There is nothing quite so heady and energizing as the time of discovering a new person, learning what makes them the unique individual that they are. Some people are torrents, filling in all of the rich details in an open, exciting rush – emotional Instagrams if you will. Others let themselves develop their emotional shading over time, more like Polaroids or quality dark room development of the past. Neither method is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, as both accomplish the same goal – self-revelation to another.
But the personality of the recipient of this information truly impacts how they respond once the initial rush is over. Being a cerebral introvert, I can take in an inordinate amount of data in a short period of time, and then I need to step back and process it. Once the energizing activity of discovery is mostly done, when dealing with an emotional Instagram, I will run out of energy to give and then need to take that energy and turn it inwards to process, sort and define all of that amazing information that has been given out. When that activity is completed, if everything is still as it seemed in the beginning, I will then integrate that person into my life according to my energy plan.
Yes, we have those, we introverts, especially mature ones. We have identified what energizes us, what depletes us, down even to the people, activities, and sleep needs. We will measure if we have the energy stamina to meet the needs of the other party, because being an equal partner is important to us. We want to be our best, and we know what it takes to be that for another, if we have spent time in our own self-discovery. We want the other person to be emotionally fulfilled too, and we can be brutally self-honest if we find we may lack what we perceive they need. At that point comes time for honest communication between the two parties. Can we meet their emotional needs? Will their needs energize or deplete us? With open communication this can be done without rancor or artifice, if everyone is on the same page. For those unfamiliar with introverts, this can appear to be a lack of appreciation, or disinterest, or even worse, potential rejection. It isn’t. It is a true assessment of compatibility on every level. This comes much quicker when it is an extrovert/introvert pairing. The introvert will hit an emotional energy wall and have to take three steps back. Extroverts often don’t understand that at all, because they are expanding and feeling great with the energy transfers that are occurring. They are charged up up, have greater purpose, feel more excitement after these exchanges. It can be complicated. It isn’t a death knell at all, rather, something to be examined closely for both parties. It can work, if everyone can examine the others emotional barometer and live within those parameters without resentment or feeling unheard, of lesser importance or neglected.
With the Polaroid type, the data comes to an introvert in small bits and pieces. While not as adrenaline inducing, this actually works better from an energy standpoint even if not as exciting and heady. The introvert gets data, assesses it, and is ready for more. The energy work has a more even flow and takes less from the introvert. This type of person can be integrated more easily into an introvert’s world. Usually on the other end of this type of doling out of emotional data is another introvert, although many of us can be emotional torrents. The problems that develop in this situation are less stressful, but they can be just as puzzling. The energy output then goes into trying to determine what IS inside of the other person, and a measuring of time versus output. Two introverts can get to the end of some time and energy exchange and discover they simply are not suited for each other, it just takes longer and doesn’t feel as abrupt in most cases. These two usually will rather drift apart instead of hitting a hard stop.
For we introverts, truly no relationship is better than a bad one. And bad doesn’t mean the other person is bad or unworthy or anything negative about them. It means that we know we won’t measure up in the long run to a person that needs more than we can give. Which pairing is best, two intros or an intro and an extro? It really depends on the two people and their emotional needs. If an extrovert has other need filling people in their life, it can go splendidly. If the extrovert needs their partner to be everything, the center, it can be disastrous. If one of the two introverts needs the other as an emotional anchor, that too is tricky. It is a fine balance, the energy, space, time and emotional needs of two people. Most will never take the time to explore what can be modified, where compromise can be made, what can be done to make things work. If all else is good, it IS worth the time to explore. But in today’s world, instant gratification is the current cultural meme. For others, timing is actually the key.
If you are considering a relationship, regardless of your personality type, make sure to hear the other person. Be honest. Listen closely. If after a timely valuation, it will not work as a romantic partnership, one may have discovered an incredible friend. But most of all, give things time. We always hear that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” As such, long-lasting, enduring, deep personal relationships too, are built over time. Take the time. Give the time. In doing so, you and the other person will grow and become better people.
For further insight into this topic, I refer you to an accomplished writer and personality coach, Brenda Knowles over at space2live.net. An excellent article on the topic is found here:
Be well. Be yourself. Allow others to be the same. Give things time.