Finding out if your personality traits are compatible

IRON MOUNTAIN — Last week we continued our discussion about adjusting to the 24/7 togetherness of retirement by examining the difference between the introverted and extroverted personalities. The week before we talked about the importance of sharing your retirement expectations with each other as a way of preparing for so much time together. This week we will conclude this topic with a look at four other personality traits that, if not shared or at least understood, may become more irritating during the retirement years.

It is important to remember that personality traits are usually not good or bad unless their extremes hurt ourselves or another person; they just make us different and, in many cases, keep life more interesting. Also, most people do not fall on the extreme end of any of these characteristics, but will fall somewhere along the continuum between the two. Also, it is entirely possible to change anytime throughout life as we mature or adjust to another person.

First up is openness, which is characterized by imagination and insight. People high in this characteristic tend to be more adventurous and creative and have a broad range of interests. They are eager to learn new things, enjoy new experiences and are naturally curious about the world and other people. People low in this area are typically more uncomfortable with change and prefer to deal with concrete facts rather than abstract ideas or theoretical concepts. They do not generally enjoy moving outside of their comfort zones.

Here, like the areas of introversion and extroversion, my husband and I again differ, but maybe not as much. He has always enjoyed the fantasy of science fiction and enjoys conversations about potential solutions to a variety of challenges. He is a much more creative thinker than I am so problem solving with him is quite a successful exercise. He will not rest until he has a solution, and some of his solutions are quite inventive — gerry-rigged lots of times, but they work.

I enjoy movies or books that help me to better understand my world and the people in it so prefer reality to fantasy. I have a harder time thinking outside the box and rely on past experiences to inform solutions for today’s challenges. The one area in which I consider myself rather adventurous is cooking. I do get bored with the same meals and enjoy trying new recipes. And my husband loves to eat so this is a good combination. We both enjoy travel to new places, but we both like to return to the comfort of our own home and what is familiar.

Second, conscientiousness is an area where, thankfully, my husband and I are alike. This trait is characterized by high levels of thoughtfulness, resisting knee-jerk reactions to challenges, and striving toward meeting goals. We both tackle different responsibilities around the house — as is evidenced by the separate task lists on the side of the refrigerator — but we go about our work in the same way.

We spend time preparing, have a set schedule, generally agree on priorities, and finish the job. We like things to be organized and tidy, and we share the task of cleaning up after a job is done. Long ago, I told our sons that it was important to marry someone who could “share the load of life” and who was willing to work together and to pull in the same direction. I am happy, and relieved, that they both married hard-working women who are high in this characteristic.

When spouses do not share equal amounts of this trait, it is fodder for many an argument. The spouse low in conscientiousness tends to resist structure and schedules, makes messes, and doesn’t take care of things or return them to their proper place. They are also huge procrastinators and routinely are faced with half-finished projects. It is easy to see where the “rubs” come into play when this characteristic is not present in both spouses and how easily the situation can escalate during retirement.

Compromise becomes essential in order for a peaceful home. Spouses may try making lists together and discussing the order of priority. Deadlines may tend away from a specific date toward “sometime within this week.” You may decide to give in to a messy “man cave” or workshop as long as he keeps his side of shared spaces reasonably neat and he doesn’t mess with your kitchen.

And, if it means wrapping up a project once and for all, one may finish the job while the other cleans up the mess afterwards. When you avoid “digging in your heels,” things progress more smoothly, and you can move on to things you both enjoy.

Third, agreeableness is a personality trait that includes many prosocial behaviors such as, trust, altruism, kindness, and affection. People high in this trait are more cooperative rather than competitive.

They care about others and let it show through the level of interest they exhibit, their feelings of concern, and their willingness to help. People low in this trait tend to be manipulative so their own needs are met first. They take little interest in others and, in extreme manifestations of this trait, may be verbally abusive.

My husband and I are compatible here. He is the most patient and compassionate person I know, and always puts the needs of others ahead of his own. I can count the times on one hand where he has had more than one bad day in a month.

Because I am in my head more than my heart, however, I have to work a little harder at this trait. Thankfully, my husband is so strong in this trait that he makes it difficult for me to stay grumpy for long. And, after all, life is way too short to be in a relationship where spouses are opposite in this category.

Finally, excitability is a trait characterized by emotional fragility and is sometimes displayed in dramatic mood swings for no apparent reason. People high in this trait have a difficult time managing stress, worry obsessively, feel anxious and struggle to bounce back from an upsetting event. They appear to be “wired” or “tightly wound.” Those low in this trait worry very little, are very relaxed and can take life in stride. They rarely feel sad or depressed and manage stress very well.

I must admit to scoring a little too high in this category when I was young, and my husband was probably a little too laid back. Now, we joke that he gets the medal for the first 10 years of our marriage, I get the medal for the next 10, and we share credit for the 28 years that have followed. For me, marrying who I did was like taking a giant “chill pill.” And his parents gave me credit for “lighting a fire” under their son. Somewhere along the journey through life, we met in the middle on this one. Thankfully, taking life in stride is something we both do very well now thanks to the influences we have had upon each other.

Getting along well with each other during retirement when faced with your partner 24/7 goes a long way toward enjoying this time of life more fully. Knowing each other’s personality traits as described above brings greater understanding to each other’s preferences, strengths and weaknesses.

If today’s column piqued your interest in this topic, and you would like to learn more, go to www.verywellmind.com. There are numerous articles on this site that delve into the topic of personality traits more deeply.






