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Author Topic: Attempting to Understand an Introvert  (Read 6556 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2011, 09:43:17 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.

48 hours last night was quite interesting. A female con artist said that she was good at faking social situations because it was all an act. She was also great in debate for the same reason. Interestingly, in a study done on people who stutter, it was noted that when these people pretended to be someone whom they were not, then their stuttering tended to disappear. Also while singing or chanting, they did not have any problems with stuttering.
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« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2011, 10:11:24 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?

I once heard it said that you can't change people, you can only bring out the best in them.
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« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2011, 10:12:44 PM »

There are a lot of suggestions, but I'll add some as an introvert myself. I hope I'm not repeating.

I HATE HATE HATE large crowds. I seriously hyperventilate when thinking about going in for coffee hour, all right? Get the picture?

However, I guess that I'm a bit different in that if a person is actually interested in every day conversation and isn't faking, I open up quite quickly. I actually hate politics talk because to me, it is utter fakery. And as someone who studied and spent years debating just about everyone who lived in my dorm, I hate talking about politics. Usually people repeat the same stuff. You guys think you have amazing insights that I've never heard before? You don't. Wink Really. I promise.

If it's about a specific topic that's current in the news, it's fine. But if I hear another "What is happening to our country" discussion, which usually precedes a long monologue, my eyes absolutely glaze over and I look for the exits.

I think introducing him to some people who have stuff in common is a good idea. Maybe even playing sports with one of your relatives (doubles tennis, bowling) or video games can help create bonds. Even going to a movie! It's weird but sometimes people feel more relaxed afterward, being in other people's spaces for a while.

I think the one-on-one aspect is key. After spending time with my future godparents outside of a church environment, it's been a bit easier to just chill out at church and sit back during coffee hour. Sometimes we get into a big discussion with a table of 10 people, sometimes we talk to 1 or 2 people, sometimes it's just "Hi"s. Whatever. I still get a little nervous but it isn't TOO bad.

Question to introverts who don't like to talk about "personal" topics: What the heck do I talk to you about? Of course I'm not asking about salary or your love life, but I'll usually ask where the person lives, how long they've been in the area, what do they do. If I feel like they don't want to answer, I'll change the subject quickly.

But I am really interested in other people, and I find it such a hurdle to overcome, to talk to people who just don't want to say anything. I don't watch sports and I try not to bring up politics because the chances that I will offend whoever I'm talking to are quite high.

The weather?!
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« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2011, 10:17:08 PM »

Question to introverts who don't like to talk about "personal" topics: What the heck do I talk to you about? Of course I'm not asking about salary or your love life, but I'll usually ask where the person lives, how long they've been in the area, what do they do. If I feel like they don't want to answer, I'll change the subject quickly.

But I am really interested in other people, and I find it such a hurdle to overcome, to talk to people who just don't want to say anything. I don't watch sports and I try not to bring up politics because the chances that I will offend whoever I'm talking to are quite high.

The weather?!

I am really interested in this answer as well.

One time at coffee hour someone asked Jon where he was from. Jon wouldn't elaborate anything beyond saying "the South."

Really? He's not asking for your social security number, just which state you are from!

Oy!
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2011, 10:24:16 PM »

Question to introverts who don't like to talk about "personal" topics: What the heck do I talk to you about? Of course I'm not asking about salary or your love life, but I'll usually ask where the person lives, how long they've been in the area, what do they do. If I feel like they don't want to answer, I'll change the subject quickly.

But I am really interested in other people, and I find it such a hurdle to overcome, to talk to people who just don't want to say anything. I don't watch sports and I try not to bring up politics because the chances that I will offend whoever I'm talking to are quite high.

The weather?!

I am really interested in this answer as well.

One time at coffee hour someone asked Jon where he was from. Jon wouldn't elaborate anything beyond saying "the South."

Really? He's not asking for your social security number, just which state you are from!

Oy!

