Relationships are not easy. And then somehow we end up being attracted to someone who is the opposite of us, well, because ‘opposites attract.’ It is no secret that effective communication is key, not only in relationships but in life in general, and although introverts tend to be creative think-outside-the-box people, they struggle with the constant conversations and “check-ins” that a relationship may require.
Communication to a relationship is like what oxygen is to life.
Have you ever felt lost, stuck and maybe confused, yet unsure about how to communicate your inner world with your significant other? Have you ever been misunderstood or called “too sensitive” by a partner?
These are problems many introverts go through at some point in time. Introverts recharge their energy alone. Their strength lies in focusing inward and putting them in touch with their thoughts and feelings. They tend to prefer smaller intimate groups rather than bigger ones. They also love deep, meaningful conversations. As much as they love their own company and prefer being by themselves, they too crave deep, meaningful connection, especially with their partners.
Where some introverts are shy, others are charismatic – they just recharge their batteries through time alone. However, because introverts tend to be in touch with their feelings or highly sensitive, their partners might initially misunderstand them. While being misunderstood might be frustrating at first, there are ways you and your partner can improve the communication in your relationship.
Here’s how to improve your relationship communication as an introvert:
Get to know yourself better. One of the best things you can do as an introvert is to get to know yourself better. Journal regularly so you can figure out your strengths and blind spots. Knowing yourself better will help you communicate with your partner and speak up for yourself.
What gives you energy?
Observe yourself what part of the day you crave time to yourself the most – morning, evenings, just after everyone has gone out, those last minutes of silence before everyone is back home?
What activities drain you a lot faster?
Is there anywhere in life where you feel exhausted?
How did that make you feel? What would you change about that?
Do you have a certain rhythm of being ‘off’ and ‘on’ – maybe around your period or towards the end of the month when you are waiting for your monthly income or around the holidays?
Accept and compromise. You and your partner are entitled to two different experiences. If you and your partner see things differently, learn where you need to accept and compromise! And doing this is a big win because most times it is complementary and not antagonistic.
Celebrate your strengths. Your strengths as an introvert may be under-appreciated or overlooked. Recognise and celebrate your strengths and find ways to use them to improve your relationship! As an introvert, you probably are:
Empathetic. You understand when others need time alone. You have an easy time putting yourself in others’ shoes. Taking the time to get to know yourself and your feelings better will help you feel more confident communicating them to your significant other. The key is to feel with people with discernment of your feelings.
Open and deep. You can be open, vulnerable (when you feel safe) and transparent about how you feel.
Connected. Because you recharge alone and think inward, you can be connected to your body and mind.
A great listener plus you notice the details.You are a great listener and pay attention to others. This might mean you also have a great memory! People might be surprised by the details you tend to remember. “The colour of your partner’s shirt when they said that hurtful comment.”
Ask questions. Sometimes, introverts tend to rely on others to lead the conversation. Be curious about how your partner feels, in and out of arguments. “What” or “Why” questions can usually lead to a defensive response. So, you can play even safer and start by saying, ‘Help me understand…..’
Understand and embrace how you naturally express and receive love. People don’t believe it but sometimes you don’t necessarily give love the way you want to receive it. I love the work on the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is a great tool for understanding how you most naturally express and receive love. They love languages are:
Quality Time: Meaningful and fun time spent together. Like sitting with your partner and enjoying deep conversations.
Physical Touch: Affection through touch and physical closeness. A gentle rub of your shoulder as your spouse passes you hard at work at the table or cooking in the kitchen.
Words of Affirmation: Compliments, verbal encouragement, affirmations and loving acknowledgement. “I love you so much. Thank you for tolerating me.“
Gifts: Physical gifts, great or small. “So I was passing by a book store and I got you this book.“
Acts of Service: Helpful gestures that make another’s life easier and more enjoyable. “Wow! You sorted all of that laundry and without me asking?!”
Give yourself alone time when you need it. If you find yourself needing time or space to process emotions alone, clear your mind, or recharge, create that space for yourself! Sometimes it might be right after an argument with your spouse or just after your toddler’s fifth tantrum of the day and you would appreciate time to recharge. However, it can be perceived as a reaction to what just happened so go ahead and communicate that you just need the time. Taking this a step further, notice what fills your cup quicker so you can maximize the time you have. And sometimes it might be as simple as putting your phone away for five minutes.
Speak up. Introverts are less likely to speak up because they are mostly in their head. Sometimes, introverts will wait until they are asked before speaking up. You and your partner are a team! When you’re stressed or there’s an argument, request gracefully for time to be by yourself. Your partner will be at ease since they know you’re not walking away; you’re just taking the time you need so you can have a good discussion. Also share you views about the low-stakes situation like dinner plans and you will start to feel more confident about having those bigger discussions.
