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Introverts and Relationships

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2021 1:00 am

Introverts and Relationships

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 14, 2021 1:00 am

Are you or your spouse introverted? Join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on FamilyLife Today as they talk with author Holley Gerth about celebrating the spouse God has given us.

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Find more from Holley Gerth and take the "What % Introvert are YOU?" quiz.

Find out more from Chap Bettis's book The Disciple-Making Parent.

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Most often in marriage, one spouse will lean more in the direction of being an extrovert. The other will lean in the direction of being an introvert cannot cause problems in a marriage, Holly Gerth says it can, but it doesn't have to say you know it's going into marriage or engage maybe you say what's your ideal weekend and listen to that person's answer and if it's different than yours, then it's figuring out what is that look like the maybe okay every Friday night we are going out with our friends every Saturday morning we are sleeping in and that's our strategy and you try and if it works. You continue. If it doesn't, you try something else that is better to have those conversations up front instead of it being Friday night and one saying that either Sam Lithgow or Saturday morning and the other way around. And so I think any two people God calls together can absolutely make relationship work.

This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine can find us on my family life what are strategies we can employ as couples to help introverts and extroverts along with one another better. Talk about some of those ideas today stay with us and welcome to family life today.

Thanks for joining us trying to wrap my head this week around this whole idea of introversion and extroversion. What is the reason for this is I've told people over the years that if we walk into a room and there is a microphone there. I am drawn immediately to what is is is is on can I get up. Can I perform right Marianne wants to leave the room immediately if she sees a microphone because it might pick her up from the far corner.

She her aversion to speaking is matched only by my delight in it, and yet our guest who is joining us again today Holly Gerth Holly, welcome back. Thank you. Kelly was behind a microphone and introvert behind a microphone. She's written a book called the powerful purpose of introverts why the world needs you to be you and were talking about that this week you said as we talked earlier that you had given a keynote at some event, and I thought introverts don't give keynotes.

I mean introverts stay away from that kind of thing. So I'm still trying to wrap my head around what it is can and introvert be a public speaker excellently. Yes, many of the top public speakers actually according to the speakers Bureau are introvert so it's not fear of being in front of the crowd that makes you an introvert. It's not that you just want to be alone all the time.

It's not that you don't like people, it's that you don't get energy from what kids that we have a preference for minimally stimulating environment.

So when there's a lot going on outside for an extended amount of time. It's eventually exhausting tests and we need to pull back in process and then were ready for more. So that's really the difference when you walk off the stage after keynote is your inclination.

I could like to go to my room now or are you thinking I'd really enjoyed talking to the people. I just talk to. I usually take a nap do literally like my tank is at zero and the the talk before and after the microphone is actually much harder for me because often introverts can speak well because were good at preparing we are thoughtful and reflective. We have a message. Often we want to share ideas. We spent time coming up with we care about getting that out to people and we can speak and share that and that's more comfortable. A lot of times than doing an hour of mingling at the cocktail party after that is not because you don't let people know we equally love people.

Introverts and extroverts equally love people, just the settings we likely prefer to engage with them are different.

I would rather have coffee with one person and talk to them for two hours where I am thinking extroverts he might prefer to have more than one person that you get to have a conversation with in that amount of time or you'd like to have a dinner party at your house where you get to have a lot of people that you love around the table and if you think about that.

Not in terms of people that in terms of how much is going on, that your nervous system has to process. That's the big difference so I'm hearing this, and thinking. Part of me feels introverted and part of me feels extroverted. I mean I would rather have a one-on-one conversation with somebody but I also can multitask unlike a lot going on here by overt it when there is this there's this phrase you've heard it right. The more people say I'm an Amber. But you go. I don't think that's a real thing yet for the most part I don't think for introverts.

There's been studies that follow people from infant head through adulthood and these characteristics show up starting when their little bitty like you talked about your sign his entire life is showed introverted characteristics. So for that reason and because it is based on brain and nervous system wiring like we talked about. I think that we are usually one or the other. That being said, it's like being right or left-handed. So ease both her hands all day every day. But there's one that's usually stronger than the other and that we rely more, especially in certain situations or for particular tasks.

Then again were all on a continuum. So yes, you could definitely have parts of you that look a little more introverted.

It's just at the end of the day which one is a little more dominant for you. We had our counselor describe it to assess how youth matured in your extroversion which was an interesting way of saying it in terms of we kinda know who we are what we need, but were okay with going to the other side with introverts. Knowing how to treat them how to get along with them and how to appreciate them.

Yeah, I am thinking about when Mary and I met.

I don't know that I stop to even thing is she an introvert or extrovert.

