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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
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…
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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
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
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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…
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
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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
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
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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…
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 …

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Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You

Woman-walking-away-from-man umbrella

I am told our desire to get away from everyone every now and again and again is perplexing and sometimes painful to extroverts. They don’t understand how we could enjoy being alone, period. Even more confusing, we sometimes choose to be away from people we really like.

The truth is we see all people as stimulation and potential energy drains. Sorry. It doesn’t matter if you make us laugh until we wet our pants or we find you so attractive we agree to make babies with you (or at least practice). We will need a break from you. We even need a break from other introverts, but speaking only for myself, not as often.

What Happens If We Don’t Get Our Space?

The other day I heard a fun-loving morning show radio host say she needs to be in the house alone often in order to be civil.  Having someone in another room of the same house isn’t good enough. She can feel them there. I loved that she said that because I am the same way. Also, she’s a high profile and outgoing personality, yet she still requires time to herself (completely) in order to carry on as a decent human being. Introverts are not all recluses hanging out in dusty homes with cats and classic books (not that there’s anything wrong with cats and classic books;). We get out and rock it, but then we need to withdraw from that buzz because if we don’t we will feel like an overdone steak, no life, no juice. Our minds will be zapped and cottony. Our speech may come out slowly with pauses between words. There may be tears or swearing or both.

We Don’t Mean to Hurt Your Feelings. We Just Can’t Stand You Sometimes.

I’ve heard from readers and experienced it in my own life, extroverts miss us and feel lonely and rejected when we pull back from them. It’s like we take away their light.

It’s especially difficult for children. I’ve seen my daughter’s friends question her relentlessly when she says she is going to play with her dolls after school instead of playing at the friend’s house. You mean you’d rather play alone than play with me? 

School is highly stimulating. Downtime afterwards energizes introverted kids. My daughter is primarily an extrovert but she is sensitive and needs quiet time as well. She jabbers and narrates as she plays, writes, and fixes herself a bagel. She thinks out loud. Sometimes I ask her to think in her head (so that I don’t lose my mind). I ask her very gently but I still see the hurt in her eyes.

That hurt is there in adults’ eyes too. They don’t understand how one day we can spend every waking moment with them working, conversing, giggling, lightinsidewomanbywatercreating, smooching, etc. and the next we want to watch Fargo by ourselves. They want more of the high-energy or deep listening us, but unfortunately that fun dear girl or guy can grow fangs or grow weepy if pushed to be out-going and devoted for too long.

Our brains process everything so deeply it’s tiring. We need time to live in our inner world. We need to recoup bubbly energy by visiting our thoughts, creativity and feelings. We need to go internal in order to express ourselves generously externally. Solitude expands us (and everyone really). It makes space within us so that we can take in more from the outside.

It’s Not You. It’s Us.

My best advice, don’t take it personally. It is most likely not about you (if you’ve been approved as a friend and we’ve shared at least one deep and meaningful late night talk). All we ask is that you don’t make us feel bad for needing space. If we work up the courage to ask for it, please respect our request. It is vital to our well-being.

Do introverts puzzle you? Have you ever been hurt by an introvert’s need for space? Do extroverts drive you nutty sometimes? 

If this piece resonated or affected you in a meaningful way, I would truly appreciate it if you would share it with others who may benefit from it. Thank you!

Are you an introvert trying to explain to your partner what you need? Or are you more of an extrovert trying to understand your introverted partner? Either way, I can help guide you to greater understanding in your relationship. Please contact me to set up a coaching session. I’d love to help enhance your loving relationship. 

If you found, Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You enlightening, you may also love:

There’s Nothing Wrong With You.  You’re an Introvert. (space2live)

Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me but Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much) (space2live)

In Defense of Introverted Parents  (space2live)

What’s Wonderful? Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (space2live)

The Introvert’s Love Affair with Solitude: Will It Always Be Taboo? (space2live)

Space2live’s Top 10 Posts for 2013 and A Personal List of Lessons Learned (space2live)

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  1. lulu liu June 25, 2019 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Hello Brenda!

    I am moderately extroverted and he is very introverted. He approached me first, and I soon started really enjoying our hangouts and conversations. However he never said anything. He just came to hang out a lot, and many times I felt he was trying (awkwardly) to prolong our conversations. Whenever we handed each other things, I felt his fingers always touched mine. So I developed feelings for him and confessed to him. He didn’t reciprocate (at least not verbally), but started texting me every day. It’s been over a year now, and I would say we become good friends. What has been bothering me, however, is as we started the texting thing, we no longer hang out as much. We used to meet and talk two to three times a week by his initiation, but since texting started it’s been once per month, and it’s always me initiating and him accepting once every three or even more propositions. Does this mean he sees me only as a friend? I wanted to think so, but then every once in a while, he would hint he finds me physically attractive. Eventually, in our recent hangout, he asked if he could kiss me. I wanted it, but I was reluctant and we ended sharing a hug before we said goodbye. I feel sad. I find it hard to believe that he’s the kind of guy looking for friends with benefits. But all his actions and words do point in that direction. What’s your read of the situation Brenda? And where do you think this friendship/pseudo-relationship is going?

    • Brenda Knowles June 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      What do you want from the relationship? Do you only want to be friends? Are you sending him that message? If so, I think he moved to texting more because that created more distance to maintain a friend vibe. He asked to kiss you so my guess would be that he wants to be more than friends. Your turn down of his request for a kiss leads me to believe he will withdraw more to protect his ego.
      He may also be extremely introverted and have a difficult time meeting in person where he will have to speak extemporaneously. If he has social anxiety, texting feels safer.
      If you want to be more than friends, kiss him.

      • lulu liu June 26, 2019 at 4:47 pm - Reply

        Brenda, for a moment I feel such a strong emotion when I read “If you want to be more than friends, kiss him”. Yes, I do want to kiss him. I can imagine the thrll and intimacy. And I do like this guy. But the reason I was reluctant, was that he never said he had feelings for me. Once asked, he even said “Even if I do, I would not say that. Somethings are better left unsaid”. And the night after that hangout, he texted me and I asked him again if he had any feelings for me, and he said “No it’s a guy with hormones”. So you see Brenda, I just cannot kiss him, as much as I want to, as I have to protect my ego too — I’m scared I’d be too emotionally attached to him when he wants to walk away. But thank you, thank you for hearing me and for your kind reply. I need to find a place to grieve for a while I guess.

  2. Mirelis Arce December 31, 2018 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    I am very much an extrovert and I’ve recently started dating an introvert. We’ve been together now for 6 months. It’s been 6 months of ups and downs and a lot of learning. We care for each other very much but it’s been quite difficult understanding him sometimes. The feeling of “something is wrong” never quite goes away. Maybe it’ll go away one day as our relationship continues to get stronger. I’ve been very understanding and constantly read articles like these to give myself peace of mind. Are all introverts comfortable with canceling plans? Bailing on people they said they were going to hang out with? There has to be some kind of compromise and I’m not saying to that he’s not compromising but I just can’t relate to a lot of these things.

    • Brenda Knowles January 3, 2019 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Introversion is not an excuse to be rude or disrespectful. If he consistently cancels plans, that’s inconsiderate not introversion. Is he highly socially anxious? Why does he cancel? It should not be be a battle to be seen by your partner. It might take work to understand each other and he may need more alone time than you, but you should ultimately have a feeling of security and reassurance in the relationship. Best of luck Mirelis.

  3. Lexi H July 9, 2018 at 4:30 am - Reply


    I’m an introvert, especially when things aren’t going so well for me at that period in my life. My closest friends know every time when things aren’t going well, despite me trying to hold everything back. Actually, most people who come into contact with me can spot the uneasiness right away. My friends are so considerate and ask me lots of questions and I appreciate that. So I try to ask them questions too and try to put in equal effort into the relationship. It’s not easy as all. But it’s important. I don’t care much for people that I just met, I will be respectful and considerate and ask questions but I’m not going to put too much effort into it. I’d rather put all of it into my close friends.

    Idk if that’s wrong or inconsiderate or what but I’m just trying to manage my hypersensitivity while keeping ahold of close friendships and family… I think it’s the hardest but also the most important.

    • Brenda Knowles July 9, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

      I understand that feeling of only having so much energy to give and choosing to put it into your close people. I have found I am able to expand and extend my energy if I give and take part in the right communities. For example, I joined a church that feeds me as much if not more than it drains me. I don’t know everyone at church all that well, but the ones I talk to are generous and good listeners. Just a thought. Mostly I say, go with your gut. If the situation feels good, roll with it. If you need to exit, do so. Take care and thank you for sharing your thoughtful comment.

  4. D January 5, 2018 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Reading this and the comments has given me a better understanding of what is happening. I don’t have much to be proud of, but the one thing that I can say about myself is that I have always been good at communicating with people and making them happy, and I have excellent interpersonal skills in the workplace…. But ohhhhh boy do I start to freak out if I don’t get alone time! I cannot handle it; I shut down or have a panic attack. Having to deal with this double personality has been a living hell. At age 31 i realized that it just gets worse. This is because everyone that I communicate with on a normal basis is extroverted and they simply can’t handle, stand, tolerate, accept or approve my needs. Doesn’t make sense to them. “Why is she grumpy? Why is she being a bitch? I didn’t do anything wrong, why is she punishing me?” Are things I’ve had to contest when I need to get on stage again and explain myself. I find myself having to explain, reason and defend my need for solitude to stay sane, and they all feel attacked and that I am selfish and mean… That solitude isn’t a need, just a want. It is so exhausting that I often find myself praying to wake up a different person, despite the fact that I don’t think I’m a BAD person or anything. Anyway I know I am just whining, I just don’t have anyone to talk to about it who gets it. My boyfriend tries because he is supportive, but he simply doesn’t get it and it’s a struggle. He says alone time is hard, boring and annoying and he could go without it. Oh lord, even the THOUGHT of never getting alone time is terrifying to me and draining!!! My sister who is an extrovert explained to me a few years back that she needs me to be happy and emotionally available… That I’m such a happiness booster that when I hide or get drained and sad, it’s devastating to her. While on the one hand that’s a compliment and an honor to be so important to people, on the other hand that is such a big role that I really wish I did not have to take on all the time. Because of her telling me this I have really caught on that other people in my life are the same way because when I am down and especially drained from not getting enough alone time , other people caaaaaant handle it, even coworkers. I live in a world where I’m not allowed to heal (by getting alone time), but also not allowed to be tired, sad, or drained. It’s just so hard. /end emo rant

    Thank you for posting this.

    • Brenda Knowles January 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      It is sooo draining when we don’t get to be true to ourselves. No one can be cheery and energetic all the time. It sounds like you are a light in your community but the energy is mostly flowing one way. I hope you find space and safety within your relationships. You are not a bad person. Don’t let the feeling of shame weigh you down. I know how it feels to believe you are letting others down or that others are letting you down. I hope you find safe, energizing relationships and some space to do continuous work or just relax. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. Bethaney September 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    A complex difficulty arises when two introverts (aka highly sensitive person (HSP)) try to cohabitate. When you are told you need to vacate your own home for a minimum of two hours every day so your roommate or significant other can have complete alone time, it can be a real stressor if you are also a highly sensitive person who ALSO has full work days filled with interactions yourself and now you are expected to go back out into the world and find something to do that a) due to financial circumstances doesn’t require spending money, and b) doesn’t involve too much stimulation. The “it’s me not you”, and “don’t take it personally” arguments don’t always fly, especially when your request directly impacts another person. We all need to ask for what we need in our relationships, but sometimes even introverts and HSPs need to learn to compromise. Being sensitive doesn’t = your needs are more important than everyone else’s.

    • Brenda Knowles September 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      I totally agree. See my latest post: Maturity = Courage + Consideration. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story. I hear you.

  6. Karen Hodges August 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you Sooooo much for this!! I’ve tried for years to figure out if something was wrong with me…I just like to be alone sometimes and people don’t understand that. In another way it’s a defense mechanism because getting too close to people puts your in line for hurt. And coping with hurt is draining in itself.
    Again thank you!! I feel better about being me.

    • Brenda Knowles August 14, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

      There is nothing wrong with you. You are shaped by your innate temperament and your previous relationships. Being alone and enjoying your own company is beneficial skill — you get to reflect and know your values. I’m glad you found the post helpful. Thank you for your candid comment.

  7. […] brains process everything so deeply it’s tiring,” self-proclaimed introvert Brenda Knowles explains. “We need time to live in our inner world. We need to recoup bubbly energy by visiting our […]

  8. Sue June 7, 2017 at 6:00 am - Reply

    I must say that after reading all the comments below this article it seems that some, not all, but some extreme introverts have trouble communicating. They befriend or start a relationship with someone, then get all overwhelmed and disappear. Then the other person, whether extroverted or another introvert, feels hurt and confused by their disappearance and lack of contact. We might understand their need, and in the case of fellow introverts our own need for solitude and recovery time, but some introverts apparently only consider their own needs.

    It makes me think why do these people let others get close to them in the first place. Like my case with my doctor friend. If he knows he has trouble forming relationships and usually doesn’t get close to work colleagues or tell them personal stuff, why did he allow me to get close to him in the library? I honestly wish he had kept to himself. It would have saved me a lot of heartache. 🙁

    Another thought. Do you think these people who let their friendship or relationship go, actually regret their decision? I wonder if my doctor friend misses me. My ex work friends certainly say they miss me at work.

    • Brenda Knowles June 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      It’s my experience that everyone needs human connection, even those who have trouble maintaining it. My latest research on attachment styles points to the way we were nurtured (or not nurtured) when we were young as the culprit for struggles with intimacy. Look up my posts on attachment styles and they will give you further insight Sue. Disconnection is not generally someone’s intention. They often get scared or uncomfortable when relationships get close. It reminds them of past relationships that were not nourishing. They withdraw for protection or for the opportunity to regulate their own emotions. I’m sure some regret their decision to abandon a relationship. Others feel they did themselves a favor by avoiding another rejection themselves. Hope that helps a little.

      • Sue June 9, 2017 at 4:07 am - Reply

        I know what you’re saying Brenda, but again it seems that it is on their terms. Although I am an introvert, I love time to myself, I have always had a few friends and am fiercely loyal to them. I have had some of them for years! I have read articles about introverts saying that they can’t necessarily talk much, but if they can put their thoughts down in an email or in a letter, they can write pages. But then they don’t want to receive long emails because having to read it exhausts them. Poor them!

        Like I said in my case, my doctor friend started talking to me first and came into my personal space, frequently. He might be thinking of his feelings now, but he didn’t seem to consider my feelings then. I liked him, as I said, but it was awkward and could be embarrassing if he was behaving as he did when my colleagues were around, as they teased me about it.

        • Brenda Knowles June 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm - Reply

          I’m sorry he did not follow through with more of a relationship beyond your conversations at work. He may be uncomfortable with intimacy. It is hard to tell what was going on inside his head and heart. It’s obvious his behavior was confusing to you and your colleagues. There will be others who know how to follow through and offer reassurance. 🙂

          • Sue June 15, 2017 at 6:02 am

            Brenda, thanks for your comments and advice. I think you are right. Judging by the fact that he didn’t seem to be friends with any of his other colleagues, I think he is uncomfortable with intimacy and finds it hard to make friends. Shame because he was a lovely man, to me at least. 🙂

  9. Sue June 2, 2017 at 4:55 am - Reply

    I have found myself in a very upsetting situation with a fellow introvert. I used to work in a hospital library and my friend was a doctor who came to work at the hospital. He started talking to me as soon as he arrived. It started with him saying “Hiya, you alright.” At first I kept him at something of a distance, like I said I am an introvert myself. Anyway he was determined to invite himself into my space and my introvert bubble, and there was something about him that I liked very much, so I melted and we became good chums when he came into the library. When it was quiet and we had the opportunity to talk without disturbing others, we had some good chats and became quite close. We told each other personal stuff and were, sort of, a mutual support group. He came into the library frequently, and was sometimes in there for hours. I noticed that he didn’t talk to other people, apart from other doctors, but he definitely seemed to be drawn to me. That went on for nearly 4 years.

    Then one day when he was in there and he called me over to talk to him, he dropped his bombshell. He would be leaving the hospital to do a Masters degree. I asked him if he meant for good and he said it would be a for a year, but he would be coming back to the hospital regularly to do locum work. I saw him a couple of times more and on his last visit he said he would be coming back to the hospital at least once a month, so it turned out that I wouldn’t see him any less than I was doing. I texted him later to wish him Good luck. He replied saying thanks and “See you soon, no doubt.”

    Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Behind the scenes I had had several close family bereavements and another family member was seriously ill, so had spent some time in the hospital. My doctor friend knew all about this and had been very kind and supportive. The problem was that all the behind the scenes stress was making me ill, together with having to work in the hospital where relatives had passed away, so my sick leave was going up. HR decided it was a good time (I’m being sarcastic) to investigate my sick leave and I was told that despite what was going on, it had to stop completely or I would be in serious trouble. The pressure was too much, so I had to leave my job. (I have since learned that HR pressures have made several people leave their jobs at the hospital and now they can’t recruit new staff because of HR’s very strict reputation) I texted my friend to tell him, he was miles away on his course by this time. But I said I would like to keep in touch with him, even if only by text. He misunderstood, thinking I was on sick leave and sent me a lovely message wishing me better, hoping to see me back at work soon and take care. I texted him again saying that I had in fact left the hospital, but could we maybe meet up to say hello when he returned to the hospital locumming. I got no reply to that message, or the next two texts that I sent saying how about meeting up for a coffee or something.

    I heard nothing from him, despite sending a couple of emails explaining why I had to leave the hospital, and a few more texts, so I was starting to give up. Then last September I bumped into him in the town and we had a nice chat. He asked how I was and what I was doing. He said it was nice to see me. I asked if he had finished his Masters. He said he was still partly working at the hospital near the university where his degree was based, but he was still coming back to our hospital at some point. So I carefully asked him if, when he was back here properly, would he like to meet up to say hello. He immediately said yes to that. So we left it that when he returned he would get back to me. He didn’t.

    I have again tried a couple of times to text him to say hello and have still got no reply. Last week I saw his car going into the hospital, so it looks like he is back. His car was missing all the time he was doing his Masters degree. So I don’t understand why he hasn’t got back in touch with me. He is on Facebook, but hasn’t posted anything new for years. He has recently updated his profile photo. Several of his ‘friends’ have made comments about it, but he hasn’t replied to them or ‘liked’ their comments either. In fact in his photo, which is very recent, he looks very unhappy – he was always smiling when we were together. It breaks my heart to think that our friendship ending could be at least partly why he looks so unhappy. But what else can I do, if he simply won’t reply to any of my messages?

    Another thing is that I recently saw another doctor who had worked at the hospital a few years ago (he now works in the community) and as I had often seen him with my doctor friend, I assumed they were friends. It turns out that he hasn’t heard from my doctor friend either. In fact he told me that when they worked on shifts together they only discussed ‘clinical’ matters and he knew nothing personal about my friend at all. It sounds like I knew more about him than someone who worked 12 hours shifts with him! That made me feel very strange and made me think that I was the only person my friend confided in.

    The point is that being an introvert myself I of course understand about introverts’ need for alone time. I’m only suggesting meeting up every few weeks or so, one on one. Nothing scary like a party. I still see my other ex-work friends, one on one regularly. They seem determined to keep in touch with me. I am trying to keep the friendship going, but he seems prepared to just let it go. What is so frustrating is that I am sure that if I was still working at the hospital he would be still coming into the library and being friendly, like before. He as good as said so, as he went off to do his course.

    • Brenda Knowles June 2, 2017 at 11:15 am - Reply

      It sounds like getting close with people is not within your friend’s comfort zone. He seemed to be able to share personal stories with you when there was no threat of an intimate or more than friends relationship. When you suggested getting together outside of work he distanced himself. His lack of response to your messages makes me think he would not be reliable as a friend or boyfriend. His mixed signals point to someone who does not know how to maintain a secure relationship. My gut says you’ve given him enough chances. Introverts can have meaningful and respectful relationships. He seems like he may have had bad experiences with relationships in the past and has chosen to be independent. I would focus on friends who make an effort to connect with you. You deserve that.

      • Sue June 3, 2017 at 4:17 am - Reply

        Thanks for replying and so quickly. You are saying what I have suspected all along – that he was comfortable coming into the library and talking to me there. But to meet outside the library would be outside his comfort zone. Shame he didn’t think about my comfort zone. Where he was coming into the library and talking to me so often, my library colleagues had noticed and they all referred to him as ‘my friend’ and teased me about it. You are right, his lack of response is proving that he is just unreliable. I will concentrate on the friends who actually want to see me. Thanks for your wise words. 🙂

  10. Mike March 27, 2017 at 11:47 am - Reply

    I was in a relationship with a highly introverted partner for 4 years and I am high extroverted. In the end, he recently ended the relationship because I exhausted him. Since then, after seeing a therapist, I realized that it was his introversion and related needs that i wasn’t meeting. Now that I’ve had this revolation, I want a chance to try again, to put this new knowledge to work in my behavior. Unfortuantely, he doesn’t seem to want to even think about reconciliation. Is there any hope? Any advice? The split happend a month ago, and when I give him space (which can be hard because we live together), he seems to like me more. Unfortunately, I seem to always get emotional before he gets to a point where he’s willing to give me another chance. Thoughts?

    • Brenda Knowles March 29, 2017 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Hi Mike. Thank you for sharing your story. Your situation is a common one among extroverts with introverted partners. In your objective opinion, is your (ex)mate truly happier when alone or simply away from you? Your story also reminds me of anxious and avoidant attachment styles. One craves closeness (anxious) and the other craves independence (avoidant). Please read my posts on attachment styles (search “attachment” on my homepage). Either way what needs to happen is each of you needs to exhibit (develop?) a willingness to understand and move toward the other’s preferences. You are essentially building up your tolerance for time together (him) and time apart (you). If he is healthier mentally and physically without the relationship, I would suggest letting him go and finding a reassuring partner more capable of handling your need for intimacy and closeness.Best of luck!

  11. Sam February 26, 2017 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Wow! I was about to lose my mind before I came across your writing. You’ve given me hope. I’m an introvert living with a clingy, extrovert that saps all my strength. I love but can’t be around him the way he needs. Thank you for your words.

    • Brenda Knowles February 27, 2017 at 9:31 am - Reply

      I suggest reading some of my posts on attachment styles too. They will most likely resonate. Also, the book, Wired for Love by Dr. Stan Tatkin could be helpful if you really want the relationship to thrive. Best wishes!

  12. Brian February 6, 2017 at 4:48 am - Reply

    This piece resonated with me so much. Myself and my fiancée are getting married very soon. As the planning and general energy it takes (not to mention costs) to get things done can be draining, I find myself ultimately a little bit disappointed that some friends do not understand that I can’t spend time with them as the big day looms nearer.

    I am introverted at times and this has become more apparent recently. I often feel most alive when recouping by e.g. creating something, playing music, learning a new song, going to the gym or cafe. I like being around people but lately I can’t help but feel that everybody seems to want a piece of me, and when I tell some friends I may not see them before the wedding they are stunned even going so far as to say I was ‘dropping a bombshell’ (the wedding is 7 weeks away). I feel as though my fiancée does not fully get it either (despite the fact we have been together for a long time) and in some respects I worry I do not have her support. I even feel the need to pre-charge for the wedding as there will be a lot of people there and I’m aware I only have so much energy to give to 80% of the possible attendance.

    • Brenda Knowles February 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience Brian. Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding. Weddings take up a lot of mental space and physical effort. Do protect your recovery time. Have your fiancé read a few of my posts to get a better understanding of you.:) It is difficult for people who recharge by interacting to understand our need for low stimulation. They literally can’t imagine how that could be the case. Know you are not alone and with repetition and diplomatic and loving conversations, your future wife will come to respect your nature. Make sure she understands it is not a rejection of her but a preservation of you. Best wishes!

  13. […] brains process everything so deeply it’s tiring,” self-proclaimed introvert Brenda Knowles explains. “We need time to live in our inner world. We need to recoup bubbly energy by visiting our […]

  14. Tandrea September 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    If the introvert in the relationship is the guy, how do I take control of my emotions and ask him questions like: Are we still seeing one another? Are you still attracted to me? Let go out for drinks? without seeming as though I am taking over and trying to be the “man” in the relationship?

  15. Tandrea September 14, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I’ve been seeing an introvert for 5 months that I met online. After talking for a month we met for our first date. It went well however no second date for one month, and 2 weeks later a 3rd date. After that we would see each other once a week. A few times, he invited me to sleep over and he was a perfect gentleman—lots of holding and cuddling. After 4 months, we were intimate only once. It was a great experience, to me at least. Two weeks after our intimacy he had the flu and was down a week without us seeing one another. It’s been 2 weeks and he hasn’t asked me to come over or suggested we go out on a date or physically see one another. He texts every morning, “Good Morning” sends emoji kisses and some nights he texts a “Good Night Babe”. But I’m confused that he doesn’t want to see me. Without coming out and asking if he is no longer interested, what should I do?

    • Brenda Knowles September 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      I’m all for direct communication Tandrea. It’s OK to get your emotional needs met. That’s part of being in a mature relationship. It shouldn’t matter if it is the man or the woman asking questions, but I realize culturally, this could be different for others. I would simply say, “I’d like to see you again. When are you available?” His response will give you answers either way. See my most recent post on effective communication to give you more ideas about approaching your guy. Good luck!

      • Tandrea September 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm - Reply

        Thanks so much for the reply. I am taking the initiative to ask direct questions–not ones that feel like I am probing or fishing–and openly expressing my feelings behind the questions!

  16. fellow post-doc August 23, 2016 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    i’m so sorry to offend. i am way too direct and blunt I know. I truly feel for you as I have been in so many situations like yours – many. I wasted so many years breaking my heart over them (all introverted academics) It led nowhere. And now I’ve listened to a male psychologist debriefing every night for 17 years. Often the guys are interested they are just really messed up about it and it goes nowhere but hurt the woman they are sending mixed signals to. Sorry again to be harsh, just trying to save you time and pain.

    • Michael Buley August 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      fellow post-doc, i’m curious: why do you think you were offensive? you were honest and direct. introverts appreciate honest, and direct — so long as the intent is kind, and not to diminish the one you’re speaking to. and so long as you are open to really hearing in return. this sounds like who you are.

      some folks talk talk talk talk talk … and seem to have great difficulty hearing. i have been with those who love to share their thoughts … and can’t stop to really listen in return.

      i like all that you said.

      a friend sent me a post today. it said, ‘We are all f’d up in our own ways. and the irony is that we try to heal ourselves in the arms of another while we silently wonder if we can fix them. when what we should be trying to figure out is how to fix ourselves.’

      i come at it all from that as a basis: we are all f’d up. that’s not a bad thing! we just are! if we can acknowledge our own … and the one we’re with can do likewise, it sure makes it easier. and talk about it. without it being personal. without either one sharing stuff, and the other freaking out. i think we just want to be accepted for who we are. and of course the most importance acceptance, is accepting ourselves.

      thus … we need to worry about fixing ourselves, and not the other. we can’t fix anyone. it’s a big enough task to fix ourselves. we can love another for who he or she is. i mean really love someone. and if we find that love in return, well, it’s nice.

      i appreciate your thoughts, fellow post-doc. you obviously have a complex mind and very compassionate heart. it’s nice to read your thoughts on things.


  17. C August 23, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Hi FPD,
    Thank you for your time. You are absolutely right. The assumption here – and why Brenda writes at length about this – is that extroverts and introverts don’t necessarily understand each other well, hence the relevance of getting a perspective from introverts. Done. Good to know that you agree with what the others said.

  18. Caroline August 17, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda, thank you for your thoughts, your articles are full of wisdom.

    Along the introvert/extrovert spectrum, I lean towards the extrovert side but not by much. Sometimes i recharge by being with people and sometimes, in fact increasingly more (as I realize that the best feedback i can get on how to manage my emotions lies within myself), i seek time by myself to recharge.

    I tend to be attracted to introverts. I’ve only ever dated one extrovert for a significant amount of time and I did not enjoy it very much. There is something about the quiet authenticity and the ability (more like the need) that introverts have to establish and maintain personal boundaries that i respect and am attracted to. I’ve been working on the boundaries myself. As you said though, it’s impossible to know what’s on their mind and it’s almost like I have to accept that I’m going to have to initiate a whole lot more than they do. It seems that I’ll never really feel like there is true reciprocity since we give and take so differently. I don’t know if I can handle that.

    For instance: I met H in early March through common friends. We are 7 years apart, he’s younger than me. He’s just starting his PhD, I am one year into my postdoc. As friends, we connected almost straight away and realized that we have a lot in common. We saw each other almost weekly among friends then in mid April we took a road trip with everyone and the two of us connected even more, chatting and sharing meaningful details about our lives. It was clear already during that trip that we were attracted to each other. A week after we got back I invited him to have dinner with me. We had such a lovely evening that I stole a kiss from him, which he returned threefold, and we ended up making out. I felt very close to him and he clearly was as attracted to me as I was to him. We talked a lot that night and he told he about his tendency to overthink, how he had not been in a relationship in three years, how he was worried about messing this up etc. He also said how happy and lucky he felt about being with me.

    Two days later we joined our friends on a trip to the beach and he grabbed my hand almost as soon as we got there and hung onto it, making it clear to everyone that we were together (that was him initiating). We spent that night together too. The next morning he seemed to feel uneasy again but I didn’t think much of it. Then he got sick the whole week and didn’t want to hang out or talk much. I checked on him but gave him space. He agreed to come over on Wednesday and said we needed to talk. He said he’d felt really rushed and uncomfortable with our relationship. That he had had a bad experience and didn’t want to get hurt that way again. That we had to slow everything down a lot and talk through things. I said I was OK with that and that what we had definitely seemed worth taking at the right pace. I related to a lot of what he said. Two days later we went to the movies as a group and he withdrew from me when i tried to hold his hand. He kept saying he was tired and although i was hurt I told him it was OK and encouraged him to rest. I knew we had to clear things up so i prompted him and we met that Sunday. He apologized and told me that after thinking about it he realized that he didn’t feel what I felt about him. Strangely, he then said that he saw parallels with the situation he was trying to get over, where he had admitted to loving someone and she had turned him down (then gone ahead and dated one of his close friend, which hurt him even more). I was very confused by then because that comparison made no sense 1) I had been careful to not allow myself to feel too strongly about it all or tell him what I felt so soon and 2) though his behavior he clearly showed that he had feelings for me for a while. I told him it was OK, that I appreciated what it took to open up that way, that I knew that he was under a lot of pressure trying to wrap up his Masters degree, that I just wanted him to be happy, I told him that there had been no damage done and even tried to put the current events in his life in perspective to cheer him up. He mumbled something along the lines of “I can’t read the future but maybe later..” I said I couldn’t read the future either. He seemed better when I left. When I invited our friend group to come over to dinner a week later he came, which surprised me since he seemed to have gone through such trauma during our last conversation. It seemed that I had handled his feelings well.

    It’s mid August now and I only messaged him personally once since then, to check on him after his best friend left – they were very close and he had told me how much he dreaded that moment. He responded a day later, saying he was OK, we chatted briefly and I left it at that. I did see him at social events once or twice and he seemed uncomfortable around me. The one time we were all together and he seemed OK he also had a lot to drink. Lol. He’s been on holiday for a month in July and appears to feel a lot better about life in general now. We are part of the same group chat and he seems less uncomfortable around me virtually but he still has not messaged me directly in the group and mostly (but not always) avoids responding to whatever message I send that’s relevant to him.

    I don’t know Brenda, it’s been 3 months. I’ve done my best not not think about it too much, I’ve been socializing and meeting new people and it helped but still. I know now that we jumped into things too fast and that he probably showed maturity by re-establishing his boundary when he needed it. I really feel like I respected his request but it all still feels uncomfortable… Perhaps because I still harbor some kind of hope that he’s in a better place now and that maybe we can try again, which is why when he avoids me it still hurts. Clearly I should not prompt things again. I really don’t know whether it’s worth being patient or putting things behind me. The age gap most likely does not help either. I still care about him a lot but I’m not sure I want be friends with him this way much longer and having common friends..I’m sure you know how it is.

    Any insight? Thank you for taking the time.

    • Brenda Knowles August 17, 2016 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Dear C, my intuition says he either isn’t capable of a relationship right now or he got a vibe from you that just did not sit well with him. You may somehow remind him of his last relationship, even though it doesn’t sound like you did anything remotely harmful like the last woman did. Do all of the group get togethers wear him out? Has he ever had a secure and long lasting relationship? He sounds like he distances himself when there is too much intimacy or even group togetherness. If it were me, I would probably move on. You seem to have yourself together and deserve a partner who does not give you mixed signals. That’s my off-the-cuff insight. I hope you find it helpful and not too direct. 😉 Thanks for sharing your story C. Best wishes for your future relationship.

      • Michael August 17, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

        C, I hope you don’t mind someone other than Brenda making a comment.

        As Brenda suggested, so would I: let go of it.

        For whatever reasons, he’s not there with you. You deserve, and need, someone in a better place than he seems to be in.

        Introverts aren’t always hard to read. For me, you just need to ask, and it needs to be clear to me that you’ll really listen. If you ask, and I give you answers that you chafe at, don’t like, argue against … I’ll learn quick enough to tell you something than what I really feel.

        The key with an introvert — at least for me — is to truly hear what that person says. You may not like / agree with / understand, even a little, what he or she is saying. And if resistance is apparent in how you respond, it can take very little to shut things down.

        With me, if you want to know, ask. I’ll tell you. Honestly. And sensitively. Just be willing and wanting to hear, and to try to understand. No judgments. I will offer that in return.

        Introverts can often be extremely sensitive to any criticism, direct, implied, perceived. And if we feel accepted, if we feel that you truly want to know what we think … watch out! It can open floodgates! … 🙂

        I hope you don’t mind a couple cents worth, C. From a man who is quite on the introverted end of things.


        • C August 18, 2016 at 8:56 am - Reply

          Hi Michael,
          Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts. I respect the introvert’s way of communicating when prompted (or asked). I’ve worked a lot on that and believe I now have a good handle on how to communicate in a mindful way. I am aware (and value the fact) that criticizing, judging or showing resistance does not help. It’s important (and i am happy) to ask the person what’s on his mind, but not every time. If one partner is always prompting for communication (or anything else for that matter), it quickly bcomes a drain. I just hope that some introverts are happy to do their share of the work it takes to reciprocate and be forthcoming with communication.

          What is making this particular person hard to move on from is the fact that we have friends in common that we both care about and don’t want to distance ourselves from. So I’m often in contact with him, indirectly but still. I’ll keep trying to find the right balance.

          • Michael August 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

            Caroline, you are of course right. It takes both parties. Both need to be interested in who the other is, what the other thinks and feels — more importantly, often, feels, for introverts. It surely is both ways.

            It sure looks like you have done everything you can do. I appreciate the difficulty. Freaking relationships are so difficult sometimes, and I’m still trying to figure out why! I’m a big advocate of “Can’t we just be happy?” And of course that takes two happy people … 🙂

            I wish you the best path here, and always.


      • C August 18, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

        Thanks Brenda,
        It’s a mystery really but you’re right, at the end of the day I deserve better. I don’t want to lose my other friends over this, I just have to distance myself enough to be able to really let go. I appreciate your thoughts,

        • fellow post-doc August 23, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

          Dear fellow post-doc,

          Oh dear…sorry for being blunt but all could think as you relayed every detail…was ‘hasn’t she read “He’s just not that into you?” Micheal is right, and my husband the psych will tell you guys are very simple creatures. If they like you and want to be with you they will find a way. You have given this guy you had a very brief fling with plenty of chances in case he is confused. He knows you are willing and available…so what is the mystery? He’s trying to back out without hurting your feelings and you are not getting it. Save yourself the heartache and embarrassment among your social group, find someone who *wants* to be in a relationship with you.


          • Michael August 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

            FPD, just had to agree with you: guys are very simple. i think most women don’t understand just how incredibly simple guys are — even ones with the most complex minds. i think i have a complex mind … and i also understand how simple i am, and how little i really need. just a trick to find a woman who understands that. nice that you do.

            C, it’s nice to have a few friends, wherever they are, you can toss stuff out to, and get some thoughtful, heartfelt responses. Brenda has given us a nifty place here … thanks, Brenda!


  19. Rose June 12, 2016 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Hi I read this article and I definitely relate to everything. As I read through some of the comments where individuals feel hurt when an introvert needs space, all I can say is let them have their freedom and they’ll love u even more if you let them come to you because this takes away the pressure to spend time with you. I don’t like feeling pressured or uncomfortable when I talk to others and I find it best that I’m more sociable when I have a good amount of me time. I love extroverts, but I also love alone time way much more. It’s definitely nice to read someone who can relate, and sees that we shouldn’t be made to feel bad and request alone time. I get tired of people pleasing and sometimes it’s just too much. I’m more annoying when I don’t have free time than when I do. Great article Brenda!!!

