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3/23/13 2:35 P

@Anarie: Yeah, that sounds like her, she will chime in on a subject that may be a day or teo old because she took time to think about it more.

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (0)
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3/23/13 11:28 A

Not really sure how to define one, but I know that I am not an introvert. I love to start conversations with anyone I meet whether I know them or not. In fact, I have a personal goal that every time I go shopping for groceries, I make it a point to talk to everyone and shake the hands of at least one person. Almost always gets a smile.

Lately if someone smiles at me first, I will stop and tell them ... Nice smile, thank you. Haven't been slapped yet!

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
3/23/13 11:16 A

I'm an introvert, definitely, but I'm not necessarily quiet or shy. The two sometimes go hand-in-hand, but they're not the same thing. The idea of "where you get your energy" is probably as good an explanation as any. I like being in a group; I like hearing other people's thoughts and opinions, and I can express my own (although I rarely go first. In fact, it just occurred to me that the fact that I participate in message board threads but almost never start one is probably part of introversion!) But I am definitely much more tired after a meeting or party than I am before one. Other people find it relaxing to go to a party or out to a bar with friends, but I don't! I need a nap after happy hour! It doesn't mean that I don't like it, just that it's not energizing.

"Calling someone an introvert or an extrovert is sorta like grown-up name calling...and surely we're all "over it" by now!"

I don't think that's true at all. If introvert were an insult and extrovert a compliment, it might be true, but calling me introvert is no more "name calling" than calling me short. It's descriptive, not judgmental, and I think it would be healthy if more people knew the characteristics of introverts and extroverts so we can help each other have the environment that gives each individual the best opportunity for success. If you have a lot of extroverts on your work team, you hold more meetings and group working sessions, and you allow time for tangents and off-topic discussion. If you have introverts, then any time you have a meeting, you do a follow-up asking everybody to e-mail any additional ideas that they didn't mention during the meeting. You can also send out an agenda before the meeting; introverts tend to be more expressive if they know beforehand what's going to be discussed. It's knowledge and information about how a person prefers to interact. I don't think that's name-calling at all.

KJ, I think one thing you can do for your GF is to return to topics you discussed earlier. If you have a discussion and she doesn't seem to be saying what she feels, the next day ask her, "Do you have any more thoughts on what we talked about yesterday?" Also, introverts tend to need more time between getting an idea and acting on it. If she's doing something like applying for jobs, etc, don't expect her to run right out and apply the minute someone mentions an opening. She'll need to think about it, gather her references and edit her resume, and have everything lined up before she starts. Same with buying a car or choosing curtains or whatever-- don't expect her to decide on the spot. Introverts generally like to look, then go home and think about it, and then go back to get the item. (Personally, I tend to be that way even about minor things like buying shoes!)

JEFFGIRL Posts: 11,265
3/23/13 8:14 A

Yes, but not in my immediate family who are most all outgoing.

DUBLINROSE Posts: 2,757
3/23/13 8:11 A

my husband is an introvert, I'm more of an extrovert although I was quite shy when I was younger. Works for us.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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3/23/13 7:33 A

My DH and I have been married for 23 years and he definitely had more introvert in him than extrovert. Well I have found over the years, he has gained more of the extrovert qualities and I few more introvertive qualities. I find as I get older I tend to be more introspective as life happens. Works for us, sort of like the Ying and Yang thing.

NWLIFESRC Posts: 9,316
3/23/13 6:03 A

Yea me at times

DEBLYM SparkPoints: (4,435)
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3/23/13 1:41 A

my bf is an extrovert and i am an introvert. out in public im a good side kick...he starts conversations, i make them funny. :) we often have conversations about the difference between introverts and extroverts, he just doesnt understand why i like my alone time as much as i do. if he had his way he would have people around all the time. i am not shy, but i am quiet, and definitely need alone time to rejuvenate myself. i dont understand why he doesnt. but it works for us. :)

LOLEMA SparkPoints: (105,894)
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3/22/13 6:28 P


MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
3/22/13 6:14 P

I also find social situations draining. I love them after the fact, but I dread them up until that moment.

