Tuesday, May 29, 2012

introverts vs. extroverts


Found these little lists on Pinterest and it got me thinking.

I married an introvert. It’s pretty obvious when you meet him that he is much more reserved than I am. I read the list and actually talked to him about it to gauge his response. I found him smiling and nodding in agreement after many of the traits.
My husband married an extrovert. Now, I’m not 100%, to a T, an extrovert but I tend to sway more in that direction. I don’t agree with all of them, for me personally, but never the less I thought Vincent should know them.
It’s amazing how much you can gather just by those two personality types. I am going to print them out and hang them somewhere in our house. That way they can serve as a little reminder that we both receive love, criticism, and time differently. One way isn’t better than the other and marriage is about finding the right recipe for success and happiness.

As previously stated I, an extrovert, married an introvert. I have literally had to train myself to meet his introverted needs. That isn’t to say I changed who I am, all I am saying is that in order to be a better wife and friend I needed to understand where & how he handles things. The chart helped me personally and I started thinking about elaborating on it.
This is based on personal experiences, techniques, and beliefs nor do I claim to be an expert on personalities.
For example:
1.       Respect their need for privacy: This is a big one. As an extrovert, sometimes I forget that not all people are open books. Introverts are reserved and they just don’t feel the need to divulge every little thing.
2.       Never embarrass them in public: Another big one. As an extrovert, I tend to poke sarcastic jabs at people and pretty much let others jokes about me roll off my back. I never thought about how an introvert would respond to little “jabs” until one day Vincent told me; he does not like it. I’m not just talking about embarrassing them as a person (how they walk, talk, dress, etc) I’m talking about everything surrounding them (what they do, how they do it…). Just be aware that what you see as a joke, an introvert might not see it the same way.
3.       Let them observe a situation first: I can relate here. If I am in a new situation/location I like to take it all in at first. We both aren’t the jump-right-in type people. Vincent also has post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which makes new situations and meeting new people a little stressful and uncomfortable for him. I try to give him time to adjust.
4.       Give them time to think, don’t demand a response: I am SO guilty of not doing this. I am a I-want-a-response/result-now type person that I struggle to give him time to gather his thoughts. Sometimes it isn’t that easy. It’s not that they process things slowly, they process things differently.
5.       Reprimand them privately: You may think this is only a child-parent one but it’s so not. I am guilty of calling Vincent out on things in front of people and you can tell instantly that is makes him mad. Not cool ML. Any issues, problems, or suggestions need to be behind closed doors because an introvert will shut down and be unreceptive to suggestions if they feel attacked or embarrassed.
6.       Enable them to find one best friend & don’t push them to make lots of friends: I get this. It’s not the quantity, but quality. Don’t expect an introvert to have a gang of friends, that tends to be more of an extrovert thing.
7.       Respect their introversion: pretty self explanatory. If you aren’t an introvert don’t expect to fully (or ever) understand them.
Now for you introverts that have the wonderful privilege of being married to an extrovert ;) It’s your turn to learn:
1.       Respect their independence: I do not need to be around Vincent 24/7 (or anyone for that matter). I love him dearly but sometimes I want to be alone. I tend to go shopping alone because I like the freedom. It’s not a reflection on you as a person – I just need space.
2.       Accept and encourage their enthusiasm: This is big for me. I know I can be extremely loud, sometimes inappropriate, and never shut up – but you don’t need to remind me. The quickest way to make me shut down or feel bad about myself is to make fun of my personality.
3.        Allow them to explore and talk things out: I over think just about everything. It took me 3 months to pick out a new purse! Too big, too heavy, too expensive – ack!! I like to talk things through. Deal with it.
4.       Surprise them: um… well I would say this depends on the person. I don’t care for surprises… I mean unless it’s jewelry… I love jewelry ;).
5.       Understand when they are busy: If you interrupt me when I say I am busy, expect me to turn into a raging badger. If I am busy the last thing I can stand is to be bothered. I get super fixated on something and literally don’t care about anything else (even eating! Yes… I know!! Crazyness) The ONLY time I handle an interruption well is if you are hurt or crying...
6.       Offer options: but not too many. I don’t like feeling like there is one way in and out.
7.       Let them shine: So true. I know my personality can be overwhelming but I can’t change who I am. I try to be considerate of others around me but remember that there is nothing wrong with being an extrovert so don’t hold me back.

