Understanding Introvertedness

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bobbyo
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Understanding Introvertedness

Postby bobbyo » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:26 pm

My girlfriend and I have always had problems about being social and anti-social. But, recently, we took some personality tests in which my girlfriend scored off the charters in introvertedness (like 98% or something) and I scored half-way (52% introverted and 48% extroverted). Since then my girlfriend has made every excuse for her behavior a discussion of introvertedness.

For example, she doesn't like to drive and I don't make her, but there have been occassions where I needed her help and she needed to drive. The experience ends with her upset that she had to drive since she is an introvert.

Another example, she wants to be a writer and I encourage her in that endeavor, but bills don't pay themselves, so I have also encouraged her to get another job in the meantime. Apparantly, me suggesting work is a gross violation of being an introvert.

The two above are really minor issues in comparison to our issue of "doing things together". I would not say that I love socializing and so half of the time or so I turn down social events. But every few weeks, something peaks my interest and I ask my girlfriend if she would like to go. This normally generates a heated discussion of introverts. Not just social events, my girlfriend doesn't like to go out, to plays, to dinner, to the movies, to birthdays, baby showers, family events, Christmas parties...etc. Discussions of traveling abroad seem unexciting to her. The chance to see new places or try new food seems boring or a waste of time. Sometimes, she goes out with me, interacts with friends, or with my colleagues, but when I say sometimes I mean several months. Another similar point, I call my family every week, she hasn't spoke to her family in years.

I ask her, what she wants to do together? She says she doesn't know.

I ask her, if she wants me to invite her to stuff? She says yes. But that she doesn't want to go.

I hate to put a time frame on stuff, but for example, going out to a party requires 2 months of "recuperation". How much recuperation should be our comprimise? I would like to be able to do weekly outings with her, or see friends every two weeks or so for a game night. But these suggestions "terrify" her.

Is my girlfirend really an introvert? Am I expecting too much? When is it unhealthly anti-socialization and when is it introvertedness? What timeframes are reasonable? Can I expect a weekly outing? Or should I be expected to go out by myself for several weeks/months?

Even if she is an Introvert should she be avoiding "life events" out of fear.

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Re: Understanding Introvertedness

Postby Annie » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:11 pm

I can't answer all your questions right now but something came into my mind just now..Has your girlfriend had a hard childhood with possibly abuse involved? I am asking because I have never heard of introverts that avoid their family for years unless something has happened.

Not wanting to drive because of being an introvert is a little weird but maybe she has extreme anxiety and needs to deal with that to be able to deal with everything else.
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bobbyo
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Re: Understanding Introvertedness

Postby bobbyo » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:43 am

Well, she says for some of her childhood there was some homelessness. Her mother and father never married and seperated at early childhood. Father had trouble keeping a job. She did miss out on some school as a kid.

However, if you ask her. She says that there was no abuse in her childhood. Almost offended by the question. I agree with her to some extend, certainly she grew up poor but not abused.

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Re: Understanding Introvertedness

Postby Kurtis » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:59 pm

This is a tough one to answer without really knowing the girl in question and only getting snipeets in this post, but I do think she's taking the excuse for 'introvert' to the extremes based on what you've said. I'll take myself as an example, I score very high on most introversion tests, minimum to 90% to a maximum of full on 100, but I still enjoy going to the movies, going out, attending parties and family events, but I need to be cautious with the quota I'm with other people. I can't be dealing with people all the time.

I hate to put a time frame on stuff, but for example, going out to a party requires 2 months of "recuperation". How much recuperation should be our comprimise? I would like to be able to do weekly outings with her, or see friends every two weeks or so for a game night. But these suggestions "terrify" her.

I can imagine her requiring two months of recuperation for large parties, especially when she was expected to be social and talkative during the event. What she needs to do is figure out just how much she's able to take in before tiring out and then come to compromises from there. If you go to an event and she starts saying she's tired then I don't think it's unfair for you to say it's time to leave.


I ask her, what she wants to do together? She says she doesn't know.

I ask her, if she wants me to invite her to stuff? She says yes. But that she doesn't want to go.

I'd say this is a common problem with many relationships where one side sort of 'takes over' from the other, and in situations where you ask her to make a decision the general response is 'I don't know.' I'd suggest offering different activities that you know she'd like but you'd like as well that doesn't rely on heavy socialisation (as that is a pain with introverts in general). For example, going to the movies, playing a game of golf, bowling, or even art endevours? I think the question you should ask her is; 'what do you enjoy doing?', find out how it ties in with what you enjoy doing and then come up with an activitiy that suites you both.

Even if she is an Introvert should she be avoiding "life events" out of fear.

No, she shouldn't. If she's avoiding anything out of fear then she needs to overcome that fear.

Is my girlfirend really an introvert? Am I expecting too much? When is it unhealthly anti-socialization and when is it introvertedness? What timeframes are reasonable? Can I expect a weekly outing? Or should I be expected to go out by myself for several weeks/months?

She does strike me as an introvert, based solely on your post. However, she does seem to be taking the definition of it way too far. I can't answer whether you're expecting too much, you clearly care for her given you've written up an elaborative post with plenty of questions, but the only person who can answer that with the most integrity is her.

What you have to remember with introversion is that they are naturally more reclusive, more inclined to think, more inclined to listen before speaking. It becomes 'unhealthy anti-socialisation' if she's doing that in excess and is unnatural for her.

Timeframes really do depend on her personally, and again she'd be the best person to ask. I think however, based on what you've said, is she needs to do some soul-searching and really find out a lot more about herself and her personality because it seems she doesn't really understand herself. If she doesn't understand herself, then she can't expect other people, including you, to understand her either. You can, however, help her along.

Personally, I do think weekly outings is a little excessive; I couldn't withstand a relationship where there was a demand to be socialable once a week.

Hopefully this has gone some way to answer your questions, I had to do a fair bit of thinking on this one.


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