Relationships

What It's Like To Love An Introvert, As Told In Comics

Artist Debbie Tung also illustrates her struggles with anxiety and how her husband supports her through it all.
10/12/2018 05:53pm ET

In artist Debbie Tung’s comic series “Where’s My Bubble,” she documents her life as an introvert married to her more extroverted husband, Jason.

Though the two personality types differ in fundamental ways, they often end up as romantic partners. The key difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts gain energy by being alone, while extroverts gain energy by being around other people.

Introvert Debbie Tung illustrates life with her more extroverted husband.

“He’s a ‘toned down’ version of an extrovert,” Tung, who lives in Birmingham, England, told HuffPost. “He enjoys being around people but he also enjoys quiet time. It’s been a good balance, although it took some time for us to find middle ground.”

For some introverts, spending one-on-one time with their S.O. can feel just as good as total solitude. 

“I like bringing him along to social events so that he can be my conversation buffer,” she said of her husband of five years.

And just because someone is introverted, it doesn’t mean they’re unsocial, as people sometimes wrongly assume. Tung has received comments like, “You’re an introvert? But you talk perfectly fine!” proving there are still misconceptions about what it means to be an “innie.”

“Introverts usually love being around people they can connect with,” Tung said. “With the right people they’re able to have long conversations.”

Another theme that often comes up in Tung’s work is her struggle with anxiety ― something she’s experienced all her life.

Anxiety disorders can manifest in a number of ways. Signs and symptoms may include all-consuming worry, increased heart rate, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath and sleep issues.

“For me, anxiety begins with my heart racing and my mind being overwhelmed with too many thoughts,” she said. “I often feel like I’m on edge, unable to relax and I start pushing people away. It affects everything: my sleep, my mood, my work and my relationships.”

When Tung’s anxiety takes over, Jason offers support and reassurance that everything will be OK.

“He doesn’t directly try to ‘fix’ the situation. It’s normally something I can’t explain and it’s something that can’t be solved at that very moment,” she said. “So he does little things to keep me calm, like making me a cup of tea and reminding me when I need to take a break.”

When you're struggling with mental health issues, the support of your loved ones can make all the difference. 

Tung said she hopes her work inspires people to embrace their personality type and makes them feel less alone, especially when they’re going through a rough patch.

“I hope it will help people through their own tough times because we all have days that feel a little darker than others, and that’s perfectly OK,” she said.

Below, check out some of Tung’s comics. To see more of her work, visit her website, or follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Her book Quiet Girl in a Noisy World is available on Amazon.

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