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Author Topic: Attempting to Understand an Introvert  (Read 6580 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 13, 2011, 05:05:34 PM »

My boyfriend is a great guy. He is loving, supportive, and is very forgiving of me.

The problem is that he is an introvert and I am an extrovert. I am very gregarious and social by nature. I love to be around people, entertain, socialize, and have conversation. I was raised in a home where we talk about our feelings, our thoughts, and are very expressive in our communication. Family gatherings are usually filled with very loud cousins, and a lot of laughter. For me, there is nothing I like more than having people over and feeding them.

He was an only child who grew up 25 miles outside of town, so making friends was difficult. He would rather be playing video games than having conversation, and tends to keep to himself. This often makes for awkward social moments with my family. When we get together for dinners, he says very little, and doesn't go out of his way to socialize with them. My mother, in particular, feels put off by his behavior, and takes it personal.

He needs daily "alone time" where no one bothers him. Making friends isn't important to him, so when we go to coffee hour, he really couldn't be bothered with getting to know other parishioners. He doesn't like it when people he doesn't know ask him questions about himself, and is slow to trust others. 

I am afraid if I say anything, he will be offended.

Some of you on this board have stated in other threads that you are introverted.

I understand that I can't change him. So how do I deal with this? How can I help an introvert navigate the waters of my very loud and gregarious family?

I'm trying to be accepting of who he is, but sometimes it's difficult.

Any advice?
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 05:20:34 PM »

I'm an introvert myself though I have no problems with socialization and I do need to maintain my alone time.  Fortunately, my wife is also an introvert and understands my needs for alone time and I understand the need for hers.

You've probably noticed that your boyfriend probably gives very brief answers to questions not wishing to get into anything major.  Most people, who are not introverts, see this as being disinterested, stand-offish, snobbish and indicative of "something to hide."  Introverts take time to develop trust before they can feel it's OK to volunteer more information.  And I think it is incumbent upon you to really make that known to your family members and friends and request their patience as this, depending on how long you remain with him, is not something fixed over night. 

It's not that introverts dislike conversation: we very much do, but it has to be more on our terms.  Too much personal information will be an immediate conversation killer.  If the discussion moves to general interests, we are more inclined to volunteer.

Patience is going to be the key here and everyone has to display some: you, your friends, your family members and even your boyfriend. good luck.
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 05:22:19 PM »

Sounds like scenes from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING.

My husband is also somewhat introverted while I am an extrovert.

However, he likes to listen to music in the background, while I enjoy quiet.
When we visit our in-laws, he retires to a corner and either listens to music or is glued to the TV set, while
I gather around the punch bowl with the relatives to share stories.

Music is one way of escaping reality for him. He prefers listening to music than having company over.
We silently share music together, especially on Friday nights when they play the Big Bands on the radio.

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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 05:23:40 PM »

Acceptance is a two-way street. I'm an introvert by nature, but I've had to learn how to accommodate extroverts in my life. I see this as an opportunity for your boyfriend to learn to cope with the extroverted behavior of your family and parish, and for your family and parish to learn to cope with your boyfriend's introverted behavior.

Have you tried explaining to your mother that he's not being deliberately offensive when he acts withdrawn and shy? And have you tried explaining to him that other people only mean well when they ask him personal questions?

Ultimately there's no "right" personality. God accepts all personality types.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 05:25:08 PM by Jonathan Gress » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 05:31:02 PM »

scamandrius seems a little more introverted than I - but not by much. I like what he said.

Try introducing your boyfriend to an older man (i.e. senior citizen) who may not get much company at coffee hour. He may find it easier to latch onto just one person than find his place in a crowd. Seniors can be non-threatening and often like to do all the talking  Cheesy. Make it seem as though he's doing the older gentleman a favour, perhaps take him a muffin, cookie, or whatever is being served.

Put him to work at cleaning up afterwards. This would work at home, too. He can putter along at his own speed. Having something to do takes away some of the awkwardness of silence.
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 05:36:34 PM »

scamandrius seems a little more introverted than I - but not by much. I like what he said.

Try introducing your boyfriend to an older man (i.e. senior citizen) who may not get much company at coffee hour. He may find it easier to latch onto just one person than find his place in a crowd. Seniors can be non-threatening and often like to do all the talking  Cheesy. Make it seem as though he's doing the older gentleman a favour, perhaps take him a muffin, cookie, or whatever is being served.

