How do you get to know an introvert date?
If you’ve ever pursued an introvert, you know introverts can be hard to get to know, and if you are one, you probably know that you don’t let your guard down with just anybody. When an introvert does open up, she does so gradually, over time. This is in stark contrast to most extroverts who reveal a lot about themselves from the get-go.
When you’re interested in a person and he’s slow to share about himself, it’s easy to lose interest, get frustrated, and move on. But if you do, you might miss out on a great future spouse. Are you willing to take that risk?
If you want to get to know an introvert but aren’t sure how to go about it, consider these three tips.
1) Recognize the difference between extroverts and introverts.
Extroverts and introverts relate to the world differently. Whereas extroverts tend to reveal personal information quickly, introverts keep a lot to themselves. When they do open up and share personal information, they do so with friends, family members, and people who are close to them.
Another difference between extroverts and introverts is that extroverts showcase their greatest strengths while introverts conceal them. This isn’t because extroverts are showy or conceited. On the contrary, it’s a matter of personality makeup.
In the Myers-Brings personality type system, there are sixteen personality types. Every one of them has a primary strength (dominant function) and secondary strength (auxiliary function). Because extroverts are wired for interaction with people and for action, they use their greatest gifts to connect and do. As a result, those gifts are easy to see; it’s as if they’re “on display”.
Introverts, on the other hand, are wired to think and process ideas. They focus their energy inwardly and use their primary strengths where no one can see them, in the world of thoughts in ideas. This is why many people underestimate and devalue introverts. It’s difficult to see their greatest gifts.
I’ve heard the difference between extroverts and introverts described this way. If you were to go to the Whitehouse to meet an extrovert president, he would greet you at the door, and you’d immediately get to know him. If, however, you were to visit the Whitehouse to meet an introvert president, he’d send his Vice President to greet you, so you wouldn’t get to know him until you made it into the Oval Office.
2) Give it time.
Another key to getting to know an introvert date is time. While all relationships take time, it’s an especially important ingredient in a relationship with an introvert. This is true for several reasons.
A major one has to do with the way introverts recharge. Unlike extroverts who get energy from interacting with people, introverts refuel alone, so they don’t have as much energy to invest in relationships as extroverts do. This reality makes them hesitant to meet new people and engage strangers in conversation. New relationships cost energy, so introverts try to gauge whether or not a potential interaction is worth the investment.
Another reason time is important is it’s necessary to build trust. Introverts confide in fewer people than extroverts do. It’s the people who spend time with introverts on a regular basis who get to know them best.It's the people who spend time with introverts on a regular basis who get to know them best. Click To Tweet
Dr. Jack Schafer captures this idea in his book The Like Switch. He boils trust development down to a formula he calls “The Friendship Formula”:
Friendship = Proximity + Frequency + Duration + Intensity
This is what The Friendship Formula means. If you want to build a relationship with someone, you’ve got to be around her (proximity) on a regular basis (frequency) for relatively long periods of time (duration). Then, as you spend time together, the two of you will naturally go deeper (intensity) and share more personal information with one another.
So if you want to get to know an introvert, start by asking some of these questions:
- Are we spending time with one another?
- How often are we together?
- When we’re together, how long are our dates?
- Are we sharing more and more personally as time goes by?
3) Network when possible.
Finally, network when possible.
If the thought of waiting and waiting to get know an introvert discourages you, there may be a way to speed things up. In addition to spending time together, networking is a great way to gain someone’s trust.
If you want to get know an introvert date, ask a mutual friend to introduce you. An introduction from a close friend or family member can move your relationship ahead by a couple weeks or months. It’s a seal of approval of sorts. When you pass the mutual connection litmus test, your date will let her guard down a bit.
Sometimes you don’t even need an introduction. A recommendation is enough. At least, it was for me.
When I was still single, several elders at my church told my dad about a girl they thought I should get to know. Both my dad and I thought highly of the men, so I took their advice. I gave the girl a call, and now we’re married. I’d probably still be single if it weren’t for networking.
- Who could introduce me to the person I’m interested in?
- To whom could I turn for a wise recommendation?
In the end, try not to let yourself get discouraged if your introvert date seems hard to get to know. It’s normal, and there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s just an introvert! You will find out who he is if you’re willing to stick it out.