The Care & Feeding Of Your Extrovert
A guide for the introverted and/or clueless
My husband is the funniest and most giving person to ever exist. One year as a birthday surprise he built me a computer. Not just a computer. It’s a mini tower, one that sits maybe 14" by 14" by 7". He spent months deciding which components would best fit the smaller form factor.
I still have it. It’s amazing and sleek and compact.
Currently, he’s learning how to use a specific piece of video game software so we can collaborate on a text-based game I’ve been writing for the better part of a year. He’s the kind of creative that doesn’t really follow through with his ideas — no matter how much I nag him, he doesn’t often write down his “Hey, what about a…” questions.
(But I totally do, because he comes up with great things.)
But you guys: I have a confession to make.
He’s… an extrovert. I know. I know. I can hear you now.
Oh, you poor thing!
How are you not constantly exhausted?
You should have known what you were getting into.
I didn’t realize how much work it would be.
I knew my husband was relatively social when we were first dating. He had many, many casual acquaintances. Hell, on our first date alone I met no less than one dozen of these friends, in seemingly random places, all over the city.
(I’m still not sure I wasn’t being set up for a joke or something.)
Maybe it’s my naive, introverted, sheltered nature, but at the time? I didn’t realize what I was signing up for. I wouldn’t change a thing, of course. My extrovert is one of the brightest parts of my life. And so, in hopes of saving others from the same growing pains we went through, here are just a few tips to get you and your extrovert on the path to harmony.
Extroverts can’t help themselves.
Whether it’s nature or nurture is open to debate, but either way, this is just how things are. You can’t ask an extrovert to stop needing to be social all the damn time any more than they can ask you to stop needing constant alone time.
Remember why you enjoy having this person in your life, and emphasize finding a middle ground where you both get what you need — preferably without sacrificing too much comfort on either’s part, lest resentment start to fester.
Extroverts are pack animals.
You’ve been here before:
“How about we pick up some steaks and grill out tonight?”
“Yes! That sounds wonderful!” you say.
Oh, a quiet Sunday at home. This is exactly what I need after my week of talking to people, you think.
“Great! I’ll see what [person], [person], and [couple] and [entire family] are up to.”
Your extrovert needs stimulation — and lots of it. This isn’t to say they don’t enjoy spending time with you, alone, doing the nothing you find so interesting. It is to say, however, that no person is an island, and you will inevitably have to learn how to trade off quiet Sundays at home for somewhat hectic Sundays at home.
Your extrovert may need more exercise than you realize.
Just when you’re feeling like you’ve about reached your limit for the evening, they will pull this one out:
“Oh man, that was so much fun! Wanna go to [crowded public place] and [thing that will take forever]?”
Better prepared. Grab an energy drink or some gas station coffee and suck it up, or figure out who gets to take the car home and who has to call an Uber. You can binge on Netflix tomorrow.