Scenes and sounds, 11:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Sunday: Ring toss, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; brouhaha, 11 a.m.; library cart, 1:30 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crafts and gardening, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.; evening visitor, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy,11 a.m.; bible study, 1:30 p.m.; Crystal Hogan, 2 p.m.; afternoon visitor, 3:30 p.m.; Lawrence Welk, 5 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 11 a.m.; Pictionary, 1:15 p.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; daily newspaper, 11 a.m.; oldies but goodies, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County 

Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Sunday: One-to-One church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; Yahtzee, 10 a.m.; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; bingorama, 2 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.; bonfire, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday: CF library, 9:30 a.m.; book club, 10 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; Garden Club, 1 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; romance movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social/Travel Club, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; getting pretty, 1:15 p.m.; Men’s Club, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m..; bible study, 1 p.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; Christ United, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Chicagoan Lake, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Wii fun, 2 p.m.; web browsing, 2:30 p.m.; classic movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Price is Right/pass the prize, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet your whistle: 9:30 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise: 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Movie: 10:45 a.m. Sunday and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Popcorn Day: every Friday

Sunday: Just jokes, 10:15 a.m.; company’s coming room visits, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, where 10:15 am.; bingo, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Who am I? 10:15 a.m.; Lutheran church, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Sharpen your senses, 10:15 a.m.; Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; flip five on the patio (weather permitting), 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; K bingo, 2 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; crazy for cards, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ABC game, 10:15 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; chips and chatter, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

Sunday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; baking, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.

Monday: Wii games, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking, 10:15 a.m.; resident council, 2 p.m.; bingo, 2:30 p.m.; concert with Transformation Trio, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; Wii bowling, 10:15 a.m.: jokereno, 2 p.m.; chaplet of divine mercy, 3 p.m.; camp fire/music by Ray and Mindy, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; religious movie, 2 p.m.; help your neighbor, 6:15 p.m.; Music in the Park with MOJO, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Exercise, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour with Ron W., 2 p.m.

Saturday: Crafts, 10:15 a.m.; courtyard bag toss, 2 p.m.; pamper and polish, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Left-center-right, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m. 

Thursday: Trivia, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Morning news, 6 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; uno, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; dyna-stretch, 2 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Flippo, 10 a.m.; sugar cookie party, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3 p.m.; reminisce, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Uno, 10 a.m.; manicures, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.; music with Grace and Dave, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; blueberry muffin party, 2 p.m.; one-to-one time, 3 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; fly swatter volley, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; patio games, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility


Sunday: Grace church, 10:15 a.m.; sensory, 10:30 a.m.; beauty shop, 2 p.m.; phase 10, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; worship and communion service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary (first), 2 p.m.; rosary (second), 2:30 p.m.; bowling, 3:30 p.m.; Scrabble, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Outside social, 10 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m., Scattegories, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Gardening, 10:30 a.m.; Jim Clement, 2 p.m.; cribbage, 3:30 p.m.; room visits, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Chair chi, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 p.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; Sorry board game, 6 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; busy bee, 12:45 a.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.; bunco, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; coffee social, 10:30a.m.; mind joggers, 2 p.m.; sensory, 3:30 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the Center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month — except on holidays.  

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. 

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.   

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook: Lucy Korhonen


Suggested meal donations: $5 older than 60; $6 younger than 60; $1 extra for take-out.

Call Center by 1 p.m. with name and number of people to reserve meals.

Open: Monday through Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.; soup and salad bar and 5 p.m., dinner.

Menu for the week of July 1 was unavailable:

Mondays: Basket weaving after dinner – all are welcome for dinner and/or class. Beginners can make their first basket with materials provided.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; Mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Thursdays: Two-person team cribbage from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free. 

Dances take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free. 

The Photo Club meets 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.  

The kitchen is currently closed due to plumbing issues, and meals are being served at the Breen Center. Christine McMahon has information for all meals and can be reached at 906-774-2256, ext. 235. For transportation, call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60. 

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Felch Center


Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County, Wis.


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48-hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


Home-delivered meals are available as always. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at the center on Friday only. 

The meal site is temporarily closed Monday through Thursday due to a staffing shortage. 

Tipler Town Hall


Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60. Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50-50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Enjoy friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60. Thursday meal, 3:30 p.m. soup, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256 and speak to Christine Tramontine at ext. 235 or Stephen Hodgins at ext. 230.

Menu for the week of July 8 follows:

Monday: Pizza, cottage cheese, fruit and milk.

Tuesday: Scalloped potatoes and ham, mixed veggies, roll, fruit and milk.

Wednesday: Tuna noodle salad, boiled egg, tomato, fruit and milk.

Thursday: Swedish meatballs, noodles, corn, roll, dessert and milk.

Saturday, July 13: Dance from 6 to 9 p.m., $6.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule, 715-251-1603

Senior center director: Jill Anderson, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday. Transportation is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis., area. We welcome any senior groups who would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — join us for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time. Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play. 

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome. 

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month on Tuesday, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Menu for the week of July 8:

Monday: Italian sausage roll-ups, mushrooms, green beans and broccoli blend vegetables, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Tuesday: Shepherd’s pie, peas and carrots, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Wednesday: BLT wrap, oriental cole slaw, corn, salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

Thursday: Salisbury steak with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice, and dessert.

If Norway-Vulcan area schools are closed due to bad weather days, so is the senior center. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, the center remains open.  

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.

Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.

Note: File of Life packets available at the center.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. Cards: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months. A puzzle table is available to enjoy. Volunteers are always welcome. 


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