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Thread: Introversion/Extroversion and Initiating

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    Default Introversion/Extroversion and Initiating

    Most every relationship I've formed wasn't initiated by me or even arranged by me... usually I just end up with certain people in a certain situation... or others initiate or start the relationship. In fact it can be very awkward when with someone who is as non-initiating as me because neither of us initiate and so we don't do anything at all, but we know one of us needs to do it... so eventually one of us will try to. I'm not sure why I "need" the other person to initiate. Maybe it orients me in the relationship, or gives me a bearing in terms of direction. And often times I don't care what we do anyway, that's not the point... I just want to spend time with the other person.

    Anyway I feel a lot more comfortable when the other person initiates and is decisive... because it takes all the pressure/stress/uncertainty off of me. I also generally prefer one-on-one interaction (or smaller groups) because it's more close, personable, and intimate. In group interaction I pretty much never initiate... some extroverts can just get an entire group moving in a certain direction and this feels strange to me... if I try to do that it comes off sounding uncertain, wishy washy, etc. I considered practicing more... except I don't want to.

    But I don't want to put all the pressure on extroverts to be the initiators... and this is something that's kind of bothered me... I try to fill in where the extrovert doesn't feel like initiating and help out. But I worry that it all gets put on them all the time in most of their relationships and maybe it gets tiring. Maybe they get sick of initiating all the time. Sometimes I can initiate on a whim in one-on-one interactions if I feel suddenly inspired to do so. And so I try to do that when it arises. But I've also noticed a timing difference. Extroverts often initiate more quickly and automatically... and so they may often beat introverts to the punch.

    I was wondering if any of "you extroverts" feel like you have to initiate too much or if it becomes a strain? I was also wondering why you are naturally an initiator (if you are) or what that's like. Is it something you like doing, or is it just something you feel you have to do (because others don't), or what? Do you find interactions between other extroverts and yourself to be competitive?

    And I was wondering why introverts don't feel as comfortable initiating, mainly from the subjective point of view of introverts here...

    But I'm happy with most forms of topic tangents or really any way you want to frame a response or anything you want to say.

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    I think I take initiative, because I'm impatient, but I like it when the other party responds.
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    As a child, i dont know what it was but i had far too many friends. I must have been an insane little man. So from then till about year 12 i just let people ring me. I never learnt to initiate, at all. I will just sit home and do stuff if no one rings me, which is becomming increasingly more often because they all have girlfriends and important jobs now.

    I really need to learn to initate more, i assume when my loneliness reaches a critical point i will, but its just not happening. Its like ive never learnt how to satisfy my social urges with my own volition
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kioshi View Post
    When I am interested in a girl, then there is no doubt that I am interested. The eye contact is intense. If she looks anxious, then I impulsively smile. And I will often follow through with a bow that signals my willingness to defer to her initiative.
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    this topic has been on my mind a lot lately. I like what you said about it. I usually get the sense that most extraverts honestly don't mind doing most of the initiating at least in the beginning--it seems to come naturally to them, like a knee-jerk reaction. I often find myself in friendships with other introverts. Some of these friendships were initiated by them and some by me but in subtle ways in the beginning. Once they're established friendships I find that we take turns playing the role of initiator/extravert and that suits me just fine. I have one SEI friend who expects me to always initiate our email contact. It's kinda bothered me in the past but I've realized that that's just the role I have in this particular relationship--I'm clearly more willing to put myself out there in general (not only with the email) and it feels like he appreciates it. Anyway, it works for us. It's interesting because in my marriage I can be as introverted as I like (married to ESE) so it's kinda nice to have a friend who forces me to pull out of my shell and step up to the plate. I wouldn't always have been willing to do this though. When I was younger it wouldn't have worked out.
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    To paraphrase something I mentioned in a conversation about intiating.. basically, in any kind of relationship, it's very rare I'll initiate anything for the first time. Whether this be the first contact with someone or anything like that. I suppose it's easier to understand in the context of romantic relationships.. basically once a partner has initiated something specific for the first time, I'm more comfortable initiating that same sort of thing in the future. Until then, however, I generally lack the confidence to do so, because I don't know if it's appropriate or I'm doing it at the right time or whatever. I can do it, but I find it very stressful so I'll only do it as a last resort (this can apply to anything from making someone known I'm interested in them, to...well, you get the picture). Again, this applies to any kind of relationship for me, casual or close, romantic or platonic. I don't really want to go into detail but I think that sort of explanation will suffice. I'll try and re-explain if people have trouble understanding what I'm getting at here though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I was wondering if any of "you extroverts" feel like you have to initiate too much or if it becomes a strain? I was also wondering why you are naturally an initiator (if you are) or what that's like. Is it something you like doing, or is it just something you feel you have to do (because others don't), or what? Do you find interactions between other extroverts and yourself to be competitive?

