“Nurturing, learning and growing together benefits both Introverts and Extroverts to build stronger more connected relationships.”
About half of the human population is made up of introverts, which means the other half of us are extroverts. Although most people do not fall completely into one category, we all may have tendencies of both. Many “balanced” relationships involve both an introvert and an extrovert. Interpersonal relationships require understanding, compassion and continued learning and growth to be successful. Understanding each other’s love languages combined with strong communication, trust and a sense of humor can significantly help.
Many recent articles, books and public talks these days tell us how to love introverts, how introverts are better partners, or the strength and power of introverts; but often times we forget to tell introverts how to love, understand and work with extroverts who also make amazing friends and partners. Extroverts often feel they are carrying most of the weight by making all of the adjustments in relationships to love and understand introverted behaviors. It is equally important for introverts to push themselves out of their comfort zones to learn and grow in their relationships even though it may sometimes be uncomfortable. Nurturing, learning and growing together benefits both introverts and extroverts to build stronger more connected relationships that often last a lifetime.
To our introverted lovers, friends and colleagues, below are ten things extroverts would love for you to think about and to push yourself to get more comfortable with us. We too are amazing lovers!
- Please be patient with us! Understand we operate in extremes. It is likely what attracted you to us in the first place. We are often emotional communicators and we communicate the good and the bad of everything because we are social beings and we are passionate. Our love is based on emotion not logic. We show our stresses and frustrations externally where you usually keep them in. It can make us appear like we are needy or more important. We are not trying to nag you, we are likely just trying to also be understood. Be patient with us and accept us as more emotional people, which isn’t a bad thing - just that much more to love.
- Allow us to show you off! When we introduce you to our best friend one-on-one or introduce you to colleagues at a party, we want you to try to get out of your comfort zone and put forth the effort to be part of the conversation. We are proud of you and want you to be part of our relationships with those close to us. We are often embarrassed or insulted when conversations get awkward because you won’t talk. You’re usually the most interesting, loving person in the room and we likely built you up previously. We don’t need you to be the life of the party, but it helps when you engage when we introduce you.
- Tell us your needs and wants - we want to know! We usually are attracted to your introversion, but sometimes we do not understand it. Remember we usually surround ourselves with other extroverts because we are social. Verbally remind us when you need your space and help depersonalize it. Instead of making assumptions that we know you need your space, try to reassure us of your love and speak to us in our love language. Tell us when we’re too bossy, remind us to slow down and smell the roses, encourage us to take a deep breath and sometimes just be our sounding board without judging us. We usually communicate desires and fears well. We want to learn how to communicate with you, but we also want you to learn how to communicate with us.
- Don’t panic and run away. We know that you internalize and often are overwhelmed by over communication, but don’t panic and run away from us. As social beings it panics us when you go in your shell and shut us out. If you need your space we want you to try to communicate what you need and show back up ready to talk it through after you’ve thought about it. Don’t go in your shell in the middle of a heated discussion and walk away, it scares us.
- We are stubborn, but we are telling you exactly how to fix the break down. Compassion, respect, full commitment and unconditional love are very important to us. Again, this is likely what drew you to us in the first place. We know we can be stubborn and it comes out differently than your stubbornness. Conflict is going to happen in every relationship. Often times learning from conflict is what builds and strengthens relationships. You grow together, you learn together. Ultimately you’re in or you’re out. If you’re in, you bend and give and fight, but continue to love us. If you’re out, just say you’re out so we know. We don’t want to part ways every time things get tough or our differences come out, instead we would rather take a minute to breath if that’s what you need and then find resolution.
- Have a sense of humor. Humor is key to conflict resolution. Things are going to get tense, but instead of shutting down when your introversion comes out, try to use your sense of humor. Although we are the social ones, your sense of humor is usually the funniest in the room. When you go to get angry with us, try using your humor instead of shutting down. It is something we can work with and learn to get past with you and it definitely hurts us less.
- Be gentle - tone and word choice are important to us. Be gentle and choose your words wisely. Remember we can usually talk circles around you and do, which we know you hate. Instead of short, direct responses, another option is to try to inject “I feel” statements to help us better understand you. It can often make us feel overwhelmed or attacked or like our feelings aren’t being considered when you’re short or terse with us. We know often your silence doesn’t mean you’re not listening or that you don’t care, but remind yourself to verbally express to us because we aren’t mind readers.
- Treat others as they want to be treated, not necessarily how you want to be treated. We likely express and receive love differently. Remember when talking to us to speak to us in our love language, not yours. We likely have already altered the expression of our love language to accommodate both your and our needs, so remind yourself to do the same. We know it’s not natural for you which makes it all that much more meaningful when you do it.
- We think out loud and we are team players. You’re welcome! You can now see how our minds work and all the possible scenarios going through our heads. In some ways it gives you an advantage in communicating with us. Appreciate us, don’t make fun of us. We love being part of a group/team, which is great for our relationship because we want to be part of it and engaged. We can see when you’re struggling, even when you don’t express it. We usually can help you resolve things without you even asking us for help, which sometimes appears like we’re overstepping our boundaries (we usually are, but it’s usually helps remind introverts to engage). We also really value your insight and opinions because it’s usually well thought out. It helps us make good decisions with our combined powers.
- Let us know you’re listening. Hear us and let us know you’re listening. We are not mind readers and sometimes the silence makes us feel unimportant, not desired or like a nuisance to you. We often are very insightful and help make up for some of your weaknesses. Work with us. We usually are fixers and the silence makes us think something is wrong. Chime in every now and then and tell us you hear us and tell us what you heard. Let us know you’re engaged and that what we have to say is important.