Ever Feel Like You Need an Extrovert? Why It’s Wonderful for Introverts to Have Extroverts in Their Lives

 

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A sweet man recently asked if it was necessary for my partner to be an introvert. I had to think about it. Right after my marriage ended I swore I would never be in a longterm relationship with an extrovert again.

They just don’t get me.  

We can’t connect deeply and spiritually.

But… in the last few months I’ve craved the company of an extrovert or at least an ambivert (individual in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum) for the following reasons:

1. I miss riding the high energy wave. I like to be entertained occasionally. Extroverts are fun. They are outgoing!  As much as we like to begrudge them their damn gregariousness, who doesn’t like someone party dancerexuding energy and barely contained laughter?

My ideal INFJ relationship match is an ENFP or ENTP (although INTJs are strong candidates as well). Why are they ideal you ask? According to MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) studies, they compensate for my introverted and judging traits. Now before you get your subtle panties in a twist wondering why I need any kind of compensation for my temperament, just ponder the image of me hosting a dinner party for 6-8 people. I like small gatherings and I consider this a manageable size but it sure would be nice to have someone offering drinks while my perfectionist and overly conscientious-self goes over final details and takes deep breaths in the kitchen. Imagine walking out into a room full of guests already warmed up by a bubbling co-host. Aaaah ease and fun.:) Yes, social introverts can do this too (I consider myself a social introvert) but extroverts are the original, natural, gatherers and hosts.

2.Extroverts get things done: I read this rather annoying and brash post about how annoying and insipid introverts are, and came away with one point of agreement.  Extroverts get things done. They are action oriented.  We are thought oriented.  They commit to projects and make them happen.  I personally, futz around for eons before getting down to the work and even then I take forever because of my deliberateness. Extroverts are the proverbial ‘busy persons’ we are supposed to ask if we want something done.  My extroverted friends plan themed parties, head up committees and drop everything to help me pick out paint. They support me in ways beyond lip service. They offer to help move, clean and create and then follow through with their offer. They are not exhausted by action. They dig it. I’m so jealous but also grateful.

Extroverts inspire me to get moving. Left to my own devices I would play on the internet all day or read or watch movies.  Extroverts say, “Oooh let’s go see what’s happening there tonight” or “Should we go for a hike?”

3. Extroverts want company: It’s heavenly to feel wanted. I like it when he confidently makes the first move. It’s a glorious feeling to know someone is happy to see you. To know someone is looking forward to your presence. It’s usually fairly easy to tell if an extrovert likes you. They light up when you walk in. They move closer to you. They let you know with obvious attention like flirting, touching and consistent communication. They ask you to do things, sometimes weeks in advance. With an introvert it’s sometimes difficult to tell if they would rather stay in by themselves or spend the evening with you. I know because I’m an introvert.  I sometimes want to stay in by myself.

bullhorn-full4. Extroverts promote, support and stick up for you: I am eternally grateful to my extroverted friends who greet me at a party and introduce me around. They ask me questions and draw me out. They unabashedly promote my writing.

There is something deeply comforting about someone outwardly supporting you.

I remember my dad backing up my step-mom when it came to her parenting/discipline decisions.  He would stand beside her or even behind her and tell us kids to listen because she knows what she is talking about. I always wanted my husband to say that.

My introverted friends provide boatloads of support but it is mostly in private and quietly.  It is my way as well so I am not putting introverts down. It takes a lot of introvert energy to actively help friends. We are judicious about where our energy is expended. We are fantastic support. We just have to ration it.

5. Extroverts shield you from the bullish*t. They aren’t as averse to small talk. They talk to and negotiate with sales people. They take the social hit for you. They see it as engaging with others when we see it as disruptive, meaningless or confrontational. I would rather wait and jump in when the conversation gets meaty but an extrovert will eagerly jump in and swim in the lake of interaction.

Haven’t forgotten my introvert tribe

Remember, I primarily identify as an introvert. I’m like a minority poking fun at her ethnicity but knowing her core values stem from her people. I simply recognize (after a million hours of contemplation) what I occasionally want and need.

As I wrote this post, introverted loved ones who are quite capable of extroverting, came to mind. I know introverts are strong powerhouses and have adapted to an extroverted culture. They buzz with energy, get things done, promote, support, chat and desire company. I’ve experienced amazing friendships and work relationships with both introverts and extroverts.