    • Brenda Knowles June 12, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      I’m glad so much resonated with you Rose. I’m more annoying and crabby when I don’t have free time too. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.:)

  20. Geo June 7, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Dear Brenda,

    thank you. I would like to know… let’s say you want to be in solitude for many many weeks. You choose to drive to a house in the countryside. During this time, your partner sends you a message, say once in 5 days… which you choose not to reply to. Then your partner, after two weeks, might get worried about you, if you’re OK, and he just appears at your door, without needing much, just to make sure you’re OK. How do you feel deep inside about this moment? Do you feel mad that your partner did not leave you alone? Or do you feel happy that you see him, but only if he stays shortly, say an hour or so? Or…_

    • Brenda Knowles June 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      I honestly don’t think you have much of a partner if they go over two weeks without touching base with you. I don’t think a text every few days is overly intrusive. I’ve come to realize there is a certain level of responsiveness needed in order to have a secure relationship. Now, constant texts throughout the day and expected phone calls and frequent visits could start to feel like my boundaries are not being respected, provided I’ve made the boundaries clear in the first place. A partner who doesn’t reply to a text in two weeks will probably be mad when you show up unexpectedly at their front door. They obviously want complete solitude and to be left alone. I don’t know that that is the most healthy way to carry on a relationship but if the person is desperate for alone time and needs absolute solitude to recover and get back to equilibrium, then the interruption might bother them. I can understand the worry that something might be wrong, which is why they should respond via text, allay your fears and maintain their solitude.

      • Geo June 9, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply

        Thank you Brenda,
        you were right. Day after, the change arrived.
        Was brought me here was trying to understand my girlfriend. Thank you for the articles. But now…I don’t know if the problem was introvert-extrovert related or it was something much greater. Maybe I will never know.
        I would like to describe the situation, maybe you have some meaningful input. Apologizing in advance if this is not the place for this kind of questions.
        I met my, now exgirlfriend, years ago, while travelling in Asia. I met her only twice for an hour or two at some random places. We exchanged email contacts. She was from say France, I was from say Portugal. 5 months ago, all of a sudden, came to think about her. Dropped and email, she replied. We felt huge deep connection. We were writing deeply about true love, about spirituality, exchanging poetry… It was surprising how deep the connection was. She was travelling to India for spiritual retreat. Month later, I went there to meet her. Yes it was amazing, but many times she just wanted to walk away and not talked to me. I was really happy to be with her, carrying her outside in my arms… Then she complained to me, that I’m just too much of jumping happiness to her, that she appreciates silent happiness. Said that she was connected with me deeper in our email conversations, and was hard for her to find connection now. This is what brought me to your side.
        We spent a month together, and even though there were differences, we had an amazing time. When I had to return to my country, she was devastated of me leaving. Sometimes she cried, saying please don’t leave. Said she was scared of suffering again. She had anxiety attacks sometimes. As I had to go, we agreed we’ll meet in Europe in a month and we’ll be together.
        When she came home, she found her loving family in destruction. She was still saying how she loves to meet me, but she felt very bad spiritually and desperately needed some spiritual guidance. She had an old friend who was kind of her spiritual guru… and she decided to go to visit him. This is when everything changed. Since then everything changed.
        I wanted to know if she arrived ok, she wouldn’t reply. I got worried and flooded her with messages via mail, skype, facebook… she wouldn’t reply. Since then our contact got worse. When she was talking, she sounded very sad and depressed. It gradually went to less and less contact from her side, while I was trying to make sure she’s OK, sending messages every few days. She would only reply to some of them. Two weeks ago she contacted me on facebook chat, saying that she needs solitude and silence, that she feels many dark clouds around her, doesn’t know what to do, she would just run somewhere but doesn’t know where and she feels her spirit dying. I was mostly listening. When I asked her if she wants me to leave her alone and stop contacting her for a while, she’d say that it would not be good for her, and thanked me for listening to her. At this point she didn’t say I love you for a long time. But the last thing she said was she might go to her guru in the countryside again and said: Come with me.

        The next day, I asked in a message if she decided to go to her guru. Nothing. Next day I sent a message: Are you here? nothing. One day later another short message. She read it, but wouldn’t reply. After “guidance” from your site, I thought the best thing to do would be to give her even more space. One week later I sent a short, one-sentence supportive email wishing her beautiful solitude. No answer. Now, 2 weeks after I last time heard anything from her, I became worried, if she was OK. Maybe suffering depression somewhere? That was what lead me to my question above. I didn’t know what to do… So I was to send her a facebook message that I was worried if she was OK, and that I will try to contact someone from her family to hear if she’s OK. But I couldn’t sent it. What initially seemed like a system error, turned out into the realization, that she blocked me. Like she actively went into settings and actively chosen me to be blocked from sending her messages, and even seeing her profile. She also blocked me on skype, on her phone… Later I found out it was done after my last message, more than a week ago. When I pasted the same message to email, saying that I am worried and will contact her family to ask if she’s OK, her reply arrived by email minutes later:
        I am very happy, dont worry about me. I want to go on with being by myself again. I know you give me freedom, but I dont want you to worry. I am very happy alone. Trust our paths will cross again.
        I guess it means break up. When I asked if she can explain it, she wouldn’t reply.

        And this is what is giving me the biggest confusion of my lifetime. My head is full of crazy questions I might never get answer to. Is it just normal breakup like I dont have feelings for you anymore…maybe enhanced by that I couldn’t connect with her on introvert level in India? Or maybe did I sent too many messages? Or has nothing to do with me? Could that be that she’s just depressed or anxious? And mostly, why would a person say Come with me one day, that wouldnt reply the next day to a short question, and then just block me everywhere? Why would a person block me at all. I’m not aware of anything terrible I’ve done with her, and was mostly listening, saying that I support her and love her … What is all happening?
        Endless questions turn inside my head. Apologizing for the long text, and apologizing if it doesn’t belong here. But if anything could help me understanding her motives, I would be grateful. Unfortunately, she may never tell me. Needless to say, regardless of what happens, I truly love her.

        Thank you.

        • Geo June 10, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

          In case someone read this and was interested in what it was, the answer to the question was fairly simple.
          I have received a message from her that she met some other man shortly, and even though she’s not with him, she feels extreme connected to him.
          And the reason why she blocked me? According to her, she blocked me and many other people, and she had done it also once long time ago, because it feels right for her not to be overwhelmed by many messages in her mailbox. I guess it has something to do with wanting to be alone. She says she is searching for herself and felt like I was holding her back, that she felt much too much expectations and attachment. She doesn’t like when I worry about her.
          Funny enough, when we started to date her, it was her crying saying please don’t leave me later.
          So I thought it had something to do with depression. Couldn’t understand that someone would tell me I appreciate so much that you listen to me, and then block me some days after. But seems like it was introvert behavior backed up by a huge deal of self-centered behavior, only looking at persons own immediate needs, as they happen, without looking at people around.
          I know, no one is perfect, we all carry positive and negative traits inside us. So I have no hard feelings.

          Still, thank you for your explanation, Brenda. Too late for me to learn it, but still nice to know.

          • Brenda Knowles June 10, 2016 at 11:24 am

            Oh Geo sorry she wasn’t as respectful as she could have been. I hope she doesn’t give introverts a bad reputation in your book. She really should have told you when and why she put blocks on her communications. It’s not fair to just drop off the face of the Earth like that. I mature introvert would communicate effectively so her people are aware of what’s going on with her and her boundaries.
            I understand and respect your concern for her well-being. It could have been depression. Her actions emulated those of a depressed person.
            Stay kind and thoughtful and don’t let her behavior close your heart.

  21. PR May 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Just came across this article and it spoke to my situation. I am in my 60’s divorced and, more or less, an extrovert although I do enjoy down time. I have a dear friend who is separated from her husband and we enjoy talking, cooking, having a drink, and doing things together. It seems that when things are going well, we have a great time. But, for no reason that I can understand, she will suddenly pull away and there is very little contact. This usually lasts a week or so, but lately it’s been a month. While I respect boundaries and try to understand the need for alone time….sometimes I feel disrespected. I am not told of the change, it just happens. I often feel as if I have done something wrong. I want to understand, but I also wish that introverts would understand that extroverts are not mind readers and sometimes we feel as if we have no choice but to guess what happened. And while “it’s not you, it’s us” works for you….it really is difficult and hurtful to hear at times. For me….in the end, I will strive to understand because her friendship means a great deal to me.

    • Brenda Knowles May 19, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      You are right. Your introverted friend should tell you if she needs to be alone and why. She should also let you know when she’ll be available for socializing again. Given the small amount of information you provided, I can’t be sure if she needs introvert recharge time or there is something else going on like she is conflicted about being with you when she is still married. I suggest telling her you are learning about the ways and needs of an introvert and welcome any insight she can offer. Tell her you enjoy spending time with her and are confused by her sudden absences. A little vulnerability goes a long way toward increased intimacy. I wish you the best of luck PR. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Geo June 5, 2016 at 6:15 am - Reply

      Hey PR,

      did she get in touch with you again?

      • PR June 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm - Reply

        She did, Geo, but informed me that the past year was unusual for her and she generally doesn’t like to talk about her problems (we talked for hours on end) and doesn’t really hang out with people (we hung out every weekend for a year). She asked me not to take it personally, but it is hard not to feel hurt. She said, “The ‘real me’ isn’t what you saw for the past year and, if anything, you should see it as a compliment that I went outside of my comfort zone to hang out with you.” She wants to remain friends, but I should not expect to hang out as much. She said she would understand if I didn’t want to continue our friendship. I am not sure where to go from here because I truly care about her and wish her nothing but happiness. I don’t know what to do…I am crushed.

        • Geo June 7, 2016 at 7:01 am - Reply

          PR, honestly, do you love her?

          • PR June 7, 2016 at 8:08 am

            Of course I do. She is one of my closest friends. Which is why I will give her her space and continue to support her.

  22. Veronica May 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    My boyfriend is an introvert and we live together and everything was perfect and we were both very happy. His he got a new job working on a super yacht where he would need to be gone for several months at a time, but the plan was that he would come home and live with me in between rotation. He was devastated to leave.

    The job has gone very badly and he is being treated horribly by the captain and overworked. He has to live on the boat. He recently quit, but he is staying there until they reach Europe.

    The problem is, he has no time to recharge because he lives on the boat – which means he barely speaks to me. He doesn’t tell me much information because I think he wants to avoid engaging me because then I will just ask questions and drain him even more. I have tried not to and I have given him a lot of space, but nothing will help right now.

    Now he says he has decided to go back to the UK, where he is from, to sort out his life and find out who he is. I have been giving him space, but so long as he is on the boat he will be drained. I’m so scared that being there has drained him so much that he might just leave our relationship behind and go into solitude for a long time. I feel helpless because I can’t really get through to the man I love. I know how happy he was with me, I just think he wants to shut out the world and I don’t know for how long or if he will be himself again.

    • Brenda Knowles May 19, 2016 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      It sounds like your man does need some quality recharge time. Is it possible that the captain on the boat really damaged your guy’s ego and sense of competence? Introverts tend to withdraw when we’re stressed or feeling low. He may need a shot of confidence and encouragement to build him back up again. The big question is how dedicated is he to the relationship? If he’s committed then he will figure out a way to work through this low spot in his life with you. You may have to be the anchor in his life (pun intended;). Keep showing up for him and let him know what you value about him. Good luck!

  23. David May 11, 2016 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Well said: “We need to go internal in order to express ourselves generously externally. Solitude expands us (and everyone really). It makes space within us so that we can take in more from the outside.” My wife and I are both INFJ’s so it can be a slippery slope sometimes like who gets to stay home alone or sensing when it’s time for our personal space, etc.

    • Brenda Knowles May 13, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Awesome your wife understands where you’re coming from, even if you have to duke it out over who gets the alone time.;)

  24. SimplyMe April 26, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Ppl don’t generally believe that I’m incredibly introverted. In social settings I’m usually the life of the party. I can talk to anyone, anywhere about anything. I’m hilarious & I laugh a lot. I’ve been through a great deal in life from childhood molestation & abuse, drug abuse, depressing, illnesses, loss of a child & so on so I’ve got a lot of insight & am told I’m very wise, comforting, extremely honest, encouraging, and so forth. I’m a great host, if you come by I will serve you hand & foot with joy & a smile. I’m well read & pretty knowledgable in a verity of things. I get a long extremely well with any age group. I’m the homeschool mother to 5 children, plus one who passed & one on the way.

    When I say I’ve always preferred to be alone & still do, people try to change me. Socially I interact better than any of the extroverts I know. However extroverts are always pushing their need for interaction onto me & try to force themselves into my life. It’s maddening. They show up at my home unannounced knowing that I am taking care of a toddler, extremely sick (extreme morning sickness for which I’m on antinausea medication that’s barely helping, migraines, body aches, anemia from the inability to keep down any food, and so on) homeschooling 4 children in 4 different grades & trying to keep my home not looking like a mess because that’s the only thing that gives me anxiety (messes). They get in their car & think “hey she’s home all day I know she’ll want to hang out & drink coffee all day long as she ignores her children & multiple responsibilities!” No, no I won’t. They stop by & bang on my door hard for 10-15 minutes before possibly leaving.

    Then there’s the homeschool moms, I’d love to share wisdom & support but I’m not a support group. A call or text when life is seriously crazy & you’re on the edge & really need support okay but I can’t see you every week or talk everyday. Not only do I not have the time for an adult child I didn’t give birth to but I have zero desire to be anyone’s therapist.

    Then I get guilt trips. “You’ve been through so much in life, you have so much wisdom to share. Can you talk to this mom who has a baby that’s about to die?” No, I can’t! Not only do I not relate to the majority of moms who’s babies are dying or are dead (for example I never blamed God, I never felt “why me”, I was never angry or bitter or hateful. I was grateful for her life & then grateful she didn’t have to suffer much more than three days before she was able to move onto Glory.) we don’t relate & every mom goes through her own journey. Maybe our babies even had the same condition but it’s how we took it & often these women ppl want me to talk to are women I just can’t deal with. They have bitterness & hatred & wish death on other ppl’s children & I just can’t deal with that sort of person who’s willingly wish death on the life of someone’s child because they didn’t get to keep their own child alive. I digress. I get these guilt trips about how much I could be sharing, helping, imparting, whatever….& I really don’t care to. It’s not that I’m a terrible person but my priorities are my husband, my children & my home after that my extended family & I honestly barely have the energy from day to day for my every day life without adding strangers to the brew because “they need” me.

    I also seem to attract controlling, domineering, obsessive women. Women who want to change me, want to change how I do things, when I do them, who I hang out with or talk to. Women who want to “change (my) life” by forcing me to join their home business **eye roll**. Women who want me to join the groups, homeschool co-ops, church gathering, what have you, that they attend, they can’t get that I genuinely do not want to be around anyone, especially anyone who’s invading my life with their opinions & demands trying to force me to be more like them.

    My husband is amazing, he’s also an introvert (not as bad as I am though) we are very similar in that we are both great hosts, life of the party, get along with anyone &’can talk about anything but at the end of the day we need space. He’s so good to me in that he’ll get home from work & take the kids for walks, riding their bikes, out to their groups (chess, MMA, etc…) he runs errands with all of them, takes them to ride their horse at the ranch (45minutes away) and so on. He gets me. It’s a huge blessing.

    He was just laughing because someone called to check up on us. He was saying I’m still very sick. Most ppl don’t or won’t understand I don’t have “morning sickness that will go away soon after I drink gingerale & eat crackers, after putting on essential oils & a sea sickness band” I have a rare condition that although similar to morning sicknes; In references to pregnancy & vomitting, that’s where all the similarities start and end. So this person called & asked all the same questions “sis she try gingerale, how about fresh ginger, what about saltines before getting out of bed, how about a sea sickness band, and so on… He said that I was dealing with things the way I had in the other six pregnancies, as best as possible. The person started pitying me because she felt sorry I couldn’t leave the house. My husband laughed & said she’s in heaven, she’s now got a peefect excuse to not leave the house or have ppl come by. She enjoys being alone!” To which the person responded “yeah but she must get lonely. I mean not even out shopping?” My husband laughed & said she doesn’t get lonely she for 5people talking at her all day, she really enjoys the solitude when she gets it & she hates going shopping!” The person just kept insisting is be fine as soon as I had the baby & could go out shopping & hang out with friends again. **sigh**

    I’m not sure why ppl find it so hard to comprehend that just because they need & enjoy constant interactions that we don’t all feel that way. I especially hate when I’m making an effort to be social, funny, personable & lively & the person I’m speaking to is either ignoring the conversation because their being nosy to another conversation, texting, multitasking me, and so on. If you don’t have time to give me your full attention when we are speaking then please avoid me the need to speak to you. I’m not the one that needs the so called “social interaction” if you’re too busy to socially interact with me, then leave me alone because as it is I’m being drained of my energy & the last thing I need is to be ignored while I’m making an effort to be social.

    There’s this one older lady my husband & I know that is so nosy & she’s always asking us for favors. She starts off with like 20minutes of meaningless casual conversation (which I find so draining) & she constantly interrupts. Worst though is that you can see she’s not even listening to any thing that I’m saying she’s just trying to get through these 50 questions so she can ask for a favor or an incredibly personal question. It drives me crazy, I’d rather her just be a genuine human being and flat out ask what the heck she wants to ask without waisting my energy & time. Since I noticed she was doing this I have started to give her very cut & dry (as few words as possible) answer. Which is hilarious because you see that she doesn’t expect my answer to be so short & is caught off guard & scrambles to talk since she was ignoring me & didn’t even hear what I said. She had thought I’d talk for a few minutes as she was in her own lala land imagination & then come in with a new question but since instea dif giving an insightful genuine answer all I said was “maybe!” Or “yeah!” Or “not really!” It’s like she doesn’t know what to do.

    I hate having my energy drained on meaningless talking,

    • Brenda Knowles April 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Hats off to you for homeschooling five children! Oh my. I can’t imagine. No wonder you have no energy for strangers’ nonsense. I love how you reply to long winded busybodies with succinct answers. I’m sure it throws them all off. Your relationship with your husband sounds great. Sending you strength and good health, but enjoy your morning sickness retreat.:)

  25. Morena April 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    “she needs to be in the house alone often in order to be civil. Having someone in another room of the same house isn’t good enough. She can feel them there.” I feel the same say, my ex thought just because he was in another part of the apartment that , ‘out of sight out of mind’ would work for me, but it wasn’t. I had a studio apt. but even when I had a one bedroom, it was just the fact that he was there. One day I was working out and he was in the kitchen, sitting down online and right in my direction and I asked him to leave, I couldn’t concentrate. It got to the point that every time I wanted, to have ‘me time’ and be alone…. he was always around and distracting me, he didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything, it was just me me me. I never wrote when he was around or while we were together, NEVER!.. Its like he didn’t have his own life and needed me for survival…..I felt extremely suffocated. Even my friendships are suffocating thats why I keep a close circle of people in my life that I really don’t need to see or speak to everyday..I do feel like I want to cry when I cant be alone, I feel paralyzed and Im tired of arguing with people about this. I’m quiet in everything I do. I told you months ago, I ended up in the hospital because I almost had a break down, being constantly bothered, sent my nervous system into shock. I felt like I was having a heart attack, I was sleep deprived, they said my blood pressure was up, and they kept me until it went down. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was overly stimulated. Now how I know how my mom felt and she’s not longer here. People make me sick sometimes more than the weather. When people don’t respect my space I simply can’t be around them or have them in my life. Some times I feel like a wanted woman, from men to people I come in contact with. It’s simply to much Brenda, I can’t deal!

    • Brenda Knowles April 17, 2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

      I really hope you can get some quality sleep. That is my #1 recommendation. Sleep deprivation is crazy-making. I mean it. May you find the quiet and calm you seek in order to slowly repair your frayed nerves and depleted adrenal glands. I have been in your place. It’s scary and exhausting. Find a place and/or somebody that brings you peace. I also recommend meditation and exercise. They will help with the high levels of cortisol that are not doubt swimming in your system. Breathe Morena. In time this will pass.

  26. Morena April 16, 2016 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Brenda, I’m tired of arguing with people because I’m quiet and need my space….the people that I know are to high energy. Being quiet is not something that they do. People are not respecting that I’m quiet. I can’t stand noise…When the weekend comes I like it to be quiet. Other peoples idea of relaxing is having on a loud radio, loud tv, talking on the phone, watching loud videos on the internet,yelling, etc constant noise for hours. A friend of mine got frustrated because I didn’t talk to her all the way home during a two hour ride. it was 2am. WTH!!!! I was tired! She said what’s wrong with you, you’re so quiet and you always keep to yourself…. I haven’t seen her since. This girl talks my ear off. I don’t know if I will EVER live with anyone again, my ex drove me crazy. to many sleepless nights, that when he moved out, I caught up on sleep that I haven’t gotten in years….If I do live with another man again, he has to be quiet. The only noise I can take is the sound of the ocean and slow romantic music, classical rhythm and blues, anything soothing. I get anxiety around noisy people and loud environments. I’m in the middle of a move and where I’m at is noisy. I’m ready to jump in a lake, LOL…you can leave me on a deserted island with my laptop, music, and cell phone with some minutes and food and I’ll be good, LOL. I love people and can be social, but after a couple of hours or less I gotta be alone. Not sure how I’m going to have a family one day with constant noise and constantly being needed everyday. I crave solitude.

    • Brenda Knowles April 17, 2016 at 10:23 am - Reply

      You are definitely a sensitive lady. It sounds like you have been around a lot of noise that put you on high alert. Your nervous system needs a break. I have found people that do not put me on edge. They have soothing voices and quiet movements. There are a lot of loud voices out there too. I suggest hanging out in nature, in coffee shops, libraries and other places where writers and thinkers hang out.

    • Michael Buley June 27, 2016 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Morena and Brenda, reading this a couple months after your posts.

      Morena, I share a lot of what you talk about.

      I was married for 25 years, with 3 kids. I loved being a father. Loved having kids. I always struggled being married.

      I was an introvert who learned to be an extrovert. And in many ways, it just about killed me.

      After 25 years, I divorced. Very costly. And I didn’t care. I had to get out, even though I didn’t understand all the reasons why.

      2.5 years ago, I read the book “Quiet.” Lights began to go on And since then, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that I am very introverted, very sensitive, and highly creative.

      Before these lights came on, I met a woman online. She lived about 100 miles away. She was in a hurry to get married. For various reason, I finally did, though with a lot of trepidation.

      We live together. And I realize that I simply cannot live together. I crave, as you said, solitude. Crave it. She is around far too much for me. When I have explained this before, she has gotten very … personal. Desperately wanting to avoid conflict, I have tried to live together. And I just can’t. I feel like I can’t breathe. Like you, I cannot sleep well with her. If we periodically slept together, and lived apart — which I had suggested long ago; she agreed to try, then changed her mind — it might be different.

      I’m one of those very sensitive people. I need calm and quiet, and solitude. At the age of 60, I finally really see this about myself. I crave connection, too. But living with someone is, I think, something that I simply cannot do. Not if I want to be happy, sane, sleep well.

      It is very helpful to read all the posts on this site, Brenda, and your story, Morena. Thank you for sharing it. It gives me strength to do what I need to do, which is move out and live separately. Otherwise, I will emotionally and spiritually wither.

      • Brenda Knowles June 29, 2016 at 11:52 am - Reply

        Oh Michael, that is such a hard decision to make and implement. I sometimes wonder if I’ll be able to live with someone full time again. I lived with my husband for 17 years. It didn’t bother me that much until we had three kids and life got so busy. I had no solitude. I definitely can relate to the sleep thing. I need a quiet sleep partner. Even pets make it hard for me to sleep. I’ve been able to sleep well with some partners though so I’m hopeful. 🙂 I hope your lady is amenable to living separately Michael. I’ve considered that option. One question, is your wife an introvert? I am curious whether or not it is easier to live with another introvert. Hugs to you as well as sweet Morena.

        • Michael June 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm - Reply

          Yes, it is so very hard. What i realize is that, because I don’t have my space — just mine; no one else in the place — I am constantly itching for space, champing at the bit for it. And I can’t find it living with someone.

          And it taints everything. It becomes hard for me to see who she is. I know who she is; I sense her better than she senses herself. And it becomes very difficult for me to really enjoy being with her, when, basically, I can’t get away from her.

          It sounds awful. And I know that, in our introverted circles, we understand what we mean. And it’s something so very easy to take very personally. It’s not. And I certainly can understand, now, how it can feel profoundly personal.

          I find I am constantly struggling for solitude, to be alone. And I can’t really find it.

          And no, I don’t sleep well. I think it’s because even there, at night, she is there. where it ideally should be the time you really enjoy together, I find myself nervous, and it’s very difficult for me to sleep easily. I simply don’t. I’m itching to get up in the morning, early, to get out of the house, and get to Starbucks, away. we’ve lived together 9 months. and I just can’t keep doing it.

          I had this issue with my first wife. I was often nervous at night when we went to bed. I had no idea why. I wondered if there was something wrong, emotionally, deep inside, that I couldn’t detect. and there was. but it was buried deep down.

          we had 3 kids … i loved being a dad! and my first wife was a wonderful woman in many ways. and my favorite times, aside from being with the kids? most nights, I would go to a 24-hour restaurant to read, write, study … those couple hours a night were so important to me.

          I just didn’t realize I was very introverted.

          part of it is that I really don’t like being alone — no relationship at all. and i realize that living together, day after day, is just too hard for me.

          to have a relationship living apart? without it being a huge problem? I could do that. and if not, and it means I’m alone for awhile, I’m alone for awhile.

          She is pretty much an extrovert, though she had an extremely difficult childhood, and first marriage for 23 years, and I think learned to withdraw completely into herself. She shut off most of her emotions, and through therapy (first time in her life), she is finally touching that part of herself. I realize, too, that it is very difficult for her to understand me emotionally, when she doesn’t have a loving relationship with her own emotions.

          She is a beautiful woman, person, spirit. I saw her beauty long before we ever met face to face. I sometimes lose sight of that — no, i don’t lose sight of it. I get overwhelmed with my need for my own space. And it’s hard for me to really be with her, enjoying who she is, when I am fighting, it feels like, for my own space. she wants to be together more; i … less.

          will she understand? probably not. but today is the day. last night, I could not sleep. finally got up at 430. still up! this has me all so wired, it’s crazy!

          the idea of living separately, two separate lives, getting together 1 or 2 or 3 times a week, or whatever it is that works, is the only thing I can see. maybe … i dream … maybe with the ‘right woman’ (i wonder if we delude ourselves about the ‘right’ person) … it would work. i am passionate about who i love, passionately interested in who she is (or my male friends, too, the few that I have!). just it’s hard to feel that passion, when I’m fighting for breath, for space.

          i read an article about a couple in england. both had been married. he was 15 or so years her senior. they fell in love, saw each other on weekends, had their separate careers during the week. enjoyed their space. and when together, it was very enjoyable. and they did this for, i think, 19 years, until he passed away. they would touch bases during the week, and they were very comfortable with how it was. secure in the relationship, secure enough to live their own lives, and know that the other was there.

          re pets … i have two Shih-Tzus! she has two pups, also! i have slept with my pups since I’ve had them. I love them right next to me. they are preciously safe for me. no complaints, no disapproval; instead, just joy and love and eager to be with me. they give me immense comfort. they have been an issue. she has complained that i’m more comfortable snuggling my pups, than her … and of course, that disapproval pushed me away. on and on it goes. in ways, so very very simple. what i need, what i want, and what i offer. safe … positive … supportive … belief in each other … really seeing each other … excited about the other, and showing that excitement and interest in who the other is.

          thanks for letting me go on, Brenda. this is tough, yes … believe me, these comments and your notes and your articles, have helped a great deal. thank you!


          • Brenda Knowles June 29, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            Sending you courage and positive energy Michael. Good luck! May your conversation be easier than you think.

  27. Sis March 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    How much time do you need? I know everyone’s different and I think it has to do a little with how often you get to recharge.

    My dh is now retired. If he isn’t gone fishing he pretty much doesn’t know what else to do with himself OUT of the house. It seems like forEVER since I’ve been truly recharged. I feel like, even if he were to leave everyday for 10 hours a day, I would no longer be able to charge – like a “memory effect” on those batteries that want to be fully discharged before taking on a full charge but never get to. (Does that make sense?)

    I am in a discharged funk and don’t know how to get out! Dh understands my dilemma as much as is possible for him to but he simply doesn’t know what to do with himself. sigh

    • Brenda Knowles March 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      I need days sometimes. Usually at least a morning, evening or afternoon (a four hour run). I’ve had several readers mention the frustration of having a retired spouse home all the time. I imagine it feels like the summer when my kids are home most of the time. Those large chunks of solitude are broken up into an hour or two here and there. I know the difficulty in asking a partner/child to leave the house. They often don’t understand your dire need for alone time and even if they do, they don’t have options for where to go for long stretches. Have you considered going to a hotel room for a few days? I know that sounds extreme but that has re-energized me in the past. It’s not as restorative as being able to be in your own home but it’s still free of interruptions. 🙂

      • Sis March 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

        I did go to a motel once. It was pretty nice but I do need to be HOME alone for real recharging. It’s my comfort spot. I need my “things” around me. I often feel energized and do a bunch of housework or projects when I’m alone. When I have not had time alone for awhile the house suffers along with me. About the only thing I really keep up with is cooking. 🙁 We have a cabin in the woods that I want to try sometime. I wonder if being alone in nature will recharge me? I’d have to take pen and paper and record my tho’ts and feelings and ideas.

  28. Sis March 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    “Having someone in another room of the same house isn’t good enough. She can feel them there.”

    I have NEVER heard ANYONE else say this!!! I tho’t I was totally weird. I couldn’t explain it to dh because I don’t understand it myself but this is exactly how I feel. There’s an “expectation” of something, somehow. I don’t know what. He can be sleeping or totally involved in his own quiet contemplation but he’s still THERE and I am not ALONE.

    • Brenda Knowles March 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      It’s hard to explain to people but it’s a real feeling of never fully getting recharged if someone else is nearby. I’m glad you found space2live so you know you’re not alone in this feeling.:)

  29. paula March 19, 2016 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for ur writeup, it was really helpful. But I don’t know if my bf is actually an introvert or its something else. He cuts his friends off sometimes, doesn’t take their calls, doesn’t reply their messages and can do this for weeks no matter how much they need him. He carries on with other aspects of his life normally. He finally did this to me and I couldn’t handle it cos we have only been dating for 3mnths. His friends say its normal cos he has been doing this to them for years. I tried to reach out to him, first he ignored for 24hrs and finally picked my call and told me he was busy and he would call me when he’s done. That was yesterday and he didn’t call me. I don’t know when I will hear from him or understand why he would be so mean to me. I was worried sick thinking something happened to him. Is this thesame thing? I really wanna try hard to make our relationship work but this attitude makes me feel he doesn’t love me. What do you think?

    • Brenda Knowles March 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      He sounds like he could be introverted but also socially undeveloped. He hasn’t learned how to use tact to get the space he needs. I can see why you would feel unloved. He is not demonstrating respect and love. He is only considering his own well-being. A mature introvert would communicate his needs in a healthy way. Hope that helps. That’s my gut read on him.

  30. […] “I am told our desire to get away from everyone every now and again and again is perplexing an… […]

  31. SlowLearner February 28, 2016 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    You don’t know how thankful I am for having found this blog! It couldn’t have come at a more opportune time!

    I’ve recently reconnected with someone with whom I hadn’t seen in about a year or so. It previously was only an informal friendship, but has been unexpectedly renewed at an otherwise very, very difficult time in my life, bringing me hope and the will to move forward with life once again. On the surface, it is still a friendship, but I think there are some feelings there, and I have grown to care for this individual greatly. That being said, I am trying to become a student of her so that I do not damage the relationship further. I had no idea she was an introvert, nor what that entailed.

    The first night we reconnected after a chance run-in we ended up speaking for about four hours. We would have spoken longer, but the shop closed down, so we exchanged contact information. She initiated, which was an important sign to me. A few weeks later we ended going out for the day to a nearby city. It was a fantastic and full day, and again conversation was natural and lasted enjoyably the entire trip. Once again we spoke until closing in the restaurant, and the spoke several hours longer in her vehicle before saying goodnight. Therefore I was flummoxed, being an extrovert who spends most of his time around extroverts, as to why a silence settled in for the next few days. That was behavior that was completely foreign to me. I asked her if I had offended her in any way, to which she replied that I had not, she just needed to put some boundaries in place. Although somewhat bothered that it seemed I was always the initiator, our text exchanges always seemed pleasant, thoughtful, and humorous.

    Fast forward a few more weeks. We got together again, and once again spoke through closing over coffee, subsequently moving elsewhere to get a drink and chat ’til well after midnight. We spoke a few more times that weekend, and then went out for a movie a few days later. Again, I was completely confused by the radio silence which followed. As an extrovert, I reasoned that you only do that when you’re pissed at someone, or have no real interest, and so became bothered.

    About a week or so later we ended up having a pretty serious conflict, because I called her out on what I thought was snotty behavior, not realizing what was going on inside of her. It led me to understand that I was completely misreading her as being an extrovert (because, when she has energy to spend, she is amazingly sociable, outgoing, athletic, etc), when in actuality she was not. I did not understand that even good time together was a drain on her, until she told me that she was not like me, one who gets charged up by social interaction, but rather that after a certain point (no matter how much she enjoys the individual’s companionship) she gets irritated, and absolutely needs space to herself. When she doesn’t get that space, or when I don’t seem to be picking up on her cues, it infurates her. I thought maybe she was just PMSing, or something, and our conflict kind of blew up in my face…. The good from the situation was that, even in a serious fight (that could likely have been a relationship ender), we ended up being able to exchange lengthy and articulate texts between ourselves that, I believe, helped us better to understand one another, set healthier expectations between us, expressed a continued desire to move ahead (at her pace), helped us both to work on humility, transparency, gentleness, showed us that we could resolve conflict constructively (and maybe that I could actually listen to her needs and follow through?), and seemingly defused the tension from the height at which it had been.

    I still think I don’t quite get the dynamics and mentality of a true introvert, which to an extrovert can seem a bit selfish or petty (especially when the extrovert wants to have fun and express friendship by going out to play!), but I know this is an individual who is valuable enough to me that I want to become a student of her differences, and your blog is just a tremendous resource to that end. Thanks again for providing these insights. Who would’ve known (apart from an introvert)?

    • Brenda Knowles March 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      I’m so happy you found my writing helpful. Your interest in understanding your friend’s introverted nature will go a long way toward enhancing and maintaining a healthy relationship with her. Gleaning the lessons from your conflict and allowing for humility and perhaps vulnerability also demonstrates a mature level of emotional intelligence. Kudos! Having a great relationship with an introvert is all about mutual honor, respect and appreciation for each other’s way of being. She will have to consider your expectations and be willing to learn about how you are wired as well. Neither temperament is better, just different. I think it’s interesting that you admit to seeing her behavior as snotty when she wasn’t in touch regularly after your time together. For an introvert, that time away feels natural. A text here and there is no problem, even an email but having to talk or see each other every day while dating would feel invasive. We like our space and freedom. She is probably thinking about you during those breaks. Sometimes we fall in love with people during those separate times. We re-live in our minds the delicious moments. Check out other posts of mine including, The Introvert Cycle: Why We Go from Irritable to Ever-Loving. Best wishes with your budding relationship. I think you can both learn and grow a lot together.

  32. Jeanne February 20, 2016 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    I keep returning to read this article since it helps me remember the need for recharging. I have been dating an introvert for 3 and half years and have learned a lot about introversion and need for space. I am probably in the middle more of an ambivert. We just returned from a family trip out west where we spent 6 days with his family members. I was worried before we left that the schedule left little to no downtime for him or I for that matter. His family is very loving but also very intense. We had a great time but upon our return he has pretty much shut down entirely. We haven’t spoken in a couple days and he left me a message saying he was sick and needed to skip our weekend together. (We don’t live together) and weekends are our time together. I struggle because I know this is how he copes with the overstimulation and need to recharge and he does sometimes get physically sick especially when he spends a lot of time with his family, but it is hard to have him cut me out completely. If feels harsh. I leave him alone and do my thing, but I don’t feel good about the process. It feels really extreme. Is it appropriate once he recharges to discuss this with him or is this the only way he can rebalance? Thanks for listening.

