I have always been the type that can spend a weekend at home relaxing with no intentions on going out or talking to anyone unless it is to order food or pick up the food that I ordered. I saw a meme on Facebook recently that described me perfectly, “An Introvert’s worst nightmare in two words: Unexpected Visitors… While my wife, Tyanna, is a Super Extrovert Extraordinaire who enjoys company, talking to strangers and meeting new people. I never gave much thought to the whole Introvert/Extrovert thing until we got married. There is definitely something to “The Life of an Introvert Married to an Extrovert”.
One day when Tyanna and I were dating, she was talking to her father about what he wanted to do for his birthday. He said “I don’t know BUT NO HOOP-DE-DOO!” After she got off the phone she told me about the conversation and I said, “Exactly, NO HOOP DE DOO!” Being an Extrovert, she couldn’t grasp the concept of not having a celebrations. I said to her “On my birthday I don’t want any hoop-de-doo either”, she asked why and what I would like to do and finished her statement, looking straight into my eyes, clearly stating, “Well, I like hoop de doo!” I can’t remember my exact response but I’m pretty sure it was something like “I don’t know, we can just sit on the couch and watch a movie or something.” Fast forward a few months and my birthday comes around and sure enough there is, what I consider a medium size “HOOP DE DOO” at the skating rink. It was just a few friends and a cake but it was more than I wanted, because I said, NO HOOP DE DOO!!! I almost got angry and then I remembered that she would have done so much more and that she had actually toned down the celebration a lot. She was also uncomfortable not planning a “HOOP DE DOO” celebration. In her mind, you celebrate people you love. In the end, I remembered that I am living “The Life of an Introvert Married to an Extrovert”.
Shopping with an Extrovert
Let me start this by saying, when I go shopping, I am IN AND OUT. My interaction with strangers is strategically limited to “Hello”, “How are you doing?”, or the basic, “What’s up” head nod. I NEVER go to a mall to browse or window shop. Actually, I only go when I know exactly what store has the item I want to purchase. If by chance the item is sold out, I am wired to immediately abort the mission, return to my car and return immediately back to home base (i.e. my couch). As an introvert I believe that one of the best internet inventions is online shopping. I don’t have to leave the comfort of my house or talk to a bunch of strangers.
On the other hand, my wife absolutely loves going to the mall. She is perfectly fine aimlessly walking around, browsing and greeting passers by with her genuinely jolly “Hello, how are you?” that very well may end up in a conversation. She has come home on several occasions telling me how her and another lady started talking and ended up exchanging numbers to keep in contact. We have actually gone to a kids birthday party of one the ladies and we also invited their family to our child’s party. Needless to say, she doesn’t want me to go shopping with her because I’m always “READY TO GO!” No problem with me though, I don’t want to go with her because there is always another store to visit or conversation to be had. So you can only imagine the amount of compromising that has to happen the few times a year that we end up at the mall together. I know that this is a pastime that my wife enjoys so, sometimes I will visit another store (meaning 2 or 3 more). She is clear about how much I hate going shopping so, there are other times when she will stay focused so we can get in and out or she will just tell me that she doesn’t mind if I stay in the car and she will go into the mall and be done in Extrovert amazing timing.
Early Morning Conversations
My wife, bless her heart, can wake up and start a full fledged conversation while I can be up for a half of an hour and still be in grunt mode. One morning, I was in the bathroom shaving and my lovely wife comes in with me in FULL FLEDGE CONVERSATION MODE! I don’t even remember what the conversation was about but she must have had an epiphany and remembered who she was married to and that I am an introvert. At one point she just looked at me, stopped talking and said “It’s too early huh?” I said “yeah” and she just said “ok” she simply said that she would call me on the way to work if that worked for me. We agreed and proceeded with our morning in love and in quiet. The great lesson and take away is that she didn’t get upset or offended just because I was not ready to have a conversation. She selflessly took into consideration and understood our differences in personalities, the way we communicate and made the adjustment.
Living “The Life of an Introvert Married to an Extrovert” I had to learn to talk a little more and she learned to cut back on the early morning convo. Truthfully it doesn’t matter if you’re an Introvert, and Extrovert, or a Martian as long as you take the time and consideration of your partner’s wants and needs. Don’t just do something for your partner because you like it when deep down you know that they would like the opposite. Tyanna and I respect each others differences and I keep in mind that I have to do a little more than I would like when doing something special for her and she has learned to bring in the reins when doing for me. Together we are not Introverts or Extraverts, we are Just us.