While common wisdom tells us that opposites attract, in the case of me and my husband it is not the case. On the Meyer’s Briggs Temperament Analysis he is an INFP and I am an ENF/TP (my F and T are tied every time). On most things we differ in degrees, rather than extremes and most of our fights have been because we are too alike, rather than because of a failure to understand each other. Except for that Introvert/Extrovert pairing. On that one we speak a completely different language.
A few weeks ago, when the weather was so hot and the children were climbing the walls, Jonathan and I talked about getting out our wading pool and setting up a sprinkler and letting the children cool off with some water play. Jonathan’s gut reaction was to set everything up on the small grassy place behind our apartment. Mine was not. We had a bit of a discussion about it. I suggested that the back had no shade, and too many bugs. He suggested that there was no where in the front with a practical hose spigot. This discussion went on for a little bit, and in the end we set up in the back and I sent a text to a neighbor to let them know where they could find the water play if their kids were as cabin feverish as ours.
That was when I realized what our real discussion had been. I was not concerned about bugs or shade, and he was not concerned about proximity to a hose. I was feeling that setting up behind the house, where no one could see us, was anti-social and bordering on rude. When I explained this to Jonathan, he explained that he thought that setting up water play out in the common areas of the neighborhood where people had no choice but to look at our children splashing in a green plastic square was overly forward and bordering on rude. After we had a bit of a chuckle at our difference of perspectives, one neighbor arrived with his son and said, “Look at this great little hideaway back here! I love it.” Twenty minutes later, another poked her head over the railing of her deck and said, “Oh. This is where you’re hiding.”
This neighborhood was populated with a large collection of extroverts who would gather at almost every opportunity. As those families moved out, they were replaced with a larger population of introverts. Until that pool interchange, I had assumed that these introverts just didn’t like me, and in some cases that might be the case. However, it had never crossed my mind that at least some of my introverted neighbors are actually loving me by not coming outside.I wonder how many of them think I don’t like them because I keep insisting on rudely doing things outside, in the common areas of the neighborhood when decent people are inside behind closed curtains.
Sorry. I’m not anti-social. I’m just an extrovert.