    • Brenda Knowles February 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I always encourage open communication about each of your temperament needs. I would wait until he is recharged and fully present to a conversation. Your understanding of introversion is a great gift to him, I’m sure. I hope he responds in kind regarding your nature. His complete retreat may be the only way he can recover. Is it possible to come up with other solutions regarding visiting his family? Did you stay in a hotel away from the family chaos at night? Could the visits be shorter? I would suggest doing some re-organizing of these trips so that he does not end up so depleted. When I go on vacation with my family I always have my own room to stay in at night and about 3 days into the trip I plan a quiet afternoon away from the chaos. A nap is usually in order at some point too. Best of luck! I hope you can make the relationship satisfying to you both.

      • Jeanne February 22, 2016 at 9:24 am - Reply

        Thanks for responding. No unfortunately we did not stay in a hotel although I think that is a wonderful idea. This was our first visit out west to see his family as a couple. I think he has a hard time setting limits with his family and they seem offended and slighted whenever he has been able to. I know, it’s their problem. I think that sometimes I need to be more proactive with suggesting alternatives. He agreed to a very rigorous schedule with his family and we ended up staying in 3 different locations as we visited his siblings. I think this comes out of his need to please everyone and make time for everyone, but unfortunately at his expense and I feel that I get the brunt of his total collapse. I was exhausted from the trip and as I said I am more of an ambivert and he is definitely on the more extreme end of introvert. He is still in hibernation mode, so when he comes out and is recharged, I will bring it up. We travel to Europe for a family wedding in April so I definitely know this issue will surface again.

        • Brenda Knowles March 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

          Staying in multiple places in one trip is also a huge energy drain. Settle in one spot if at all possible. It’s more relaxing. It’s OK if people come to you rather than having to stay with everyone you want to see. I hope he comes out of hibernation feeling rejuvenated and loving. 🙂

          • Jeanne March 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

            Thanks Brenda. He did come out of hibernation and we did discuss. This is still a tough issue for us. I understand his need for time to recharge after family visits, but after 3 days I need a light touch, i.e. a text, short call, email-anything to say he’s alive. I have told him I would never try to take away his recharge time (maybe he sees a text as interfering with that recharge time) but it seems like a small act to me. I am not asking to see him or even talk to him during that time. He says it took a lot of energy to visit his family and have me there too. Prior to our relationship, he says he would plop on his couch after these visits for days. I have tried suppressing my need to hear from him, I get busy with other activities, friends, etc. and try to accept that he will come back even if it’s 6 or 7 days, but I have not been able to not feel upset after the 3 day mark. It generates feelings of insecurity in me and I feel disrespected and unimportant to him. For what it’s worth, he always comes back and is very loving and often apologetic about taking the time. He says he understands and is not trying to hurt me and knows it upsets me, but it hasn’t changed. Any thoughts on where to go from here? I see my own counselor who is willing to see us together. I’m not sure if that is the way to go though. Overall I am very happy with him and love being with him. He indicates it is very hard for him with his family and feels like someone is always mad at him no matter what he does. We travel in April and there are two family visits in May so I know this issue will resurface again. Thanks.

  33. johnaloveslife February 19, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Avyanna, minus the children I have had the same experience. I love to be in the house completely by myself. When people are around like you I can feel them & it drives me nuts. OMG it feels so good to have others acknowledge this.

  34. Avyanna February 14, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

    This is only the second article I have read of your truly wonderful sight that touches more on what is typically out there regarding us Introverts.

    You shared a highly visible person’s experience that happens to be my own and has been my own and used to make me think something was seriously wrong with me.

    I quote “Having someone in another room of the same house isn’t good enough. She can feel them there.”

    That is ME!!! I’ve been blessed in life and have a very large house. In fact, when my kids are on the upper level I cannot even here them and have to call them on their cells if I need to communicate with them (used to be an intercom system).

    Even though I could never hear them on the floor level their bedrooms and playrooms were on it didn’t matter. I never could quite recharge even in the total silence.

    But when they would go and visit their older, adult siblings and were out of the house it was a different sort of Solitude.

    I know to most reading this that doesn’t make sense. It never did to me. But or some reason I only could completely, fully and peacefully recharge and relax when I was in this huge house by myself.

    This article is the first to let me know I am not alone. That makes such a help to me. I could never understand why and thought it was ONLY me.

    But as your friend stated, even though I could absolutely not hear my kids I could feel their presence as if they were in the same room as me. This now explains why I could never fully recharge!

    Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids and they are good kids. Never had any trouble with any of the 5 of them. But I could never understand that why? when I had total silence even with them there, was I not able to fully charge and always felt somewhat drained.

    I am forever grateful to have found this sight and to learn in many different ways besides the usual “introvert” ways that I am not alone. Your site, and I’ve pretty much devoured them all, is truly unique. It definitely going to be the first I recommend to all the other Introverts that seek my help.

    • Brenda Knowles February 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      One of my key desires for space2live is to let others know they are not alone in their need for solitude. I believe the need for complete solitude (i.e. no one else in the same house) is based on the fear of potential interruptions. If there is even a possibility that someone will need us or interrupt our concentration then we cannot relax fully. Kudos to you for raising five children! Wow! As a mother of three, I know the love, care and energy involved. Children are such gifts but recharging as an introverted parent is tricky.;) I’m thrilled you found my site helpful. 🙂

  35. GrissomJane February 3, 2016 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your response “Low Profile.” I am so alarmed at my friends personality change that I don’t know how to handle the invert side … He’s never been one. I have seen him since this post and he still keeps saying he’s busy and doesn’t want to talk right now. Did I mention he is a Scorpio ? I agree with your feedback and will give him space with no texts which will be difficult … It’s a new person almost. But I care for him deeply and only want him to revert back to his old self. I wish he had never had that surgery.:(

  36. GrissomJane January 26, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you Brenda and everyone else for all of the insight on how to manage a friend or partner who is an introvert.
    My story is this: met male best friend 10 years ago. Found we had an amazing connection but he was not single. Fine.. Still friends, share a lot of things with eachother, and have helped eachother out during hard times. His job requires him to be around people all day long. Different personalities , ages etc. stressful. He loves his job actually , and I always give him props! Well about 6 months ago he had surgery on his knee. As soon as he had it, he started to become an introvert. He didn’t want me to stop over, needed space for his ego whole he healed. Texting started to slow up… I offered alllll the time to bring him to his PT appointments , or bring him shopping. No answers. Finally he returned to work part time and seemed happier! I was thrilled! Well that changed. He wasn’t back doing the same thing because of his surgery which didn’t correct everything. He’s still in pain. I’ve confronted him once asking if it was me, and if he didn’t want to see me anymore. He was very clear that it wasn’t me and that it was him. It was tough for him to finally stop by and watch a tv show with me one night. He admitted it. He also said he is a hermit now but has talked to me the most since knee surgery. Wow.. Well now I’ve seen him a few times while out shopping or in passing elsewhere. I’ve said to him point blank, “will you come over and hang out for a little tonight please? I miss u!”. He gets tense and mumbles saying yeah maybe I can do that. Well he never shows up. I text him and he doesn’t reply. Never gives a reason for not showing up. He then just talks to me like he never blew me off the next time he sees me. It’s soooo frustrating and draining. I refuse to text him and get angry. I feel like I need to see him in person and talk to him to find it what’s going on. I haven’t given up on asking him to stop by. The problem is I’ve started to drift away because he does t text back and knowing he won’t, I have no desire to keep trying. But I do care for him … What should I do? It’s tough since I can’t seem to get him to join me anywhere to talk. Advice please !!!!!

    • Low Profile February 3, 2016 at 1:59 am - Reply

      I mean well when I say this but I want to be truthful since I’m an introvert. The first thing you need to do is stop texting him so much and pressuring him to see you…let him do it at his own pace…because it comes across to him and it even would to me as being a nag and a pest. I know you don’t mean for it to come across like that but it does to introverts. When he is ready to text you and visit you he will do it on HIS OWN TERMS! Always remember introverts do things on their own terms. When you keep texting him and keep asking him comstantly in public to visit then he will get to the point that he does not want to be bothered with you. When a person does not want to be bothered with you then they ignore you and blow you off….The reason for that is because your not allowing him to have enough space to eventually begin to miss you and allow him to initiate the visit. The bottom line is when dealing with introverts is: Give us our space. Introverts can go 10 years or more without seeing a friend but it does not mean that we don’t care about you….We just need space.

  37. Shio January 25, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for three months, and I’ve only just hit a stumbling block that has made me realise that he is in fact an introvert. Or at least, I hope so. I took him to a party this weekend just gone, where there was a good 20 of my friends. He was eager to go, but we’d already been to dinner, then I stayed the night at his, and by midday it was just “too much”. He was steadily withdrawing, so I volunteered to leave. And did so immediately, just telling him to text me in a few days (so I’m waiting out those few days, and it’s… turmoil. This is the first time any sign of this has happened, and I just don’t know what’s going on. I’m going through stages of mature objectiveness, and knowing that I have a busy life, “I’m independent, this needn’t be a problem if the communication is there”, and also feeling confused and like our very early relationship has been in some way poisoned. I need my solitude as well, but I don’t want a part time boyfriend.)
    I think he was trying to reassure me as I left (which I did, no questions asked), kissing me and hugging me. We’ve been able to spend all day together before, but perhaps the party just drained him: it’s a case of either/or.

    The thing is that he has been the driving force in the relationship, while I was the one with my foot on the brakes, while he almost immediately told his mother about me, all his friends, as his girlfriend (took me a few weeks to realise I was his girlfriend, of course). He’ll text me daily, and we’ll text back and forth a lot. He’s never reached this sort of threshold before. I suppose I’ve also been insecure about just how easy it all seemed, like the proverbial house built on the sand. We’re certainly not in the l-o-v-e stage, but I had thought he was stable and reliable, and made me feel safe. Now… I just don’t feel safe anymore.

    So after that ramble… I just want to say thank you for your writings. I’ve been reading through a few of them, and they have straightened a lot out for me. It’s just that this is the first time this has happened, and I don’t know if this is a particularity of his personality, or the beginning of a decline.

    It’s scarier than it should be. So thank you for putting the information out there.

    • Brenda Knowles January 26, 2016 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      It sounds like you’ve done some excellent reflection. Don’t take his need for alone time personally. It does sound like it was a busy weekend and he probably got to a threshold that had him retreating. I know that can feel unsafe. I’ve been on both sides in this situation. Let things unfold. If he is truly interested in you, he will reach out to re-connect after he’s recharged. You might want to have a conversation about it when you are both in a good, renewed state. You could even use some of my posts as a springboard for the discussion. Best of luck. You sound like you have a mature perspective on things.

      • Shio February 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

        Thank you for your reply and your reassuring words. We reconnected after a week and had a blissful day that including him saying that he had missed me, then saw each other twice the next week, and now we’re back at the beginning of the cycle… We had a wonderful, affectionate 20 hours of tv-watching and cuddling, but now we’re back to it being “too much”. We have had a phone conversation about it, in which he expressed guilt at the possibility of too much for him being too little for me: the right amount for him would be a meeting every two weeks, and two texts a week. I ended it by saying, cards on the table, that I don’t want to not be with him and I want to make that room, and we delayed contact till the end of the week, when he agreed to phone me. He said he felt better about it afterwards, but I hope I’m not just offering him up an excuse on a silver platter, as he’d never considered that he might be introverted.

        To be honest, though, these past few days have been very self-affirming, and I’ve spent them reading introvert blogs and letting myself feel affection for him. The absence of the pressure of waiting for his text has been very good, so I do think this could work, as long as I know that he’ll come back.

  38. virginiacyclist January 11, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I got cut off so I will try again. I am an ISTJ with an over the top introvert rating. People who are really introverted need too much space for normal people. I regret and feelband ashamed I hurt my ex over and again due to my need for space. My advice to real extroverts, if you are only dating a strong introvert, run. If one is a strong introvert, consider not making promises of being available that you cannot keep. I will never again repeat the mistakes of my past and hurt people who just had normal expectations
    People like me, hate to say, aren’t normal.

    • june price February 15, 2017 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      Thankyou. You are the only intorvert I have seen that admits that their behaviour is not normal and hurts other people who are just having what I see anyway, as normal expectations. I find the fact that someone here said that intorverts need things on their own terms as quite disturbing..the fact that thats what they expect and then try to say that there is nothing wrong with them! No-one deserves everything on their own terms!
      Maybe as an extrovert, I should have things on my own terms…you MUST come out and party with me because I NEED IT! Because most of my friends have been intorverts I am now chronically depressed and lonely because of their reluctance to come out with me at all or talk to me on the phone etc. I am socially isolated and no, I just dont go out and make meaningful friendships with just anyone, as some intorverts think we do…..

      • Brenda Knowles February 16, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

        Yes, it’s definitely about coming to an understanding versus one way of living is better than the other. Both introversion and extroversion are normal. The extremes in either case are where the difficulty may come in. Behavior that intentionally hurts others is not acceptable. I have learned a lot about extroverts over the years. I realize they too get tired of superficial relationships and living a harried lifestyle. Sometimes withdrawal from friends is not introversion. It is depression or a result of their attachment style or a consequence of being terribly stressed. I hope you find quality companionship June. I suggest looking where you feel most alive and at home.

  39. Glo December 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I came across this blog cos I’m trying to understand my husband. What you say sounds beautiful and is very insightful. I guess most people would call me an extrovert. I don’t really get the needing time alone to recharge, thing. I do fine in social situations but I also need some down time. I enjoy spending my down time with my husband. It could be just quiet together time or watching a movie, whatever. I enjoy his presence even when we’re not talking. But that’s different from ‘alone’ time, I guess.

    I’ve been married for 10 years and never would have guessed my husband was an introvert. At least, not to the extent that he is now. Perhaps he was trying to be something that he was not. I knew he was quieter than me, be he seemed to keep up really well. Anyway, all that has changed and I can only guess that he couldn’t keep going like that anymore. Or perhaps I just never really stopped to really notice. It’s kind of hard to believe that I would have missed that for 10+ years of being with someone, though.

    I’m trying to adjust to this new man who needs his space and needs lots of it. He’s even jokingly floated the idea of him living elsewhere for a couple nights a week to recharge. This is actually what drove me to google to try and understand what’s going on because I’m beginning to feel used. I don’t know if other extroverts feel like this, but it comes across like “when I want you, then I will be around. When I’m around, meet my needs. Love me. Take care of me. When I’ve had enough, then go away till I need you again.” Probably not intentional. But it sure feels like it.

    Everyone needs to have their needs met. I can understand that. But this is new to me and I don’t know if I can live like this. The ups are good and the downs are painful. I think I could handle a ‘I’d like some alone time’ or “I need some time alone’. I’m mature enough to handle that. But the sudden shut downs are hurtful. And to ask to live somewhere else completely? That to me is just astonishing.

    Anyway. I appreciated your blog for its insights. I guess it’s up to us to try and find a healthy balance between what we both need and what will allow the relationship to thrive.

    Thank you.

    • Brenda Knowles December 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      I can imagine your confusion based on your husband’s sudden need for significant alone time. One thing I have noticed is it seems we get more sensitive as we age. Perhaps your husband has increasingly become more intolerant to noise, socializing and hustle and bustle. Do you have children? Children can drain an introvert, even though they love them (and you) dearly, they may need more solitude because of them. Has your husband made any new friends or recently discovered he was an introvert? Sometimes new acquaintances can give us courage to voice our needs, especially if they have similar needs/values/natures.
      I validate your feeling of being used. I assure you an introvert does not think of people as at their beck and call. We usually just feel such a need to be alone that we have to ask our loved ones for it. That recharge time ultimately makes us better partners. When we reconnect with our loved ones we have more energy to share with them. All that said, your husband should respect your needs as well. He should strive to find out what it’s like in your world just as much as you strive to honor his nature and requests. The best relationships let the individuals be true to themselves, while having each other’s backs and fostering each other’s growth. Keep expressing yourself and actively listening to him. If you are at all interested in coaching sessions, I could go deeper with tools and exercises to help you both grow together. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I hope I gave you a bit more insight.

  40. Lb September 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Also I’m scared that we will fall more out of love if I give her to much space. ?????

  41. Lb September 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Hi my last week my girlfriend said she wanted space and she didn’t know it she weren’t sure if she loved me or was in love with me I took this pretty bad and decided to try things to help the relationship like trying to organise dates and trips which I now know was the wrong thing to do and it made things worse. I have been sleeping on the sofa the last few nights and going out more to try give her more space but it’s hard to stay away as we have a baby together who’s only 11 months old. I don’t no if it’s the stress of having the little one and her staring her new job or something else. I just want things to be back to normal and I’m running out of ideas. We have had our ups and downs in the past 3 years that we have been together but nothing happened to trigger this off. Please help me!

    • Brenda Knowles September 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      I’m sure a young child and a new job are depleting your girlfriend’s energy bucket. It’s good you honored her request for space. Usually, introverts need whole afternoons, mornings or evenings alone (at least) to recover. I would try to keep the atmosphere calm, quiet and relaxed. Let her sort things out in peace. Not knowing what is going through her head makes it difficult for me to understand the situation. Be her rock. Stand by her but not next to her all the time. Let her know you are there to listen, learn and help. Do not overload her with requests for her time and attention. You deserve to be appreciated but it sounds like at this moment she needs fewer draws on her energy. If she gets filled up again then it is possible she comes looking for you. If she gets recharged and still isn’t sure how she feels then there may be more to her unhappiness and the problems in your relationship. Hope that helps a little.

  42. Tracy September 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I have been dating a very social introvert for 6 months now. It has been a bumpy ride up until now as it has taken a while for me to comprehend his solitude behavior that springs up every few days. I must admit that we still haven’t found a perfect balance. We recently also went overseas together. On a whole, the holiday was good however we did have our “weird” moments. I have the bad habit of taking his silence very personally. I try very hard to not show him but it hurts so much inside. Sitting for an hour in silence for me is like torture. Yet it can happen when I least expect it. We love eachother deeply and we have both expressed this many times. He also has told me that he sees our relationship growing into something more serious and is in it for the long run. I am the only person he has ever felt so comfortable with and feels like he can be himself around me. But for this to happen I have worked so hard, felt rejected on numerous occasions and have been extremely patient. I have kept nearly all these feelings inside me as I know he doesn’t intend to make me feel like this. Last week I got a set of keys to his apartment. I feel like in the near future he may be asking me to move in with him. This scares me immensely as I do not think he will be able to feel comfortable with me in his house when he ends up having one of his “moods” or need for space. How does one live with an introvert? Does he expect me to leave the house for a few hours every time he needs his space? I don’t think I can live like that. For instance today we had planned to spend the whole day and night together. I brought all my clothes and pj’s but after lunch he asked me if I wanted him to drive me home! Obviously deflecting his need to be alone on me rather than just admitting he just got the urge to be alone. I am confused as to how this relationship is going to grow if he needs to get away from me every now and again.

    • Brenda Knowles September 5, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Hmmm so many things to comment on here. I worry a little about how much you are not saying to him. You will have to be honest with him eventually about how you feel during his silent or space-needing times. He will need to be able to tell you honestly when he feels anxious or overstimulated, hence needing solitude. I hope, if you read enough on space2live, you understand that an introvert’s need for alone time is not a personal rejection of you but a personal need of his.
      The way I see this relationship growing is if you both maintain personal integrity and interests/activities of your own. He will definitely need time alone at home. Is there a way to not have your work schedules coincide exactly? What I mean is, could it be arranged so that he could have an afternoon or evening alone once or twice a week? Do you have a circle of friends or an activity that would get you out of the house regularly? If you can be filled up in other ways other than needing his attention, this will help him relax and give him space. Can you be at home together working in separate rooms? Please be honest with yourself and with him regarding what makes you feel content. You can’t hide your feelings forever. Trust me. But it is possible to learn to honor and appreciate each other’s temperaments. I have found, that I am able to tolerate more and more time with my boyfriend as we go. I am very comfortable with him and feel very loved. He is learning how to keep our environment calm and not over-stimulating. We go out and have fun just the two of us or with others but then we return home to quiet, intimate time. You will get better at reading his energy. I know he will greatly appreciate you if you give him space without him having to ask. Having to ask for it makes us feel bad. I hope some of this helps. Above all, be you and be honest.

      • Tracy September 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm - Reply

        First of all let me begin by thanking you for your informative blog. Without it I think I would have been lost! It has opened my eyes to understanding many things that my partner perhaps struggles to express in words to me about himself and his needs.

        I must admit that when I posted my comment I was emotional. Perhaps even slightly more dramatic than needed 
        That night actually brought a break through between us. In the end when he asked me if I wanted him to take me home I answered with no, I knew this would make him feel uncomfortable but I needed to know if he can wind down and relax when I am in the house with him. We had done it on holiday so I had to know if we could achieve this back home. The minute we returned to his flat, I gave him a kiss and told him I am going upstairs to take a nap. I saw relief in his face once I said this. 3 hours later I came downstairs and he was all smiles, energetic and was even cooking up a meal for me! Again I gave him a kiss and commented on how lovely the food was smelling and sat on the balcony and gave him his space in the kitchen. We then both sat on the balcony to eat with a bottle of red and we started one of our famously long, deep and meaningful conversations about inner thoughts and feelings that we are famous for amongst our friends 
        I asked him if my persistence to come home together felt like I was intruding. He said that initially he freaked out that I declined to go home as he was feeling flat and needed some peace and quiet time but the fact that I had offered him adequate space pretty much immediately gave him so much relief. I then asked him if me being in the same house made it harder for him to wind down even if we are not in the same room and he said that to his amazement it actually hadn’t at all. We also expressed a lot of our feelings and concerns about his introverted needs (him not wanting to offend and upset me, me not wanting to pressure him and my difficulties sometimes trying not to take things personally) We cried a little hugged and finally both felt relieved! It was fantastic. The following day I went home and received a message off him saying that for the first time in his life he is by himself at home and feels lonely! I think we have finally come a long way and we are starting to feel extremely comfortable and honest with each other. I hope this is the begging of a great connection and understanding of each other. Concerning your comment, Yes I do believe I can fill up a few day of my week with external activities with friends and family that will give him his own space. My main worry was that he would never feel comfortable with me being in the same house as him even if I am in a different room doing my own thing. Fingers Crossed! Thank you once again

        • Brenda Knowles September 7, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

          Wow! What a wonderful evening. You did have a breakthrough conversation. That is so good to hear.:) Keep the communication open and non-judgmental. Nice work from both of you. That is great that he can relax if you are in the house. That makes things a lot easier. Again, I just want to give you credit for taking the time to inquire and work to understand him. If he does the same for you, you two are golden.;) Relationships are learning grounds. Enjoy the experience.

  43. Kimmy August 31, 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply


    I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year now and have recently realized that he is an introvert. I think I am what you called, an ambivert (falling in the middle of both spectrum) For several months now, we have been having problems about him wanting solitude. I understands that he needs to be alone because I too need alone time to recharge. However, the amount of alone time I need differs hugely with the amount of alone time he needs.
    I have tried giving him space as much as I think would be enough but he seems to be wanting more and every time he seeks it, I feel rejected as I am unable to understand why he would need SO MUCH SPACE. I know he loves me and I love him deeply too. We are trying to figure out what love really means and we do not know if it means that we need to be in each other’s presence (even if we doing our own things within the same room) all the time.

    I do understand that we need to find a balance but I have no idea how we should go about it. I am a very affectionate and sensitive person who loves contact. We do not live together, we usually meet once or twice during the weekdays after work for dinner and most weekends I like to stay over at his place, I know he loves having me around too; but he has recently made it clear that he does not want that every weekend. But meeting each other once a week, wouldn’t cut it for me either
    Do you have methods or suggestions on how we could balance and compromise our time together?

    • Faiza Daughrity September 1, 2015 at 10:14 am - Reply

      I am an introvert. According to me u r doing something that is causing him to distance from u. U r doing something that is hurting him more then bring him peace. Evaluate your self and see if their is something that u keep doing. Which he had asked u not to do or even gave unapproved signals for. Because at times its not that v need to regain our energy but also v don’t know how to tell u that u r causing hurt to us. So v just want to distance from u even though v actually want u to understand that u need to change otherwise I will get away from u. But v will not get away from u permanently because v love u. All v want is for u to realize that what u r doing is causing pain to us and v want u to change that about yourself. Hope I helped.

      • Brenda Knowles September 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm - Reply

        Great points Faiza! Thank you!

      • Kimmy September 2, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

        Hi Faiza,
        Perhaps you are right. I can be emotionally needy sometimes and other times, I might have been smothering him with affection too. Haha It is probably overwhelming for him. I have also realized what you’ve said, that he is probably distancing himself to avoid hurting me. I guess, I knew this all along but needed someone to validate it.

    • Brenda Knowles September 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      I think Faiza offered you some insightful advice. Is there something that you do that may drain him more than usual? You mentioned you are affectionate and love contact. Is that too much physical closeness for him? I am not asking you to change because you are who you are and you should be true to yourself, but that may be a source of inner conflict for him. Inner conflict is especially draining. He may not like someone by his side all the time but feel bad telling you that. Again, I am just guessing about the physical contact. He may love that.

      If there is something that could be done or not done to make your time together more relaxing and enjoyable for him, then possibly he could handle more time together. I know I became able to spend more time with my boyfriend when we got to the point where we could both do our computer work and drink tea together. When we first started dating we used every minute we were together to focus on each other. Which was heady and awesome but after a while I need to disconnect and do my work or read or goof around online. He needs to do his stuff as well. I would say keep your time together easygoing and not packed with activities. Too much stimulation will wear him out and have him craving a day or two to himself. Hope that helps. Best of luck!

      • Kimmy September 2, 2015 at 2:23 am - Reply

        I think when I am over at his house, he feels like he needs to give me attention even though I would just like to do nothing and chill. I’ve told him he could do his own thing while I do mine but it doesn’t seem to be working. How and what examples did you do with your boyfriend that you have reached that point that you mentioned?

        • Brenda Knowles September 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

          Sometimes it is very hard to do work with anyone in the house, even if they are in another room. There is always the potential that they will interrupt you. I don’t do any real heavy contemplative work when I am with my boyfriend. I can’t focus that deeply even if he is doing his own thing. My guy knows I have to do a certain amount of posting and corresponding for space2live. He will usually say, “Hey you can do your work while I do mine.” That kind of piecemeal work is possible to do with his interruptions. Right now, he is fixing tile in my shower while I work in my home office just off of my bathroom. He has the radio going and is making a ton of noise. He just sent me a text too. I love him but there is no way I could be writing or working on my coaching with him so near. He has no idea how distracting he is but I appreciate his help and desire to be near me.;) I also took a short nap before he came over so that I could handle added stimulation. It’s a give and take. Make sure your guy has time alone to do real work and re-charge. Suggest he do more simple, less mindful tasks while you are together. When you are together hanging out, truly let him be if that is the plan. Don’t bring up something new every ten minutes. Don’t ask him lots of questions. Don’t even touch him. I know that sounds cold but he has to trust that you will not be interrupting his thinking constantly. Interruptions are irritating and draining for an introvert. Let him initiate a break in the silence.

  44. Mehraj Amber August 27, 2015 at 2:55 am - Reply

    The guy I’m interested is very much an introvert and I know he’s into me too because he told me. However, recently (3days ago) he basically told me that he needs space as we’ve been texting a lot in the past weeks. But I can see that he’s communicating with other people and is active on social media but isn’t talking to me directly. I guess my question is why does he want so much space from me when he enjoys talking to me and how long could I be waiting for him to text me?

    • Brenda Knowles August 27, 2015 at 4:56 am - Reply

      A lot of interaction from anyone would be draining for an introvert. Texting, phone calls, emails – all equal interruptions to his thought processing and focused work. He can control how active he is on social media. It’s a way to be connected but on his own time. He may be involved in groups online that provide meaningful discussion too. That can be revitalizing.
      He may very well enjoy you but he is establishing boundaries. He may feel like you are going to expect constant texting and he won’t be able to deliver. He will always need space to recharge. You will have to decide if you can handle that. My advice is to not take it personally. He may subconsciously be testing to see how autonomous you are. Autonomy is sexy to an introvert.
      If he is really into you he will be in touch soon. You can establish boundaries as well by granting him space but also asking for a time when he will be available. It is not too much to ask for a time when he will be open to connecting post-retreat. Hope that helps. 🙂

    • Dan August 29, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Wow im having the same issue with someone ive been dating for 4 mths and i havent heard anything in 3 days but of course i see him on fb or social media. Drives me crazy! However i know he is serious as well, weve gone to europe together and were left alone together for over a week! You know they are serious when one they let you in there inner circle of friends bc as introverts they dont have many they can call close friends. Two if they let you spend a sunday with them doing absolutely nothing but maybe reading literature and enjoying solotitude. Im extroverted to the max so ive learned to give him space he needs it to recharge. Its like they have an internal battery that needs to recharge after being overstimulated. There is also a science to how the extroverted v.s. introverted brain works. Dopamine for instance is a brain chemical us extroverts are NOT sensitive too so we need more of it to feel optimal via social interactions and adventurous activities. Introverts on the other hand are MORE sensitive to dopamine release so in large crowds etc they tend to waiver away bc it is too much. I hope this helped you, the best thing is patience. One way to know for sure he is an introvert however is how he interacts with people around him even his own friends. As extroverts we strike conversations left and right but fail to notice they only listen and smile so try to be the listener but dont ask him off the bat his deepest secret it’s uncomfortable for them they require more deep meaningful coversations. Hope this helped
      -Sincerely another extrovert

      • Brenda Knowles August 29, 2015 at 7:55 am - Reply

        Nice extrovert insight Dan. Thanks for sharing your perspective. 🙂

  45. HKL23 August 3, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    I think the hardest part for me, as an extrovert, is just accepting the block of solitude that seems to come out of no where. Even if I’ve pulled back in communication from writing or electronic attempts, and I’ve given 3-4 days (max of 12) on my end (this is also a physical withdrawal on my end) and I test the waters to see where my friend(s) are at in their availability, it can take days to get a response. Contrast is, and has been, immediate — happy — bouncing — bubbly replies that quite frankly scare the living daylights out of me because that is not what I’m used to when my introverted friends initiate any type of communication. (I do not ever bring it up or criticize them or manipulate their emotions like I’ve read other at places ‘hey man why aren’t you always like this, is something wrong?’ <– screw that noise).

    I guess the main question I have is how can I get my friend to just blatantly tell me what he needs and expects when he feels the drain coming on. I understand wanting to hang out on a Friday and plan for it a few days in advance and then a test comes up at school or a couple of unsolicited events you're forced into, I get that — what I don't get is why he won't tell me 'I just can't tonight, I thought I could, but blah blah blah happened and I'm spent' because when we have hung out, it's lifeless and I can tell but if I were to leave or question the situation, I feel invasive and like I'm trying to guilt him into being more energetic when I know there's nothing that he can do and it's not because he doesn't want to, it's because mentally, physically, chemically, it's gone and needs the recharge. Is he afraid of letting me down? Thinking it'll hurt my feelings?

    I just don't grasp the love-hate that is so inconsistent. How can I encourage and support more open communication and make our friendship feel effortless for him?

    • Brenda Knowles August 4, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

      I suppose it is rather odd and hard to understand – our contrasting behavior. I know when I do not respond to my friends it is because I am juggling many things (like work, activities, emotions) and can’t use the energy to interact with one more person. When I am re-charged my relationships are the first to receive attention. Thanks for your efforts to work with us and understand our nature. 🙂

      • BP51 August 10, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

        I have a similar question. I have been in a relationship with an introverted man for almost 3 years. We have done a lot of work (I’m more extroverted but probably somewhere in the middle) on me giving space, him touching base and connecting more often and working out a balance for both of us. It has worked most of the time, but my difficulty is when his family comes in to town, his energy is totally sucked away by them and it often leaves me out of his life for days at a time. He has included more in activities with them.They don’t seem to understand his limits and he seems to have a hard time establishing boundaries with them. His limit seems to be a couple days of having them but this often ends up being 6 or 7 days. This last visit it has been a week since he has had any contact with me at all. I just wish he could just text at least and say he is tired and will be in contact soon. The total withdrawal really hurts me and even though I don’t think it is about me, I struggle with why he isn’t able to do this and I get to feeling really unimportant to him.

        • Brenda Knowles August 13, 2015 at 8:45 am - Reply

          Sorry for the delay in my reply. Life has been chaotic lately.
          First of all, it is wonderful that you see and understand your partner’s introverted needs. Unfortunately, it seems as though because you understand he feels it is OK to withdraw from you when needed. It is good that he feels safe enough to do that but still not fully acceptable. I agree it sounds like he needs to figure out how to create boundaries with his family. Perhaps you could give him some verbiage to use? Role play a little with him? Perhaps he could talk to the relative he is closest to and tell them in order to be at his best he needs a break from all of the hubbub for a day during their visits. He could also be a little firmer and tell his family there is a 3 day limit on their visits. It’s OK to speak up for yourself. They might even admire him for it.
          Now for getting your needs met, I suggest telling him you need to hear from him in some fashion every two or three days. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy call/text/visit but just a connection. It would be fine to let him know that his long absences make you feel unimportant. A little vulnerability is healthy in a relationship. You have a right to be understood and appreciated too. That is you maintaining your personal integrity. I would suggest finding ways to self-soothe as well. What else in your life makes you feel alive? if your partner sees you are rather self-sufficient he may relax more and be able to spend more time with you. Best of luck! Thank you for sharing your story.

  46. Jordan July 24, 2015 at 3:37 am - Reply

    My lover of 3 years recently broke up with me because she needed space and I was being an insensitive moron about how she felt, I feel like I can’t lose her no matter what and want to spend my life with her, we still talk everyday and we spend hours on Skype watching tv and playing XBOX all day, she says she still loves me but I don’t know if she’s IN love with me, for the record I’m extroverted most of the time and I’m trying to educate myself about how she might be feeling so maybe we can find a way to make it work. Changing for her brings me true happiness, she makes me the man I was meant to be, I’m already very depressed for a mountain of personal reasons and if I lose her I feel like my life won’t have the same meaning to it. Please help.

    • Brenda Knowles July 25, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

      You have taken the first steps in your willingness to learn about introversion and your willingness to self-confront. I suggest working on yourself to manage your depression. That may mean therapy and/or some true changes in your life. My advice is to start with you and what is on the inside. Only once you are whole and strong in your internal truths can you be a valued partner to her. Check out James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself or any other resource that cultivates self-awareness. It’s is hard for your lover to love you when she feels like she is defining you with her validation and attention. Who are you? You must know that before someone else can know and love you. Start with asking yourself what makes you feel most alive (other than your relationship with her). When was the last time you were excited to get up in the morning? Why was that? My latest post, ‘How to be Mentally and Emotionally Strong…’ offers some ideas for building a strong character. Keep your eyes open and learn. I believe you are at the beginning of a new chapter.

  47. kirilisa July 17, 2015 at 5:15 am - Reply

    I nearly cried when I read this article, it is so true. I find myself in despair every day because I have a very blessed life (I can see this so clearly) yet I struggle excessively to be a good wife and a good mother to my two small daughters. It doesn’t help that we live in a small flat in the center of a small European city and I do not have a square meter of space to call my own! I read another of your articles in which it said “Limit your time with people who cause your fuel tank to leak.” — unfortunately, my elder daughter, aged 5, is the person who more than any other causes my fuel tank to leak! (She is hyperactive, a chatterbox, always has some kind of minor problem, is extremely extroverted and has to be touching you *all the time*.) What to do, what to do?!

    • Brenda Knowles July 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      I feel for you so deeply. I have been in your exact predicament. It is very hard on your spirit to live with someone you are supposed to love unconditionally but who perpetually drains you. I urge you to start setting boundaries to protect your psyche. Your daughter is both young and old enough to teach to respect your needs. It is not selfish to establish an hour or two in the afternoon as quiet time where Mommy gets time to nap/read/exercise while children nap/color/play quietly. I hope your partner supports your needs. That is especially helpful. If he/she is not aware of introverted needs please share some of the articles from space2live. They can serve as a neutral explanation of your temperament. Let your partner see how much more full of life you are after recharge time. Point out how much more engaged you are when you’ve had time to come back to yourself. I used exercise as my escape when my kids were little. If you need reading time or have another hobby or passion that sustains you advocate for time to immerse yourself in it. Again, it is not selfish. Is is self-ful. I am sure your adrenal glands are shot from all of the stress. Please remember to eat well (protein, greens, good fats) and sleep well. Try to incorporate humor into your life. Lighten up any way possible. Listen to music. Watch stand up comedy. Dance and act silly. Your fuel tank is empty. It will do everyone good for your to replenish. You are not alone or a bad person. On the contrary, you are fighting desperately to do the right things, even if it goes against your nature. That is noble but not sustainable. Take care of yourself and your household will be calmer. I’m cheering for you!