LOL that's great. Well you know what I mean. Cheesy
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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2011, 10:55:51 PM »

I am also quite introverted. Yesterday at liturgy there were a few new people visiting from Jordan and another white person who I'd never seen before. I felt very uncomfortable after liturgy when we had to meet them, especially the white guy because it seemed like the others were looking at him as though I'd have a friend of my own to play with or something while they went off to speak to each other in Arabic (it seems like some still can't quite grasp that I don't really mind the Arabic, and can speak a little bit). It got even more uncomfortable after he left and they started comparing us. "He (the other white guy) is baptized! When are YOU going to get baptized, Jeremy?" I didn't realize I was in competition with some guy I'd never met just because we have similar skin tones...  Undecided

Anyway, so yes, I can relate to the feeling of general uncomfortableness around people. I think the suggestion to talk to your family is a very good one. Not doing so can lead to some very unpleasant situations. One of my best friends confided in me a while back that for the first year and a half after I was introduced to him, her fiancee (now husband) thought that I hated him. I was confused as to why he would think that and she said it's because he is very extroverted so he took it as a bit of a snub when I didn't volunteer a lot of information in conversation or involve myself in small talk. The trouble with this is that, of course, after a year and a half of being thought of as a jerk, it was kind of hard to know where to go from there. So I think it's a very good idea to talk to your family before too much more time has passed to avoid this kind of situation. Nothing is more stressful for me than having to explain my extrovertedness to someone who takes it as a personal affront, especially in the context of a "I know you've thought I was a jerk for a year and a half, but..." conversation that I absolutely don't want to have. Gah, I'm cringing just typing about it and it already happened about 3 years ago...hahaha.

Try not to let it get to that point. Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2011, 11:09:45 PM »

I generally find silence and solitary time therapeutic. My wife bugs me about it... "I need to talk, it helps me" she'll say and my response is "not talking helps me."  Undecided

Conversations with other people are usually not as interesting to me as what's going on in my own head- as pompous as that sounds.

That said, I've come to realize some serious mistakes I made in allowing some friendships to fade and not pursuing others because I wasn't willing to expend a little mental/ emotional effort to go outside of myself.
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« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2011, 12:04:54 AM »

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.

It is this post that perplexes me. Before getting into that, there has been little written as to the physiological response that an introvert may go through. In my case, the more people present, the more I succumb to the feeling of nausea and I clearly start sweating and become flushed. I just want to get a way to make the discomfort go away.

I did not write previously because I think Scamandrius, LBK, Peter the Aleut and Genesisone, covered everything that I thought was worth mentioning. If you put that all together, introverts do quite well when relationships are developed in a more one-on-one basis. I have my own thoughts on how to proceed in that matter, but it is clear you are not interested at this point.

Contrary to your possible belief, most men are not extroverts although the degree varies. And contrary to how your think of yourself most women that I run into are also not extroverts. We tend to see both already adapted into their comfort zone, which can be obtained piecemeal, which is really what this discussion should be about.

I am not complaining, but your issues appear to go beyond the topic of this thread and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps I am blowing this out of proportion but I do care about you although you do not know me.
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« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2011, 12:27:43 AM »

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.

It is this post that perplexes me. Before getting into that, there has been little written as to the physiological response that an introvert may go through. In my case, the more people present, the more I succumb to the feeling of nausea and I clearly start sweating and become flushed. I just want to get a way to make the discomfort go away.

I did not write previously because I think Scamandrius, LBK, Peter the Aleut and Genesisone, covered everything that I thought was worth mentioning. If you put that all together, introverts do quite well when relationships are developed in a more one-on-one basis. I have my own thoughts on how to proceed in that matter, but it is clear you are not interested at this point.

Contrary to your possible belief, most men are not extroverts although the degree varies. And contrary to how your think of yourself most women that I run into are also not extroverts. We tend to see both already adapted into their comfort zone, which can be obtained piecemeal, which is really what this discussion should be about.

I am not complaining, but your issues appear to go beyond the topic of this thread and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps I am blowing this out of proportion but I do care about you although you do not know me.

If you don't mind me asking, what is it about this post that perplexes you?  Huh

What issues do you feel I have that go beyond that of an extrovert being partnered with an introvert?

In regards to my degree of "extrovert", there are several members on this board who know me in real life who could testify to my outgoing nature. It's been joked that I could have a conversation with a wall.  laugh

A lot of what people have been posting here has rung true to my situation, and really brings me great comfort and help.