Put him to work at cleaning up afterwards. This would work at home, too. He can putter along at his own speed. Having something to do takes away some of the awkwardness of silence.

Both are excellent ideas, especially the first one. I always wondered why I liked talking to old people so much, and now you put your finger on it: they don't make you do all the talking!
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 05:43:54 PM »

One thing to remember is that extroverts and introverts have different ways of drawing in and expending mental and emotional energy. Extroverts draw their energy from being with people and find alone time psychological draining, while introverts are the exact opposite, drawing their energy from being alone and finding time with people draining. One way is no better than the other.

Don't get me wrong. We introverts love socializing with other people, but we need to be free to do so on our own terms. We generally hate big, noisy crowds of people where we have to talk to a lot of people in a short time. The kinds of conversations we prefer are those where we can sit down with only one or two persons at one time and talk in greater depth. For this to succeed, however, you must earn our trust, which we don't give out easily. We believe in taking the time to develop deep friendships with only a handful of people and don't have much use for superficial relationships with a lot of people. We're therefore not going to seek social contact until we feel comfortable, and the best way to make us feel comfortable is to introduce us to a small group of maybe two or three people at a time, don't pester us with a lot of trivial questions, and allow us the freedom to open up when we trust you. To earn our trust, show that you care about the things we consider most important. For instance, the best way to get me to open up in a conversation is to ask me about my work in computer software, my music, or my participation in Toastmasters, a few of the things I'm most passionate about. Ask me a superficial "How ya doing?" and I'm likely to come back with a smart ass comment that doesn't really communicate anything except my disdain for such questions.
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 05:44:54 PM »

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice -- keep them coming!

Some I have already employed, others I will keep in mind.

I'm really interested in hearing from y'all to understand how introverts "tick." Being social has always been second nature to me, so to be with someone who is not social has been a learning experience.

To be fair, I seem to be one of the few people in life he feels comfortable being social with. The first time we met, we talked for 8 hours non-stop! lol

So please, keep the posts coming.

What works for you, what doesn't, etc.
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 05:49:05 PM »

Ask me a superficial "How ya doing?" and I'm likely to come back with a smart ass comment that doesn't really communicate anything except my disdain for such questions.

Jon is very similar in this regard; he hates small talk. However, it is through small talk that strangers find out what you are about. It is really unfair for someone who is meeting him for the first time to know what his interests are, where he is from, and what his story is, yet he gets extremely annoyed when people ask questions such as "Where are you from?" or "What do you do for a living?"  Roll Eyes

I mean, I can't exactly introduce him to people as "this is my boyfriend Jon, but please don't ask him anything about himself."  Undecided Lips Sealed

What's a girl to do?  Huh
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 05:49:27 PM »

Having a mix of introverts and extroverts in a family can be a strain, but accommodation from both sides can help.  Our teen-aged daughter is more of an extrovert then the rest of us and this can be stressful on both sides.  Extroverts are energized by crowds it is said.  I find situations like that exhausting.  She likes to out and be with a bunch of anime fans or other people with similar interests.  

Here is a link to an article in the Atlantic from 2003 "Caring for your Introvert"
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/

I would counter an earlier post and say that some people who ask "personal questions" can only mean well, but there are some who may be nosy or pushy and trying to find things that aren't really any of their business.  It might be a matter of time or getting used to people.  But being pushed won't help.

I found that in a new situation if I ask the other person about themselves or their interests it can be helpful (and I don't have to talk as much  Smiley  )

Ebor
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 05:58:43 PM »

Having a mix of introverts and extroverts in a family can be a strain, but accommodation from both sides can help.  Our teen-aged daughter is more of an extrovert then the rest of us and this can be stressful on both sides.  Extroverts are energized by crowds it is said.  I find situations like that exhausting.  She likes to out and be with a bunch of anime fans or other people with similar interests.  

Here is a link to an article in the Atlantic from 2003 "Caring for your Introvert"
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/

I would counter an earlier post and say that some people who ask "personal questions" can only mean well, but there are some who may be nosy or pushy and trying to find things that aren't really any of their business.  It might be a matter of time or getting used to people.  But being pushed won't help.

