Personal Relationships and the Reiss Motivation Profile®

Personal relationships are what many people call an important prerequisite for personal happiness. And this in several respects. Probably the most essential component is the partnership relationship. Who are the people who fit me -or even more concretely:does he or she fit me? Do we have the strength and mutual attraction to be happy together? Is it the opposites that seem temporarily attractive? Or is it a shared view of the things that strike both of us as important and fulfilling in life and make for asustainable relationship and a beautiful life together?


The RMP creates an accurate overview of the partnership fit. Where do we fit well together and where do we diverge. Not that this has to become insurmountable barriers. But having the option to experience the other point of view in a non-judgmental way and to look at the areas of life through the respective other glasses often makes us more tolerant and sometimes also more understanding with the pitfalls that individuality and personality hold.

Through a partnership motivation analysis with the help of the RMP, it is possible to recognize very quickly where we tick similarly and where we do not. A special partner or relationship profile not only reveals who needs what, but also what we need together to successfully go our way together.

Similar to the approach of matching and overlaying two or more individual RMP profiles, valuable insights can be found in other relationship constellations. Forexample, when it comes to our relationship with our children.Steven Reisshas repeatedly described the challenges of togetherness and has also derived a pattern from it, to which he has given the name of "self-centeredness".

3 Aspects of self-centeredness

With his research, Steven Reiss pleads for understanding and accepting the motives of other people. This is because we tend to classify our own values as desirable and to hold those of others in low esteem. Thus, in the context of his theory of motives, Steven Reiss presents the three aspects of self-centeredness that elevate one's own values above those of others:


(Misunderstandings): This is about how much it confuses us when other people do things we abhor or have experiences that are repugnant to us. True to the motto: It can't be what doesn't fit into my world view or a "workaholic simply can't be happy".


(Self-illusion): We all believe that our values and goals are not only good for ourselves, but for all other people as well. True to the motto: My conception of the worldis better than yours. (The sociable wants to persuade the unsociable to go out, the saver wants to make saving palatable to the prodigal, the idealist wants to persuade the realist to commit to a better world).

Everyday tyranny

(Value tyranny): This refers to all the countless daily attemptsto change or "convince" the other person: If you don't do what I want, I'll refuse to support you: parents, superiors -we all master tyranny as a tool to make the other person's life harder. Parents risk their good relationship with their children every day just to force them in a direction they can't choose. Many family businesses know the problem when descendantsare not interested in the business. This often results in daily battles of attrition that not infrequently lead to children turning away from their parents or sacrificing their own dreams in favor of their parents'.

Back to the topic of relationships. Wherever people come together - regardless of the origin, whether self-chosen, biologically determined or resulting from circumstances - relationships are formed. Relationships with our partners, children, friends, relatives, colleagues, or with the people with whom we share an idea or even time. AND the RMP helps us to become better in our relationships.

Couples bond when their profiles of motives, values and needs are similar. Although it is often true that opposites attract at the beginning of a relationship, all studies on the subject indicate that the very opposites we found attractive in each other atthe beginning of a relationship subsequently divide us again. Remember the chapter on self-hugging. This is exactly the same principle we find in partnerships. An example from our circle of acquaintances: A man and a woman get to know each other. He has ahigh power motiveand has already achieved a lot, which in turn attracts her (high status). They are strongly connected by the Romancemotive, which is not only shown in sexual attraction, but also in the common preference for beautiful things. They visit exhibitions and enjoy togetherness. A commoncircle of friends, from which the relationship also emerged, (relationships) provides for exchange with others, which they both like. She wants to start a family quickly (high family motive), which does not necessarily coincide with his wishes, but is OK for him (medium family motive). When the two children come shortly after each other, she stays home and enjoys it (low power motive). Meanwhile, he climbs the career ladder and faces increasingly exciting tasks (high power motive). At first everything seems to be going well, but after the birth of the 2nd child the first problems start to become virulent. She has no understanding for the fact that he invests so much time in his career. She wants him to spend more time with her and the kids and ENJOY it. In the meantime, she has lost touch with their mutual circle of friends and likes to spend a lot of time with like-minded women who are also not working. However, even when he is away with his wife and children, his thoughts are on his projects and he likes to be "disturbed" by callers in his free time because, after all, he enjoys talking about his projects. He also has the circle of friends he always had, in which all of them now have interesting professions. She is no longer very interested in these friends and would rather do things alone with him and the children. The focus is on the children's activities (theater, playground, meeting other parents with children) and not on those activities that had once connected them. He keeps finding new excuses why he hasn't managed to be home on time or to join in the family's activities. Over time, the couple becomes estranged and he loses more and more interestin what moves his wife and shows this in increasingly disrespectful behavior.

So what we look at in couple relationships are the strongly divergent motives. So if one partner has a motive strongly expressed and his partner has it lowly expressed, then we are talking about mismatched motives. The strength of the relationship results from the number and type of matches.

Couples grow apart or drift apart if their motive profiles differ greatly. If couples in a love relationship do not agree on at least one determining life motive, they will have to live out this motive outside their relationship (e.g., physical activity). Depending on how much understanding a couple now has for the motives of his/her partner and also supports the active living out of the motive outside the relationship will be of crucial importance for the couple relationship.

Another example: For example, while Bernd showed a strongly pronounced value for "family" on the RMP, it was very low for Jutta. Even when they first met, they valued the importance of children for marriage very differently. In the course of time, Bernd had to realize that his hope of being able to change Jutta's attitude was deceptive. Since then, the couple has frequently argued about whether or not to have children.

Stay or go?

Every relationship has its strengths and weaknesses - none is perfect. How many discrepancies can a couple have before it's time to seriously consider breaking up?

The RMP cannot answer this question: it is a psychological help for people to better understand the motivational aspects of their relationships. In the final analysis, each person must decide for him or herself -also with the support of a counselor - whether he or she wants to maintain or end a relationship.

Recognizing and understanding your own personality with the Reiss Motivation Profile® online


The Reiss Motivation Profile®sheds light on the 16 life motivesthat determine our lives. They are deeply rooted in each of us and provide information about what drives and motivates us at our core.

  • Who am I?
  • What distinguishes my personality?
  • Why am I the way I am?
  • Why do I react like this in certain situations?
  • Why are some things so important to me and others not?

Find out who you are - with the Reiss Motivation Profile®.

Buy the Reiss Motivation Profile® and answer the 128 questions directly in the online questionnaire. An individual evaluation of your profile helps you discover and reflect on your life motives.

  • The Reiss Motivation Profile® is a scientifically based method.
  • Find out who you are and what drives you.
  • Make better decisions based on your intrinsic motivation.
  • Get to know yourself better and thereby live your individuality.
  • Achieve and increase fit with other people and your environment.

Reiss Motivation Profile®

The Reiss Motivation Profile® - dare to look beneath the surface of human behavior patterns with this personality test.

What is intrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is the inner motivation of each person that arises from him or herself.

Take Reiss Motivation Profile® test

The Reiss Motivation Profile® is a test instrument for measuring human motivation. Take the personality test now.