The Introvert/Extrovert Harmony Thing

I’m an extrovert. I’m loud, boisterous, audacious, funny, brazen and bold. I make friends easily and I love to be in the spotlight. I like to talk. I enjoy learning new languages so that I can talk to even more people and learn even more cultures in which I can be the center of attention. It drives my family nuts.

My husband is an introvert. He’s quiet, patient, shy, funny, brave, and a homebody. He is able to step outside his comfort zone and meet new people but he doesn’t really like to do it. When he clocks out at work, he likes to come home and just stay home. He busies himself with DIY projects and a hot date for us is a trip to Home Depot and spending time looking at furniture sales at second-hand stores on the west side of town.

We gave birth to FIVE introvert kids. They got a little bit more extroverted as they were born. They like to go out but making friends is hard. Sometimes it takes them a month to get the nerve to talk to a new person in an attempt to make friends. Sometimes they succeed. A lot of times they don’t.

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son had a presentation to give in his college speech class. When I picked him up from class, I asked him how it went. He let out a big sigh. “Mom,” he said, “It was so hard to do this speech.” I asked him why it was harder this time than the previous speech. “Well, there were a lot of people absent so it was really hard.”

“Why would that make a difference?” I asked. “I would think it would be easier if there were fewer people. Wasn’t it quieter?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “But it was mostly the extroverts that were out tonight.” I looked lost, I guess. He continued. “You know how you always say that you need all of us introverts to be your audience?”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, so?”

“Well, I guess we introverts don’t like the spotlight directly on us. And we need you extroverts who tap pencils and bounce legs into tables. You see, that distracts us a little bit and makes us feel like we’re merely sharing the spotlight instead of just hogging it. I guess it’s a Yin-Yang thing.”

Huh. Who knew?

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