I really appreciate what everyone has been saying, and hope everyone will continue to post. It really has helped me more than you know.
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« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2011, 12:47:05 AM »

I don't think we can simply talk about extroverts and introverts because there are so many different kinds and for a variety of reasons.

I have friends who are introverts because they lack confidence, some who are that way because they are shy and some who aren't introverts at all but seem that way because they are controlling about what information they let out and who they can be bothered to talk to.

The one who lacks confidence is helped by some of the suggestions that have been made already. The one who is shy won't ever be much different, it's who they are and the person who's controlling i just let them get on with it and i get on with my conversations with others.

I think i'm probably a mix of both extro and intro, depending on what situation i'm in. That probably can be said for a lot of us.
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« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2011, 03:54:28 AM »

I don't think we can simply talk about extroverts and introverts because there are so many different kinds and for a variety of reasons.

I have friends who are introverts because they lack confidence, some who are that way because they are shy and some who aren't introverts at all but seem that way because they are controlling about what information they let out and who they can be bothered to talk to.

The one who lacks confidence is helped by some of the suggestions that have been made already. The one who is shy won't ever be much different, it's who they are and the person who's controlling i just let them get on with it and i get on with my conversations with others.

I think i'm probably a mix of both extro and intro, depending on what situation i'm in. That probably can be said for a lot of us.
Have you been reading HMoG's posts on this thread, or are you just speaking to an abstraction?

Do you speak from personal experience as an introvert, as do so many others on this thread, or are you just speaking academically?

BTW, are you familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator? It seems that you don't really understand what an introvert is.
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« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2011, 07:11:49 AM »

I don't think we can simply talk about extroverts and introverts because there are so many different kinds and for a variety of reasons.

I have friends who are introverts because they lack confidence, some who are that way because they are shy and some who aren't introverts at all but seem that way because they are controlling about what information they let out and who they can be bothered to talk to.

The one who lacks confidence is helped by some of the suggestions that have been made already. The one who is shy won't ever be much different, it's who they are and the person who's controlling i just let them get on with it and i get on with my conversations with others.

I think i'm probably a mix of both extro and intro, depending on what situation i'm in. That probably can be said for a lot of us.
Have you been reading HMoG's posts on this thread, or are you just speaking to an abstraction?

Do you speak from personal experience as an introvert, as do so many others on this thread, or are you just speaking academically?

BTW, are you familiar with the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator? It seems that you don't really understand what an introvert is.

Yes, i've read all the posts and wanted to comment generally.

Personal experience and as neither one nor the other.

I do understand what an introvert is and am familiar with MGI types and no i wasn't speaking academically.
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« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2011, 07:45:16 AM »

Question to introverts who don't like to talk about "personal" topics: What the heck do I talk to you about? Of course I'm not asking about salary or your love life, but I'll usually ask where the person lives, how long they've been in the area, what do they do. If I feel like they don't want to answer, I'll change the subject quickly.

But I am really interested in other people, and I find it such a hurdle to overcome, to talk to people who just don't want to say anything. I don't watch sports and I try not to bring up politics because the chances that I will offend whoever I'm talking to are quite high.

The weather?!

I am really interested in this answer as well.

One time at coffee hour someone asked Jon where he was from. Jon wouldn't elaborate anything beyond saying "the South."

Really? He's not asking for your social security number, just which state you are from!

Oy!

Don't ask him the questions that make him feel being interrogated by the police. For me the best think is when the interlocutor does all the talking and I sometimes nod, grunt or ask some questions to maintain the chat. Also topics that he is very interested in can make him talk (or even argue).
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« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2011, 08:34:49 AM »

Question to introverts who don't like to talk about "personal" topics: What the heck do I talk to you about? Of course I'm not asking about salary or your love life, but I'll usually ask where the person lives, how long they've been in the area, what do they do. If I feel like they don't want to answer, I'll change the subject quickly.

But I am really interested in other people, and I find it such a hurdle to overcome, to talk to people who just don't want to say anything. I don't watch sports and I try not to bring up politics because the chances that I will offend whoever I'm talking to are quite high.

