Adrian AshmanAdrian Ashman is currently Professor of Education and a former Head of School at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He was trained in the 1970s as a psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1991. He has operated private psychology practices in Canada and in Australia dealing primarily with adult clients with personal relationship and sexual performance difficulties.
Adrian has also worked as an educational psychologist and university researcher in the fields of special education and disability since the late-1970s and has consulted with a number of government departments including Education, Community Services and Health, and Employment, Vocational Education, Training and Industrial Relations. Professor Ashman is a trained mediator and has many years experience in conflict resolution.
Adrian is a keen recreational cyclist and walker, misses flying and sailing, and is very attached to his olive farm to which he and his partner retreat at every possible opportunity.
Host: Do opposites attract?
Adrian Ashman: When we talk about value structures as the issue of whether opposite attract and absolutely in physics, yes they do, in human relationships, maybe or maybe not. There s no set answer for that sort of thing. Now, one person might be impulsive and they will jump in and do something very quickly without having to think about it. Another person just wants to sort of sit back and go, Well, let me just think about this for the while. That s pretty much opposite. Now, what's the effect on those two people? They had differences, their differences maybe in their political views, differences in the way they act, toward members of the family, differences in what they see and what they think. Do they attract or not? Well, you probably never come to a situation where the absolute opposite person is going to get together with the absolute opposite person. It's probably not going to happen. Again, what initially attracted and that probably wasn t the opposite things. It was probably; the things that we shared and it's the things that we share that afterwards bond the relationship. So, I suppose again if we think about the opposites, what are we interested in? Well, we are interested in what brings spice to our life. What things does the other person do that make you laugh and it even sometimes make you cry, not cry because you are really not being beaten around, but cry because that s a really sensitive thing to do. There are lots of things that occur in relationships that can make us not feel really warm and much as punitive feeling, so, what's important, it's not the opposite bits, they bring the spice to life, but what's important is the things that we share and that are important to both of us, things that we commit to and then move the next step forward to try and resolve some of those commitments.