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.

Intro-ExtroJeremy 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.

Talked to death

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?

Care for extroverts

What about you? Are you raising a little one whose personality is so clearly opposite yours? What’s in your bag of tricks?


  4 Replies to “Introverts raising an Extrovert”

  1. June 5, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I think you do exceedingly well with extroverts. As an ENTJ, I crave being with people, and you oblige me when we can make it work. My husband, also an introvert, can’t stand do so most of what I enjoy because of his need to have alone time. My little man is the same way where as my little woman wants to be the life of the party. I’m not brave enough to explain intro/extroverts to them yet. I applaud you for doing so!

    • June 9, 2014 at 9:32 am

      I think it’s helped Jeremy to understand me better when I tell him I need some “alone time.” He doesn’t take it as personally as he used to. We are just SO different in this area though. We’ll come home from a long, busy day with lots of socializing and being in the community, and he’ll still ask, “Can we invite so-and-so over tonight?” I look at him with complete exhaustion on my face, and he’ll say, “Never mind.” Ha!

  2. June 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I have 2 kids, one introverted, one extroverted. I explained the difference in how we “recharge our energy” – some people need quiet, alone time, others need to be around people. It also helped to explain, when they were older, that shyness and introversion are not the same thing. I’m an introvert buy will talk to just about anyone while waiting in line rather than get bored standing there…

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