Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:21 AM
Sparky Sparky is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 19
Question Introvert seeking advice.

To give some background, I have been married to a beautiful, wonderful woman for almost 12 years. She is very outgoing and enjoys meeting new people, learning about them, dancing, flirting, kissing, etc. I am a very shy person around people I don't know, but very open and talkative with people once I get to know them. We want the same things in life, to live life to its fullest and to experience as much love as possible. We differ in that she is open to having relationships separate from me, even hoping to find a "wife" to fulfill that side of her. I don't believe I would ever want a relationship that didn't include her as well. She has told me that she wants to see me open up and have fun with new people when we go out and would love to see me dancing and flirting with other women. My problem is that I can't seem to get past the thoughts that no one wants to hear anything I have to say, that getting my wife was a miracle and no other woman would be interested in me. I feel like being an introvert is not only hurting me, but also my wife and hindering us from finding the person/people that could enrich our lives and complete the picture of what life could be like. Does anyone have any advice on how to get more comfortable with meeting new people and letting my true personality be seen from the start?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:33 AM
Oreadne Oreadne is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 15
Default

Well, what sort of things are you interested in? What are your hobbies and passions, outside of your wife? And if you don't have many, maybe its time to work on that. It is hard to love people and be loved in return, if you don't think that you are interesting and lovable. You can be introverted, but still be confident in yourself and what you have to offer people.
So I would suggest you focus on that first - develop some interests and hobbies outside of your current relationship. Just meeting new people doesn't have to be your main goal, though I think that will happen naturally as you branch out a bit. Maybe try some activities that your wife wouldn't have any interest in but you have always wanted to try - join a meetup group, take some classes, join a book club (or game night, or movie night), take up a new language/instrument/craft. Not only will it give you something to feel passionate and confident about, and give you things to talk about, but its also a low-pressure way to meet new folks with similar interests.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-11-2014, 07:58 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,946
Default

I could be wrong but here is how it seems to me....

I mean this kindly ok? I think you connect a self bullying habit to "introvert" that is not actually an "introvert thing."

Here are your goals in your post:
  • get more comfortable with meeting new people
  • let my true personality be seen from the start

Small, doable things. Sounds reasonable so far.

Here is how you talk to yourself in your post:
  • I think no one wants to hear anything I have to say
  • I think getting my wife was a miracle
  • I think no other woman would be interested in me

Why do you put yourself down like that? You are your own bully? Is this a habit?

How does that help you attain your goals? You beat you up before leaving? How is that you showing up in good shape then?

Why discourage self like that?

I think YOU talking down to yourself hurts your confidence and your willingness. Could change this way of talking. Be realistic rather than disparaging when you head out the door. Correct the "popcorn thoughts" that pop up if they are not realistic. You are not your popcorn thoughts. You are the one doing the thinking.
  • I think no one wants to hear anything I have to say (I do not know yet who I will meet and talk with today. I have to get there first.)
  • I think getting my wife was a miracle(Wife and I continually create a good relationship together.)
  • I think no other woman would be interested in me (I do not know at this time if any other woman might be interested in me.)

Once you warm up you say you do fine. So...not actually a problem there in interpersonal relating with others. Liking to socialize in small groups or one-on-one is what introverts do. They are not up for big old hooha things. So you work the size turf you like best and over time meet people. It isn't the introvertedness holding you back.

I think the issue holding you back is how you talk down about you so you do not even get out of the starting gate to the small size gatherings you like best. The INTRApersonal skills.

I am an introvert and I love both my introverted friends and my extroverted friends. I see my extrovert friends one-on-one and skip their big ol' hoohas. I do not talk to myself like you do though. It is not a healthy thing to be doing for your mental health. Putting yourself down lacks self respect

Could monitor how you talk to yourself in your head so you talk more kindly, more respectfully. Then you might become more willing to let your true personality shine more often and more brightly when you are not dinging your own self.

Which could increase your comfort level when meeting new people. Should something deeper emerge from getting out to meet people...great. One thing at a time. You can do this!

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-11-2014 at 03:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-11-2014, 12:36 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 702
Default

I am an introvert - which means spending a lot of time around large groups of people drains me. I prefer smaller, more intimate settings. This is introversion.

Lack of confidence is another thing entirely. It is not the introversion that is holding you back; it is that lack of confidence. Do not get the two confused. It's okay that you're not the life of the party, always vying to be the center of attention like the extroverts do. That's an extrovert thing. It's who they are, and that's okay. It's also okay to be the introvert.

So what are you passionate about?
__________________
Me: 50, female
The Philosopher: semi-LDR, 44, male - my best friend, intellectual twin, and lover when time permits.

Both poly-experienced, but not looking.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-11-2014, 01:30 PM
Suzanne's Avatar
Suzanne Suzanne is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Small Town WI
Posts: 25
Default

Agreed, introversion and self confidence are not the same thing. Embrace your introversion. It's nothing to be ashamed of, on the contrary!!

There's a great book called The Introvert Advantage. My husband SuperDave924 both read it. He's an introvert too, I'm not. While I never questioned my husbands *ways* it certainly helped me to understand where he was coming from. More importantly, however, it helped me understand and relate to my introverted daughter. I can now teach her to recognize when and why she's feeling drained. Give her the tools to be able to handle certain situations with confidence, for instance politely say "Sure! I'd love to spend the day shopping, but maybe we can do a sleepover another night." (Knowing she'd be exhausted after a day of shopping)

Anyway...my point is, embracing your introversion, instead of beating yourself up for things you have no control over May be the first step in gaining some confidence.

