When your partner is an introvert it can take some time to understand why they prefer to have alone time to recharge. Introverts are often confused with people who are shy, but introversion is actually to do with feeling drained after a social situation, as opposed to feeling energized from it (extroverts).
There is a whole spectrum of introversion, from introverts who would always prefer to stay at home, to those who want to go out and socialize. People who appear to be social butterflies can in fact be introverts, but you would never be able to tell since they enjoy socializing in small doses. It is important to know how you can support your introverted partner, especially in social situations. Here are a few ways that you can help:
You should understand the reasons for them wanting to leave a social situation
There is only so much social interaction an introvert can tolerate until they start to feel drained. It is important to accept that when your partner wants to leave it’s not a personal attack on the event or an indication that they are bored, but they need to escape to find some solitude and recharge. If you prefer to stay for longer, discuss this beforehand and either take two cars or find a friend that can drive you home.
You should help out with the small talk
Introverts often dread small talk and it is important for your partner that you take the reins on this so that they do not feel as much pressure to come up with witty comebacks or thoughtful questions. It is important for you to understand that introverts often prefer to listen, especially in large groups of people. Another way that you can help your partner out is by bringing up topics in the conversation that you know are of interest to them and that they can easily talk about.
You should give them space
When your partner needs to decompress after a social event, it is important to let them do so without pestering them. It may be hard to realize that they are benefiting from this time alone (especially if you want to hang out), but after awhile it will become easier. Your relationship will also benefit immensely if you let your partner do their own thing for awhile.
You should always check-in with your partner about your social calendar
Scheduling two social events back-to-back can create a lot of friction with your partner, especially if they are the type of introvert that prefers to be alone most of the time. During times of the year such as the holiday season it is important to be extra vigilant and not over-pack your schedule. A good system to use is to have a clearly marked calendar in a place that is easily visible for both of you, so that there is no miscommunication. Also, last minute invitations should be discussed in detail with your partner to gauge how they feel and how much they can handle; introverts prefer to know about social events well in advance so that they can mentally prepare.
You should not worry about them every moment they are quiet
Introverts are often quieter than their extroverted counterparts, but that does not necessarily mean something is wrong. If you find them sitting alone at a party, trust that they are not being anti-social, but just taking a moment to regroup. On the other hand, it is important to be able to tell if something is wrong with your partner and if they are feeling overwhelmed in a social situation. Discuss beforehand a discrete signal that they can give you if they are feeling this way.
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