VANELLA3 Posts: 394
3/22/13 5:54 P

I was once told I am shy but not meek. That is me.

3/22/13 5:47 P

Yea. Me.

WILSON1926 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/22/13 5:07 P


I_HEART_MY_FAM Posts: 1,809
3/22/13 4:36 P

Do you think part of it is insecurity that even if she does not feel that way now she carries with her from some time ago, and now it is habit or her comfort zone? Reason why I ask is that up until age 19 I was very quiet and shy around people I did not know. If a new person was in our group of friends I would step back a bit until I felt secure, sometimes it was so bad I would leave or turn down to go out with them. I lacked self confidence. I don't know what happened but I changed at age 19. I guess I had a good year away from the abuse that went on in my home as a child and I blossomed into the woman I was suppose to be, and was no longer the scared little girl with secrets. I remember the fear, the nervousness, the loneliness I felt even when in a crowd.

MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (190,535)
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3/22/13 4:29 P

I am most definitely and introvert, and I also struggle with shyness. I think some of that comes from having low self esteem as a child; I was bullied from grade school all the way through high school. But going through that, I think it made me a little tougher, one thing I am proud of is that I never cried in front of the bullies.

Over the years, I've learned to embrace being an introvert, and enjoying my own company. I love spending time with family and friends, but I crave my alone time also.

3/22/13 3:12 P

That's how my gf feels after we've been with people (either friends or out in public), for the life of me I canNOT understand this feeling but I want to.

IRISHFANUH87 Posts: 1,038
3/22/13 3:06 P

I learned something very similar to what BARB wrote, that the terms introversion and extroversion have to do with what energizes you. Even though I am a very friendly person and enjoy social activity, I think I lean more towards introversion as I do feel a bit drained with social occasions. If it makes any sense I feel like I have to be "on" when I am around other people which can be tiring and I greatly value time to myself to relax and "turn off".

3/22/13 1:32 P

@RIET: Thanks!

TURTLESDOVE Posts: 1,067
3/22/13 12:48 P

Hubby and I pretty much stay to ourselves, but if someone talks to him about hunting or fishing, then you might as well sit down and make yourself at home. LOL!

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,822)
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3/22/13 12:40 P

DH & I are both anti-social. More of a lack of interest than fear. We both work all day with the public and we just want some quiet time.

I'm fine in small groups. And I even do a little public speaking (usually church or work stuff). I hate it, but I do it. There are usually several people in the group that I know pretty well so that helps put me at ease.

I_HEART_MY_FAM Posts: 1,809
3/22/13 12:33 P

I don't think all people are one way or another. I have different moods depending on who I am with and who is in the room. I am not overly talkative, but I can be approached well when talked to by a stranger, I can also start a little conversation myself with a stranger. I am popular at gatherings as I like to have fun and laugh, and get others to laugh. I can also go somewhere and be quiet almost shy, this happens with people that seem too straight laced and too prim or proper, people like that seem too clean like a house done in all white where you are afraid to touch anything, well in this case I shut down.... Some people would be very shocked to know I love dirty dancing in public, others may be shocked I love the Lord and have a personal relationship with him. Some people may think I am straight laced being a homemaker, while others know I am a very sexual woman who enjoys showing that side to a certain extent but know my boundaries to where it isn't putting anyone off except that one snot lady who is always at the gathering eyeing everyone that is having fun while she looks like someone served her , her diet coke with a bug in it ,and she is sitting there ticked off in public. .My point is it depends on the crowd and no one needs to be doing anything or saying anything, it's a feeling I get from the atmosphere. Most gatherings are at my home since I throw really good parties, can cook anything to perfection and host a great party with only great fun people. Your gf sounds like one of my older sisters who is socially awkward. My sis always says something to me, last time it was "boy you sure are jolly" and the time before that she said Mike(hubby) sure is attentive to you, is he always that way? I said yes, we are very close. My sister is beautiful looking and beautiful on the inside, but she is insecure and she admits it and that is why she is an introvert.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
3/22/13 11:46 A

Only my whole immediate family.

