I have a friend who has a great job, owns her own condo, drives her dream vehicle, and has more friends than anyone I’ve ever known. She is intelligent, has a great sense of humor, and would give you the shirt off her back. Jane is a Yellow.
The thought of Jane’s social calendar sends chills down my spine. Unlike her, I am content to stay home, do projects around the house, and enjoy my family (until I don’t). I like it when people come to me, stay a while, then leave. There are times I wish they would actually leave sooner than they do, but still—they do eventually leave.
My relationship with Jane consists of her doing anything I suggest (I can talk that girl into anything) and frequent drop-bys. With her, I have learned the art of listening. The main reason for my newly acquired art, is that when she is prattling*, I can’t get a word in edgewise. Amused by this, my husband has actually timed us and said that I have gone as long as a half-hour without so much as an uh-ha. I know the entire organization chart of the place she works. I know everything about her mother, father, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers and grandfathers. I know her friends (going back to grade school), acquaintances, and former lovers.
*The verb “prattle” —to talk at length of inconsequential things, is my Red verb and I believe, completely fitting. In this case the prattler (noun) may not agree with its usage, considering she believes everything she says is of consequence.
Recently, Jane has met a “guy”. We’ll call him John. From Jane’s description, I have gleaned that John is as white as the driven snow. John is coming out of a horrible experience with divorce and shows all the signs of emotional battle.
Jane hasn’t been in a relationship in a while. She is unencumbered by the baggage that comes with a recently failed relationship. Her life is in order. She is in love, ready to jump in with both feet and have lots of fun.
Lately, she has been at my house bemoaning the fact that John isn’t reacting to her the way she would like. He is interested, but with reason, wants to take it slow—he needs time. He is kind and gentle, but not passionate. He listens to her open up about her insecurities, and discusses them in a logical manner. This drives her crazy. She wants him to sweep her into his arms and reassure her that he, too, is passionately in love and they will live happily ever after. She becomes angry, cries, and lets him have it. He is bemused by this behavior.
Since I have been working off and on for the Color Code these past seven years, I have a pretty good idea what’s going on. Still, to avoid sounding like a zealot, I usually refrain from saying things like “According to the Color Code…” and just try to sneak in nuggets of wisdom like, “You need to give him space”, or “You can’t expect him to be on the same emotional level as you…considering his divorce”, (and because he’s a white, I think to myself.)
Finally, after a disastrous vacation where she broke down because he didn’t show enough enthusiasm for her planning, nor did he pay her the kind of attention she dreamed would take place, things began to take a bad turn.
I hated to see this happen. From all Jane has told me, they genuinely like each other.
I finally did it. I broke down, got my People Code, opened it up to the needs and wants of a White and shoved it in her face. “This,” I said, “Is why he is behaving the way he is. It isn’t because he doesn’t love you, or because he wants to dump you, or any of the crazy scenarios that you have cooked up. IT’S BECAUSE HE IS NOT A YELLOW—HE IS A WHITE!”
Oblivious to my outburst, she read through the White section and said, “Oh my gosh, this is John to a T. Can I borrow this book?” “No.” I told her, grabbing back my book. “Get one of your own. I use this everyday for my job” (which she really knows little about). She bought a People Code and reads it everyday and swears the Color Code has changed her relationship life.
For the most part, I agree. Here’s the rub. She has changed herself to meet his needs and wants, and he’s responding well to the change. But she refuses to tell him about the Color Code, which means he is ignorant of her needs and wants. I believe she is entitled to the little hugs, visits to friends, and the playful banter that she needs. I also think that when the love chemicals (see the Confessions of a Red–The Science of Love) wear off, there will not be the kind of give and take that long-lasting relationships require—not because he is selfish, but because he is unaware.
My advice to Jane: Take back a bit of pre-Color Code self-absorption, have John take the test and educate him on your needs and wants. You deserve it.
Teresa Glenn has been working with the Color Code since 2006, where her main focus is product development. She has been in the publishing and product development field for over 20 years. Teresa is a core Red with a strong Yellow secondary.