This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.
Personality. How you are.
Like so many things that are abundant in our culture, there is an abundance of tests that will tell you your personality. Some of these are a lot of fun, and are really helpful. You might have taken some of these tests along the way: The Meyers-Briggs, DISC, the Enneagram, Strengths Finder, Kolbe-A, and many many more.
These tests help put names to attributes about ourselves that give us language to describe what otherwise cannot be explained. Our personalities are so much more than what a test can explain, but these are helpful resources that can help us along the way.
Today, we’re going to focus on a specific aspect of our personalities: Extroversion and Introversion. These terms relate to far more than just how sociable we can be. They help us understand how we process information. Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychotherapy, helped to develop these terms to describe how different we are in our social interactions.
Studies show there are about twice as many extroverts as there are introverts. Statistically speaking, either you are an extrovert or you are married to one. Let’s look at the differences:
Extroverts are most likely to thrive when with other people. They generally don’t do as well when they are on their own, often finding life boring and under stimulating. Extroverts process life from the outside in, usually needing to experience something in order to know what they think or feel about it. They talk about things out loud in order to know what they think or feel.
They are often described as energetic, outgoing, lively, and excitable. They recharge by being around people and generally do really well in groups or large gatherings. They do well with more stimulating environments. Some common misconception about extroverts is they are not thoughtful, are unable to be alone, or are always up for a party.
Introverts thrive when they have time on their own. They don’t recharge when they are with people, they recharge when they have time alone. They process life from the inside out, first needing to know how they feel or think about something before engaging in that something. They think about things in order to know what they believe.
They do better with less stimulating environments. They can do well in groups, but might tend towards a smaller group of people than their extroversion counterparts. In social gatherings, they generally do better after having time to warm up to the new situation, or after they’ve found connection with a few others. Common misconceptions about introverts are they they don’t like people, are shy, or are insecure.
One of the biggest areas of conflict I see in relationships is when an extrovert thinks aloud and the introvert latches on to what’s being said as the absolute truth. The flip side is true as well. Introverts speak more solidly about what they think and feel, and extroverts can sometimes think that their introverted partner is just considering things aloud. The truth is they are actually speaking about something they have deeply considered. Conflict happens in a variety of ways when introverts and extroverts are in relationship, and chances are, this describes your relationship.
When we can understand the differences of how we process information, there is more room for others to show up in how they are wired.
- What did I notice about me in reading today’s material?
- Did I have feelings, thoughts, questions, or stories that came to mind?
- Introvert or Extrovert? Which description best fits you?
- What did you learn about your personality?
Growth happens when we take a risk, do something challenging, or try something new. Today, do something outside of your introversion/extroversion comfort zone.
If you’re an introvert, instead of (fill in activity here) on your own, take a risk and invite others into that activity with you and process out loud what you read today. If you’re an extrovert, instead of being the social ringleader for (fill in activity here), take some time on your own to reflect on todays reading, and how you’re reacting to it.
Hello! Welcome back. Good to see you again. How was your day? This morning we talked about introversion and extroversion. I hope you took a risk in getting outside your comfort zone at some point today.
Take 10-15 minutes tonight with your spouse to talk through your day.
- What were the highs and lows?
- Where were you surprised?
- Was there anything different about your day because of the assignment(s)?
- From this mornings reading, what stood out to you?
- If you’re willing, share your answers from the reflection questions.
Tell the story of what you did on your assignment.