Life is so good. We are blessed and dreams really do come true. On a recent weekend, we experienced a fairytale wedding for our daughter Lauren and her fiancé John. We’ve been praying for the man Lauren would fall in love with (i.e. John) since before Lauren was born and knew about the 2nd time we met him, he was “the one.” Now I would classify everyone in our family, including our dog, as an extrovert.  Except for Mike, he is an introvert. Lauren, John, me, and Rigby (the dog) all love to be around people and get lots of energy from the love that flows from a warm, friendly gathering of friends and family. Needless to say, a wedding will do the trick! There were rehearsals, dinners, coffees, brunches, the ceremony and reception, more brunches…You get the picture.

Mike, however, is someone who is well suited to being a counselor for individuals and couples. He derives a ton of energy from being with one or two people and also from being alone with his thoughts.  Introverts typically enjoy social interaction, but on a different scale than extroverts.

5 Ways to know if you’re an Introvert

  1. You enjoy having time to yourself.When you have the chance to take a break, you’d rather spend time reading, playing video games, or just listening to music. That quiet time is important to your sense of well-being even though there are plenty of times that you enjoy social get-togethers.
  2. Your best thinking occurs when you’re by yourself.You’re not opposed to group meetings or discussions, but if you want to come up with a creative solution, you need some time to work the problem out on your own. Having the opportunity to reflect quietly on a problem allows you to make the maximum use of your ability to engage in original thought, and to produce results about which you can feel proud.
  3. You lead best when others are self-starters.Despite the belief that introverts are so quiet that they can’t step up to the plate and run things, under the right circumstances they can be the best leaders of all.
  4. You’re the last to raise your hand when someone asks for something from a group.It’s not that introverts know less than others; they just don’t feel a particular need to be in that limelight.
  5. Other people ask you your opinion.Whether it’s a family discussion around the kitchen table or a staff meeting to decide how to market new products, people high in introversion will keep their views to themselves and let the noisy extroverts take control.

Here are 4 More

  1. You often wear headphones when you’re in a public situation.Though no one has to know whether there’s actually music coming through them or not.
  2. You prefer not to engage with people who seem angry or upset.You’re likely to try to avoid people who seem like they might be in a bad mood, if not outright furious at something or someone.
  3. You receive more calls, texts, and emails than you make, unless you have no choice.All other things being equal, people high in introversion don’t reach out voluntarily to their social circles. If they have a few minutes to spare, they won’t initiate a call just to pass the time by socializing. Similarly, they don’t generate emails and other written correspondence but instead react to the communications they receive from others.
  4. You don’t initiate small talk with salespeople or others with whom you have casual contact.It’s nearly impossible for you to imagine yourself being like the garrulous individual in front of you in line at the supermarket who chats with everyone about the weather. People don’t really know how you’re feeling or thinking at any given moment unless you feel close enough to them to share those private reflections.

To read the full article from Psychology Today Click Here

Reconciling our different social needs?

The best advice I can give is to allow each other to be yourselves and do your own thing. Just because you’ve pledged your lifelong love and devotion to your partner doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. As a matter of fact:

One characteristic of a healthy relationship is that you

pursue some time by yourself or

with friends, away from your partner.

By doing so you become more well-rounded in your personality, your hobbies and interests are explored, and you come away energized by whichever interaction you choose. Plus you have things to discuss as a couple.

Pursuing separate interests can be frightening to people who are in an enmeshed (Love Addicted Relationship). Enmeshed means that the definition and boundaries of who we are as a person gets blurred with our significant other. We can take on their emotional energy as our own and because of this find that the independent, dynamic person our friends and family used to know has been swallowed up in the current relationship. Your significance is important – Read more on Identity here.

Be other-focused and honest about your needs

When Mike and I began planning for “The Wedding Weekend,” we did our best to schedule open space.  Time before and after to give us both needed time for us. We needed time and planning to get ready to enjoy our family and friends however we needed time to decompress afterward. Even extroverts need to time reflect and enjoy the memories of good times.

Bottom line, introverts and extroverts can live in harmony, fulfilling their social needs while also allowing the other to have their needs met. The secret is communication and being aware of how your partner rejuvenates and restores.

With the hectic lives many of us lead it’s easy to become emotionally drained if we never allow ourselves to rejuvenate. Look at your schedule for the upcoming months and make sure to allow breathing room around those hectic times in life.