I found that in a new situation if I ask the other person about themselves or their interests it can be helpful (and I don't have to talk as much  Smiley  )

Ebor


Thank you, Ebor, this article was fantastically helpful!
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 05:58:59 PM »

FWIW, I speak mostly as an introvert forced by recent circumstances to learn how to mingle in a large crowd and how to engage in small talk. I'm told that I've developed a very good competency for such large-group social situations, but I still prefer to be alone. It's possible for an introvert to overcome shyness, but an introvert really never stops being an introvert. The introvert really needs to have the freedom to develop social skills as he/she feels comfortable doing so, but a wee little bit of outside nudging certainly does help. Just don't nag us, or we become stubborn old mules.
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 06:02:42 PM »

Ask me a superficial "How ya doing?" and I'm likely to come back with a smart ass comment that doesn't really communicate anything except my disdain for such questions.

Jon is very similar in this regard; he hates small talk. However, it is through small talk that strangers find out what you are about. It is really unfair for someone who is meeting him for the first time to know what his interests are, where he is from, and what his story is, yet he gets extremely annoyed when people ask questions such as "Where are you from?" or "What do you do for a living?"  Roll Eyes

I mean, I can't exactly introduce him to people as "this is my boyfriend Jon, but please don't ask him anything about himself."  Undecided Lips Sealed

What's a girl to do?  Huh

Whenever we were invited out while we were engaged, I would introduce my future husband as a Broadcast Engineer. People would say, "Oh, really, I think I saw your name in the credits after the 5 PM news." And then the topic would quickly shift to news and politics. As these topics were of interest to my husband, he felt right at home.

The key is: quietly mention his interests and hobbies to one other person who shares the same interests. Then the three of you can talk.

At the parish, do you know the hobbies or functional hobbies (past times) of your pastor? When I found out that my priest enjoyed working on his car, this was one area where the two bonded, and it led to my husband being chrismated.
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 06:27:04 PM »

You can't really help him if he doesn't want to be helped.
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 06:30:27 PM »

Another introvert here.  As others have mentioned, socializing is a huge energy expenditure.  For me, just being around people takes energy.  I last about 36 hours on family vacations and then I am ready to go home.  A couple of Christmases ago the immediate family (7 adults, 1 child) got snowed in at my parent's farm for a few days and I almost lost it.  To maintain a shred of sanity I would go sit in the unheated garage periodically.  My family isn't particularly extroverted, but they do tend to take it personally.  They have a hard time understanding that its not that I don't want to go on vacation with them or that I don't want to be snowed in for 3 days with them, it is that I don't want to go on vacation or be snowed in with anyone.

Things that I appreciate in social gatherings, especially with family:
-Showing up just a little late so everyone is already there.  That way I can take care of all the greetings quickly.  Having to go through greeting rituals many times wears me out.
-Coffee table books.
-Booze.

All that being said, I, as an introvert, am not looking to be accommodated, but rather ignored.  
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 06:34:11 PM »

You can't really help him if he doesn't want to be helped.

Wow.
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 06:34:30 PM »

Another introvert here.  As others have mentioned, socializing is a huge energy expenditure.  For me, just being around people takes energy.  I last about 36 hours on family vacations and then I am ready to go home.  A couple of Christmases ago the immediate family (7 adults, 1 child) got snowed in at my parent's farm for a few days and I almost lost it.  To maintain a shred of sanity I would go sit in the unheated garage periodically.  My family isn't particularly extroverted, but they do tend to take it personally.  They have a hard time understanding that its not that I don't want to go on vacation with them or that I don't want to be snowed in for 3 days with them, it is that I don't want to go on vacation or be snowed in with anyone.

Things that I appreciate in social gatherings, especially with family:
-Showing up just a little late so everyone is already there.  That way I can take care of all the greetings quickly.  Having to go through greeting rituals many times wears me out.
-Coffee table books.
-Booze.

All that being said, I, as an introvert, am not looking to be accommodated, but rather ignored.  

Arriving late for Greek dinners is quite appropriate as long as one does not arrive after the food has been served.
We have discovered that an invitation of 1 PM usually means the food will be served at 3 PM when most people are already there.

Mechanical and automotive books and magazines on the coffee table are a must for most introverted guys.

My husband's dentist has a lot of different magazines in her waiting room that interest my husband.
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 06:35:50 PM »

You can't really help him if he doesn't want to be helped.

