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Tony Alessandra
  July 11, 2017

Romance and The Four DISC Styles

Understanding how DISC Styles play a role in the workplace and office environments can be extremely powerful and effective. But did you know that DISC Styles can help you with your significant other or in the dating world? The concept of DISC represents four distinct behavioral patterns or Styles that are also just as applicable in personal relationships and dating. This week, Tony Alessandra explains how we can utilize DISC Styles to improve our romance and personal relationships.

Romance and The Four DISC Styles

By Tony Alessandra, Ph.D.

How does understanding DISC Styles help you with your spouse or significant other? The concept of DISC represents four distinct, identifiable, predictable behavioral patterns or Styles – the Dominant Style (‘D’), the Influencing Style (‘I’), the Steady Style (‘S’) and the Conscientious Style (‘C’). ‘D’ Styles try to shape their environment to overcome obstacles on the way to their accomplishments. ‘I’ Styles influence others and shape their environment by bringing others into an alliance to accomplish results. ‘S’ Styles develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. ‘C’ Styles work within existing guidelines to promote quality in products or service. To work best with each Style, you need to adapt – that is, customize your approach to each unique DISC Style.

Highly adaptable people are good at getting in sync with others because they use their head in determining what behavior works best with whom. Thus, a highly adaptive ‘D’ Style would not merely be controlling but, if the situation required, would be more fun loving like an ‘I’ Style, or sensitive like an ‘S’ Style, or cautious like a ‘C’ Style. Likewise, highly adaptive ‘I’ Styles, ‘S’ Styles, and ‘C’ Styles see when they need to escape their comfort zones and adapt in the interest of getting the job done.

The antidote to most personality conflict is just that obvious. Cultivate a style that’s adaptable. Give your full attention to the other person and seek to cooperate, not confront. The point is: Everybody is easy to please, if you know how. Here’s some specific ways to practice adaptability in dating and romance situations with each style:

‘D’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • Seek results-oriented relationships — “What’s in it for me?”
  • Like to assume the role of pursuers
  • Want to set the unwritten rules for the relationship
  • Like winning over the other person and reaching their relationship goals
  • Are likely to ask for whatever they want
  • Want to take control of the relationship
  • Often delegate duties and concerns

‘D’ Styles’ Preferred Dating Behaviors

  • Special arrangements by the date to be available for them
  • A lot of control in deciding where to go and what to do
  • To say what’s on their minds
  • Not being asked questions whose answers may harm their chances of meeting their needs
  • To negotiate — “I’ll concede this if you’ll do that”

How ‘D’ Styles Adapt in Dating Situations

  • Compromise occasionally, instead of insisting on doing things their way
  • Accept other viewpoints as valid, too
  • Participate more, delegate less
  • See themselves in a more light-hearted way
  • Avoid interrupting
  • Make requests instead of demands

How You Can Help ‘D’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behavior

  • Gently remind them when less desirable behavior surfaces
  • Use shared humor to help them laugh at their own imperfections
  • Calmly tell them how their behavior makes you feel
  • Speak non-judgmentally and stick to the facts
  • Try negotiating, yourself — “Next time I get to choose”
  • Repeat, when necessary: “I’m not comfortable with that situation.”
  • Explain that you want a voice in decision-making, too
  • Let them know that you appreciate it when they listen patiently

‘I’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • Seek approval and admiration from the date
  • Like excitement, variety, and light-hearted fun
  • Enjoy the thrill of the chase (romance)
  • Tend to look for a socially acceptable match that may provide favorable attention
  • May want to date many people simultaneously or play the field
  • May become easily infatuated; experiencing love at first (or at least second) sight

‘I’ Styles’ Preferred Dating Behaviors

  • Unexpected situations and surprises tend to energize them
  • Their dates pay obvious attention to them, in private and in public
  • Like to share fun activities with their companions, but will go to extremes to avoid duller, routine tasks
  • Prefer a date who lets them know how much he or she is admired
  • Like to laugh and maintain a light-hearted tone
  • May want universal approval from past and present dates; they like to remain on friendly terms
  • May want space in their relationships to satisfy need to socialize with those who are important parts of their lives

