They say opposites attract. But do they stay together and how do they make it work? According to one study, introverts make up about 30-50 percent of the population. The odds of an introvert and an extrovert dating is pretty high. Click here to learn more about what the differences between an extrovert and an introvert are. An extrovert regains energy from social interaction while an introvert recharges by being alone in their own heads. You can imagine that this poses several challenges for relationships where both partners have a differing need for social engagement. Here are few tips for couples struggling with these differences.
Understand your differences
The first important step for any partner in this type of relationship is to learn as much about their significant other’s personality. The more you understand how their personality trait impacts your relationship the greater the chance that you will be understanding and less likely to take their differences personally. For an extrovert, it is easy to think their introverted partner is “strange” or antisocial living in a world that idolizes extraversion. For an introvert, having a partner who wants the company of others can feel overwhelming and like rejection. As Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power” and in this case it will give your relationship the power to reduce conflict.
Compromise and Balance
Ok so now both you and your partner understand each other better, but now what? You both still need a different amount of social interaction and alone time. The next step is to learn how to compromise so that both your needs are met. It is helpful for an introvert to have as much notice as possible about upcoming social events. For the last-minute plans, an introvert will appreciate having a predetermined time that the outing will end. For extroverts, it will be helpful for introverts to welcome extended outings without time limits. For this to work the introvert will benefit from staying home as the extroverts spends extended periods with others. The importance is about having balance to decrease resentment.
The most important step is learning how to accept your partner for who they are. It doesn’t help thinking of your partner as abnormal when introversion/extraversion is a personality trait that can’t be unlearned or changed. Instead harness the strengths you both bring to the table. Introverts are natural listeners and excel at deep one on one conversations. They are usually highly creative and are thorough in making decisions. Extroverts are excellent speakers and have a tendency to take risks. They are socially engaged and oftentimes the life of the party. Understanding these differences will allow you to use them at the best opportunities for optimal success.
After following these steps, you should have a greater sense of compassion and love for your partner. If the conflict is too great, please reach out to a professional who can assess and create a plan for addressing your concerns.