Emotionally Introverted

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Me on a bike! Let’s just pretend that it’s not because the coast has a dearth of hills:)

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.

My mom and I on our sky swing:) The only thing missing was a dumbwaiter to bring us beverages!
My mom and I on our sky swing:) The only thing missing was a dumbwaiter to bring us beverages!

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:)

My boys:)
My boys:)

 

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8 thoughts on “Emotionally Introverted

  1. I am okay if you are okay wiht this. I would have a hard time accepting this, like when I dated someone who said he would never celebrate Valentine’s Day, I said later in the relationship, “I do things for you, that you need. Please just do something minimal, make dinner or give me something little.” If i were greeted by a distracted man who I had been with for some time, I would say, “Please fake your being happy and excited to see me, because for ME (not you) I love watching hugs and people joyfully waving at each other (at train, plane, and other stations).”

    1. I’m okay with it because it is still new and overwhelming to him. I’m okay with it because he is patient with me and I want to be with him. I’m okay with it because I get the affection, attention and welcoming words for days after my return. I’m okay with it because I know his feelings are true. After my ex’s lies and facade, I would rather not have Brock fake it. I’d rather wait a little while and get the real thing.

  2. During counseling sessions with my Ex, when we were still trying to save the marriage, our counselor saw and described this exact thing in him. Brock was able to articulate what was happening with him, but my Ex wasn’t, so he just blamed me like he blamed me for everything else. Not surprisingly, I did take it very personally.

    1. Sorry to hear that:( It’s one of those things that does take a combination of the emotional introvert being able to recognize it and then communicate it. I know it was a rough area for Brock and I until we had that conversation. Even though he was emotionally available much of the time, I took his retreats personally. Even worse, I reacted by pursuing, which flooded him even more when he was already overwhelmed. By relating it to how I need quiet time by myself, I could completely understand it and be comfortable giving him the time/space he needed.

      I have a feeling that this is not uncommon, both the emotionally introverted part and the partners taking it personally.

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