Introverts: If you wouldn't mind, I have questions
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 6/22/2013 by * Harmony * in NSBR Board
 

* Harmony *
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Posted: 6/22/2013 1:12:42 AM
Firstly, I appreciate your time. Despite not completely understanding it, I do respect an introvert's need/desire to be left alone.

I'm researching introversion; both for personal growth and to create a stronger bond with my partner. While I have introverted tendencies, as a partner I'm more extroverted. Admittedly, I can be a bit needy. *insert cringe here* This part of my personality highly annoys me... and my considerably introverted partner.

This post is a request to actual people for additional input. Please forgive me if I say anything stereotypical as my research is new & incomplete. I promise I mean no harm. Additionally, I realize every one and every relationship is different, so I will take your replies/opinions/advice with that in mind.

Here goes:

1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect?

2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you? (It seems introverts would find being in a relationship quite dreadful!)

3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you? (Exp: "I called you on purpose, just to talk. Do you get how big that is?" & "I could be alone right now, but I choose to spend time with you. Feel special." Yes, these are on the funny side but there is truth to them. That's the basis of question 3.)

4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?

5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost?

6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day?

I'm sure I have more questions, but I'll close for now. If there's anything else you'd like to add, please do so. Thanks again.




voltagain
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Posted: 6/22/2013 1:33:41 AM

1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect? >>>>>>>>>>
read the Five Languages of Love. Some introverts like well thought out gifts, some like acts of service, some like words of affirmation... iow, showing love and respect isn't an intro/extro -vert issue.

2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you? (It seems introverts would find being in a relationship quite dreadful!) >>>>>> I like relationships. In fact introverts need relationships. But we need the people we are in a relationship with to recognize our need for periodic solitude. How often and how long is very dependent on the individual. My best friend ever was one that could walk into a room with me, nod an acknowledgement (no words) and sit down to read. We could spend hours reading in silence. Someone that can be comfortable in the silence is a wonderful friend in my eyes.

3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you? (Exp: "I called you on purpose, just to talk. Do you get how big that is?" & "I could be alone right now, but I choose to spend time with you. Feel special." Yes, these are on the funny side but there is truth to them. That's the basis of question 3.) >>>>>>>>>> If an introvert seeks you out they at least like you. We don't seek out people we tolerate. We tolerate people who thrust themselves on us.

4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?
>>>>> Usually you can tell by what was going on immediately before they felt the need to withdraw. If they were chatting, participating in a friendly conversation then went on an extended bathroom break they are just expressing the need to be introverted. If their tone of voice or body language was mad/upset before they withdrew then it is more about the negative emotions.

5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost? >>>>>>>>>>
Depends on how badly they feel drained and if the person/situation leaving them drained is an ongoing issue or stops.

6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day? >>>>>>>>>> again, it depends on the introvert. Written communcation can be good. Verbal is generally best IF IF IF the extrovert knows how to get to the point without a lot of words, shouting or emotional displays. Earlier in the day tends to be better than later in the day when the day's demands have the introvert worn out.



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Posted: 6/22/2013 1:58:46 AM
You may get a large variety of answers to your questions because everyone is different. I think if you spefically need help in how to best interact with your partner it would be best just to ask them.

I will try to answer a few questions with my perspective.

I do not like to talk on the phone. I make an effort to call my husband and talk occasionally. He talks on the phone a lot for his job so he calls me a lot. These are short conversations. I do get irritated if there are too many in a day. It does not mean I don't love him; it means I do not like to talk on the phone. There is a give and take, I make an effort to talk sometimes and he understands that my not wanting to does not reflect my feelings on anything other than I don't like to talk on the the phone.

Regarding the choosing to spend time together, of course if you are in a relationship you want to spend time together. Even introverts want that. They may not want to spend every waking moment together. They also may not want to do the same things you do to spend time together. Ex. going to a party with people they don't know or to a crowded club.

My husband and I have been married over 20 years. Trust me if I'm mad he knows. I think you have to communicate and if you are one that talks about your feelings a lot and your partner doesn't, maybe understand that if it's something they need to talk about they will talk about it. Maybe that would be better answered by someone from the other side of the equation.

You say you can be "needy". That's a balance you have to work out. My husband knows I love him. I don't have to be constantly at his side and us doing things together all the time for him to feel that I love him.

