I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert. I love time alone. Like one, maybe two nights out a week is totally fine with me. If you are an introvert, you are very likely living with someone who is an extrovert. That seems to be how it happens when people get married. They marry their opposites.
Tyler and I have had many a discussion where he wants to go do something with friends and I just kind of want to stay home. It’s hard to explain. I always feel like such a buzzkill. We either don’t go, or I don’t go and he goes, or we all go and I’m less than myself (or much fun).
I was finally able to articulate it to him the other day in a way that made some sense.
“You know how you feel energized after hanging out with people? For me (and many introverts), it requires energy.”
Am I the only one? I LOVE hanging out with my friends and family, but I am always a little tired after and need time to replenish my energy. It sounds absolutely terrible to think that having fun takes energy. It basically sounds like I see it as work. It’s not like that at all! There is a part of my soul that feels nourished and like my spirit has been lifted by our laughs and quality time. But there is another part that needs to find a quiet place to reboot, especially if more quality time is fast approaching, like a weekend retreat.
So since life is not full of introverts and you happen to be bonded to one of those extroverts in holy matrimony, we have to figure out a way to live life together allowing both to be energized. Here are a few tips that may help in a social and connected world.
- When you are alone, do what refreshes you. I am so guilty of wasting a bit of time, then sitting down to do those things that refresh me in my alone time only to find that it’s over. Make it a priority and let alone time trigger that you want to feel refreshed at the end of the time you have by yourself so you will be ready for quality time with others.
- Don’t say no to everything. Sometimes, we need to push ourselves. I’ll do this at the prodding of my husband or sister and am normally glad I did!
- Don’t expect your mate to think or feel like you. They may need to go hang out with friends more. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or that they like their friends better! Give them the freedom they need in this area and make sacrifices so they can find refreshment in the company of people.
- Make a list of things that energize you. Maybe you’re running on fumes because you don’t even know what would give you energy. Take time to figure it out. And keep those idea handy when you find yourself with time. And remember #1! ; )
- Focus on others when you are with them. I am so guilty of letting my own feelings get in the way of hearing others. You might have wanted a quiet night in but ended up in the furthest place from their, but make the best of it. The easiest way to do that is to not focus on ourself!
Introverts, what do you think? And extroverts, I don’t assume everything is easy for y’all, so tell us, what struggles do y’all face? How can us introverts help or be more understanding?
The picture above is from my wedding (taken by my wonderful friend Jason Cohen). It’s one of my absolute favorites from the day. I might look like the biggest loser to not have anyone sitting with me at my own wedding, but I LOVED this moment. I remember relishing to myself how excited I was to be married to Tyler and how I loved that quiet moment amidst such a celebration to reflect on my own thoughts!