I am not so much looking to "help" or "change," but rather to understand.

As the article Ebor posted states, being an introvert is not a choice but an orientation. The brains of introverts are wired differently than extroverts. It is an organic state that I am trying to understand and accommodate.

Also, it helps to know that his need for time alone is not because he does not want to be with me, but because he is trying to rest from being in a job that forces him to interact with people all day long.
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2011, 06:37:41 PM »

Having a mix of introverts and extroverts in a family can be a strain, but accommodation from both sides can help.  Our teen-aged daughter is more of an extrovert then the rest of us and this can be stressful on both sides.  Extroverts are energized by crowds it is said.  I find situations like that exhausting.  She likes to out and be with a bunch of anime fans or other people with similar interests.  

Here is a link to an article in the Atlantic from 2003 "Caring for your Introvert"
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/

I would counter an earlier post and say that some people who ask "personal questions" can only mean well, but there are some who may be nosy or pushy and trying to find things that aren't really any of their business.  It might be a matter of time or getting used to people.  But being pushed won't help.

I found that in a new situation if I ask the other person about themselves or their interests it can be helpful (and I don't have to talk as much  Smiley  )

Ebor


Thank you, Ebor, this article was fantastically helpful!

I'm very glad that it was and that I could be of service to you and to another introvert.   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2011, 06:39:07 PM »

Ask me a superficial "How ya doing?" and I'm likely to come back with a smart ass comment that doesn't really communicate anything except my disdain for such questions.

Jon is very similar in this regard; he hates small talk. However, it is through small talk that strangers find out what you are about. It is really unfair for someone who is meeting him for the first time to know what his interests are, where he is from, and what his story is, yet he gets extremely annoyed when people ask questions such as "Where are you from?" or "What do you do for a living?"  Roll Eyes

I mean, I can't exactly introduce him to people as "this is my boyfriend Jon, but please don't ask him anything about himself."  Undecided Lips Sealed

What's a girl to do?  Huh

Whenever we were invited out while we were engaged, I would introduce my future husband as a Broadcast Engineer. People would say, "Oh, really, I think I saw your name in the credits after the 5 PM news." And then the topic would quickly shift to news and politics. As these topics were of interest to my husband, he felt right at home.

The key is: quietly mention his interests and hobbies to one other person who shares the same interests. Then the three of you can talk.

At the parish, do you know the hobbies or functional hobbies (past times) of your pastor? When I found out that my priest enjoyed working on his car, this was one area where the two bonded, and it led to my husband being chrismated.

Thanks, this helps.

Just to give some background, I live in the North East portion of the US, and my boyfriend is from the South East. He moved up here to be with me, so every time we go somewhere, it's a new social situation. (a.k.a. Introverts worst nightmare!)

I have been trying to introduce him to people that I know he has things in common with, but it doesn't always work.

I'm trying to be patient, but I must admit, patience is not my strong suit.  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2011, 06:42:15 PM »

My introvert is not very patient ...
Is this normal for introverts?
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2011, 06:43:07 PM »

My boyfriend is a great guy. He is loving, supportive, and is very forgiving of me.

The problem is that he is an introvert and I am an extrovert. I am very gregarious and social by nature. I love to be around people, entertain, socialize, and have conversation. I was raised in a home where we talk about our feelings, our thoughts, and are very expressive in our communication. Family gatherings are usually filled with very loud cousins, and a lot of laughter. For me, there is nothing I like more than having people over and feeding them.

He was an only child who grew up 25 miles outside of town, so making friends was difficult. He would rather be playing video games than having conversation, and tends to keep to himself. This often makes for awkward social moments with my family. When we get together for dinners, he says very little, and doesn't go out of his way to socialize with them. My mother, in particular, feels put off by his behavior, and takes it personal.

He needs daily "alone time" where no one bothers him. Making friends isn't important to him, so when we go to coffee hour, he really couldn't be bothered with getting to know other parishioners. He doesn't like it when people he doesn't know ask him questions about himself, and is slow to trust others. 

I am afraid if I say anything, he will be offended.
This is the only problem that I can see (though your mother taking it personally could also be: have you explained him to her)?

Some of you on this board have stated in other threads that you are introverted.

