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The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote in his 1921 classic “Psychological Types” about the personality traits of introversion and extroversion, suggesting that the principal distinction between personalities is the source and direction of an individual’s expression of energy. American author and lecturer Susan Cain says we all fall somewhere on this spectrum, and she argues that today’s culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people.
In her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” Cain writes, “Our place on this continuum influences our choice of friends and mates, how we make conversation, resolve difference, and show love. It’s reflected in our brain pathways, neurotransmitters, and remote corners of our nervous systems.”
Cain explains that nature and nurture play a role in how our personalities are formed, and research has found that between one-third and half of all Americans are said to be introverts.
Generally speaking, introverts tend to be sensitive, serious, and shy, and they often prefer solitary activities and deep thinking. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have great social skills or enjoy mingling at social events.
Regrettably, society tends to value extroversion, and introverts can sometimes feel oppressed by others. However, being an introvert positions you as being a great catch for a potential partner because you tend to love hard, can be very caring and romantic, and have introspective talents that make you a good communicator and able to navigate a relationship with sensitivity and self-awareness.
Since the dating landscape is an interpersonal context ripe with social stimulation, you may find dating to be rather exhausting and elusive. This article will offer you some valuable tips to help you capitalize on your strengths as an introvert and approach dating with more confidence, ease, and success.
Gay daters with the hopes of meeting someone special can sometimes portray a certain image to get people to like them. Introverts can be more vulnerable to this behavior, and it can cause adverse consequences for self-esteem and health.
According to research, hiding and faking our emotions takes a lot of effort and energy, and it can deplete our mental resources, cause depressed moods and stress, and lead to emotional dissonance due to inconsistencies between our self-concept and behavior. This, over the long term, can exact a toll on our physical health, well-being, and relationship satisfaction.
You want your date to appreciate and admire you for who you are, and you will come across as an imposter when your true nature eventually shows itself. You can’t hold up an identity charade forever. Be authentic and own your introversion.
There’s nothing wrong with telling your date that you’re introverted so he can better understand why you’re being quiet. Transparency will make for much more enjoyable dating experiences and relationship potential, as well as personal fulfillment.
Respect your need for alone time and spend your freedom the way you like. Being single doesn’t mean you always have to be out meeting people or attending social events. Dating is action-oriented.
However, you also don’t want to burn yourself out by ignoring your threshold of tolerance for social stimulation.
Structure your free time with a good balance of social activity and down time for yourself. Cain recommends attending a certain number of social events a week/month/etc. in exchange for not feeling guilty when you choose to do something that’s independent. You’ll function better if you can do this, and you’ll be honoring your true self.
Conversely, since dating is a social animal that requires you to participate interpersonally at least some of the time, you should work on breaking down any anxieties, inhibitions, or psychological barriers you may have that make socialization challenging for you.
If you struggle with shyness, communication, or showing assertiveness and confidence, be sure to read books and take classes to work on combating these obstacles. Take an acting or improv class, join a support group, participate in a public speaking venue like Toastmasters, or join a meditation club.
Anything that you can do to help you feel more comfortable in your own skin will boost your personal well-being and dateability factor.
The greatest places to meet people are those that align with your personal interests, preferences, talents, passions, and life purpose. Online dating can be particularly comforting for introverts.
The advent of social networking websites had many people worrying that these platforms would disconnect people from meaningful face-to-face relationships. However, one study has found that the relationship between Facebook use and face-to-face communication was significant for introverts. It was beneficial because it allowed for the gradual building of trust and rapport in a less threatening social context that, in time, makes introverts more comfortable engaging in face-to-face communication.
Also, dating environments that provide a structure, such as speed dating events or special event groups, can be helpful because you’ll feel a sense of control. There’s an absence of performance anxiety to organized events thanks to the purpose-driven format that reduces the need to behave spontaneously.
Introverts traditionally are very good listeners because of their heightened abilities for reflection and introspection. This bodes very well in the dating world because most people feel validated in some way when they’re listened to.
As an introvert, you are well-equipped to do this. By being attentive of your date, asking open-ended questions to get to know him more deeply, and demonstrating your sensitivity, compassion, and depth, you have a great probability of striking his appeal because he feels that you truly want to “see” him. That will make him feel good.
Plan dates that will accentuate the positives of your personality style so you’re comfortable and can enjoy the moment. Especially in the early stages of dating, plan dates that involve activity and shared experience to take the pressure off having to talk right away.
Cain states that some of the greatest ideas, art pieces, and inventions of our time have come from quiet, cerebral people, so capitalize on your gifts and talents to create riveting dates. Signing up for a painting class, going horseback riding, or volunteering for a cause you care about are just some examples of dates you can experience with someone you are still getting to know and who is getting to know you.
Cain writes that introverts tend to hide from themselves because “The Extrovert Ideal” is valued in society. To maximize your dating options, it’s important to embrace your introversion and leverage it for all its worth.
You bring a lot to a potential relationship, so honor who you are, capitalize on your strengths and assets, and work on pushing yourself to greater limits to expand your personal resources and relationship opportunities.
By heeding these suggestions, you’ll be increasing your odds of finding that companion you’re seeking while being true to who you are and all that makes you beautiful as an “Introvert Ideal.”