    And I was wondering why introverts don't feel as comfortable initiating, mainly from the subjective point of view of introverts here...

    But I'm happy with most forms of topic tangents or really any way you want to frame a response or anything you want to say.
    You're talking of course, about extrotims and introtims.

    As introtims think of passive things, they don't really feel like initiating, even if they were +-+ ESI. They're still able to.

    Extrotims think of active things. They feel like initiating, because they feel like if they don't do anything (EJ) or don't make things to improve their impact to the world (EP), they wouldn't think like they exist. They always think like "I must do something". Even a -+- EIE would feel like that. They're still able too leech the world like introtims.

    For example, I'm pretty much a chatterbox, but I pretty much don't feel like initiating.

    Sarkozy is a better example for this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by machintruc View Post

    For example, I'm pretty much a chatterbox, but I pretty much don't feel like initiating.
    y'think? just kidding. My ESE husband is the same. He loves to talk talk talk talk but then he complains that none of his friends invite him to do stuff so I say well pick up the phone. But he doesn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Most every relationship I've formed wasn't initiated by me or even arranged by me... usually I just end up with certain people in a certain situation... or others initiate or start the relationship. In fact it can be very awkward when with someone who is as non-initiating as me because neither of us initiate and so we don't do anything at all, but we know one of us needs to do it... so eventually one of us will try to. I'm not sure why I "need" the other person to initiate. Maybe it orients me in the relationship, or gives me a bearing in terms of direction. And often times I don't care what we do anyway, that's not the point... I just want to spend time with the other person.

    Anyway I feel a lot more comfortable when the other person initiates and is decisive... because it takes all the pressure/stress/uncertainty off of me. I also generally prefer one-on-one interaction (or smaller groups) because it's more close, personable, and intimate. In group interaction I pretty much never initiate... some extroverts can just get an entire group moving in a certain direction and this feels strange to me... if I try to do that it comes off sounding uncertain, wishy washy, etc. I considered practicing more... except I don't want to.

    But I don't want to put all the pressure on extroverts to be the initiators... and this is something that's kind of bothered me... I try to fill in where the extrovert doesn't feel like initiating and help out. But I worry that it all gets put on them all the time in most of their relationships and maybe it gets tiring. Maybe they get sick of initiating all the time. Sometimes I can initiate on a whim in one-on-one interactions if I feel suddenly inspired to do so. And so I try to do that when it arises. But I've also noticed a timing difference. Extroverts often initiate more quickly and automatically... and so they may often beat introverts to the punch.

    I was wondering if any of "you extroverts" feel like you have to initiate too much or if it becomes a strain? I was also wondering why you are naturally an initiator (if you are) or what that's like. Is it something you like doing, or is it just something you feel you have to do (because others don't), or what? Do you find interactions between other extroverts and yourself to be competitive?

    And I was wondering why introverts don't feel as comfortable initiating, mainly from the subjective point of view of introverts here...

    But I'm happy with most forms of topic tangents or really any way you want to frame a response or anything you want to say.
    i think this is probably more closely related to Ni/Se than introversion/extroversion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by niffweed17 View Post
    i think this is probably more closely related to Ni/Se than introversion/extroversion.
    Why is that?

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    I'd say I don't initiate, but I'd be lying. Just like machintruc said, I feel like I have to do something! I can't just NOT take charge of events. I make it very easy for the other person to initiate. I make sure I'm in the right place at the right time. I give things a little push. I'll start a random conversation at the right time, so that the other person will have a reason to just randomly talk with me the next time, if they like me.

    Like there was some guy that I met at some school thing. When I walked past him one time, I just smiled and said "hi", seemed he might not have recognized me. The next time he noticed me and said "hi" before I did. And we kept walking past each other in the exact same place... 2 years later, we happened to be at the same party and he started talking with me, because I was "the girl he often walks past". Even I am sometimes amazed how many "hi"-people I know, I'm sure many of them would initiate conversation with me at a party.
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    I get what you mean. There are definitely non-verbal cues and ways of indicating that further initiative is desired from the other party.
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    The extrovert usually initiates. The ethical type guides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kioshi View Post
    USA (raised in West Texas)
    reading your first post i somehow had Japan in mind. I don't know why but the image of Maito Gai from Naruto keeps popping up in my mind Even the way you write. I especially liked this part

    Quote Originally Posted by Kioshi View Post
    When I am interested in a girl, then there is no doubt that I am interested. The eye contact is intense. If she looks anxious, then I impulsively smile. And I will often follow through with a bow that signals my willingness to defer to her initiative. I've been told that the smile tends to be disarming and that the bow tends to elicit an impulse to approach.

