Opposite personalities don’t always have to be humming different tunes. You say, “Let’s party!” I say, “Let’s spend some quiet time alone.”
Whether you’re an introvert who withdraws from the world or an extrovert who loves being out in the world, you can avoid a world of trouble in your social settings with a little compromise.
You’re going to find many personalities
in this world, yet most of them can be broken into two general categories: introverts and extroverts.
Whether it’s your boisterous boss or languid lover, learning what makes both types tick will help everyone get along.
Introversion and Extroversion are more than mere personality traits. A better measure of introversion or extroversion can be found in the way each type expends or accumulates energy.
In general, extroverts tend to gain their energy from others. Introspective introverts, like a reverse plug-in, recharge from alone time. They refill from quiet time.
Social butterfly extroverts draw off the interaction, feedback, stories and experience of others. And, contrary to their introverted counterparts, can feel drained by too much time alone without outer stimulation.
It is a social stereotype that introverts are anti-social. They are often quiet because they are immersed in thought: inventing, problem solving, dreaming. Rarely does their quietness mean they are angry, sad, in a bad mood or are purposely giving you the silent treatment.
To make things more challenging, statistically, more people are extroverts than introverts. This only adds to the social overwhelment some introverts feel.
None of this means that introverts don’t need socialization or extroverts don’t have an original thought in their head.
The solution to pleasing everyone at the party, whether that’s a raucous soiree or a party of one, is to make an effort at understanding both types.
Here are some clues to creating harmony between both personality types in various social situations.
When you're throwing a party
One-on-one interactions over large groups. At a party, an introvert will more likely hang out and get to know only one or two people for the majority of the time.
Flitting about, like one big social sampler, from group to group, snacking on little snippets of conversation from each group. They like the dynamics of lots of activity and feedback going on at once. They thrive on ‘working a room.’
When you're planning out your social scene
Attending one or two events or functions per week or month. Overbooking their social calendar can overwhelm them and turn them cranky fast.
Forcing an introvert into more interaction than their brain’s can afford energy-wise is torment. They need time to reclaim their mental and emotional space in between events.
Filling up the calendar, lining up one party, drop-in visit or event after another. They look forward to events, and enjoy making an entrance or drawing a crowd.
When you're fishing for conversation
Deep, thought provoking ideas, intelligent parody and witty repartee as ways to pass their time. Small talk or shallow conversation is about as painful for them as a deep water fish in a shallow pond. They just can’t breathe.
They don’t mean to come off as snooty, it just takes more energy for the deep thinking introvert to live on the surface, trying to think of something light and meaningless to say.
Using generalizations and small talk about things like sports or the weather as their social lubricant.
Asking an extrovert to slow down, quiet down and plumb the depths of their mind can throw a wrench into their smooth talking machinery.
When you're on a date
Planning ahead and going somewhere that reflects their interests. So, to get them out, plan something after they've had their private time, like a Saturday night instead of Friday night drinks after a long day at work.
Go somewhere intimate, like a coffee shop or wine bar so you don’t have to compete with loud music or a noisy crowd. Or go to an art opening where you can mill about at a slow pace and have something to discuss.
Remember, introverts detest having to invent conversation.
Spontaneity and having plenty of options. Extroverts don’t like to be tied to plans or rigid schedules. It’s better to just suggest two or three events, like checking out a new band then going out for tapas at another restaurant down the block.
For best success with an extrovert, it’s important to break out of your shell and be open to anything. Let your night take you anywhere, and see what happens.
None of us are fixed to assigned personality role. Most of us share introvert and extrovert traits depending on the situation or stage of life.
Both types can learn, grow and even have more fun from being around each other. It just takes some willingness to come out of, or into, one’s comfort zone to see what social riches can be mined from each other’s minds!