Healthy Relationships Even When Married To A Bear

Healthy Relationships Even When You are Married to a Bear!
A fun little story entitled, “The Woman Who Married a Bear!,” from the
book “Animal Leadership: Leadership Lessons Learned from Wildlife for
Leading Yourself and Others” by Rad Watkins, inspired this blog about what
to do to maintain healthy relationships when your partner has a personality
of a bear and/or all of his/her relatives have the personality of a bear!
Many of you either are married to a bear, or you married into a relationship
with a partner related to a group of bears! You may recognize the bear type:
independent, doesn’t like surprises, outdoorsy, forgetful of their
strength, territorial, and aggressive when provoked. Although these bears
have qualities that might alienate or cause fears, these people with bear
personalities are often just misunderstood. On the flip side, bears are also
loving, gentle with the young, curious and intelligent.
Therefore, in order to maintain a healthy relationship with a bear
personality, you will need to approach a bear by letting them know you are
coming and giving them fair warning why it is that you are heading in their
direction. For example, call the bear personality before showing up at their
house and let them know the purpose of your visit. Since bears do not like
surprises and bears often act aggressive if they perceive they are being
provoked, it is best to be up front if you want something from them or if you
want to challenge them on a topic of discussion. When they have a clear idea
of what is expected, the bear personality is better able to maintain their
control. It is even more helpful when planning a confrontational meeting to
give the bear personality a time limit for the discussion and plausible
solutions to ponder before you arrive at a neutral location.
When speaking to a bear personality, keep your voice low and consistent
reminding them you are human and you are not there to attack them. To keep a
possible threat away, a bear personality may charge towards you, which might
happen if they perceive you as a threat. Remain calm and hold your ground
refusing to retreat; yet raise your voice firmly to get their attention.
State you are there to resolve a problem because you love them. Being firm
and consistent at this point will usually keep them at bay. If they attack,
it is usually because their aggression took over! Instead of fighting back,
protect yourself by covering your face and stop talking. Usually a bear
personality will retreat if they perceive the threat to have passed.
Lastly, remember that bear personalities will usually be happy to keep to
themselves. Bears can reflect a playful, loving personality at times;
however, they often forget their own strength and may lash out suddenly if
they perceive things are moving along differently than initially presented
and/or they sense a possible threat. Bears require respect and it will only
benefit you to show your respect for the bear’s position, age, authority,
or intelligence to maintain a healthy relationship with them. While bears can
be a challenge to get along with, bears can be loving, wonderful partners who
appreciate their space, their independence, and their partners.
The story that inspired this blog is as follows:
Just before dark, an American Indian woman meets a handsome man, while she is
lost. The man takes her to his home to introduce her to his family. Happy
amongst his people, she marries the man. One night she wakes up to discover
that all her new relatives are really bears. Eventually the lost woman’s
brothers, who have been looking for her for years, come close to the den of
bears where the woman has lived. Her husband states he will go out in his
bear form to meet her brothers. She is upset as this surely means her
brothers, who are excellent hunters, will kill her husband. The woman begs
for him to reconsider. Understanding the need for her family to reclaim her,
the husband accepts his death as his fate. He asks his wife to teach her
brothers how to remove and preserve his bear coat in a sacred way always
placing his head facing east. This sacrifice was the beginning of a
respectful relationship between the American Indian and the bear.