An introvert asks: Can friendship with an extrovert work when there’s no real respect for the differences?

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The following was submitted by a reader wondering about compatibility between introvert and extrovert – is a successful relationship possible?

I have recently made friends with a obvious extrovert that just moved into town we have completely opposite personalities. He’s impulsive narcisistic he relies completely on his peers opinions and views to fuel his self esteem. I’m collective and contemplative i assess things before i act i care for others if its necessary to make life a little smoother but other wise i’m indifferent. He wears his heart on his sleeves the only thing that we have in common is similar childhoods and the feeling we are step better than those are us and secretly better than each other. There have been multiple times when i have contemplated breaking off the freindship to have more time to persue personal projects but we have grown really close. This isn’t necessarily a question as it is a request for opinions but what are the chances of this friendship lasting much longer (we both say we respect each other but i think he is simple minded and only a tool to cure hours of boredom he thinks i am “lame”and lazy which i find humorous).

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13 Comments

  1. Donald@friendship on

    No friendship will work if there is no mutual respect. I once had a similar situation: extrovert colleague, narcissistic, couldn’t shut up for one second and had no respect for other personality types. Always commented every chance he got on how unusual, strange, android like, etc. I was and how I needed help to be “more normal like him”

    Many times it was amusing to hear his ramblings, and even humorous. And yes, we had many good laughs. But in the end as one would imagine, the “friendship” went belly up. He figured out that he had no real tolerance for introvert types, I figured out what I enjoyed was getting on his nerves and seeing him throwing tantrums in a crowded boardroom. Would have gone at each other’s throats if he didn’t end up quitting a few weeks later.

    On the other hand I have many extrovert friends where there’s mutual respect and understanding, and it works out fabulous. Have the time of my life every time we get together.

    In the end it’s up to you really. If the shoe fits, buy it… there’s no tried and true recipes when it comes to friendship. Respect might even be sitting there with you, and you might just be mistaking normal everyday banter for lack of respect.

  2. You don’t even like the guy. It has nothing to do with whether he’s an extrovert. You’re not friends, you’re frenemies.

  3. From your description it doesn’t sound like you have any more respect for him than he has for you.

    Friends accept and work with their differences, enemies tear each other down for them.

    I’d say free up your time to find friends who give and receive respect and who you can do the same with.

  4. I have a few friends that extroverts.It has taking me some time for me to make them realize my personally.were as they expect other to except theres instantly. Sometimes you have to be straight upp rude on the one liners when they make a comment and show that there little world is not as perfect as they believe. Once we were pass that hump, I wouldnt get rid of the friends as they are friends for life.
    jim´s last post ..overlooked secret

  5. I have meet a lot of extrovert persons in life. I will tell you that the friendship will not work. Even in marriage, when there is no real respect for differences, they might be split up.

  6. Jung believed we have a preferred orientation introverts preferring to find meaning within their own thoughts and feelings while extroverts prefer the external world of objects people and activities although both attitudes are present in each person. Extroverts are actually energized by being with people and become tired and bored when they have to spend long periods of time alone. Introverts have been shown to have the advantage over extroverts when it comes to long-term memory and problem solving Van Mourik 2006 .

  7. I don’t think so. I think its is hard enough when an acquaintance doesn’t accept your personality type. If they truly understand your ways and see the good and uniqueness in being an introvert then it can work. Honestly though I don’t have any very extroverted friends. I don’t think I could take all that outward energy. Seems so draining…

  8. It seems like only introverts are the ones who are “shy” or have bad social skills. Since extroverts naturally like being around people more often, I feel that they would learn more quickly how to interact with people and what not to say, do, etc.

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