I just I was attracted to, not losses. Creating yes she's well she's pretty and she's smart and I like talking to her and in the course when when you meet somebody like this. What to block onto his all of the things you have in common, rather than stopping to think about all of the things that are different about you right so it was only later that I recognized alders a lot that is different about her and she is more introverted than I am, how important you think it is Holly for people who are dating. Get to know one another thinking about marriage to stop and asked the question. First of all, what am I what are you and is this thing to work. I think it's very important because it does impact all different areas of our lives. From relationships to work to let daily life.

What we do on the weekends and so having that self-awareness I think is important. I think that we all go through life with one of three perspectives either self-critical or really hard on ourselves, leads and security self focus, which is more pride and that end of the spectrum or self-awareness which is what David was expressing in Psalm 139, which was, I praise you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. So when we understand ourselves, and leads to praise not to pride.

It also helps us understand others.

The most self-aware people I know are also the most other aware, because when you understand who you are. You recognize when someone is different than you and you can appreciate it other than it feeling like a threat.

And so I would say for couples who are dating. Absolutely there's lots of great assessments out there that tell you if you're an introvert x-ray.

I have a one minute quiz on my site where you can find out what percent introvert. You are good. We all have a little introverted in us seeking to do that but I think it's a piece to understand that being said, the most common pairing in marriages, introverted and extrovert and again I think it goes back to that we see increasing God did a lot of complementary pairings day and night Lane in C masculine, feminine, I really believe introvert and expert is another one of those pairings and we do have a link on our to the quiz you're talking about. So if listeners want to do that one minute quiz and figure out where am I here can kids do you do that when you get down on the site okay yeah but you're not saying it's a couples dating and they realize by taking a quiz or another way, I'm on extreme extrovert, all the way of the far end of the continuum and I'm dating a woman who's a extreme introvert. You saying don't continue. Everything else lines up at this one's way apart what you think. I would say educate yourself about yourselves and each other so that you can make strategic decisions together about what life is going to look like and so you don't take it personally when that person acts out who they are.

So, for example, when an introvert is taking time to process her need solitude it can feel like holding back or rejection, but it's actually not that introvert is actually giving their full mental strength to what you have just said and that means they have to be quiet for a moment. So where it can feel like dismissal.

It's actually there expressing how much they value you sell when you're in the midst of the conflict. What would be a good thing for the extrovert to say to the introvert, who's pulling back or introvert to say here's what's happening because we make a lot of assumptions in conflict or in relationships. So what would that look like for the extrovert to say what is you sent your spouse pulling back. Yeah, I think saying it feels like you're getting a little overwhelmed.

You need some time to process.

Can we circle back to this in then pick a time because when it comes a fight or flight.

Extroverts are more likely to fight and introverts are more likely to flight so you don't just let them run off forever set a time to come back together and discuss it again.

So I think which is really about being intentional and strategic. I think any two people who say we are going to practice self-awareness so that we can also practice other awareness were to be intentional and organ be strategic and make relationship work. So that's having conversations like okay what's your ideal weekend your dating say you know it's going into marriage or engage maybe they say what's your ideal weekend and listen to that person's answer and if it's different than yours, then it's figuring out what is that look like, so maybe okay every Friday night we are going out with our friends every Saturday morning we are sleep and in and that's our strategy and you try and if it works. You continue. If it doesn't, you try something else that is better to have those conversations up front instead of it being Friday night and one say that they're saying let's get out or Saturday morning and the other way around. And so I think any two people God calls together can absolutely make relationship work and I think is important, as you said earlier that this is brain science because I know a lot of us think. While changer you know she may be an introvert now but after were married were going out every Friday and every Saturday and Sunday and I were watching Nielsen Eiffel Bob Buffalo Wild Wings know much, but what else seriously. We think working to change them and this is who God made them yeah switch is beautiful right I think it's very tempting. I've absolutely done this in a note to say my spouse needs to be made in my Eminence and we have to get to the point where we practice humility and say how do I help my spouse reflect the image of God that he is placed within them and that at their next sure that's helping them be the extrovert. If it's an introvert and helping them be that introvert, and then helping each other, balance each other out because that happens to you right over the years. Extroverts help introverts. Introverts help extroverts and we all like you said we mature together but I think it starts with understanding and a lack of shaming or guilt or judgment to just say help me be curious about you choosing curiosity over condemnation I think is so essential and even get in and tell if I'm right even get to the place of a not just going to tolerate it.

I want to get to a celebration yes of her introversion or his introversion or extraversion. Could you get the place was like okay when I get to go out again because she didn't want to, rather than this is awesome. She's actually balancing me. I say let's say home tonight you're talking about receiving your mate as God's provision for you. Whatever we talked about her definitely talk about this all the time of the week and remember marriage get away that we can't just accept our spouse.

