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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 August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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