If you have any specific example of where you are having problems I might be able to help express the introvert side for you. Hope this was helpful. Good luck to you.

scrapnchick
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Posted: 6/22/2013 4:58:53 AM
When I walk in the door from work, I need a good 20-30 minutes of peace. I love you but I need time to recharge before I hear about your day.

If I am upset and go to our room and shut the door, I do it for a reason, I need space. Please don't follow me and demand I talk about things right now. I will talk in a bit when I am calmed down.

Feel free to just sit beside me and hold my hand. We can be together quietly sometimes. I don't always want to be entertained with stories or conversation.

If I'm reading, it's a cry for solace, don't take my book away and demand I listen to you or do something with you, it's a sign that I need some space.

If I'm in the bathroom LEAVE ME ALONE! I don't want to hear your stories through the door, be patient and wait ten freaking minutes.

If I take a shower in the middle of the day, it's not because I feel dirty (usually) its a cry for silence, don't follow me in there and sit on the tub and continue talking and STARING at me, just go away, fifteen minutes won't kill you!

We have had out of town guests and while I love them dearly and love to spend time with them it's hard for me to not have any solitude and I'm feeling a bit frazzled! So much so that I am finding my solitude at 3 am apparently. I'm wiped out by the end of a day of togetherness and poor DH is getting the shaft because of it. I'm used to having about 30 minutes before he gets home from work to recharge and there is just no recharging right now with people constantly around.


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pudgy_groundhog
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Posted: 6/22/2013 5:25:35 AM
You might find the book "Quiet" about introverts interesting. I'm married to an introvert (I feel about half and half myself). Will come back to the thread later (hate typing on the iPad!).



lioness-rampant
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Posted: 6/22/2013 5:28:41 AM
I agree, you will get lots of answers, because there are still individual differences.




1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect?

Understand that when I want to be alone, you should let me. Don't bug me to tell you what's wrong. IWill, one I've settled it in my head. Don't bug me about needing new friends, or staying home too often. You go out, I want to chill out with my book, my dog and my favourite TV shows.

Love me the way you love anyone. For my strengths, my character and the stupid things I do on a regular basis.



2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you? (It seems introverts would find being in a relationship quite dreadful!)


Relationships are enjoyable because I don't hate people. Enjoy being with people who let me be myself and understand that I need to get a feel for a situation before I jump in (yeah ok, fine, I don't jump. I step.) I don't enjoy fleeting connections - "oh we work together! I must add you on Facebook , we'll go out every Friday and be BFF" No. We work together, we may also, overtime, become friends but not on day 1! In relationships I have a connection to those people, being with them is not draining like being with strangers, or being in a big group. (I'm talking my closest friends, my so. They're like extensions of me)



3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you? (Exp: "I called you on purpose, just to talk. Do you get how big that is?" & "I could be alone right now, but I choose to spend time with you. Feel special." Yes, these are on the funny side but there is truth to them. That's the basis of question 3.)

I don't see the 'I want to be alone all the time' side of introversion. I need time to work through the day in my head, and to recover for stresses. I may be further along the sliding scale, I'm happy alone, and need some time to myself, but barring any major event I'd want to be with an SO or good friend. If I'm tolerating you, I won't initiate contact at all, I'll be civil when you do, but I won't ever be the one to seek you out. I don't spend time with people I don't like (unless I have to - friend of a friend etc).



4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?

Ask. I want to be comforted, AFTER, I've calmed myself down. I don't want people to run up and say, "are you ok?" - trying to comfort me by hugging, patting me, looking sympathetic, will make me cry. Don't do it in public. Leave me alone to be disappointed, mad at myself, and cry. Then come in quietly and hug me.... I'll probably cry again, cause I'm a big baby, but I won't embarrass myself.



5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost?


At that moment, yes. Speak to me now and I will likely snap at you or cry (told you I'm a baby - tears come to me when I'm sad, frustrated, angry, tired. Should buy shares in Kleenex). Yesterday, I took 27 kids to the Safari Park, on a bus with another 30 and 4 adults. By the time I came home, I was done in. Literally all I could do was lie down and sleep for2 hours.

I'm a teacher. I work with those kids every day. It tired me out because
-there were unfamiliar adults I had to relate to,
-it was noisy - all day.
-I got no 'me time' during the day. Normally We have 15minute break while kids are at recess, and they get 45 minutes for lunch. I Spend 15-20minutes of lunch in my classroom by myself, then head to the staffroom for lunch. Time with colleagues isn't draining, and I can withdraw into my head if I need to.