We have to receive our spouse and received the good gift God has given us and that good gift is good include differences that may seem like sandpaper. At the time but are actually designed by God to be good for us and good for our marriage. Here's another question. Is it okay for an extrovert who is married to an introvert to go out with the guys or go out. She goes out with the girls because she wants energy it all and her husband, her spouse and undress a home and and and that's good. I'm celebrate that, but everyone swell me. I just and sometimes you think I should never go out with the guys will I say that today you need way more friends seemed like hundreds of them. Please get out of the house to be alone for a little bit. I think that's actually a great strategy is to say if one spouse is a higher social need than the other to say you have permission to go out with your friends when you need that and I usually works well because then the introvert gets there solitude and everybody comes back together. So again, that's another strategy of displaying what are some other ways we can get this need met in your life whether it's I hear that a lot permission to go out with your friends or maybe it's an introvert mama who's home with kiddos all day and she needs a partner is gonna say I'll take the kids you go to a coffee shop and be quiet for an hour and then she comes back home is a better mama because that need as much in her life. So I think it's again is understanding what is the capacity that we have for social and solitude and then how we work together to get everybody's needs met. So I think there's a way you know if you just negotiate. One of the things that you said earlier that I wanted to mention I was assuming the introverts are more lonely and yet he said the opposite said that extroverts tend to feel more loneliness about that. It was fascinating. I did a study with my blog subscribers asked him are you an introvert or extrovert and what's your biggest struggles in introvert or extrovert.

So I got over 2000 responses. The first week and when I looks the extrovert said their biggest challenge was loneliness which I would not have guessed at all because I tend to look at extroverts and say we all have people around you all the time like you're always with your friends.

You're always doing something you never get lonely and so that was just a huge surprise to me till and I asked states like iron and Bob and Dave if they get lonely because I assume that they didn't because they're both very extroverted and you said Seth to the conversation. Everybody is just assume Dave is never lonely see how he's doing and going in pocket how Bob just recognize you have it. If I had this moment, about 15 years ago I was in Orlando Florida on a business trip and at the end of our meetings down there things ended early.

My flight was the next day and I thought I'm going to Disney World and I'm good.

I have the best time because you know when they say we do. Who needs one can go up on the wall and I'll have the greatest time so I remember riding this ride. I don't remember what it was but at the end of the ride. I got off and it had been a great ride and I got off. It was like that was great. I looked around and there's no one to share with. It was the most depressing moment to think know things like this.

The joy of them is not the ride. It's the shirt experiences the joy that comes from being together.

So yeah, you can get lonely even in the midst of activities that you like no matter whether you're an introvert or an extrovert right yeah and I think that is a great story for extrovert spouses to tell introvert because we don't experience the world that way you know and so exactly what he said it's not about this activity I'm asking you to do.

It's about your presence in it because it's about the joy of shared experience and may not that's really helpful, even for me to hear in those terms. So I think that's a great conversation have to you said you were in college.

When you first heard the term introvert and you went. This is me they're talking about me and that was a great moment for you then you met Mark later right yes well we met in college, but after about two years after I found out it was an introvert so were you thinking his heel introvert is skin extrovert. Was this a part of your calculus is your getting to know him. I think we had that conversation pretty early on. Just I love all the personality type stuff I probably made him take a test. Remember exactly that. Yes, we are an interesting pairing because were introvert enter, which is unusual in marriage like this I usually get one introvert, one extrovert and so we have our own challenges in making sure we spend intentional time together.

We have a breakfast date. Every Saturday morning and we know that's our face-to-face time to connect to make sure we having those conversations so I think any pairing any two people there things to figure out in their ways make each other better for you attracted to his introversion I was I remembered us his calm presence was really comforting to me as an introvert and his just care for me has thoughtfulness big rain storm blew in during class one day and I do know is coming.

I didn't have an umbrella and I walked out the door. My class and there was Mark with an umbrella and I think that is a pretty good picture of how we do life together that he is a gift for caring for whatever is entrusted to him and I'm grateful to be one of the things that not things people that has been entrusted to him. And of course though we had to figure things out.

We are different in other ways, like on the Myers-Briggs. He's an extreme thinker. I'm an extreme feeler and so when we first got married.

It felt like we were talking about two different things. In conversation so we didn't have to work out the introvert extra part, but we absolutely had to work out how to speak thinker and feeler.

