Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

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?

Lweji Wed 17-Jul-13 13:46:08

Some of it sounds right, but then there are others where he just seems to justify emotionally distant behaviour.
Being introvert or extrovert is a lot about where your main energy comes from.

Not necessarily about layers to get to the inner core.

Didactylos Wed 17-Jul-13 13:47:28

He may have extrovert traits

but as an adult he still has to take responsibility for his actions and choices. If he has insight into his behaviour then he should be looking for insight into how you might feel about it. Not just - well the list says I overshare and cant take critisism so you just have to put up with it
and he sounds like a self justifying twunt

Incidentally how do you respond to being labeled an introvert - is this a set of traits you recognise in yourself?

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 13:48:00

Carol - that is what I have understood from the Myers-Briggs stuff my friend is interested in.

I have come across people who seem to think it is a really good thing that they are an 'extravert' and use it as an excuse for poor behaviour and see it as a red flag and walk.

I know others who are clearly very extravert and have a very good understanding of people around them, so it is not univeral.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:48:24

Lol at some of these responses - thank you everyone.

Tbh, I'm so pleased blush that you don't like the sound of him! He seems to charm everyone irl, which reinforces my longheld belief that any problems I have with him are my problem.

I am slowly escaping, but I have a feeling I have a way to go yet!

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 13:52:48

TBH, all we know of him is the list above, so no access to the charm!

It does seem to read as a set of rules as to how an extrovert should behave, rather than a personality type.

There must be some charm involved, otherwise you would have not been attracted to him in the first place wink

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 13:53:03

I thought so. It just screams "me me me". If be integrated to hear the friends take on it as well.

I'm picturing a scenario where she gets talked at/lectured by him on the fascinating topic of "me", until she loses the will to live and agrees to his request just so he will shut up and leave her alone.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 13:53:54

I'd be interested...bloody phone!

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 13:57:37

Didactylos - I'm an introvert to an extent: I need time to myself to recharge. With 4 dcs under the age of 10 and an oft-absent H, I haven't had as much of that as I need for years (my fault according to H for not reminding him of this need and nagging till he allows me some time off by organising his work schedule to accommodate me), but reaching back in my memory I know that after a while I have to get out there and be with people again. I might not have much to say most of the time, but I need the company.

So I wouldn't want to pigeonhole myself. Thinking about it, he does seem to imply that I have to remind himself of my existence periodically or he will totally forget about me just take me for granted.

And he seems to be empty inside, to have no internal musings whatsoever. He thinks as he talks; he pigeonholes obsessively as if it's the only way to understand people; he needs to be "doing" constantly, as if he's avoiding the void within.

I spend too long trying to understand him!

firesidechat Wed 17-Jul-13 13:59:20

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.

As carolthesecretary said. I can talk to anyone, including totally random strangers, but I need my own space to recharge.

Can't honestly see the point of your husbands message OP. He may well be right about other extrovert traits ( probably not though) but it doesn't change the fact that he sounds impossible to live with.

Lweji Wed 17-Jul-13 14:02:30

Same here, previously I have actually scored more as an extrovert than introvert, but I need time on my own. I can't simply be with people all the time. I can be chatty and even loud, I can make friends fairly easily, but not with very loud or self-centered people.
That is different from being an extrovert.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 14:03:22

flippinada - that's certainly what he's done with my parents. They try to give him their time and love, but he does leave them weary and wondering if it was worth it.

The friend has been trying to give him an insight into my perspective. I suppose his replies could be read as, "Yes, you're totally right, now more on the wonderful topic of meeee."

GettingStrong Wed 17-Jul-13 14:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 14:15:10

"And he seems to be empty inside, to have no internal musings whatsoever. He thinks as he talks; he pigeonholes obsessively as if it's the only way to understand people; he needs to be "doing" constantly, as if he's avoiding the void within."

Miss Bopeeps suggestion of "Aspergers in Love" is sounding even more tempting

steppemum Wed 17-Jul-13 14:22:54

I am very extrovert.

I do recognise some of what he is saying, but there seems to be a mix of extrovert and blatant insensitivity.

What law says that extrovert people are also unable to perceive, recognise and respond to emotions!!

I do think more easily when bounces ideas of others, and I can say things without stopping to think.

