Does it sometimes feel like your boyfriend doesn’t want to talk to you?
Does he seem annoyed when you ask him a lot of questions about his day?
Does it sometimes feel like he just wants to be left alone?
YOUR BOYFRIEND MIGHT BE AN ASSHOLE…
… or, he might just be an introvert.
While most people have heard the terms “introvert” and extrovert”, it seems that many only know how to identify the latter. Introverts often get mislabelled as “moody” or “anti-social”, when the fact is that, when cared for correctly, they’re neither. The trick is that they’re likely to become moody, and may seem anti-social, if you try to treat them like an extrovert– Your spending the weekend at home alone? That’s awful! Turn on the radio! Invite a friend over!
When extroversion is all you’ve known, it can be hard to imagine that anyone could actually enjoy being alone, so we tend to assume that introverts seek solitude because they’re angry or anti-social. However, as is explained in an absolutely fantastic comic I recently read, this is far from the case:
Once you identify someone as an introvert and understand what separates them from extroverts, it can completely change the way you interact with them (and often, for the better). For example, most introverts aren’t likely to be incredibly fond of idle chit-chat. They’re happy to talk when they have something to say, but they don’t feel the need to talk just for the sake of talking. DON’T TAKE THEIR SILENCE AS A SIGN OF ANGER.
As an extrovert, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that when someone is especially quiet, it means that they’re upset about something. This leads to peppering them with questions about what’s wrong, which only irritates them. Accept that an introvert will likely only talk when they have something relevant to say– silence is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong.
Knowing these sorts of differences can make any relationship run smoother. If you think you may be dating an introvert, consider treating the following as a general guide to interaction:
Now, if there are any introverts reading this and thinking, “Ah, if only [insert name of extrovert] knew this”, I highly encourage you to show it to them. This knowledge has drastically change the way I view the actions of the introverts in my life, and I try very hard to respect that we respond to things differently (#12, damn it!). HOWEVER, relationships of any kind are a two-way street. So, introverts of the world, here’s YOUR guide to interacting with your extroverted acquaintances:
Honestly, you have no idea how much this knowledge will benefit your relationships, be they romantic or otherwise. Suddenly, you’re not panicking over why he got annoyed when you peppered him with questions about his day after work. Now you understand why he’s not keen to hit the club all night with you and your swarm of friends. Now you can finally see that he’s not an asshole, he’s just an introvert!