Should introverts dating extroverts


15-May-2020 13:30

Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. "It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert," write the education experts Jill D. (They are also the source of the quotation in the previous paragraph.) Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They seem to come fully to life only around other people.

In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."How many people are introverts? Or—my favorite—"a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."Are introverts misunderstood? They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place.

It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not.

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through.

In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership.

Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. Introverts are described with words like "guarded," "loner," "reserved," "taciturn," "self-contained," "private"—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality.

Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts.

In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain.Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?



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