A friend of mine that I’m quite fond of inquired about my relationship with my hubby seeing that I’m an introvert and he an extrovert. First, you must understand that men are from Mars and women are from Venus…just kidding. Seriously, we are different and this fact alone contributes to a variance in reactions from one person towards another.
When I first met my husband and even before distinguishing the differences between the outgoing personality and the inward personality, I knew he was contagious. I observed that people were drawn to him but couldn’t quite put my finger on why. I now know that this is what attracted me to him because he had what I lacked; that being an ability to converse with anybody and make others laugh. This is not to discredit introverts by implying we have no sense of humor however, we don’t possess the natural skill of invoking hysteria. We must practice and rehearse the punch line whereas it comes without thought for an extrovert.
(In hindsight, I’d like to mention that this blog is dedicated to her.)
Contrary to my own analysis, researchers assert that there are between 25-35% of introverts in the US. This being the case, we are obviously outnumbered and depicted as an anomaly of sorts. Introverts are not the standard, we’re the exception. The fact that we are less popular (by both statistical standards and personal acquaintance) syncs harmoniously with our inward perception of ourselves. As a matter of fact, I’m drained just thinking about that…moving right along.
I will refer to my friend as “B”. B stated that this difference is probably the biggest struggle in her marriage. You see, B’s an extrovert and her hubby an introvert which is the opposite of my situation.
First, I want to acknowledge that opposites in fact do attract! This is more than mere speculation and not quite as cliché as some may think. In my opinion, the attraction manifests from curiosity, anticipation, and acquisition. Let me elaborate: When I met my husband “W”, I was curious as to why everyone loved being around him. I’m sure B’s husband wondered the same about her. I then began to anticipate getting to know him better because I needed a man in my life to make me feel good about myself. I figured that those who knew and loved him enjoyed his company for some reason or another so I wanted to find out. Finally, I went out of my way to acquire a relationship with him as I knew he’d be the best thing for me since sliced bread. We’ve been married for 11 1/2 years now so go figure.
Here, I will give the definitions of introversion (B’s hubby and myself) and extroversion (B and my hubby W). Afterwards, a few traits:
Introversion: “the state of, or tendency towards being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interest in one’s own mental life”.
Extroversion: “the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self”.
Intro Traits Extro Traits
**There’s a tumultuous amount of information on the internet that elucidates the above traits so I would encourage you to do your own elaborate research. My condensed version is merely a teaser or rather an introduction.**
During my years of service (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration). I meant to say: during my marriage, I believe my husband has learned how to embrace my solidarity. He’s pretty much a party animal socialite, but because I choose to find substance in quietness away from the noise, he has adapted and doesn’t pressure me. Introverts are mentally and physically drained by too much stimulation. We will socialize and even party, but during these festivities we wish to be at home reading a book or simply taking a drive. We need our alone time for this is our means of rejuvenation. This facet is often times perceived as a “brush off” when in fact it’s just the introvert way of wanting to get away from the ruckus.
Just to expound on a couple of the above traits, the self-consciousness factor is not “banner” worthy and we definitely won’t admit to it, but it is existent so please don’t take it personally when we complain about ourselves. Yes, we are highly passionate which is probably why psychologists say that we’re exceptional lovers! (I had to throw that one in…lol)
So, with all these ramblings said, I’d like to offer a couple of resolutions for your times of misunderstanding:
1. When introverts are asked: “What’s wrong?”, don’t be surprised when no answer is given. It’s hard for us to explain ourselves for fear of being misunderstood. Please do not consider our dismissal as a rebuff.
2. We tend to have long lasting one-on-one relationships and short-lived group participation. We aren’t accustomed to hanging out or mingling with several people in one setting.
3. We may occasionally think we’ve told you something that we actually didn’t. This is because we’re always going over things in our head.
4. As evidenced by my blogging right now, we tend to prefer written over verbal communication. Maybe you could write him a letter the next time you can’t come to an agreement.
5. Click here for more information on relationships between intros and extros.
B, I don’t have all the answers girlfriend, but hopefully I’ve given you and others some insight into your introvert’s world.
Much Love, ~Lenci