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How to Love An Introvert

How to Love An Introvert

It can be challenging to let your partner know you love them when the two of you have different basic personality types: misunderstandings can occur. Extroverts can feel introverts’ need for distance as rejection. Introverts can think extroverts are smothering or intrusive.

So here is a handy little checklist of five ways to love your favorite introvert. Oh, and for all of you who love extroverts, there’s one for you, too! Find out how to express your love to an introvert (or an extrovert) in a way that she or he will understand, here:

How to Love an Introvert

Attention: Show an awareness and loyalty that she will not interpret as scrutiny or intrusion.

Acceptance: Validate her need for distance without taking it as rejection.

Affection: Let her give the signal for closeness of any kind.

Appreciation: Express gratitude for and recognition of kindness, and a willingness to accommodate you.

Allowing: Respect her need to be alone until she asks for time together.

How to Love an Extrovert

Attention: Take frequent notice of and an active interest in what she is doing.

Acceptance: Show that you are on her side and at her side.

Affection: Be frequently demonstrative–physically and verbally–of your love.

Appreciation: Make frequent mention and on special occasions a special mention of your recognition.

Allowing: Join her and share in her interests in some way as often as possible.

Read more: Spirit, Guidance, Self-Help, ,

Adapted from How to Be An Adult in Relationships, by David Richo (Shambhala, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by David Richo. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala.
Adapted from How to Be An Adult in Relationships, by David Richo (Shambhala, 2002).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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29 comments

+ add your own
10:41PM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Introvert or extrovert...i'd like to think of people as individuals with unique complex personalites!!Thanks

4:48AM PST on Feb 6, 2013

thanks

2:57AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

Love needs understanding and respects

10:45AM PST on Jan 4, 2013

why can't you do all of the above no matter what their "type?" everyone needs encouragement, love, and attention.

2:33PM PST on Dec 11, 2012

ty

12:18AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Thanks i think an introvert and i like it!

11:28PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

I'm an introvert to the core and while it's been said that opposites attract, I think I'd rather subscribe to the like attracts like theory in most cases. Less fuss and more understanding that way. Ciao!

3:58AM PST on Dec 30, 2010

Thanks for the article.

9:31AM PST on Nov 12, 2010

As an extreme introvert (INFP), since early childhood I've been subjected to much urging to "get out more", and have ended relationships over our inability to reconcile one's need for constant interaction with the other's need for space. Most of us do desire intimate relationship, but it's challenging to integrate. For me, it's often translated into long-distance relationships (easier to satisfy the space need when it's a built-in feature).

Sometimes we do need gentle encouragement to participate a little more in the goings-on around us, but to force it is to do great violence to an introvert. Our rhythms are slower because our information receptor systems tend to be very sensitive, and too much input overloads and exhausts us. We are not necessarily shy, but prefer the company of few because we have rich inner lives and recharge ourselves with quiet solitude.

John Bayley beautifully expressed an ideal introverts' relationship in Elegy for Iris:

"So married life began. And the joys of solitude. No contradiction was involved ... To feel oneself held and cherished and accompanied, and yet to be alone. To be closely and physically entwined, and yet feel solitude's friendly presence, as warm and undesolating as contiguity itself."

I hope someday to find a relationship that fits that description.

9:24AM PST on Nov 10, 2010

Wonderful. Pity that labeling someone as odd (introverted) or hyper (extroverted) is easier than learning how to compromise.

This sums it up perfectly, Thanks Annie.

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