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Introvert vs Extrovert | Here's The Differences!
God has given each of us a unique temperament. Roughly 50% of our temperament comes from our genetics (we're born with it) and roughly 50% comes from our environmental experiences growing up. These variations in our temperament can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to developing successful marriages. One temperament difference is introvert vs extrovert. Introverts tend to recharge by being alone and talk less and extroverts tend to recharge by being with others and talk more. As you can imagine, this difference in temperament can create some tension in marriage as the extrovert wants the introvert to communicate more and the introvert wants the extrovert to communicate less. This new video on discusses this dynamic and offers some practical steps to address it.
Introvert vs Extrovert Video Transcript
Today I’d like to talk about communication. There’s a thousand different directions we could go on communication and marriage, but today I’m gonna talk about the common tension and problems that can crop up between introverts and extroverts in marriage.
An introvert is someone who, by definition, likes to be alone to charge their batteries. In contrast, an extrovert is someone who likes to be around other people to recharge their batteries. So, you can imagine, in a marriage, that this can create some conflict. Usually, the pattern that I see is that the extrovert over-talks the introvert; the introvert feels shut down, so doesn’t share much information, which makes the extrovert talk even more, which shuts down the introvert even further and you get a vicious cycle going.
So, a lot of times, a recommendation can be two things. For the introvert-- It’s recommended for the introvert to try to really make a concerted effort to share all of your thoughts. A lot of times the introverts will have, say, point A, point B, point C and point D, but they only share two of the four points. And that leaves the extrovert wanting more and making misinterpretations of what they’re trying to say. So, for the introvert, the goal is to share more and really try to get all of your thoughts out there. Don’t just share bits and pieces, share everything that you’re feeling and thinking.
For the extrovert, it’s really important for you to give your spouse space to talk. So, you need to be quiet once in a while. You need to ask them open-ended questions, such as, “What else?”, “What else are you thinking about that?”, “What else are you feeling about that?”, “What else?”. “What else?” is one of the best questions to ask an introvert. A lot of introverts need to feel like it’s safe to explore, it’s safe to talk. And sometimes they need time to gather their thoughts and to put them into words. So, if you’re the extroverted spouse, it’s really good to just say, “What else? What else are you thinking about that?”. That’s one of the best questions. So, questions can either be open-ended questions or closed-ended questions. A closed-ended question usually results in a “yes” or “no” response, such as, “Are you finished talking?”. The response is gonna be “yes” or “no”. In contrast, an open-ended question encourages the person to go any direction they want to. So, those questions start with “what” or “how”, so you wanna use “what” or “how” kind of questions when you’re interacting with an introvert, because it’s gonna encourage them to expand. If you use closed-ended questions, such as, “Are you finished?”, then it’s gonna encourage them to stop talking, because they’re gonna say “yes” or “no” and they’re gonna be done.
So, if you are married and if you’re an introvert, try hard to share all of the information you’re thinking. If you’re the extrovert, try to slow down and create more space and silence and open-ended questions to encourage your- your spouse to talk more. So, in my marriage, I tend to be more extroverted than my wife. She tends to be more introverted. And, so, we’ve had this tension in our marriage where I’ve had to really pull out information from her. And that’s been frustrating on my side ‘cause I want her to share everything she’s thinking, not just bits and pieces. And she can be frustrated with me if I’m talking too much and not giving her space to share. So, we’ve had to work through that and come to that middle-ground of understanding that I need to give her space and encourage her to talk and she needs to share more of what she’s thinking so I know what’s going on inside of her. So, again, it’s all different varieties of how God’s wired us, so it’s understanding the differences and respecting them and learning how to compromise. Take care.
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What else would you recommend to help introverts and extroverts communicate better?