Learn to say “No”. It is important to know your limits. Don’t say yes to activities and gatherings that you know will drain you. “No” is healthy for you.
Just because you are an introvert does not mean that you are unable to communicate. Everyone needs a reminder of their inner awesome, it is how we become better people. Effective communication requires engagement, self-awareness, and creativity, all of which comes naturally for an introvert. It is not about quantity but about quality. So the goal is not to go out and start making a lot of noise. Talking does not equal communication. Going out everyday does not guarantee lasting connections.
Remember, relationships are a partnership! If you are not able to effectively communicate, your relationship will be based on assumption and that is not healthy at all. Be transparent with your partner about how you feel and where you struggle. Together, you can not just survive but thrive and weather all the storms that come your way.
O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness); Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say. Amin!
If this was beneficial, please drop a comment, like the post or share to an introvert in your life.
I will be talking a lot about the differences in our personalities in adults and children, how they show up and how to communicate effectively irrespective of these difference in a workshop – The basis of relationships. Get your early bird discount today!
Did you say you can’t? It is so easy to think or say “I can’t….” Over and over again, we tell ourselves so many things without realizing it. I can’t wake up early for Fajr I can’t cook a meal I can’t help my child with their homework I can’t afford to pay for “the full cup” or whatever program on your list And sometimes you even have a reason added so it would sound like… I really want to join #FajrClub but I can’t because I am not a morning person. Most of the time, the truth isn’t that you can’t, it is that you won’t. I won’t wake up early for Fajr I won’t cook a meal right now I won’t help my child with their homework I won’t afford to pay for the full cup I really want to join Fajr Club but I won’t because I am not a morning person. The thing is when we say we “can’t” do something, we sound like we are a victim and it is comfortable but when we say we won’t then it shows our choice in the matter. And this is not to say that there are not things that we actually cannot do. I mean maybe you genuinely can’t afford something at the moment… But until you start to take note of this difference, you would not know. And your brain will believe whatever you tell it. So when you find yourself saying you can’t do something, change “can’t” to “won’t” and see if it still holds true. And don’t think it makes you lazy, it just makes you honest and most days, honesty is the cheapest thing you can afford.
Grief… [trigger] It doesn’t mean only one thing. It can be a lot of things. The loss of a loved one. The loss of a life that we planned in our head. The end of a marriage. The end of a friendship. The end of a relationship. Moving on from one season to the next. The miscarriage. The negative pregnancy test after that hopeful slight positive result. A move. Moving on. And not to forget the changes, growth, stops and pauses that come with any of these. The opportunities we lost because we chose to love and support a loved one. The life we thought we will have The memories we thought we will make And sometimes you may feel so angry because the world seems to be moving on just fine…. No one can tell that as you pushed the trolley in the supermarket, there was a contraction and a loss of what would have been a baby. Your baby. Somedays it is easy for you to identify what you are feeling, you are in your room with the windows covered just sitting in the darkness and somedays, you get through your day with love and laugher and then all of a sudden, as you lay on your bed, you feel a tightness in your chest and you seek the mercy of tears and it just doesn’t come. Then there is people telling you how strong you are but you can barely lift the blankets off and start your day. Grief is for loss. It is your loss whatever that means for you. And it is valid. (ٱلَّذِینَ إِذَاۤ أَصَـٰبَتۡهُم مُّصِیبَةࣱ قَالُوۤا۟ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّاۤ إِلَیۡهِ رَ ٰجِعُونَ) [Surah Al-Baqarah 156] those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to God and to Him we shall return.’
It has been exactly 12 months since I announced my idea for women of tadabbur to the world. I don’t even know where the idea came from, oh actually I do know. Alhamdulillah. I also remember thinking it was a bad time to start cos I was also starting Arabic full time and then I had my day job and the agents and my family…and…and… I put it out anyway and then one person signed up and then the second and then… and then it morphed into a beautiful community of amazing and supportive women. And even more communities have been born of that. The doubts come in sometimes but I have learnt so much. SubhanAllah! To mention a few,
Taking a leap of faith means doesn’t mean you trust yourself, it means you trust Allah ﷻ
Take the first step even if you do not see the whole staircase.
The power of one. Allah ﷻ has always sent me that one sign, maybe a person that will just say something that I didn’t even know that I needed to hear. “Aisha! it is one at a time, one sign, one person, one feeling, one idea, one theme, one moment of gratitude, one community, one foot in front of the other and that is how we change the world.” Please say a du’a for all of these special ladies – all of them – new and old, present and those who had to take their leave. I pray that Allah ﷻ fixes all our hearts. He is indeed Al-Jabbar.
