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Extroverts - how much truth is there in these statements?

(100 Posts)
CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 12:52:59

My STBXH, who has been emotionally abusive, just to give the history, is not yet accepting that our marriage is ending. He seems to be talking at length about it to anyone who'll listen (fair enough), and today he forwarded me an email conversation with a friend (with her permission).

He seems to have our marital problems reduced to "I'm an extrovert; she's an introvert." Which actually is how I summarised it in my head about eighteen months ago (before I learnt about EA on MN).

These are some of the things he's saying about what it's like to be an extrovert and I'd like to know if other extroverts agree:

1) Extroverts are not private people; they share personal things about themselves easily with others.

2) About being criticised: For us extroverts it’s not that we’re brushing it off, we just don’t know how to internalise things because we live our lives externally. We hear a comment like that and deflect it, we keep it outside, we justify ourselves and move on, because we don’t really know how to keep quiet, absorb it, ponder it, consider it, and process it, and then change our behaviour and attitudes as a result.

3) If you want an extrovert to hear something difficult about themselves, you will need to say it many many times before it gets through layers of defences and the extrovert takes it seriously.

4) Extroverts don't really know how to think when they're by themselves: they need someone to bounce ideas off.

5) Extroverts don't see patterns of behaviour: each hurtful remark (for example) is a one-off for them.

6) Extroverts don't notice non-verbal communication; they need verbal explanations of feelings in order to understand other people.

7) Extroverts often say things without stopping to think about how it will be taken by the person they're talking to.

8) Extroverts express things strongly that are really quite inconsequential to them, because they seem important at that brief moment of talking about them, but much less so when the moment's passed.

Wow, I wasn't expecting that list to be so long when I started. Hope you can help me sort out the fact from the self-justification fiction here!

TwasBrillig Wed 17-Jul-13 12:58:42

I'm quite extrovert and some of that applies. I do find it much easier to think aloud and to have someone else to bounce ideas of.

However I'm over sensitive to non verbal clues or criticism so not sure how linked it is.

Many couples are introvert-extrovert surely. Part of marriage is learning to communicate with someone different to you.

BinarySolo Wed 17-Jul-13 12:59:43

Replace the word extrovert with insensitive prick tho and then the list is pretty much spot on.

TwasBrillig Wed 17-Jul-13 13:00:54

I do over share at times and probably do number 8 too. We're all different though, I'm different to my husband in a number of ways.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:01:10

grin Binary.

TwasBrillig Wed 17-Jul-13 13:01:45

And justifying marriage breakdown on these lines seems odd.

missbopeep Wed 17-Jul-13 13:03:24

The above list seems more IME to describe people on the autistic spectrum incl. Aspergers- and I don't mean that as a slur, just a comment based on professional experience.

Bitofkipper Wed 17-Jul-13 13:08:02

No.9 should be "The gift of the gab and talking rubbish" in his case.

MadBusLady Wed 17-Jul-13 13:08:54

Sounds like a mixture of stuff he's picked up on the internet and self-justifying bullshit to me. You may well be an extro/intro pair, but I've never read anything about extroverts being totally unable to take criticism while shovelling out horrible things freely themselves (which is what he seems to imply.)

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 17-Jul-13 13:10:10

I thought Binary's comment was rather restrained actually.

I was coming on to say substitute self-obsessed, immature, arrogant fuck-wit grin

But, having read missbopeep's post, I may have to admit to being unreasonable.

TerribleTantrums Wed 17-Jul-13 13:14:25

My son is very extrovert and has ASD and most of the things on that list could apply to him, however some of the points are more connected to being an extrovert and some are more connected to having ASD. Also, he is a child and we are working to help him to see things from other people's point of view, to pick up cues and not to allow him to get away with things that adversely affect others.

Your STBXH is an adult and, if he's aware that his behaviour and understanding is like this, he should be trying harder to compensate for his behaviour and not using it as an excuse and expecting others to just put up with it.

missbopeep Wed 17-Jul-13 13:17:13

Exactly TT you beat me to it.

Most children who have ASD don't know it and can't verbalise it as can this man. But adults who do have a diagnosis will try very hard to behave more thoughtfully and change their behaviour. They won't use it as an excuse for being an arse.

MadBusLady Wed 17-Jul-13 13:18:41

Do you have to even give this headroom though? If he has been EA then this is just more of the same bullshit to keep you focussing on him. If you want to end the marriage it's all irrelevant.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 13:19:25

Binary has it right, imo. Pithily phrasedsmile .

My sister is an extrovert, so is my mum (I'm not) - they don't behave like that.

losingmyself48 Wed 17-Jul-13 13:21:30

Charlotte, sounds like self delusion and justification (which he says he's prone to, to me)

i would be classed as a strong extravert and would answer a resounding NO to a few of those statements. There are some truths but its in no way an excuse.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 13:21:51

I'm also wondering why he thinks you would be interested. Just guessing here but is he the sort of character who expects the world to revolve around himself and thinks he's just too, too fascinating and special for words?

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:23:50

I did wonder whether I should even read it, MBL. I think, though, that thinking all this through could be useful, because I am so used to trying to accommodate his worldview and see through his eyes that I am not sure what is reasonable and what isn't any more.

And because I myself thought not long ago that it was all because he was an extrovert, I want to make sure that I still believe that I'm doing the right thing.

The replies I'm reading are very reassuring and I am quite relieved that he doesn't seem as clever and reasonable to some of you as he does to me!

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:26:57

<sighs> Yes indeed, flippinada - especially as it is my job to be interested in him, as his wife. hmm

missbopeep Wed 17-Jul-13 13:35:31

TBH if he could be ( just could be!) undiagnosed with ASD there is a book called Aspergers in Love which a therapist once told me about and it's worth reading ( by him) as undiagnosed ASD will continue to cause problems in all relationships unless it's understood by the people involved.

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 13:37:00

He may be an extravert, but he lack self awareness and the ability to put this knowledge to use in order to improve his personal relationships.

He is using this to excuse his bad behaviour.

He still has a long way to go............

rubyanddiamond Wed 17-Jul-13 13:38:43

Was thinking something like binary's comment as I read too!

I think some of the points apply to some extroverts, but also some of the points apply to some introverts. But all those points are justifications for behaving badly and deflecting blame onto whoever is talking to him, instead of trying to take responsibility for his own behaviour.

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 13:39:43

It is his responsibility to put this knowledge to good use if he wants a relationship, not the responsibility of the other person to compensate for any deficiencies it may result in.

Miss Bopeep's suggestion sounds interesting.

TVTonight Wed 17-Jul-13 13:42:35

My reply would be: Thanks for this, it really reinforces for me that we are incompatible an that we should proceed to divorce without delay.

carolthesecretary Wed 17-Jul-13 13:43:02

My understanding is that extroverts gain energy by being around other people. Introverts gain energy by being on their own.

I'm an introvert. You would really think I am a people person when you meet me but I need time on my own to recharge my batteries.

Your STBXH sounds like my idea of a car crash to be honest.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:45:49

YY to deflecting blame: he always acts and speaks as if he just is how he is and I must accept that and adapt to him.

But I know that you shouldn't try to change your partner and you should accept them as they are - and at that point I get confused, because what else are you doing when you bring up a complaint about behaviour you can't put up with?

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