The weather?!

I am really interested in this answer as well.

One time at coffee hour someone asked Jon where he was from. Jon wouldn't elaborate anything beyond saying "the South."

Really? He's not asking for your social security number, just which state you are from!

Oy!

Don't ask him the questions that make him feel being interrogated by the police. For me the best think is when the interlocutor does all the talking and I sometimes nod, grunt or ask some questions to maintain the chat. Also topics that he is very interested in can make him talk (or even argue).
Yeah, but if I do all the talking, I feel like a Chatty Cathy.

And believe me, we can tell when you guys are not interested.
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« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2011, 08:37:34 AM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.
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« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2011, 08:43:51 AM »

PtA is right, once an introvert, always an introvert.
The boxer George Foreman seemingly went from introvert to extrovert, due to a religious experience in the early '80s.
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« Reply #61 on: November 14, 2011, 10:02:06 AM »

PtA is right, once an introvert, always an introvert.
The boxer George Foreman seemingly went from introvert to extrovert, due to a religious experience in the early '80s.
How much do you really know about George Foreman? Did he really become an extrovert, or did he just become more outspoken? I know some very outspoken people who are still very much introverts at heart.
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« Reply #62 on: November 14, 2011, 10:50:15 AM »

PtA is right, once an introvert, always an introvert.
The boxer George Foreman seemingly went from introvert to extrovert, due to a religious experience in the early '80s.
How much do you really know about George Foreman? Did he really become an extrovert, or did he just become more outspoken? I know some very outspoken people who are still very much introverts at heart.
...which is why I wrote "seemingly".
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« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2011, 11:59:52 AM »

I think i've done that too. Like i said, it depends on why you're an introvert.
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« Reply #64 on: November 14, 2011, 01:38:30 PM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.

Bingo. Also, for me, I feel like I don't really have the necessary _____ (whatever it is) to actually keep a conversation going. So even if I get through the pleasantries (which is kind of exhausting, if it's a new person who wants to know a lot of things), the conversation just sort of...dies. Somewhere in my socialization as a very young child I must have missed the lesson that explained how this is supposed to work. I know a lot about listening (because it's easier and I'm more comfortable with it), but I often feel like I don't have anything to say when it's my turn to talk. It's not that I'm not interested, I really just have no insight on the topic most of the time. I feel like a lot of people have common interests that I don't share, so there's no way to add anything to whatever it is they're talking about. This is somehow worse among friends, since I know that they'd know I was "faking it" and didn't suddenly develop an interest in popular music, fashion, secular humanism, football, etc. And this makes me feel awful (and hence makes me withdraw more), since there's no way of explaining it that doesn't make me seem arrogant, when really it's a matter of having no shared experience or worldview. So it's like this terrible, isolating cycle that unfortunately hasn't gotten better or fixed itself as I've gotten older, as I'd hoped it would. Cheesy
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« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2011, 02:00:36 PM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.

Bingo. Also, for me, I feel like I don't really have the necessary _____ (whatever it is) to actually keep a conversation going. So even if I get through the pleasantries (which is kind of exhausting, if it's a new person who wants to know a lot of things), the conversation just sort of...dies. Somewhere in my socialization as a very young child I must have missed the lesson that explained how this is supposed to work. I know a lot about listening (because it's easier and I'm more comfortable with it), but I often feel like I don't have anything to say when it's my turn to talk. It's not that I'm not interested, I really just have no insight on the topic most of the time. I feel like a lot of people have common interests that I don't share, so there's no way to add anything to whatever it is they're talking about. This is somehow worse among friends, since I know that they'd know I was "faking it" and didn't suddenly develop an interest in popular music, fashion, secular humanism, football, etc. And this makes me feel awful (and hence makes me withdraw more), since there's no way of explaining it that doesn't make me seem arrogant, when really it's a matter of having no shared experience or worldview. So it's like this terrible, isolating cycle that unfortunately hasn't gotten better or fixed itself as I've gotten older, as I'd hoped it would. Cheesy

For my BF it seems to fluctuate between genuine lack of interest, and/or not knowing/having anything to say.