So, I recently got a job. I mean, to be honest, its one of my dream jobs. You know what? It’s actually my main dream job. I mean, I have a lot of dream jobs but this is the main dream job, like all the others, are dream side hustles. I am sure you get the point. Anyways, Alhamdulillah! I got it.
I shared the news with my family and loved ones, and they shared with their friends and loved ones and as more people knew about it and called to congratulate me, the excitement started to die down and then came the panic. What if I am not as good as people think? What if I fail? What if people finally see that I have just been getting lucky? What if my luck finally runs out? I was sad and felt…. limited and exposed. Have you ever felt like this?
You start to wonder, “am I too loud, too proud, strong enough, good enough, pretty enough, tough enough, too feminine, Muslim enough, dreaming too big?”
The term ‘imposter syndrome’ was coined in the 1970s. It is that unsettling feeling after you score big that you don’t deserve the praise and appreciation you get despite evidence that shows that you are skilled. Its common among overachievers, minority groups, creative and students.
You feel like you need to be perfect at every thing. This is such a huge task to burden yourself with. I mean, you cannot win at perfection. And so you would fail. Plus there is this accompanying fear of failure. This fear cripples you and you end up just standing on the sidelines afraid to make a move. Plus you constantly undermine your success. Elizabeth Cox describes this here.
How it affects you?
You convince yourself you are going to
I was that kid in class that would never answer a question the teacher was asking even if he/she was going to make me stand through class because I couldn’t give any answer. I mean it’s better they assume I am not smart than open my mouth and give them the proof to conclude I am not smart
You devalue your worth
I constantly struggle with this one. I
especially find it hard taking credit for my services. People offer to pay me
to do stuff they see I am very good at and I am quick to offer to do it for
them for free instead. I mean, being nice is good but we know nice isn’t a
currency accepted for goods and services. It’s like you are in a job interview
and you end up convincing the interviewer to not hire you instead. I mean, its
why there are so many pieces you have written that no one has never seen. You
don’t believe anyone would want to read that after all, you wrote it
You underestimate your expertise
This one is common with pharmacists. We
are the minority in healthcare. For instance, a doctor prescribed the right
drug in the wrong dose and rather than correct him, you first make excuses for
him, then when you run out of excuses you finally open your mouth to speak and
then say “… but I think…” I mean, at this point the best you can do for
yourself is be sure.
You feel like a fraud
You constantly feel you are not worthy
of the prizes, praises and accolades you get. You feel like you cannot be as
great as they think or as smart as they think and you would not always be this
lucky. They are going to find out and then everyone would know that you are a
Think you have to do it all.
It feels like you need to keep it all together because everyone thinks you are so put together. So you push yourself beyond yourself just so no one sees that you falling apart.
How to handle it?
First, believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. SubhanAllah. He is perfect and so is His plan.
Replace the negative self talk with affirmations
A lot of the time, we do not show
ourselves the kindness and love we show to others. Be your own cheerleader.
Stand up for yourself. Write it on post-its, get wall prints and even cute
stationery with reminders that you are worthy.
My personal favourite is…
I am the sun. I am the stars. I am the moon. I am worthy. I am awesome. I am enough. I am a rock star. I am dynamite and a million fairy lights. The world is ready for my awesomeness.
Aishatu Nana Ahmed
Find a hype woman/man
You are indeed blessed when Allah gifts you with people who believe in you. Most of the time, you would not believe certain things you tell yourself until you hear it from someone else especially if its someone you respect. If you have one of those, keep them.
Decide to fail forward.
Failing doesn’t mean you did not deserve the opportunity in the first place. Sometimes, failure comes with a better opportunity. And it is okay to fail. And until you fail, you would never really experience the joy that comes with succeeding. It’s in failing or struggling that you find your story.
Under promise and over deliver
This would help take a lot of pressure
off you. You would have managed their expectations and everything else is a
Keep a list of compliments and
This one is for you. It gives you a
record of your own efforts. That way you don’t always feel like everything was
just handed to you.
Find someone else to blame
I really like this one. You just blame someone else. Okay, “If I am not as great as they think, then whoever decided to employ me is to blame. I mean, all I did was apply for the job. They should have done a better job vetting me”.
Imposter’s syndrome is not something that goes away. You have to learn to live and cope with it. It is sad that we sometimes assume humility as the opposite of confidence and so we think being confident makes us proud. that isn’t the case. Finally, do not believe everything you think.
So tell me, have you ever struggled with this? How did you handle it?