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Left Brain vs Right Brain - How to Communicate

Opposites Attract, But Now What?

After twelve years together, Branndon and I have a lot of things figured out. There is a lot of compromise. For example, I do the dishes and he gives Spirit a bath (at least for a little longer). Above all though, communication is the most important. But what do you do when it becomes difficult to communicate? We needed to figure that out.

Branndon and I started dating when I was in high school, so we basically matured into adulthood together. This was great as we learned to live *together*, without the frustrations of having lived separately as adults first. This meant never really fighting about the little things, like doing dishes in the morning or evening.

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Unfortunately, over the years we began to have more trouble communicating with one another. (I think this may have been around the time of my pregnancy with my hormones making me more sensitive.) We used to finish each others sentences. We used to know what the other was thinking. We were the best of friends. Then things started to change.

We no longer seemed to be on the same wavelength. Talking led to annoyance as we couldn’t figure out how to explain even the smallest thing to the other without confusion or frustration. Thankfully we kept at it, trying to figure it out so we could find a solution.

What we actually discovered to be at the root cause was a little very surprising.

You see, I am a very unemotional person (or so I thought) and Branndon can be quite emotional at times. It is almost like I have the typical male response and he has the female, probably due to my being a “daddy’s girl” and his being raised by a single mom. Opposites do have the tendency to attract after all.

Yet I was finding myself to have more emotional responses to everything he said or did after the pregnancy (even crying!). I found him to be short and abrupt in what he said, seemingly trying to make his point in as few words as possible. And I wanted more words, or “fluff” as he calls it (lol), so I didn’t feel my ideas were being attacked. Feel (!) attacked, not being attacked. That’s a big difference.

Then we finally nailed it. Even though I’m not a very emotional person I am an emotional thinker, making decisions based mostly on my feelings. Branndon is a scientific thinker, analytical at heart. I rely on gut instincts, while he has to figure everything out and think it through. Branndon is more left brain and I am more right brain.

Left Brain vs. Right Brain

A person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. (

Left brain thinkers tend to focus on accuracy and analysis. They are logical thinkers and it needs to “make sense”. Right brain thinkers, on the other hand,  use feelings. (We are also the creative side, the more artistic side.)

Is there a correct way to think? No. Everyone uses both sides of their brain, even though one side is typically more dominant.

Does it really matter? Probably not, but it helped guide us to understanding ourselves and each other better.

Intuition vs. Logic

So how does someone (me) who suggests and talks about things using intuition not take it personally when a logical thinker (Branndon) breaks the idea apart to see if it makes sense? I don’t know. I am still figuring that part out.

But it’s a starting point. It’s a very good foundation to understanding what makes each other tick and why we think the way we do.

Our Plan

It’s all about compromise. We are continuing to learn how to give and take.

For instance, I’m (really) trying not to take everything personally when he asks a thousand questions. I need to remember he is simply curious and doesn’t understand my thought at the time. I’m also trying to have more patience when he does ask a thousand questions. I’m trying not to become so defensive.

Branndon is trying to stop questioning me about every little thing until it makes sense for him. He doesn’t need to dissect and “get” every part if he understands the idea as a whole.

In conclusion, we need to continue to give and take. Sometimes we will give in to the other. Sometimes we will be stubborn and argue. And sometimes we will come to a mutual understanding. Of course we will probably have hiccups along the way with different situations, but we love each other and will always continue to try. I know that we will get it figured out (again). It will just take a little time.

Are you a left-brain or right-brain thinker?

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About Brianne

Born and raised in Orange County, California, I am definitely a "summer" girl at heart. Today I am a full-time mother to a rambunctious two-year old living in a RV. Together Branndon and I are learning how to become financial and location independent.


  1. Brianne it’s great to hear your voice on the blog!

    Jim and I have been married 17 years in May. Left brain or right brain doesn’t seem to matter to us, each of us are a little each. When things get going, and the RV space seems too small, all we gotta remember is the best advice we ever got from a nice old lady in New York, Mrs. Defazio.

    • Branndon

      Hi Rene, just a note, your link didn’t work for some odd reason, so I searched your website for the lady’s last name, found the post, and fixed your link :) Thanks for the comment!

    • Brianne

      Thanks Rene. Congrats on 17 years. Yeah I know the ‘left vs right’ doesn’t really mean much unless you give it power, but figuring out the ‘why’ behind how we think helps us to better understand each other. We’ve always lived/worked together in small spaces our entire relationship. This is actually one of the first times we aren’t together 24/7 as he as a ‘real’ job.

      I read your post about Josie and sad to hear about her passing away recently. She seemed so sweet. I would have loved to meet her in person and try their food (will still stop by if they are in business). My grandmother basically always said the same thing, but adds “sure dear, whatever you think” with the ignoring. It always makes me laugh.

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