I have another question though: how, as introverts, do you handle conflict?

For example, if your significant other or a family member approaches you about a topic you are not comfortable with, or there is a problem in the relationship, how do you respond?
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« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2011, 02:27:57 PM »

It really depends on the topic and the person bringing it up. In general however, I try to avoid conflict by either avoiding the subject altogether (e.g., trying to change the subject or just saying "I'm really not comfortable talking about this"), or when that isn't possible trying to offer up as little information as possible so as to not prolong the conversation.

For instance, my father and I tend to not see eye to eye on religion, because he's involved in an anti-Christian cult. When he first became involved with these people, I tried to talk to him and reason with him about the falsehood of their corrupted, blasphemous doctrines (not in so many adjectives, mind you). He became shockingly angry (as he had only met with their missionaries two times at that point, I was taken aback by his response), and insisted that I was ignorant and shouldn't say such things because "everything this group teaches is based on the Bible" (well yeah, that's how Christianity-based cults work!). Having not succeeded in a more direct approach, I maintain(ed) a more general rejection of this group and its doctrine. After he LIED to the leader of the local chapter of this organization here in Albuquerque, saying that I was interested in joining them (even though I've told him explicitly several times that I was not interested, and he knows I am exploring Orthodoxy), I realized that there was nothing to be gained from trying to engage him on this issue, since he clearly did not respect or understand (or want to understand) my position, so now I just shut all attempts at religious conversation down before they even get going. I'm not sure this is the right way to go about things, but I figure I've tried everything else and now all that I can do is what I've been doing from the beginning: pray, and pray, and pray!

So yeah...it really depends. I'm of course willing to go out of my way to engage when it is something important (I really don't like it, but who else is going to do it? Christ is more important than being comfortable), but when/if that doesn't work it still follows the general pattern: withdraw, volunteer as little as possible, and if it just won't go away, just shut down altogether.

Sorry. I really wish I had a more hopeful answer for you. Maybe someone else will.
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« Reply #67 on: November 14, 2011, 03:41:37 PM »

Hello! I'm an introvert myself and I'm very quiet during gatherings. If your boyfriend is at least a bit similar to me, then he likes to talk, but not just about anything and with anyone. Talk about what interests him and ask for his opinion on things. Not necessarily about what color to pick for the new pillows Smiley, but maybe how some matter should be approached. Something important that makes him feel important to you.

Also, if I'm at a gathering and I'm ignored, I become upset. On the other hand, if I stay for an hour or two and the conversation revolves about something that doesn't interest me, then my head hurts Smiley

I think that you should respect him for who he is and don't ask too much from him. Maybe he can try a bit harder, like asking your mother how did she prepared that delicious food she keeps serving you:), but, in time, with patience and love, things can come around.
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« Reply #68 on: November 14, 2011, 04:20:43 PM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.

Bingo. Also, for me, I feel like I don't really have the necessary _____ (whatever it is) to actually keep a conversation going. So even if I get through the pleasantries (which is kind of exhausting, if it's a new person who wants to know a lot of things), the conversation just sort of...dies. Somewhere in my socialization as a very young child I must have missed the lesson that explained how this is supposed to work. I know a lot about listening (because it's easier and I'm more comfortable with it), but I often feel like I don't have anything to say when it's my turn to talk. It's not that I'm not interested, I really just have no insight on the topic most of the time. I feel like a lot of people have common interests that I don't share, so there's no way to add anything to whatever it is they're talking about. This is somehow worse among friends, since I know that they'd know I was "faking it" and didn't suddenly develop an interest in popular music, fashion, secular humanism, football, etc. And this makes me feel awful (and hence makes me withdraw more), since there's no way of explaining it that doesn't make me seem arrogant, when really it's a matter of having no shared experience or worldview. So it's like this terrible, isolating cycle that unfortunately hasn't gotten better or fixed itself as I've gotten older, as I'd hoped it would. Cheesy

For my BF it seems to fluctuate between genuine lack of interest, and/or not knowing/having anything to say.

I have another question though: how, as introverts, do you handle conflict?

