How to Better Understand the Stimulation needed by an Extroverted Spouse as a Highly Introverted Personality
As long as I can remember I have been a fairly quiet individual. I recall quietly praying I didn't get called upon to discuss my project in front of my grade school class, not because I was unprepared (I was a good student), but because I didn't want to speak in front of everyone. The interesting thing is I wasn't nervous, the thought depleted my energy. In college I was a straight A student, but I had a strong aversion to public speaking. I have always typically kept a low profile and not been very attracted to boisterous, loud, outgoing people. Enter my wife. Minus loud (well maybe a little) she is the polar opposite of me. My first inclination was to conform to societal norms. It didn't take long before that died out.
We discuss cultural differences and educate each other on those differences often, but our personality conflicts have turned out to almost be our Achilles' heel. There are sacrifices we have made over the past decade that would make the most seasoned Psychologist proud. At first she didn't understand my need to chill and not be on the go ALL THE TIME, but overtime she has grown to understand. I on the other hand did not know how she could keep moving (not just her body) and didn't want to pass out. Check out 5 ways I learned to be myself and let her be herself and it worked.
1) Communication- Although I like to get straight to the point and try to use minimal words getting there, I realize sometimes my extroverted counterpart needs to express herself by talking A LOT, so I'll let her get it all out. I know she likes to talk, so I'll do my best to stay checked in. This is one of the reasons she's a super hero. She knows when I am checked out.
2) Compromise- There are things I would have probably never done if it weren't for my wife being a social person. The compromise for me comes mostly with activities and setting. We are now in such sync that she knows when I am checked out and I know when she needs stimulation. So extraverts next time your introverted spouse compromises and accompanies you to a social gathering be aware when it is time to walk out of the gathering for a quick re-charge and also be aware of when it is time to blow the joint.
3) Get out of you Comfort Zone- Being in a relationship with an extravert there is going to be many opportunities to get out of your comfort zone. Embrace it. If she wants to do some volunteer work, by all means join her. If her friend is having a get together and you know it's going to be in close quarters summons up that inner energy to attend. Just bring your book. :)
4) Do things that you like and include your extroverted spouse to make her feel included. When things are really quiet and I start to feel her energy I may recommend playing a board game. That way we can talk while playing and she feels like I know she's present.
5) Respect each others differences- We talked about the differences in coming together from different cultures. Just as we respect each others cultural traits, we also respect what makes us uniquely different from a personality perspective. Embrace your feelings, emotions, and what makes you uniquely you.