#RomanceAwareness Month: Are Introverts Hard To Love?

We’re winding down this month’s theme around romance.

As synchronicity would have things Michaela Chung‘s recent email to her subscribers, of which I am one, spoke to me to reach out to her to offer some of her thoughts about loving introverts. Here is an article just for you, by her:

#RomanceAwareness Month: Are Introverts Hard To Love?

I am an introvert. I have loved both introverts and extroverts.

And yet, I often feel like it’s difficult for others to know how to love me.

Don’t get me wrong.  We introverts are indeed loveable, and I know that I am no exception.  The thing is, people often go about loving introverts in all the wrong ways.

Whenever I think of one of my extroverted exes, a particular image comes to mind.  I imagine that I am a little blue bird in the palm of his hands. He is trying to show me affection, but ends up smothering me with his large clumsy hands. He doesn’t know that you can’t hold on too tightly to an introvert.  We need space to spread our wings.  introvert-holding-hands

I don’t blame him.  Nor do blame the countless people I’ve met who don’t understand how to love an introvert. Extroverts have no frame of reference for our behaviour. Our needs are foreign to them, and our subtle ways of expressing them are easily misunderstood.  

Unfortunately, these misunderstandings can lead introverts to believe we are just too different, or quiet, or sensitive to love.  This is far from true.

Why introverts are loveable

The reasons why we love a person don’t always makes sense.  Many of us are taught to believe that being good, and good looking are the most important lovability factors.

Introverts are taught that If we are a good citizen of the planet extrovert who ticks all the right boxes, we will be loved.  If we can’t fit the extrovert mold, we are too “complicated” or “serious” to love.

Of course, this isn’t the case. Often, it’s the supposed flaws in a person that draw us to them in the first place. The qualities that are tied to introversion – those very qualities that society devalues – can be especially enticing.  

A beautiful anomaly

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”  – Frida Kahlo

The classic line in movies is, “I’ve never met anyone like you before.” On the silver screen these words are received as a compliment. In real life, this is not always the case.

introvert-in-loveAn ex-boyfriend of mine once told me that I was “an anomaly”. He was referring to my uniqueness. Part of me felt a surge of pride in my specialness. There was another part of me that felt discouraged. His words confirmed what I had long suspected – that I was, indeed, the strangest woman in the world.

Often, we see our strangeness as a source of separation, when in reality it can be a uniting force. Far from being a fatal flaw, our uniqueness is what makes us loveable. It’s true that our complexity isn’t always cute. It is so much more than that.

The mysterious stranger

“Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.” – John Green, Paper Towns

Many are intrigued by the mysterious nature of introverts. After all, there are people out there who love a good riddle. The more complex the better.  

The old saying “leave something to the imagination” applies to more than just clothing. In a world that is so outwardly focused, the person who is inwardly inclined is fascinating.  Not only that.

There is merit in saving the best parts of ourself for a special few who have earned our trust.  Many people do the exact opposite. They spend all their energy and goodness on people they hardly know, leaving nothing for those who matter most.

The introvert oasis

Admirers are drawn in by our calm demeanour. In a fast-paced culture where busyness is the height of fashion, introverts offer an oasis of serenity.

Several times readers of my blog have shared about their relationship with an extrovert. Often, their extroverted partner sees them as their anchor in a tumultuous world.  They love the peaceful grounding presence their introverted companion brings to their home.

Liberating love

It took me a long time to realize that my introversion was not something to be ashamed of.  I thought that if I dropped the mask of extroversion I had created, no one would love me. Instead, embracing my introversion helped me to attract kinder, gentler souls into my life – people who knew how to love me without crushing my wings.

As for that little blue bird, she discovered that real love liberates.  As Maya Angelou once said: “Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you.”

 

About Michaela Chung

Michaela Chung is a writer, coach, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of IntrovertSpring.com, a website that helps introverts embrace who they are and play to their quiet strengths.

Download Michaela’s free 50-page ebook Alone But Not Lonely: 7 Steps To True Connection For Introverts [ https://introvertspring.com/alone-but-not-lonely/ ]

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Comments

  1. This was a great post. The reference to the little blue bird in the palm though took me immediately to Of Mice and Men and Lenie crushing the little animals in his big paws because he loves them or the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoon where Mel Blanc doing his imitation of Lennie says, “I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him” . that must be how introverts feel when they get in a relationship with an extrovert who doesn’t know how to deal with them. :).
    Susan cooper recently posted…Merlo Winery Blackbird Red Wine Blend: #WineMy Profile

