When Extroverts and Introverts Need to Share Space

Cindy JobsUncategorized

With this change in circumstances, many of us may be challenged with the close quarters we are now sharing. 

One of the ways I’m hearing (and personally seeing) a challenge arises from this new dynamic is when Extroverts and Introverts are suddenly thrust together 24/7. In addition to our close quarters, our revised schedules may preclude us from getting the necessary rejuvenation time our previous schedules accommodated.

Giving full credit where credit is due, the Extrovert/Introvert information below has been pulled from the Myers & Briggs website. If the below descriptions don’t resonate with you, you can take an assessment here.

Extrovert: The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don’t allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introvert: The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

The important thing about knowing your type is realizing what each type NEEDS to stay mentally healthy. An Extrovert NEEDS social time to feed their soul; an Introvert NEEDS alone time to feed their soul.

I took the Myers & Briggs assessment several years ago, and I believe it is pretty accurate in comparison to how I see myself. The assessment indicated I was more on the Extrovert side than on the Introvert side. But because the tests put me close to the middle, I’m referred to as an Ambivert

If he were to take the test, I’m confident my husband would fall on the far side of Extrovert (it is one of the things that drew me to him).

Here’s how this is manifesting in the Jobs’ household.

Challenges we are seeing in this new normal (some personality trait-related; others not):

  • I like to only have one stream of audio going at a time; Roger is perfectly happy having TV and tablet audio going at the same time. As an Extrovert, he like to have a lot of stuff going on all the time. 
  • Roger is on the phone a lot. Sometimes it’s for work; sometimes it’s for social connection. Sometimes it’s on speakerphone; sometimes it’s not. Nonetheless, my quiet time has been significantly reduced.
  • I’m a bit of a neatnik; Roger not so much. Although this isn’t an Extrovert/Introvert thing, how we manage the frustration around the clutter is.


  • We have more time for coffee together in the morning.
  • We have the opportunity to have lunch together every day if our schedules permit.
  • We spend more time sharing fun and interesting stuff, creating shared, positive experiences.
  • I have a WAY better idea of the challenges he faces at work every day, and he has the opportunity to see how much my work rejuvenates me.

What do I do to keep sane and centered?

  • I maintain my morning exercise/meditation routine (alone time).
  • I take myself on a short walk every day (alone time).
  • I maintain office hours. Although they are not as regular and disciplined as in the past, I can still retreat to my own space.
  • We schedule video/phone dates with friends and family to keep connected. These dates are both alone and in groups (social together time).

This is our new, temporary normal. I’m hearing similar situations from my clients. 

  • Introvert Mom’s who used to rejuvenate while the kids were at school, no longer have that time.
  • Extrovert office workers who used to rejuvenate at work, no longer have that available.
  • When two Extroverts share the same space, they are competing for the same social connection opportunities.
  • When two Introverts share the same space but don’t rejuvenate in the same way, the days can stretch, and the world becomes too quiet.

I know slipping away for a 30-minute walk outside doesn’t work for everyone. What can you do? For Introverts, it may be five minutes in the craft room or sitting on the porch. For Extroverts, it may be a five-minute video chat with a friend. It may seem impossible, but finding little bits of time to rejuvenate is essential to our mental and physical health. 

How is your Extrovert/Introvert personality type manifesting in your new normal?

Cindy Jobs

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