But the rest is rubbish.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 14:27:52

GettingStrong (hello!), good point. He has a good job, but difficult relationships with a lot of people who work for him. He hates being on a team, and having a boss. He is impatient with most people he works with because he always believes he could do a better job than they. I know that most people in my experience are not like this. I just forget when I'm listening to him!

The Aspergers idea is interesting - I know very little about ASD (I'm not even totally sure that's the right acronym!). I'm pretty sure he wouldn't read the book, but I might read up a bit on the subject. Any useful introductory websites you know of?

wordyBird Wed 17-Jul-13 14:39:53

But I know that you shouldn't try to change your partner and you should accept them as they are
.... well...

You can't change people, and if you cannot accept them as they are, you have to move on. You don't have to stay with someone: you are free to leave because you are incompatible, or because one of you has proved to be abusive, or for any reason really.

.....what else are you doing when you bring up a complaint about behaviour you can't put up with?

If it was wrong to call someone on bad behaviour, we would have trouble disciplining our children, and the prisons would be empty. 'That's just how I am' is a poor excuse for bad behaviour from anyone.

This all sounds like circular logic and as if it's come straight from your STBX! It's the kind of thing they come out with.

wordyBird Wed 17-Jul-13 14:45:12

You can be ASD and abusive, extrovert and abusive, or just plain old abusive abusive.

Your last post does make him sound more narc than anything...but <shakes self> it doesn't matter. The main thing is to free yourself, CharlotteC... I remember his behaviour towards you, and there is no doubt in my mind that you need to be free of him.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 14:49:52

haha! binary made me laugh so much i've gone no further.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 14:53:36

Laughed because she's spot on.

Dahlialover Wed 17-Jul-13 14:54:01

I have had a quick look at the book on amazon. It seems to start from the assumption that people with aspergers are quiet which is not always the case - people are variable and some traits fit neatly and others are more complicated.

In some people the lack of social imagination can mean that they do not amuse themselves with their thoughts and don't daydream which is why children are always on the move, keeping their brains busy. Some people deal with things that they want to understand by sorting and classifiying them and doing this as a means of understanding how people around you work would seem to be an aspie trait.

Really, there are as many permutations as there are people.

It might help you to understand how things have not worked out, but won't change things or him (unless he takes it on board and wants to but I wouldn't hold my breath). Being on the spectrum is not an excuse for bad behaviour either.

The introvert/extrovert thing seems a bit simplistic. He has a lot more work to do.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 14:57:14

It is also 'binary'. People fluctuate between introversion and extroversion, don't they? I do.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 14:58:26

I have to say (well I don't but I'm going to smile) - he sounds just like my ex - but then a lot of abusive men behave in a startlingly familiar way.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 14:59:17

I mean similar, not familiar. Familiar isn't quite right.

missbopeep Wed 17-Jul-13 15:02:56

The book

www.amazon.co.uk/Aspergers-Love-Couple-Relationships-Affairs/dp/1843101157/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374069457&sr=8-1&keywords=aspergers+in+love

I'll be totally upfront and say that my Relate counsellor suggested I read this some time back when DH and I had issues and I wondered if he was Aspergers- on the Cambridge assessment tool for Aspergers- find online- he scored right at the top of 'normal' but I was right at the 'other end' of normal. We are just very different people.

I decided he is not Aspergers, just has trouble expressing emotions in personal relationships- but now he recognises this he is much better. MUCH better.

I have done the Myers Brigg type indicator. As others have said it's not about your behaviour so much 1:1 as how you get your energy- so his reasoning about what he is doesn't actually stack up if you know anything at all about the psychology.

NotActuallyAMum Wed 17-Jul-13 15:09:59

I'm very much an extrovert and for me personally I would say:

1) Bollocks
2) Bollocks
3) Bollocks
4) Bollocks
5) Bollocks
6) Bollocks
7) Bollocks
8) Bollocks

yamsareyammy Wed 17-Jul-13 15:13:42

Extroverts. He may be right on points 1, 2,4, not sure about 7 and 8.
I dont think he can have 3,5,and 6.

Agree that some of it sounds autistic/aspergers.

Dont agree with you and some MNetters that people cannot change other people's behaviour to a degree.
But tbh, you may have a big job on your plate, here.