The biggest thing I have learned about being married to an introvert is that his personality is unique and beautiful. There are stereotypes associated with extroverts and introverts – and I don’t think they are very fair. I’ve heard words like slow, standoffish, cold, and overly reserved associated with introverts. For extroverts, I’ve heard crazy, loud, obnoxious, and insincere. Such negative words to describe a simple misunderstanding between the two groups.
Try to remember that just because you handle life differently doesn’t mean your way is the only way ;)
I love my introverted husband just they way he is (well... I could do without the snoring... ;)

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((DISCLAIMER: I did not make the art/list. I found it on Pinterest and couldn't find the orginal source. I can not validate the accuracy (or medical/psychological validity) of the claims.)

40 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, i found it via pinterest. I am just reading about my 22 month old child and finding out his personality and this will help me respect the way he is..

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    1. No problem :) It isn't mine but I thought it could be helpful to put them together! Hope it does help!

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  2. This is incrediably helpful! My 8-year-old is VERY introverted and this will help me understand him! Finally! Thanks for reposting!

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    1. No problem! Like I said, my husband is an introvert and was even more so as a child. It's a great "tool" to help those who are opposites! :)

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  3. I smiled as I read this. I agree completely! I am an extrovert who can sway towards introvert. My boyfriend is an introvert. We have taken the time to understand one another and getting to know each other. We have an awesome relationship :)

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    1. It really does help! It's amazing how just some simple tips for the different personality types can help a relationship :)

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  4. Tania Ohman HansonJuly 4, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    I find this extremely helpful dealing with other adults as well. This is like a post it note to a psych book. Love it

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    1. Glad you found it informative! I thought it was a great way to para-phrase the differences! :)

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  5. I really like this. I am an introvert who sometimes needs to pretend to be an extrovert (I am a performer). My boyfriend is definitely an extrovert.

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  6. This. Is. Awesome. I showed it to my husband and he agrees. I am an introvert and he is an extrovert, and we really need to be reminded of these things regularly. We will probably print it out and hang it in our bedroom :) Thanks!

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    1. I'm glad y'all found it useful! It's totally helped my marriage! :)

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  7. I have never been compelled to write a comment about something until now. This post has meant more to me than anything I have read and heard from anyone....I have been trying to understand why my son is the way he is; I have asked counselors, teachers, church leaders ect and they have all said he is an introvert but never gave any definite answers on how I can really connect with him. THIS IS SO AMAZING, I know it’s not a lot but it really gives me something to live by with him. I am an extrovert thru and thru and so are my other boys, so I really never knew how to treat him other than the way I treat and react with his brothers. NOW I KNOW!!!! I am super ecstatic!!!! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

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    1. Randi,
      I'm glad you found the illustration helpful. I totally understand - well... not the kiddo part.... but not knowing how to handle an introvert. It's a challenge and I have found that introverts don't always know how to explain or express how things affect them. I'm glad you found it helpful and I am sure it will help in the future! Thanks for stopping by!! :)

      -ML

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    2. Randi, you may find Adam Cox's book Boys of Few Words helpful.

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  8. I appreciate this posting so much. The key in a relationship between an interovert and extrovert is mutual affection and appreciation for the distinctions, as opposed to resentment and disrespect for the differences. Thanks.

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    1. I totally agree! Glad you liked it! :)

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  9. I find the ideas for the introverts to be very much the considerations that must be given for people on Autism Spectrum, in particular the Aspies.

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    1. I can see that... interesting connection!

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  10. Wow! This and what you wrote has nailed my marriage on the head!! I am totally an extrovert married to an introvert. My mom and dad are the same way. Many of my friends are extroverts so having this in the back of my mind has been so helpful. And I am a teacher so it really helps when dealing with the kiddos! I'm printing up two copies, one for the house and one for our school workroom!

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    1. Isn't it crazy how something so basic can make such a difference?! I see a lot of similarities in my marriage to my parents. My husband is A LOT like my dad and I mirror my mom quite a bit. I'm glad youfond it helpful! Maybe your kids parents will also find it helpful! Good luck this year! :)

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  11. This is awesome! Thanks for posting it :) I found it via pinterst as well. And my nickname is mL as well :) Just thought I'd share that with you! haha Have a good day :D

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  12. Thanks for posting this. Such common sense but I wish I had read it long ago. I have an introverted son- a wonderful person. I never understood him until I read this and realized that I did not know or respect his "ways". I hope I can repair things having read this and seen my short-comings and ignorance to something so basic and logical.

