The first time I had ever heard the words introvert and extrovert was when my husband and I were dating. He asked me which I was and I was only able to offer a blank stare. He then explained the best he could and then asked, "do you get energy from being around others or does it drain your energy?" My mind was blown- how could being around others be exhausting? I guess that makes me an extrovert!
My handsome better half, however, definitely falls into the category of Introvert. There were warnings along the way- yes, my mother-in-law warned me at our wedding reception that Brett likes his alone time, he himself had mentioned it on occasion. I guess I didn't really know what that meant - and didn't take it too seriously because of a lack of understanding.
I then spent the next year feeling like he was mad at me. (That may be exaggerating, but it was true for a lot of the time) I was constantly asking what was wrong, if everything was ok, and such questions. I think I was driving us both crazy.
My approach to the situation was not working...
So I did what any college grad has spent hours and hours learning to do and started to research… books from the library, internet searches, TED talks, more discussions with the handsome husband, I searched everywhere! And you know what-- it still doesn't make sense to me! The wiring in the brain is so opposite in nature to what comes natural to me, it will never make sense.
The reason I thought he was mad at me was because his "introvert ways" were reflective of my behaviors when I am mad! I need my space, I like my "quiet time", and to be left alone- when I am mad.
I have always loved and respected my husband, but that love and respect has deepened with the understanding gleaned from my research.
Conclusions drawn from research:
1. My husband needs his own mountain.
Ok- maybe not necessarily a mountain, but something between a mountain and a "man-cave." He needs a place where he can retreat and be alone with his own thoughts. He needs a break from others. Where did Prophets go to receive revelation? Mountains, "high place", deserts.
2. Accept It
I have had to accept that there is nothing wrong. He is just thinking or not. Silence is not a bad thing. If there is something wrong. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert- despite what the world will tell you. Its ok to want to stay home and read a book, or wake up a half hour early to be by yourself, or even brush your teeth without your wife talking to you.
Introvert should rule the world. They are deep thinkers, they are sensitive, kind, caring, intuitive, etc. (At least these are the characteristics of the introvert I am married too). I should just sit back and watch- give him the time to think and plan, and observe/watch all the amazing things that have and will happen.
If you are in a similar situation I would recommend:
"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain
These Blog Entries:
This TED talks:
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