I understand that I can't change him. So how do I deal with this? How can I help an introvert navigate the waters of my very loud and gregarious family?

I'm trying to be accepting of who he is, but sometimes it's difficult.

Any advice?
Believe it or not, but I am too an introvert.  I have, however, been put in many situations when I had to overcome it.  But given the choice, that is still my preference. PtA is right, once an introvert, always an introvert.

I would avoid the big crowds of family and parisioners with him (especially if they are not his parisioners).  For the family, you might try arranging to met with a few at a time (like maybe a cousin their spouse at a time), starting with those he might have something in common with.
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2011, 06:43:16 PM »

Another introvert here.  As others have mentioned, socializing is a huge energy expenditure.  For me, just being around people takes energy.  I last about 36 hours on family vacations and then I am ready to go home.  A couple of Christmases ago the immediate family (7 adults, 1 child) got snowed in at my parent's farm for a few days and I almost lost it.  To maintain a shred of sanity I would go sit in the unheated garage periodically.  My family isn't particularly extroverted, but they do tend to take it personally.  They have a hard time understanding that its not that I don't want to go on vacation with them or that I don't want to be snowed in for 3 days with them, it is that I don't want to go on vacation or be snowed in with anyone.

Things that I appreciate in social gatherings, especially with family:
-Showing up just a little late so everyone is already there.  That way I can take care of all the greetings quickly.  Having to go through greeting rituals many times wears me out.
-Coffee table books.
-Booze.

All that being said, I, as an introvert, am not looking to be accommodated, but rather ignored.  

Mechanical and automotive books and magazines on the coffee table are a must for most introverted guys.

My husband's dentist has a lot of different magazines in her waiting room that interest my husband.

It is a hint at my state of arrested development, but I prefer Farside comic anthologies.  Wink

Another thought...  Don't hesitate to ask an introvert to run an errand while at a family gathering.  20 minutes to go pick up the pizza or more ice or whatever is quite refreshing.
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2011, 06:50:50 PM »

This is the only problem that I can see (though your mother taking it personally could also be: have you explained him to her)?

I actually printed and brought her the article Ebor posted as soon as I was done reading it! lol

I explained that he's not avoiding her; just everyone in general. lol

I would avoid the big crowds of family and parisioners with him (especially if they are not his parisioners).  For the family, you might try arranging to met with a few at a time (like maybe a cousin their spouse at a time), starting with those he might have something in common with.

Thanks for the tips. We've been attending a local OCA parish that is much smaller in size (in terms of building) and has a more intimate feel than the UOC/USA parish my family attends. He seems to like it more, and it seems to work well for us. (The fact that the entire liturgy is in English is an added bonus as well!)

We still occasionally attend the UOC parish, but I think the OCA parish will be our "home" parish going forward.
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2011, 07:21:39 PM »

The OP is exactly like me, which is frightening. You sure you aren't dating me?  laugh

I really don't know how to help your situation, the answer of course isn't changing that person to be more extroverted.

I think if you want to get an introvert more engaged, bring up a topic that he finds deeply interesting. The thing here too is the person who is bringing up the subject to the introvert has got to truly engaged in the conversation as well, otherwise it's going to be pretty short answers lol.

But even the above doesn't work for me. If someone brings up a subject I am passionate in and they don't have the depth of knowledge in that subject like I do, the conversation pretty much breaks down instantly and doesn't really continue.

Believe me I can't carry a conversation worth my salt. Which is kind of odd because on dates I'm pretty good about it, but when it comes to strangers that I don't care to impress, you can forget about it.
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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2011, 07:23:26 PM »

The thing that I have always wondered when it comes to introverts is are many of us still in "our shell" sort of speak?
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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2011, 07:28:30 PM »

My introvert is not very patient ...
Is this normal for introverts?
I think it depends on the situation. I can be very patient about certain things but let's say for example I am out on a family event or something I don't like to do, yeah I'm very impatient then lol.

Why? I guess for me I just feel like I'm wasting so much time that would be better invested by myself.
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2011, 07:28:36 PM »

I think I am also of a similar temperament to your significant other.

I am sure I am difficult to make conversation with. On one hand, I cannot abide the superficiality of small talk. On the other, I do not appreciate intrusions into my personal life by people I barely know. A good conversationalist knows how to keep the conversation somewhere in between these two extremes -- I am always grateful to encounter such a person.

