I’m an extrovert, without a single doubt. If you looked up the definition of extrovert, there’s a real possibility I am right there, smiling-or talking, in a photo next to it. It’s just who I am: a loud, obnoxious, likes to party extrovert.
I married someone who is 100% an introvert, there is no doubt in my mind. He is tired after a day at church, my family is an overwhelming number of people for him, and he needs him time-pretty much 90% of the time.
Since I married a man like this, I eat up the posts and articles out there that highlight how to love, care for, be friends with an introvert. I browse the topic, always looking for new ways to show my love to him with his personality in mind. I’ve found countless pieces of advice given, and I’ve tried to take them in and respect what it seems are resounding facts about all introverts. I’ve yet to find in my travels, however, any advice for the introverts who want to tend to what their extrovert counterparts want...so I decided to make one up myself!
Netflix and Pizza dates do not cut it. Goodness gracious, the person who created the netflix date is adored world wide lately. I get the appeal; sit in your pj’s, eat some ordered in food, watch a movie. What’s there to not love? Well, for me it’s missing the energy I get from being surrounded by others. Even if it’s just Josh and I in a restaurant, there’s still so many other people around to feel and hear. I need that; a night at home will not rejuvenate me. Take your extroverts out! It doesn’t always have to be to a club or a bar, surrounded by thousands of other people, but a nice dinner is always something I enjoy.
I’m going to talk to you…and talk to you…then talk some more. I know, I’ve read it a thousand times-Introverts are not into the small talk. Every list says this in some way-followed by the fact that I shouldn’t do it. And I try, man oh man, do I try to respect this aspect of my husbands personality. But respect is a two way street and somedays? I need to talk. It makes me just as uncomfortable and exhausted to sit in silence as it makes him to constantly hear my chatter. Try to find a medium and recognize some days your extrovert is going to talk more than you are ready for. We aren’t doing it to take away your comfort; we are doing it to find our own.
If you’re not going to go out with me, I am going to go out alone. Every healthy marriage/relationship has time apart. My husband knows I adore him…but he is boring some nights. It sounds mean, but it’s the truth. He doesn’t mind just lounging around the living room, eating some ice cream, watching half a movie before dozing off. That sounds like a miserable night to me. So, I have other people to go out with. I respect his need to lounge, shoes off, and he respects my need to go go go. We just do it with different people. This also gives me the chance to talk off the ears of those who haven’t heard my retelling of Friends sixteen times before. And he gets some peace and quiet.
Stop brushing my needs off as shallow. This is one, Praise the Lord, my husband does not do. In my internet fun times, I’ve found this sentiment over and over again, though, and it’s one that drives me insane. I may talk about things you view as shallow; I know I do. But in my book, every single thing out of my mouth is something that matters to me. And I am as exhausted after being alone for a few hours as an introvert is after being at a party. I know most introverts don’t understand how that is possible, but I am not recharged being home alone. It wears me down. It’s not shallow for me to need the reassurance of others around me just like it’s not snobby for an introvert to need to be away from others. It’s just how we are wired differently. I’m sick of being told to respect an introverts needs and then three sentences later mine being relayed as a “shallow” thing-and I don’t understand “deep” needs like an introvert has. I say this with all the respect for those who are introverts-I try very hard to respect what you need and how to make you comfortable. All I’m asking for is the same coming back at me.
Introverts and extroverts are both very different creatures by make up. If you are in a relationship with the opposite kind of make up than you, the best thing to do is learn what the other needs!
Are you an introvert or extrovert? What do you find is the best way for your significant other to help that part of you?