I began re-reading this old favorite the other day. “The Dance of Intimacy” deals with relationships and the patterns of distancing and pursuit (approach-avoidance behavior) that we often fall into in relationships.

Lerner also talks about how often things move in tandem: What most upsets us in others is frequently what we like least (or are most afraid of finding) in ourselves. Furthermore, often what we like least about others is somehow linked to what we like most about them.

Awareness of these patterns and a common language to discuss them are the first steps in effectively dealing with them and creating a climate for change.

Because specifics/concrete details help me understand abstract thoughts better, I find this list of mirror traits interesting.

Least Liked Traits
Tendency to hog the spotlight
Failure to be straightforward, direct
Sense of entitlement and “me first” attitude

Most Liked Traits
Energetic and entertaining personality
Kindness, tact, respect for feelings of others
Ability to “go for it” and know her own goals

This is a classic from the NSCBlog archive, originally posted November 23, 2007.