Care and feeding of extroverts dating

For a long time I had a certain idea about what makes an introvert or an extrovert. I had always thought that it works something like this. We extroverts love to get out of our comfort zones. Extroverted personalities feed off the attention of others, making it at least a little easier to. The Care & Feeding Of Your Extrovert. A guide for the I knew my husband was relatively social when we were first dating. He had many.


You may look around and find that the introvert hasn't actually been in the bathroom for half an hour; he quietly got his coat and ducked out while you were chatting with another friend. When I am among people, I make eye contact, smile, maybe chat if there's an opportunity like being stuck in a long grocery store line. If an introvert comes to your party, that IS about you.

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We won't necessarily die outright if we don't get it on a regular basis, but we'll be unfocused, unhappy, and emotionally unstable. If I go too long without substantive human contact, without touch or conversation or genuine interaction, I get listless, then depressed.

If it goes on even longer, my form of depression can turn suicidal. Other possibilities are the development of severe social anxiety because we are so dependent on being welcome in a social group, and a whole range of socially inappropriate acting out.

Years ago another extrovert friend suggested going to the mall when it started to get bad, and that works somewhat because it's a lot of low-stakes interactions in a short time. It's like eating fast food when you really want a home-grilled steak, but it keeps the worst of it at bay.

There are fewer of us than you think there are. Most people are neither clearly extroverted nor introverted, though society works pretty hard to make everyone feel like they're at one extreme or the other. There's a huge middle range of "I like people pretty well in medium-sized doses," but because the world is hell-bent on quantifying and classifying everyone to make sure they feel as unwelcome as possible, most of those folks in the middle get shoved to one side or the other instead of being allowed to just go on enjoying occasional moderately-sized parties and spending occasional afternoons reading alone in the library.

Just like getting overwhelmed by the holiday shopping crowds doesn't necessarily make you a true introvert, enjoying a large party once in a while doesn't make you a true extrovert.

We need alone time, just much less of it than other people. Every so often, I need to spend a day without talking to anyone. As an extrovert, you're constantly taking in data from interactions, and sometimes all that input hits a critical mass and you're overwhelmed by it.

Two or three times a year, I take a day at home, relax, stay off IM and social media, and watch movies in my fuzzy polar bear jammies. Every few years, I like to do something big by myself, to have a set of experiences and time to think that I don't have to share with anyone else. Because we need alone time, we actually do understand and respect introverts when they tell us they need to be alone.

By the time an extrovert with any sort of self-awareness reaches adulthood, she understands that 'Social Butterfly' is not a lifestyle for everyone, and that other people do not feel the same way about human contact.

As noted above, people seem to assume that the world is divided into only introverts and extroverts, and what springs from that is an expectation that people who talk to people -- and especially the people who urge others to talk more -- are all extroverts bent on making everyone else conform to their behaviour.

This isn't true, and the same Aunt Whoever that tells an introverted niece, "You shouldn't be so quiet all the time. No one will notice you. You need to be outgoing," tells her extroverted niece, "You talk too much, monopolize people's attention. You should learn to be quieter, more modest, not so outgoing. The dark secret of Aunt Whoever?

She's not an extrovert at all. She doesn't like people or enjoy social interaction; she just considers it a necessary and unpleasant duty she should make sure everyone is equally miserable performing.

Introverts want to be included. So you send your introvert friend invitations to every party, and invite her out to dinner frequently, and she only accepts one invitation in ten. Keep inviting, and accept refusals graciously. A lot of people respond to introverts' lack of social participation by assuming they don't care to socialize, or they say, "You never come out when I ask you!

Don't you like me? Give personal invitations to small events. If you haven't seen your introverted friend in a while, and you'd like to get together, call him up and say, "Hey, honey, I miss talking to you! I'd love to have lunch, just you and me.

Is there a time that's good for you? Don't just say, "Man, I haven't seen you in forever. We should hang out more," because introverts hear that a lot, but the follow-up invitations are not always forthcoming. Lead with the follow-up invitation. You don't have to excuse clear rudeness as 'introversion'. I have a few introverted acquaintances who also have no social skills. They cut over others in conversation because 'you were just making dumb small talk and I wanted to talk about something interesting', they make people feel unwelcome in their presences, they make comments about 'not having time for stupid social shit' because they have important things to do, and in general they create a clear impression that they resent being out in public and consider people who enjoy social interaction shallow narcissists.

You don't have to put up with that, and it's not 'being an introvert'. Privately address rude behaviour with anyone, introvert or extrovert or ambivert, and explain that you would rather someone stayed home instead of making others feel dismissed. The gracious and socially skilled introverts among your friends will appreciate that you don't consider rudeness and abrasiveness hallmark traits of their personality type. Some of the offenders will try to haughtily explain to you that 'introverts are thinkers, unlike extroverts.

As with all relationships, remember to respect others' boundaries and communicate your needs. If you're romantically involved with an introvert, this can require negotiation so that both your needs are met. Remember, your need for social interaction is equally important to the introvert's need for solitude.

Never allow anyone to dictate that you have to forego getting your own needs met because it's not convenient for them. Ambiverts and extroverts need to hear that as it is, and not interpret it as "I hate your friends and the things you enjoy are stupid. If you really need an introvert to be somewhere where there will be a lot of people, give plenty of warning.

If you want your very introverted friend to be a groomsman at your wedding, tell him months in advance, let him know there will be a lot of people there, and DO NOT plan eleven thousand social gatherings the week of the wedding that you expect him to attend.

If you're throwing a big birthday party for your best friend, let his very introverted wife know in enough time that she can scale back social activities around it and manage her own needs. Also, when planning large gatherings to which you've invited introverted friends, it's helpful to have a smaller, quiet area a back patio, a library or study with just a few comfy chairs where people can step away and get a little quiet time if they're feeling overwhelmed.

Don't make a big deal out of it; people will find it if they need it. Remember that you're not responsible for maintaining your friends' emotional health, just respecting it.

Ultimately, it's up to people to manage their own needs and boundaries, and it's perfectly reasonable to expect your friends to communicate those needs and boundaries. You're only responsible for basic courtesy and empathy, not for anticipating the possible feelings of everyone you interact with, assessing the exact correct level of human interaction, and bending your own needs to fit around theirs.

A lot of these are just 'good tips for dealing with people', but they're especially helpful if you find that you work or play in a mostly-introverted community and you're 'the social one'. Most of all, be aware and respectful of the differing social paradigms that we all find most healthy for us, and do what you can to make sure everyone around you feels most at ease and comfortable in your friendship.