  48. Cass B. July 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t have found this in a more appropriate time. I’m reading this from a pedicure share as I furiously try to make sense of an argument I had with my ‘introverted’ boyfriend whom I ran out of the house to avoid saying anything more. We have been living together for 2 months now and there has been at least 1 argument a week referencing the same things you are speaking about. One day he’ll be loving and wonderful, the next it’s as if he can’t stand me. Thank you for this article. It has brought true understanding to me. I’ve been so confused by his behaviors. And of course I take it personally. I myself am an extrovert (as I’ve come to learn) and it is painful when he is distant and withdrawn. I had such a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that you can tell someone you love them and act in that way and the next day you couldn’t get away fast enough. But I understand, we are built differently. And I know now it has nothing to do with me. I believe now I can give him the space he needs.

  49. Brenda Knowles July 7, 2015 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    It’s crazy how many people have absolutely no understanding regarding the need for time alone. It simply does not make sense to them at all. Very frustrating to an introvert. Perhaps have your friend read some of the articles on space2live. It’s sometimes nice to have a neutral party present your feelings. Thanks for reading and sharing your story.

    • Mally B. July 13, 2015 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Thank you for responding, Brenda, but I’m afraid that my friend lacks empathy for anyone other than herself. She is clingy, tries to manipulate me into going places where she knows I wouldn’t otherwise go, but doesn’t want to go places on her own. It baffles me. I love her to death would do just about anything for her, but under no circumstances can I allow someone to make me feel guilty because I won’t allow them to smother me, eat up my time and energy as if I don’t have a life to live of my own. I’m afraid this decades long friendship will be over. We lived apart for the majority of our friendship and only recently live near each other and she suddenly doesn’t know how to do anything after living and surviving on her own for decades just because she wants me to be around to do stuff that she is capable of doing herself.

  50. Michael Grunewald June 28, 2015 at 10:37 am - Reply

    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.

    • Brenda Knowles June 29, 2015 at 7:10 am - Reply

      I’m so thrilled space2live was helpful Michael. Introverts have such busy heads. Getting to clarity is a challenge. It takes me a while too.:)

    • Karim Mohamed June 29, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      pls can u tell me what add adds to the introvert character i think iam the same as u

  51. Valerie09 June 15, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Hello Dear Brenda,I am writing to you hoping you will be able to ease my pain.The thing is, I met a wonderful decent guy on a language exchanging web site where people from all over the world master various languages.So i wrote to him asking to have a chat with me in order to find my weak areas in English. He was so kind to have answered me and was willing to help.We had a nice conversation and after that he started to write me on a daily basis. We had been spending hours, days and weeks on Skype,we both did not expect at all that we would have so much in common and become so close. Unfortunately we are from different countries, but still we managed to talk to each other every single day. He promised that he would do everything to make our meeting real. We have known each other for three months, then something went wrong, at a certain moment I felt like he was not anymore interested in our communication, he disappeared for several times, went “offline” not writing me for weeks and after some time appeared saying that he lost his phone, was hugely busy and blah blah blah..He warned me that sometimes he needed to distant himself from other people and to get over his problems.He also said that he is not in the habit of sharing his problems with his relatives or friends.I never bothered him with messages, never came across as a clingy annoying girl and some day suggested that we should part on a good note for I see there was no interest for him in talking to me anymore. He said that I got it all wrong and that he did not mean at all to seem distant. But still nothing has changed since that conversation, he wrote to me very seldom, sometimes did not respond to my messages at the same time being active on social net..I do not know what to think, I blame myself only for his giving me a cold shoulder but cannot find any reason why he neglects me. I knew that he was really into me. Sorry this is so long, many thanks for your help in advance.In your opinion,does such a behaviour has something to do with his introversion?Or any introvert would be able to find some time for a girl who he was really interested in?Thank you so much for your reply!

    • Brenda Knowles June 16, 2015 at 6:50 am - Reply

      My intuition says he enjoys talking to and knowing you but does not want a daily commitment. He could need space as an introvert but if he was truly interested in furthering the relationship, ie. meeting in person, he would suggest talking every few days or message you more often. He would try to keep the relationship steadily growing. Introverts can be true partners if they want to be. There may be times when they need their space but they should communicate that respectfully to their significant other and then make plans to connect afterwards. I would not wait around for his attention. Go on and enjoy your life and keep him in mind as a friend. Hope that is helpful, although it may not be what you wanted to hear. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Valerie09 June 16, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

        Thank you ever so much for finding time to respond!Now I am able to look at this situation without wearing “pink glasses” The only thing that hurts me and makes it so complicated to move on is knowing that most likely he changed his mind because I did not meet his expectations,hugely disappointed him..Anyway,I will be doing my best to move on!Thank you Brenda.

        • Brenda Knowles June 19, 2015 at 7:33 am - Reply

          Don’t look at it as if you disappointed him. You were you. There was something that did not work but that’s OK. You represented yourself and he needed something different perhaps. No big deal. You want someone who finds you to be just right for them. They are out there.:)

      • Valerie09 June 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

        Many thanks for your attention,kindness and support,Dear Brenda!

  52. Brenda Knowles June 14, 2015 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Introverts are drained daily by external sources but their ability to be social depends on how much energy is replenished along the way. If an introvert has a very social job then goes home and has a family waiting for him/her to be with them instantly then it will be tough. Ideally, some downtime or recharging time will weave its way in and out of the day. A meaningful conversation with a co-worker or friend at lunch can help recharge the introvert. Even though it’s an interaction it’s a high quality one that could refuel the introvert. If the introvert finds their work meaningful then it is not as draining. Exercise can recharge the introvert as well if they get time to clear their mind. Reading, listening to music, going for a walk – all can help diminish the effects of the daily drain. Having a partner disappear for a few days, in my experience, is a good thing every once in a while. It gives the introvert time to miss their person and time to gain energy from her internal thoughts and ideas. Hope that helps. Thanks for your thoughtful question.

  53. Athena OfAthens May 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Athena's Wicked Owl and commented:
    This is awesome. This is me.

  54. upanddownmomma May 8, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Thank you for this post! I have been struggling with needing time and space to be me and dealing with the misunderstanding of my husband when I say these things. I am a stay at home mom/wife and the constant swarm of people around me can really rattle my brain some days! Great article and thanks for laying it out.

    • Brenda Knowles May 11, 2015 at 11:45 am - Reply

      I apologize for the delay in response. I have been in England for the last ten days with only occasional wifi access. Just know that you are not alone. Parenting is a challenging endeavor no matter what but for introverts it often requires giving up what we need most in order to be the best parent/partner. Perhaps you could leave this space2live post on your husband’s pillow? It could lead to a positive intimate conversation. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  55. angeleyescj May 6, 2015 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this post! As an introvert myself who is suddenly longing with every pore of desire to get away from everyone and everything, I found myself growing weepy when reading this today.

    The need to get away is a very real aspect of an introvert’s life. I thought I was just being silly last year when I had a nervous breakdown and suddenly (completely out of character) found myself driving towards what I had not realised was going to be a 2 week vacation! At that point I did not care about the repercussions of leaving my workplace and my studies. I just went.
    Once again, I thought I was being silly when I suddenly began feeling the same as I woke up and went about my business today…

    What you have written here makes so much sense, and I thank you for expressing what I previously could not. It is great to have a reference point for my colleagues and friends who do not understand…and it is just as good to realise that I do no not need to be so judgmental about my feelings and desire to get away.

    • Brenda Knowles May 6, 2015 at 9:36 am - Reply

      I grant you permission to administer self-care in the form of solitude. I am traveling with a group of introverts right now. Last night, someone mentioned how they can go from giving and giving to complete shut down and needing to be alone. We have our limits. It’s important to learn them and then figure out how to refuel. I’m glad you found space2live. It should feel like home.:)

  56. Annel April 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I had a friend have a friend who is an introvert and i like him very much; however, I wouldn’t understand his behavior till I read this blog. My frustrations just went to having compassion. I wish I would have known this since the beginning. I am still his friend because I have patience with him, and he allowed me to be in his personal space only when he has that energy. He is a huge introvert; however he has a lovely heart. I wish I can confess my love to him. Took me 6 years to finally get that he is unique and I must understand his behavior.

    • Brenda Knowles May 1, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

      He’s lucky to have a friend who is willing to take the time to understand and learn about his nature. I always encourage people to be open and honest about their feelings. Let him know he is special to you.:)

  57. Sammy April 29, 2015 at 6:05 am - Reply

    I am wondering if you got my comment. I had put up a long post, its been over 24 hours but I don’t see it.

    • Brenda Knowles April 29, 2015 at 10:01 am - Reply

      Sorry, yes I got it. I am preparing for a long trip so my responses will be delayed. I just approved your comment. I will respond asap.

  58. Sammy April 28, 2015 at 5:36 am - Reply

    This was a vey interesting read for me.
    I am a 42 year old happily married woman.

    I have a best friend of 4 years who I share all my thoughts and feelings with. He has helped through some very difficult times and I feel truly indebted to him.

    A few months ago I sent him 2 mails to tell him how grateful I was and to let him know how much I appreciate him. He had sent me a text saying he was down and out earlier. After receiving the mails he called and said thank you for that. I told him that they were heartfelt.

    Before this we were speaking 5 times a day and meeting 3 times a week. We have been on holidays together and are more family than friends as he is also my husbands cousin.

    Its been about 5 moths since the mails and he has hardly kept in touch and Ive met him only 3 or 4 times. He has distanced himself from me and doesn’t share whats bothering him. I was texting and calling him regularly but, for nearly 2 months I stopped after sending him a text that I understand you need space and I won’t bother you but remember I am constantly thinking of you. For 2 months, I didn’t hear from him once. I knew he was in touch with others and going out with them as well. I finally broke down and messaged him and he acted normally. He just said that he’s been too caught up in his own mind to think of anyone else.

    Now, off and on I call him and text him to which he responds somewhat normally but he’s only initiated a call once in the past 4months.

    I don’t think Ive done anything to offend him other than sending him those 2 mails. I keep trying to wrap my mind around the fact that he has drifted away or probably doesn’t want to keep in touch and I should respect it. However, truly speaking I am very hurt. I am an extrovert and I get energy from my loved ones – family and friends. Although, I am better now I still feel overwhelmed with the situation. My husband and his cousin are both introverts and my husband’s advice is to cut him loose or to realise that it was not a reciprocated friendship.
    I really don’t know how to handle it.

    • Brenda Knowles April 29, 2015 at 10:17 am - Reply

      My instincts say that he may have felt a tad uncomfortable being that close to his cousin’s wife or someone suggested you two might be too close. Is he married? I would let the relationship evolve naturally from this point. See how it goes. I know it is a true loss to not have him as a confidante. I am sorry it played out that way. He may truly need less communication from his friends, including you. Maybe he is working through some things now that he can’t share with you. Perhaps in time he will reach out. In the meantime, cherish the life you are leading. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find some answers/comfort around this.

      • Bethel May 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

        I agree. It actually sounds like something that could come between you and your husband as the cousin seems to be closer to you. I agree to not worry too much about it as it could probably have led to problems.

  59. Candace March 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I’ve been dating this guy for over 7 months now and we’re both seniors in high school. The first time we really talked we hit it off like crazy. Neither of us knew we had so much in common. We understood each other in this deep way and I’ve always felt like I could talk to him about anything. We are both mainly introverts. We basically have the same personality. Our relationship was so perfect. There have been times where he’s a little distant but that never stopped him from texting my until midnight almost every day since we started talking to each other. Two weeks ago, after an especially awesome date, I went home and I sent him a sexy photo and he said that he wasn’t turned on at all. So I called him a jerk and the next day we both apologized to each other for the way we acted. I wanted to be upfront about the way he made me feel like I wasn’t pretty enough since never calls me pretty (I understand now that he’s not the kind of guy who is touchy-feely and will shower me with compliments and I accept that because I love him and I’m over it now. I’ve never needed a touchy-feely kind of guy). He ignored most of my texts and when I asked him why he wasn’t replying he said he didn’t feel like responding and that he wasnt in the mood to talk. So I told him good night and left him alone. The next day I apologized for making him upset. That week he was incredibly unaffectionate. He texted me one time that entire week. I barely got two kisses. He was laughing with his friends and acting normal around everyone else but around me it was like “I get to walk with her” turned into “This is the part where I have to walk with her.” I barely got him to smile. I didn’t text him for three days after Spring Break started because I figured he’d talk to me when he felt like it, but I never got anything. So I texted him on Sunday and asked if he wanted to hang out at all that week. He said that he wasn’t sure and that he needed space. So I didn’t reply. I gave him his space and I haven’t talked to him since then. I’m so nervous to see him at school tomorrow. I don’t know what “space” means in his book. I really don’t think our discussion two weeks ago would cause him to avoid me for so long. What do you think would cause him to behave this way out of no where?

    • Brenda Knowles April 3, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

      I thought I responded to you Candace, but it looks like I didn’t. Sorry for the delay. It sounds like there may be something more to his distance than the one night where you think you upset him. I would just give him time and not pursue him in a heavy way. Something triggered his need to distance himself from you. If you eventually get some time with him, you could subtly inquire about it. I would not pressure him for information now that would just push him away. I hope he gives you another chance but maintain your own integrity. Know yourself and don’t settle for half-hearted attention. Best of luck to you.:)

      • Candace April 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm - Reply

        Thank you for responding (: so, the first day back he just acted like nothing had ever happened. Despite not seeing me for an entire week, he never hugged me or anything. That Monday and Tuesday there were so many mixed signals. Sometimes he’d laugh with me and be the normal Zach who told jokes and stories and pulled me into hugs. And suddenly he’d ditch me without saying goodbye and disappear and avoid me or not smile or not touch me. I managed to gather up some courage on Tuesday to ask him what was wrong. He said that he wasn’t sure; That I was sort of clingy and he was falling behind in school and that he was stressed about track. Basically excuses. Crappy excuses. We’re sort of known for being that couple that isn’t super affectionate in public, and I also gave him an entire week with zero contact so I don’t know where he got clingy from. I asked him if he still needed space and he said yes. I asked him if we were taking a break. And he said “I guess if that’s what you want to call it.” And before I could really say anything else he got up and went to a table where his friends were. I left the library and immediately moved my things from his locker into a friend’s locker. Him and I haven’t spoken in two weeks now and it’s killing me. Every once in a while I’ll catch him staring at me, and I know that he looks at my Instagram and Snapchat posts. I can’t believe how he’s being. It’s like someone abducted my boyfriend and replaced him with a raging ass hole.
        I don’t understand how he can shut me out like this after everything we’ve been through. We said we loved each other. We gave each other our virginities. We were best friends. And now… He barely acknowledges my existence, and he won’t tell me the truth. I have trust issues to begin with when it comes to boys, but he’s the last person I would ever expect this from. I never knew he could be so cold.
        And now everyone is telling me to drop his ass like it’s so easy. He was my first kiss and my first everything. I can’t just throw that away like it meant nothing… Even if he seems to be doing it to me so easily.

        • Brenda Knowles April 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm - Reply

          Dear Candace, I completely empathize with your hurt feelings. It sounds like you had a beautiful connection with Zach. I am not sure what has caused him to pull away but it may be he just wasn’t ready to commit to a steady girlfriend. If he is an introvert then he would definitely need some space in the relationship but it sounds like you gave/give him space. You are both young and figuring out what being in a relationship means.He may truly feel overwhelmed with activities and school. The word ‘clingy’ is an easy one to throw out there when you don’t know how to say you need more solitude. It puts the blame on you, rather than himself. My advice to you is to keep working on yourself. Do what makes you happy and alive. Don’t wait around for him. You won’t forget him. If he really wants to be with you, he’ll find a way to express his needs/wants to you. You sound like an intelligent girl who is highly aware of her feelings. Use your intuition and go forward. Take care of yourself. He will either join you on the path or not. If he doesn’t perhaps someone else will someday when you are healed and whole again (very attractive). Best of luck on your path.

      • Candace April 11, 2015 at 10:37 pm - Reply

        Also, during Spring Break, he got a tattoo and never even bothered to tell me about it. It was this one that we had talked about multiple times. In Latin it says “we love through memories.” I mean I know that it’s his life and I’m not his mother but, I knew how important that tattoo was to him. I just thought I was an important enough of a person to him that he would tell me about something he was getting permanently inked on his body for the rest of his life.

  60. sshastri1 March 25, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I recently met this guy through a dating site… seemed like an introvert. So, I initiated a conversation, we hit it off, he called me the first night and we talked through the night…He texted the next day and wanted to meet up. He is recently disabled and generally wants to meet at nigh and doesn’t want to leave his car.

    After our first date, I texted him to tell him thank you and that I had a nice time…we texted a bit.

    I sent him a text about something we had discussed when we met late the next day – I got no response
    I messaged him the next day – and we chatted very briefly
    I asked him to meet again after a two days – we met again (I thought the date went well, despite me having some ditzy moments). We texted a little that night
    I messaged him the next day – I got no response
    I left it be for a 4-5 days…I texted him asking if he wanted to meet up over the weekend as I was in his area…he responded to another detail of the text and ignored the meet request.

    Did I text too much and scare him off? Or is he just not interested? Should I just give up and move on? I don’t have much experience with “relationships” with men so I often can’t read the signs. The last thing I want is to become that person who constantly texts and tries when the person is not interested. Please advice.

    • Brenda Knowles March 26, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

      It sounds like you are highly perceptive of the signs you’re receiving. I would leave the ball in his court. You have made it known that you are interested in getting together again. Now wait and see if he is.
      You mentioned that he is recently disabled. This may have an effect on how deep of a relationship he wants to enter right now. Will his health improve? Could there be dates where he is out of his car? The meeting at night and not leaving his car is a little suspicious to me, but then I don’t know his health history.
      Go with your gut. You strike me as an intuitive person. Best of luck!

      • sshastri1 March 26, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

        Thank you for getting back to me 🙂 I myself am an introvert and I have really stepped out of my comfort zone with this guy. I reached out to him yesterday and got very short responses. At this point, my instinct is to just withdraw. I feel like I have already exposed myself too much.

        The accident was recent. He seems to have some emotional baggage, I think he is bitter about his condition and his surroundings. But he is also trying to get out there…When I conversed with him, he seemed confident and was very intellectual. I am a shy person and I tend to take time to show my true self to people. So maybe he just met me and realized I am not someone he can see a relationship with? I am not sure…

  61. melissa March 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Been dating an introvert for little over two years. we usually see each other on wed and every other weekend sometimes every weekend. He is in his 40s and I’m late 30s, both have kids and divorced. About 3 wks ago, he said he needed space. No prob. So after 6 days I went up on wed like usual. He said he was still thinking cuz having trouble with us. He told me he blocked my number so he’d have time to think about us but made it to where he could still get my texts. Said married over 15 yrs and it was bad and he wasn’t sure if would ever remarry or want to move in cuz enjoyed his alone time felt guilty about I he was keeping me from what I wanted. I asked if he loved me, I made him happy and his life better. He said yes. We agreed to stay together and tell each other when wants changed. I did tell him that I thought 6 days too long to go without communicating. The next weekend was amazing. He told me he didn’t want anyone else, that I had nothing to worry about, and I make him feel better. On Tues on phone he said working late w job and didn’t feel human. I said lets skip seeing each other tomorrow so u can recover. I got short text from him Thursday and nothing since. Think he blocked my number again. I texted him today, sat. “assuming u had draining wk and need to recharge. I understand. I’m here when u want to reach out. I love u.”. No response. Is this just a normal recharge time or do I need to worry he’s pushing me away because of him debating whether to break up few weeks ago?

    • Brenda Knowles March 23, 2015 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Hmmm. It does sound like he has a full life with job, kids and you. He may really need time alone. I think the real question is are you willing to be in a relationship with someone who goes ‘underground’ for days at a time and blocks your number? Has this been a typical pattern with him? If so, his behavior is probably not going to change. You are being a supportive partner and obviously in tune with his needs. Do not forget that your nature should be honored as well. Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Andrea March 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm - Reply

        It makes me sad to read that this guy blocks your number because I don’t see that as healthy behavior. There is normal pull-and-push (Come in! Go away! lol) from an introvert, but this is not in my realm of healthy, normal behavior. Remember, this is just my opinion. Introverts and extroverts alike get sucked into unhealthy relationships that only lead to prolonged heartache because “I love yous” and “You complete mes” are exchanged, and everyone wants to hear that. But, we need to remember what makes us feel good part of the time, yet makes us feel lonely and rejected the majority of the time is not a good balance. I have finally learned what a healthy relationship looks and feels like, and I wish that for everyone, including you!.
        All the best to you!!

  62. […] to sit quietly, talk to no one, do nothing but watch TV and turn off my brain.  (I’m an introvert.)  I also need a couple hours to visit with Hubby.  If I can come home from work right after […]

  63. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  64. createuniquer December 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on createuniquer and commented:
    lve this

  65. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  66. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  67. Hon November 25, 2014 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I was with a guy for about 6 month. Everything was great at the beginning. He was soooo into me, he called several times, and we had a really good relationship, till one night that we had sex. I was virgin but that night I lost my virginity. In our culture, usually girls should be virgin till their marriage, but we live in canada! After that, I had a very bad time, I felt soooo bad!and he said our relationship is complicated! I didn’t even understand what did he mean! we were together for 2 month after that night, but he suddenly started to get space, he became cold! Once I saw a picture of a girl in his computer but I didn’t tell him anything. It was weird because some facebook photos of a girl was saved in a folder with her name! one night, I asked him to explain who that girl is and I saw he is contacting his ex in viber, they were texting in viber! after one week, he stopped calling me and I called him and asked what’s going on and why he is changing! then he said I need space. I hang up and that night he called me again but I didn’t want to talk to him! I texted him the day after and told him:I respect your need for space and I like you, so I think it’s better not to contact for a while. Then he responded: thanks for understanding me! I’m under pressure and I need some time to relax and think what I want. I hope everything will be fine at the end!
    After 2 weeks something came up that was related to our relationship, I contacted him and asked him to call me. He called me after one day and we talked about that issue. And we met after 2-3 days. He said he is thinking and it’s not a breakup, but people break up sometimes! and I said we cannot be in space forever, so let’s pick a deadline. He said he is ok with whenever I say. I said we were in space for more than 2 weeks, 2 more weeks would be enough! and last wednesday, 2 weeks passed and I didn’t hear anything from him. Also, last weekend was his birthday but I didn’t send him a text or anything else. I don’t know what should I do now? do I have to call him and ask him to talk? I like him so much and I want this relationship to work, but I don’t know what should I do. but I don’t know if he is contacting his ex or seeing the others! Please help me what to do now…..

    • Brenda Knowles November 26, 2014 at 7:08 am - Reply

      My gut feeling is that he is not honoring you in the relationship. He may need space to think but what is he thinking about? Is he thinking about another woman or is he working on other issues like work or his own personal growth? I would let him come to you. If I were you I would focus on other aspects of my life and move on. If he truly cares for you he will find you and show you his devotion. In the meantime, you are finding other people and activities that give you energy and make you feel honored. Figure out what lights you up besides this man. You will be more desirable to him if you are happy on your own. If you are not, then he was not the man for you. Sorry to be so direct but I think you should be respected. Best of luck.

  68. Amelia November 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Came across this website/article while googling “how to regain my personal space”, which I find really apt. Thanks so much for such a simple, yet precious post that articulates what I find so hard to. As years pass I find that this need for solitude hits in waves, and always comes on so fiercely after a period of constant social interactions and hangouts. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this, thank you.

    • Brenda Knowles November 22, 2014 at 8:03 am - Reply

      You are definitely not alone.:) It is a natural cycle of ours. Awareness is the beginning of learning how to manage your energy. You are on your way! Welcome to space2live. Welcome home.

  69. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  70. sirflight November 14, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I recently started seeing an introvert. Well, “seeing” is not the best term. We met a week and a half before I took a job transfer 500 miles away. So we are trying to start this relationship long distance (I know, already strike #1). We’ve had some rough spots in communication, and especially over whether I can visit or not. Her work situation has gone crazy, and it’s all she can do to keep up with it. All the while, I’m 500 miles away wanting more and more of her time, and wanting to figure out why a visit from yours truly would be such a difficult thing. I couldn’t understand why we seemed to be on good terms from what she said, yet I felt like I was being held at arm’s length…or even pushed away. She sent me this article yesterday, and finally the lightbulbs are coming on in my head. I actually may be starting to get it, although I’m sure the skull still has many thick spots. Questions, and what seemed like inconsistencies, were answered when I read this. We have a long road ahead if things are going to work…lots to figure out. But understanding this now just might increase our odds.

    • Brenda Knowles November 14, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

      First of all, kudos to you both for communicating openly and honestly about your needs/wants. You both sound fairly self-aware. It’s a good sign that she could share this post with you.
      From the details you gave me, I would say that work is zapping her of enthusiasm and energy. My suggestion to you would be to step back a bit with the quantity of communications you are having with her. Quality communication is almost always welcome but constant texts, emails, calls can feel like interruptions. Interruptions wreak havoc on the introvert’s mental processing – making us cranky.;) Too much interaction can start to feel like neediness. Neediness is a little scary for introverts. We fear our attention and energy will be quickly depleted by one person and we will have nothing left to give to the rest of our lives.
      Make sure she knows you are very interested in furthering your relationship and then ask her when she will be recharged enough to be present and available to you. Let her know she is driving the train for now. It is necessary that your temperament is appreciated and honored too so if she is thoughtful she will let you know when you can get together.
      In the meantime, I suggest figuring out how you can make her life easier. She may be so frazzled she doesn’t want you to experience her that way. If you can help with anything or even just make her laugh your chances of seeing her will increase. Let her know you can handle a little chaos and imperfection (provided you truly can).
      You sound like a genuine man with good intentions. I wish you two all the best. May this be the beginning of a rich and meaningful relationship.

  71. sarahdaltry November 3, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Author Sarah Daltry and commented:
    I’ve spent a lot of time around people lately and I’m so tired. It’s not that I don’t care or want to socialize, but it does take a lot out of you when you prefer quiet.

    • Brenda Knowles November 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this post Sarah. We have all felt like you do. You are not alone in your tiredness. It usually goes in cycles so may you find time to restore your energy in meaningful and quiet ways.

  72. Insecurity October 30, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I am in a long distance relationship with an introvert. We have been seeing each other for about three years now, and whilst I knew about his great need for space, I didn’t understand the reasons why, until I read practically every article on this site. It was a Eureka moment.
    We see each other once a week at best and keep communication going with daily short texts. Unfortunately these have dwindled recently, possibly because in addition to be an introvert, he is also suffers with depression, which I think is caused by stress, and that makes him withdraw.
    My problem is that I am supportive in his need for space and even try to encourage it to show that I understand. However, possibly because of his previous relationship which lasted for 40 odd years, he lies often to buy himself space. The reason I know this is that he is not a good liar and trips himself up often. I do not wish to make him feel embarrassed about this and so I let it go, and continually show that I am OK with his space needs.
    I really don’t know what to do now as I need him to be truthful with me. I feel rejected because of his depression and don’t feel very loved at the moment.
    I love this man so much. He never says he loves me, and once said he doesn’t love me as much as I love him. I don’t know what he is basing that on, but in my heart I do believe he does.
    How do I deal with the lying? Or do I just accept that he does this and try not to let it stress me out as much as it does?
    I would appreciate any advice that you can give.

    • Brenda Knowles October 31, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

      Oooh depression is a difficult beast to partner with. Hmmmm. I want to give you credit for the calm and aware way you are handling this. What makes you know in your heart that he loves you as much as you love him?
      Is there a way you can lightly joke about the lies he tells to protect his space? Do you really want to be in a long term relationship with someone who needs space like this? I am asking because chances are he won’t change. Is he seeking professional help for the depression? If you know your man is doing the work to take care of himself and eventually be the best partner he can be to you then I would stick around to see the relationship grow. If you feel constantly thwarted or rejected and don’t see him making significant effort to improve his life and your relationship then I suggest moving forward on your own – follow your energy and let yourself grow.
      It sounds like you have been communicative and supportive regarding his introversion and need for downtime. The only other thing you can do is formally set up a schedule for together time and keep communicating openly. I would let him come to you. Independence is attractive to introverts. Do your thing and see if he seeks you out. Introverts don’t always need a relationship but they often WANT one. If he wants you he will find you. If you can stand to wait then it could work. Best of luck to you! Thank you for sharing your story.

      • Insecurity November 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

        Hi Brenda,

        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I will try lightly joking about the lying and see how it goes. I just wish he would realise that he can ask for space without having to resort to subterfuge. He is, at least, taking medication for his depression, which is something!
        I do want to be with him, so I am going to hang on in there for the time being. I didn’t realise that introverts like an independent person. I am independent in most ways, but not emotionally, although I don’t think he would guess that of me, as I try not to show it.
        Once again, thank you for your advice.

        • Brenda Knowles November 3, 2014 at 8:05 am - Reply

          Independence in a partner gives introverts space to re-energize. If someone is always relying on us to fill them up (with activities, emotional support, sexually) we don’t have time to fill ourselves up. That’s scary to us. There are some people who we can be around while “introverting” but for the most part we need time to ourselves regularly.
          You are obviously self-aware and mature when it comes to relationships so you have a good chance of making it work. Keep communicating with him. Keep learning. Keep working on making yourself whole.

  73. Katherine October 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    I have been in a loving, close relationship with an introvert for almost a year. He was very honest about his need for space and how people “suck” the energy from him. I’d never thought about where I lose and gain energy before talking with him. I usually fall in the middle of all personality tests and do know that I need some serious alone time to be a happy person. In fact, during times of serious emotional stress, I see tendencies of becoming a “shut-in” and make myself go do things. Even if it’s just heading down to a local pub to read a book while I have a beer and eat. Anyway…this boyfriend, after talking to me about his introvertedness, then paid me an amazing compliment: he said I don’t drain him of energy. He finds me relaxing to be around!! Help though – I need help talking with him about respecting both of our needs when we aren’t in the same city. When he travels to see friends, he won’t communicate at all while he’s gone. He says that he doesn’t miss people while he’s gone so he doesn’t call, text or anything until he’s back. I think staying connected with someone while apart isn’t about you missing them as much as keeping a connection. I don’t see how a 5 minute phone call once a week while you’re away is out of the question. Just because an introvert doesn’t feel the need to keep their sense of connection doesn’t mean their partner doesn’t. I feel like I’m compromising a ton by not talking everyday for a few minutes…even just to say goodnight.He has stated that his non-missing of people while he’s away has caused lots of problems in his past. I don’t want him to miss me, I want him to be enjoying himself while away and for him to know I am in a good place too. BUT, I do want to feel connected. It seems that there should be a way for both people to feel that their needs are being respected. He seems to feel that if he doesn’t feel the need to communicate while he’s gone, he should be true to himself – that his complacency with no communication is more important than my needs. I don’t feel that either person should be totally catered to – there should be a compromise. Relationships need to be invested in and sometimes that means realizing that you are not being untrue to yourself by meeting your partner’s needs halfway. Do you think an introvert communicating for a few minutes once in a while during an out of town visit is excessive or damaging to their sense of self? Whew…lots of stuff there and it feels redundant but I’m going to leave it. Okay…this actually was getting better the longer we were together. But Then! He joined the military and shipped off to basic training …he left Aug 4th. We decided to stay in a long-term, committed relationship. He called me from the airport that night and told me he loved me (in front of other people). That felt pretty amazing. He doesn’t feel that he should have to say he loves me, he should be able to show me. Not too much of an issue when we were in the same city and could be with each other. I received one phone call 4 weeks into basic training, again…he loved me, missed me(he never misses people), didn’t want me to stop writing (daily letters with my thoughts, fun memes, some of the comics he follows), etc., and had a list of things he wanted to do with me our first weekend back together (no clue when that will be). He lives a separatist life….his family, friends and I are all separate. This translates into me never being around them. His brother and all of his friends know I am in his life, he uses the word girlfriend when he talks about me to them. He’s not told his parents about me because we all live in the same city (or did until he left for the Air Force) and this might lead to us mixing. They’ve known since February that we were dating (through mutual friends) but I didn’t get invited to his dad’s BIG 60th bday party in July because they thought we might have broken up since their son never mentioned to them that he was dating me. What else is in this equation?? Ahh, yes, basic training graduation. So after not seeing him for 9 weeks, I didn’t go to his graduation because he just wanted family. There is something in his mind that a girlfriend around friends and/or family is not a thing. I do have plans to ask him about this when I do see him. I should have asked before but I thought he was just slow to blend different aspects of his life. I plan on asking him why I am separate from his friends and family. I want to know why. I can then tell him how it affects me and hopefully we can come to some compromise understanding. I feel like he’s going to have to work through this with someone in his life. I mean, how do you build a life with someone if they can never be around your friends or family? His brother’s girlfriend (of 2+ years) is included in all of their family plans and he loves her a bunch and does not see her as an intruder. His friends ask him to visit them (out of stated) to vet their new boyfriends/girlfriends so it’s the norm in his social circle for partners to be in the social grouping. Just before he left, he was getting so invested in us and asking me to stay at his apartment while he went to the gym for an hour so he could “come home to me”. The night of his dad’s party, he asked if he could come over to my house when it was over – even if it was really late – so he could come home to me. This felt good on the one hand and pretty crappy on the other. His dad and I both got grief for me not being there. His dad apologized to me but said that until he dropped his son’s car off aat my house the day of military departure, he had no idea we were still dating so he didn’t invite me. Boyfriend’s parents have learned that to solicit information about their son’s private life is met with such a withdrawal from him that they wait for him to volunteer information. So for graduation, wow. Not seeing him for 9 weeks, having the opportunity to spend Thur-Sun with him and family…no chance he just wanted family. They actually only spent Thur & Friday with him, leaving early Saturday. We could have had 2 days together. He doesn’t even acknowledge that I might have felt rejected. This is after him thanking me so many times for the being the only person happy and supportive during the months leading up to his departure. He wanted/needed my support but didn’t want me there to celebrate. So hard. So I am in love with an introvert who makes me feel loved and cherished and desired when we’re together. Now we’re looking at a long-distance relationship. He never lost his sense of connection with because of my letters. I’ve been strong and positive even though I’ve had no connection other than that 9 minute phone call half-way through basic training. I had our normal level of communication to look forward to, right? Maybe one text a day – a phone call every day or two if we couldn’t see each other (that was our pattern when we lived in the same town. We spent every Wednesday together and every other weekend. If not the weekend, then Sunday night). I felt like I could definitely work with that. I could handle it and not feel unwanted or disconnected. Nope. He’s into “out of town” mode. No communication. He called twice on Monday (he just got his phone back) and they were great calls. Wednesday I called him and he seemed distant. I immediately went into, “how to be respectful of the introvert” mode and opened a conversation about his needs of communication after a traumatic basic training two months. When we talked about me moving with him after he gets his first permanent base assignment (he’s in tech school for 9 weeks before that) he wondered how I would do if he needed to withdraw for a week if things got stressful for him. He used to work for EMSA and knew he could retreat and be cold and how hard this could be on his partner. I told him that as long as I was already secure in the relationship and he could tell me he needed a week’s space, I would be fine. I’ve been through it before with a husband battling depression and I really did well. So…Wednesday I asked if he felt the hibernation need right now? He said a lit
    tle and asked why. Well, I related that while he had never lost contact with my brain, I was pretty much starved for his words and person because he’d had no time to write back or call (he was a leader in basic training and graduated at the top of the honor’s graduates…lots of dedication and time and I totally understood but this left me with no communication). He sounded surprised when he admitted he’d never thought about that. He didn’t want to set up any communication parameters…he told me to just call him when I wanted to talk. He then told me he would text me his new address so I could send a birthday card for him…Saturday birthday. He didn’t want any presents because of limited travel space. He wanted to receive any presents when he got to his first assignment (which might be Japan for 2 years). He didn’t text the address. I texted him a hug Friday morning…no response. I left him a voicemail Saturday morning. He called back after 5pm, he was so busy doing birthday things with new friends that he just had 10 minutes to talk to me. :(. I had been away from my phone for 8 of that so he was just about to leave when I called him back. I told him to head on out for ice cream and he told me thanks and said he’d have more time to talk later that night. He called again around 7. I was just getting off the phone and didn’t click over in time. I called right back with no response. I listened to the message he left…he was just leaving again with friends. :(. I didn’t hear from him by 9 so risked a call (don’t want to smother him) because lights out was at 10. He was watching a movie with other airmen but said he wanted to step away to talk. I know I’m feeling totally rejected and am soooo careful not to be needy. I asked him about his day, celebrated that he found friends to hang out with, told him happy birthday, asked for his address so I could still send him a card (he had gotten me confused with his friend Rebecca – he’d sent her his address, not me), and told him about my the car I’d bought that day. He knew my car had finally kicked the bucket but had been so busy he’d not checked in to see how I was doing. We talked for around 10 minutes total. How am I going to feel secure and loved in a long-distance relationship with someone who doesn’t say I love you except for in the most extreme of circumstances and who doesn’t communicate very much when they’re out of the city? By the way, when we were living in the same city, he would call and leave me a vmail or text something nice about me once a day…”I’m just the right size to cuddle with”, “this line in this song made me think of you”, “I really appreciate you because of this/that”. <<< this is amazing to be on the receiving end of and made me feel very loved. Sigh. When he's away this doesn't happen. He's always going to be away now. His full time job in the AF will have him gone about 200 days a year. Before he left we did talk about this and I thought we were on the same page. He does not want to talk about an understanding on communication. I know that right now, I want WAY more than he could possibly give so I just want to open a conversation. He shuts down. Can you think of a way for me to approach this that will not have him shut down? That will respect his introvert needs while stating mine in a kind, loving, thoughtful manner? Letting him know that we do need to talk about this for me not to feel rejected and him not to feel smothered/pressured. I am a ridiculously confident person and am fairly happy on my own. This 9 week separation, being banned from graduation, and no "I love you"s since he's had his phone back has me feeling insecure. It's not a feeling I am used to or enjoy and I really want to discuss and resolve it before it becomes an ugly monster. Oh yes, he also told me (during our discussion of my moving with him) that in his life, all of his girlfriends have left him so he assumes I will too. He's been called emotionally unavailable and this has caused lots of problems for him. I plan on visiting him Nov 7th weekend if he does well on all of his work and can get a weekend pass. I don't think this communication needs/expectations talk can wait for that. What do you think? I know this is a crazy-long post. I forgot to tell you that I work with his dad (we're both teachers) and boyfriend worked here for the year before he left for the military. His dad sent a mass email to the entire school about his son's graduation and had everyone sign a card. Not only did I feel rejected when told he didn't want me at graduation, I felt rejected every time someone asked me when I was leaving for graduation, was I excited to see him at graduation. Oh my gosh, I felt rejected every time this came up! I feel like I am drowning in rejection right now. He doesn't see it. He feels so secure, loved and supported by me. I need any advice you can give. Thanks even if only giving me a space to write my thoughts.