How ‘I’ Styles Can Adapt in Dating Situations

  • Downplay their openness and, at the extreme, their flirting or showing off
  • Focus more attention on their date and less on themselves (or the impact they’re making)
  • Tone down their tendency toward gushiness, a trait that can cost them some credibility
  • Censor their words, rather than say whatever pops into their heads at a moment’s notice
  • Commit, when appropriate, without accompanying feelings of confinement

How You Can Help ‘I’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behaviors

  • Warmly explain that quiet moments are sometimes appropriate
  • Offer to assist them in getting more organized
  • Pitch in and help them finish one thing at a time
  • Share in making small changes instead of bigger, more impulsive ones
  • Plan some things, proceed spontaneously with others
  • Don’t trample their dreams, but mentally divide their ideas in half

‘S’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • Tend to cooperate and accommodate
  • Like identification with the significant other
  • Give and like to receive sincere attention
  • Naturally operate on a one-to-one basis
  • Want to familiarize themselves with the unwritten rules regarding the relationship
  • Tend to view dating in a more conservative, progressive, stepwise manner

‘S’ Styles’ Preferred Dating Behaviors

  • Seek approval and some sincere, steady pursuit by the other person
  • The dating process proceeds in a relatively routine, expected, uneventful way . . . with few unpleasant surprises
  • Prefer to participate in the different facets of the loved one’s life
  • Generally want to share time according to a regular, slower-paced schedule
  • May prefer to avoid a stressful relationship in favor of a calm, predictable one

How ‘S’ Styles Can Adapt in Dating Situations

  • Voice their opinions and thoughts, instead of deferring to their dates
  • Say no, when appropriate
  • Somewhat reduce their servicing tendencies to limit other person’s dependence on them
  • Accept some changes in relationships as natural
  • Attend more to their own thoughts and feelings
  • Act more assertive, when appropriate
  • Understand and deal with other types’ natural behaviors

How You Can Help ‘S’ Styles Modify Their Dating Behavior

  • Encourage them to aim higher
  • Support them in verbalizing their thoughts and feelings
  • Share in developing more assertiveness skills
  • Help them plan for some disorganization in their lives
  • Show them that disagreement does not necessarily equal an argument
  • Assist them in speeding up, at times

‘C’ Style Dating/Romance Characteristics

  • Seek acknowledgment that they are right
  • Want to share quality time
  • Usually prefer to date only one person at a time
  • Think about the possibilities for the relationship before falling for someone
  • Look objectively at the loved one
  • Proceed in a cautious, rational manner
  • Look at probabilities and variables to determine if a relationship will last

‘C’ Styles’ Preferred Dating Behaviors

  • Dislike unexpected situations and surprises
  • May want close to exclusivity in their relationship, doing most social things as a twosome
  • Prefer a date with substance and depth
  • Want some freedom in their relationship for alone time
  • Observe and mentally collect `date data’ to help them make decisions

How ‘C’ Styles Can Learn to Adapt in Dating Situations

  • Accept the other styles for themselves, without expecting them to become more like them
  • Reveal more about themselves and their feelings
  • Give and receive sincere compliments
  • Participate more, go off by themselves less
  • Behave less critically and more light-heartedly

How You Can Help ‘C’ Styles Modify Their Behavior

  • Gently remind them that human errors can be reduced, not eliminated
  • Help them tap their sense of humor by pointing out funny observations
  • Encourage them to let their guard down occasionally
  • Support them in developing more direct behaviors
  • Help them verbalize their feelings
  • Calmly point out that life consists of gray areas . . . not just black or white ones
  • Demonstrate by your actions that you care about them—right or wrong

“Dr. Tony’s Timely Tips” is a special series of powerful self-improvement tips delivered to you in tiny bite-sized portions. This series offers you strategies you can put to use right now, so you can begin to see results immediately.

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Source: Tony Alessandra