Your introversion is part of virtually every relationship you have.

Your Introversion Influences Virtually Every Relationship You Have

Your introversion comes into play in most every relationship you have—whether you’re aware of it or not.

Do you think your relationship with your significant other would improve if the two of you mutually understood each other’s personality, particularly when it comes to your respective levels of the robust trait that is introversion/extroversion?

Do you think your relationship with your child would improve if the two of you knew where each other fell on the spectrum of introversion/extroversion?

Do you think your relationships with your co-workers and your boss would improve if you all had a good idea of where you each stood with respect to introversion/extroversion?

The answer in all three cases, of course, is: of course!

But it’s easy to forget.

Too easy.

The Other People in Your Life

It’s so easy, in fact, to get so engrossed in learning about introversion in your own life—its influence on you alone, in isolation from others—that you quickly forget that it has just as powerful an influence on your many relationships as well.

Sometimes you have to step back and (re)awaken the idea that your introversion goes far beyond you yourself; it reaches into virtually every interaction you have with 
other people, particularly those with whom you have some kind of established relationship, if only a weak or tangential one.

Think about all the different people in your life and all the different roles you play with them.

Your introversion/extroversion, and theirs as well, is always in the midst of it all.

Let’s look at just a few examples.

Your Relationship with Your Significant Other

Picture this …

Introverted you has a significant other who is an extrovert. But neither of you fully understands the dynamic. You’re both fuzzy about the introversion/extroversion concept, though you’ve heard the terms thrown around.

Do you suppose any problems could brew in this scenario?

Ask any marriage counselor.

A colleague of mine is a marriage counselor, and every day she sees couples who have no idea that they are not intentionally trying to drive each other bat-shit crazy.

They just don’t realize that they are different on the introversion/extroversion scale.

Once they figure that out, they can often begin the path toward strengthening their bond.

Your Relationship with Your Child(ren)

Introverted you comes home Friday night after a grueling week at work. Your brain literally hurts. You have nothing left to give, to anyone. You just want to stare at the wall.

Your lovely little 6-year-old daughter bops in and wants you to play with her. Immediately.

Now what?

You need to find a way to get what you need and give your daughter what she needs, and deserves.

Maybe it’s as simple as saying to her:

“I need a few minutes to catch my breath, sweetie, and then I can read you a story.”

Bottom line: Your introversion is here, too, in this relationship.

Your Relationship with Your Work Colleagues

Introverted you sits in the Monday morning team meeting week after week, saying little in the moment but frequently following up with your boss via email when you (inevitably) come up with observations or ideas long after the meeting ends.

Several of your more-extroverted colleagues conclude that you are pretty much disengaged from the group’s work and goals, and you can sense that they believe you aren’t pulling your weight.

Does this strain your relationships with them?

Almost certainly.

Would it help if they knew that you and your introverted approach to work thrive when you simply have some time to think and process before responding to things?

Yes, without question.

Your Relationship with Your Family

Introverted you is with your extended family for the holidays.

First there’s an enormous breakfast.

Then there’s baking cookies.

Then lunch.

Then “let’s all go to the mall!”

Then ice cream.

Then a 45-minute trip down the busy interstate to see great-grandpa at the nursing home.

Then the return 45-minute trip.

Then dinner.

Then eggnog, hot chocolate, and singing.

And finally, your crash.

Would it help for you to have a break in there somewhere?

And for your family to understand why and not hassle you about it?

(Yes, that’s a[nother] rhetorical question.)

All the Rest

Would it help if your friends knew how much introverted you treasures getting together with them one on one, and how much introverted you hates the idea of “the more the merrier”?

Would it help if you yourself knew—and respected—why you’d rather email your insurance guy vs. calling him?

Would it help if the parent of your child’s best friend knew—and truly understood—why you yourself don’t want to stay for best friend’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese?

It goes on and on and on.

Your introversion accompanies you, everywhere you go and in every relationship you have.

Don’t ever forget it.

4 replies
  1. Carolyn I Gasser
    Carolyn I Gasser says:

    Yes! The family holiday is one I especially have had to explain after unintentionally offending them because I took time to be alone and they concluded I didn’t enjoy their company.

    • Peter Vogt
      Peter Vogt says:

      This happens so frequently, Carolyn. I totally relate. It’s one of many areas of misunderstanding that can arise.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  2. Gail Nelson
    Gail Nelson says:

    It does happen EVERY DAY in sessions with couples. They do not understand their own temperament or their partners temperament. I use your book to educate them on how their tendency toward introversion or extroversion impacts how they connect or lack connection. Because of your work, Pete, couples are getting better at regulating their own self care AND the relationship benefits when partners come to a new appreciation of how NOT to drive each other bat-shit crazy! I got a belly laugh out of the description because it properly names the experience and keeps a steady supply of customers coming to my office for help. You’re my hero, Peter Vogt, for naming something I personally didn’t understand for myself as an introvert. Your book, The Introvert Manifesto, engages partners and helps them find hope through understanding temperament. Bravo on a fabulous body of work as a writer and champion for the introvert style of navigating the world! Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    • Peter Vogt
      Peter Vogt says:

      Bless you and the work you do, Gail.

      And thank you so much for these very, VERY kind words!

      The more I get into all this, the more I realize how far beyond the individual person one’s introversion (or extroversion) goes. Over a period of years I have come to see how introversion/extroversion impacts so many impacts of a person’s own individual life. It’s only more recently that I’ve come to see how it impacts the person’s relationship life in so many ways too.

      It’s all very fascinating. And illuminating!

      Thanks again for all your help and support!



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