But he could probably change most of the things on that list, at least to a degree, if he wanted to.
Even the behaviour of people with autism/aspergers, a person themselves can change over time, so there is no excuse reason why he cant imo.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 15:15:02

The argument on the table seems to be 'that's just how I am' and IME it's the last refuge of the person that doesn't want to accept responsibility for their actions. If 'that's just how he is' and you don't like how he is and don't want to live with it any more, then the words you want are 'big' closely followed by 'whoop'. hmm

MadBusLady Wed 17-Jul-13 15:21:02

Yup, at the risk of labouring this point, you don't have to "win" this argument and prove that you should divorce - he'll never let you win anyway, he'll just keep coming up with more bullshit. The fact that YOU want out is enough.

squeaver Wed 17-Jul-13 15:22:58

Completely agree with Notactually.

I am definitely an extrovert but it is ONE facet of my personality. I know many other extroverts and you can't make blanket assumptions about their entire personalities just based on that.

He sounds like an utter arsehole. I'm very glad to hear you're not together.

Morgause Wed 17-Jul-13 15:24:01

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

True

*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.*

All of those false. I speak as an extrovert of many years. wink

FriendlyLadybird Wed 17-Jul-13 15:25:42

I think he's muddled up extrovert with egotist. I'm an extrovert in that I am typically interested in other people and things that are going on around me, but I actually don't recognise myself in ANY of those statements. He sounds most unpleasant.

missbopeep Wed 17-Jul-13 15:50:40

Myers Briggs
Extroverts get their energy from being more with others than introverts who need time alone to regain their energy.

I've been 'typed' and had detailed follow-up with the person who analysed my results.

Anything else your bloke says is bollocks.

TalkativeJim Wed 17-Jul-13 15:52:25

'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.'

'I spend too long trying to understand him!'

Yes, you do, and this is more of that.

Step back a minute. Now take a looong look at your opening post, all the 'introvert/extrovert' stuff. It's utter guff , isn't it?! Basically a whole list of justifications for bad behaviour/his behaviour, and why there's a Big Special Reason why it's all a-ok. No point in pulling it apart, others have done so, none of it makes sense, no it isn't any sort of accepted set of characteristics for 'extroverts', like it's a fucking star sign or something!

You sound smart and I'm sure you know that. You've just spent years being trained, or having to train yourself, to accept bullshit from him.

The best thing you could do is

a. Stop listening. Here's a big list of his nonsense: a massive cross-section of people have judged it as such. Next time he opens his mouth, why don't you just assume it's probably going to be bullshit, and even if it isn't, it's no longer of any use to you as information?

b. Stop caring. Let's just assume there's some big Insight here into this person's character - why is that of interest to you? It couldn't be less interesting surely: you've had the dubious pleasure of having this person's character thrust in your face for years, you've finally decided enough is enough - why on earth would you want to throw more good time after bad by spending time scrutinising his ramblings in order to think even MORE about his character?

Next time: Mm-hmm. Yes, I'm sure you're right. Must dash...

mercury7 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:57:29

The list seems much too dogmatic about what extroverts do and dont do, as others have said it seems to describe someone who is egotistical and impulsive.
(not to mention a self serving pain in the arse)
There are lots of other categories of personality which don't necessarily align with the introvert/extrovert axis.

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

and is he trying to say he has no internal life??
what is he a robot?

mercury7 Wed 17-Jul-13 16:02:27

I agree with Jim, he's using 'I'm an extovert' to justify bad behaviour.
He's mendacious.

How about you give him a list of things that you need because you are an introvert?

What Jim said ^

Stop listening and stop caring.

You've decided it's over, so you no longer need to try to see things from his POV. Easier said than done, but you'll get there!

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 16:10:42

Utter nonsense (apart from point 1)
However 5,6,7 and potentially 8, describe aspects of Aspergers (ASD)
Could this be his problem?

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 16:12:07

Oh, Jim.Jim.

GoshlyoHeavens Wed 17-Jul-13 16:12:51

I agree with Ji. ~Is he a MAN?

becscertainstar Wed 17-Jul-13 16:19:44

I started to write a long detailed rebuttal to his email then thought 'Meh, the guy's clearly a dickhead'.

(He may also be an extrovert, who cares? Introverted dickhead, extroverted dickhead, he's still a dickhead whichever way you slice him.)

You're well shot my dear.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 17-Jul-13 17:04:41

You are caught in trying to justify your decision, trying to get him to see your point, and trying to see if there is anything reasonable in his arguments.

Stop. This is no longer the time. You have left him, and he is unwilling to accept this. That's his problem. Your choice is made, and what he thinks of it is not your problem anymore.

