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Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
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
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
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
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
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
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman

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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