    • Brenda Knowles October 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      First of all, I’m going to validate you for having reasonable expectations for a relationship that has been going on for almost a year. I would guess your man is the type who uses technology and tools to obtain what he wants in the most convenient way. Human cooperation is not all that important or useful to him. He doesn’t play by the cooperative social rules. I could be totally wrong but it seems like he is perfectly happy doing his thing and likes your support but has no interest or knowledge of how to reciprocate. With this kind of man you almost have to exist where he exists – meaning where he lives, works and plays. He isn’t going to make any special efforts to connect you two. Achievement is very important to him. You may have amazing discussions when you are together but when you aren’t he’s on his own path.
      I would suggest backing off for a while. Don’t send so many emails/texts. As an introvert, LONG lengthy emails are daunting. So much to read and respond to. It’s like you’re talking really fast and for a long time at us. We want to respond thoughtfully but there is so much to respond to. Our minds are blown.;)
      If you are not happy with his level of communication while he is gone I suggest you find other activities or partners to make you happy. I don’t see his nature or style changing. I know that’s rather blunt but that’s what my intuition and experience says. You deserve a partner who honors your needs as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • C. November 9, 2014 at 10:11 am - Reply

      You’re an accessory. A purse. A bracelet. You are not a girlfriend. Open your eyes.

      • Karen November 21, 2014 at 10:32 am - Reply

        I don’t know what’s going on with the man, but I will make one suggestion: If your post here is representative of the way you communicate generally (which may not be the case), see if you can express yourself more succinctly. Your long post with no paragraphs became impossible for me to read — I experienced it as a flood of words. That sort of communication is quickly overwhelming for introverts.

  74. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  75. Andrea B. October 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    I’m an introvert and understand all too well the need for time and space alone. However, I want to say this as gently as possible to everyone who’s dealing with a significant other who is an introvert (or appears to be): Maybe he or she just isn’t into you, and this is their way of breaking things off. I’ve been on the receiving and giving part of this. I’m happy to say that I’ve matured and don’t break things off this way, anymore. The difference between someone who truly wants to be with you, but is a lots-of-space-and-time-alone person, and someone who isn’t into you is vast, and the latter is, indeed, a sad and painful thing to learn.
    I love this community!

  76. Sue October 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Oy! Have I been dealing with one complicated introvert. I manifested what I wanted in my “soulmate” more so: the right one for me (no more duds please) and a month later I met..him. At a bar, of all places. Two weeks of texting back and forth I was getting hooked on his silly personality and smarts. First date was magical. He mentioned to me that he was happy that he didn’t cancel cause he likes to hang out by himself and he doesn’t like to hang out with his groups of friends anymore, but he was having a really great time and he wants to do it again. towards the end of the night the sparks were flying..Any way jump to a month and half later having only hung out with him that one time but visiting him at his place of work once he started having trouble with our semi long distances and he wanted to pull out. Saying he wished I lived closer, well thing was that I was moving to his side of town because I was going to be going back to school, that was actually what our first conversation at the bar was about: how much I wanted to live by the beach again and that I was going to by Sept. Well we went on another date and it was amazing and he texted me that night when he got home but then I didn’t hear from him the next following days, so 5 days later I let him know that I moved and then I said farewell. Didn’t hear from him at all. My heart was so sad. But I had a gut feeling that I should break the silence after I moved into my new place in Sept. And I DID. And it was awesome. I visited him and he was happy to see me and asked me so many questions about where I live and other things that I am assuming he was curious about. I asked him if he wanted to hang out and he said yes and told me his days off he has. .. SO then i texted him a few days later asking him to hang out and he couldn’t but we ended up just texting for 5 hours just silly banter..and the next night as well..and the next day and i told him I want to see him and so we made a plan. any way, we met up and he was super closed off. Just scratching the surface he told me some of the issues he has with his parents and what he is dealing with as of that day. He didn’t want to go into it so I didn’t want to pry.. Oh man this is so long, anyway at the end of the night he walked me to my car and said we should meet up again and i hugged him good bye but it felt so aqward and he seemed guarded. I guess I was hoping to rekindle the flame that once was there but it could just been that he is going through family stuff that night. So I texted him that night that I cared and if he needs me he can text me. No reply. Next night i texted him and he replied and I told him thanks for not canceling when he had every reason to (cause of his family)and he said thanks. I texted him back that I’ve got his back and that he’s got this (that sorta support talk). No reply. 3 days later I text hi how are you doing? no reply, so a week goes by and I text him if he’d like to do something with me if my work sched isn’t that crazy, and noooo reply. He told me he’s an introvert a while back and I’m wondering if he’s doing an introvert thing or he just doesn’t want me in his life. PS: This was so much longer and i cut out so much, I really like him and I want this to work out somehow, but this is going at a snails pace, and especially if he just stops responding to me. OR am I being selfish cause i am ready for a relationship now and he may not be and I should just have more patience?

    • Brenda Knowles October 8, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Having just gone through something very similar with an introvert, I’ll give you what I’ve deduced from the situation. He probably does have a lot on his plate and needs some space. If you have any issues that you bring with you he may feel you are too much to take on right now especially since he is already swimming in family drama. I am not justifying his lack of response. I find it highly hurtful and disrespectful when someone doesn’t communicate their feelings/wishes. Just withdrawing and going into silent mode is maddening. I am an introvert and I don’t do that. I make it clear how I feel even if it’s not working. I think that’s the intuitive feeling introvert in me. We have to be authentic. Other types of introverts seem OK with ducking out and fading away. Many introverts have a hard time divulging their private lives. He may not want to burden you. I would let him come to you from now on. You have shown/told him that you are there if he wants you. In the meantime, be your own independent self. Do what makes you feel alive. Nothing is more attractive than a woman/mate who is whole all on his/her own. Best of luck! I hope he comes around but no guarantees. He may be in a serious/secluded/recovery time in his life or he may just feel you are not the right woman for him and not be able to convey that. I would give him space and see what happens. Consider for yourself if this is the type of man you could have a long term relationship with. Could you love someone who withdraws when unsure/overwhelmed?

  77. Andrea September 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this article….

    As someone who has been dealing with the effects of being a introvert my entire life, here are some thoughts.

    One of the things that I keep going back to is this: Think about it like an oxygen mask on an airplane. They tell you to put your mask on before your child’s. You cannot help your child if you yourself succumb to the lack of oxygen. By not taking care of your needs, both of you will suffer. This is the philosophy I go to when I’m being pressured or put down by others for various different reasons. Some understandable, some not. Either way, I need to make sure my needs are met or we will both suffer.

    I came across this passage and it really resonated with me. Its also something I come back to often, especially the last 2 sentences:

    “Don’t ever feel bad for making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You’re responsible for your own happiness. Anyone who wants you to live in misery for their happiness should not be in your life to begin with.”

    As a natural “people pleasing” introvert, I truly enjoy helping others. However, I want to be useful not used. I don’t expect anything in return for helping others, but I also don’t want to be expected to always be available to help. Being an introvert, it depends on my energy level and if it’s something I am comfortable doing. One tip that has helped is to notice the reaction when you say “no” to someone that you have helped in the past or “no” to someone who asks for something you’re not comfortable doing. If someone truly appreciates and cares about you, they will understand. If you get a negative reaction, chances are that person doesn’t care about you. Good to know, time to move on.

    I can’t expect everyone I meet to magically be psychic and know exactly what I’m thinking and how I tick. It’s my job to let them know my boundaries and if they are crossing them. Communication is key. (As a natural people pleasing introvert who wants people to like me, setting boundaries is tough but it’s something I have learned is necessary for me to have healthy relationships.) If they know my boundaries and continue to cross them anyway, I move on. Hard to change the actions of someone who either does not understand or simply does not care. Of course, this is easier when the person you are moving on from is not someone you’re forced to interact with on a daily basis. In that case, I just try and tune them out and think to myself silently, “thank God I’m a person that knows how to respect other people’s boundaries.”

    There are over 7 billion people in the world, there is no way to please everyone. It would be great if we could all celebrate our differences, but unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. On the positive side, there are over 7 billion people in the world. Just like there are people who won’t ever understand, there are awesome people out there who will love and cherish you just the way you are! Looks like this community is one of those places. So glad I came across this site. 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles September 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you Andrea for your thoughtful comment. I took a few pointers from it including your oxygen mask metaphor and the idea of being useful not used. The reminder that everyone is responsible for their own happiness was timely as well. I forget that one occasionally. It seems so darn important to make others happy. Grown ups know how to make themselves happy.

      I’m still fortifying my boundaries. I have this deep desire to be close to people which leads to mushy boundaries. I let them in and let them be in control. Saying ‘no’ is getting easier though. My kids tend to wear me down. Too often I’d rather give in than use the energy to fight. Not a good plan. I know.

      I’ll keep being open and honest and see who comes along for the ride. Thanks again for your insight. I truly appreciate it.

  78. […] Brenda Knowles, Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  79. megthedinoczar September 5, 2014 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Thank you for this. I recently fell in love with an introvert and he asked for some time away from me (we spend a lot of time together). I’m more of an ambivert, so I kind of understood. I still got a bit sad and moody, but this post really helped me to understand why he may have needed some down time not just from me.

  80. Eleni Lekaki August 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Oh my God!Hello Brenda,
    It feels like I finally found home.Every single word that I read is like reading my own notes.I’ve felt this way since I was a teenager but I never really understood why all these feelings occured and they made me feel weird.
    I kept having the need to be alone even if I had the best time of my life.I even remember breaking down to tears as I was in a wonderful trip because I had no time for myself.
    Right now,at 23 living with my boyfriend and his relatives has been hell for me.But now,only now I understand that there’s nothing I should be ashamed of.
    My boyfriend keeps asking how can I not be bored alone or how do I wanna sleep alone or things like that.I finally understand that it is my ultimate need and if I don’t satisfy it I become grumpy and almost somehow depressed.
    Reading your articles really helped me understand that there are others like me and I found the words to express myself.
    Right now I am so greatful you can’t even imagine!

    • Brenda Knowles August 31, 2014 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      I’m so happy space2live feels like home to you! That’s one of my main objectives for the site – to make others not feel so alone. It’s confusing to want time to ourselves because our culture espouses the opposite. Know that your feelings are perfectly normal and there are ways to make relationships and life work for introverts. We just have to shift our thinking and embrace our nature. It all evolves around managing our energy. Hugs and strength to you new friend.:)

  81. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  82. Annonymous July 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda,

    I have been reading and re-reading your blog posts for the last four months or so and I want to say how grateful and appreciative I am that I have access to your writing. I have been dating a man for almost 5 months now – about a month in, he let me know that he is an introvert. Thankfully, I only slipped up once with a comment about shyness, before I started doing a great deal of reading about introversion to educate myself. Your site has provided me with a wealth of information and has become a source of solace.

    I’d like to think that I’ve been a very patient, supportive girlfriend over the last few months, even though it hasn’t always been easy. Like many others who have posted on this site, I am struggling with the painful feelings of rejection when my boyfriend suddenly shuts down. As many others have experienced, he and I will have wonderful weeks/weekends together, but this will be followed by little or no communication for a few consecutive days. The pattern of attention/no attention, and the accompanying rollercoaster of emotions, is very difficult to manage.

    I wonder if you might have any guidance that you can provide on how to approach him respectfully about this? I feel I have a good understanding about his need for solitude and space, and I want to continue to be supportive. But I also know that I have reasonable needs too – the need to be told when space or solitude is necessary, how long it will last and when I can expect to hear from him again. Thinking about this conversation, I am obviously nervous about coming across as needy or demanding of attention… I also know that springing a topic like this on an introvert doesn’t always make for an effective conversation.

    Any suggestions that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Brenda Knowles July 21, 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

      I have actually found myself on your end of the stick – where my partner needed more space than I did so I felt like the ‘needy’ one. We had very open communication but I didn’t want to always be the one to ask for time together. What would have helped us is if he would have let me know he wanted to be with me and then given me a date/time when we would get together after his hiatus.

      I would let your boyfriend know you understand and respect his need for solitude. You’ve done some reading and are more aware of the traits of introversion. You can even show him some of the posts on space2live (other readers have used them as springboards for discussion). But then gently tell him that if your relationship is to continue and grow your temperament needs to be honored too. Not that you are going to force him to socialize or engage with you when he is depleted but that you would like respectful communication when he needs space and some reassurance that he will want to reconnect with you in specified amount of time. He may not know exactly how much time he needs to recharge, so tell him to overestimate, that way if he misses you sooner rather than later it will be a pleasant surprise.:) I also suggest that you find areas of interest that fill you up other than your relationship. I know when I wait for my partner to have fun/make plans/have engaging conversations that puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. When my calendar and spirit are full from my own doing, then my relationships flourish.
      Thank you for sharing your story. I hope I offered some helpful ideas. I can tell you’re a caring and thoughtful partner. Best wishes!

      • Anonymous July 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! I really appreciate your insights and guidance!

  83. Brenda Knowles July 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Aww Joy, perhaps he wasn’t the one or perhaps your timing was just off. May you take what you’ve learned and apply it to your beautiful life and any future relationships. Thanks for commenting.:)

  84. Just a girl with a huge heart! M July 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda. You just replied to me 5 min. ago and wanted to respond back. Thank you again for your thoughts. No, nothing happened right before. So out of the blue but actually a miracle happened yesterday and we spoke for a very long time. the first time was over 3 hrs and the 2nd time was 4 hrs. He told me he was so very sorry and had felt awful for shutting me out. He said the issue for him is it’s been him and his kids for 5 years so he has a routine and is in “his” comfort zone so he just didn’t know how to bring me in the mix sorda speak. I get that. Change is great but at the same time everyone knows that change can be dreadful at times whether it’s at work or whatever. I explained with very much empathy that people don’t grow when they stay in their comfort zones and that if we could just grow together and if he would communicate then we could help each other. He seemed on board and he confirmed he didn’t want to be alone in life. I asked him if I needed to stop reaching out or if he wanted me to give up as I really couldn’t do this again and again as it’s been so hurtful being completely shut out. He was very sweet and said he could NOT say that and didn’t want that so this made me feel better. I was supportive and encouraging and told him that we could just move forward growing in our relationship and he agreed. I told him I didnt need to burden him or consume all of his time and I wasn’t expecting marriage tomorrow. I just wanted us to continue on the great path we were on and growing together. ‘t said he has felt incredibly horrible and guilty for how he has treated me (being completely shut off and no contact). He also said that after awhile it was like how do i call and what do i say? So i understand and I forgave him and if he didn’t care for me, we obviously wouldn’t have spoken for 7+ hrs yesterday, right? I assumed after reading the blog that he was an introvert but who knows. He seems to have these behaviors and I would almost be afraid to say something as he might think I am trying to say he’s mental or I am trying to diagnose him. What do I do? What are your honest true thoughts on the above? I am just at such a loss. I will explain why. So we got off the phone late and I told him I was sending him an email and it was just encouragement and letting him know I was there for him to help me and he could lean on me in life and so on and thanked him for spending the day talking to me on the phone about everything. It was fun also but here we are today and I had some exciting news that he knew I was dealing with after a meeting today so I texted him telling him it went well and asked how he was and that was around lunch time and haven’t heard back. I feel like I am freaked out inside because I am afraid that this is a repeat of what just happened over the last few weeks then I tell myself to calm down. So I don’t know what to think. I don’t want to do anything to mess this up because I truly love him with all of my heart. He told me again yesterday that I have all of the qualities that he has looked for and just got stuck in this comfort zone which I completely get. He is packing as he is moving and I guess I had hoped that I would get to see him tonight but maybe that’s why he hasn’t called because he wants to be alone. I don’t know. I am trying to not be freaked out inside but I am a little scared only because of what just has happened last few weeks. Do you have any encouraging words for me or help? I don’t want to bother him or push him or anything like that. Also we are in our 40’s and are past the non sense of the dating game like he is chasing me or she is chasing me or she is needy or he is needy so we have always been on the same page till this shut off but he explained yesterday and maybe I just need to not jump to conclusions. I hate this feeling so freaked out inside. I keep thinking maybe he is exhausted from packing all day and didn’t feel like talking so then I think well maybe tomorrow he will and hopefully will want to see me. I just don’t know….. Help! Thank you!

    • Brenda Knowles July 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      He has you a little rattled security-wise. That is natural after being shut out for so long. My suggestion to you is to breathe and get busy doing something for you. If you let yourself watch the clock tick by waiting for him to reach out you’ll go crazy and probably present yourself as insecure when he does call you. Be assured in his interest in you. He does seem taken with you. I would take it slow, see what happens. He may need more time away from you than you would like. You’ll have to proceed and see how your temperaments gel together. Like I said, the best thing to do is find your own passion beyond his companionship. If you are happy with or without him, you can’t lose.
      Do not pressure him or he’ll back off. My best introvert advice. You can choose how much, if any, you want to follow.:)

  85. Laura July 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I can understand why some people might be offended when I turn down their invitations to hang out or accompany them to social gatherings. I tend to hang out with the same people at coffee shops or something relaxing. When I invite some people over to my home and not others, I can see how they can think it’s because of them. I actually don’t mind spending time with those people, but I usually prefer to do it at work or school. Taking home the person that is just on another level of energy than I am is a little tiring. If it’s not someone that is as calm and collect as I am then they are the ones I tend to run away from every now and then.

    • Brenda Knowles July 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm - Reply

      I’m sorry it took me this long to respond to you. I think public meetings are generally shorter. Having someone over to your house requires more work and generally seem to be longer visits. I’m with you. Pick and choose who gets invited to your home. Thanks for reading and commenting.:)

  86. Cc July 8, 2014 at 7:16 am - Reply

    I am so greatful for this blog. After a hard effort trying to explain to people to comprehend exactly how i feel and want i need this does it! Thank you!!

    • Brenda Knowles July 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      Oh yay! I’m so happy to know that.:)

      • Just a girl with a huge heart! M July 10, 2014 at 11:27 am - Reply

        I am so happy to have found this website. I have been seeing someone and he reconnected with me after 14 yrs and it has been a true blessing. Everything was perfect literally. Then he said he needed to take a step back as he was overwhelmed. He is a single father of 2 kids. Anyway, all I have read on here is what I believe to be true about him. He is an introvert. This is fine. It would have been nice and less painful to know this. Anyway, I know he wants to be with me because he told me and I felt it and also he said that there is nothing I could do to lose him. Well I haven’t spoken to him in a couple weeks. I have reached out a couple times and am not getting a response so from what I’ve read I guess he is trying to recharge? I don’t know. I love him so much and we have had many intimate talks and connected on such an amazing level and he was so grateful that we reconnected. I just don’t think that he would be willing to throw “us” away. I know deep down in my heart that he wouldn’t do this. We are literally connected on all levels and our goals match up and we are both strong in our faith and want to build “us” on that foundation and he told me he has never felt this way ever not even with his ex wife. I feel the same so that is why this is so completely hard to not talk to him. I guess I am an extrovert because I want to be with him and talk with him all of the time so now that I have read literally every article on this site, I guess even though him and i were on the same page (he said this multiple times), I guess it was “draining” for him. I don’t want to lose him and I have met his adorable kids and just cannot imagine my life without him at this point. We are in our 40’s and are more mature and wise and when I expressed my fears back in April and May about getting hurt, he completely put my mind at ease. I told him I was committed to him and his kids 100%. He told me that him and the kids were committed over 100%. He told me I was exactly what he wanted and needed in his life. He told me that I get him. He said it’s meant to be. All of these amazing things but then has shut me out and hasn’t responded to my “encouraging” emails or texts. I sent them just trying to explain that I wasn’t going anywhere and I respected him needing some time to figure things out. About a week and a half ago, I sent an email apologizing for continuing to reach out when maybe I should have given him uninterrupted space to think. I didn’t hear back. This is all so bizarre to me. He expressed to me that communication is extremely important and it frustrated him with his ex wife because she wouldn’t communicate. That is one of the things he loves about me that I do communicate well. But it seems as if the tables have turned and since he won’t talk to me I cannot help but think have I screwed up reaching out to him? It’s not like there were rules set in place for him taking a step back because at first he was still in contact but less frequent. Then maybe 3 wks ago it has been nothing and the last time I reached out was towards the end of June. I am so upset inside and keep praying for him and praying that I continue to be patient. Have I said I love him? haha It’s true love for me and I cannot let it go. If he needs time to recharge or whatever, then I am good with that but just need to know, however, he is not “communicating” which was so important to him. Lastly, he has said this a couple times to me that he needs me to realize and understand that he hasn’t had any “women” interaction since his divorce which was almost 5 yrs ago. He did go on a few dates last year but never had any connection with anyone and was so happy that things with us worked out in our favor. I told him I understood. I think he tells me this because he is a little rusty since he hasn’t had that interaction but quite frankly I am rusty also because I haven’t dated in so long either. So with all that being said, I hope maybe you can give me some insight or reassurance on what I can do. I’m assuming if you are an introvert that you don’t announce this to your partner so I am having to guess here but I feel as if this is exactly what I am dealing with. If this is the case I just want to educate myself to where I can understand and that way i won’t get hurt because I will know this time to recharge is needed….. HELP!!! Sorry for the long post. I have never done this before and I am begging for help because I love this man so much. I am willing to do whatever it takes to fix this. Thank you!

        Just a girl with a huge heart! M

        • Brenda Knowles July 11, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

          Hmmmm. It sounds like you had a solid, communicative, mature relationship going. Did anything happen right before he decided to take a step back? Were you moving to another level of seriousness in the relationship? Did he start a new job that requires more people interaction? He may just have cold feet regarding getting serious again. Even if he is an introvert he should connect with you in some way to let you know what he is thinking. Both introverted and extroverted temperaments should be honored in a relationship. If you do get to talk to him you may mention that you have been doing some reading and are educating yourself on introversion. He may have questions or he may feel tremendously supported. Does he even know what a true introvert is? Did he ever mention introversion?

          I would say the best thing you can do is possibly send him one more message saying you respect his space but you’re feeling confused. Say that you would like to communicate with him just to make sure he is alright. You care about him and understand he may need to recharge but it would help you if you knew when he may be available to connect again. That’s not unreasonable. Calling or texting him every day would be pushing it. I think you’ve handled it well so far but 3 weeks is long enough. He should respect your feelings.

          In the meantime, I suggest you do what you love. Introverts are often drawn to independence.

          Hope this helps a little. Best of luck to you and your introvert.:) Thanks for sharing your experience.

  87. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  88. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  89. Marc May 24, 2014 at 8:00 am - Reply

    almost found myself here… the only thing is that I tend to “care” for people. According to the MB test I am an INFJ which seems to be very rare. What I need to know – how do I combine my need for solitude with the need for interaction with my highly introverted girlfriend? Even though I fully understand her need for space and solitude, when she shuts down for 2 weeks in a row (which happens frequently) the rejection felt is almost overwhelming…

    • Brenda Knowles May 25, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Do you know what type she is? Is there an F in her type? Two weeks is a long time to go without connecting. I don’t know that I could honor a two week separation from someone I care about. I’m sure you’ve talked about it with her. Could she honor your temperament more? I assume she is worth the wait. Don’t sell yourself short though. My best suggestion is to expand and grow and do things that light you up while she is having her alone time. Fill yourself up, instead of letting your cup go empty. Plan trips, read books, follow your energy. Your joy doesn’t have to be tied to her presence. This is advice I give myself all the time.;)
      INFJs are rare. I sometimes come up as one (but usually an INFP). I’ve read that INFJs are often mistaken for extroverts. I think the F leads us to people, interactions and caring. I have the same need for solitude as well as interaction (especially meaningful interaction). It is a difficult dichotomy to balance. That’s why I write about it.;) Trying to figure out ways to manage our contrarian desires.

  90. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  91. Lovie May 14, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    This is a good article. It kinda makes me feel a little less weird. I’m having a tough time trying to get someone that I like to understand me. He claims to understand me, but when I shared with him about the challenges I have being a “girlfriend” (as an introverted person), he said that I was being ridiculous. That really stung. I even shared this article with him, because you’ve done such a good job explaining it. I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that most people aren’t going to understand me. Thank God, I don’t mind my own company.

    • Brenda Knowles May 15, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Ooooh ridiculous is a strong word that would put me on the defensive. I’m sorry he couldn’t understand your perspective. I think you’ll feel less ridiculous and alone here on space2live. There is more and more awareness about introversion. Someday needing time alone won’t be such a difficult thing to grasp because it will be a mainstream request. If your friend truly likes you he will take the time to ask questions and learn about you. Appreciating and honoring your introversion are not too much to ask. Good luck! Until then, advance yourself and as you said, enjoy your own company.:) Thanks for commenting.

      • Lovie May 16, 2014 at 11:59 am - Reply

        Thank you, Brenda.

  92. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  93. kaykwl April 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I wish all extroverts could read this post, that way we could be understood more as introverts I liked when you said ” They don’t understand how one day we can spend every waking moment with them working, conversing, giggling,

    creating, smooching, etc. and the next we want to watch Downton Abbey by ourselves, don’t take it personally.  It is most likely not about you (if you’ve been approved as a friend and we’ve shared at least one deep and meaningful late night talk).” I believe that should be enough. Introverts need their space to collect themselves how I wish my friends could understand that, that for me going out means I have to come back and meditate with myself and I can’t do it everyday it would kill me!

  94. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  95. meinwords April 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    People are exhausting. Love coming home, relaxing, reflecting, and breathing in the vitamins.

    • Brenda Knowles April 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

      Have you seen this ecard? Rushing home

      Home is a safe lovely haven most days.:)

      • Crystal May 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm - Reply

        So me. I move faster than when at work. Thinking of that alone time and relaxation. Taking a shower seems like a chore. But oh the bliss when I finally reach my sanctuary and slide between the sheets, lay my head down and take a deep breath. I’m plugging in and recharging. It does feel exhilarating 🙂

  96. Anonymous April 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this post. I’m at work trying not to cry because for almost a year now I feel like I have no space for myself.

    Me and my guy of 11 years moved to a new city and I luckily got a job right away. He has been relentlessly looking for work with no luck. He is so hard on himself for not having a job and even though my salary is enough to cover our bills, it’s his mental well being that is the hardest to deal with. He’s been battling depression since the move and lives for when I come home from work for my company. The only alone time I have is driving to and from work, which more often than not I’ve spent crying. I want to be supportive of him and I feel so terribly selfish when I say that I need my alone time and personal space when he asks me what’s wrong on those days that I just want to be alone. Which I still don’t get, but have tried to express that I need, but it pushes him further into depression. So I just push my feelings down and live for him, waiting for something to give and to balance things out again. I know if anything were to happen to him I’d be tormented by guilt and wishing I could take any of those ‘alone moments’ to be with him again.

    The newest development is that he might start working at the same place I do. As soon as I heard this I got the worst feeling in my stomach and it triggered an anxiety attack. Of which I also tried to hide my feelings about. I don’t want to stand in the way of an opportunity for him to feel productive and earn a paycheck, but I almost can’t bear the idea. The fact that going to work is my only escape is bad enough, but now he might be there too.

    I don’t talk to anyone about this because I don’t want anyone to think of him differently or voice my truth because it’s hurtful, so I keep it all hidden away within. I feel so terrible about myself for feeling this way and I don’t know how to handle it.

    • Anonymous April 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      I feel sick for even putting this comment out there. I’m terrified someone I know will see it somehow. I just needed to vent it out. Even being at work right now is really hard. I so desperately need to be alone. My co-workers keep asking me what is wrong because the fact that I’m sad is written all over my face. It’s taking everything I have in me to act seemingly normal.

    • Brenda Knowles April 6, 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      I switched your name to anonymous if that helps. I understand your fear of someone reading your honest but potentially hurtful words. You are definitely in a difficult position. I feel for you sweet woman.
      You are obviously very sensitive to your boyfriend’s feelings. The fact that his mental health is at stake is extra pressure. Please don’t beat yourself up for your thoughts. I would feel the same if I was in your place. I have had the same guilty feelings regarding my own children! Are there friends or family in the area that could fill in for your presence every once in a while? Serve as a buffer or distraction from you? Does he have any hobbies or outside interests he could cultivate? Fitness? Could he take a class or two?
      Solitude is a real need of yours in order to maintain your well-being. There is no benefit to you both suffering. As cold as this may sound, we are all responsible for our own happiness. You have to care for yourself so that you can keep it together.
      Working together would be a lot of together- time. You are not crazy to be leery of that plan. Have you expressed your uneasiness with that setup to him? I know it’s been difficult for him to find anything but if he saw how strongly it affects you emotionally he may reconsider. I used to like to go to the gym by myself in order to get away from my family. I would put on headphones and zone out on the treadmill. Then my husband started joining me – running on the treadmill right next to me. I asked for space and he resented me. It’s not easy. They feel it as rejection. Please share some of the posts on space2live with your boyfriend. Let him see your needs in a neutral light so that he doesn’t take them so personally.
      I’m sending you peace and strength. You have a lot on your shoulders/mind/heart. Please be gentle with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Hug*

  97. pijarfajar April 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Komposisi Kehidupan Kennissa and commented:
    I thought dating an extrovert psych major would solve all problems assuming he completely knows about types of personality and how to deal with each of them. I was wrong. I don’t know why every single thing he learned in college seems to be forgotten when it comes to relationship. Why can’t he just apply those theories to our relationship, for God’s sake? Yes. An extrovert, even a psych major one, let alone the one whom I mostly tolerate, can drive me crazy sometimes.

  98. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  99. Ronith March 16, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Interesting. . . ! ! !

  100. 1degirl March 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on 1degirl's Blog and commented:
    This post you’ve written has a lot of wonderful information about introverts. I have struggled in the past with those around me who do not understand my need for time to myself. I call it time to replenish. I appreciate your post and hope more will take a look at it that are curious about introverts. Often, people mistake me for an extrovert for many of the reasons you’ve explained. In particular, the stereotype that introverts remain indoors with their ‘cats’. Thank you again and I just had to reblog 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles March 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words and for re-blogging. I truly appreciate it. I love the word replenish! Yes! Yes! Solitude is like sleep or water to an introvert. It restores us, brings us back to ourselves. Needing our space so often feels like rejection to the other person. I know. I’ve been on the other side of an introvert’s request for space. Mainly, there needs to be an understanding of introversion and a respect for everyone’s feelings. A sense of humor helps too.:)

      • 1degirl April 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

        Agreed with all of the above! 🙂 looking forward to your blog posts 🙂

  101. tamara martin March 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hi there. Not quite sure where to start, so i’ll just say that i’m struggling a bit.

    A little background: i had my girls early; both before my 22d birthday. i don’t regret that; i figured that if i had them early enough, i would be able to do some things i want to do later. One difficulty, though, was that my younger daughter was always high maintenance; she was diagnosed at 15 with bipolar disorder, so her whole life she was a LOT of extra work, extra attention, extra resources, etc. My husband is a type 1 diabetic, so he also has always been high-need. When my younger daughter and her husband separated for their divorce, she and their little girl moved in with us. We love having that little one around, but consequently i’m back to doing a lot of parenting. Please don’t misunderstand me: i love taking care of that girl — she and her cousin (from my older daughter) are my heart. i left my full-time job last summer to be home more with that little one before she heads into kindergarten this coming fall, and also because we had some concerns. It’s just that, at this point in my life, after having to be so functionally extroverted for so long and taking care of everybody’s needs for so long, i thought that i would have a little more time to myself. The line in the article about needing not just a room in the house but the whole house to myself is so, so true, and it’s just not happening. Today, for instance, between when my husband left for work and my daughter came home (five hours early), i had the house to myself for exactly 32 minutes. My next “break” will come Monday around 5pm; today is Tuesday. When i express my need to have some solid, effective alone time, i’m told that i’m being hurtful and rejecting. That may be, but i’m also just about to go out of my mind, and that doesn’t do anyone any good. i don’t know what to do. Some days i just want to run away. i don’t ask for money, clothes, jewelry; i just ask for some time alone.

    Thank you very much for listening.

    • Brenda Knowles March 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      First of all, I validate everything you are feeling.:) My goodness! You definitely deserve some alone time. I sincerely hope you don’t spend too much time feeling selfish or guilty for asking for it. I’ve had readers show their significant people posts from space2live in order to explain what introversion is and why solitude is crucial.
      I have been in your shoes. You can only extrovert and give to others for so long without losing it. I start to feel raw and edgy and become short with everyone. That is not a good way to be especially when setting an example for young ones. It’s crucial you have time to renew.
      It sounds like you are very empathic which also drains you quickly. The only way to recharge is to get away from others needs and feelings for a bit.
      Could you leave the house and go somewhere? Do your daughters have backup childcare? I hope so.
      I’m in your corner. Uphold boundaries. Be understood. Be heard. There’s nothing wrong with you. Honor your introversion.

  102. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  103. Patrick February 20, 2014 at 6:00 am - Reply

    First I would like to thank you for the article. This was sent to me last night by my current girlfriend as we are currently going through some difficulties and I am hoping that maybe she now understands me a little better hearing it from someone else.

    I am an introvert but also have an extrovert side. Unfortunately that side of me is fully used up every day with my job as I am responsible for multiple engineering departments. I enjoy my work as it is complex and requires a lot of creativity, deep thought, as well as faced paced to an extent where it is almost chaotic at times. I enjoy the chaos as it forces me to make many decisions and the day flies by but all of the personal interaction leaves me drained by the time I leave work. I have to chair meetings on a regular basis in front of large audiences, which is probably the hardest for me because when I look out in the room as I am speaking or doing a Q&A with the group I feel as if every person looking is draining some of my energy to the point that when the meeting is over I usually have to go find someplace to sit for an hour, if I can, just to get through the rest of the day.

    The real reason for my post is that recently I have felt completely overwhelmed at work and my girlfriend is very demanding of my time although we live in separate places. I have communicated all of this to her and she is having a very difficult time understanding. I recently took a couple days off work and told her that I really needed to spend a couple days to myself. By the second day she snapped feeling as though I was ignoring her even though I fully communicated that my intentions were to just sit at home, read, watch some TV, do some cleaning and relax with some music. Her fighting with me made me feel guilty do by the end of the second day I wound up feeling obligated to spend the other time with her. Of course this little bit of time and the arguing certainly did not help me get my energy levels back and have continued to haunt our relationship for the past two weeks. Two days ago she was upset telling me that I am not loving and I am withdrawn and so many other things that we had finally come to a head. I told her last night that we need to break off the relationship and she doesnt understand why. I need to be alone. I need time to myself. She is extremely demanding of my time and attention and if I do not give it to her she says there is something wrong with me. She went so far last night to say I have a chemical imbalance and that I need medication. She wants to believe I am depressed or that something else is wrong with me because she cannot understand why I would want to be alone.

