3 Ways to Improve Introvert/Extrovert Relationships
Knowing whether a person is an introvert or extrovert, and relating to them on their terms, can lead to mutually satisfying and fulfilling relationships.
Introversion and extroversion are viewed as the two poles of the same human orientation. Some people lean more towards one pole and are considered dominant in that orientation, while others are close to the center and are naturally more balanced. All positions on the continuum of introversion and extroversion are considered to be healthy variations of human behavior, and being educated about one’s orientation can help an individual to gain a better understanding of himself and others.
Introverts are interested in their mental lives and are reserved in social settings. They have high levels of cortical activity, which translate into a resting state of arousal; introverts are very sensitive and too much external stimulation can be bothersome and overwhelming. They prefer the pursuit of independent activities like art and reading and are energized when they are alone, or in the company of a few close friends.
They are not shy, as shy people tend to avoid social situations out of fear; rather, solitary activities are just their preference. Cultures like Europe and Japan are introvert oriented, and introverts are typically associated with positive traits like intelligence and excel in academic environments. Introverts have more blood flow in the areas of the brain that handle internal processing such as planning and problem-solving.
Extroversion is defined as being predominately concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self. Extroverts are enthusiastic, assertive, and personable and enjoy social gatherings and events. Their desire for external stimulation stems from low resting levels of cortical activity and being around others provides heightened energy and arousal. Extroverts do well in careers that require people skills. However, their need for external stimulation must be well regulated in order to avoid engaging in high risk behaviors for thrills.
Whether the relationship is intimate, social, or professional, both parties will relate to one another better when they know each other’s type. This knowledge allows partners to make cognitive adjustments so that they do not misinterpret each other’s behavior. It also allows for the opportunity to develop the opposing pole of one’s own orientation while interacting with a partner, which can lead to new insights and self-discovery. Interpersonal relationships that are mixed have a better chance of success if partners are also respectful and accommodating towards each other while exploring their differences.
3 Ways to Improve Introvert/Extrovert Relationships
A person in a relationship with someone of the opposite orientation can use the following experience to learn more about himself, his partner, and human nature.
- Focus on you – Whenever a person in a relationship is experiencing frustration with her partner, she should use it as an opportunity to work on balancing herself. If she is an introvert and the partner an extrovert, instead of complaining about going with him to a networking event, she can use the opportunity to develop her extrovert qualities. Similarly, if the situation is reversed, look for new ways to become more aware of the inert life by joining the partner in reading a book, perhaps. It is through relationships that people learn about themselves and learn the lessons needed to become, as Carl Jung would put it, a whole and integrated person.
- Understand , then be understood – The first step towards a harmonious relationship is for an individual to understand herself and how she and her partner differ in behavior. Learn as much as possible about personality type, share that information with the partner, and then explore their types together. Having a spirit of exploration will help to establish a team work dynamic within a relationship.
- Speak up! – If a person in a relationship senses that her partner is taking her behavior as rejection, she should just ask about it. If her partner is indeed seeing things that way, she should engage him in a conversation about her personality orientation and assure him that her behavior is not personal. Encourage him to feel comfortable asking her questions any time he feels unsure of the intentions behind her behavior.
A relationship between an introvert and an extrovert is bound to face challenges. However, there are ways for couples in such mixed relationships to work things out. Learn to use opportunities to explore the opposing qualities. Try to understand the partner’s behavior and don’t be afraid to ask questions whenever unsure of the partner’s behavior. These measures can lead to a mutually satisfying and fulfilling introvert/extrovert relationship.
Interested in finding out more about how to make Introvert/Extrovert relationships work? Contact me today to set up a consultation (800) 967-9416.
Wishing you the best in Life & Love,
Kongit Farrell, MA
Originally published by Kongit Farrell at Suite101: Love From the Inside Out: 3 Ways to Improve Introvert/Extrovert Relationships | Suite101.com http://kongit-farrell.suite101.com/love-from-the-inside-out-a181666#ixzz1p6RQ37AB
Kongit is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA – 97773) and her therapeutic approach is eclectic, but firmly rooted in CBT, Narrative and Solution-Focused methodologies. She is an EMDR therapist and is completing advanced course work in Sex Therapy at The Buehler Institute of Orange County. Kongit is the Founder of the Inspired Journey Counseling Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
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