Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Extroverts, Check Yourself
I love extroverts! I live with one and she is amazing. It always astounds me how much she enjoys talking with new people. Her latest thing has been trying new foods. Extroverts crave stimulation and normally that means interaction with people.
Why the "check yourself" then? Well, I know that it can be tough for you to live with us introverts. You get home from a long day of boring meetings and extended commutes and you just want to play. Your introverted partner has spent the day navigating toxic people and overly chatty neighbors and want to curl up with some ice cream and disappear for a few hours. For both to win in this situation each has to give, but the largest sacrifice will be on the extrovert.
Give your introvert some time. Help create their needed space. Take the kids and interact with them in some place that allows quiet for the introvert. Send the cat in to get pets, if they can also deliver tasty beverages, even better. I promise you, unless it's been a terrible, rotten, no good day from hell your partner will bounce back quickly and want to be with you and listen to you talk and watch your funny reenactments. But it requires discipline and forethought on your part. You'll get what you need most from the introvert, but they have to recharge to do it well.
Alright, what about parties? Can we have a party? Yes! Introverts love parties, well, sometimes. We like you and you like parties so that's kind of the same thing, right? Here are my tips, pre plan your parties. At the beginning of the year, pick out a few dates and put them on the calendar. Make sure they work with your introverted other. And then you go nuts with planning and all that pre party details. When it comes to the guest list, start with the introvert's friends. And then guarantee that at least one of them will be there.
Day of the party, send your introvert into their room, that you have stocked with snacks, books, drinks, and various things they love. Let them stay there until they're ready to come down for the party. You do your extrovert thing, greet people, be funny, hand out hugs, light things on fire, whatever it is that extroverts do to get ready. Don't go looking for your introvert, they have probably wandered in at some point and found their friend and they are making more punch in the kitchen while having a great time together. Enjoy your guest.
At some point, your introvert may get a glazed look in their eye. It will happen before midnight, about the time they start their bedtime routine. Send them to bed and kick out the extremely raucous members of your party. Continue to interact with your quieter party friends or move it outside. Your introvert may come back down and then again, they may pass out for the night. Be okay with it, this is your party, you're doing a great job hosting it.
The next morning, your introvert will probably be up early and if they're tidiers, they'll start to clean. You should have plans for lunch and maybe dinner that do not include washing more plates or any of that nonsense. Take out or even delivery will be in order. Once the couch is cleaned off and the majority of things are cared for, let your introvert reestablish their domain over the house by marathoning Netflix all day.
That's the best I can offer you. Give your introvert the space they need and they'll be able to give you what you need.