This is one of the areas where for Marianna and me as we were growing in our marriage came to a point where we began to recognize what has been a principal that has helped us over and over again and it's the principle that different isn't wrong. It's different and I think we thought it was wrong for a long time. The way you think the way you act. Your preferences are the wrong way to do life my way of thinking, acting, and doing like that's the right way you live. You just be more like me everything would would get better and to recognize I think it was after taking some personality tests that I want all this is who she is and and that's it sniffed up along with that it's just different than how I do things that Marion is always quick to point out sometimes different is wrong right and I think here we also have to be aware Holly because sometimes people can say while I'm just an introvert and will use that label as a way to excuse sinful behavior or a lack of spiritual engagement. I mean, you can use this as a crutch and kinda hide behind it and that's not what you're trying to do by providing this definition for people yet not at all and I think you ask, what is the fruit is this person choosing time alone and then coming back out and living a connected life. What is the end result of this choice. If they are choosing solitude and then coming back out re-fuel to do what God is called them to you than that is fruitful and helpful if they are making bombs in their basement forever, by themselves, so it's like what comes out of this because I think the reverse can be true that extroverts can use being extroverts as a way to avoid self reflection.

Yeah so I think any part of who we are taken to an extreme, is unhelpful, such as asking what's my tendency is my tendency to withdraw too much to give myself pass on the entire people think, or is it the other end for maybe I need a little bit of time you know an dis-understanding which one we naturally are more vulnerable to use extroverts can avoid self reflection when Dave said oh yeah and and look like tell me more honey I want to know more about what you said that it kinda allows you make no if you go into the closet know I'm in.

When you said that you have done that is an extrovert.

It's like you can use that almost like you said, but as an excuse is who I am is so that is what I do on her own people, but often you can use that to not reflect. I don't want to look at what's really going on in my heart just live in the party. You know you and enjoy the party. It's an excuse because there needs to be timely when you are talking about pulling away and re-energize and come back. Here's what I thought Jesus yeah so is Jesus and introvert. I think he is a perfect blend about is I love that he modeled both the models like ministry to the crowds and that he models pain alone on a mountain and so I love that that he is. He is the hybrid site fate.

Jesus is a name through being a member of the idea of pulling away a meeting time for yourself.

I think some people can feel guilty and you talked about this earlier. That's like so I need some me time will just the idea of me time.

Sounds narcissistic it sounds, it's not other centered. It's not God centered. It's me standard so how do we get the balance. There between. This is appropriate, recharging, and this is just me doing what I want and not caring what anybody else thinks is that the fruit that you're talking about. Yeah, I think you ask why if you're saying I need me time and that's one word.

Our culture uses for it and if you ask someone why and they say because I'm exhausted and I know if I get 30 minutes to myself and I'm gonna be a better wife mama spouse friend didn't daughter of God, then to me that is opposite of selflessness saying I am doing this as an act of service where if the answer is I hate the world and everyone in it and so I'm done with humans and I'm out that which we can have those moments, that's a different thing and so I think for people who feel guilty just follow that and why do I need this and usually it ends up that there is a good intention. Underneath it is not about self.

It's about being able to have sustainable service for a lifetime. Think it's awesome.

As I listen to you, Holly. Think you have become. You and your impacting the world by writing and you do that as an introvert, you pull away every day in you impact a lot of people, but you do it in a in a quiet calm it's it's it's beautiful to say there's the powerful purpose of your life. If we could all be able to grasp that who God made me to be and celebrate him to be that person.

We could we change the world you change the world and I'm just think about the introverts who are cheering, hearing us to go. I gotta get this book because I've been longing for someone to help me understand me better and that's what Holly does in the book the powerful purpose of introverts you can order a copy of the book from us We also mention Holly's got on her website. I'm I appreciate this there's a 10 question about the little diagnostic quiz to help you determine how introverted are you or how extroverted are you because everybody's on a scale somewhere in the it's it's not really your an introvert or extrovert. It's it's your somewhere on that scale in the quiz on your website helps everybody figure that out. We got a to that quiz. If our listeners would like to take it again.

You can order your copy of Holly's book, the powerful purpose of introverts go to family life to order, or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today and I'm thinking about the fact that all of us who are raising kids art our kids are to be somewhere on this continuum is introverts are extroverts and part of our responsibility as we raise them is to understand how God has made them, and to know how to raise them no matter who they are.

Earlier this week we talked with chap Bettis about our assignment as disciple making parents. He's written a book by that title and the audiobook that he's developed is available for family luck today listeners this week for free. Would love for you to be able to download this audiobook the disciple making parent by chap Bettis is completely free.

Go to our website family luck for information on how you can get a copy.

Again, the title of chap's book is the disciple making parent. The audiobook is free go to family life to get your copy or family questions call us at one 800 FL today and we hope you enjoy the book and we hope you can join us again tomorrow when were to talk about kids. Kids who are introverts and kids who are extroverts and we do as parents raising those children, Holly Gertz will be here again we hope you can be here as well. Think our engineer today. Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on Bob Lapine see you back next time for another edition of family life today.

Family life today is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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