After those 2 hours I was fine to be me again. Not willing to go back out to any parties or visit people, but rested and able to be spoken to.

Be aware of things like that. If you know your partner has a lunch meeting, be ready to be quiet and busy when he comes home. Especially at weekends, be aware of overfilling days with no time to chill quietly.

I don't necessarily need to be *all by myself * I need to be *alone with my thoughts* - so a lunch stop where we sit quietly is fine.



6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day?
quietly, straight to the point. Don't play games. I'm already analysing the situation, I need to be able to trust you to say what you mean.

For me, the best time time is after quiet time. I build quiet time into my day - before I go to work (I go in early), at lunch time, in the afternoon when kids leave. Find out what your partner is doing and approach from there.


If there's anything else you'd like to add,

Try to stop thinking of introverts needing to be *alone* and think in terms of *quiet* - if you look at it that way it's much easier to see how relationships would work without being torturous. I need time in my own head, without distractions. Not time by myself.

I can be in my head in a group, and frequently I am.



lioness-rampant
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Posted: 6/22/2013 6:58:38 AM
I love this fun comparrison table I had pinned!

I've linked to my source, But it's not the original source.

music, work, boredom described by introverts vs extroverts it's meant to be funny, but it is quite accurate.



Coaliesquirrel
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Posted: 6/22/2013 7:23:44 AM
Introverts may not always SEEM like introverts to you if you're already good friends or the SO. I'm perfectly fine around people I'm comfortable with, and they don't wear me out - it's going places where I DON'T know people that I'm drained by & try to avoid. For example, I go to a scrapping retreat once or twice a year with 7-8 gals I've known for 5-10 years. At least some of those people would probably describe me as an extrovert because I kind of am *when I'm with just them*. Three whole days with them + very little sleep, and I come home recharged, never having needed to seek solitude while I was there. HOWEVER, sometimes we have to bring in someone new - a friend of one of the other girls - to make the minimum # of people. While my friends have other nice friends, it totally blows the relaxing aspect of the weekend for me, because now I don't know what to expect from this person and am somewhat on guard. I also dislike hanging with all the same group of people within a much larger context (like a huge group crop) because of the unpredictability of it.

All that to say, my suggestion for meeting your need to socialize while keeping your introvert SO sane would be to entertain at home rather than going out, and keep it to a smallish group of close friends.

yoko
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Posted: 6/22/2013 7:42:02 AM
First: that chart is hilarious! So true.

Second: I also giggled that you started 2 threads about this, you silly extrovert I'm teasing you, I hope you see that .

For me, it all boils down to this- I don't go around with an Introvert sign around my neck. Most people I meet are surprised if they find out I am one. I am NOT shy. I am NOT quiet. I do public speaking as part of my job.

But at a certain point, I am done. And then I need to just chill. I am lucky that I have a husband who just lets me do that. Preferably with a cat on my lap .


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MergeLeft
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Posted: 6/22/2013 8:20:12 AM

For me, it all boils down to this- I don't go around with an Introvert sign around my neck. Most people I meet are surprised if they find out I am one. I am NOT shy. I am NOT quiet. I do public speaking as part of my job.

But at a certain point, I am done. And then I need to just chill. I am lucky that I have a husband who just lets me do that.


Ditto. I'm an elementary music teacher. I'm loud and boisterous at work - with the kids. I enjoy interacting with my colleagues, especially in small group settings. And I love my extroverted spouse and do the best I can to meet his needs while still meeting my own (and fortunately he gets that and doesn't push me to be social when I'm not up for it).

But here's the thing: I married him because being with him is nearly as restorative to me as being alone. He doesn't expect me to be "on;" he's fine with me just being me. I rarely feel the need to escape from him. I couldn't be in a relationship where I didn't feel that way about my partner.

But the other side of being an adult introvert is learning to cope in an extroverted world, which sometimes means interacting with others even when you don't want to. It's not all about me and my needs in our relationship. It wouldn't be fair of me to snap or snarl at my husband because he needs some conversation at a time when I need to be left alone. The introvert doesn't get to make all the rules - if it were up to me alone, we'd almost never go out with other people on the weekends, but that wouldn't be fair to my husband either. There has to be some give and take or the relationship won't work.

ETA: wow, that chart is spot on! I like it better than some others I've seen, which seem to imply that we're all fragile egotists who can't handle normal human interaction.