    After we got off the phone last night she must have been researching why someone would want to be alone and found this article and sent me the link. I don’t know if she understands it or not but it certainly resonated with me as I have always been the type of person that could go to a party or family get together and have a good time and speak with a ton of people but by the end of it when I get in my car or back to my house I feel a sense of tranquility by being alone. I also liked in the article that it was mentioned that even a person being in the same house can sometimes feel overwhelming when I want to be alone. I wanted to comment on this article because in my experience many women seem to be extroverts and I am sure it is difficult for you if you find yourself with an introvert. We can be difficult to understand. In order to maintain a healthy relationship we will require time to ourselves no matter how good the relationship is. In my opinion, or at least in my circumstance, the person is asking for time to be alone. If they are telling you they need time alone and are out with friends I would take that as a red flag. Not saying that there is anything wrong with someone want to go out with their friends but that is a different matter and at least in my case that would not help me regain my energy. When I want time alone I want to be alone completely. I do not want to be around anyone. I want to shut off my phone, not read emails or texts and just be in silence. It does not mean that we do not care. We would jump and and be there in a flash if we were truly needed for those we care about but unless it is critical we need that time for our own mental health. I can personally say that when I do not get it I become irritable and short tempered. I will fire off at people when it gets to far and then I get upset at myself because I feel bad for snapping at them. When that happens I know I have to disappear and I will take vacation and become distant.

    Being with an introvert is not for everyone and it requires patience and understanding. I think most of us try not to be selfish and I personally know I will push myself to be with my partner even when I know I would rather be alone. I would do this for them but when the time comes that I need to be alone I have to take it. I really have no choice in the matter because if I don’t I am intolerable to be around and I know that.

    Thanks again for the article and I hope that maybe this helps get the message out there to more people.

    • Brenda Knowles February 20, 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Well said! Thank you for giving the male introvert perspective. As a female introvert I can say that I feel much the same way. I enjoy people but after a while I need a break. I need time to myself preferably with no one even in the house.

      I understand the measures you had to take with your girlfriend. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to keep explaining our needs. Your girlfriend may have commented on another post. Or at the very least, your story is familiar.:) I always think it’s a good idea to be very honest and up front about our need for solitude. It doesn’t go away. If a partner needs more attention then perhaps they need a different partner.

      What are some things your girlfriend could have done to make your relationship flow better? I know giving you space is a requirement but what about texting or email? Is that OK? Were you able to “parallel play” with her. Be in the same room but doing different things?

      Thank you again for sharing. You made excellent points. Space2live readers and their significant others will benefit.

  104. Dharmagirl February 19, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Wow! This sounds very much like me. I’m glad to hear others say that we’re not really alone if there’s another person in the house. My husband of 20 years now Finally gets it that I require a great deal of alone time. He took it as a personal rejection for a long time. He tends to think out loud. He’s noisy, always humming or singing or talking to himself or the pets. It can drive me nutty. It can make me irritable. Shut the F Up! I’m very fortunate these days. I’m a homemaker, with no kids, 3 cats and a dog, so I get to spend all day alone. Once a year I go to a Vipassana meditation retreat, which is 10 days of completely silent meditation. Heaven! When I was a kid, I wanted to be a hermit. I was only happy and comfortable when alone. For a long time I felt that there was something wrong with me because I did not have the desire for all the human interaction that others seem to want and thrive on. They’d say, “You’re just shy. Just force yourself to do it, and it’ll get easier.” Well, I did that. I forced myself into more interactions. It would get more and more difficult, I would get more and more depressed, to the point of being suicidal. Now, at 47, I’ve decided, realized, that I’m okay, I’m good the way I naturally am. Since there have always been stories of hermits and recluses, there is clearly a small segment of the population for whom this is “normal”. I’ve accepted myself, and am finally happy. I look at our society, and the intense, almost constant, interaction which is considered normal. I just don’t get it. And, frankly, I’m a bit proud of that! You won’t catch me texting or on a phone while driving. Reading books and posts about introverts has helped relieve the feeling of being some kind of freak. Actually, I think it’s kind of sad that so many people can’t stand to be alone. Well, I guess it takes all types! Here’s to quiet introverts, and hermits, and recluses!

    • Brenda Knowles February 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      So awesome that you ‘own’ who you are! Hermits are cool! 🙂 I’m going to look into a Vipassana meditation retreat someday. I think I would get a lot out of that. It frustrates me when people think they are helping us by saying we need to get out there more and interact. As if it’s not OK to abstain from grand socializing and busy-ness. Thank you for sharing your story. May you continue on your happy path.

    • Crystal May 24, 2014 at 12:09 am - Reply

      Amen! Now that you mention it I do remember having some interest in hermits when I was a little girl. WOW!

  105. Jane @ The Blue Morpho February 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’ve been dating this guy recently who I really like. He’s very expressive and sweet and affectionate when we’re together, but when we’re not together he doesn’t call or text much. Sometimes he does not reply to my texts (unless I ask him a direct question). He often goes MIA, and I will not hear from him for days, even weeks. Sometimes he will cancel our plans at the very last minute, saying that he wants to be alone, or he’ll tell me that he’s sick or something. I’ve asked him about these mixed signals but he says that he likes me, he just sometimes needs time alone. I’m not sure if he is introverted, playing me, just a jerk or if he has a mental illness of some kind. In any case, it is tough to be with someone who does not talk to me regularly or who sometimes cancels plans.

    • Zanele July 17, 2014 at 3:41 am - Reply

      OMG Jane I feel you, I am on the same boat as you and I was anxiously scrolling down for a response to your post but done see any. My boyfriend is exactly like yours to the tee and now I’m always left wondering if he loves me, playing me or have mental disorder it is so frustrating, can somebody please give a response to this as we dying to know what’s happening. I have tried breaking up with him but he would not take it but then he still wont change and whenever I ask him he would say he loves me. Please someone respond I am dying to know.

      • Brenda Knowles July 17, 2014 at 6:11 am - Reply

        I’m surprised I didn’t’ reply to Jane. Her comment must have been overlooked. I will answer it now to respond to both of you.:)

    • Brenda Knowles July 17, 2014 at 6:22 am - Reply

      As Zanele pointed out, I somehow missed your comment and didn’t respond. I’m so sorry. I truly try to be responsive. Perhaps by now you have figured your guy out but I’ll still comment.:)
      It’s very possible that your guy is an introvert. I will tell you that I tend to consider time with someone the most important time and the follow-up with texts/emails/calls as extra or icing on the cake. Calls/texts feel more like interruptions, especially if we just saw each other. When I am really into someone I don’t mind daily texts or emails. But if you have been dating a while (a few months or more) I can see where multiple contacts a day might be too much. Daily connection is not too much to expect or ask for. Your temperament should be honored too but once a day is all I’d expect. Is your man very dedicated to his work or a certain passion? If so, his level of concentration may be so deep that it is difficult to pull himself away. I wrote a post called, Does Your Partner Need a Lot of Space…, I suggest you check it out. It lists the signs of introversion AND disinterest.
      Hope this helps. So sorry for the delayed response.

      • Zanele July 17, 2014 at 6:38 am - Reply

        Thank you Brenda for your response to Jane’s post. I am pretty sure my boyfriend is an introvert from everything I’ve read on this blog. He is so into his work and has a high position with responsibilities so he always tells me that his job is demanding so when he’s not working he just wants to be on his own, it is so difficult to love an introvert yet I love him madly. But this blog has helped me understand him better I have sent him a link I hope he takes time to browse through.

  106. Lacy January 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    AMEN! I’m so glad I found your site. This post nailed it. There are some days I feel like my internal being is screaming in pain from too much human interaction. Those extroverts in my life don’t understand how my recharge is to be ALONE.
    I need to wear the title to this article around my neck like Sandra Bullock in 28 days. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do when I have to be in constant interaction.

    • Brenda Knowles January 23, 2014 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      I’m glad this post resonated. It’s always awesome to know you’re not alone or selfish in your need for solitude. Spread the understanding. More extroverts are “getting it”.:)

  107. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  108. Anne January 9, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

    I am neither really extrovert or introvert (i love hosting parties but i love being alone, too and I don’t feel lonely when alone nor overwhelmed by people when at a party, for example), but I wil say that quite a few of the self-proclaimed introverts I have met have been selfish, self-centred and generally make Zero effort to maintain any sort of friendship above the most trivial level. No rsvp to invites and then surprise when you do not expect them to show, cancelling last minute, etc. Also, I really find the ‘i am just observing’ excuse as a bit one-sided really. So what? Everyone else has to just deal with someone sat there likena bump on a log who cannot be bothered to contribute to anything going on at the time?
    I find that sort of behaviour boorish and rude.
    No, I don’t always feel like going to this ormthat event, but if I do, I don’t act as though I am not even there.

    • Brenda Knowles January 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Eeek! I apologize for the rude introverts you have met. I would say showing up at a party without letting the host know you’re coming is bad form for any personality type.
      If we aren’t contributing it’s because we’re processing or don’t have what we want to say well formulated yet. Most innies will respond graciously if drawn out by someone. Also what often happens is the introvert thinks of a way to contribute later. It’s frustrating for us sometimes because we’d like to light up the room and take charge of a conversation but it just isn’t as easy and natural for us to do it extemporaneously. I’m sure there are pretentious boobs who keep their thoughts to themselves just to be austere and mysterious but most introverts (people in general) don’t want to be rude.
      Thanks for sharing your experience. All feedback is welcome here.:)

  109. […] intregul text primit pe mail e aici […]

  110. […] 1. Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You. This is the #1 most viewed post of all time for space2live. This one has elicited extraordinary response from EXTROVERTS.  They so want to understand us. Kudos to them for reaching out with questions and comments. So nice to hear how the other side sees things. […]

  111. Linda December 21, 2013 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Is it possible to be the two……..introvert and extrovert? You bet! I can be out there and funny and want to do many things but when I need alone time, I surely need it and my friends wonder what is wrong with me. I like the ‘balance’ of both. I can run a party and be there full force and yet I enjoy working alone without all the drama of personalities. I think I came to this realisation when my long term marriage fell apart and I had time to reflect on my life. Wow, life!!!!! Merry Christmas everyone and all the best for 2014!

    • Brenda Knowles December 21, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

      We are all somewhere on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. I’m with you. I can attend a party or host a get-together and enjoy myself but love doing the party prep alone and often need an empty day (doing nothing but restocking my energy reserves – reading, resting, movie watching) afterwards. It often takes a big change to make us create space to ponder. Love that growing space.:) Thanks for contributing Linda. Love your perspective. Merry Christmas!

  112. Solitude December 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Such an INCREDIBLE true description this story is. Almost frighting how real this is and how deep the controversy can go between introverts and extroverts.

    • Brenda Knowles December 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Introverts and extroverts are wired differently. Awareness, respect and a sense of humor can go a long way to connect the two.:)

  113. Catherine October 25, 2013 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Then how does an extrovert have the security that they’re ever going to live with or marry the introvert? Seems like the pair just won’t work. I ask because my boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years and I’m tired of his alone time being more important than spending time with me when I a have free day. I have kids and we live separate. when kids are with dad and i have a day off he still want to be alone when he’s not seen me in days. I don’t understand it at all. I want to marry and live together and do everything together, how is that possible if the need to be alone requires one to not be present in the same house? I Hate alone time! (totally do not understand it, even after reading ur post.) The only way I see to understand it is to extrovert to be with extrovert and introvert with an introvert

    • Brenda Knowles October 25, 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply

      I have been in your shoes exactly even though I am an introvert. I dated an introvert who always seemed to need alone time when I finally had time to be with him. I have children too and it was the same setup. We didn’t work as a longterm couple although he was the most amazing match for me in so many other arenas. Even though I am an introvert I was willing to work my solitude in around the times I was able to meet with him. I had more time to myself in general but I put him first whenever I could (working around kid schedule). I even offered to do household chores together or help him at work in order to be with him.

      So, some introverts are willing to bend for a quality relationship that gives them energy.

      Do remember that his temperament won’t change even if you get married. He will need time to himself. It’s a delicate balance between relationships and solitude. Keep the communication very open. If you can be “alone together” (reading, listening to music, working on projects together but on different tasks) in the same room that is wonderful too. If he feels safe telling you he needs time alone that is a major bonus. Please respect that wish. But he should honor your temperament as well. There will be give and take. There has to be no guilt or shame in it.

      If at all possible let him come to you. You asking him for time is honest but too much can feel like neediness and this may scare him. He may foresee his time and energy bleeding away. Independence is attractive to introverts.

      Best of luck. I know we’re not easy to comprehend. Big credit to you for reading space2live and being open to introvert awareness.

      • girl28 October 27, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply

        I also want to add that as i read the blog and talk to him i understand more and changed my point of view in many things, I live a busy life work, friends, family suck the life out of me, recently i started to take time and meditate about many events thru the day and how they made feel, for so long i been trying to hang out with people doing fun things i didn’t get to do since I got married so young, but i honestly think that is not me i do not feel confortable being around so many people…i enjoy more a
        Peaceful trail walk or morning beach run, I feel so recharged….I get annoyed hearing people I can’t absorve so much information anymore….I feel mentally exhausted…Now Im taking the little time I have to connect and find myself…maybe you should do that too catherine will help clear out your mind and see things different….as single moms we are always on the roll and I learned that men wether introverts or not don’t like to be suffocated and needing so much of them will make them go away….Brenda’s blog is amazing not only to understand introverts but it kind makes you sit back, think and slow down.

        • Brenda Knowles October 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm - Reply

          So cool that you are learning about yourself as you explore introversion! I love that space2live helps you reflect and slow down.:)

    • girl28 October 27, 2013 at 10:30 am - Reply

      Catherine, i was on the same boat but as much as I love him i gave up, i became aware of the site after the break up, I understand him not but he made me feel so unsecure which i never was. Im a single mom my kids are 24/7 with me. I have a great career with the marines, Im also a personal trainer In the little time we both had i look into being with him but because his personal and financial issues the need of being alone (shut down) drove me insane I could not understand why this amazing loving man would not miss me? But yet he would get jealous if guys made comments on my facebook photos he had a little of insecurity too because Im in a great shape and he does not do type of exercise so i made dure i re asure him everyday on how special and handsome he was for me. Last night I posted a picture of a party with a guy (my former boyfriend made a comment i went to read it but he didnt only deleted it but also left fb) does he care for me? I think he does, he knows i care for him but I can’t deal with the poor comunication and alone time…I believe you have to be happy in order to make others happy, But i also know love conquers anything, I hope you have better luck than me:)

    • Tammy December 9, 2013 at 4:27 am - Reply

      I’m tired of living with my introvert husband. By default, I’ve become introverted too because I was hoping I’d have someone to go to church with me, parties, social gatherings, etc. He goes out to eat and then to a movie once a month. I can’t take this and its unhealthy. I actually quit doing all these things because I wanted him to with me so much. Now I’m so oppressed by it. We’ve put up a room so he can be alone in his room. A bed so incase I don’t go to bed by 11:00, he can just go to sleep in there. All his introversion, has left ME ALONE and I’m not that introverted. I’m not an extreme extrovert, I am balanced, or at least until the last 7 years. My daughter is suffering because of it too. We don’t know what to do. What’s worse is I moved here away from my family to be with him and I thought he had a good family and he doesn’t get along with his family either and so it makes it awkward for me. I’m lost now. I’m dying socially and spiritually, I have no out put. I don’t work or have a job either. I bought two dogs and he hates one of them and says its too much. I can’t take it. We don’t believe in divorce and I still love him. He doesn’t believe in counceling..doesn’t trust anyone. He also changed his belief system after we got married which is even harder. He doesn’t understand why I don’t “respect” him. OMG HELP. lol

      • Dana December 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

        You need to develop your own life. Would you go to social events on your own if you weren’t married to him? Of course you would, and you should continue to do so. Find ways to fill your social needs and give him the space he craves. It will improve your happiness and potentially save the marriage. If not, you may have to reconsider your relationship

  114. LB October 21, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Great blog… so SO true….

    I’ve often wondered why someone would go walking on a private, quiet, beautiful trail (the exact type of place where I go to get into my own head) and spend that time talking on the phone. It drives me crazy to see that. I want to scream, “Can’t you unplug for 5 minutes?!?!” But then it hit me. Oh, duh…. that person is an extrovert. He (or more often she) needs sound and contact and stimulation to recharge. Different from my need for silence and aloneness, but no less valid. I just wish they wouldn’t do it in “my space.”

    • Brenda Knowles October 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      I am with you. Nature trails are supposed to be natural – no cellphone blabber. I try to be understanding but have been known to ask someone to take their conversation elsewhere. Then I ruminate on that bit of conflict for the next hour.;)

      Just today in the grocery store. A woman stated loudly to her husband every move she made as she packed up her groceries. “I’m going to put the bananas on top.” “Your dad can help us when we get home.” I think she even annoyed the other extroverts.

      Thanks for your comment. I totally relate.

      • LB October 23, 2013 at 5:11 am - Reply

        “Ruminating on that conflict…” lol. I often blow up at people, which obviously is not good either. It seems I have a conflict with myself on whether to say something or not, and then I let it go until I can’t take it anymore. On a nature trail, that person passes me and is gone. Being on the same general route in the grocery store, or standing in a long line, or in a restaurant, different story. I really don’t want to be privy to someone’s one-sided conversation. And the bathroom! What is with people on the phone in the bathroom??? Really? Do those people just have an inflated sense of their own importance and need to show it to the world? I assume no one but me cares about my private phone conversations. Listening to others’ and trying to shut them out is a total energy drain, even more so than dealing with inane small talk.

        I really like your last paragraph. Why is it so hard for us to ask for space? Why do we need to work up the courage to ask for it? A couple weeks ago, I was checking out at Walmart and the cashier was just going on and on and on, and I was in my own head and not really paying attention to her, and then she gives me this pained look and asks me if I’m alright. What? I realized she was totally misreading my non-responses to her, thinking maybe I was ill? I don’t know what she was thinking, but clearly, in her mind, the communication issue was mine and not hers. My immediate response was to protect her feelings by actually allowing her to engage me. What on earth for? I should have said, “there’s nothing wrong with me, I just don’t talk much.” I’m getting better at that, but it’s still hard.

        • Brenda Knowles October 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

          There is a tiny bit of shame in not wanting to connect with others. We are conditioned to think that “good people” give their attention to others as often as possible. The most liked people always have a smile and quick comment for everyone. We all want to be liked but sometimes it is painful to give and give to every person who wants to speak (so many people yacking away vapidly). I know I try to save my energy for my high-value people (kids, friends, family) but so many others want my attention. I wish I could absorb and respond to more people like the friendly, likable extroverts but I can’t. I focus on my other strengths like: high concentration, in-depth conversations, long lasting relationships, independence, high empathy, help others filter and slow down.

          Thanks for your comments LB.:)

  115. Susan P October 21, 2013 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on The Curious Introvert and commented:
    Love this – it so says it all for me.

  116. inlovewithintrovertgirl October 18, 2013 at 1:49 am - Reply

    I’m really confused of my introverted girlfriend, cause sometimes we have a great conversation and sometimes not… Before she wants to see me often at least twice a week but now that she’s so busy with her work we see each other just once a month now… and even through message, she rarely message me now unlike before… And it’s confusing to me if she really love me or not… And also she still likes to go to night clubs to party with her friends, she even don’t tell me that she goes out with them…
    I also want to know if introverts don’t want their gf/bf knows of what they’re doing or where do they go…

    • caitycatherine October 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Hmmm…it sounds to me like she is just not that into you. As an introvert, I come back a LOT. I don’t need to retreat for a month… Maybe like, 3 or 4 hours. Or a day or two if I spent a whole day with someone.

      • girl28 October 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

        It is confusing and hard to tell if a person is really an introvert? I thought my ex was or is an introvert he broke up with me over a month ago, at the time i didnt know his shutting down drove me
        Insane…although he said he has strong feelings for me is best we go apart to avoid increasing hurt. He claims i dont lusten to him or show care? but he never went out without telling he was caring…however i saw him today to return his belongings in my mind was a drop and go but he came out of his car to say thank you? Gave me a huge hug kissed my forhead
        Then pop kiss me in the lips i was shocked cold as stone we both walked back to our cars and left..he seemd nervous and Im still WTH? Haven’t talked to him since then….Im an extrovert i tried understanding but from being the most loving people they can go to go away!! Too hurtful to stand by you have to do what is best for you.

        • Brenda Knowles October 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

          I wish we weren’t so confusing. Even in our own minds we can be frustrated with our desire to connect and our need for alone time. Ideally, your ex-boyfriend would be more communicative and let you know his thoughts. It’s hard to say words that may hurt someone. We introverts are very selective. Relationships take energy and they can give energy as well. We have to choose those that don’t drain us. It’s a delicate dance. May you find love in a more receptive partner.

      • nolabels December 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

        I need some advice on how I deal with my introvert girlfriend. She loves me but does not show it as much as I would like. We live coast to coast and do long distance once a month sometimes two. I cannot move yet because of my kids and she has kids. She devotes all of there energy to her 3 boys. She says she does not want another person in her life. I feel rejected sometimes and trying to learn how to deal with her needing alone time. Though when we first started dating, she was calling and texting me all the time to where I thought it was a little weird….. Now the fun texting has disappeared, seeing each other becomes a little strenuous probably because I want more and she is wanting less. We have dated approx. 2 years. I really could use some direction from the introverts or extros who have had to deal with this type of situation.

    • caitycatherine October 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Hmmm…it sounds to me like maybe she just isn’t that into you.

      Introverts need time to recharge. A few hours. Maybe a couple of days if we have spent a very intense and/or long time with people. But not a month.

      Also, the night clubs thing…I can’t speak for all introverts, but sheesh…you couldn’t get me into one of those for more than 15 minutes more than a couple of times a year. Talk about introvert drain.

    • Brenda Knowles October 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Did I not respond to you? So sorry. My gut tells me that you can do better and your girlfriend is drifting away from you. It is true that we all need space sometimes and that can definitely include going out with our friends but she seems to be on a permanent hiatus from you. If she hides her outings from you that feels bad. Communication and honesty are key elements of a healthy relationship.
      Introverts need time alone but a month is quite a retreat. Do you feel that is a good relationship? My gut says you don’t. Don’t assume all introverts are like her. We are loving and are quite capable of long term relationships.

      • inlovewithintrovertgirl October 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm - Reply

        It really all started when she gets so busy, she’s into sales so lots of talking to other people that I think drains her… And from that point we rarely chat cause when she got home she’s tired and needs to recharge… She even don’t message me the whole day during her off day, and just message me the other day that she miss me… But I don’t feel her love and care that she used to be before… Is it because of her busy schedule that she can’t handle both? Cause when I ask her to talk about it she just said “I have nothing to say”… So I’m really confused of what we are right now…

        • Brenda Knowles October 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm - Reply

          Sales could definitely be draining her. She may feel bad about not being able to juggle her job and your relationship. She also may not be passionate about your relationship anymore. Only you can discern that. I suggest a break for a week or so. See if she seeks you out. Let her know you are there when she is ready to connect (only if you are willing to do that). Best of luck.

  117. […] others, we get our energy from some time spent alone. It’s nothing personal whatsoever. We really do love you, we just need to get away from the world every once in a while. It’s just how we […]

  118. girl28 October 16, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Brenda, thank you for your words i wish i found your blog a month back 🙁 I was doing well following your advice and my heart but i don’t think i will be able to just be there for my ex boyfriend, I saw on facebook a tagged from a woman I got jealous and asked him if she is the reason he left me. He didn’t know what i was talking about later he txt me to say he checked facebook and removed the tag which was a mistake by his friend and that he has no one. I do believe him somehow but I also realized i can’t and I won’t be able to stand by his side supporting him as a friend which is sad but i have to do what feels good for me. Thank you for responding for sure i learned do much again thank you!!

  119. am i an introvert? October 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you brenda. Thank you so much. Ur words resonate with me. I am a 16 year old girl from india. I am not an introvert (mostly) because i dont get that suffocated with people around. I have a select few friends and am very comfortable around them. Though sometimes all i feel like doing is to run away from them. To shut them off,cut them out and be my on my own. It doesnt happen with my girl-friends. But with my boyfriend (all past and present) it happens always. I need to get away from them . I just tell them i need some time to analyse myself. But that hits the wrong button and the guy goes like ‘ur breaking us? What did i do? Why are u doing this’ .
    Am kinda confused why this is happening to me? I mean am comfortable with these guys. And i love them too. But still, how can i want to run away from them? Am i introverted? What is this?

    And now, am in a beautiful relationship with a guy who love me a lot. I love him too. Before we committed we had a strong friendship. Even back then i knew his feelings for me. So, even when we were friends i had shut away once or twice which resulted in him feeling very bad. I didnt even feel guilty then. Cos i just knew i had to do this. Now, we both are together and happy. Still somedays when i wake up i feel the need to cut him out of my life. But then somedays i want to be with him for my whole life. Its all very confusing.

    I have completely stopped asking for me times because i dnt wanna hurt him. So instead what my natural response to him has become is, if we fight on something then i tell him i am leaving. And he gets so broken. He starts crying. And he then does next to anything to make me feel loved and cared for. It disturbs him a lot. But it makes me feel loved and awesome to have a guy who loves me so much. Recently he told me how disturbed he gets when i do this. It made me feel very guilty. I dont do it purposefully. Its just a natural response.

    I dont know what to do. How do i handle this​? Should i just ask for me time? And show him this site so that he gets what i am going through? But then the problem is he and i know very well that m not that introverted, so he wont belive me when i say that is the reason why i need to go away from him sometimes.

    p.s. U write so beautifully. And ur words connect with me. Not the extreme parts like getiing suffocated by peole,but the want to be alone, it couldnt be expressed in a better way. Please always continue writing. I am glad that i found ur blog!

    • Brenda Knowles October 16, 2013 at 8:14 am - Reply

      I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Thank you for writing. I believe you are an introvert or at the very least an independent girl. You are an introvert if you get energy from quiet time. You can still be quite social but you need time alone or with one person in order to recharge.

      I had a boyfriend like yours when I was in college. He would cry and get very upset when I wanted to do things with my girlfriends or just be by myself. He made me feel bad so I gave up a lot of what I truly needed in order to fulfill his needs. I eventually broke it off with him because there wasn’t much of a relationship beyond his begging and my need to pull away. I felt very free after I was away from him.

      You are sixteen years old, very young. You do not have to think about spending the rest of your life with anyone. Perhaps you have a lot you want to accomplish yourself before you settle down into a permanent partnership? Perhaps you haven’t found a partner who fits splendidly with your temperament? I love that you are very self-aware. You know when you need space and you let the people in your life know too. This is good. You are establishing boundaries.

      My advice to you is to listen deeply to your inner voice. Be honest with your loved ones. If they are always unhappy with your genuine, heartfelt requests then they are not allowing you to be your highest self. Relationships require respect and honor from both parties. Don’t settle for less.

      Best of luck. I think you know what feels right to you. Follow your energy.:)

      • am i an introvert October 16, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

        thanx .. i will show this to my bf and we will talk about it. see what we can do about it…
        u know how i stumbled upon ur blog? i googled for “how to tell a loved one that u need time away” …i read all the comments and saw that i needed real advice on this “me time” thing…
        about my being very young, yes of course thats right…and i do want a lot to accomplish is my life before settling with him. we are in a healthy relationship (read: no sexually active stunts) ….but i do want to remain with him without having to give up on myself.
        shall keep u posted on what we decide after “the talk” . i think we’ll solve this out too..
        thanx. 🙂

  120. girl28 October 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    So thankful for this site i learn so much and thank you for taking the time to respond…my i ex boyfriend (broke up about a month ago) he tells me he has feeling for me and he cares so much but it seems like i dont care to listen to what he has to say, i didnt want to ask much because when stressed he shuts down. He took that as i dont care, so he thinks we have no future because he does all the listening. Instead i thought he was just making excuses because he met someone else. Anyhow i told him Im here if he needs to talk, he sends me forwards with funny emails, something he didnt before….not sure how to act, he text saying he only slept 3 hours and was tired and working in the heat. I asked if he need it anything. Of course he said no! Anyway i dropped off a nice refreshing smoothie and a sandwich to his job…i didnt see him just dropped off! He appreciated but do i keep my distance? do i ignore him? do i follow up and ask how he is doing? Not sure what to do, I love him but I cant read him and I dont want to get hurt more.

    • Brenda Knowles October 14, 2013 at 8:50 am - Reply

      You are obviously a thoughtful person. I think you are doing the right thing by letting him know you are there for him but keeping a slight distance. You have different communication styles. One of the most loving things you can do for someone is listen to them with your whole being. If he does come around and want to see you I would plan on doing more listening than talking. I would also ask questions about him and his work, ideas,family. Don’t make it all about your relationship. Make it about HIM. If you can do that, you obviously have the ability to give in a relationship. He will see that and feel validated at the same time. But… be careful not to sell yourself out. Be mindful of what feels right to you. It should be a two-way street. Best of luck.:)

  121. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  122. sou October 11, 2013 at 2:44 am - Reply

    I have been having same space issue with my partner! Like everyone else I feel its an excuse when he ask me for his space and feels really insulted..we have been friends from last 5 years so in the beginning of the relation I thought it will be perfect one since we have been best friends. But it has been really difficult, I feel I have been with a mad person. I just cant understand what he wants. If I leave him alone for a while then he says I don care and if i devote my time to him, he says I suffocate him. Please help me as the relation is almost dying..

    • Brenda Knowles October 11, 2013 at 8:00 am - Reply

      Admittedly, often there is a fine line between suffocating attention and appropriate space for introverts. As an introvert myself, I’ve witnessed my own personal need for solitude as well as a deep desire to feel connected within a relationship. I go back and forth. Ebb and flow. It primarily depends on my energy levels. Time alone fills me up and gives me energy to reach out and fulfill my need for intimacy/connection. It sounds like your partner has a hard time respectfully expressing what he wants. You should not be on an emotional roller coaster all the time. If you believe this relationship truly has potential I would lean towards giving him his space and letting him come to you when he wants to connect. If it hurts you too much to be away from him then perhaps you should find a partner whose ideal “togetherness” is more in line with yours.

      Don’t settle for less than what feels good to you. Thank you for writing in and sharing.

      • sou October 11, 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

        Thanks for your reply.. I should have check this site before the relation.
        It has been crazy.. Unfortunately its like my first true love and letting go of it, is really hurtful. I would like to try by giving the space..:)

  123. Scott Stresau October 10, 2013 at 12:05 am - Reply

    I really wish I had read this arcticle yesterday, I am the extrovert and it really does crush me when my girlfriend or ex, as of about an hour ago, exhibits that behavior. It has been bothering me for months and I thought it had something to do with me. I finally got fed up and let her have it (verbally of course) and I find myself sans one beautiful, lovely woman. So now I feel not only stupid for not looking it up before but heartbroken as well. Hindsight is a Bitch! (pardon the swear, feel like I’m allowed one right now 🙁 )

    • Brenda Knowles October 10, 2013 at 6:47 am - Reply

      First of all, don’t beat yourself up for feeling hurt or taking your girlfriend’s need for solitude personally. It feels like rejection. No one likes rejection, so we react. I’ve been in your shoes (as an introvert) with another introvert. It stings. As an extrovert, I’m sure it was difficult to understand how she felt when she needed space. It probably didn’t make sense to you because you get energized from interactions.

      Now you have more awareness. Perhaps you could approach her with this post and your new understanding? Remember, she will still need a break from you occasionally. It’s her temperament. If you think you can handle that with good communication and respect then I would not give up.

      Best of luck.:)

  124. barksdogbakery October 5, 2013 at 12:45 am - Reply

    Thank you for this article! Finally, I found something that describes exactly how I feel! Been going crazy, trying to constantky explain my need for space, my yearning for solitude, dreaming of those moments when I have the house to myself…etc. And all that time, I used to think, and feel, well… alone! Now I know that I’m not.

    • Brenda Knowles October 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      No, you are not alone in your desire for aloneness.;) In fact, up to 50% of the population may be like you according to Susan Cain’s book, Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. If you have not read Quiet, I highly recommend you do.

      It helps to be validated doesn’t it? You are not strange, wrong or selfish. You are simply wired to re-charge in solitude or quiet.

      Best of luck with your new found self-awareness.:)

  125. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  126. Pam October 4, 2013 at 12:43 am - Reply

    I have read your post and the responses to it. While I understand and appreciate the needs of the introvert to save themselves from being overly drained, I do have to say, as someone who loves an introvert, this post does not explain enough for me, or justify some behaviour. The man I have found myself with began our relationship pushing himself outside of his introversion. He gave and he promised. There were times when he would cancel or go missing in some way. These times left me feeling rejected and confused but at the heart of it and in my gut I felt like I knew what we had was real so I fought past the hurt feelings. He would tell me that he would spend a year and then some making up for his cancellations or disappointments or rejections. I would believe him; however, eventually I learned that he just couldn’t make up for it, even if he wanted to. So, my thought regarding all of this is yes, be true to your introversion if that is who you are, but when you fight against it and reel in a partner who decides to love you, then you flip the switch, it is not fair to lay blame or point fingers at your suffocating partner. When someone decides to need you because you present yourself as someone who also needs them, then you all if a sudden don’t, then accept the part you had in creating that need or “kryptonite” as you had mentioned in one of your blogs. The point I believe I’m trying to make here is simply be careful with the hearts of others as you work to protect yourself…no one deserves the hurt.

    • Brenda Knowles October 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      As someone who has been on both sides of the hurt/hurting, I agree with you. Hearts are fragile and should be cherished. I feel sometimes introverts want to be highly engaged with their partners and feel they should be so they push themselves until they realize they can’t do it anymore. It’s usually not intentional to hurt their significant other. It simply happens after a time of over-extending themselves. On the other hand, I have felt the frustration of having a partner appear to be committed and then pull away. This hurts… a lot. The only salve is transparent communication and a willingness to understand each other’s needs. Introverts need to be open early on in a relationship and explain the importance of time alone. It’s difficult because in the beginning of couplehood the emotional intimacy is so heady that we often get carried away in the wonderful feelings. Later on when the relationship requires more effort the introvert may panic a little as he/she watches their energy flow out. All relationships take work, of course. An introvert just has to be mindful of their commitments and their need for re-charging. It’s a delicate balance but can be workable if the partners see each other’s gifts as well as the challenges.

      I know introverts often feel bad for letting their special people down. I can also tell you it feels like drowning when you can’t get any space for yourself. It isn’t fair for an introvert to mis-represent themselves as someone who can provide continual attention but sometimes they don’t even know their own needs. I didn’t understand my need for solitude (introversion) until I was in my mid-thirties. By then I was in deep with a marriage and three children. I never intended to be misleading.

      Thank you for giving your perspective. I absolutely respect it. May understanding and communication help with your relationship.

  127. viviane October 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    I can totally related with some of this post too. That is crazy. I am an extrovert and my bf is an introvert. We are so opposite but it’s scary when he is always asking for me time. I did not understand what that mean b/c I am so loving and caring and nuturing. I like to be part of a big circle of people. I feel that since I start to date him all my friends has gone away. I feel isolated with him. I do not know if that is me anymore but I do feel that a little of me is lost bc i am trying to always please him instead. I get sad bc of how he always wants to go to his cave. It confused me but when he get mad. He keep saying he can just leave me like that. I have been dating this person for more than a year now. I do not know if our relationship will last bc of our differences. He does not trust me like I trust him. So confuse.

    • Brenda Knowles October 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      It makes me sad when I hear extroverts say they give up some of their light in order to be with their introverted partners. Both parties should be equally respected and honored. Communication and awareness are key to making an introvert/extrovert relationship work. I have been in a relationship where I gave up my friends in order to please my boyfriend (also an introvert). I was miserable and eventually ended it. It took me a while but I was much happier and wiser for the experience.

      There has to be trust in a relationship. I know you have invested time into this man but I’m bothered by the fact that he keeps saying he could leave you at any time. If he truly loved and cherished you he wouldn’t threaten you with that. Others will appreciate your loving, nurturing nature. Ask yourself how you feel when you are with him. If you don’t feel full, loved and content most of the time then it may be time for a change.

