Don’t judge them if they need to be alone after getting back from a social event.
Being married to an introvert can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, if you’re an extrovert, it can be easy to overlook or misunderstand your introverted partner’s needs and preferences — unintentionally, of course.
It’s important to respect your introverted partner’s unique personality traits and avoid actions that may make them uncomfortable or overwhelmed. I know from personal experience: I’m an extrovert and my husband is an introvert. Below, we’ll explore 16 things you shouldn’t do to your introverted partner — whether you’re married, dating, or something in between.
16 Things You Shouldn’t Do to Your Introverted Partner
1. Don’t force them to socialize more than they’re comfortable with.
Introverts need time alone to recharge their energy. Forcing them to socialize more than they’re comfortable can leave them feeling drained and exhausted. This will affect their mood and mental health. So it is essential to respect their boundaries and give them the time and space they need to recharge.
2. Don’t pressure them to attend events or gatherings they don’t want to attend.
Introverts can find large social gatherings exhausting, overwhelming, and stressful. Pressuring them to attend events or get-togethers they don’t want to attend can make them anxious and uncomfortable. Instead, try to understand their preferences and find a compromise for both of you. Maybe you can drive separately so they can leave when their social battery is reaching empty. Or maybe they’ll sit this event out, but go to another one that’s more important to you.
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3. Don’t make them feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone.
Introverts need time to recharge their batteries and process their thoughts and emotions — it is not personal. Making them feel guilty for wanting alone time can hurt your relationship. Instead, try to understand their need for solitude and support them in taking the time they need to recharge. You can also help them create an “introvert zen zone” or sanctuary in the house — a place they can retreat to as needed.
4. Don’t interrupt them when they’re in the middle of a task.
Introverts can be easily distracted by external stimuli, so it’s important to respect their focus and concentration. Many of them thrive when doing deep work. Interrupting them when they’re in the middle of a task can be frustrating for them. So try to find a time when they’re more available to talk or wait until they take a break and seek you out.
5. Don’t push them to be more talkative or expressive than they’re comfortable with.
Introverts often prefer expressing themselves differently than extroverts. So it’s best not to push your partner to be more talkative or expressive than they’re comfortable with. Believe me, they’ll talk when they’re ready. Usually, this will happen around close friends and people who they’re most comfortable around.
6. Don’t assume they’re not interested in spending time with you just because they prefer to do different activities.
Introverts often prefer spending time alone or with small groups of people rather than many people at once. But… they are still interested in spending time with you. Otherwise, they would not be with you! Just keep in mind that they may enjoy more low-key introvert-friendly activities, such as walking, watching a movie, or having a quiet dinner together vs. checking out the bustling new restaurant. Please don’t take their preference for more peaceful activities as a lack of interest in spending time with you.
7. Don’t criticize them for not being more outgoing.
Criticizing your introverted partner for not being more outgoing or social can be hurtful and make them feel inadequate. Introversion is a natural personality trait that cannot be changed, and expecting someone to act against their true nature is unfair. Instead of criticizing them, try to appreciate them for who they are. You fell in love with them for a reason, right?
8. Don’t assume that their silence means they’re not enjoying themselves.
Sometimes silence means someone is unhappy or disinterested. But to introverts, silence is completely natural. It may make others uncomfortable, but not them. Plus, they often prefer to listen and observe rather than constantly talking. Chances are, they’re processing everything and will speak when they’re ready.
9. Don’t assume they’re not enjoying themselves because they’re not showing it outwardly.
Similar to the point above, don’t assume your Introverted partner is not having a good time just because they’re not expressing it as much as you may be. They just might prefer to express themselves in quieter, more subtle ways.
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10. Don’t expect them to be the life of the party.
Introverts usually are uncomfortable being the center of attention or entertaining others. Don’t expect them to be the life of the party or continuously engage with others. Instead, appreciate their presence and the contributions they make in their way. If you have a dinner party, for instance, they’re probably great at listening attentively to guests and making sure everyone is comfortable.
11. Don’t assume they’re not interested in making friends or meeting new people.
Just because someone is an introvert doesn’t mean they don’t want to make friends or meet new people. They just may prefer to do so in smaller settings or through shared interests rather than in large social gatherings. Please don’t assume they aren’t interested in expanding their social circle. Introverts don’t consider everyone to be their friend (as extroverts might), and that’s okay!
12. Don’t make them feel abnormal for being an introvert.
Introversion is a natural personality trait, not weird or abnormal. Plus, 30 to 50 percent of the population may be introverted, so it’s hardly rare! So don’t make the introvert in your life think they need to change or be more outgoing to fit in. Accepting and appreciating them for their identity is essential for building, and maintaining, a solid relationship.
13. Don’t force them to participate in activities that require a lot of small talk.
Making introverts participate in activities that require a lot of small talk or interaction can be overwhelming and exhausting. Allow them to join in their way or for them to opt-out altogether if they feel uncomfortable. Respect their boundaries and preferences. After all, you two can find other activities to do that appeal to the both of you; you do not have to do everything together.
14. Don’t expect them to be as spontaneous or impulsive as you might be.
Introverts may not be as spontaneous as extroverts, and that is fine. They may prefer to plan activities (they’re great planners!) and take time to thoroughly consider all the options. Don’t expect them to change their natural tendencies or be more spontaneous than they’re comfortable with. That can be your department.
15. Don’t assume they’re not good communicators just because they’re introverted.
Introverts may not communicate in the same way as extroverts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good communicators. In fact, they actually excel at communicating. They may prefer to do so through writing, one-on-one conversations, or in small-group settings. Please don’t assume that their quiet nature means they can’t communicate effectively. Many of their introverted traits make them great at it: they listen attentively, are pros at reading body language, and often take on others’ emotions.
16. Don’t judge them if they need to be alone after getting back from a social event.
After social interactions, introverts often need to be alone to recharge their batteries. Please don’t take their need for alone time as a sign of rejection or disinterest. Instead, give them this time (see #3) and just know they’ll have more energy afterwards.
An Introvert/Extrovert Pairing Can Bring Great Balance to a Relationship
I’ve found that having an introverted husband brings great balance, depth, and introspection to our marriage. However, it’s important to remember that introverts have unique needs and preferences. You can create a solid and lasting relationship with your introverted partner by understanding and respecting these qualities, and avoiding actions that may cause them discomfort. I’m proof that you can build a happy and fulfilling life together by communicating effectively and supporting each other and your respective needs.
You can find more resources on my website at Pastorrotimi.org, and you can follow my youtube channel @RotimiOluwaseyitanMinistries.
You might like:
- 3 Things I’ve Learned as an Extrovert Married to an Introvert
- 12 Things to Know About Being in a Relationship With an Introvert
- Here’s the Love Language of Each Introverted Myers-Briggs Type
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