Often when people think about introverts, I think they imagine us as these wallflowers who are bashful and quiet. But I've found that most introverts aren't necessarily loners. We covet our alone time but we can be fierce friends and we absolutely adore those people that we let in. We just feel awkward in large and new social situations. We need time to feel everything out but when we get our bearings straight, we can certainly hold our own. In friendships, being an introvert, extrovert, or fall somewhere in between usually doesn't matter because you are allowed a certain space. But when you are an extrovert marrying an introvert, well, sometimes this can come with its own set of roadblocks.
To those of you out there who are lucky enough to snag one of us awesome introvert people, here are a few things that we've learned to keep the balance between the introvert-extrovert dynamic, especially during the wedding planning process.
1. Give him or her some alone time. Introverts NEED their alone time. Not because we just outright don't like people. Honestly if you see one of us sitting in a corner looking quiet and reserved, I promise our minds are probably racing 100 miles an hour. Alone time gives us a chance to process all that noise. Without it, we can become overwhelmed and stressed.
It may not need to be everyday but make sure they get it. I find that just having an opportunity once or twice a week for a few hours when I can just veg and be lazy, watch mindless TV, or even just go grocery shopping by myself helps tremendously.
2. Be prepared for more nights in. Introverts often get drained and overwhelmed when presented in big crowds and lots of activities. This can wipe us out physically and emotionally. So expect more nights in, an introvert needs it to recharge!
3. Make plans but be willing to break them. This is tough because sometimes we will make plans a month in advance but then the actual day if we've had a tough or busy week already, I will feel so overwhelmed and need to cancel. I promise that SOMETIMES breaking plans is so much better than going out with a grumpy or stressed out significant other, especially with the added busyness of planning a wedding. But if we cancel things a lot, don't get discouraged! Often we may not take the initiative to make plans but that doesn't mean we don't want to go out. We do! Just remember there is a 60/40 chance those plans may change.
4. Be understanding and don't take it personally. We may butt heads over differing opinions or broken plans or need for space but know and try to remember this is deeper than the situation at hand. Remind yourself that they love you and honestly aren't trying to hurt you. He or she really is just wired differently.
5. Talk it out! We absolutely don't expect you to sacrifice your needs all the time for ours! Talk to us. There have definitely been times where I've forced myself to get over my feelings in order to do something that my husband wanted, even though every fiber of my introverted self was screaming. We love you and we wanna do our part! The best way to approach this is with gentleness and love. Many times we will be willing to make sacrifices because marriage and wedding planning really are two way streets.
To my introverted friends out there I hope this helped you see, you are not alone! And to all the extroverts out there, I hope this helps you understand us a little more.
Photography and article by Andrew and Tianna Photography, a Virginia Beach-based husband and wife wedding photography team that loves capturing real moments before and after the wedding day.