  2. I used to be married to an introvert. It was hard, as he kept everything inside. As an extrovert, you ALWAYS know what I’m thinking. Introverts only share what they want to, or are comfortable in doing. Every other factor of our marriage was OK. It was the communication that just didn’t work, and ended up driving us apart.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…5 reasons you’ll love Las Alcobas in Mexico CityMy Profile

  3. Both my husband and I are introverts and this has worked well for us. Both of us need our own space and now that we’re retired it would be so easy to look to each other to fill our days. Not so. He has his workshop and I have my office. We get together from time to time during the day to share a drink, of course meals and after supper some music. We’re both content just knowing the other is there.
    Lenie recently posted…Avon Skin So Soft: Multi-Tasker 2My Profile

  4. This a great post… very inspiring. It takes a long time, or it has me, to embrace my different-ness:) Is that a word? In doing so, I have come to believe that the right one is ultimately me. I’m right for me…and glad for it:)
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Equality… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  5. When I was single, I had friends who always had a boyfriend. As soon as they were single again, they found someone new. I was always considered “picky”, but I believe that my pickiness had something to do with my introverted nature. I didn’t feel comfortable around just anyone. I guess we all find our own path in the end. Thank you, Michaela for sharing your story.
    Erica recently posted…Sugar and Hidden Body Fat DangersMy Profile

  6. Great post!

    A natural introvert here too! I am happy to be quiet at times and at other times, need the coversation. I probably come across as quite contrary.

    Finally, I accept who I am and appreciate my uniqueness.
    Phoenicia recently posted…What does success mean to you?My Profile

  7. SafariOnTheBlog
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great Post Michaela, Very inspiring. I am an extrovert – you always know what I am thinking LOL according to my family. My sister is the opposite.
    Thanks for sharing your story x

  8. There are many, many couples, and former couples, that I know who I look at and think, they really shouldn’t be with someone who is so much like them. It is probably easier to enter a relationship with someone who is similar but I’m not convinced that is necessarily healthy look term. So my thought is that an extrovert/introvert pairing might work out better than two of a kind.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Coding Our Future: Novelists Weigh InMy Profile

  9. Lovely post. My ex-husband was as extreme an Extrovert as I am an Introvert, but I can honestly say that in many ways I benefited from our differences because I have a strong sense of who I am and have always been willing to open myself to new experiences – as long as I can balance it out with a healthy dose of ‘me’ time to re-energize.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Why It’s So Easy to Skip Self-CareMy Profile

  10. For all of the posts I have read regarding introverts I am still unsure of exactly where I sit. I know I can be loved and can love back and maybe that’s all that counts.
    Tim recently posted…Island LifeMy Profile

  11. I’m definitely a mix of needing my space, but yet wanting someone to take an interest in me. Now that I am divorced, I think about being marriage again someday and simply don’t know if I could do it. I currently like the idea of having a relationship and also having separate households.
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Jacqueline GumMy Profile

  12. Oh, I like that, “Planet Extrovert.” I think we have to recognize that what makes us different, what makes us often consider ourselves weird … is actually what we should be leveraging and embracing as a huge plus. It’s that old adage, you have to love yourself before anyone else will!
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…It’s true, the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is now more baller than everMy Profile

  13. I will admit I am not the easiest person to get along with. Being introverted, I think we are never truly understood, because we never truly show ourselves totally.
    I also think that introverts do, however, show more empathy toward our partners than others. so maybe that is a trade off.
    William Rusho recently posted…Myths, Lies and Misconceptions about the Medieval World.My Profile

  14. Great post Michaela,
    Seriously, i find it very difficult to deal with introverts sometimes, their way of life can really be very boring and annoying at times but its their nature and nothing can be done about it so, its either you stick with them or you move on.

    Its always good to overlook what people thinks about you and only pay attention to what you think about yourself because thats the most important thing. You can’t be two people at a time so, its better to just be who you are.
    Theodore Nwangene recently posted…Newsjacking – 21 Ways to Be Sure You’re Doing it RightMy Profile

  15. Interesting article, Patricia. As you know, I’m mainly extrovert but simply can’t handle spending all my time with one person, no matter how much I love him. Without failure I lose interest and that’s the end of the relationship.

    Personally prefer that he has one life, I have one life and we have one life together. He should remain a bit of a mystery and so should I. That’s how you keep the flame in your relationship.
    Catarina recently posted…Would you, like George Clooney, trade places with Richard Branson?My Profile

  16. This is a great post! My husband is an introvert. After 20 years of marriage, I prompt him with questions to generate conversations. It seems to work. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Q. recently posted…The Adventures of Bob The BinMy Profile

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