Life is beginning to return to normal after my trip to San Antonio. My introverted nature is enjoying the solitude interspersed with connections that I get to savor during the summer. My trip to San Antonio was awesome but it also strains my somewhat reserved nature to always have people around.
Brock stayed behind in Atlanta for this trip. I’m not sure what it was, but I really missed him during my absence. The feeling was mutual. We’re both used to him being gone (generally for only a night or two) for business, but somehow it’s harder when I’m the one out of the house.
While I was gone and during my travels home, he expressed how much he missed me and was looking forward to having the pack back together. When he finally picked me up at the train station, I received a passionate hello from Tiger and a distracted peck from Brock.
My feelings were hurt, but luckily, we’ve been here before so I knew his pattern.
After I returned to a lukewarm greeting a couple years ago, I panicked. I read his seemingly uninterested welcome as a sign that he was not happy to see me. I thought he was pulling away because of some terrible reason.
I brought it up. We talked about it.
As he was struggling to help me understand his perspective, he used the term “emotionally introverted” to describe himself. He went on to explain that the feelings he had when we were reunited were overwhelming, flooding him. He had to retreat until he could become comfortable and then he would be ready to connect.
I got it. I know the way I can feel when I walk into a crowded room or I am surrounded by people for days at a time. I know those breaks I need from the stimulation so that I can reset and relax.
He wasn’t withdrawing because of an absence of emotion. He was pulling back because he felt too much emotion.
As an introvert, my behavior can be read as rude or antisocial when I am just overwhelmed and flooded.
As an emotional introvert, his behavior can be read as unloving or distancing when he is really just overwhelmed and flooded.
Even knowing this, it still stings a bit. It’s hard to to take it personally. I’m working on it.
In this instance, I didn’t say anything. I kept myself busy and gave him time. Within a few hours, I had the greeting I wanted – full kisses and a long, prone embrace. It was worth the wait.
It’s so easy to make assumptions about the reasons for someone’s actions. We see there behaviors through our own lenses. It’s worth taking the time to try to see through their eyes. You just may be surprised at what you see.
So now the two introverts – one socially and one emotionally – have both been reset and are happy to be back together as a family. At least until my next trip:)