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Runner5
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Posted: 6/22/2013 8:51:47 AM
As an introvert, I'm nodding my head at so many of these but that still doesn't let me off the hook that I'm in a relationship so sometimes I need to relate.

Fortunately DH is an introvert too.

We realized we needed to be giving more when our extremely extroverted DD#2 was desperate for social interaction on weekends. Even as a young child, she would bounce off the walls asking if we could have people over. Her needs for people were as legitimate as our needs for solace.



Mary




TinaFB
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:06:58 AM
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking is a really great book. It will help you find answers to your questions.

My biggest thing is that I need my partner to recognize that my desire to be alone isn't a rejection of him. There are certain experiences I prefer to do on my own so I can be more focused or just enjoy the quiet. It doesn't mean that I don't want to spend time with him. I just need to do some things alone.


Tina


dulcemama
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:13:24 AM
1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect?

Don't try to change them, respect them for who they are. As someone else said, it's not always about being alone but more about having some quiet. DH and I will often sit in the same room together, doing different things and that feels like love to me.

2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you?

I think that this get misunderstood a lot. Just because socializing can be draining doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. I enjoy parties and going out with friends, but when I get home, I often need an hour or two to myself before I go to bed. It's like going to an amusement park-fun but tiring. And being around people that I don't know or don't really like is more draining than being around friends or DH.

3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you?

As others have said, if I seek you out, I like you. If I initiate conversation with you, I like you. If I invite you to my house, I really like you.

4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?

I'll let you know. I think that for most introverts, it is not so much that they don't communicate but more that they want to be thoughtful in what they communicate. Give them time to get their thoughts together. As for being comforted, I am comforted by knowing that things will get back to normal. DH is a musician and after we would have a big fight, he would start singing a made up, funny song about the fight we just had. That is very comforting to me. It's not so direct, which would be too much after a fight but it let me know that we were still on good terms and life goes on.

5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost?

Drained is a temporary state. You may need to put things aside until the person can recharge but the "battle" has not been lost.

6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day?

Morning is usually best for me or after I have had some time to myself. Ask if they are ready to talk or spend time with you. Maybe take note of any patterns of when they seem to need quite time or time alone. Best way to communicate-thoughtfully, take the time to think out the conversation and to really listen.


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purplepackrat
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:14:15 AM
Your questions are a tad offensive - they are all in the negative. Are you sure you are not confusing being an introvert with being depressed?

Where the hell are you getting "drained" and "nothing left to give?" LOL

So, if you have introverted tendencies are you sure that your situation has something to do with introvert v. extrovert? Maybe you are just one of "those females." Maybe you crave attention and have the need to crawl up your SO's butt for whatever reason. Maybe you should be researching borderline personality disorder.

(Just thought I'd turn the tables a bit).

I really don't find there to be issues with an extrovert/introvert relationship. It is sort of like a ying/yang thing. While I do need to be gently made to leave my home to go to a party, I enjoy myself once there. Yes, it seems to leach the energy out of me, but I have the same staying power at a party as an extrovert. I'm just totally enjoy going home. It is almost a relief to get into the car and head home. But "drained?" and "nothing left?" Somehow, I'm able to pull it together, I guess!

So:

1. Leave your partner alone. Get some other friends. Get a hobby.
2. We find relationships extremely pleasurable and love being surrounded by family and friends...we just enjoy when they go home. Just because I enjoy being solitary, doesn't make me a freak. Get out of your guy's face and he might like you better.
3. You don't. Sometimes, we're not sure either.
4. Body language? The glare?
5. Battle? Really? Stop making it one. I must admit you lost me on this one, though.
6. How about use some common sense? If we are doing something particularly solitary, leave us alone. If we make eye contact, say hi. If it is dinner time, feed us. How about this: ask your partner! Schedule us time. Take turns doing what each of you like to do.

All joking aside, if your situation is so extreme, it may be more than the introvert/extrovert thing. If you don't mesh with someone, you don't mesh. If you have issues that make you feel you need to climb up your partner's ass when you KNOW that is not what they are into, it is your issue, not theirs. If your partner is so freaking drained that they feel they have nothing left to give, then a visit to the doctor may be in order.

Kudos to you for trying to figure things out.





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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:25:48 AM

My biggest thing is that I need my partner to recognize that my desire to be alone isn't a rejection of him. There are certain experiences I prefer to do on my own so I can be more focused or just enjoy the quiet. It doesn't mean that I don't want to spend time with him. I just need to do some things alone.


