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your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman

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It Takes a Village, Even for Introverts: Diffusing the Pressure of Being Everything to Your Mate

 

community

We sit around the wooden kitchen table laughing our asses off. The Happy Birthday banner hangs over the window. The smell of homemade chicken soup lingers in the air. There are seven of us gathered for this casual party. We play Cards Against Humanity and find out just how sick and lewd we truly are. The quiet friend plays the most twisted cards and suddenly her personality is loud. Her husband, the extrovert at the head of the table, is in full-out storytelling mode. Another friend’s laugh turns into a contagious cackle we all catch. It is the perfect let your hair down game and the perfect we’re all in this together night. I put my hand on my guy’s knee and smile at him. All around us are warm joyful faces, our friends, our community.

You are my everything

Marriage –we turn to one person to fulfill what once an entire village (friends, community, extended family) once delivered. How we expect our partners to be the primary supplier for our emotional connections, to provide the anchoring experiences of life. — Esther Perel, Future of Couples – Key Ingredients to a Happy Marriage

I know it sounds weird for an introvert to recommend surrounding yourself with groups of people but there is a kind of relief in community. There is less pressure to provide all things to your mate. Someone else can be their best friend, confidant, playmate, stress reliever, workmate, confidence booster, etc. When we look to our partners for total fulfillment we place a lot of pressure on them.

Freedom or isolation?

 

Many people today do not live near their extended families. There is no tribe of origin in the vicinity to celebrate with and lean working aloneon. They work from home and do not even have an office/plant environment to cultivate friendships and camaraderie. Organized religion’s numbers are declining in the U.S., thus removing the presence of another supportive community. We do not take the time to drop by and visit each other or host gatherings. My personal opinion is that this lack of community is more prevalent in suburban settings, but feel free to disagree with me. I will also venture to say that men appear to have fewer close friendships/relationships outside of the home than women.

Intense togetherness especially hard for introverts

As we become more and more isolated as individuals, our dependence on our partners and immediate family becomes more intense. We become our partner’s person. We become a bonded unit with no separateness. As an introvert, this can feel overwhelming.

It’s wonderful for our mates to have a circle of friends on which to disperse their energy and needs, therefore leaving us with space for solitude, meaningful relationships of our own and personal endeavors. Space to come back to ourselves and ultimately have something to give to our relationship.

But aren’t lots of people an introvert’s kryptonite?

I admit, I was a tad anxious leading up to the birthday party. Most of the invited guests were friends of my guy’s. There was food to be prepared and the worrisome desire for everyone to have a good time. Entertaining others is not my strong suit.

NOOOooooo!!

NOOOooooo!!

Empathizing and listening to others — right up my alley. Just knowing I will be required to be ON for several hours for guests is daunting. Usually, I leave plenty of time prior to an event for preparations. I also try to get time alone beforehand to fill up my energy reserves. In this case, there was no alone time beforehand. I am not going to lie. I was a bit edgy/irritable because of that.

Once the guests arrived and there was an ease of conversation, I relaxed. The group did not require entertaining. There was simply the pleasure of being together and sharing. Both introverts and extroverts enjoyed themselves. The pressure was off to be the sole provider of attention and fun.

Afterwards, I was tired but content. I had laughed so much my face hurt. I remember thinking to myself,  If I stay with this man I Family Having at Toastwill be part of lots of fun gatherings. And this was a positive thing, not a frightening, Oh my God I’m going to have to socialize all the time, worry. Community is good.

Do you ever feel you are your partner’s life raft? Do you have a good supportive community around you? 

 ** As I was composing this post, a song from my childhood ran through my head. I must have listened to this song 10,000 times. I may have been a little brainwashed. 😉 Andy Gibb’s, I Just Want to Be Your Everything. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. JELindholm January 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    My wife loves a good social outing, but my general desire to avoid them was keeping her away. Over the last year or so I’ve recognized that there’s nothing wrong with her wanting to stay out (or go out) and me wanting to leave (or stay in). In the long run, it’s makes both of us better versions of ourselves, which makes us better for each other.

    Great article!

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