Breathe. Ignore. You have a right to choose whether you are in or out of this marriage. Period.

(oh, and I'm an extrovert and none of those points apply to me.)

TalkativeJim Wed 17-Jul-13 18:20:56

grin Goshly

I am a laydeee with boobs and everything, and a loowww tolerance for nob-jockeys today, on account of the excessive heat.

BinarySolo Wed 17-Jul-13 18:24:20

He sounds so much like my brother. My brother is very loud (to the point of being obnoxious at times) and he struggles to get on with people, although he can be incredibly charming and very good company. My mom and I have discussed several times that we think he is mildly autistic.

2 1/2 years ago he was verbally very abusive towards me and I suspect had I not been pregnant and had witnesses he would have hit me. We haven't seen eachother since and life is more simple.

As a family we found we had to constantly tread on eggshells as although he was very blunt and insensitive to us he was also hypersensitive to any criticism. He also lived in a very black and white world with no room for debate or compromise.

This sort of person is exhausting. My brother wouldn't read any self help books, or even admit there may be a problem with him. What can really be done for adults who weren't diagnosed as children and now have this mindset? I feel sad for my brother as he's not really happy, but I can't deal with his behaviour any more.

Sorry, not meant to be a hijack, more an 'I understand and offer sympathy'.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Wed 17-Jul-13 18:29:48

It doesn't really matter though whether or not it's being an extrovert that makes him an idiot.

CylonNumber6 Wed 17-Jul-13 18:31:37

im an extrovert and only point 1 applies. the rest doesn't at all. I am still very sensitive

Kernowgal Wed 17-Jul-13 18:35:11

There's being an extrovert and there's being a self-obsessed arsehole.

My ex used to say that I was too quiet, and that it was a shame I wasn't more like my talkative friends. The reality was that I was perfectly chatty when with people I felt comfortable with - ie not him.

It doesn't matter if you're introverted and your partner is extroverted (or vice versa) as long as you complement each other.

Erato Wed 17-Jul-13 19:27:06

As lots of people have said, those traits don't describe an extrovert, they describe a self-obsessed immature dickhead. Why are you even bothering to give his excuses for his bad behaviour the time of day? He sounds like a painful person to be around - normal considerate people do not use personality typing to blame you for their shortcomings.

In any case, the entire reason for typing (introvert / extrovert and all the rest) is so people can understand themselves better and therefore by knowing their own strengths and weaknesses learn how to be better. It is not an excuse of any kind to say "I'm an extrovert" - nothing about extroversion (or introversion) means that certain behaviours are impossible, they might just be more difficult.

garlicagain Wed 17-Jul-13 19:28:42

"And he seems to be empty inside, to have no internal musings whatsoever. He thinks as he talks; he pigeonholes obsessively as if it's the only way to understand people; he needs to be "doing" constantly, as if he's avoiding the void within."

I surmised this from his absurd list. He finds himself fascinating, considers others merely backdrop items for his self-display and is proud of his lack of empathy. He doesn't care about other people, except insofar as he needs their admiration. If they fail to admire, he ignores them (does he punish them, too?) He pigeonholes people because he doesn't care about understanding them, but typecasts them so as to more easily manipulate their opinion of him. You sense a 'void' within, as though there's no "him" inside, only a lightshow reflecting off other people. Have you seen this void in his eyes, maybe only once? You'll remember if you have.

Forget all this ASD bollocks. You've got yourself a Narcissist.

Dozer Wed 17-Jul-13 19:40:50

Hi charlotte, so glad you are getting out.

Disengage from his bullshit. He will be saying all sorts of rubbish, trying to make himself look good, roping in friends (who won't know how abusive he's been to you, for a long time). No need to read or reply or question yourself or try to influence what he or anyone else thinks. You know why you're ending it, and that you have very good reasons.

thanks

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 19:44:56

I reckon garlic is bang on the money actually. Funnily enough, you could have written that about my ex...well, you still could. Right down to the comment about the 'void within'...<shudders>.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 20:37:54

Oh, it's horrible looking into his eyes. Blank or mimicking feeling. Or laughing at me.

It is such a relief to hear all this from such a variety of people. I often struggle to describe what it is about him that is so difficult to live with - and now he suddenly summarises it helpfully for me in one email! grin

Some of you asked why I give this any time and headspace: well, it's really hard to look at the person you've been with for 13 years and think, "You may be convincing yourself, but I think that's bollocks." I think it's true that I've been trained out of having courage in my convictions. I sometimes want to believe what you've all been saying, but I don't feel sure. I usually mainly hear from him, his family and friends. I've not managed to keep or make many friends over the years.