Best of luck to you!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-11-2014, 02:52 PM
MusicalRose's Avatar
MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 282
Default

I will echo what the others are saying about the difference between introversion and self-confidence. I am an introvert, but I do not have problems meeting people or making friends. I just need to make sure to set aside time for myself if I'm around large groups of people a lot and try to organize my social outings to small, intimate group things.

One suggestion I haven't seen yet is that of a therapist or a counselor. If the confidence issues are really strong, having an impartial professional help to coach you through some of the confidence-building steps might be helpful to you.
__________________
Me: Female, pan/bi-sexual, polyamorous
R: Male, husband, heteroflexible, polyamorous, together since Oct 2008, married since Jun 2014
J: Male, eschews labels, heterosexual, various involvements, involved-ish since Feb 2014
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-11-2014, 07:11 PM
Sparky Sparky is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 19
Default Thank you for the replies

I appreciate all of you taking the time to read my post and reply back. I believe you are all correct and that I used the wrong terminology. It's not really large groups that bother me, it's any amount of people that I don't know. If I'm around 100 people that I know, I'm fine, but I'll never approach 1 person that I don't know and start talking to them. I have lots of interests, just not the belief that anyone wants to hear about them or my opinion on anything else. I am definitely my worst critic, just don't know how to stop doing that when all the flaws are so glaringly obvious to me. I look at my wife and I see a 10, I look at myself and I see a 5 on a good day.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-11-2014, 07:44 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,946
Default

Quote:
I am definitely my worst critic, just don't know how to stop doing that when all the flaws are so glaringly obvious to me.
Nobody is perfect. Could make peace with that and stop calling yourself a "flawed" individual and nitpicking at yourself. Become ok being less than perfect human person. Because so's everyone else! We are not manufactured cookie cutter style. We are born.

How to do that peace making? Could learn to talk BACK to the critical inner voice for now. You could learn to question and critique your behavior, situations and even your thoughts.
  • I wanted to make PB&J and I took out ham and cheese. Oops. Ham and cheese does not serve me well. Let me swap it out here....
  • This is not a good situation I am in -- I am standing in the middle of the street with a car coming. Oops...Let me get over to the sidewalk.

You could learn to NOT criticize your personhood, your value, your state of being.
  • I wanted PB&J and stupid me gets ham and cheese. I suck at making sandwiches.
  • I am so lame, standing here in the middle of the road. I never should have tried walking to the store.

Could talk k to yourself with more care and more respect. If you catch yourself talking down about you, could correct it.

If you need more help could seek out a counselor. Changing life long thought habits and beliefs might need more support/help/guidance as you become more self aware.

Hang in there!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-12-2014 at 02:14 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-12-2014, 12:54 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
I appreciate all of you taking the time to read my post and reply back. I believe you are all correct and that I used the wrong terminology. It's not really large groups that bother me, it's any amount of people that I don't know. If I'm around 100 people that I know, I'm fine, but I'll never approach 1 person that I don't know and start talking to them. I have lots of interests, just not the belief that anyone wants to hear about them or my opinion on anything else. I am definitely my worst critic, just don't know how to stop doing that when all the flaws are so glaringly obvious to me. I look at my wife and I see a 10, I look at myself and I see a 5 on a good day.
Being able to talk to a stranger at a party is a skill that can be learned. I know because I have done it - the hard way. Took a job as a fiancial advisor because I love finance. What I failed to realize ahead of time is how much selling was involved. Because I chose to look at it as a challenge, I started networking - talking to total strangers about my business and asking them to meet with me. Was it uncomfortable at first? Oh hell yeah. But a year later, I was able to call a person in my networking group whom I haven't yet met, and get someone an interview. Now that's a learning curve! (I have since quit that job because of the energy drain.). The thing of it is, everyone at that party has the same fears that you do. Am I interesting enough? Everyone secretly feels that they aren't - even the extroverts, although it is far more natural for them to engage others.

So back to my original point, you can learn the skill of talking to a stranger.
__________________
Me: 50, female
The Philosopher: semi-LDR, 44, male - my best friend, intellectual twin, and lover when time permits.

Both poly-experienced, but not looking.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-12-2014, 03:54 AM
Sparky Sparky is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 19
Default Networking-my personal nightmare

Bookbug we were told the same thing when I was getting out of the Army about networking to find a job. The lady that was teaching it to us made it seem so easy, but I think I was more worried about ever trying that than I was to go on either of my deployments. I'm actually working toward a degree in accounting hoping that it doesn't require as much personal interaction as finance does. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, especially since you have gone through the same fear and have been successful at overcoming it, it gives me more hope that I'll be able to do the same in the future. You are absolutely right on your last point about extroverts. My wife tells me all the time about the self-esteem issues she has (which blows my mind cause she's amazing), but she strikes up conversations with people everywhere she goes; clubs, dr's offices, walmart, doesn't matter. I really admire that trait in her.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dancing, introvert, meeting people, shy, wife

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:44 AM.