Many people default to one of these two types and this can cause conflict in relationships. There are approximately equal numbers of extroverts and introverts and there is no right or wrong way to be – it is just how we are. Both these types have strengths and weaknesses. In fact, most people have parts of both types within them, but when they are under stress they tend to revert to either extrovert or introvert behaviour.
Extroverts are sometimes called Maximisers or Pursuers or Co-soothers or Fusers.
Introverts are sometimes called Minisers or Distancers or Self-soothers or Isolators.
|Say what they think spontaneously||Think before they speak|
|Work things out through talking about them||Work things out and can then talk about them|
|Soothe themselves by engaging with others||Soothe themselves alone|
|Maximise or “big-up” feelings in themselves and to others||“Minimise” or disregard feelings in themselves and within others|
|Have a tendency to over ‘fuse’ themselves with others||Have a tendency to over ‘isolate’ themselves from others|
|Need evidence of being understood||Need evidence of being appreciated|
Extroverts often choose introverts as partners; introverts often choose extroverts – both a joy and a tragedy! There is more about these two types under Living with Extroverts and Living with Introverts. Here are examples of thoughts that partners might have, and which may create relationship problems:
Why doesn’t my partner show more feelings?
My partner doesn’t listen or understand me.
S/he is cut off, distant, and unavailable.
Thinking a lot before you speak is insincere.
Why doesn’t my partner stop talking for a while?
My partner doesn’t appreciate me.
S/he gets far too worked up about things.
Speaking impulsively is childish and selfish.
The first steps out of Extrovert-Introvert problems are:
- Take responsibility for your own needs and stop blaming your partner’s extrovert/introvert style when your needs are not met.
- Attempt to get more understanding about what it is like for your partner to be different from you – an Extrovert or Introvert
- Stretch yourself a bit towards your partner’s style. Also give some of the every day things that you think your partner would like such as appreciations and attentive listening.
With Thanks to Quiet by S Cain,
Mating in Captivity by E Perel,
Getting the Love You Want by H Hendrix,
Men are From Mars,… by J Gray
© 2018 – 2019, Relationship Egg. All rights reserved.