Some of the in laws are the exact opposite and can talk to someone they just met like they have known them for years. The thought of doing that to me, is scary.

It takes us a while to warm up to people and then you would never know that we were introverts.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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3/22/13 11:34 A

There are some things about human beings that are good to know, especially when you are in a relationship with each other. For me, the biggest eye opener of the difference between an introvert and extrovert was this:

an extrovert becomes clearer about his/her ideas by talking: an introvert becomes clearer by thinking and working it out in his/her head, and then speaking. Why this is important, I think, is that when an extrovert speaks, you hear his/her first thoughts, when an introvert speaks you hear his/her processed thoughts. This is very important to know at meetings; some people need "talking time" and some need "thinking time" It is good to provide for both types of people.

3/22/13 11:32 A

My girl friend never starts a conversation in public either with friends or strangers. One time we were standing in line at the Olive Garden and this guy started talking to my gf (I was pre-occupied with looking at the menu) and then I felt her hand grasping my arm, I looked up and saw the guy still talking to her but she was looking at me. I immediately looked at him and started to listen to what he was saying. He was talking about how he and his wife love the Olive Garden and come here all the time. I told him we liked it, too but I could tell he looked somewhat confused by my gf's action. When I did look at her her face was beat red.

later during dinner I asked her what was up with the guy talking to her, she said she hates talking to strangers and that they always seem to start conversations with her and not me. I laughed and said that I don't LOOK very friendly at first glance but that she does (look at my profile pic) and people are constantly starting conversations with her....she hates it. She's friendly when replying back to them but inside her skin is crawling.

BARBWMS Posts: 1,396
3/22/13 11:29 A

Most psychologists say the real difference between introversion and extroversion is where we get our energy. Extroverts get their energy from being in a group, from other people... while introverts are drained by crowds and need to recharge by being alone for a while. Most of us learn to accommodate those needs. I'm pretty extroverted, though perhaps less so when I am already tired. My husband is the classic introvert, so we find a balance of activities and sometimes do things wihtout each other... it works, has for 43 years....

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
3/22/13 11:17 A

You know, it seems to me that in public, I am rather introverted. I mean, I will come out of my shell and be the Abi that y'all either love or are annoyed by here on spark if I start to feel comfortable, but I am not usually one to start conversation. I'm a joiner when I'm with people I'm not generally comfortable around or people I don't know.

3/22/13 10:56 A

LOL! My bad for making it sound like I have a "problem" with introversion. We get along great and she is the love of my life and because of that I want to know everything about her. She too is getting use to me even after 3.5 years of being together she still cringes when I start to speak in public because I always seem to take conversations out of her comfort zone. She once said being around me is like being on a roller coaster filled with LOTS of steep dips, hahahahahaha!!!

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (199,368)
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3/22/13 10:49 A

Everyone has some-extrovert & some-introvert qualities...some people just have more of one than the other. I'd say skip the labels! Just enjoy your girlfriend for who she is--and she'll enjoy you for who you are!

Calling someone an introvert or an extrovert is sorta like grown-up name calling...and surely we're all "over it" by now! :)

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,483
3/22/13 10:48 A

sincere compliments and support are great ways to get people to come out of their shell.

ZENANDNOW SparkPoints: (68,476)
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3/22/13 10:47 A

3/22/13 10:41 A

My gf is an introvert (opposite of me, Mr. Extrovert) and I still have a hard time fully comprehending introversion.

When I first met her I thought being quiet & shy was an introvert but I now realize that the two, though they seem similar, in fact operate independently or maybe I still got it all wrong and quiet & shy are just same as being introverted.

Any insight?

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