By: Simone Boyd
Over the past few days, I’ve found myself defending my introvert husband from my family when he doesn’t show up to one of the millions of family gatherings, basketball games, or social commitments that are thrust upon us.
And questions like “Where’s Morris?” “Why didn’t he come to the basketball game (insert raised eyebrow)?” and “Does Morris like us?” are beginning to annoy me.
The Secret of Introvert Relationships
The secret is this: introverts and extroverts charge their batteries in different ways.
- Introverts get energy from being alone.
- Extroverts get energy from being around people.
- And if we don’t make allowances for each other…we both end up drained.
So while my husband loves me, my family, and friends dearly…being around a ton of people is draining. I learned this earlier in our marriage when I dropped a last minute BBQ on his plate and was hit with the almost-silent treatment.
The Introvert Solution
The good news is that you can avoid giving your introvert a dead battery with proper planning. Morris and I have come up with some solutions for balancing the needs of introverts and extroverts. And, I want to share them with you.
The Social Calendar
At the beginning of the month we make a calendar with all of our social commitments i.e. dinner parties, bar mitzvahs, BBQ’s etc. And we decide what events are a priority…it helps my introvert to know waaaaay in advance that we have a social commitment.
Give your introvert plenty of notice about social events, it will give them the chance to mentally prepare.
Go It Alone
For example, just last night I joined my family for a basketball game and Morris stayed at home. It’s not that he doesn’t like my family or basketball. But, it was more important to me that he recharge for the work week ahead.
You and your introvert are not conjoined twins. So, when possible let them recharge with some alone time.
Save Your Social Commitment Capital
Twice a month I get to pick two of my social events (i.e. dinner with my friends etc.) that Morris will join me for. And it makes those events super special for me because Morris is giving me the gift of his presence. I think it makes the events special for him because he knows they mean a lot to me and he’s being an outstanding husband.
Choose social commitments wisely. It’ll cut down on unnecessary draining of your introverts battery.
The Worst Thing You Can Do
The worst thing you can do is to treat your introvert like they have a disease. Patronizing questions like “Are you okay my little introvert?” “Are you sure you can handle being around the Jones for the entire afternoon?” are sure to incite rage.
Treat them like you always have.
Just make plans that allow them to recharge.
**Simone Boyd is a guest blogger. She is a writer and speaker on relationship issues. More information about Simone and her work can be found at http://myfamilyfantastic.com/blog/?page_id=67