      Thanks for sharing your story. Best of luck in your journey.

  128. thelindseybernice October 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I am learning about my relationship of over a year now. My boyfriend is an introvert. EXTREME! and i am an EXTREME extrovert. There are alot of things I don’t understand about being introvert since I am extrovert. My feelings seem to get hurt a lot by him. I have a really hard time understanding why he does not want to go and view the world. I am slowly learning about it in my learnings of introverts. I get really excited about anything and everything. It is hard for me to realize that not everyone is like that. I don’t want my relationship to end because of how opposite we are. I am trying to understand him better and I hope that he can do the same with me but I don’t think he is willing to try on his part. I feel like I have lost myself for giving into an introvert for over a year now and he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. I am sorry I am just babbling now because I need someone to talk too.. Thanks for this blog it has opened up my eyes!

    • Brenda Knowles October 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you for being so candid about your relationship. It’s great that you are gaining understanding about introverts. You are not the only extrovert that has said they feel like they have lost themselves in trying to give to an introvert. The interesting thing is I think introverts feel like we cater to extroverts all the time. You must not lose yourself. It’s vital to stay true to who you are. If you are constantly altering your behavior and dreams in order to fit in with your boyfriend’s ideals, you will lose yourself and be miserable. There needs to be a mutual respect and honoring of each other’s temperaments. It sounds like you have been very open with him about your feelings and he is not willing to put much effort into addressing your needs/wants.

      I am an introvert who loves going out into the world and I get very excited and passionate about many things. I go out, have a ball with others and then head home for a bit of mellow-ness and/or solitude. If you are giving your boyfriend a good amount of space and he still doesn’t get excited about being with you and exploring the world then perhaps you should take on the world without him.

      Do not take his need for quiet and alone time personally. It is how he is wired. It’s how he gets energized. The key to an introvert/extrovert relationship is awareness of each other’s traits and a willingness to respect and admire your differences. Communication and honesty are so important.

      Best of luck. Don’t settle and do be mindful of your own happiness.

      • thelindseybernice October 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

        Yeah I just learned recently how much I changed to please him. I am a worrier and a caretaker at the same time so it use to worry me how he always wants to believe alone or just to be with me and no one else.

        What I have learned today is to not take offense if he ever wants to be alone. I honestly can’t wait for him to get home from work today so I can tell him that! lol.

        I am slowly getting back to myself and who I was before I met him. It will either drift me away from the relationship or make us stronger. I am hoping though now that I am learning about who I am as an extrovert and who he is as an introvert that it will make it easier and us stronger. Only if he is willing to a little bit of compromise which he tries a little but for the most part he is just happy in his room playing video games. I guess I don’t understand how one can be happy just doing that 24/7 and how they can not feel they are missing out on this world? I love life. life is short and I have been through a lot of bad things that make me appreciate living and I have tried so hard to get him to see the little things that it ended up changing me. So I told him I am done trying. You are who you are and I am going to start living again and you will realize what you are missing out on when I am gone all the time. That will happen or he will just continue on being happy by himself and I will drift off into this world being happy else where.

        I do have one question?

        He always says he doesn’t need anybody. Sometimes I get offended when he says that because I think to myself well then why are you even in a relationship?

        I guess I would just like to hear someone else’s thoughts on that one….

        • Brenda Knowles October 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

          I think what he is saying is he has a very satisfying inner-world that nourishes him. He can always go internal. He doesn’t have the same need for action and companionship that you do. I think you are being wise by continuing on as yourself. If he truly loves you he will miss you and ask for a way to compromise so that he can have his time alone as well as time with you.

          Personally, I need time alone but I always come around to wanting human connection too. I would do what makes you feel charged and happy (without him). The good ones come into your life and stay. You don’t have to chase him. He will find you if there is a worthwhile connection.

          Best of luck. Keep us posted.:)

    • elzra October 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      I am an introvert and LOVE my space. I live with my boyfriend who has an adult son that is mentally handicapped (autistic). The boys mother takes her son 4 days a month (2 weekends) the rest of the time he is with us. He is involved in activities in the community, but regardless the majority of the time he is here in “my space”. I frequently get angry with him over petty things, sometimes just because I can hear him in his upstairs room.
      My boyfriend and I on our own function quite well. He likes to stay busy with his tasks and I with mine. I do still desire to be with him throughout the day just not all the time. When his son is here I feel suffocated and horribly on edge. I think it is to the point of unhealthy. He has talked about the possibility of his son moving out, but I don’t want that repercussion of that on me. Not to mention it seems that there is never anything done about it. He frequently gets mad at me for letting his son bother me.

      Thing 2 about me. I am from a large family. This does not allow me to be who I am, introverted. Well at least they don’t understand. I have felt my whole life that I am weird or maybe off (black-sheeped, may be the proper term). I don’t fit into clicks and have a few close friends. I have the tendency to do my own thing. But I then over process the fact that I am not the one carrying on over “whatever” with the other woman and feel left out.
      To deal with this handicap of mine I started to drink years ago. After a few drinks I would relax a bit and deal with the social situation that I was placed in. I do not handle social situations well and in our society that is extremely frowned upon. Too, I don’t feel I totally accept my introversion. I at times wish I could socialize better or feel more comfortable socially, I just don’t. I don’t believe in medicating either, I don’t dislike myself that much. I just feel really miserable inside at times. I also sound crazy, but this is my life.

      • Brenda Knowles October 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        I have felt like you do with your boyfriend’s son around. There is a heavy guilt for wanting to be free of others, particularly when they are children and/or family members. Know you are not alone. You are an introvert who needs solitude. It’s innate. Things are compounded when our own family doesn’t understand or support us. It can feel very lonely and make us think there is something wrong with us. It may help to talk to a therapist or some neutral party.

        Using alcohol to ease your social frustrations is a form of medicating. I understand the desire for a relaxed feeling while socializing. Is there any chance your family or at least one or two members would benefit from further awareness about introversion? Could you direct them to space2live? I think it’s cool that you do your own thing. Are there other lone wolves that you could bond with?

        It breaks my heart to hear how miserable you feel inside. I have been there. The only relief I found was by connecting with others with similar feelings. Also, finding a passion that makes you want to get up in the morning also helps. Meaningful conversation and work can change your world. Hugs, peace and strength to you. Thank you for sharing so candidly.

  129. girl28 September 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Wow, perfect blog, my boyfriend of 10 months just broke up with me, i gave him a hardtime about going missing, he told me he shuts down when he is stressed, i thought he had someone else but he told me after 10 months I dont know him well and show no intetest to understand him. He said with how he feels about me no way he wants to increase any pain. He also said is better we break up…He is going through financial and career issues, bad relationship with his daughter, i feel so bad i didnt understand him, his siter told me he has no one else you just put him against the wall when he need it space…I truly wish he would give me a change to make things right. Thank you your blog opened my eyes.

    • Brenda Knowles September 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’d say your former boyfriend has the classic characteristics of an introvert. Don’t beat yourself up for not understanding at the time. When extroversion is your personality type it can be easy to take an introvert’s need for space personally. Since solitude and quiet are not your natural ways to recharge it can feel like rejection or as in your case, make you suspicious. I’ve been on both sides of the this scenario. Give him space for a while – like weeks and then gently let him know you want to support and listen to him. You could even tell him you have been doing some research on introversion and have a much better understanding of how he is wired.

      Best of luck. Remember constant interruptions and demands on an introvert’s time are just going to push him away (even if he enjoys your company).

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      • girl28 October 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm - Reply

        Thank you for responding, he actually talked to me today, and you are right he says he has feelings for me and he cares a lot for me but he sees no future, where few days ago he wanted to be part of my world…so i had to suck it up and instead of demanding and asking I said im here if you need me…hard for me because i want a response right away 🙁 so hard!

        • Brenda Knowles October 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm - Reply

          I’m sorry things are not ideal in your relationship. I believe you are doing the right thing by letting him be. If there truly is something there he will find you. Pestering him for a response would only drive him further away. At least he communicated openly with you. Make the best of this time and reflect on what you learned. You will take that knowledge with you into your next relationship. Strength and quick healing to you.

  130. chloe September 16, 2013 at 6:22 am - Reply

    Hiya Brenda,
    I just want to say thank you so much for posting this! I’m finding it really hard to feel ok with myself in a school setting as nobody seems to understand why I want to lunch alone or don’t talk before school starts. People find it so weird that I don’t crave going out to parties or hanging out with others after school. I’ve always found it really surprising how nasty other students can get, for instance the “What’s wrong with you, that’s so weird.” is a classic. But finding out that there are others who have had or are having the same needs as you is really comforting. Thank you again for the great post! 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles September 16, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

      I’m so glad you have the awareness to know there is nothing wrong with you. May I ask how old you are? You are you. Be true to your nature. It’s easy to sell yourself out and go with the crowd. The more you live according to your temperament the more likely you are to find soul deep friends or soul deep solitude.:) Fill yourself up.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your story.

  131. Andrea September 13, 2013 at 12:30 am - Reply

    Dearest Brenda,
    Like so many have already said, I feel like you expressed precisely what I’ve never been able to put into words. In fact, until very recently, I never even realized that we have special needs; I always assumed I was just…different. As I was reading through this post, I kept waiting to read something I disagreed with (“Oh, now THERE, we’re different.”), but everything was spot on. Thank you for giving us voice, and for helping me to realize that being this way is okay.

    One note: I wonder if having to respond to so many comments doesn’t take too much out of you. Doesn’t the demand on your time get to you?

    • Brenda Knowles September 13, 2013 at 9:30 am - Reply

      You are so thoughtful regarding the time involved with responding to comments. I love connecting with others over a topic that is obviously near and dear to me. It buoys and encourages me to know that others are looking for the same kind of validation and understanding. I am nourished by the connecting. Now that I get consistent responses to my posts it does take a fair amount of time to follow up. I still love it. My only tiny issue is that I need to make a living and all this connecting does not pay monetarily (but does enrich me in so many other ways). I am worried that once I start working for a paycheck I will be hard-pressed to fit in time for thoughtful responses to my readers. I do not like to let people down and I do not want to become a crazy-overloaded shrew either.;) I hope to remedy this by committing more of my writing time to actual “work hours” and not just my writing “hobby”.
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughtfulness Andrea.

      • Andrea September 13, 2013 at 9:59 am - Reply

        Okay, I get it. Talking about introversion and connecting with others like you doesn’t necessarily suck life out of you like I thought I must. Your answer makes sense.
        I have another question, if you’re up for it: Do you think introverts tend to be people-pleasers?

        • Brenda Knowles September 14, 2013 at 8:14 am - Reply

          My knee-jerk answer to your people pleasers question is, yes we are people pleasers. We don’t like conflict and we are fairly in tune with others’ feelings. I do know some introverts though who do their own thing and don’t worry about making everyone happy. These are mostly male introverts. What do you think?

          • Andrea September 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

            I agree, Brenda: Most people-pleasers I know are introverts. I hadn’t thought about the gender lines but, now that I think about it, yes, most of the “do-their-own-thing” introverts are male.

  132. […] planning my schedule for optimum balance, I need to always remember to leave a lot of calendar space for quiet time alone. This is something I always manage to underestimate! As conservative as I am with the number […]

  133. Naia September 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    The problem I have with alot of the relationship type comments is the extroverts always say but I leave them alone so we should be ok!!

    As an introvert with many extroverted friends and a spouse that is not true. An extroverts idea of leaving me alone is singing to me from another room, checking on me every 15 minutes, talking to themselves next to me, blasting the radio, walking in the room and looking at me and then walking out, sending funny links via text. etc.

    These are not examples of alone time extroverts!! And in fact in today’s modern world true solitude is hard to come by so we need your help! Trust me that the more true solitude an introvert gets the less they will need to be alone. For me personally every interruption almost triples the amount of time I will need to feel better.

    My husband now is very great support for me. He will hold my phone while I’m recharging and he wears headphones while he listens to music. He also sets a timer we agree on so he can come get me.

    With frustrations from the extroverts side like lack of compliments, awareness of your achievements, lack of affection that is indeed hard for us. My husband has talked to me quite a bit and I have put alot of work into it. I do use calenders to bring birthdays and holidays to my attention.

    Some of the other skills we use are things like he can ask me for compliments. ex. How do you feel about this promotion? and…? and…? Leading me this way gives me time and the opportunity to say what I feel without having to be spontaneously articulate about it all at once.

    He’s also allowed to show me what he has accomplished in the house chore wise. “Look here honey see I did the floor today”. And I say “hey that looks brilliant” and he says and..? I say “I’m grateful you did that for me since I pulled my back the other day, your so thoughtful baby.”

    Yes affection can be difficult too. Not only because of our temperament but also because it seems to open the flood gates for extroverts to jump on you being all “my gosh you really do like me lets do 15 impossible things before bed right now!!” The consequences of compliments and affection can start to seem a bit frightening especially if you are already depleted.

    My husband knows now that when I get home from my customer service job that I will just dive into a book and he needs to ignore me. But I also know that when I’ve made a conscious decision to rejoin the world I also need to give him the affection he was pining for, so I ask for cuddle time and he is only too happy to oblige.

    Sometimes I have a tough day and I do get sucked into a book or project. He will gently come up to me and clear his throat and say hey you’ve been reading for 1hr 15 minutes 😛 and I’ll look up from the book eating my face and realize that yes I am refreshed and I am happy to see him and yes we will cuddle right now.

    The rewards for us learning to work together this way means that I am not a recluse the entirety of the weekend or afternoon. I do host parties and goto parties. He gets intense fun and affection from me. I feel safer and I am more naturally complimentary and affectionate. We do more plans with friends spur of the moment since now I do spend the majority of my time topped up and not depleted.

    Ultimately romance between E’s and I’s is the same as it always has been. Communicate, be honest, work hard, be creative, respect the other persons needs and care deeply for each other. It’s the two of you against the world!

    • Brenda Knowles September 5, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

      Oh wow! I love this comment! You gave so many great examples and genuine solutions. You were truly helpful in showing how an Extrovert/Introvert relationship can work. I agree it is all about communication, honesty and respect. We can benefit from each other’s gifts if we honor the differences. Thank you, thank you for taking the time to share so candidly. I will refer to your words many times when helping E/I couples. Continued warmth and love in your relationship. 🙂

  134. Jasmine September 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this.

    I’ve never been great at explaining things, especially when it comes to my introversion. I felt like you wrote everything I was feeling, thinking, and wanted to say to my loved ones. I’m from a family of extroverts so it was difficult growing up when all I wanted to do was have “me” time. This was very difficult on my mother. It wasn’t like I was intentionally trying to hurt, it was just how I was and I always carried guilt ’cause of it..

    I am now an adult, living with my boyfriend in his home state. (I’m from New England, he’s from the Midwest) All my familiarity was pretty much left at home when I moved out. I’ve lived here for a year now and am still finding it difficult to adjust. Since I don’t know people well here it’s hard for me to be able to connect, voice opinions and have meaningful conversations. I mean, I’ve made strong connections with people before but those friends and family are back home..

    My boyfriend’s family are all really sweet and they come over our apartment to visit every so often. My boyfriend and I actually had a talk about this. He’d noticed that my mood would change if/when any of them would stay for more than a day or two. I would get really uncomfortable, physically sore/tense, and hole myself in our room. It’s really difficult for me to remain social for long periods of time and the distance isn’t due to me disliking them..

    I think he’s getting better at understanding 🙂 Though, I will show him this because I definitely think it will help.

    Thank you for this post. 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles September 4, 2013 at 9:15 am - Reply

      I am very much like you. After two days of guests or constant companionship I am ready for a break. It used to be hard when family would visit us from out of town. I was always excited to see them but then got more irritable after two or three days. I carefully craft time in my schedule (buffers between activities) in order to replenish my energy wells, but when I am constantly surrounded by other people, their needs and their desire for action, those buffers disappear. Hence my crabbiness.;)

      I moved around a lot with my husband and children. I would just get my close meaningful relationships established (after 2 or 3 years) and then we would move again. I have been in the same city (Minneapolis) for almost 9 years now and have a large social circle. Give yourself time and be open to lovely friendships. I suggest looking for friends in the places you feel most alive. For me it was writing class, fitness clubs and music lessons.

      I grew up in a family of introverts and extroverts. I’m glad there were both influences but I will say as a young person it felt like the extroverts always won, got their way, were more valued. It feels different when we get together now. I see the gifts and strengths of the introverts. It feels like a more level playing field.:)

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Best of luck to you in your new home. The Midwest isn’t so bad.;)

  135. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You […]

  136. livinglifejoyfully August 28, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

    WOW!! just WOW….I felt I was saying the words from ME…it was me to a T. I read it outloud to my son and we just knowingly looked at each other. We are so much alike so he totally related! Thanks for a fabulous read!!

    • Brenda Knowles August 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      Oh that’s perfect! I love it when my experiences resonate deeply with others. Very cool that you have such a close connection with your son. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  137. Pam August 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this great article. I recently just discovered that the guy I’ve been seeing for a while now, is an introvert. I’m not even sure if he knows. I have been talking to him for 7 months now and I’ve had a really tough time understanding why he just goes missing sometimes and I was completely taking it personally. I now see that his distance wasn’t a sign of dislike…it was just what he needed. I do not, however, understand how a relationship w an introvert works completely? How do we keep the connection going and how do we keep building? He and I have a mainly texting relationship and recently he really started trying to push himself. I actually saw him more. Also, in this time with him I saw him grow more comfortable and safe around me. he opened up more and i appreciated all of this. I know he spends a lot of time w friends he’s had for a long time so he does have it in him to let people in. I think it’s a lot though for him because I am new to his life and likely more draining than a friend he’s had forever would be. After seeing him a bit more I think I got excited and started asking for and wanting more rather than enjoying what I got. I didn’t know about the introvert stuf then though. Anyways, I now worry I’ve pushed too hard and pushed him away for good. Is there any way to help make him feel safe again with me? How do I let him know that I want to be with him and I am working to understand him and feel ok giving him space if he is also reciprocating by trying to give me a little bit more time (even if it’s just texts). I think if I understand him I can be ok with all he needs.

    Finally, he has also started a completely new career in the last 6 months. What impact does change like that have on an introvert? The new career is something he says he really enjoys but it’s around a lot of people and involves a whole day of interacting as well as many major responsibilities.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  138. Mayra August 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. I feel normal knowing I’m not the only who acts like this. I just wish my boyfriend accepted the fact space is all I need. I disrespect him, and often curse at him, but he still doesn’t just let me be. Do you have any advice?

    • Brenda Knowles August 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      One thing I’m learning is to respect the extrovert’s way of being. My daughter is my best teacher. I see the pain in her eyes when I tell her I need time to myself. Extroverts need interaction as much as we need solitude. It’s almost as if we take away their light by leaving their side. They see our need for space as rejection of them. No one likes rejection. Help him see this is how you are wired, not a reflection of how you feel about him personally.
      With my daughter, I try to fill her up with meaningful connection time and then ease away to do my thing. I’ve also explained to her that I love our talks and time together but I need alone time like I need sleep. It’s a slow process but I think she is grasping introversion a little.
      I always recommend that extroverts read Susan Cain’s, Quiet:The Power of Introverts… in order to understand the introverts in their lives.
      Best of luck. All you can be is honest. Boundaries are key.

  139. Aman August 21, 2013 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Hi! I am in love with an introvert and I really appreciate your blog about I’s because it helps me to understanding them deeper. Thank you!

    I would like to know, do you have any recommendation on how to make them (I’s) happy? To make them smile in a simple way? How an extrovert like me help them in their time of solitude or make them relief when their down?

    • Brenda Knowles August 21, 2013 at 8:02 am - Reply

      One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me was, “Your mind excites me.” I would suggest outwardly showing that you appreciate and respect the introvert’s inner world. You could do this by listening deeply to them or simply stating what you adore about their thoughts and ideas. Making sure you are honest and genuine in your words, of course. Respecting your introvert’s need for space and then inquiring about what they uncovered in their alone time are two very real and lovely ways to make them glow.

      Also, remember their love of meaningful conversation over small talk.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope your introvert honors your desires as well.

  140. Kiki August 18, 2013 at 4:22 am - Reply

    I hate that there’s never any advice on how to help extrovert partners. I am an extrovert and I lose my mind if I have to spend time by myself. What am I supposed to do while I am giving my partner space? I have just moved to a new city, so don’t have many local friends yet and I can’t afford to go out to clubs or classes. I am very respectful of my partner’s need to be alone, but I find it incredibly hurtful that he won’t respect my need for company and intimacy. I am fed up with bending over backwards and receiving nothing in return; can’t you introverts make some occasional sacrifices to meet our extrovert needs, as we do for you?

    • Brenda Knowles August 18, 2013 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Funny you should say this… I was just working on an outline for an introvert couples workshop. I see this question all the time in different variations. It seems there should be a sweet spot that satisfies each partner’s need for space and/or intimacy. I believe we all (Es and Is) need both, just in varying degrees. I agree there needs to be intimacy in order for there to be a relationship but the introvert needs space in order to BE, period. I also know introverts want deep connection. Quality time ranks higher than quantity with an introvert. I feel there should be give and take on both sides. Could you be satisfied with less time with your partner if the time you get together is very high quality when you get it? Could you find things to do together that are very meaningful? Could he give you his attention for everyday things in exchange for solitude later? What would you ideally like your partner to do/give/say? I am curious about how to help introvert/extrovert relationships work. I welcome your ideas, perceptions and stories.

      Thank you for sharing your extrovert perspective. I know the world needs both Es and Is. I am keenly interested in learning how to honor both temperaments.

  141. Marc August 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I’m in love with an introvert, and I have no other words but to describe her as a wonderful person. However, her introversion can put a serious strain on this relationship and I do find myself asking many times if all the efforts i’m putting in are worth the return. Sometimes we go weeks without a touch, not even a holding of hands for a few seconds, and I wonder if I am strong enough to keep giving without receiving my share. I am at a point where I feel like giving up and just letting it go, but every time we get a bit distant from each other both of us seem to long to reconnect again and we get right back together. I admit I am a bit lost in this…

    You blog helped me understand how introverts think and feel and what they need to be able to survive in this hectic world. I am very supportive of her and I want this to work out, but I need to find a way to make her understand that I need more than the little interaction we have. I can not keep living “on the hugs that I give her” for too much longer. My question therefore is: How do I enter her space without disturbing it, I know she has deep feelings for me and she knows that I love her, I don’t think that this is the issue here… What is it that makes an introvert realize that she is about to destroy something we both cherish…?

    • Brenda Knowles August 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your thoughtful and candid comment. I have a few questions before I respond. Is their deep emotional intimacy? Is it only physical intimacy that is lacking in your opinion? How long have you been together? Are you an extrovert?

      • Marc August 19, 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

        Thank you for your reply, and I’m late answering so I apologize for this. Anyways, I’m neither an introvert or extrovert. I do, like any introvert, need my time on my own and my personal space to be able to “live” as who I am. As to the relationship, the emotional intimacy does exist but I can not say that it is very deep, or at least I must admit that I have experienced more in my previous relatiosnhips. What we have however is definitely worth building on. We do not see each other very much and our interactions are limited to brief meetings during the day (we work in the same area) and every two weeks for an evening/night. This does not allow for much progress. As for the physical intimacy, there is definitely an attraction between both of us and we do get along very well. But physical intimacy can not progress without emotional intimacy and I am a very emotionally connected person, which in turn affects the physical interactions we have and leads to frustration. I have tried to explain to her more than once that seeing each other once very two weeks is very limitng and that even with us seeing each other more often her need for space would not be affected, as I have the same requirements…

        We have been together for quite a while, on and off because she thinks I am “too much work” and we keep drifting apart just be get back together shortly after. I have reflected more than once on this situation and considered to walk away from it, but the potential of this relationship seems to be more than I have ever experienced and I would be a fool to let this go without trying and giving it the extra effort. I am however getting close to what I can handle and need to find a way to touch her heart and mind so she realizes that there is no threat in this but a very possible bright future…

        Any thoughts and hints you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

        • Brenda Knowles August 20, 2013 at 7:41 am - Reply

          My gut feeling is that she doesn’t want to make a commitment. I wouldn’t take that personally. Is she very passionate about her work or other areas of her life? Based on my own experience and the input I receive from my readers, most introverts are looking for meaningful ways to use and create energy. The fact that she hasn’t given you much time to develop emotional or physical intimacy tells me that she wants to put her energy elsewhere or that she is not getting enough energy from your relationship. It seems you have been very accommodating and you have similar needs for space, but she is still resistant to true intimacy. I know a couple, double introvert, where the woman has decided that she would rather be with the man than without him, so she accepts his longish absences. I don’t know for certain, but I believe their emotional intimacy is high and bonding.

          Check out my post – My Introverted Love Creed:If We Can’t Be Magnificent and Independent Together I’m OK Alone. Your partner may want to be together but also magnificent and independent. Do you think she feels good about herself when she is with you?

          Would a long term committed relationship with this woman truly be fulfilling to you? Is there enough love and light there? How do you feel when you are with her? When you are without her? Do you feel at home or on edge?

          I hope I didn’t sound too cold. Only you know your relationship so take my words with a grain of salt.

          I hope you find some guidance in my response. One other important point – if she is an introvert, her need for space is not going to change. It is her nature. Space is where she recharges.

          Best of luck.

  142. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You (space2live) […]

  143. maria August 15, 2013 at 7:28 am - Reply

    “It doesn’t matter if you make us laugh until we wet our pants or we find you so attractive we agree to make babies with you (or at least practice). We will need a break from you.”
    Thank you for this wonderful post

  144. […] recently read a post on being introverted and all I can say is wow. Holy cow. Bingo. Hit the nail on the head. This is me. And unfortunately […]

    • brennagee July 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      I love your idea for introvert t-shirts! I’ll buy one.:) I completely understand your introvert motherhood feelings. I’m right there with you. Create healthy boundaries as soon as you can. That’s what everyone tells me.

  145. Dalia Mathew July 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you for posting this. I am an introvert and my some family and friends don’t seem to understand the way my body functions. I posted this on my facebook wall so hopefully they will understand.

    • brennagee July 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm - Reply

      I hope it helps generate more awareness among your family and friends. I hope they see your introverted gifts.:)

  146. JustLearning July 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this blog. I have been doing a lot of exploration into why I am the way that I am and this blog has helped to provide some context in a clear and concise way.

    Can I make some suggestions as for future blog posts? I would love to hear your ideas on good places/cities for introverts vs. one’s that are not as good.

    Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on how it is that sometimes even when we are OK with being around others, it seems like some people draw down our energy more so than others. For me, it works like this: I have some friends who I know that I can only spend so much time around because they are constantly expecting me to interact with them either verbally or non-verbally and then I have friends who are content with respecting me decision to not interact with them even if we are physically in the same room. For me, when the former occurs I find myself then wanting to have some alone time when I did not necessarily want that in the beginning. It’s hard to explain but sometimes it is like the mere presence of some people are more draining, even if they aren’t saying anything. Have you heard anything along these lines from anyone else?

    • brennagee July 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      I found two excellent resources/forums for place to live happily as an introvert. Here are the links: and Seattle and New York seem popular. I know there is anonymity in a big city. I used to live in Chicago. I loved exploring and enjoying the amazing food and museums. Walks along the lake, nourishing. It was always so wonderful to get home from work (2 trains and a bus), shut the door on the outside world and breathe in the quiet of my little cocoon of an apartment. One thing I’ll caution you on about living in a big city. Everything is competitive. You have to fight for parking, a machine at the gym, a spot in the always full yoga class, a spot for your child in school, etc.

      I live near Minneapolis. I figured out I was an introvert while living here and meeting other introverts. I’d say introverts thrive here.

      I believe the reason some people drain you with their mere presence is because they need your attention. Even if they are not talking with you, just knowing they are in the vicinity and have the POTENTIAL to disrupt your thinking is draining. Some individuals have a calming intuitive presence. They read you and understand your needs. Their voices are softer and their actions are less frenetic and more fluid. Others are the opposite. My former mother-in-law psychologically needed to be busy. She couldn’t sit with her thoughts for very long. I always knew when she visited that I would be on high alert. She is an amazing lady with the ability to get things done and I admire her greatly but it was hard to keep my energy up when she was visiting.

      Thanks for the blog post suggestions. I am intrigued by both of them. I’ll look into exploring them further. I always welcome writing ideas.:)

  147. Yeah, it’s awesome being an introvert and needing my extrovert spouse to bend over backwards for me. It’s so great that she understands my difficulty communicating even as she has bent-over backwards for me for the last 13 years, hoping that I will meet her half-way. It’s so great to come across these one-sided websites where I feel understood, acknowledged and catered to. Too bad my wife has no similar sources of validation.

    • brennagee July 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      I sense some sarcasm here.;)

      • Just a bit. 🙂

        Seriously, though. At what point is it OK for extroverts to stand up and say “Alright, now it’s MY turn. I have needs too, and they haven’t getting met.” I am a very loving, understanding and nurturing person, but I also have needs and I feel like I should be able to get them met.

        For instance, when I communicate with my husband in the same way he communicates with me (nothing extra or unnecessary, non-emotive, non-expressive) he asks me what’s wrong and assumes I am angry with him. How can I make him understand that’s what life is like for me every day? I’m pretty sure he loves me. He smiles at me when he comes home and he tells me he loves me. But that’s seriously the extent of the romance.

        We’ve been in 2 rounds of marriage counseling about it. I don’t even bring it up any more because it makes him feel bad and makes me disappointed because I am pretty sure nothing will change. It just makes him feel guilty and me feel unloved because he freezes up any time we talk about it. He gets “emotionally flooded” during these serious conversations, so I back off to give him time and space and then…nothing…ever…happens…to change the situation.

        Why is the advice always for how the (relative) extrovert in the relationship can cater to the needs of the (relative) introvert? It’s the same with “how to save your marriage” sites. They always assume the reader is female, and the advice is always about what a woman can do to save the relationship.

        I’m just a little bit sick of it.

        • brennagee July 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm - Reply

          Thank you so much for candidly sharing your experience from the extrovert’s perspective. I want to have time to mull over my response but know I haven’t forgotten your comment. I do hear what you are saying.

        • brennagee July 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

          I’m going to reply to you as someone who went through marital strife and a disconnect with communication styles/temperaments. The only time I thought there was a glimmer of light and hope to make our marriage work to both of our satisfaction was when we took off for a weekend by ourselves with no plan whatsoever. We only went 20 miles away but it was like being in a foreign land. We were forced out of our routines and roles. The introvert/extrovert lines blurred and we just became man/woman. We ended up meeting a woman who does annual group tours to Peru. We both got excited about taking a trip to Peru together. I wrote about this experience in my post 2 Ingredients 2 Kickstart Love. Space and excitement make you see each other in a different light.
          You definitely deserve to have your feelings heard and respected. As does he. I’ll be honest and say as an introvert it often feels like extroverts get a lot of attention just because they are more gregarious and apt to be comfortable in the limelight. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be listened to and appreciated. Both temperaments are valuable.

          Much luck and peace to you. May you break the routines you have fallen into and see each other with new eyes. It will take both of you communicating and taking action. I hope your husband opens up.

          Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

          • First, let me thank you, sincerely, for taking my point of view seriously. I very much appreciate your thoughtful responses and the time you took composing them.

            To give you a better picture of the situation~

            In the time that I have been with my husband, I have quieted so much as to be a different person. I have gone from someone who throws dinner parties every weekend to someone who throws parties once or twice a year. I always give my husband plenty of advance notice and tell him he doesn’t have to be here when they happen. Every time, though, he not only stays but he is a very charming and helpful host.

            In fact, he has even mentioned to me that he sometimes wishes I would “drag him along” on social outings more often just so he can force himself to be more social. But why would I want to do that? To make him more uncomfortable and so that I can feel guilty for doing this to him while simultaneously having bad time because he’s having a bad time and I want my husband to be happy?

            The whole situation is really very sad, because I love my husband very deeply, and I think he loves me deeply, too. Three weeks after I met him I knew he was the one to make my heart sing, and he still is. He’s brilliant and funny and fascinating and kind and a GREAT father. When it comes to the “big” things, he’s quietly but steadfastly supportive. When I first mentioned to him that I was considering going to graduate school he didn’t hesitate to support my decision. He has always said that he doesn’t care what I do (work, school, stay home with our son, whatever), as long as it makes me happy…and he has never, ever once given me any reason to think that’s not true.

            How great is that? He’s genuinely awesome, and I am not leaving him. And I am pretty sure that he is not leaving me. He says he’s not, and that he doesn’t want to, and that he doesn’t want to be with anyone else. He just can’t/won’t communicate that to me in a way that I can process and internalize.

            When I am verbally and physically expressive with him, he gets obvious satisfaction out of it. He likes being loved and complimented and supported and validated and affirmed and nurtured. But he never returns that.

            For instance, when I graduated with my master’s degree from one of the best programs in the country he said, with a slight smile, “Congratulations. I’m proud of you.” I would expect that from an old friend I ran into on the street, not from my life’s partner. From day to day I can’t tell if he wants to be with me or not, except that he keeps coming home. I give him plenty of space. I don’t bother him when he’s busy. I make sure he has time alone every day. I try to make his life as comfortable as possible….and I give him regular, genuine reassurance that my feelings of love and admiration for him have not changed. But I never get anything in return. It’s like it just doesn’t occur to him, and I think that might be the case most of the time.

            As of today, my husband has been out of the country for seven days. If someone were to read our email exchanges, (after the first day, when I gave up trying this time) they would not be able ascertain the nature of our relationship because there is no emoting from him and I am responding to him “in kind.” Not out of malice, but because I was too tired to keep working at it when he obviously had nothing to say to me.

            We went into counseling because I was worried that this was taking a toll on our marriage–because we basically stopped communicating when I stopped doing all the work–that it was, in fact, dying. He said in counseling that he was “shocked” to hear me say that. He even recognizes that when it’s happening and he doesn’t seem to be able to overcome the issue. Not to be overly dramatic, but the whole thing seems tragic to me.

            Or, I could just be lying to myself, and my husband doesn’t really love me as he says he does and is only keeping me around until our son is in college. Sometimes I feel unfair for having those suspicious thoughts, but the truth is that things like that DO happen. How much should I trust someone who doesn’t seem to willing to put any real effort into reassuring me other than to come home every day and tell me he loves me from time to time (after I say it first, of course)?

            Frankly, I am at a loss. I have been described as a “fountain of love and encouragement.” If that’s the case, then my husband is kind of the opposite….except with our son. He’s great with our son and I am very, very glad about that.

            SO, to wrap it up, my emotional pain stems from the fact I feel like my husband doesn’t think I’m worth whatever little effort would be involved in going out of his way to demonstrate his love for me. Seriously. He forgot to buy me a Christmas present last year. The decorating, the cooking, the celebrations at work, me bringing home all the gifts I got from my students and co-workers and “Secret Santa”…the links I sent him to what “we” were giving our boy for Christmas…and he totally…freaking…forgot to buy me a Christmas present…not even a card. Not even one he drew on Christmas morning, as he does on Valentine’s day and Mother’s day. In his defense, he has been working very long hours, and my 11 year old son *also* forgot Mommy this year. But still, I think you can see how that might sting a little bit. How much slack does “the absent-minded professor type” get, anyway?

          • brennagee July 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm

            You seem to be caring for your introvert properly.;) Giving him alone time and toning down the amount of socializing that goes on in your house. It does make me sad that you have become a different person in order to accommodate his nature. I know what it’s like to lose yourself in the process of keeping a happy home.

            I would “drag him” to some of your social functions. You said he is a charming and helpful host at your dinner parties. I would recommend a social event that has some kind of meaningful conversation (or activity) potential. Introverts don’t do well with a lot of small talk. Boisterous drunkards, flashing lights and lots of stimulation probably not good either. Engaging is good.

            Regarding the lack of gift or card giving, I’m going to say that is not right and downright hurtful. But, speaking only for myself (consummate introvert), I am not good at gift giving. I always want the present to be perfect and touching and well liked. It almost paralyzes me. Perhaps your husband feel like that. I agree a handmade card is not too much to ask. He should have went shopping with your son. Father/son time bonus.

            It sounds like he is loving to your son. Does he have a lot of other people in his daily orbit? Constant interactions could make him want complete solitude in order to stop chafing from all the buzz and noise of others.

            I don’t want to make excuses for him. Only he knows what is going on in his head. There does come a time when you will have to decide how much you are willing to put up with. Don’t settle.

            Is there a possibility that your husband feels inferior to you and needs to be away from you in order to shine in his own way? Your comment about the low key response to your graduation made me think of that. I’m just using my own experience here. I am not a licensed therapist.

