Let me preface by saying that I’m an extrovert. I love people. I love talking to people, hugging people, and hanging out with people in large groups. I want to be where the people are (and yes, I realize that’s a Little Mermaid reference).
Take me to the festivals, take me to the fair, take me where all the buzz is happening and where the crowds are teeming. The presence of other bodies energizes me!
The same can’t be said of everyone on planet earth. To some the idea of a sea of humans is nightmarish. There are introverts and extroverts, outgoing introverts, reserved extroverts and everything in between.
It makes life fun and sets us apart from being assembly line robots. Beep boop. Beep boop.
But sometimes it can cause a clash of interests. This is especially true within the confines of a romantic relationship. Take my significant other and me for example. My significant other slides more towards introvert on the personality scale whereas I am, as stated before, heavily extroverted.
As a result, the beginning of our relationship entailed a lot of discussion on what to do with our Friday nights. I was ready to paint the town and blow off steam in a cute outfit and my newest pair of heels. Throw in a couple of fruity cocktails and I’m one happy camper.
On the flip side, my significant other (moving forward referred to as S.O) liked the idea of a quiet evening at home watching Netflix. My little social butterfly wings snapped in half at the mention of Netflix.
Stay in on a Friday night? You mean, just the two of us? No click clack of pumps on pavement and echoes of laughter bouncing off city buildings? No clinking of 5 plus margarita glasses soon followed by 5 plus post margarita grins? No local band’s groovy tunes deafening our ear drums from three rows back?
I almost had a mini melt down.
Thank goodness for the little wisdom I’ve gained throughout the years. This is where I had an adult Taylor moment.
After several weekends of pouting over my S.O’s disinterest in anything bar/going out related I started to evaluate the situation, instead of just hating it. I saw that while I personally am energized by the presence of others, my S.O found it to have the opposite affect on him. To him, a plethora of moving bodies and noise emitting mouths meant exhaustion.
Instead of receiving energy from crowded places, my S.O felt depleted and drained by these environments. His way of recouping from the work week entailed time to himself or time spent with just a few select people. I realized that I am one of those select people my S.O would like to spend time with. That in itself is pretty awesome and should not only be recognized, but honored.
They’re a natural development and deeply embedded in what makes us who we are. So rock on you Netflix marathoners, you book worms, you Friday night nappers. Do what makes you happy, regardless if the other half of the population is rubbing elbows downtown.
Lastly, I will say that a key aspect to making a relationship with varying personality types and interests work is compromise. It may seem like a duh aspect, but people tend to forget.
This means that yes, on occasion my S.O will entertain my extroverted delights and venture from his dark, quiet, introvert cave (it’s actually a beach cottage with lots of natural light) to join me out.
This also means that I settle in for more weekend movie nights than I might usually desire. The outcome? Mutual respect for one another’s personality types and mutual enjoyment of each other’s company both inside and outside of our homes.
Now cozy up on the couch with a cocktail and do some personality reflecting. Do you find yourself having different interests than others in your life? How do you make it work? Is there ever a time when people are just way too different? Comment below, I’m deeply interested in this topic and would love to hear from you!