I totally agree!


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pennyring
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:35:33 AM
1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect?

This is different for everyone. My husband shows me love by handling a lot of our household duties, including cooking, because I have a long commute and work longer hours than he does.


2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you? (It seems introverts would find being in a relationship quite dreadful!)

I can't speak for anyone else, but I enjoy the people that I enjoy. I don't NOT enjoy them because I also need my personal space from time to time. Those things are not mutually exclusive.

Sometimes I'm up for hanging out with friends, sometimes I'm not. It's proportionate to the amount of interacting I had to do at work that day. So... if I had a very extroverted work day, I might not have the energy to also go out with friends.

DH is exempt from my introversion though. I almost always want to be with him, near him, around him. Long before I correlated this with being an introvert, I told DH he was different from everyone else. He's the only person in the world who I never feel the need to get away from. After awhile, everyone else annoys me and I need my space. I never feel that way around DH.


3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you? (Exp: "I called you on purpose, just to talk. Do you get how big that is?" & "I could be alone right now, but I choose to spend time with you. Feel special." Yes, these are on the funny side but there is truth to them. That's the basis of question 3.)

How do you tell if anyone tolerates you? LOL! I think this question is more about how you act around people and whether or not you are annoying. I don't seek out people who irritate the crap out of me. I'm polite/professional when they're up in my grill, but I wouldn't go looking for them to hang out. Eeeeesh.

4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?

I yell a lot when I'm mad. I'm an introvert, I'm not mute. Being an introvert just means you recharge your batteries by being alone. It doesn't mean you don't get angry. Of course I want to be comforted when I'm upset if you're someone I trust, someone I feel comfortable with. Any random person, not so much.

5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost?

I don't know what this means. It sounds suicidal or something.

6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day?

Time of day has nothing to do with introversion. I'm not a morning person, but that has nothing to do with being an introvert.

As far as communication goes, I prefer to communicate professionally via email because it gives me time to think/understand/reply.

I will talk over the phone when necessary, or when it's more efficient, but generally, I prefer email.

I hate talking on the phone when I get home from work because I feel like I've been talking to people all day. Mostly I text family and friends.




benem
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:39:38 AM
I'm a social introvert. I like being social and I can seem "extroverted" bc I am not quiet and withdrawn in front of people.

But I recharge and get my energy back by being alone. I need silence. Being around other people is draining for me.

So I'm not sure I have much to offer except I will say... When I am mad, I will withdraw. If you don't come after me and pursue it, we will never work it out and never resolve it.


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.fish
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Posted: 6/22/2013 9:43:58 AM

Your questions are a tad offensive - they are all in the negative. Are you sure you are not confusing being an introvert with being depressed?


I agree. It's not a disease!!!! Yeesh!


.fish

melanell
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Posted: 6/22/2013 10:36:46 AM
There's no instruction manual for all introverts, kwim?

You can't ask these questions and expect to get answers that will work in your situation or that will even remotely agree with one another.

I think you could remove the word "Introvert" from every one of your questions and insert the name of the person you are in a relationship with, and find it much more helpful to your situation.

In fact, I highly suggest that you do just that. Take these questions, ask your partner to let you know when is a good time for them to talk to you and then go over these questions with them.

If they aren't entirely sure how to answer your questions, then perhaps they would be willing to read the 5 Love Languages book, take the quiz, and share the results with you. (You could do the same.)



Have you answered these questions yourself? You say that you have introverted tendencies. How would you react/answer these questions? That may help you better understand your partner as well as sensing whether or not the questions can be changed to be presented in a more positive way. Because like others, I too felt that these questions sounded very negative and even a bit insulting.



melanell
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Posted: 6/22/2013 10:43:37 AM
I love that comparison table! LOL!





melanell
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Posted: 6/22/2013 10:57:10 AM
For me, it's not always about not being alone, but more about having to do the whole "small talk" thing with someone new, or to have to keep up one side of a long conversation on my own with just one other person. I prefer groups to being one of just 2 people together, unless I know the other person well enough to know we can just be quiet together sometimes.

If I am meeting someone new, and on my own, then I actually prefer to meet someone who is a big talker....as long as I'm not stuck with them indefinitely, of course! Because they tend to dive into more meaty subjects more quickly. And they tend to require input from me less often. I'm more than happy to hear someone tell me all about their summer plans and their latest vacation, etc., while we watch our kids at the park. I'm am great at listening. I don't feel the need to have equal time in most conversations.