            Hope this gives you insight. I’m cheering for you both!

          • heather July 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

            Thank you, again, for respecting my request for anonymity. Thank you also for another great response. You are awesome. You should consider doing this for a living. Not in person, but online. I believe you have a gift. 🙂

            I think you hit the nail on the head with the “wanting the gift to be perfect” thing. He has told me in the past that this is one of the reasons he gets “emotionally flooded” and freezes up when we have serious talks about communication–basically, he runs through every scenario in his head wanting his response to be perfect. What happens in real-time is that I ask him sometime important, or ask him FOR something important (like positive feedback) and he just sits there and says nothing.

            In this way, he has trained me to stop asking for what I need. Mostly, because if I am feeling bad enough about a situation (e.g. super bad day at work, he’s been seeming really distant, I feel I failed at something important, etc) that I feel compelled to *ask* for him to say something nice about me, to me, and then he is able to produce nothing in response at all…I can’t help but think it’s because he can’t think of anything nice to say about me. He says that’s not the case. He says he just freezes because he doesn’t want to make a mistake or imply something he doesn’t intend.

            Over the years, one solution I have suggested that he avoid that pressure by keeping a list of nice things that occur to him when we are NOT in those intense, emotional situations. Then, he just just whip out his ongoing list in times of need. He agrees this is a good idea. He has never followed through. Not that I ever asked that frequently for this kind of verbal support. Maybe 10-12 times in the 14+ years we’ve been together. As I said, I have stopped asking…I do not think he would be proud of this if I brought it to his attention.

            On gift giving~
            My husband buys things from the hardware store for his male relatives for Christmas. Sometimes as a joke, for instance if their car battery died during the year he would get them one of those jumper-cable restart boxes you carry in the trunk. For the past 14 years (since before we were married) I have been doing almost all the gift shopping since he will literally put it off until the day before. I think he doesn’t know what to get, so he puts it off…and off…and off…and then he’s stuck getting a drill bit set and rechargeable batteries. Practical, but not exactly heartwarming.

            In the early years I had several serious conversations with him about gift giving and how you aren’t getting the gift for YOU, you are getting the gift for THEM, so it doesn’t matter if it’s something that you like or not. If your Aunt loves ugly sweaters from JCPenney, you get her the ugly sweater. You don’t refuse to buy something that would be perfect for her and make her happy just because you think ugly sweaters are one of the four major evils and you don’t want to “support her habit.” I think he “gets” it, but he’s still too stubborn to buy into anything that feels gimmicky or inauthentic to him. (Points for him, right? And…also sometimes makes me pull my hair out because of frustrations related to impracticality.)

            On social situations~
            Clubbing? I haven’t been clubbing in years, and I used to be a bartender!
            I think I tried to take my husband out 2 times when we first started dating. It was a disaster because he had such a bad time. He really tried to suck it up for my sake, but I was looking forward to him enjoying the experience with me..not just suffering through it with a stiff upper lip. He enjoyed seeing the interesting costumes (I’m goth) and meeting my friends (lovely people) and watching me dance, but he had such a bad headache we had to leave after an hour or so. That pretty much made it not worth the 2 hours I spent getting ready. 🙂

            Also, I mentioned before that my husband has been working long hours. He works very long hours, in a crowded area. With some really loud, seriously obnoxious and immature doofs. He takes noise-cancelling headphones in with him to work, and I think that helps some but he is also really good at what he does. (Brilliant, in my opinion.) So he gets bothered a lot with questions and requests for help. On the bright side (and there are major bright sides to our marriage) I think being married has helped his communication skills immensely at work. He is much more able to own his successes and even be *gasp* a tiny bit self-promoting in interviews with superiors.

            I will take your advice, though. Now that I am off for the summer I should have more energy to try to reach out to new places socially, and find more focused outings. I think that was a sterling nugget of advice, by the way. You really are very good at this.

            With regards to feelings of inferiority, I think there’s a little of that on both sides. 🙁

            Anyway, thank you again for having such a great ear and being so genuine and thoughtful and respectful and responsive. The situation I am in is complicated, as life and love generally are, and getting some well-considered, compassionate insight from an experienced introvert has been soothing, uplifting and helpful.
            Thank You.

          • Also, if you would like to keep this thread on your page, please remove my identifying information. I know it’s a public thread, and I think it could be helpful, but the more I open us the more I worry about my husband stumbling across it and being inadvertently hurt. He is very private, and I am usually much more circumspect. At the moment, I don’t even think he knows I have word-press account, but should he do a random Google search (or should one of his colleagues)…

    • scratchy1978 July 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      I feel your situation completely. I am having a serious problem with my dream woman. I fell in love with her in 2005, but couldn’t make it work logistically until 2013. She makes my world light up. I want to have a family with her, and she does with me too. Problem: I found out about my grandma getting close to death on June 7. Ever since then I have been emotionally unstable. Not angry or mean, but needy and sensitive. She died on June 28. I have been even more needy and sensitive since then. My girl has supported me, but only in a limited capacity, she help me when I cried, made banana bread, and picked me up from the airport. She also sent extra text messages to let me know she cared and such. But when it came to the big things, like venting about my father not being willing to give me a ride to California, or my inability to be stable and lightheartedly happy like I usually am, she crumbled. When I vented, she told me to go vent elsewhere, when I let little things bother me, she responded by becoming cold. When I agreed to give her space recently, I said a week was too much, and agreed to 4 days.

      I knew something was wrong. I knew she was considering breaking up. So I just asked her, and she said she didn’t think that talking about her thoughts would help, that she didn’t want to make any big decisions today. Pretty clear she was considering a breakup. I backed off. I cried all night and then slept. I woke up and thought that I need to draw a boundary with her. I texted her and said I still wanted to give her space, but that I deserved to know if we were breaking up. She said she didn’t want t breakup but still needed space. I said ok, but asked her to consider that me waiting to hear if she is going to breakup with me every time we have a problem is not a workable option. That I would work with her on giving her space in the future, but that it might need to look differently. Seriously, if we married and lived together, I don’t want to have to leave my home every time she needs space. That just isn’t reasonable. She might have to go out of the home herself.

      I bend over backwards to accommodate her. I will list all the ways, they are far too many for this post. She sent me an email later saying that I made her anxious with my texts, which is understandable, and that she was making up that I was trying to control and manipulate her by not giving her space. Well, that was the last straw for me. While I understand that I should not have contacted her. I was only trying to stand up for myself and take care of my needs as well. After all, a relationship is a give and take, not a give and give…

      So, here I am, feeling like I am losing my dream woman. I packed her stuff (we don’t live together), and I am probably going to breakup with her the next time I see her. I don’t want to though. But I cannot envision a life wherein my girl cannot give me more while I am grieving. I don’t want to live through so much pain. I can give a lot, even more than 50%, probably 80%. But my bottom line is this: What if I lose my job, lose a loved one to death, have an incredibly hard time over an extended period and need support. Is my partner going to give me the bare minimum support and then make it all about her again? That doesn’t seem like living to me. Can an introvert compromise to give more during extended difficult times, and if so, how can I ask for that, and how can I behave during those times that will enable her to give more her fare share over a longer period of time, say, a month to a year…

      Seriously, I need help. I don’t want to leave her, but I don’t want to be hurt this badly either.

      • heather July 14, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

        If I were you, I would do some internet research on grief, and then send her links or quotes from the information that resonates with your situation in relation to your grandmother’s death. It sounds like you were close to her, and that you feel your father let you down when you needed him. Perhaps it’s not the first time this has happened with him?

        The death of a loved one is a serious, long term pain. Perhaps if you could explain to her that it’s not something that you get over in a month, and that there are a lot of complicated emotions involved and that what you are experiencing is a normal (if painful) part of life, and that it will pass eventually. Grief also comes and goes. One day you may wake up feeling fine, and then something happens at lunch that makes you tearful. This is normal.

        Explain that just knowing that she is there for you, even if she is not physically there for at all times, is comforting, and that the fear of losing her so soon after losing your grandmother is very difficult for you.

        Maybe you could ask her what she would be comfortable with as far as scheduling time together. It might be very draining for her to be around you constantly. She might feel like she doesn’t know how to help. She might be stressed out that she needs to be baking bread every day and always saying comforting things and always hearing your pain and not knowing what to do with it so she internalizes it. That can be a lot to take.

        She might feel better about it if she knew that she only needed to provide that level of support every other day or something. That would give her time to process and let go of the stress and still give you the reassurance that, if you can’t talk to her about today, you can cry and grieve on your own and then you can talk to her about it tomorrow. Because you know she will be there for you.

        The goal here is that you both get your needs met, and that you stay together, right? The first thing I would do is remind her of all the reason why you love her, and tell her that you know she is a good person and good partner and that you want to meet her needs without ignoring your own. So I to would propose work out a very short term “relationship contract”–say a week–that you are both pretty happy with.

        It sounds like you both want to stay together. Make that the first part of the contract so that you both feel secure in your partner’s dedication to the relationship. It sounds like you also both want to be happy in the long run. So make adjusting the contract PART OF the contract, so that you can both come back and discuss what is/isn’t working. Then you move on to your need for support vs. her need for space.

        Find a way to work it out so that you each get some of what you need. Emphasize that this is just a short term agreement so that you both know what expectations are and you don’t want a marriage made of contracts. This just seems like a good way to lay out a communication about it and come to terms that will keep you together through this rough time in your relationship. An old woman once told me that “it’s the bad times that make a marriage…anybody can stay together through the good times…”

        I hope it works out for you, whatever advice you follow.

        • brennagee July 14, 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

          You are very good at this too! Well said. I’m taking notes on some of your suggestions.;) Thank you.

    • David Cervantes July 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      This post might have been from my wife. She is very social, likes parties and makes friends easily. She keeps in touch with people from decades ago, and knows what their kids are doing, and their friends, and their friends’ kids, and so on. I have one high-school friend on Facebook and that’s it. I couldn’t tell you what work my cousins do.

      I love my wife’s family. They are very warm and loving. If you come as a guest to a family gathering, you’re considered part of the family. I look forward to family parties, though I don’t like parties. I have a hard time with the loudness, drinking, and talk about things that don’t interest me. Once we’ve eaten, I find I’m just standing around by myself wishing we’d go home.

      My wife does have an uncle (by marriage) who is very introverted. Once he gets to the party, he hides out in a room by himself and watches TV. I consider that just plain rude, though I understand why he does it. I think good manners trump social sensitivity.

      I’m afraid sometimes that my wife is withdrawing from the world. She doesn’t go out as much as she used to, I want her to be happy, not withdrawn.

      Another point I wanted to address was the feeling I’ve gotten from these introvert sites that introverts are better than other people. I know I am no better than anyone else. I’ve spent most of my life wishing I could go into a crowded room and chat people up, get their phone numbers, see them outside the party. I realize I’ll never be that person but I think I can see myself from extroverts’ point of view and understand why they might consider me hostile, rude, or cold.

      • brennagee July 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm - Reply

        Your description of yourself and your wife’s uncle remind me of half the men on my side at family gatherings. The women flit about preparing food, talking and shooing children while the guys wait for the meal, eat and then retreat to a corner to doze or stand around having inconsequential chats between them. I’m sure some of them are ready to leave right after the meal is over.

        It’s good that you are aware of your wife’s withdrawal from the world she used to inhabit. Is she withdrawn or have her preferences changed? As we get older, we get more sensitive. Noise and hubbub tend to get old faster. Nevertheless, I hope she is not going against her nature, that tends to spawn resentment and dissatisfaction.

        The intention of space2live is to honor and celebrate the sensitive and introverted individual. My personal belief is that we are all somewhere on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. Most of us have a dominant personality type but even so there still exists a portion of the non-dominant type in us. Introverts are different not better than extroverted types and vice versa. Extroverts are encouraged and celebrated every day in our culture, in my opinion, more than introverts. I want to provide a space that evens the playing field a little. We need each other to make this world sing.:)

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope your awareness gives you the confidence and understanding to communicate freely with your wife.

    • Confused Extrovert..I Need To Think Out Loud July 31, 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

      I love your post, they make ME feel so validated, your name says exactly how I feel right now. I am an extrovert, and a sensitive and emotional cancer to top it off. My boyfriend is a very stubborn introvert taurus. I suppose I didn’t really know this about him until I had already fallen for him. He use to buy me extremely thoughtful gifts not often but when he did they were perfect, hug me and kiss me a lot, he never was able to express feelings verbally at some point he ended the relationship abrubtly and said he felt “extremely drained” and that it was “all too much”. I didn’t understand what went wrong then but either way I quietly stayed around as friends not expecting much from him since we were not actually together. Then he told he had been thinking for a long time and realy wanted us to put an effort in and work on things together. So here we are back together, he was spending a lot of time with me but never complimenting me, touching was very minimal, and absolutely no communication about us when I started any conversation he became extremely quiet almost like he was ignoring me. After a few days of being spending a lot of time together he seems so distant and abbsolutely no affection. I impulsively brought it up before we going to sleep, I expressed my feelings, he did not respond in a way which I thought showed I or my feelings were important, this made me more upset. I cried, he did nothing, this made me more upset. I accused him of being cold hearted and pretty much went on an emotional rant. Then took a step back now to realize what happen and realize I behaved irrationally and impulsively although my feelings were real and I would like them to be acknowledged in some way. Now, he is convinced that i will never be happy with him because he can not give me the type of physical and emotional attention I need. I am so confused because I really love everything about him and feel that I understand him and his need for solitude much more than I previously did, I understand that he isn’t witholding feeligs to hurt me. I sit and think about how great he is in every other way and start to realize how much time he spend with me and things he did that were out of his comfort zone. I feel like a selfish jerk. I have apologized to him told him some of what I feel but at his point he has responded that he feels completely mentally drained from all of the relationship talk. So now I am here with all of my thoughts and feelings alone. I don’t know how I should even persue him if talking about things is draining to him, I am trying to give him his space. I don’t know if I should walk away because I am doomed to a life of feeling alone and trying to bend over backwards as to not “drain” him. I feel he is so worth my hardest efforts and I actually believe that alot of people would not be able and willing to understand him and sacrafice some of their own needs. This makes me feel more like I am the person for him. I just feel so confused to if I leave him be, will we all be much happier if he finds another introvert that doesn’t drain him or ask him for the things that I need. Finding this blog and reading everyones comments has made me feel like I understand even more and that he does care and I was completly off base with my emotional rant and accusations, I feel like I am at such a loss as to what to do. I also find it funny that everything on the internet I can find is from extroverts trying to figure out what to do and change for their introvert and not so much the other way around.

      • brennagee July 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

        Your comment is very illuminating for me – the introvert. I can see where you would be frustrated and hurt. I also understand your boyfriend’s reaction to all of your attention and “relationship talk.” I have been over the moon for someone but STILL drained after a weekend together. I needed to talk less with him, touch him less, listen less. I needed quiet togetherness and/or alone time. It comes down to your willingness to accept this need for low stimulation/interaction. The one thing I can offer in consolation is that after a period of alone time introverts often come back more thoughtful and loving than ever. We are full and have love or attention to give. We also may have ideas and creativity to share.

        Thank you for sharing your story. I will add that your boyfriend’s nature will not change. He may be able to push himself into extroverted territory for a while but eventually he will return to what his temperament requires.

      • girl28 September 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

        Im on the same boat and not sure what to do?

  148. Introverts | chaos is beautiful July 10, 2013 at 7:11 am - Reply

    […] A few days ago, I read this lovely article on introverts and their ‘woes’. Needless to say, I related to it: Introverts Explained: Why we love you but need to get away from you. […]

    • brennagee July 10, 2013 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Validation is wonderful, isn’t it? 🙂 Thank you for sharing my post with your readers. I loved your responses and the flow of your writing.

  149. Ali July 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for posting this. I am very much an extrovert, and my long-term boyfriend is definitely an introvert. Just as you wrote, I often feel lonely and rejected when he needs “me time.” Although I appreciate having time to myself, I don’t need it the same way he does. Even though he has explained to me hundreds of times that it’s nothing I have said or done, he just needs to be alone, I have trouble understanding it. I do my best to respect it, but I still cannot truly grasp the concept because it is so foreign to who I innately am. Hearing it from someone else has been very helpful.

    • brennagee July 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      It sounds like you two are open and honest about your needs and differences. Kudos! Awareness is key and so is respect for each of your temperaments. Yes, do not take his desire for alone time personally. He just needs to recharge the introverted way.;)

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Always good to hear from the extrovert perspective.

  150. […] I am told our desire to get away from everyone every now and again and again is perplexing and sometimes painful to extroverts. They don't understand how we could enjoy being alone, period. Even mo…  […]

  151. brennagee June 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I am posting (with his permission) a heartfelt letter I received from a reader regarding his regret for not understanding his introverted partner’s need for solitude. He sincerely hopes that others will learn from his story. Thanks for sharing so candidly Brad.

    Dear space2live,
    My name is Brad Patterson, I do not know if this will be worth mentioning on your site or not, however, I have destroyed one of the most meaningful relationships I have ever been in due to not paying attention to someone when they told me they were an introvert. I’m in tears as I write this letter to you. I am ashamed that I did not take what they told me as anything other than an excuse for them to spend time away from me. It wasn’t until I looked on your site after she had posted on a comment on Facebook that yes she was an introvert as well. This got my attention and I started doing a little research. I was flowing tears like a river as I read some of the posts on this site about relationships and introverts. I was ashamed at the way I had treated her and the things I thought, that she just wanted to get away from me and spend time with someone else, this was the furthermost thing from her agenda. I learned that she needed time to recharge and renew her energy. I felt so bad I didn’t know what to do. I feel like she used to get energy from me and being around me because it was easy at first. But the more she wanted to get away from me the less I understood why. I could never apologize enough to her now. She has blocked me on her phone and everywhere and I am so sorry for what I said to her. I wish she could forgive me and we could start over. But I feel I have done so much damage that it cannot be repaired. I love her with all my heart I just wish I could tell her. I pray that she find it in her heart to forgive me and start speaking to me again. My advice to anyone is this: if someone ever tells you they’re an introvert you had better listen to them and you better research the situation. Learn everything you can about an introvert if you’re going to love one, because it may be the difference in them loving you.

    Thank you,
    Brad Patterson

    PS if you would like to post this on your site feel free I want everyone to know the mistake I made and not to make it themselves.

  152. Kathryn June 30, 2013 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Thank you for writing this. I have always been an introvert, and while others misunderstand my need for solitude, I have found a select few who understand that is something that I “need”. I now understand what my friend said when I was little when she said that I was able to feel empathy, where others were not. I didn’t understand until I got older, and now as a college student I find that it comes in handy. As an introvert I have found that being hyper-sensitive to others feelings is both a burden and a gift. I have found new friends based on this all by asking them how they were feeling. But, I do sometimes need the social interaction of a large group, if only for the use of an “off” switch for my brain. I have been able to describe my brain activity to others in this way, my brain is like a car with six cylinders, imagine running on all six cylinders at all times, everyday without end going a hundred miles an hour in a hundred different directions. I love your perspective on the introvert and feel that I can relate to it completely. I thank you because I was able to share this with my friends and feel that it will help resolve some hurt feelings.

    • brennagee June 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Those select few friends who understand your need for solitude are priceless aren’t they? I was in my late 30s before I understood my need for solitude AND found friends who honored it.
      I found it interesting that you mentioned empathy. I,too, sense others feelings strongly. It can be exhausting and enlightening. My daughter, who has a lot of extrovert tendencies, is one of the most empathic individuals I know. She is highly sensitive but talks as she thinks. I wonder if there have been any studies linking empathy to introversion.
      Does your mind ever rest? If so, where or with whom? My mind rests with certain people but often it takes solitude to give me that slowed down, brain clarity.
      Thank you so much for your response. Fascinating insight.:)

  153. Olivia June 27, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    There are so many insightful comments on here. It’s so refeshing to know that I’m not alone and that there are so many others who are just like me out there; thank you so much for this wonderful post. It’s unfortunate that society frowns upon introverts as if there is something wrong with us, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. We just manage social interactions and our day-to-day lifestyles differently, and it doesn’t make us anti-social hermits for needing time to ourselves.

    I had a friend during college who was a wonderful person, but as another commenter mentioned, he was one of those types who could be classified as a Grade A Drainer. He was such an extrovert and so high-maintenance that I couldn’t handle him in large “doses” or for long periods of time without recharging first. I’m the type who has managed having roommates out of necessity, but I always function much more efficiently when I have my own space.

    When you have already worked and interacted all day, you typically just want to come home to some peace and quiet, and it’s exhausting to live up to expectations that you need to socialize even further in crowded housing situations. As a child, I was always equally content to play alone as with friends, and I’m sure that’s something that many introverts can claim. We don’t love others any less intensely and we don’t enjoy life any less thoroughly just because we sometimes need time to withdraw. We shouldn’t have to be the “odd ones out” just for being ourselves. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express myself among like-minded individuals; this is so refreshing! 🙂

  154. N June 22, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Perhaps Introverts require a bit more insight into something they ignored:

    • brennagee June 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your alternate viewpoint. I don’t agree with you but your experiences have given you a different perspective and I respect that. I believe it is stimulation that drains me and requires me to seek solitude. I am selective about my companions and I do love people. I have many friends but recharge in quiet.

      • Nicholas Carroll June 24, 2013 at 1:43 am - Reply

        I read that “alternate theory” and find that its not helpful. To say that humans were all meant to be extroverts is like saying that everyone is supposed to be left handed. Its just not so. Introverts aren’t introverts because they were hurt by extroverts in their past. Its simply an inner need for solitude. I’ve always been this way since childhood. I could spend days alone. I love my friends and have always been more one on one in my hanging out with friends. I really feel drained in group activity and I definitely need my space. I get antsy around people who are constantly going from one activity to another. That’s just too chaotic for my needs.

        Instead of doing armchair psychological evaluations of introverts that aren’t true, why not just accept the fact that personalities are diverse and that there is a need for introverts. In relationships, particularly romantic ones, I’ve seen plenty of introvert-introvert pairings and extrovert-introvert pairings, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an extrovert-extrovert couple. Extroverts need introverts more than introverts need extroverts. My best friend, though, is an extrovert and I admire his personality and easy social manner, but the inability for him to be alone, and of requiring constant attention and stimuli is just too exhausting to me.

        • brennagee June 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

          I couldn’t agree with you more. The ‘alternate introversion’ theory did not sit well with me either. There have definitely been relationships that affected my decision-making but they did not make me an introvert. That is an innate quality that has been been influenced but not created by external sources. I have felt in the past like I was wrong to be so introspective based on cultural mores but I now know there is nothing wrong with having an introverted temperament. There are beautiful gifts found in every temperament.

          I’m trying to think of any extrovert/extrovert couples that I know. I may know a few but I do know more introvert/extrovert couples.

          Thanks for contributing your thoughts. I always respect other points of view and am glad N shared there thoughts but I do not believe there is anything wrong with having an introverted nature.

    • Stephen June 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Your alternate theory is amusing. It operates on an assumption that I am afraid of people or interaction with them due to some trauma I’ve suffered as a kid. I am not afraid of people nor I am afraid of being rejected. I am not an introvert because I am afraid. I am an introvert because I don’t respect the stupidity and lack of common sense that people my age seem comfortable with. I’ve adopted my entire current approach to social interaction and designed it to deter people from starting needless conversation. I chat with who I chose, and deal effectively with those who I don’t wish to talk to.

      I chose my friends very carefully and neither I nor them feel the need to share every waking moment. If they serve a purpose for me or I for them, great. On a rare occasion we may hang for fun. Is it that hard to understand that I may enjoy science, maths, and learning in general more than constant social interaction and “fitting in”?

      I am fully functional in a social setting. I can make the jokes and tell the stupid stories. I choose not to. There are very few people who’s company I genuinely enjoy.

      I only reply to you because your theory treats my behaviour as a negative psychological condition. I feel that it is a broad generalization against all introverts (though it may be true in some cases), much in the same way much of the older generations would consider me a sinister and force me to use my right hand to “correct” my “defect.”

      Personally i think it is unique, possibly a gift. Much as I am forced to become ambidextrous with all the strengths, physical and mental, that enhances, being an introvert is not a weakness, but a source of strength. I am not totally concerned with the opinion of Tom, Dick, or Harry. I am more free to do what I believe needs to be done. I am more free to face adversity and speak against the popular opinion, the mob’s opinion. To blanket individuals who do not conform to the extroverted social expectations of the masses as psychologically damaged is quite pompous.

    • Dave July 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      That blog post belongs on that is all.

  155. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You (space2live) […]

  156. Tali Adina June 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Tali Adina's Days of Future Past and commented:
    I’m an introvert and this explains me…

  157. Teresa June 14, 2013 at 7:11 am - Reply

    I’m married to an introvert and I really appreciate this post. Thank you.

    • brennagee June 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      Introvert/extrovert relationships are fascinating and can be very satisfying. It helps if there is a respect and awareness for the different temperaments. Enjoy each other fully.:)

  158. Carolina June 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Spiritually Awake and commented:
    Nice post that very accurately describes why introverts need time alone. I very much identify with everything she says about introverts.

  159. Sharon June 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Meanderings and commented:
    I had to reblog this post “Introverts Explained”. 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. This is one of the best explanations I’ve ever come across.

  160. Sharon June 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    This is one of the best explanations of being an Introvert that I’ve ever read. After a lifetime of struggling with being so misunderstood and “chameleonizing” myself as best I could to fit in, it was a huge gift to be given the Myers-Briggs personality test (I was in my mid-30’s by then and had suffered miserably up until then!) and then to find out that being an Introvert was okay…it was an life-changing relief to find out that I wasn’t a freak after all. I’ve since been able to see that, when we learn to manage our hard-wired need for solitude and allow it to empower us, we then have the potential to be powerful gifts to those around us. Thank you for writing this, as soon as I can figure out how, I’m going to reblog it.

    • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      Yes! Harnessing our ‘hardwired need for solitude’ and using the resulting insights and reflections for the good of others as well as ourselves is a true gift. We have a beautiful presence and purpose that sometimes gets overshadowed by people more comfortable in the limelight.
      I’ve chameleonized into extrovert colors to fit in. Exhausting.
      No, you are not a freak. You are introspective and amazing. I’m sure of it.:)
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  161. joan June 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing this. It explains me to me and the ones I love. My need to be alone at times is hurtful to the ones that I love the most. It’s hard to make others understand that it’s not meant as anything against them…it’s just a NEED that is within me. If my alone time is taken away i’m the biggest bitch ever.

    • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      The hardest thing is watching a loved one feel hurt because you need time to yourself. I have struggled with much guilt because of this. It feels like you’re both drowning and you are choosing to save yourself. I keep thinking they’ll see how much more amiable, patient and loving I can be if I am given space to myself and ease up on the hurt feelings but often they “need” my attention as much as I “need” time alone. I never want to be a bitch but my wiring requires reflecting time. Thanks for commiserating and understanding.

  162. forerbrann June 11, 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Sometimes it is the other person. The more externally and internally imposed guilt associated with the friend or loved one, the higher they rate as an energy suck, increasing the time and distance required.

    Sometimes there are people you can be alone around and reharge with, but it still doesn’t replace the quality of recharge in being completely isolated from time to time.

    People also fail to realize that work is often categorized as social experience. If it involves interacting and counter balancing other people’s personalities and energy, it counts.

    I often have to budget any and all social experiences so that I only deal with so many in a period of time. Or go bonkers.

    • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      You made so many beautiful points! In my experience, you are absolutely right about others who impose guilt. They are the most draining.

      I have found people that energize me. I can rest and recharge in their company. I still need space for solitude but these bright/light-filled individuals make company appealing.

      As I re-enter the workforce in the near future, I am carefully monitoring the culture of potential workplaces. I know my preferences better now. Ideally, I could work from home or very independently.

      If I see days crammed with activities on my calendar I get edgy. I always try to put space in between events. Buffers of sanity.;)

      • Michelle June 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm - Reply

        The line about feeling other people who are in the same room- that is tiring, demanding, and sometimes confusing. Sometimes those people do not feel good – regardless of whether the person is well. And it takes something to tease out whether one is feeling one’s self, or the person in the same room, or even a person in another room altogether. Empathy takes place in time and space, it is a something, and so being automatically empathic, picking up on and distinguishing someone else’s vibe – and trying to sift through your own thoughts or focus on something – that’s multitasking, which can be a drain on the executive decision making function.

        • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

          Well said. Our intense processing of vibes and emotions (our own and those of others) is both a gift and a challenge. We are constantly multi-tasking with our minds. I sometimes wish for an “off” button. I just want slow, relaxed brain activity amidst the chaos of the external world.;) Thank you for an insightful and intelligent comment.

  163. Tracy June 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Nice! Forever, I thought I was an extrovert. Recently I started a biz where I speak publicly – I love love love my time alone. As a matter of fact, after being out and about all day yesterday, I have not left the house today! I love my home office and time alone. I get recharged. Thank you for sharing this! I will share it with my Social Community!

    • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      I think that is how many introverts operate. Out in the world – fully engaged and on – then retreat to a quiet space to reflect and gather thoughts and ideas. Public speaking is daunting but I think I could do it if I were very very prepared. Introverts like to be prepared.:) Thanks for your insight.

  164. Karen Enrietto Neyman June 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    My son just graduated from HS in February he wrote an article for his HS paper. He is social, and well liked, but he has come to know himself as an introvert. For a HS kid’s take on introversion see :

    Dr. Chauncey: On Choosing to Chill in Solitude

    You will need to use the magnifier to view his article on pages 3

    • brennagee June 11, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

      What a great, honest and introspective piece! Huge kudos to your son for knowing and understanding himself so well at such a young age. I believe many young ones desperately want to be extroverted because that is the cool temperament. I didn’t figure out my needs and ways until I was in my late 30s. I always thought it was better to be action oriented and uber social. Now I know I expand with close friends and grow in solitude. Thank you so much for sharing your son’s writing. I enjoyed reading a young person’s perspective. Love his inner strength and integrity.

  165. Frankie Kellner June 10, 2013 at 1:29 am - Reply

    I have never been able to be alone,(simply by circumstance) and therefore have not explored whether I am an introvert or an extrovert. I have always thought of myself as extrovert, and think that is still the case. I have an insight into the introvert psyche and into a place I might not have understood. It is possible, however, that I could well be introvert but compensating!!!

    • John June 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Doubtful. I’m a true introvert and when put in situations where I can’t have alone time for extended periods makes me highly unstable. My life ends up collapsing so that it can be rearranged for me to be alone. Having roommates did that to me every time.

      You’re probably an extrovert.

    • brennagee June 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Do you enjoy one on one time or group time better? Do you think before you speak or talk as you think? Introverts think first. Solitude might be something new for you but try it and see if you’re on edge or more alive. It may make you anxious just because you haven’t experienced it. It takes getting used to. Thanks for your input. I always think it’s fun to learn about yourself.:)

  166. Tech Savvy Lender June 9, 2013 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Tech Savvy Lender and commented:
    Reblogging another of Space2live’s posts. This one is even better than the last, IF THAT’S POSSIBLE. I laughed out loud when she mentioned needing to be ALONE in the house to recharge. If someone else is in another room, you can FEEL them. Yep. LOL

  167. j June 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    The stereotype lies in an introvert being a shy quiet person, and an extrovert being loud and gregarious. The fact is the only characteristic that puts you in one camp or the other is how you recharge your energy. If you feel energized being around lots of people, you are an extrovert, if you feel drained after being with people or in crowds for a longish period, and feel recharged after complete time alone (and that also includes what the author said about a person being even in just the house, but not anywhere near? Not good enough. Total seclusion, home alone) then you are an introvert.

    • brennagee June 8, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      Yes! It’s not all about how social someone is. It’s about how they get their energy. Thank you for helping make that even more clear. I think that may change some people’s idea of what temperament they are.

  168. […] Introverts are not all recluses hanging out in dusty homes with cats and classic books. We get out and rock it, but then we need to withdraw from that buzz because if we don't we will feel like an overdone steak, no life, no juice.  […]

  169. Erik March 30, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    I think this was written beautifully! I appreciate the concise points and real life scenes — this is a great article I can forward to a few ppl in my life. smile. Thanks!

    • brennagee March 31, 2013 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Awww thank you. I can give very real and honest descriptions because I’ve been there.:) Happy to foster understanding – the best feeling.

  170. […] I came across this article on a friend’s feed the other day: […]

  171. Sid March 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    What you seem to be describing here are people who do not have enough self-soothing skills which then takes a longer period of time than others.

    Introversion is not about an on-again, off-again relationship with ‘extroversion’ but rather a lifestyle and way of being.

    What you’ve described here is an introvert trying to FIT INTO an extroverted world – Hope you can include that somewhere


    • brennagee March 28, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your perspective. I appreciate input and feedback.:) I agree that introversion is a way of being. The message I wanted to present was that introverts can be social and do like people but eventually we will need time to ourselves. I think we self-soothe best in solitude. I know long term socializing is not soothing to me but I do enjoy people (I’m not just trying to fit in). I do think our culture shows preference to extroverted traits so we may push ourselves out of our introspective comfort zones in order to gain some ground.

      • Linda Kessler Goodhue June 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

        For the first time in my life I have read about me! I have tried forever to explain to people how I feel and they just don’t get it. I can understand that it is tough when a person you love feels the way I do. Sometimes it takes me 2 or 3 days of being alone to recharge. I love people and being around them. I worked in a public capacity for over 40 years but I always needed my down time. I had a hard time understanding myself but this explains so much. I would love to send this to everyone that knows and loves me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

        • brennagee June 15, 2013 at 9:14 am - Reply

          The hard part is others take your need for solitude as a personal rejection of them. It’s about refueling not rejecting. I’m thrilled my words resonated with you. You are not alone in your desire for solitude.:)

  172. Kristin March 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    i think I’ve always known this about myself but always compensated to stay “viable” socially. I am so thankful there is increasing awareness. I married into an extrovert family yet I think my husband might tend introvert even though his primary activities are extroverted, talkative, high stim, and often exhausting for me. We have an upcoming trip to NY city! I am excited and nervous, especially because we’ll be visiting his hyper extrovert brother. I am hoping my awareness will help facilitate the space and time I need to recharge in such an energetic environment. Which BTW I can find to be rather calming if taken on my own terms!

    I relate to what so many have written here. I hope I can communicate clearly!

    Thank you!!!

    • brennagee March 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      I have been on many extended family vacations with energetic relatives. It is challenging but well worth it. I did have a hard time pulling away for recovery. It was unheard of among the crowd I traveled with. I did find my introvert buddies within the group and did my best to hang out with them as much as possible.

      I can find energetic environments calming too and also energizing. Like you said, needs to be on my own terms. I lived in Chicago for five years. I loved it. You can be anonymous in the crowd and I loved riding the train. I could be on a crowded train but happily inside my own head and thoughts.

      Thank you for sharing.

  173. […] Introverts Explained: Why We Love You But Need to Get Away From You from […]

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  175. ranthegauntlet March 25, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I love this post! My youngest daughter and I can be very social, but likewise need that down time you describe. We have exchanged the thought that we aren’t really relaxed and completely ourselves except when we are alone. I understand your friend who knows when someone else is in the house. My really tough area is constant sports shows on the TV in the main room of the house – basketball, baseball, football, hunting, fishing, Those involving hours of cheering crowds and shouting announcers that drives me to the spare room with headphones and a closed door. I feel sad not sharing what “should” be an opportunity to share a common ground for enthusiasm and fun with others, but to me it is too much white noise.

    • brennagee March 26, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

      That is a good way to put it – we are not completely ourselves except when we are alone. That resonates with me.
      I know that feeling of sadness when you think you should be out joining in the party/event/social hour but just want to retreat to a room by yourself. I feel guilt sometimes then too.

      Society has taught us that we should want to be “on” 24/7. Our culture values quantitative productivity and socializing very highly. It’s hard to side-step those mores but I think there is a grassroots effort in place. More awareness of the introspective traits helps them gain acceptance.

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing.:)

  176. someone else March 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    While I definitely agree with the concept of needing our alone time, we introverts also need to learn the selfless skills that allow us to mesh with our outer world. Just as our “high energy” counterparts have to learn to sit still, shut up and introspect in order to function properly, so we too have to learn to create sanctuary more from internal states of mind than from extrinsic circumstance. of course always harder said than done. To place such high demands on my family such as “for a few moments, please do not exist” or “do not be in our mutual home” comes across as selfishness.

    even though its hard not to propagate (even i did above), I really dislike the stereo typing we do to extroverts, they are not the rambunctious incessant babbling fools they’re often made out to be (just as we’re not always cat stroking novel devouring tea addicts). We ought to be more careful with how we treat both ourselves and those next to us.