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Relationships and Type: If You Prefer Extraversion

Relationships and Type: If You Prefer Extraversion

Extraversion or Introversion: Where we get our energy

If you prefer Extraversion and your partner prefers Introversion, remember to give him or her some space. After a hard day at work, he or she is likely to appreciate being encouraged to take some downtime. You might also want to allocate time for just the two of you to spend together—a quiet dinner, a movie in on a Saturday night—and accept his/her Introverted energy instead of apologizing to others for it.

Several months back my partner Kevin and I had lunch with our friend Deb. She invited two of her friends (a couple dating—let’s call them Mary and Joe) who were visiting from out of town. During the first part of our meal, all of us were catching up and talking about all sorts of things, except Joe, who sat at one end of the table completely silent.

At one point Joe quietly excused himself from the table. As soon as he left, Mary began apologizing for Joe’s “behavior.” She said she was sorry he was not part of the conversation and was concerned we thought he was being rude. I told her I did not think that at all and let her know it takes me time to “warm up” to people I don’t know, too.

When Joe returned to the table, I made it a point to see if I could include him without trying to force the issue. While Kev, Deb, and Mary continued talking, I turned to Joe and quietly asked what he liked to do and if he had any hobbies. Turns out he did have a hobby and was more than pleased to talk to me about it. Mary looked over surprised by Joe’s sudden change. I felt lucky to learn so much from Joe, and he seemed to really enjoy the calmer conversation held between just the two of us.

A month later, Mary contacted Deb and made it a point to send a “big hello” from Joe to me. Mary told Deb that Joe never does that.

Want to learn more about type and relationships? Join us for a free webinar on February 13, 2014: Ask an Expert: Exploring MBTI® Type Dynamics and Relationships.


  1. where are the tips to give to introverts on how to better coexist with their extrovert partners? this is good information but are we extroverts always the ones who need to be trained? where’s the extroverted love!?!?!!? :(

    • Great point…you will see something on Thursday this week. Thanks for reading. :)

    • As an introvert, who is outnumbered by extroverts, I say that yes, extroverts need to be trained and have more compassion for what their actions do to an introvert.

      “Geez, my calves hurt today” says my wife aloud.

      “I’m sorry honey… Is there something you want me to do about it?” I said.

      “No” she responded back.

      “Then why did you pull me out of my concentration to tell me that?” I thought.

      We introverts are plagued at all day long with these random statements by extroverts. It is like someone randomly walks up to you and pokes you in the back. And at the end of the day, you wonder why we can be a little snippy.

      Therefore, telling the victim how to respond completely misses the point.

      If you want my energy, please ask me first.

      • Thanks for the perspective. As someone who also prefers Introversion I can relate. I also know that my preference for Introversion can sometimes underwhelm situations. I hope you will take a look at the next post on Thursday. Also, next week I will share ideas for those who prefer Sensing and those who prefer Intuition.

  2. Thanks for the nod to us introverts and what it may take to get us in play in a conversation. Irrespective of our orientation (I or E), all human interactions require both understanding and empathy to be both healthy and sustainable. It is not an us against them, rather, it is just us relating in ways that foster good relationships.

  3. As an extrovert with an introvert partner I have to say: maybe people should meet in the middle.

    For instance, we never go anywhere except the grocery store (he hates malls) and spend almost every single night in front of the TV. Any time we get invited to something it’s a struggle to even get him to go. Even if I assure him I’ll do all the talking. I never apologize for his quietness to others because damn we aren’t all the same. That said, I don’t like going places alone at all so it kind of sucks when he just flat out refuses to go to the one thing I’ve asked him to go to this month.

    Anyway, it’s probably more common for the introvert to take the edge off an extroverts extroversion than the reverse. I mean have you ever heard of someone becoming less introverted when they have an extroverted partner? Have you ever had an extroverted friend who got into relationships with an introvert drop off the face of the planet?

    maybe he just has me “trained” too well.

  4. After having completed the MBTI, my husband and I realized the source of one of communication frustrations. I would often feel surprised and exasperated when my husband and introvert would “suddenly” state that he thought we should undertake this project or accomplish this goal. My husband being an I would have had plenty of time to ruminate over his decision beforehand, but I would have not knowledge that he was even considering it. As I am an E, he would know where I was in most thought processes. Upon realizing this, my husband suggested that he would mention to me that he was thinking about something and would soon want to talk about ti after he had finished his private consideration. This left me feeling more included and prepared for future conversation and decisions. Win-Win!

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