For example, if your significant other or a family member approaches you about a topic you are not comfortable with, or there is a problem in the relationship, how do you respond?

Depends on the topic. For me I ignore the controversial issue or very earnestly argue. Nothing in the middle.
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« Reply #69 on: November 14, 2011, 04:24:46 PM »

It might be added that introversion should not necessarily be indentfied with being shy. I tend to be introverted in that I need alone time, enjoying spending time with a few truly close friends, and get exhausted in large crowds. However, I can be quite outgoing in public.
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« Reply #70 on: November 14, 2011, 04:55:53 PM »

Aristotle would argue that both extremes fall out of the guidelines of perfection of character. Somewhere in the middle is where one should strive for and is constituted as normal by Orthodox and world standards. I myself sometimes tip the scales over to the introvert side without meaning to. But I try to recognized those times and correct myself. It's not healthy to let yourself go. The same can be said about any defect in character. Could you imagine if we let our laziness run away with us.
    Everybody needs a certain degree of peace and alone time. When one removes themselves completely from society. There is certainly a problem with that type of behavior. The same can be said about an overly friendly person who has a lack of self confidence and always wants to be around people to feel secure. These are all shortfalls that can be discussed with a priest.
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« Reply #71 on: November 14, 2011, 06:12:48 PM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.

Bingo. Also, for me, I feel like I don't really have the necessary _____ (whatever it is) to actually keep a conversation going. So even if I get through the pleasantries (which is kind of exhausting, if it's a new person who wants to know a lot of things), the conversation just sort of...dies. Somewhere in my socialization as a very young child I must have missed the lesson that explained how this is supposed to work. I know a lot about listening (because it's easier and I'm more comfortable with it), but I often feel like I don't have anything to say when it's my turn to talk. It's not that I'm not interested, I really just have no insight on the topic most of the time. I feel like a lot of people have common interests that I don't share, so there's no way to add anything to whatever it is they're talking about. This is somehow worse among friends, since I know that they'd know I was "faking it" and didn't suddenly develop an interest in popular music, fashion, secular humanism, football, etc. And this makes me feel awful (and hence makes me withdraw more), since there's no way of explaining it that doesn't make me seem arrogant, when really it's a matter of having no shared experience or worldview. So it's like this terrible, isolating cycle that unfortunately hasn't gotten better or fixed itself as I've gotten older, as I'd hoped it would. Cheesy

For my BF it seems to fluctuate between genuine lack of interest, and/or not knowing/having anything to say.

I have another question though: how, as introverts, do you handle conflict?

For example, if your significant other or a family member approaches you about a topic you are not comfortable with, or there is a problem in the relationship, how do you respond?

I have learned, for the most part, not to engage or be engaged in conflict.  If it is merely a topic of conversation that is rather loaded I won't usually participate or at least I will hold back.  I can be VERY opinionated, but I am aware that my opinion rarely matters and it usually won't change anything in those circumstances.  If someone has a beef with me and they confront me I will hear them out.  After hearing them out I usually have to sit on it for a bit to process everything, particularly if the person is in a heated state.  My brain goes to the same place as when I am in a crowded hectic place.  Trying to hash something out without the opportunity to organize my thoughts doesn't work out so well.  I'm not sure that is unique to introverts though.
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« Reply #72 on: November 14, 2011, 06:27:11 PM »

It's not that were are no interested in but we (at least I) prefer to listen to than to talk myself.

Bingo. Also, for me, I feel like I don't really have the necessary _____ (whatever it is) to actually keep a conversation going. So even if I get through the pleasantries (which is kind of exhausting, if it's a new person who wants to know a lot of things), the conversation just sort of...dies. Somewhere in my socialization as a very young child I must have missed the lesson that explained how this is supposed to work. I know a lot about listening (because it's easier and I'm more comfortable with it), but I often feel like I don't have anything to say when it's my turn to talk. It's not that I'm not interested, I really just have no insight on the topic most of the time. I feel like a lot of people have common interests that I don't share, so there's no way to add anything to whatever it is they're talking about. This is somehow worse among friends, since I know that they'd know I was "faking it" and didn't suddenly develop an interest in popular music, fashion, secular humanism, football, etc. And this makes me feel awful (and hence makes me withdraw more), since there's no way of explaining it that doesn't make me seem arrogant, when really it's a matter of having no shared experience or worldview. So it's like this terrible, isolating cycle that unfortunately hasn't gotten better or fixed itself as I've gotten older, as I'd hoped it would. Cheesy

For my BF it seems to fluctuate between genuine lack of interest, and/or not knowing/having anything to say.