    For the record, Mikey. I am sorry.

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    1. You are welcome. I hope the bit I added helped :)

      It's never to late to start! I've had to help others understand Vincent and they respect him and he respects them more now. It does seem basic but in all fairness, if you are an extrovert, the concept is foreign. I like to say I'm a pretty intuitive person but I really did have to learn introvert behaviors.I will keep you and your son in my prayers! :)

      Take care!!
      ML

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  13. Sooo true!
    May I also recommend www.personalitypage.com? After a simple Myers-Briggs personality test, you can find out just what type of introvert or extrovert you are. You can then read a VERY detailed (and helpful) profile page. My roommates and I my last year in college analyzed each other and It was SUPER helpful to fully understand each other and all of our different styles. Then this summer,my boyfriend and I swapped personality pages before we even started dating and it has been so good. He's an ISTJ (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) and I'm an ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) (Exact opposites). There's a specific section on relationships and much more. I can't recommend it more!

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    1. Danika!
      I actually did the Myers-Brigg at church camp in High school (though... I will admit I don't remember my results). I'm going to have my husband take it because, you are right, it's a great way to learn more about someone else's (and your own) personality. Thanks for suggesting it to the readers!!

      Take care!
      ML

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    2. Youbetcha, ML! Enjoy!
      The cube test is also a fun one to try out on your S/O or friends!
      http://www.personalityquiz.net/relational/cube.htm
      Danika

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    3. The cube thing was pretty interesting. I've never heard of it! Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  14. this is lovely, thank you for sharing! I am very introverted and my best friend is very extroverted, gotta share :)

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    1. My best friend is an introvert! It's really helpful to know! :)

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  15. Thank you so much for your comments and advice. I know this post is old now but it has helped me today. I am an extrovert and I am in a long distance relationship with an introvert. Communication is obviously a big part of our lives and I have been worried the past couple days because she has had a couple of issues bothering her and she would only call them "personal issues" and would swear that our relationship is fine and that I don't need to worry or stress. That has been difficult for me and I feel as if I've pushed her a bit to open up and that just hasn't worked and it made her frustrated and me concerned. I didn't really understand what was happening until I took a step back and remembered our differences on extrovertism and introvertism. It's difficult to do but I am learning to step back and allow her to have her own inward personal reflections, and accept she loves me and move on.

    Again, thank you for your post!

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    1. Doesn't matter if it's old! It is always relevant! :)

      The main squeeze and I have had our ups and downs but when we started to discuss our into/extro-verts we learned how to "handle" each other.

      Also check out The Five Love Languages book - it totally helps!

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  16. Does anyone else think it's odd that there are 12 ways to "care for" introverts, and only 10 for extroverts in that graphic?

    I would add 2 more--

    Communicate your feelings to them

    Reassure them spontaneously

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  17. This is my husband and I to a "T" wow. Found it through Pinterest. Thanks for pinning it :)

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  18. Wow. Did I need this right now or what? I was just complaining to my friend yesterday about my frustrations with my introverted husband (I am the extrovert). He and I have some interesting conversations. And by that I mean I do all the talking and he sits there in silence. I will show this to him and see what he says. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Thanks so much for this article!!! I am an extrovert, living in a family of introverts. Sometime I don't even know how to express what want and need. This nailed it! It's me to a T. Thanks for the reminder that it's not a bad thing to be like this. :)

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  20. As a teacher in a public grade school, I wish that EVERYONE had these posted in their rooms to remind themselves and their students how to respect and care for each other's differences. I am making these into posters for my classroom TODAY! Thank you!

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  21. I have read this and i couldn't agree more! My teenage daughter is the extrovert and I am the introvert. She flourishes with boundless friends, invites all of them over to our home at a whim without regard to the condition of the house or even if I'm dressed yet. I need the time to absorb the teenage romps in our home, and the boundaries I've tried setting are challenging to her.. She hasn't yet learned that the one or two close friends I have are just as important to me as the list of 20 or 30 that she has, that I need (like air to breathe) a sense of privacy, and I know she feels that I am the wet blanket in her party of life. It's been hard to avoid criticism when I feel so invaded and she's complained that I'm too narrow minded about a houseful of teenage girls. Maybe this poster will help both of us understand the nature of the other and act as a reminder that people find value in different ways of relating. Worth a try.

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