I think that extroverted types often unfairly place the onus of being sociable on introverted people. If they fail to be sociable, they are immediately written off as snobbish or aloof. Obviously, the better way to do things is to meet in the middle, but this is not always an easy thing to execute.

None of the above really constitutes advice, so I will say this: psychology has demonstrated the power of mere proximity in the forming of human relationships. If you keep people close together often enough and long enough, they will eventually become friends, unless they have truly incompatible personalities. I guess this means, as has been said above, a lot of patience is required, and probably not much more.
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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2011, 07:29:56 PM »

My introvert is not very patient ...
Is this normal for introverts?

My girlfriend is introverted like me, but she's excruciatingly patient, while I suffer from terrible impatience. I'm reminded of the archaic division of personalities into four types, according to the supposed predominance of one of the four humors. I am definitely "melancholic", while she is "phlegmatic".
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« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2011, 07:30:48 PM »

I think it's also worth noting how many respondents here are introverts, rather than extroverts. It makes sense that introverts will predominate on an internet discussion forum. Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2011, 07:32:50 PM »

On one hand, I cannot abide the superficiality of small talk.
Finally someone who understands me LOL.

Quote
On the other, I do not appreciate intrusions into my personal life by people I barely know.
Exactly.

Quote
I think that extroverted types often unfairly place the onus of being sociable on introverted people. If they fail to be sociable, they are immediately written off as snobbish or aloof. Obviously, the better way to do things is to meet in the middle, but this is not always an easy thing to execute.
This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

Heh kind of makes me think how many people think I am rude and snobbish by my curt conversations.
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« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2011, 07:38:07 PM »

I think it's also worth noting how many respondents here are introverts, rather than extroverts. It makes sense that introverts will predominate on an internet discussion forum. Smiley

Maybe I am turning into an introvert.

I read somewhere that as spouses age, they begin to act and look like each other.
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« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2011, 07:44:12 PM »

it's weird, i am introverted, but yet i enjoy the small talk, as long as it doesnt lead into people prying about my personal life.

i trust very, very few people


the hardest thing to do is life, if to carry on a conversation with an introvert, while being an introvert yourself
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« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2011, 07:49:03 PM »

it's weird, i am introverted, but yet i enjoy the small talk, as long as it doesnt lead into people prying about my personal life.

i trust very, very few people


the hardest thing to do is life, if to carry on a conversation with an introvert, while being an introvert yourself

did i mention the fact that if you start a conversation about hockey or rugby, i will be able to hold my own with a few people, being my passions, but even then, with too many people, im still bound to clam up
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« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2011, 07:54:40 PM »

it's weird, i am introverted, but yet i enjoy the small talk, as long as it doesnt lead into people prying about my personal life.

i trust very, very few people


the hardest thing to do is life, if to carry on a conversation with an introvert, while being an introvert yourself

did i mention the fact that if you start a conversation about hockey or rugby, i will be able to hold my own with a few people, being my passions, but even then, with too many people, im still bound to clam up

At those times, my husband will get up and excuse himself to go to the "Little Boy's Room" and then afterwards, grab something to eat and/or drink and find another area where there is is a comfortable chair without a crowd.
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« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2011, 08:10:25 PM »

the hardest thing to do is life, if to carry on a conversation with an introvert, while being an introvert yourself
Lol, boy those awkward silences and forced conversations...
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2011, 08:26:51 PM »

This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

It depends. And I'm not sure that shyness is a much better characterization to aspire to.
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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2011, 08:36:56 PM »

My introvert is not very patient ...
Is this normal for introverts?

not for me...
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« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2011, 08:50:21 PM »

This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

It depends. And I'm not sure that shyness is a much better characterization to aspire to.
But it's a much better characterization than snobbish or aloof no?
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« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2011, 09:10:03 PM »

This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

It depends. And I'm not sure that shyness is a much better characterization to aspire to.
But it's a much better characterization than snobbish or aloof no?

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it. 
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« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2011, 09:18:26 PM »

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it.  

Bingo!

I often find myself thinking "Can you at least PRETEND to be interested" when in a social situation with my boyfriend. I don't know if he's aware that his behavior (whether he intends it or not) comes off as being rude.

It also makes the situation uncomfortable for those present, because they don't know what they are doing that is making him so dis-interested.

