Today's letter is O, and so we're matching an Observer, Bob Dylan, with a Bon Vivant, Goldie Hawn.
The Observer (or Cultural Critic), is more often female, but in this case, I chose Bob Dylan, who seems to be of this type. Observers are discriminating evaluators of art and ideas. If reading a book or watching a movie about this personality type, it would be about the difficulties of fitting in, but eventually finding their place in society. (Ugly Betty; Dumbo; The Ugly Duckling; The Elephant Man.)
This is a good personality type for Young Adult stories. In addition to finding their place, the focus could be on their difficulties accepting social conventions. Belonging vs. Not Belonging. Authenticity vs. Conformity, and is it worth being ostracized if one doesn’t conform? For them, being authentic to who they are is more important than belonging. Having exquisite taste, they are drawn to expressing themselves through the arts: high fashion, visual art, music, writing, acting, literary criticism, haute cuisine. Read more about Observer (cultural critic) personalities.
The Bon Vivant is more often a male personality, but in this case I chose a female, Goldie Hawn. Bon Vivants love good times, good food, good spirits, good friends. He or she might be a Gourmand or an Interior Decorator. His lifestyle and his family will often be unconventional. He might live in a fantasy home, or you might find him on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Adventurous, he enjoys travel. If in a book or movie, the genre would be adventure. Sometimes he’s grounded, and enjoys beer more than wine, barbeque more than an elegant French meal. Other times, less grounded, he’s more interested in haute cuisine, and leans more toward air-headedness than having his feet on the ground. In either case, he loves to eat. He’s the charismatic drifter, the eternal youth (Peter Pan). If female, she’s the mother in the movie, Chocolat. Or Cher in Mermaids. You see Bon Vivant types of either sex very often in movies. Read more about Bon Vivant personalities.
Because they are so different, even opposites, they are often curious about each other, maybe even fascinated with each other. So—assuming Bob Dylan and Goldie Hawn were otherwise unattached and met and hit it off, this is what a relationship between them might be like:
He’d be moody and pessimistic, introverted. She’d be bubbly, confident, optimistic. She could help him overcome his social shyness. He could help her stay focused, and to feel her negative, darker feelings (which she is terribly afraid to do).
Both can be spontaneous and passionate, and would enjoy sharing their thoughts and reactions toward daily events. Both enjoy travel, beautiful clothes and furnishings, good food, good spirits. Both tend to live beyond their means in order to enjoy the good things in life. Their sense of adventure and romance can help keep their relationship fresh and spirited. Both can be funny, irreverent and entertaining as well as bawdy and sophisticated.
They will balance each other. He’ll introduce her to the deeper emotions, but when he gets mired in them, she’ll help pull him out and restore the fun.
He experiences life through his feelings whereas she’s mainly mental. Her emotional unavailability works well with his longing for things that are missing . . . such as her emotions! He longs for a better relationship even when the one he’s got is just fine. She won’t be affected by his push/pull way of relating. (Go away; I hate you. Come back; I love you.) He’ll respect that in her, even if he secretly wishes she was more like him emotionally.
But because they’re so different, unless they’re attracted in several important ways, they probably won’t get together in the first place. For them to stay together, there needs to be a meeting of hearts, minds, a passionate attraction to each other—or any/all three options. Especially when conflicts arise.
Both are impulsive and easily frustrated when their desires are thwarted, but it’s worse for her. She cannot tolerate negative emotions, and so her brain comes up with possibilities for escape, both mentally and physically.
Activity will help them both, although he will resent the fact that she can’t deal with his negative emotions—mostly sadness and depression. He’ll want to talk about it, and she’ll think it’s a waste of time. Already unhappy, it’ll make him even more unhappy to hold back his feelings, but it scares her to death to see them in others, or feel them in herself. He’ll work at getting her to feel rather than to think. She’ll tell him that she does feel, but only for the briefest of moments. He needs to be able to convince her that it staying in her negative feelings for a while will be worth it.
At their worst, he’ll complain that she’s shallow. She’ll feel strangled by his emotional needs. Only if emotions are “interesting” to her will she stay with negative feelings. (And then you have to wonder if she’s really feeling them at all, or dispassionately observing them.)
While he might secretly envy her high energy, and want to keep pace with her, he might lack the ability to do so. She might wish she possessed his musical talent or personal flair, but she might also see him as being too sensitive, moody, self-absorbed, weak and inadequate.
He needs to learn to distinguish between a genuine need with a potential solution and emotional neediness that creates problems in order to get comfort.
From her side, she needs to be willing to talk about his needs or issues, even if she’s feeling bored and resistant. And not to end the conversation too quickly. She needs to be willing to process her feelings. He needs to realize that being endlessly mired in feelings is actually an impediment to good communication.
What are Instinctual Subtypes?
Sources from which I collected and synthesized information about the matches