Those who said narc - yy. I have thought this too, although he's not openly spiteful like a lot of damaging narcs you read about on MN. I was thinking this afternoon about his obsessive pigeonholing and it occurred to me that it's usually only the categories "like me" and "not like me" = incomprehensible/wrong.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 20:42:30

garlic, I am amazed you surmised all that from my OP, but I'd like to believe it's quite accurate.

Dozer, thanks. I generally believe I have very good reasons, and then have a little wobble every now and then. I've had a bit of pressure from his family and friends with a religious flavour - and now this. I'm back on track with everyone's support now, though!

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 20:43:56

I have wondered occasionally about my ex over the years sometimes and why he is like he is. I suspect he's a narc but I'll never know. Mine is very manipulative and sly.

It's also hard to believe they can have such a 'hold' on you, but they do.

TartinaTiara Wed 17-Jul-13 20:46:59

Extrovert every time I'v been Myers-Briggsed, generally at the extreme end of the scale. He's talking bollocks, but you probably realise that. I probably do the oversharing of personal information, I tend to let stuff come out of my mouth without much thought to the consequences (friends are used to seeing me sitting with a look of utter horror on my face and my hands in my mouth, trying to physically stuff words back where they came from) and I have the habit of expressing strong opinions about inconsequential stuff, because it does matter at the time, but only matters for a few seconds and then I've forgotten it.

So, 1, 7 and 8. But here's the thing - I only ever do that around friends and family, and would be mortified if I hurt any of them by it. Being an extrovert doesn't mean you have to be a dick. All behaviour can be modified, and most people do, because they've got an idea of how human beings relate to each other.

The rest of it all looks a bit "Oh boo hoo poor little extroverted me. How can I possibly consider anyone else but myself?". Tosser.

MrsDeVere Wed 17-Jul-13 20:48:59

I am not an extrovert so can't comment on The List.
But your stbex seems like he spends an awful lot of time thinking about himself.
And coming up with reasons why he is right.

nenevomito Wed 17-Jul-13 20:57:06

I'm a huge extrovert. MBTI scored me at around 90. I don't say things that hurt my DH or act like a dick and if I did it would be up to me to change not for DH to put up with it.

You're right. He's an abuser and he's not going to change.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 17-Jul-13 20:57:30

I am an extrovert and some things apply, some don't. There seems to be a huge mixture here so I won't go through individually.

The individual myers-briggs things are very wide as they supposedly apply to roughly 50% of the population each! It's all very well saying "Extroverts X, Introverts Y" and perhaps you'll find a correlation and some which seem to make logical sense, but unless you're talking about the actual definition of something, you're just generalising. Very much like "Men are X, women are Y" really.

And anyway being an extrovert isn't a reason to be a dick about it. Introverts and extroverts don't repel each other like some kind of magnet, it's perfectly possible for both to be respectful of each other.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 22:17:11

Was just remembering the poster who wrote bollocks next to each of the numbers 1 to 8 and it made me smile.

I have really had a much happier day today than I would've done without this thread, and it's all thanks to your affirmation.

I am not going to reply to the email and I am not going to engage if he tries to start a conversation about it in person. In fact, I am going to start being more firm about not talking about "us" and "him", just about the dcs and practical stuff. It's been two months now since I told him the second time that it's over - long enough to get used to the idea and start moving forward, I think. (Feels a bit harsh, though.)

JustinBsMum Wed 17-Jul-13 22:37:10

It's pointless really as, regardless of whether he is extrovert/introvert/or somewhere in the middle, you don't want to stay with him. It would be a waste of time discussing it.

garlicagain Wed 17-Jul-13 22:44:24

Yay, Charlotte, well done! I've just noticed you're not "lost" any more! smile

Shutting down is difficult - at least, it feels difficult, because of all the remaining ties, attachments and dreams. I don't know whether you're already on the Emotional Abuse thread, but it's highly recommended for tips and support to detach. Once you've got moderate detachment, it's even possible to find his posturing very funny!

Dozer Wed 17-Jul-13 22:54:55

Garlic, your description of the void made me shudder too.

