Dating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Personalities that clash

Posted Mar 26, 2017

Scott Griessel/123RF
Source: Scott Griessel/123RF

Extroverts as compared to introverts appear more attractive because they are seen as gregarious and self-confident. Prior to entering into any type of relationship, knowing whether the person you want to meet tends toward extroversion or introversion can provide you with a foreshadowing of how the relationship may develop. If you are an extrovert and the person you want to meet is an introvert expect to see some inherent differences in the way you each perceive the world. Extroverts get their energy from being with other people and seek stimulation from their environments. Extroverts often speak spontaneously without thinking and confidently use the trial and error method. Conversely, introverts expend energy when they engage socially and seek alone time to recharge their batteries. Introverts seek stimulation from within and seldom speak without thinking. Introverts carefully weigh options before making decisions. 

Extroverts maintain a wide variety of relationships; however, those relationships tend to be shallow. Introverts, on the other hand, have few relationships, but those relationships have depth. Introverts who date extroverts typically seek closer relationships, to which extroverts are less willing to commit. This inability to readily make a deeper commitment highlights dissimilarity, which reduces mutual attraction.

Extroverts use stream of consciousness to communicate. What they think, they say. This spontaneity often gets extroverts into trouble. What sounds funny in their heads is usually not so funny when they say it. Because extroverts feed off the energy of other people, they developed sufficient skills to repair social faux pas on the spot. Introverts, on the other hand, make fewer social errors because they think about what they are going to say before they say it. If you date an extrovert and you are an introvert, expect the unexpected to come out the mouth of your partner.

Rarely do people exhibit entirely extroverted or entirely introverted characteristics. Personality traits slide along a continuum. Many people exhibit both extroverted and introverted characteristics; however, people do express a preference. Additionally, introverts who are comfortable with their surroundings often display behaviors associated with extroversion. Likewise, extroverts can display introverted characteristics.

Introverts will often act like extroverts at work because their job requires them to be outgoing and gregarious. However, when they are off the job, they return to being introverts. These contrasting lifestyles rarely conflict because a person’s working world and private world rarely overlap. This same behavior in the dating game can have devastating effects. If introverts act like extroverts when they first meet someone, the person they are dating often receives a shock when the relationship becomes more causal. The person they met and grew to like at work is not the same person they experience when the relationship relaxes. Revealing your true personality when first meeting people is far better than engaging in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dating practices.

For more information on how to build, maintain, and repair relationships, refer to The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over.