But too often, instead, I find someone who wants to keep throwing out one line at at a time and I have to keep coming up with something in response in regard to subjects that aren't always very interesting. The weather. The park itself. Whatever our kids are doing.

Stranger: "It's so hot today!".

I want to say "Obviously", but instead I reply "Yes, and for so early in the morning, too.".

A minute later, Stranger: "This park is so much smaller than the park closed for the summer."

I want to say "Obviously" , but instead say "Yes, we'll have to get used to doing without that one for awhile.".

A minute later, Stranger: "Aw, the kids are playing together." I want to say "Yes. Kids tend to do that.", but instead I say "That's so cute.".

It's not that I am looking to be sarcastic or caustic to someone I just met. It's more of a frustration at the game of chit-chatting about seemingly nothing. I don't see how those bits of conversation made either of our days any better.

After 5 minutes of that, I'm ready to pack up my kids and leave just to stop the exchange of small talk between us. After 10 minutes, I just to want to cry.

In other words, I find it draining to keep talking just to fill in the silence. I'm good with silence. A friendly wave and a "Hi!" are all the contact I really need from some other mother at the park with me.

But some other people are uncomfortable with silence and they need to fill it. So they don't get that I am just being quiet not being snotty, rude, or just mean.




Frazzled Mom
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Posted: 6/22/2013 10:58:53 AM
That comparison table was spot on! Funny and true...


Gail

Susie_Homemaker
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Posted: 6/22/2013 1:19:41 PM
Introverts my people! I'm so glad to read this thread and not feel like I'm an antisocial grump.

I especially agree with melanell. Small talk is awful for me.

But too often, instead, I find someone who wants to keep throwing out one line at at a time and I have to keep coming up with something in response in regard to subjects that aren't always very interesting.






It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'
- Sam Levenson





* Harmony *
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Posted: 6/22/2013 3:02:10 PM
These comments have been extremely helpful to me! Thank you to everyone who replied.

I sincerely apologize to any I offended. It wasn't my intent. I hoped to avoid offending anyone by initially admitting that my research is new & may be stereotypical. My wording, while flawed, was mostly statements I've found while researching - including verbiage specifically said to me. Also, I do realize not every statement will apply to my situation... I'm a researcher; I enjoy gathering a large collection of data that I can pull from to form my own conclusions. I never meant to imply that introversion is a disease! Goodness, no. I respect that it's a personality trait; one I have tendencies in (and am discovering more about my own behavior in this process). I find people & the way the brain works fascinating. I'm learning & growing from this experience. You all are helping me, and I'm grateful.

Yes, depression is a factor (on my end & my partner's). Yes, neediness is a factor (on my end & I hate it. I'm trying to rid myself of it for my partner's sake & my own). And, menopause is a factor (which makes the situation all the more interesting & complex).

I've thoroughly enjoyed learning from everyone here. If anyone else has anything to add, please do so.


{ETA: My partner & I have excellent communication. I've asked these questions & more. I'm simply gathering additional information; I like more than one perspective.]



crayolamamaa
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Posted: 6/23/2013 3:48:20 AM
I'm sure everyone is different so I will answer for just me.

1. How can one best show an introvert love & respect?

By accepting them for who they are. Allow them to be quiet. Give them space when they need it. When they speak, realize that they are giving you a huge part of themselves. Don't tell them they have to be more outgoing, they need to get out more, or anything that says that you think that being an introvert is not okay.

2. Introverts need solitude & are drained by interaction so how are relationships enjoyable for you? (It seems introverts would find being in a relationship quite dreadful!)

One on one relationships are very enjoyable to me. I am not drained by time spent with a good friend. I love friend time. (I am a quality time "love language" speaker). I don't like being in crowds, in groups with lots of people, or with people who are just over the top loud. If I have to be in those types of situations, I will seek out a few others who don't want to be the life of the party to spend time with.

3. How does one tell if an introvert loves vs tolerates you? (Exp: "I called you on purpose, just to talk. Do you get how big that is?" & "I could be alone right now, but I choose to spend time with you. Feel special." Yes, these are on the funny side but there is truth to them. That's the basis of question 3.)

This probably varies with different people and maybe men and women. I think an introvert needs their space but also wants to be with those they love. They may need to be asked to make the first move sometimes but do understand ITS REALLY HARD to do this. Are they pushing you away? Are they seeming to enjoy the time they spend with you? When you seek them out, are they in the middle of something or returning from a crowd? Sensitivity is probably important when it comes to being married to an introvert, but please don't take their need for time alone as a sign that they don't love you or want to spend time with you.

