What Challenges Do Extroverts Face (Especially In Relationship)?
The social butterflies of the world, the life of the party, the networking guru.
What extroverts do so as easily as breathing – things like selling themselves fantastically well in interviews, introverts would probably find it a challenge, and vice versa.
What challenges can extroverts potentially face though in a romantic relationship, especially if they’re in a partnership with introverts?
Most prominently, extroverts are probably constantly struggling with trying to juggle everything at a time.
Extroverts Needs to Strike A Balance with Socializing
Extroverts recharge around people, and so naturally, they need to be around people constantly.
It might help if their partners are also extroverts because then the understanding is seamless.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: Even with social settings or date nights, your extroverted partners might prefer meeting you together with a bunch of their friends, or yours. Being an introvert, you might not fancy the idea of not having your quiet time.
In such a scenario, do lovingly inform your partner that you might find social anxiety to always be around people and that you’d like time alone with just him/her. It is then up to your partner to adjust to you as well. A nice balance is healthy.
- If you’re the extrovert: Meet your introverted partner halfway. Feel free to invite them to every gathering you’re going to, but leave the choice up to them as to whether they wish to attend, or if they prefer to spend a night home alone from time to time.
Extroverts Need to Strike A Balance with Quality Time
This is a big obstacle in the introvert-extrovert relationship dynamic especially if the extrovert is constantly bouncing from party to party. In a scenario where their introverted partner’s love language is Quality Time, this difference only becomes more glaring and might threaten the foundation of this relationship.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: Clearly articulate your needs to your partner, and mutually agree to an acceptable amount of time for his/her undivided attention.
- If you’re the extrovert: It is vital in every relationship for both parties to feel loved and supported. If your partner has communicated with you a need, do your best to adjust and provide that need, while striking a nice balance in which you still feel like you have time to meet your friends to catch up. Setting aside a day once a week just for your partner might be a good idea.
Extroverts Need to Strike A Balance with Talking vs. Listening
Extroverts love to talk. On the flip side, that might mean they need to be paired up more with listeners, as extroverted people don’t naturally excel in that area.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: If you know your partner’s attention span is short, and if the topic is of paramount importance, begin the conversation emphasizing just that so it’s easier for your partner to recognize and warm the listener’s seat.
- If you’re the extrovert: Remind yourself once in a while to let your partner have the floor and be the center of attention. Just take a step back and listen to how their day was, how they feel, etc, and just be supportive. Such a gesture could strengthen relationships.
Extroverts Need to Balance Between Affectionate And Controlling
Extroverts tend to be more affectionate than introverts and can be viewed as a threat to a relationship when they become possessive or controlling. They can be annoying in regards to needing constant reassurance from their partner and can become jealous of other people's attention.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: Take extra time to understand the personality traits of your partner and what kind of personal connection and social connection they need.
- If you’re the extrovert: Understand your natural tendencies and that introverted tendencies do not spend much time entertaining your needs. That is a difference between introverts and you.
Extroverts Might Be Too Outspoken
Extroverts are more likely to be the first to bring up potential problems in a relationship and confront their partner. This can be helpful or unhelpful depending on the person and the nature of their relationships. It's up to the introvert to discern the difference and decide how to address the issues.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: One major advantage you have is the ability to think about solutions without needing a confrontation or acknowledgment. Let your partner know you are aware of the issue and share your thoughts when ready.
- If you’re the extrovert: Make use of your partner's listening abilities to sort out your thought but do not force the issue. Your partner will be thinking about the problem and how to address the issue.
Extroverts Might Struggle to Complete Projects
Extroverts tend to be starters, not finishers. It would help greatly if their partner is the opposite in this aspect – people who are patient and willing to take the project to the finish line alone.
- If you’re an introvert dating an extrovert: If you’re both planning a trip, for example, do understand your extroverted partner might show enthusiasm at the beginning, then struggle to sit down for the nitty gritty planning as they’re probably onto the next thing to get excited about. Do your best not to take this personally – it has likely nothing to do with you or the trip and more to do with their personalities.
This is where perhaps you fill the gap and allow both of you to succeed as a couple by leaning on each other’s strengths.
- If you’re the extrovert: Understand that while you might find certain tasks difficult or tedious, the beauty of being in a partnership is doing things together to create shared memories. Your partner would likely appreciate your contributions.
There are countless introvert-extrovert relationships out there that have not only survived, but thrived despite their differences. Understanding, patience, and communication are all vital.
Differences that can co-exist harmoniously arguably forge stronger partnerships than those pairings that are more similar; you stand to learn and grow from each other more, and your strengths and weaknesses complement.
Ultimately, if both parties are willing to accept their partner’s flaws, embrace their strengths, and show mutual respect for differing beliefs and opinions, that already sets the stage for a very beautiful relationship indeed – one where hearts sing and love triumphs.
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Deborah Choo loves discussing relationships, platonic or not, as that remains at the heart of human existence. She draws upon learnings from couples’ counselling, and continues to celebrate an incredible journey of growth.