Introverts Are Good At Relationships

loversBy   (Reposted from The Good Men Project)

First of all, what is an introvert?

Introversion and extroversion are some of the least properly understood terms in psychology. People assume it means whether or not you like to be around people. This is overly simplistic and simply not true.

Here is the best way that I’ve heard introversion explained.

Introverts recharge when they are by themselves, and prefer less external stimulation. Extroverts recharge by being around others and prefer higher levels of external stimulation.

So are you an introvert? More than likely, you are introverted, to some extent.

If you’re still unsure, answer these simple yes or no questions:

– Do people frequently tell me that I’m a good listener?

– Do I often think before I speak? – Do people often describe me as easygoing or mellow?

– Do I prefer one-on-one conversations to large group conversations?

– Do I dislike small talk?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you likely have a strong introvert side to you.

In western society, we live in a very extrovert-biased world. That is to say, people are rewarded on their sociability and ability to appear extroverted and boisterous.

Many introverts feel steam-rolled in this culture and have lost touch with their inherent introverted strengths. When I even mention those words, “introverted strengths,” to my introverted clients, they instantly get a puzzled look across their faces. “What’s good about being an introvert!?” It is this confusion that has compelled me to write this post.

So here are the top five ways in which your introversion can help you in your social and dating life, and how you might even fair better than your extroverted counterparts in your dating and intimate life.

Dating Advice For Introverts – Introverted Strengths 

1. Rapport Building

Introverts are master rapport builders in all kinds of relationships. It is an unfortunately common misperception that introverts don’t like being around people. This is simply not true. Social energy is just more ‘expensive’ for introverts to use.

Introverts would much rather have a smaller social circle with greater understanding and connection with each person than have a large group of acquaintances with less emotional intimacy. Surface level communication frustrates introverts and gives them a feeling of ‘What’s the point of just chatting? We aren’t having a real conversation.”

This propensity towards deep rapport building helps introverts massively in the dating scene. Women need trust and comfort to build an emotional connection with the person that they’re interested in… and introverts deliver this in spades.

Studies have shown that introverts outperform extroverts in high-ticket sales positions because they are wired to be able to nurture longer lasting relationships with more depth and patience. It is this exact trait that allows introverts to gain quick and thorough connection with people that they have just met. Introverts are also more prone to talking about certain ‘heavier’ topics such as sexuality, values, morals, and religion because conversational depth doesn’t scare them away. The fact that introverts aren’t afraid to discuss such topics makes relationships with card-carrying introverts a true gift.

2. Ability To Listen

Few things turn women off more than going on a date with a guy that can only talk about himself. Introverts are world-class listeners. They communicate with their conversational partners like laser beams – seeing into the soul of the speaker with intuition and clarity.

Extrovert-extrovert conversations often have the partners stepping on each other’s toes with their words… rapid fire question and response, rambling stories, and quickly changed conversational topics. Watch a small group of introverts communicating with each other and everyone is heard equally and people are very rarely interrupted in the slightest.

3. Thoughtfulness And Caring

Because they spend so much time swimming in their rich internal world (aka being in their heads), introverts are more introspective and self-aware than most extroverts. It is often said that the world is made up of people who think, and people who do (introverts and extroverts respectively). The world needs both people who take action and people who are thoughtful… it keeps the world in balance. To draw an analogy, think of how one shoots an arrow from a bow. If the world were only made up of introverts, the arrow would be cocked and ready to be fired, but the shooter would always be recalibrating and aiming the arrow before it ever took flight. If the world were only extroverts, the arrows would be flying every which way but never hitting any targets. It would be absolute chaos. Thus, the world needs those who can aim, and those who can let go.

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “It’s the thought that counts.” Introverts are keenly self-aware and, due to their sensitivity to their environments, are more likely to store information about their significant other (whether on a first date or fiftieth), and therefore make their partner feel more cared for.

4. Self-Reflectiveness And Error-Correction

Another common strength among introverts is the fact that they are self-reflective and are magnificent at error correcting. From all the time introverts spend doing their internal homework, they are brilliantly adept at continually making sure that they are align with themselves and living from a congruent place. This also generally results in lower incidences of egomania because introverts are much less interested in keeping up with the Jones’s and chasing external status symbols. They value things like thoughtfulness, moral integrity, and empathy over extroverted traits like charisma, or being seen as fascinating, or socially dominant.

