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Are Extrovert Wives More Satisfied In Their Marriages?

Are Extrovert Wives More Satisfied In Their Marriages?

Straight up, the answer is Yes. Because, excuse the jaded phrase, the research says so.

To understand the research findings, first you need to know what makes introverts and extroverts different? It’s my personal take that there are no pure-blood ambiverts. Ambiverts are actually introverts who learned extroverted ways to navigate through an extroverted world. So, while they are as raucous extroverts by the world, deep down they are just “quiet” introverts. Introverts and extroverts do not live at the extreme ends of the personality scale. There are always some shades of gray.

What Makes Extroverts Different From Introverts?

The Extrovert

Most of those you know may be extroverts and there is a high probability that you’re one.

Extroverts talk more, they laugh more, they surprise us more often. Extroverts are more friendly, enthusiastic, thrill-seeking, and act-now-think-later (instant gratification) types. They open up to people more easily, and you often find them talking to you about what’s going on in their minds. You will rarely find them sitting or doing things alone. People are their life-blood. The outer world is their breath-air.

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Did you know that extroverts are happier than introverts, and this effect stretches over decades?

The Introvert

And the introverts, you know them too. That wallflower friend of yours, yes. That kid in your class who’s always lost in thoughts, yes. That guy who enters the party late and slips out early unnoticed, yes. Often described as a private person, yes.

You see them poring over their mobile screens with way too much fascination. Up close, you find that they’re usually not chatting with their online friends. Rather, they are reading something or playing a brain game. They just don’t make the small talk. In fact, what irritates them to no end is meaningless conversations.

How Do They Differ

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It’s the wiring in their brains. In 1997, the British psychologist Hans Eysenck said the main reason for the differences between introverts and extroverts is in how their brains get aroused.

Introvert brains get aroused without much effort. By nature, they process more information per second. Now, one’s brain can process only finite chunks of information over a certain time. So, when there is too much noise to process, the introverts become overwhelmed. Once that happens, they tend to shut out the outside world and seek out time alone – to focus inwardsThe extroverts, however, don’t spark up fast. They have to reach out for stimulating environments to arouse themselves. They thrive in situations where there is a lot of stimuli – voices, music, chatter. It makes them feel home. Because their brains process less amounts of external data per second. So they need loads of stimuli from their surroundings – to feel alive.

The Lemon Juice Experiment

A famous lemon juice experiment in 1964 showed that an introvert salivates more than an extrovert when their tongue gets a few drops of lemon juice. Psychologists concluded introverts get more aroused with the same load of stimuli than extroverts. Find out more on how the brains of introverts differ from those of extroverts.

Let’s jump back to our primary question:

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Do Extroverted Women Have More Satisfying Marriages?

This is a recent research coming out of Iran. Four psychologists from two universities came together to publish their findings in May 2016. They gathered 92 married working women from Shiraz welfare organization. The participants had no history of divorce or separation, and aged between 25 to 45 years. To remove any bias, the researchers chose them at random.

The Research

The psychologists Somayeh Tahmasebi, Baratali Maleki, Masumeh Rezayi Aval, Fereshte Tahmasebi gave them a long test, with 4 sets of questions.

  1. The first, Demographic set, asked them about their age, salary, education, years of marriage, and number of children.
  2. The second set was the ENRICH (Evaluating & Nurturing Relationship Issues, Communication, Happiness) inventory. This is an exhaustive set of 125 questions on 14 different scales – as marital satisfaction, financial issues, personality, sexual relationships, friends and relatives, conflict solving, and others. The ENRICH can differentiate between the happy married couples and the unhappy ones with an accuracy of 85-95%. If you want to find out how satisfied you’re in your marriages, you could take the ENRICH/PREPARE online assessment.
  3. The third set was Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) with 57 questions. The EPQ measures the extroversion/introversion and neuroticism/stability aspects of personality. It also has a lie-detector scale. What is neuroticism? It is emotionality, or emotional instability. Neurotic people are quick to get nervous or upset under pressure. They are also less happy in their relationships.
  4. The fourth set was the Ahvaz Perfectionism Scale, of 27 questions. They included this because perfectionism is one of the factors that contributes to marriage satisfaction (this study).

The Results

They found “there is a significant positive relationship between extrovert personality and marital satisfaction of women employees.” You may read it as – the more extroverted a working woman, the higher her satisfaction in a marriage. And the less extroverted an employed woman, the lower her chances of marital happiness.

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They are not the only ones to reach this conclusion. Another study coming out of Iran concluded that the extrovert personality trait can predict marital satisfaction (Ata Shakerian, 2011). Yet another study from Iran, published in The Arab Journal of Psychiatry, emphasizes that “personality traits (extroversion included) are still the most important factor in determining marital adjustment” (Aysun Ghaemian, Javad Gholami, 2010).

Final Words

Adjustment in marriage is actually an exercise of extroversion that is played out by the two partners. If two people in a marriage do not talk or share their interests with each other, how much happiness can there be in that bond? And when conflicts happen, as it will, do you think it would help if they were to sulk and stay silent out of their extrovert nature? In a way, extroversion is what keeps the couple going well. Just think of that.

Featured photo credit: easyweddings.com.au via easyweddings.com.au

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Sandip Roy

Medical Doctor

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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