Contributed by Francine D.


Hi! My name is Francine and I am an introvert. I never thought I was because I didn’t fit the stereotype of an introvert.  I am in sales and I love to talk to brand new people.  But, the typical view of introverts is that they are shy, never talk to anyone and hide in their house.

So how did I suddenly realize I am an introvert? When I began dating an extrovert.

After a day at work, I am usually spent.  While I am often invited out to parties, I typically declined the offers and headed home.  In addition, on my days off I spend time at home or go on small, intimate outings with friends. But my extrovert partner wanted me to go out and party.

I had met my partner at work and it was no surprise that she had this image of me.  At work, my personality is like that of an extrovert because well, it’s part of my job.  But after-hours I want to be my normal self.  So, when things got serious between us, I decided to be more open about what was important to me and this helped my extroverted partner understand me better.

First off, I compromised.  On weekends for example, I would devote a day to going out to a party or other large social event with her and, on the other day off I would spent time relaxing at home or doing some low-key social activity.

Second, I talked about the importance of doing things apart.  The goal was to encourage my partner to get together with her friends as she used to when we first met. So, a couple of times a week she went out with her friends and this gave me plenty of me-time.

Third, I talked about how comfortable I felt just being together. I conveyed that there was no need to fill every moment we were together with endless banter and that being together quietly was an intimate way to spend time together. I found her quite receptive to this and we spent many pleasant evenings together engaged in activities at home that we both enjoyed (either together or separately) such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, listening to music, or even playing scrabble.

Are you an introvert at heart? How do you help people to understand you?