Introversion and extroversion are personality types proposed by Psychologist Carl G. Jung (Myers Briggs Foundation, 2015). Introverts are people who derive energy from and are restored by solitude and quiet. They are happy in libraries reading, quiet café’s people watching, or mellow jazz clubs. They are comfortable with their own company, and appreciate solitude. They gravitate to low energy environments if you will. Introverts tend toward being quiet, reserved, or rigid, but it is not the same as shy or socially phobic. Extroverts are energized and restored by social activity; they gravitate toward high energy environments. They prefer dance clubs, going to parties and meeting new people, are more, spontaneous, outgoing, and louder. Introverts and extroverts can be polar opposites. Yet Jung himself noted that Introverts and Extroverts often marry Philosophy lander edu. (2009). Jung’s theories were very based on balance and equilibrium. Opposite personality type couples may connect to figuratively complete each other. An introvert and an extrovert together have personality characteristics that can be complimentary.

There may be a theoretical basis for the adage opposites attract, but you will have to test this yourself. If you are an extrovert who is seeing an introvert, here are insights into our personality type:

1. Expect to get and give back a lot of space.

Introverts need down time and alone time, especially after socializing with a large group of people. Introverts may tend to project this view of normal behavior on to their extraverted partners, who can feel slighted or rejected when an introvert does not need to be with them every day. That does not mean they don’t like you. Extraverts tend to prefer a lot more sensory stimulation; they like dancing at clubs to loud music, and thrive on company and social interaction. Introverts embrace quiet and solitude, but are definitely able to do well in a romantic relationship. But they need to go slow, and take breaks in between dates. Don’t jump to conclusions if you don’t get together every day. However, you will probably get emails, texts and phone calls every day.

2. Expect deep meaningful conversation by the hour.

Introverts do love to talk- as long as the discussion had meaning. Introverts dislike small talk, and prefer in depth discussion about important life issues, or world events. Introverts do not spend a lot of time following the latest antics of celebrities, or other trivial matters. (I realize what I just wrote is a reflection of my introversion.) We are much more interested in literature, philosophy, history, science or politics. We can spend hours discussing how the world is changing, and the nature of people.

3. Expect clear communication – sometimes too clear. Introverts can be abrupt, or lacking in tact.

Our brains to mouth filters do not always engage properly, and we can say things we regret. Introverts can sometimes be too honest, and not abide by social rules of communication. We are often very direct, as we can have difficulty understanding or practicing subtlety. If something hurtful is said, say so. I have many times given offense when I had no intention to do so. I have learned the value of communicating my intention if not actually practicing tact.

4. Expect no games- introverts are straightforward in their communication and actions. What you see is what you get.

The benefit of such directness is that you will always know where you stand. Generally, Introverts do not have ulterior motives, and do not play manipulative games. When they tell you they love you for the first time, they really mean it- or they wouldn’t say it.

5. Expect them to be quiet around your friends and family.

Meeting your family and friends for the first time can be an arduous task for an introvert. They will need some time to take in everything, remember new names, and will have to engage in the dreaded small talk. I fan introvert can endure meeting new people that you introduce them to, it means they really like you, as they are making themselves tolerate something they can only do with difficulty. I went to a Labor Day party the other day, and the hostess started introducing me to people. I shook hands with some people and though Oh my gosh there are people here. I have to meet them and talk to them.

Here are a couple of tips to make things more bearable for you introverted partner at the get together with your family” give them a job to do, with one of the new people they are meeting. Get them into their comfort zone. I ended up carving a beef brisket; I love to cook, so the kitchen is my comfort zone.

Steer them toward other introverts. After helping with the food prep, I found the other introvert at the party, and struck up conversation with him. Following this, I ducked out, reflecting that I will just never feel comfortable at parties.

6. Be willing to trade and compromise. Don’t mock the quiet activities they enjoy.

Introverts enjoy quiet. If they really like you, they will suffer through a party or dance club with you. Just be sure to trade and go sit at a quiet mellow jazz club with them on the next date- without complaining that you are bored, or how dull this is.

Extroverts and Introverts can do well together in a relationship- if they understand each other. If the communication is lacking, it will produce tension, anxiety, and unnecessary conflicts.

 

Written by David A. Porter, MA, LADC
Private Practice clinician
Adjunct Faculty in Psychology and Criminology
Freelance Behavioral Science writer