I have another question though: how, as introverts, do you handle conflict?

For example, if your significant other or a family member approaches you about a topic you are not comfortable with, or there is a problem in the relationship, how do you respond?
whatever you do, do not beat around the bush. Even if he doesn't have anything to say, or doesn't want to talk about it, I'll bet he is no fool and can see such a conversation hovering around, and the longer it hovers the worse the explosion. Better to get it over with.  That might just be say your piece, and then let him process it in his own way, even if that means you will have to wait for the response. Forcing it out then and there is not going to work.

You might have to get straight to the point in delievery, btw.
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« Reply #73 on: November 14, 2011, 07:02:46 PM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away
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« Reply #74 on: November 14, 2011, 07:07:12 PM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
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« Reply #75 on: November 14, 2011, 07:51:59 PM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
personally, i would love to be able to do something else, but i cant

conflict makes me feel like ive done something stupid/wrong by what ive said, which then makes me sad and makes me not say anything else, so i just run away from the senario
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« Reply #76 on: November 14, 2011, 07:58:56 PM »


He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.

Oh dear...... Could this be more controlling than introverted? It's not a good dynamic if you have to plead to find out why he is upset.   It might be better to go out and do something you enjoy while he has time to decide how to communicate what is bothering him.  (Sorry if I am projecting onto your situation something that isn't there.   )
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« Reply #77 on: November 14, 2011, 08:52:56 PM »


He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.

Oh dear...... Could this be more controlling than introverted? It's not a good dynamic if you have to plead to find out why he is upset.   It might be better to go out and do something you enjoy while he has time to decide how to communicate what is bothering him.  (Sorry if I am projecting onto your situation something that isn't there.   )

I appreciate your concern, but trust me, controlling he is not. Smiley

I can see how that could be interpreted though. Smiley
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« Reply #78 on: November 14, 2011, 09:23:13 PM »


I appreciate your concern, but trust me, controlling he is not. Smiley

I can see how that could be interpreted though. Smiley

Great!  This is a very interesting thread, by the way  Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: November 14, 2011, 09:29:15 PM »

Wow.  Now I am paranoid.  *looks around for hidden camera's*  It is like reading about myself, an introvert.

Of course my wife is an extrovert, sanguine or what ever term is used, she being outgoing and colorful.
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« Reply #80 on: November 14, 2011, 10:08:37 PM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
Well, that's a problem he is going to have to get over, if this includes topics that need discussing.

One of my ex's favorite games was "well if you don't know I'M not going to tell you."  I got tired of trying to please someone would wouldn't be pleased.

You have to break some eggs to make an omelette, and you should break them before you end up walking on egg shells.
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« Reply #81 on: November 15, 2011, 12:31:35 AM »

Just to give some background, I live in the North East portion of the US, and my boyfriend is from the South East.
I think I might just see one reason for not wanting to talk much around Northerners; every time I went up to Chicago (the only Northern city I've ever been to), people would ALWAYS ask me if I was from Mississippi or Alabama.  Apparently, they've never been to Missip' or 'Bama or the Ozarks.  In addition to that ridiculous question, they'd always get this grin and ask me to "say that again."   

I'm trying to be patient, but I must admit, patience is not my strong suit.  Wink
Maybe this is why God put y'all together?  Smiley

I'm not trying to make light of your situation, and as an introvert myself, I can only echo what the other introverts have said.  That article that Ebor provided was pretty cool and right on. 
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« Reply #82 on: November 15, 2011, 12:36:08 AM »

Just to give some background, I live in the North East portion of the US, and my boyfriend is from the South East.
I think I might just see one reason for not wanting to talk much around Northerners; every time I went up to Chicago (the only Northern city I've ever been to), people would ALWAYS ask me if I was from Mississippi or Alabama.  Apparently, they've never been to Missip' or 'Bama or the Ozarks.  In addition to that ridiculous question, they'd always get this grin and ask me to "say that again."   