So how does error-correction help you in your relationship management? You’re bound to mess up at some point in your dating life. Introverts have a much easier time self-reflecting, realizing what they did wrong, and admitting to it openly. Show me a boyfriend that can admit when he was wrong, and I’ll show you his happy girlfriend.

5. Depth vs. Breadth

This is one of the biggest points in this list. Introverts prefer depth of connection in their social and intimate lives, where extroverts are more drawn towards breadth of connections. I personally know many introverts who are passionately loyal friends to about three to five people in their lives.  And to them, that’s more than enough. In fact, they set clear boundaries around their social lives and when people try to start relationships with them, they are very clear that their social lives are already “full” and that, although they appreciate the offer, they don’t have any more time for new friends. This is an element of introversion taken to a bit of an extreme case but it’s admirable nonetheless.

Whether you are serial-dating to try to find a partner, or already have one, being predisposed to building deep connections with others will help you in all of your intimate relationships for the rest of your life.

Recharge

Regardless of whether you consider yourself primarily introverted or not, everyone has at least some part of them that cherishes their alone time. If you find yourself craving some down time away from your social life or intimate relationship, have no fear. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t want to be in the social spot light all of the time (or even half of the time).

In modern society, many people associate introversion with shyness or social awkwardness. Introversion/extroversion are completely detached from shyness/outgoingness. Many introverts love socializing, and many extroverts love to read a book by themselves on their Friday night in. Whatever your mix, make sure you have patience with yourself, and listen to what your mind needs. Some nights you’ll want to hang out with a big group of friends, other nights you’ll want to stay in with your girlfriend and read books next to each other. In this life, for you to self-actualize and become your truest self, you will need to both think, and take action.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go read a book.

This article originally appeared at JordanGrayConsulting. If you are an introverted man looking for relationship advice, you can check out Jordan Gray’s best-selling book on how to date as an introvert.

Reposted with permission from The Good Men Project

Articles you might like from The Good Men Project

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 8, 2014, in psychology, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Always interesting topics will lead to good dialogue!

  2. this is interesting and I can say very true. I always thought I am an introvert and with your questions it confirmed it. What you wrote with the dating. yes so correct!

  3. Super post. Btw even I am an introvert but, I talk a lot with my close one. So much that at times, I dont realize, where my topic started and where I am right now!

  4. Growing up I never fully understood what those terms meant. But the older I got it became more important to determine what kind of person you are. In the sense that if you are an extrovert you are more likely to be more involved in school and activities where as an introvert will sit quietly in class getting the best grades. After reading this article I believe that I am an introvert. I would prefer to be surrounded by a close group of friends who have meaningful conversations rather than chatting with strangers about the weather.I had a particular friend who I dated for a while at the beginning of college in mind when reading this blog. It clearly states the kind of person he is when it came time to be in a relationship. I was always amazed at the real conversations that we had about space and time and current events, talking about things that actually mattered. His ability to listen and recall every detail of our conversations and our experiences was incredible and very comforting knowing that he was paying attention and listening. Made for a meaningful relationship. Completely agree with this article.

  5. I am most definitely a introvert’ just confirmed this. I would almost ALWAYS want to stay home and just be with myself and if I am around others its not a lot of people. But if there is alot of people i am the quiet and observant one who is sitting in the back just watching. In almost all my relationships this has just made it soo clear as to why i am the way i am in them. I never looked at my crazy relationship in this way me and my bf are totally opposite but we balance eachother out in a crazy way we only understand but i really do wonder how different it would be if it was just introverts in this world

  6. This post is so interesting. I had never asked myself what I am, an introvert or an extrovert, but today I found out I’m an introvert. It is not that bad though due to that I have had problems such as not participating in class that much to defend a point. Additionally, I prefer to stay home watch a movie rather than go to the club (where you are surrounded by a lot of people) and that. That is not my thing. I’ve tried it and I feel so awkward plus the next day I’m complaining about everything. My cousins say I’m a bitter person, which I don’t mind because I’m am to some extent. I also like to listen to people a lot. My close friends say that I am like their therapist.
    It is good to know that we have all of those strengths and like the post says; our world needs both introverts and extroverts to make it work.