In love, I’ve fallen the hardest and deepest for introverts. The emotional intimacy and lifestyle recognition is incredible with a fellow introvert. An innie/outie relationship requires a lot of open and honest explaining. Extroverts most likely won’t “get” the critical aspects of alone time. They’ll feel rejected and I’ll have to show them all of my posts on space2live.;)

Perhaps an ambivert is ideal…

Is it hard to admit you would like an extrovert around some days to shore up where you fall short? What can you do that would be difficult for an extrovert to manage? 

**The individuals in a relationship bring different gifts to the table. Couples work best when they come together as whole people not as unfinished beings who need someone else to fill in where they fall short. The intention of this post is to simply state what is beautiful about extroverts.**

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11 Comments

  1. richardyii
    May 2, 2014

    Reblogged this on sixthsense05.

    Reply
  2. Ever Feel Like You Need an Extrovert? Why It's ...
    December 1, 2013

    […] A sweet man recently asked if it was necessary for my partner to be an introvert. I had to think about it. Right after my marriage ended I swore I would never be in a longterm relationship with an extrovert again.  […]

    Reply
  3. elizabeth2560
    November 26, 2013

    NOW I understand why I “get” the full spectrum of your posts so much, as I am an INFJ too, and we are very rare. I don’t agree that it is only extroverts that get things done. What I have found is that extroverts get the exciting things done and then they leave the introverts for the mundane. Sometimes i think it is the trudging through the mundane that wears us out.
    I do agree that extroverts or ‘semi’ extroverts make socialising a lot easier. I am finding associating with those in the middle a blessing – they help the conversation moving but do not try and drown everyone else out.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      November 26, 2013

      Hey fellow INFJ:) We are an interesting combination of personality facets. It’s always very cool to connect with another one.

      I do believe introverts get things done too. Perhaps you have something with your sense that introverts do the mundane work. I know I felt like that for years in my marriage/home.

      Thanks for your response Elizabeth. Always good to hear from you.:)

      Reply
  4. Ever Feel Like You Need an Extrovert? Why It&rs...
    November 23, 2013

    […] A sweet man recently asked if it was necessary for my partner to be an introvert. I had to think about it.  […]

    Reply
  5. Scott Mitchell
    November 23, 2013

    Dang, this great article you wrote has me self analyzing now. Now I kind of think I’m an ambivert, but sometimes otherwise. Nice writeup!

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      November 24, 2013

      Scott, I am looking into the possibility that I may be an ambivert too! I definitely need my space and downtime but I socialize fairly easily as well. There may be a future post in this…:)

      Reply
  6. Jen G.
    November 22, 2013

    I liked your post, except for one thing. Introverts and Extroverts fall on the same spectrum. The way I read your post, it seemed like you were either one or the other (binary).

    I think you could have one deeply introverted person and their partner could be more mid-range introverted. The less-introverted partner could provide some of that “extrovert support” you describe in your post.

    My husband is also an introvert (like me), but he is closer to the middle. Perhaps that is what you meant by ambiverts, but maybe not. Having a partner who is more extroverted than me, but still falls on the introvert side, is a perfect blend for me. He doesn’t take it personal when I need time to recharge, but he is also quite comfortable warming up the dinner crowd for me while I put the finishing touches on the dish.

    I think it’s great to think about what things other people/friends can bring to a relationship. Being tuned in to that makes for healthier relationships, I think. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      November 23, 2013

      I definitely agree. We are all on the spectrum somewhere. For simplicity, I used the opposite ends of the spectrum. Marti Olsen Laney (of The Introvert Advantage) says we all have introverted and extroverted attributes but usually one is dominant. Ambiverts exhibit both temperament traits.

      It sounds like you found a lovely mate who both understands and complements you. Nice.:) I’m all for healthy relationships.

      Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment. I appreciate the feedback.

      Reply
  7. Doug Toft
    November 22, 2013

    You surprised me with this one—in a positive way. Also like the new font, which is much more readable.

    Reply
    • Brenda Knowles
      November 23, 2013

      I’m glad it surprised you in a good way.:) I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to get the larger fonts. I agree much easier on the eyes.

      Reply
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