I’m an introvert.
Most days, when the clock rolls around 7:00 (yes, that is the end of my 10 hour work day, yours too if you’re in college), it is not people that cheer me up. I do not want to be in social company. I want trashy music, loads of spaghetti, my netflix, and a stone quiet apartment. I need to recharge before I go back out, for my own sanity and for the sanity of everyone else. I need small bouts of introspection and relaxation. I prefer a day at the park with Chuckie P. over hanging it at the MOA.
I am not an extrovert. I do not “feed” off of other people’s energy. This is the way I’ve most often heard extroversion explain, and it creeps me out. To be certain, I like discussion, and I’m fairly outgoing, just not in all the places.
There tends to be a distinct implicit prejudice against introversion in a lot of places, despite the fact that so many people are introverts. We are looked on as a disabled people, crippled by our need to inspect ourselves and relax away from people.
My boyfriend is an extrovert. He lives in a house with lots of people and he’s constantly by someone. This would literally drive me into some sort of awkward depression and hate against the world and society and everything that was ever mean or beautiful or injusticed! He has made it well aware to me that if he were me, he would likewise spiral into a weird funk.
Making these two things mesh is not that easy. It is not like fitting together poultry with a white sauce and pasta. It is not like fitting together figure and ground in an Escher painting. It is not like fitting together dovetails in carpentry. It’s a little like yin and yang.
This is probably the key to any relationship. My boy and I sometimes are absolute polar opposites, but it’s about how we make it work that matters. We don’t meet at a middle ground. We meet by intertwining, by compromising, by becoming interdependent. Sometimes I sacrifice my reboot time and sometimes he sacrifices his ungodly amount of social interaction. But his support is more important than any time I could spend doing my introvert thing. So it’s worth it.