Introverts raising an Extrovert
So I’m sure you’ve heard of Myers Briggs and the 16 personalities. If not, stop right now and click the link to be schooled. You need to understand your own preferences and behaviors, not only to deepen your self-awareness but to also learn how to better interact with the people you’re in relationship with – romantically, professionally, and otherwise. I took the Myers Briggs personality test years ago, but I don’t remember the results. No doubt they were different now than they were then. We change as we grow , or at least, we should. God help the adults who are stunted in adolescence.
I’m an INFJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) and Chuck is an INTJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging). Bottom line, we’re both Introverts. We are similar in a lot of ways, and though we run into conflict once in a while, our similarities give us a great deal of mutual understanding. Every engaged couple should take the Myers Briggs personality test. Just sayin’.
The reason I bring this up is that I am knee-deep in raising an Extrovert.
Jeremy draws his strength and energy from being around other people. He thinks while he’s speaking and prefers to be in social settings about 90 percent of the time. There are days when he follows me around from room to room chatting, and while I can hang in there with genuine interest for hours, there comes a time when my brain short-circuits. It’s too much. Over. Load.
A few months ago I decided to explain to Jeremy the difference between an Introvert and Extrovert. I used the best ten-year-old words I could, explaining that I need time to rest my mind and be alone. I explained that he doesn’t need that time as much as I do, and it’s okay. That’s a difference between us. Of course, he still asked me, “But why don’t you want to be with me?” Ugh. Heartstrings.
Jackson can go either way. He can thrive with people or chill by himself. He’s flexible that way. But Jeremy is an Extrovert all the way. He truly needs to refuel from the energy of others. It is my goal to understand and embrace this need and foster it properly, despite how much it exhausts me. Par for the course, right?
What about you? Are you raising a little one whose personality is so clearly opposite yours? What’s in your bag of tricks?