4. How does one tell if an introvert is sad or mad vs simply needing to be introverted? Does an introvert even want to be comforted when upset?

If I am mad or sad, I will tell you if you ask. I do want to be comforted when I am upset. Being comforted would look like a hug, a listening ear, quiet time together. It would not look like taking me to a party with a bunch of people or telling me to be something I don't feel like being at that moment.

5. If an introvert is "drained" & "has nothing left to give" is there any hope or has the "battle" been lost?

I don't get drained all the time. I do need time to rejuvenate by being quietly creative ... quilting, scrap-booking, organizing after being in a crowd for a long time. What kind of "hope" are you talking about? Being an introvert doesn't mean that a person is antisocial or wants to be alone all the time. I get really lonely if I am alone for too long. An introvert shouldn't be drained all the time unless they are working at a job that requires them to be on all the time.

6. What is the best way to communicate with an introvert? Is there a better time of day?


When someone communicates with me, I like the conversation to be honest, real, and have substance. If I am talking,I like to be heard, to be taken seriously, and to be focused on. I don't like having to compete with the TV, phone, or a bunch of other people. I also don't like being interrupted or have the person I'm with act distracted (because someone louder and more boisterous grabs their attention). I think the time of day might depend on if the introvert is a morning or night person.

heartcat
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Posted: 6/24/2013 6:13:42 AM

DH is exempt from my introversion though. I almost always want to be with him, near him, around him. Long before I correlated this with being an introvert, I told DH he was different from everyone else. He's the only person in the world who I never feel the need to get away from. After awhile, everyone else annoys me and I need my space. I never feel that way around DH.


This is me.

I am an introvert who generally has little need of other people (which is not to say I do not enjoy, appreciate or love them) but when it comes to my partner (and children as well) it is very different. They are my focus. The bulk of my emotional and social needs are focused on and met by my nuclear family.

I am very cuddly, love to have long conversations (though prefer to be the listener most times) and enjoy being around and doing things with my dh and children. My primary relationship is of utmost importance to me. It is my focus in life.

I do not find them 'draining' the way that I do other people. I do not know why that is. Even other people that I love dearly, trust completely, and thoroughly enjoy, like my mother/sister/best friend, I do not have the same need for interaction with and can go days without talking to them and be just fine.

I do occasionally need and take 'me' time. When I am focused on something (reading/writing/a hobby) I do not like to be interrupted.

I like to be prepared for social interaction with others. I do not like people to 'drop by' and do not want a partner to encourage that in others. I also do not want to be out and have him decide to stop at someone else's place on a whim, or to be at the bar and decide last minute to invite someone else to join us. I need to 'psyche myself up' for including others.

I do not like to have focus shifted to me or to be encouraged to talk about something. One thing dh does that drives me crazy is to be with someone else/other people, and then turn to me and say, 'Did you tell so-and-so about such-and-such?'

Then of course the other person is looking at me expectantly for follow up. Even if it's something I might want to have shared with the other person, being put on the spot like that is uncomfortable for me.

It's okay for my partner to have their own hobbies, interests and friends. In fact, I encourage it. I do not want or need to be included in everything. I encourage him to meet his own social needs without guilt. And to realize that it isn't that I don't like his friends, or don't want to be with him, etc.

Conversely, I might not want to include him in everything I do. It is difficult for me to interact with people in groups. Sometimes I just want to see my sister, or my parents, or a friend on my own. It has nothing to do with wanting to 'get away' from him.

I feel sometimes as though I am a different person with different people. Different people bring out different aspects of my personality and I tend to interact with them differently. Usually taking a cue from their lead as to what they need or want.

Cathy the wife, is somewhat different from Cathy the sister, or Cathy the friend. There is an 'all purpose' me, if you will, lol. But my preference is to separate and compartmentalize my relationships. It makes it easier for me to then interact with others.

I do want to be comforted when I am upset. If I am mad, you can usually tell by my body language and tone of voice.

What I need from and have to give to a partner is VERY different from what I need from and have to give to others though. I don't know how typical that is of most introverts. For me, a romantic partnership fulfills most of my emotional and social needs. It is highly important to me. I do not truly like to be 'alone' but prefer to be in a close emotional relationship with a significant other.


***********
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