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The Secret of Introvert Relationships

EFFECT OFPEOPLE AROUNDINTROVERTSOver the past few days, I’ve found myself defending my introvert husband from my family when he doesn’t show up to one of the millions of family gatherings, basketball games, or social commitments that are thrust upon us.

And questions like “Where’s Morris?” “Why didn’t he come to the basketball game (insert raised eyebrow)?” and “Does Morris like us?” are beginning to annoy me.

The Secret of Introvert Relationships

The secret is this: introverts and extroverts charge their batteries in different ways.

  • Introverts get energy from being alone.
  • Extroverts get energy from being around people.
  • And if we don’t make allowances for each other…we both end up drained.

So while my husband loves me, my family, and friends dearly…being around a ton of people is draining. I learned this earlier in our marriage when I dropped a last minute BBQ on his plate and was hit with the almost-silent treatment.

The Introvert Solution

The good news is that you can avoid giving your introvert a dead battery with proper planning. Morris and I have come up with some solutions for balancing the needs of introverts and extroverts.  And, I want to share them with you.

The Social Calendar

At the beginning of the month we make a calendar with all of our social commitments i.e. dinner parties, bar mitzvahs, BBQ’s etc.  And we decide what events are a priority…it helps my introvert to know waaaaay in advance that we have a social commitment.

Give your introvert plenty of notice about social events, it will give them the chance to mentally prepare.

Go It Alone

For example, just last night I joined my family for a basketball game and Morris stayed at home. It’s not that he doesn’t like my family or basketball. But, it was more important to me that he recharge for the work week ahead.

You and your introvert are not conjoined twins. So, when possible let them recharge with some alone time.

Save Your Social Commitment Capital

Twice a month I get to pick two of my social events (i.e. dinner with my friends etc.) that Morris will join me for. And it makes those events super special for me because Morris is giving me the gift of his presence. I think it makes the events special for him because he knows they mean a lot to me and he’s being an outstanding husband.

Choose social commitments wisely. It’ll cut down on unnecessary draining of your introverts battery.

The Worst Thing You Can Do

The worst thing you can do is to treat your introvert like they have a disease. Patronizing questions like “Are you okay my little introvert?” “Are you sure you can handle being around the Jones for the entire afternoon?” are sure to incite rage.

Treat them like you always have.

Just make plans that allow them to recharge.

Question: What other ways can we balance the needs of introverts and extroverts? 

8 Comments

  1. Karla Richardson

    February 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    This is great information to have. I think us “extroverts” sometimes feel we “need” to attend all social events that we are invited to. I have learned to say no because it helps me recharge, saves me a little money and allows me to focus some of my free time on improving my relationship.

    Thanks for sharing!! I miss you and love love your blog!!!

    • Simone

      February 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Hey Karla! Thanks for stopping by! I totally KNOW what you mean. I’m getting better at saying no, but sometimes I STILL feel guilty. But, you are right…we must focus on what’s most important. And saving money and recharging is an added benefit.

  2. As an introvert myself I totally agree with everything you said! I have a large extended family that’s always getting together. While I love them dearly, it can be really draining for me. Over the holidays we had some sort of gathering or celebration Every. Single. Weekend….for EIGHT WEEKS! I was almost certifiably loco by the time my birthday rolled around in mid-January. I actually declined to go to dinner or have a party, choosing instead to tell everyone that I want to celebrate in late February because I was a preemie and that’s when I should have been born anyway. And I was dead serious.

    • Simone

      February 13, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Bwhahahahaha! Okay, so I burst into a fit of laughter when I read your last two sentences. Thanks for stopping by Faith Simone! And thank you for sharing your story too. It is so cool to know that you agree: there is a healthy balance. We can be there and support our families and STILL maintain our sanity. Happy Belated/Early Birthday too!

  3. Great suff! Im an introvert too and always need my down time

    • Simone

      March 29, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Nicole! So glad you agree, I’m learning little by little about introverts and down time is a big one.

  4. So glad that you talked about this topic. As an introvert, I feel like I am always trying to explain to folks why I need some quiet or alone time. Once I have had that time, I am a much better human being. And I love folks…I am in graduate school for social work, so I should love people. But I think introversion is confused for being rude or antisocial. So, thanks for spitting some knowledge on this topic.
    Monica afrotasticlady recently posted…A Prayer of LoveMy Profile

    • Simone

      December 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Bwhahaha! I got a kick out of reading your comment, Monica. I can SO picture that conversation ‘Um. No, I’m not busy…but I just want to be by myself and recharge. It makes me a better human being.’ It makes me think of the BuzzVideo that was circulating earlier this year, about why people decline parties. I’m an extrovert and love people, but I STILL need down time too! A friend told me a couple weeks ago that saying ‘no’ is a complete sentence. But I’m such a people-pleaser that I sometimes feel guilty. Hope these tips helps! And thanks for commenting.

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