I'm trying to be patient, but I must admit, patience is not my strong suit.  Wink
Maybe this is why God put y'all together?  Smiley

I'm not trying to make light of your situation, and as an introvert myself, I can only echo what the other introverts have said.  That article that Ebor provided was pretty cool and right on. 

a southern accent is always loved by northerners. and besides, chicago is the midwest, not the north
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« Reply #83 on: November 15, 2011, 12:55:06 AM »

I am sorry Handmaiden, it was only this:
I am not so much looking to "help" or "change," but rather to understand.

It seemed to me incongruent with your original posts in this thread and your appreciation of the advise that had already been given. This particular post had the appearance of changing your original intent of seeking help with a general request of introverts as to how their minds work. But then again this interpretation seemed incongruent with most if not all of your past posts. Thus I was perplexed as to its meaning.

In regard to you post, I never questioned whether or not you are an extrovert. In my opinion an extrovert spouse is what and introvert needs for an enriching life.

I want to make one more statement, I think this is generally not true:
I understand that I can't change him. So how do I deal with this? How can I help an introvert navigate the waters .....?

Whether you are part of your boyfriends life or not, he will change in this regard. If you marry him (ignoring all other potential issues in this regard) you would certainly speed up the process if you understand the previous posts about incrementally expanding his relationships. Needless to say, someone of mine temperment appreciates the efforts of others who know me to answer questions directed at me on the basis of kindness.
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« Reply #84 on: November 15, 2011, 01:16:12 AM »

Just to give some background, I live in the North East portion of the US, and my boyfriend is from the South East.
I think I might just see one reason for not wanting to talk much around Northerners; every time I went up to Chicago (the only Northern city I've ever been to), people would ALWAYS ask me if I was from Mississippi or Alabama.  Apparently, they've never been to Missip' or 'Bama or the Ozarks.  In addition to that ridiculous question, they'd always get this grin and ask me to "say that again."   

I'm trying to be patient, but I must admit, patience is not my strong suit.  Wink
Maybe this is why God put y'all together?  Smiley

I'm not trying to make light of your situation, and as an introvert myself, I can only echo what the other introverts have said.  That article that Ebor provided was pretty cool and right on. 

 and besides, chicago is the midwest, not the north

 Thanks for the attempt at a geography lesson, bless your heart.  Wink
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« Reply #85 on: November 15, 2011, 01:32:35 AM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
You sure this guy is an introvert?
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« Reply #86 on: November 15, 2011, 01:40:35 AM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
You sure this guy is an introvert?

I wondered the same thing.  I Don't mean to sound judgmental or try and diagnose him, but based solely on the description above, there might be more than just introversion at play.  No need to respond or clarify, but it might be worth exploring.   
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« Reply #87 on: November 15, 2011, 02:01:01 AM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
Based solely on what I read here, I would say this is an unhealthy avoidance behavior bordering on the passive-aggressive. An introvert can learn how to address conflict in a healthy manner, but that requires a willingness to talk about what's bothering him.
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« Reply #88 on: November 15, 2011, 05:10:17 AM »

RE how do i handle conflict


i run away

This is my problem. If I have to talk to him about something, and he doesn't like the topic, he just shuts down.

Literally.

He will close his eyes, fold his arms, and just sit there with a scowl on his face.

I then have to beg him to talk and tell me why he is upset, and what I said upset him.

VERY frustrating.
Based solely on what I read here, I would say this is an unhealthy avoidance behavior bordering on the passive-aggressive. An introvert can learn how to address conflict in a healthy manner, but that requires a willingness to talk about what's bothering him.

Do you have professional qualifications in any area of psychology?
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« Reply #89 on: November 15, 2011, 10:22:30 PM »

a southern accent is always loved by northerners. and besides, chicago is the midwest, not the north

Just to clarify, although born in Kentucky and raised in South Carolina, he has no trace of a Southern accent. Doesn't even use the word y'all. Smiley
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
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