    I have often been told how it often seems pointless even trying to resist my initiatives. But I don't think I've ever been accused of not taking initiative.
    it's intense. when Kioshi flashes his smile the ladies are left defenseless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kioshi View Post


    The disposition is more like yielding and blending my will with theirs, as opposed to meeting their will with an opposing will. If I were easily discouraged, then I'd probably come off more like Hyuga Hinata.

    I generally smile with my eyes, not with my mouth. The particular smile I was referring to is produced by relaxing the facial muscles. It softens the eye contact. With children and cats I might also slowly close my eyes and then open them. This intensifies the smile, and is a very warm and sweet way to break and re-establish eye contact.

    It is an innocent expression. If this doesn't allay their suspicions or distrust and inspire confidence, then it used to change to a very hurt expression. The hurt would quickly turn to hate. Of course, I live in a society where paranoia is the norm. All I feel anymore is a dull ache that turns into a mixture of contempt and pity.
    Kioshi i'm so sorry if i somehow offended you. It was never my intention. I was simply stating the first thing that came to mind as i read your post

    I'm glad though that you think of yourself more like Hinata. She's one of my favourite characters (I like Maito Gai a lot though - him and Fuzzy Brows). I'm a lot like Naruto and a lot of the time i come across as a knucklehead. This was probably another example of that

    for the record i know a guy who slowly closes his eyes when he smiles, just like you described, so now i know exactly what you mean.

    From reading this post i have a completely different sense of what you were trying to depict. But reading the first post again still brings Maito Gai to mind

    When i'm in a good mood i smile at people without even noticing it. And where i live this gesture is often met with distrust. My point is, maybe we are not so different and i hope you won't let this incident turn into a feeling of contempt and pity. I know i won't. I have long since learned to forgive and forget. Even my self

    So Kioshi please forgive this Knucklehead - dattebayo
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    to answer the thread question, yes i am a pretty big initiator. when somebody else inititates in the beginning, i don't like it as much. i'm not that attractred to other extraverts...i like introverts. when i'm dealing with extraverts, i feel like the other person is trying to control things. so i much prefer to be the initiator at first.

    but then it gets hard with introverts, because i feel like if i didn't initiate they wouldn't. so i feel like i don't know how much they care about the relationship or whether they see me. this is for friendships and romantic. so i start to get a little bit uncertain and paranoid at times. so i'll wait for them to call me....sometimes i have to wait a very long time and even when they do something it will be something kind of low risk like an email or text message. then i'll be like.....should i even respond? lol

    with other extraverts, it gets a little bit easier after inital negotiations, since both of us will try to schedule time to do things and call each other and whatnot. but with other extraverts, the relationship is usually more about doing less about being, if you know what i mean.

    this is a good topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine Lively View Post
    but then it gets hard with introverts, because i feel like if i didn't initiate they wouldn't. so i feel like i don't know how much they care about the relationship or whether they see me. this is for friendships and romantic. so i start to get a little bit uncertain and paranoid at times. so i'll wait for them to call me....sometimes i have to wait a very long time and even when they do something it will be something kind of low risk like an email or text message. then i'll be like.....should i even respond? lol
    I realize I'm an introtim, but I actually relate to this. I initiate some relationships (with both extrotims and introtims) because I feel like if I don't, the other won't. Don't know that for sure, but I'm quite impatient and don't feel I want to waste time waiting. Eventually, though, after repeated initiation with someone where I feel like I'm doing most of it, I begin to feel unappreciated. Like the interest isn't really mutual. Because I really want to stay in contact with said person, I usually begin overriding my hesitation. But it never quite works to assuage my nagging concerns. They just mount until I actually begin to feel foolish and get the persistent sense that the "friendship" is just too one-sided.

    And then I begin waiting to see how long it will take for the other to contact me, all the while worrying they won't. So, to a great extent, my initiating can sometimes derive from compulsion and fear of lack.

    with other extraverts, it gets a little bit easier after inital negotiations, since both of us will try to schedule time to do things and call each other and whatnot. but with other extraverts, the relationship is usually more about doing less about being, if you know what i mean.
    Do you mean this in the sense of common activity? Because introverts usually aren't satisfied just doing things?

