Sunday, March 18, 2012

My husband and I swapped personalities

Something strange has happened. Isaac and I have flip-flopped personalities.

When we met and started dating, Isaac was a brand new freshman. He was that kid that comes in talking with plenty of braggadocio and sarcasm that never quit. He had European humor (perceived often as completely inappropriate by American Bible college students) and loved being in front of a crowd. He wasn't shy in any way, shape, or form. He was more of a loud-mouth.

I, on the other hand, was known for being sweet and much quieter. I liked sitting in corners and watching people, I hated having all eyes focused on me, and I was timid in most social situations and way behind current cultural trends in most areas of life.

 It's been 10 years, and last week on the way home from a meeting, we decided that we might just have switched personalities. I might just be the more extroverted person in our marriage, and Isaac just might be the introvert. Whaaaa...? How can I, the quiet girl, be an extrovert? How can that loud freshman kid have ended up as an introvert?

Today, when I tell people at work that I'm an introvert, they are surprised. When I get a day off of work, I want to be out and around, exploring, shopping. I love being at parties, love events and social times. Isaac, given the choice, would probably rather chill at home. Social events can be fun, but if he's sitting next to people he doesn't know, he feels no compulsion to chit chat, whereas I'm very likely to strike up conversations with strangers. He needs lots of time alone - it energizes him. I can handle some time alone, but eventually I feel drained and ready to get out.

In the end, I am still shy, but shy doesn't necessarily have anything to do with introverted or extroverted. I still hate being the center of attention and I am by no means a leader. I hate being new.  Despite that, I am still someone that loves people and having fun with people.... once I'm settled enough to feel comfortable. It's true... I draw energy from crowds. Isaac is still more confident, a natural leader, and a dominant and fun personality.  Despite that, he really is a homebody and increasingly an introvert.

This is super weird for me, particularly with watching the change in a man I initially knew as super outgoing. We've both always been close to the center of the introverted/extroverted scale, but we may have inched over on opposite sides than where we started.  It's really when I've been a place a while and have a network of people around me that I really move onto the extroverted side. I wrote about my senior year of high school, which was one of those times. I had times where I was settled into undergrad and was quite extroverted. Now, after years of living and working in one place, I find myself again edging into extroversion.


Jaimie said...

Interesting. Maybe you adopted the qualities you admired in the other. Than happens a lot, outside of relationships even.

Clare @ said...

I agree with Jamie - it does seem to happen, but I think it's cute!

It would never happen to me though. The day I tell you I don't want kids and would prefer to go out raving every weekend, you can assume an alien has taken over my body :D

Rach said...

That's interesting that you find yourself more extroverted now. I feel the opposite--I think mothering has made me more introverted. Through high school and college, I was HIGH on the extrovert scale. Now....still outgoing, but not near as much. I'm not sure if its leaving the constant activity that was college, or parenthood, but I'm leaning towards the latter. With Judah, I have so much less time to THINK alone. Thus, I appreciate that quiet time so much more. In general, though, I still get most energized from time with friends.

Isaac said...

Kacie, Kacie, Kacie. I don't have a "European" sense humor. I have a British sense of humor. They are not at all the same thing. European countries' senses of humor are very different; in fact, some Europeans have no sense of humor (the French for instance).

Kacie said...

lol. :) perhaps you'll take on some other less extreme characteristics? And can I assume that since you commented on my blog today that I'm one of those that you resolved to comment on in your tweet this morning? *love*

Kacie said...

I think my trend to extroversion now is because of 4.5 years at one job, where I now feel so comfortable and really in my niche. I'd probably be more reserved if I were home full time and having to really exert myself to be with people. Next year? :)

Kacie said...


Jaimie said...

I did wonder at that "European sense of humor" thing. I translated it to British in my head.