  7. Is it possible to be an introvert with a touch of extrovert? Also, do opposites really attract in relationships? And third, why am I all of a sudden full of questions? 🙂

    • 1) there’s a continuum of extraversion and introversion, So yeah, there’s probably no such thing as someone who is only an introvert or only an extrovert
      2) for the most part, opposites don’t really attract. I’ll write more on that later
      3) don’t know, but I’m glad you are

  8. Reblogged this on Icedmocha34 and commented:
    *total introvert *

  9. I think it is quite true to say that introverts are good at relationships as I am an introvert as well and totally agree what’s being said in the article. I like having deep conversation with my close friends rather than chit chatting with others. I am a good listener and also care about others. But I guess introverts are not always good at relationships. People who are extrovert might not know or understand introverts that much and sometimes it leads to misunderstand each other. For example my extrovert friends stopped inviting me to places because I always turn them down. The fact is I actually would like to hang out but sometimes I also want to be alone. They just don’t understand. There are more examples as I have always encountered this kind of problem. So, are introverts really good at relationships? It really depends on the person. I think relationships are complicated and it is more about people understanding and getting along with each other.

    • Most people are extroverts, And they assume everyone is like them, so I have had a few problems with people who think I don’t like them because I’m not real talkative with them — I don’t like chit chat. But I’ll have plenty to say if it’s a substantive topic that I’m interested in.

  10. Me too 🙂 am a confirmed introvert! I could relate very well with your questions.
    Regards.

  11. Marilyn Jauregui

    I can totally relate to this because I am an introvert. This article was very interesting and encouraging! I think a lot of the time we aren’t as valued as much as extroverts are. There are a lot of things that introverts have to offer, especially in relationships, so i totally agree with everything this article is stating. Its true we have an amazing ability to listen and are very thoughtful, as well as like to keep a handful of friends. Its great you are sharing these encouraging messages to introverts so that they know their strengths and so that extroverts receive a better understudying of the type of person we are and what we have to offer because we are often misinterpreted.

  12. As a true introvert- i love the idea of embracing this in one’s dating life or any relationship rather than viewing it as a liability. I actually trained myself to behave more as an extrovert a while back because I had to due to what I was choosing to do in my life- while there are good skills that I did cultivate my real nature is so much the introvert. I love that there are people like Jordan and also Susan Cain w/her powerful TED Talk on this very topic giving introverts their due.

    • Ah, my experience is quite similar to yours. A national introvert who needed to develop some extroversion skills just to deal with stuff. I guess it’s good to broaden yourself, though. But I’m glad that we are beginning to appreciate the gifts of introversion more.

  13. I’ve always known that I’m an introvert. Growing up, I was great at listening to all my friends talk about their problems. For Christmas, I tend to go overboard giving people gifts and making people happy. I like to think I’m thoughtful and considerate when it comes to people. I strongly agree with your article. I believe introverts are better at relationships because they tend to notice the small things. I’m not saying extroverts might be bad at relationships, but introverts are just better at it. Although it is a barrier sometimes, I’m glad that I am an introvert. It helps me realize and appreciate the smaller details in life.

    • Probably introverts and extroverts are both good at relationships, for different reasons. But there’s a stereotype that introverts don’t like people, which isn’t true. And as it turns out, introversion can be helpful for relationships.

  14. This is very interesting, it got me thinking I don’t know maybe I am a mixture of both. is that a thing? I am a good listener though I reckon a lot of people would think that about themselves even if they are not! I also love small talk though, I am always chatting to everyone, the old man on the bus, the lady in the shop, random people next to me in a supermarket line. I have been reading a bit about this lately I think some people confuse shy and introverted which is not the case.

  15. I’m so glad I found this post! My boyfriend and i are very much introverts. And people have a hard time figuring out how our relationship works, when i mention something about our relationship they start criticizing it and suggest i break up with him because that’s not how a boyfriend is supposed to act. Truth is as a couple we are 100% happy do to us both being introverts we don’t need to be attached at the hip 24 7. Our communication skills are top notch because we are honest and let each other know when something is bugging us this also helps us solve arguments quickly because be have the patience to hear each other out and see the others point of view. If you ask me my friends need to open their eyes and see i am happy and introvert relationships and different then the average extrovert relationships

  1. Pingback: Such an encouraging & enlightening read! | kwahtgrl

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