she.