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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!

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Hamwidgeandcheps Thu 18-Jul-13 16:03:26

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

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