The Law of Attraction vs. Opposites Attract
The other day, someone shared the above highlighted passage on social media, and it got me thinking a little…
Most people have heard of the Law of Attraction somewhere along the way. According to Wikipedia, it is the name given to the New Thought philosophy that, “Like attracts like”, which is not really surprising. You know, the whole, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” Though to the contrary, is another old adage that when it comes to choosing our lifelong partners, “Opposites attract“. So, how do those two beliefs work alongside each other? Or do they? Maybe a little more research is needed. And so, out of interest’s sake, I decided to look into these ideas a little further.
According to personality type information that is out there, it does seem to indicate that with respect to love relationships, we are attracted to opposites (i.e. introvert vs. extrovert). The explanation given is that we are naturally drawn to individuals who are different from ourselves because they offer things that are new and exciting to us, or things that we, in fact, are missing; therefore, we subconsciously seek them out to help ‘complete’ us. We tend to admire their strengths, and in turn they help us to confront our weaknesses. I don’t know about you, but I buy that explanation. I’ve long heard that we tend to pick our mates based on our own ‘unfinished business’, often bourne in childhood and which exists in our psyches, and that we often find ourselves with significant others who force us to face aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, wish were different or feel as though we are lacking. Longevity-wise, it appears that couples who are opposites often have to work a little harder at their relationships, but that they can be very successful in helping to ‘complete each other’. Even though I personally do not like or agree with the whole notion that I need someone to make me feel ‘whole’, I do recognize the human need for emotional connections/intimacy with others. Interestingly enough, upon retrospection, I would view my previous long-term partnership as way more opposite than my present marriage. Yet, I now know that I needed the first relationship to get me to this relationship, in which my husband and I are often referred to as, “Two peas in a pod.” Because of my first experience, and the time I gave myself after, I feel as though I gained a lot of what I needed to be more ‘complete’ as a person overall. What I have found in my husband is just an added bonus to my life:-).
With respect to other kinds of relationships, however, it appears that we are best suited to like personalities, as stated in the Law of Attraction. Whether it be at work, or in friendships, etc., we tend to gravitate toward others who are similar to ourselves and we often steer away from those who are polar opposites. I can certainly relate to this and find it to be true of my myself, especially the more I age. When I was younger, I had a more diverse group of friends compared to those who are in my life now. And, in the workplace, I have always related better to personalities who are most like my own and have been known to shy away from the rest. Even in school, most of us can remember groups or cliques of people who hung around together because they shared in some aspect of thinking, though I would venture to say that they were likely more superficial aspects, such as clothing, music interests, sports, etc. Regardless, our associations with others through the years seem to say a lot about who we are, where we are in the scheme of life, and what we value. Those I spend my time with now certainly reflect similar thoughts and beliefs to the ones which I hold dear, that’s for sure. In fact, the more that time goes on, the more I discover how alike I am with the people I surround myself–a more conscious choice than ever before on my part, even when it comes to my colleagues. I am where I am at this moment in time because I choose to be there. I don’t have to be there. There is a difference and a sense of freedom that comes with that realization. This is true of all of my current relationships. It’s a good place to be at in life:-).
So, what began as a simple, highlighted passage which I just so happened to come across again, as I have before, has provided good cause for me to reflect more in Depth at where I have come from and where I am going with relationships, and in general. It is a reminder and confirmation that I am on the right path. Maybe it will do the same for you or someone you know.