Working At Home Survival Kit for Extroverts
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Ok, extroverts… You’re up! We’ve given your introverted officemates a few tips & tricks to help them survive sharing space with you. Now it’s time for YOU to learn how to manage your introverted partner.
One of the most important things to remember about an introvert, my social butterflies, is that they are rejuvenated by quiet and downtime. Those probably feel like torture to you, but they are the batteries that recharge an introvert’s spirit. Socializing, constant conversations, large groups, multiple meetings, these can physically exhaust an introvert. This makes “downtime” even more imperative for them.
Given the current climate, that “downtime” can be challenging to find. In an effort to stay connected, leaders are scheduling more phone calls, zoom meetings and check-ins. Combine those demands with your extroverted tendencies and some introverts are hanging on by a thread and a piece of scotch tape.
To help you respect the needs of your introverted officemate, we’ve created the…
Survival Kit for Extroverts Working at Home with Introverts
- They may adore you, but your introvert most likely can’t stand you right now because of your “in their face, in their space” tendencies… step away from the introvert!
- Reign in your external monologue – They’re probably tuning you out anyway.
- Introverts do not need a play by play of your day. Save those for your zoom happy hours or virtual meetings with your team.
- Take note of the highlights of your day and share them at an appropriate time… quickly and with as few words as possible.
- Learn to sit quietly. Extroverts like to fill silent space. Introverts like to marinate in silent space. Go soak yourself in a zoom workout and give them that space.
- Give your spouse/partner time to themselves… alone… without another person… without words (Sounds like torture to your extrovert ears, right?) But remember, they are engaging in conversations with you and their colleagues for hours upon end. They deserve some silence.
- Smile and give a silent thumbs up when your partner is on hour 3 of solitaire- They’re recharging so they can engage in conversations again later without passing out.
- When coming to your partner with “an amazing idea” like repainting the house or having another baby, approach him or her like you would a wild animal: slowly and with caution, hands poised non-threateningly in front of you, using a soft, calming voice. No sudden movements or excited outpouring of words.
- Do not be insulted by your partner’s one-word answers. Introverts tend to ration out their words like toilet paper in Costco. They also like to get straight to the point. You might prefer a 3 stanza soliloquy in answer to a question, but a simple “sure” is suffice for the introvert in your life.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to navigate this tricky terrain. Recognize and respect you and your partner’s differences, pivot accordingly, and upgrade your Zoom account so you can have up to 100 people on a call at once for 24 hours straight.