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.
Now for you introverts that have the wonderful privilege of being married to an extrovert ;) It’s your turn to learn:
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.
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.
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.)