15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Introverted Partner

an introvert and his partner

Introverts need downtime to recharge their batteries and process their thoughts and emotions — and it’s not personal.

Being in a romantic relationship with an introvert can be a wonderful experience. But, if you’re an extrovert, it can be easy to overlook or misunderstand your introverted partner’s needs — unintentionally, of course. 

It’s important to respect your introverted partner’s unique personality traits and avoid doing things that may make them uncomfortable or overwhelmed. I know from personal experience: I’m an extrovert, and my spouse is an introvert. In this article, I’ll share the things that I’ve learned to avoid doing to her.

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15 Things You Should Never Do to Your Introverted Partner

1. Don’t force them to socialize beyond their comfort level.

Introverts need downtime to recharge their energy. Forcing them to socialize beyond what feels comfortable for them can leave them feeling drained and exhausted. For example, if you guilt-trip your introverted partner into attending two big events in one weekend, they might end up feeling tired and stressed.

So, respect their boundaries and give them the time and space they need to recharge their energy. Maybe the two of you agree to drive separately so your partner can leave when their social battery is reaching empty. Or maybe they’ll sit this event out, but go to another one in the future that’s more important to you.

2. Don’t make them feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone.

Everyone needs downtime to recharge their energy and process their thoughts and emotions — especially introverts. When they want to be alone, it’s not about you. Introverts are simply wired differently than extroverts; you can read the science behind why introverts love alone time here.

Sometimes extroverts make off-hand comments that make introverts feel guilty: “Don’t you enjoy spending time with me?” or “I never have a problem hanging out with you, why is it so hard for you to do the same?” They don’t realize that saying these things can hurt their relationship.

If you find yourself doing this, try to understand your partner’s need for solitude and support them. If the two of you live together, you could help them create an “introvert zen zone” or sanctuary in your home — a place that they can retreat to as needed. 

3. Give them space when they’re in the middle of a task. 

When introverts are working on a task, like looking up information or meticulously planning the meals for the week, they tend to focus deeply. And many of them thrive when doing this deep work. Interrupting them when they’re in the middle of something can be frustrating for them. So, be patient and wait for a time when they’re more available. Or wait until they take a break and seek you out.

4. Don’t push them to be more talkative or expressive.

Introverts tend to express themselves a little differently than extroverts. For example, they might prefer writing a thoughtful text over having a face-to-face conversation about serious topics. They might be quiet in large groups, especially when they’re around people who they don’t know well (like a gathering of your extended relatives).

So, don’t push your partner to be more talkative or expressive than they’re comfortable with. Don’t say things like, “Why are you so quiet?” or “Come on, join the conversation, everyone’s waiting to hear from you.” Believe me, they’ll talk when they’re ready. Usually, this will happen around close friends and loved ones.

5. Don’t assume they’re not interested in spending time with you just because they enjoy different activities.

Introverts often prefer spending time alone or with small groups rather than with many people at once. But… they are still interested in spending time with you. Otherwise, they would not be with you!

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.

6. Don’t criticize them for not being more outgoing. 

Similar to #4, criticizing your introverted partner for not being more social can be hurtful and make them feel inadequate. Introversion is a healthy personality trait that cannot be changed. Yes, your partner can grow and learn — perhaps they need to learn to communicate better — but introversion is in their DNA, so they’ll always have a general preference for quiet and calm. Expecting someone to act against their true nature is unfair.

Instead of criticizing them, appreciate them for who they are. You fell in love with them for a reason, right? 

7. Don’t assume their quietness means they’re mad or bored. 

For some people, sitting quietly side by side might seem boring or uncomfortable. However, for introverts, this situation often has a different feel. Silence doesn’t necessarily signify discomfort or boredom; rather, it’s a space where introverts feel at ease. Allow your introverted partner to just be, to relax quietly in your company. It’s a meaningful way to connect and show understanding of their needs.

8. Don’t assume they’re not enjoying themselves just 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. 

9. Don’t expect them to be the life of the party. 

Introverts might be uncomfortable being the center of attention and entertaining others. Don’t expect them to be the life of the party or continuously make small talk, if you, say, have guests in your shared home or go away with friends for the weekend. Instead, appreciate their presence and the contributions they make in their own way. If you have a dinner party, for instance, they might be great at listening attentively to guests and making sure everyone is comfortable. 

10. 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 might prefer to do so in smaller settings or through shared interests rather than in large social gatherings. Introverts don’t consider everyone to be their friend (as extroverts might), and that’s okay!

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

11. Don’t make them feel abnormal for being an introvert. 

Introversion is not weird or abnormal. Plus, 30 to 50 percent of the population may be introverted, so it’s hardly rare!

Think about the strengths your introverted partner brings to your relationship. For example, they might be excellent listeners, offering you their undivided attention when you talk about your day. They often think deeply before speaking, which means their words and advice are usually well-considered and insightful. Introverts also tend to enjoy meaningful one-on-one conversations, which can strengthen the emotional connection in your relationship. And, their love of quiet, low-key environments can create a peaceful, calming atmosphere at home.

12. Don’t guilt them into participating in activities that require a lot of small talk. 

Making introverts participate in activities that require a lot of small talk can be overwhelming and exhausting for them. Allow them to join in their own way or for them to opt-out altogether. Respect their boundaries and preferences. After all, you two can find other activities that appeal to both of you. And the two of you do not have to do everything together.

13. Don’t expect them to be as spontaneous as you might be. 

Introverts may not be as spontaneous as extroverts, and that’s perfectly 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 be more spontaneous than they’re comfortable with. That can be your department.

14. 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 can be pros at reading body language, noticing subtle changes in someone’s facial expression or tone of voice, which helps them understand unspoken feelings or concerns. Introverts are also typically good at written communication; they may craft you well-articulated texts or love letters.

15. Don’t judge them if they need to be alone after a social event.

After social events, introverts might need to be alone to recharge their batteries. So, don’t expect them to be up for another social event immediately after a big party or gathering. Or, they might not want to go out for dinner right after a day filled with meetings and socializing at work.

Again, don’t take their need for alone time as a sign of rejection or disinterest. Instead, give them this time, and know they’ll have more energy afterwards.

Together, Introverts and Extroverts Create Balance

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.

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