Charlotte, yy, limit interaction with him on any of his crap. Hope you can get away from living with him very soon ( sounds like he's still living with you). In the meantime you're doing great.

It'll be easier to make friends when away from him.

Anyone who argues that you should stay with an abusive partner on religious grounds is misguided at best and best avoided for counsel!

grin at his categories for people: "like me" and "not like me"! Safe to say that on here there are few like him! Thank goodness.

Noregrets78 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:09:50

Haven't had much time to read all the replies... but I normally score really highly on the 'extrovert' scale.

1. I share what I choose to share. I talk a lot, and everyone at work knows a lot about my family. But no-one knew anything private until I chose to tell them recently. I have no issue keeping private things private if I want to.
2. Bollocks. I think about any criticism a lot, and ponder what I could change.
3. Utter bollocks see '2'.
4. Possibly true for me, but it doesn't have to be other people. I write things down, email myself, 'get it all out', go on MN.
5. Bollocks again see '2'
6. Total tosh what has this got to do with being an extrovert? I'm painfully sensitive to non-verbal communication.
7. I've been known to come out with things but instantly regretted them based on reaction. Rare, and something I see as a fault, rather than a fact to be accepted!
8. Huh?
This is the way he is not 'extroverts'. This seems to be the gist of your replies, but don't over-analyse, he sounds like a nob trying to justify his behaviour on those grounds.

Enough from me I talk too much...

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 17-Jul-13 23:58:22

Dozer, would be great not to be living with him any more, but at least in the meantime he works away a lot.

grin garlic - lost is definitely in the past now.

And the EA thread rocks!

eccentrica Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:38

ah Myers-Briggs what a load of arse! it's just one of those teen mag questionnaires "how flirtatious are you?" or similar. dressed up as intellectual for people who want to answer hundreds of questions about themselves.

"I'm a INTJ".gosh really, how fascinating you must be...

these silly labels have nothing to do with real people, interactions or relationships. don't give it headspace.

SirSugar Thu 18-Jul-13 08:31:26

It's all about him isn't it.

mercury7 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:27:54

I'm a INTJ".gosh really, how fascinating you must be

I kinda see your point eccentrica..myers briggs feels to me like astrology masquerading as science

That list described exh behaviour quite accurately. He was v EA

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 18-Jul-13 17:14:32

Here's a suggestion, Charlotte - how about you contrive a list of annoying, anti-social and selfish traits, present it to him, and see how he feels about just having to accept them, without expecting you to do a single damn thing about them.

I bet he'd be horrified at the prospect of having to work around someone else. And yet he unquestioningly expects you to do that for him.

He needs to cop onto himself.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 18-Jul-13 17:19:01

By the way, I'm not actually suggesting you do that (why would you want to engage with someone as self-obsessed (read: dull) as him?!). Rather, just trying to demonstrate what an arse he appears to the casual observer. wink

eccentrica Thu 18-Jul-13 17:24:09

mercury Sample question: "I like meeting new people at parties."
Strongly disagree, Disagree, Don't know, Agree, Strongly Agree
You chose: strongly agree
Personality analysis:
You are an extroverted person who very much enjoys meeting new people, for example at parties.

Repeat ad nauseam.

mercury7 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:55:00

the desire to classify and compare human personalities is understandable, but I suppose any system is bound to massively oversimplify

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Thu 18-Jul-13 21:12:14

Draper - yes, not worth doing because he wouldn't have the insight to see the similarity between something done to him and something he does to others!

But arseness of FW duly noted and filed away for next time I need to detach! grin

crazyhead Thu 18-Jul-13 22:03:24

I did one of those Myers Briggs things at work and am apparently very extrovert. Anyway, according to Myers Briggs, extroverts do think things through by talking, find it stimulating to operate in a chatty, hectic environment and can be quite annoying to introverts who want to concentrate by being quiet!

But as for the stuff on not understanding social cues/defensiveness, never heard of it! As someone said up thread, it sounds like a weird combination of a test for extraversion and the Sacha Baren Cohen one for autism quotients.

I sound like I love tests - I actually don't. I think it sounds a bit cheeky claiming that him being rude and ignoring what you say is due to temperamental differences. Nice try!

eccentrica Thu 18-Jul-13 22:05:55

crazyhead probably Simon Baron Cohen, but yours sounds more fun ;-)

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Fri 19-Jul-13 15:29:19

My expert diagnosis OP is that he is an arse and you are well rid grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now