Introverts and physical affection {Quote of the Week}

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Do you rarely hug others? Do you feel uncomfortable kissing or holding hands with your significant other in public? It may be because you’re an introvert.

In her book, The Introvert and Extrovert in Love: Making It Work When Opposites Attract, Dr. Marti Olsen Laney explains that introverts often have a complicated relationship with physical intimacy. Although there are times when introverts enjoy the rush of physical affection, other times, when they are drained or tired, touch can feel invasive and overstimulating. On the other hand, extroverts gain energy when they are close to others, so physical contact with their partner is a pick-me-up. These differences can cause problems for introvert-extrovert couples, Dr. Laney explains:

Wooing and romance preserve strong bonds and act as a buffer against the routine annoyances of everyday life. Physical intimacy is an important way to keep the fires of love burning. And this can be a challenging area for an innie-outie pair. Innies are territorial and lose energy when others are physically close to them. Therefore, they are often slow to let others into their space. They may not be as physically demonstrative as an outie, but when they are well fueled they may enjoy touching more. Outies gain energy when they are close to others, and so they usually enjoy more physical closeness and touching than innies do.

If your needs for physical affection are different from your partner’s, it’s crucial that the two of you discuss your differences openly, Dr. Laney advises. Find a way to meet both of your separate needs — this is essential to maintaining that special connection with each other.





Are you an introvert? Take the free quiz.

Are you a thinker or a feeler? Find out by taking this free personality test from our partner Personality Hacker.

Read this: 25 honest confessions of an introvert

Read this: If you love an introvert


1 Comment

  • It’s weird for me. As an INFP – I crave the attention of my significant other. I love to cuddle and spoon and hold hands (though I don’t like that PDA kissing stuff that I see others do in public – like the hardcore kind). I’m not touchy-feely with my family though … and even my daughter and I have more of a silly relationship (we show our love by picking on each other rather than hugging and things) ….. and my extroverted boyfriend? He doesn’t like to be touched, or spooned, or snuggled with. He likes his space, he doesn’t like to be crowded at all. It’s a very weird thing for me; to experience someone so extroverted to be like that.

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