I remember one time at coffee hour, a friend of mine kept on cracking jokes, and Jon wouldn't crack as much as a smile. It made things at the table very uncomfortable.

It also makes things tough for me, because I want my friends/family to like him, but when he seems so disinterested they sort of look at me like "What are you doing with him?"  Undecided

My sister, on the other hand, is shy, but will act engaged/laugh at jokes made, even though she may not offer much in the way of conversation.
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« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2011, 09:23:04 PM »

This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

It depends. And I'm not sure that shyness is a much better characterization to aspire to.
But it's a much better characterization than snobbish or aloof no?

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it. 
Yeah I'm a pretty disengaged fellow myself, I don't know why but I cannot get myself to be interested in other people's lives. There has to be some deep seeded selfishness somewhere in me. If an acquanitance starts talking about their life, I just remain apathetic.

For me Hell is a place where I am confined into a room of strangers who don't know how to shut up about the most trivial crap.

Something I need to work on for sure. But with people who I am close with I am the opposite of this.
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« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2011, 09:24:56 PM »

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it.  

Bingo!

I often find myself thinking "Can you at least PRETEND to be interested" when in a social situation with my boyfriend. I don't know if he's aware that his behavior (whether he intends it or not) comes off as being rude.

It also makes the situation uncomfortable for those present, because they don't know what they are doing that is making him so dis-interested.

I remember one time at coffee hour, a friend of mine kept on cracking jokes, and Jon wouldn't crack as much as a smile. It made things at the table very uncomfortable.

It also makes things tough for me, because I want my friends/family to like him, but when he seems so disinterested they sort of look at me like "What are you doing with him?"  Undecided

My sister, on the other hand, is shy, but will act engaged/laugh at jokes made, even though she may not offer much in the way of conversation.

Maybe you should ask him to pretend. So much of social interaction begins with fakery at first and ends in true mutual affection.
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« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2011, 09:26:47 PM »

This sort of thinking bothers me because why would extrovert assume the introvert is snobbish or aloof when they are not sociable? Wouldn't they think they are shy?

It depends. And I'm not sure that shyness is a much better characterization to aspire to.
But it's a much better characterization than snobbish or aloof no?

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it.  

Has anyone ever heard of a "frustrated extrovert?"

In a class discussion, a psychologist was telling us that a "frustrated extrovert" is a shy extrovert who is embarrassed to be in a social situation, and who is trying to break out of his/her shy shell.
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« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2011, 09:33:41 PM »

My sister is an extrovert and shy.  She loves being around people and pays close attention to conversation and loves every minute of it.  She just doesn't say much or talk about herself and is easily embarrassed.  While I, on the other hand, shut down and glaze over in long conversation, retracting into my own mind.  By her body language she is clearly engaged.  By mine, I am often clearly not.  So I think the distinction between shy and aloof/disengaged is not in what is said or not said, but how one says (or doesn't say) it.  

Bingo!

I often find myself thinking "Can you at least PRETEND to be interested" when in a social situation with my boyfriend. I don't know if he's aware that his behavior (whether he intends it or not) comes off as being rude.

It also makes the situation uncomfortable for those present, because they don't know what they are doing that is making him so dis-interested.

I remember one time at coffee hour, a friend of mine kept on cracking jokes, and Jon wouldn't crack as much as a smile. It made things at the table very uncomfortable.

It also makes things tough for me, because I want my friends/family to like him, but when he seems so disinterested they sort of look at me like "What are you doing with him?"  Undecided

My sister, on the other hand, is shy, but will act engaged/laugh at jokes made, even though she may not offer much in the way of conversation.

Maybe you should ask him to pretend. So much of social interaction begins with fakery at first and ends in true mutual affection.
Yep, I definitely fake it pretty good when I'm with my girlfriend and she has me with her friends/family. That's probably the only time I find myself "engaged" in a conversation, I just do it so it keeps the gf happy lol.

I got a good friend of mine who is never fake at all when meeting someone new, just straight up bluntly honest almost to a degree of disrespect. He can make for some good conversations. Maybe we should do away with all the unecessary small talk when interacting with people at the first time.

I'm hoping orthonorm can chime in here, that guy goes straight to the heavy hitting questions with no bs filler. I'm sure he is quite the smooth talker when taking girls out on dates.
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