    Because, I sometimes wonder if I'm perceived by extroverts as requiring more focused attention and mental investment, something they're not always able to muster...
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    but then it gets hard with introverts, because i feel like if i didn't initiate they wouldn't. so i feel like i don't know how much they care about the relationship or whether they see me. this is for friendships and romantic. so i start to get a little bit uncertain and paranoid at times. so i'll wait for them to call me....sometimes i have to wait a very long time and even when they do something it will be something kind of low risk like an email or text message. then i'll be like.....should i even respond? lol
    Don't stop initiating! Gah, this is a major source of stress in my relationships. I'm always wondering if i'm initiating enough, if I'm bothering the other person by initiating/not initiating, wondering who should make the first move, wondering if i'm being too "aloof". It drives me crazy. I neeeeed someone who initiates. I usually force myself to most of the time as i don't want the other person to get the impression i'm not interested but again, i really feel like i'm bothering them--if they wanted to talk, i'm under the impression that they'd call first. But then, they're probobly thinking the same thing about me. I normally only call to ask someone out or if I need something, never to "catch up" but i think i should probobly start doing that more. argh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aka-kitsune View Post
    Eventually, though, after repeated initiation with someone where I feel like I'm doing most of it, I begin to feel unappreciated. Like the interest isn't really mutual. Because I really want to stay in contact with said person, I usually begin overriding my hesitation. But it never quite works to assuage my nagging concerns. They just mount until I actually begin to feel foolish and get the persistent sense that the "friendship" is just too one-sided.

    And then I begin waiting to see how long it will take for the other to contact me, all the while worrying they won't. So, to a great extent, my initiating can sometimes derive from compulsion and fear of lack.
    This sounds familiar. Although in order for me to go through the trouble, the said person must be pretty special. In other words, there has to be something about him/her that is really pulling me to step out of my comfort zone in this way. After a friendship was initiated by another introtim, it has since felt like it's being kept up by me because I've been the only one initiating email conversation. I realized that that's because the other person sees me as the extrotim and kind of subconsciously views that as my role in the relationship. I decided to not let it bother me but it still nags at the back of my mind. So the other day I mentioned it in a funny way and the very next day, they initiated right on cue. So we'll see how things go from here. I think closer to a 50-50 thing will be more comfortable for both of us in the long run. But we're probably thinking the same thing--that we don't want to bother the other person, that they would email if they wanted to talk, etc. LOL
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    When someone initiates repeatedly this reassures me that I matter to them, or am important to them, or that they really are interested in me and want me there (it's not just some fleeting interest). For some reason I need to know that they want me/need me and for this to be very clear and direct. But it seems so hypocritical when I am indirect about the same things and then "need" them to put together all the pieces. As things go on, I become more direct and start saying how I feel about them more, once I know it's "safe" (as in I know this isn't fleeting to them)... then I feel safe to completely devote myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    When someone initiates repeatedly this reassures me that I matter to them, or am important to them, or that they really are interested in me and want me there (it's not just some fleeting interest). For some reason I need to know that they want me/need me and for this to be very clear and direct. But it seems so hypocritical when I am indirect about the same things and then "need" them to put together all the pieces. As things go on, I become more direct and start saying how I feel about them more, once I know it's "safe" (as in I know this isn't fleeting to them)... then I feel safe to completely devote myself.
    Very well-put. I think that over the years I've gotten better at reading people's non-verbal interest as well as their overt, more direct interest in me. But yeah, I feel like if I'm not willing to be clear and direct then it's not fair of me to require it of them. I've gotten to the point where I'm okay with being more verbal myself even if the other person just can't be and they prefer to show their feelings in other ways. As long as their friendship/feelings manifests itself in some way and fairly consistently, I can live with that. I'm pretty good with verbalizing stuff and I know that some people aren't. Plus if you're talking about men.....they have fragile egos so you sometimes just have to throw them a bone. lol
    Last edited by redbaron; 05-14-2008 at 06:54 PM. Reason: correct typo
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    I prefer others to initiate most things. And I'm speaking in regard to more than just romantic relationships. I like it when people initiate to get stuff done, then I can fall in beside them and help. It's a teamwork thing. I will initiate, though, if I think that something needs to be done and no one is doing it. I'll usually wait for a little, to see if someone will start it, but if they don't I feel compelled by need to do it myself. Of course, it depends on how important I think the need is. So I often find myself initiating things with people. Not that I always mind it, or giving ideas or direction on what should be done. It's a preference usually, more than a need. Though I think prompting is somewhat different than initiating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    When someone initiates repeatedly this reassures me that I matter to them, or am important to them, or that they really are interested in me and want me there (it's not just some fleeting interest). For some reason I need to know that they want me/need me and for this to be very clear and direct. But it seems so hypocritical when I am indirect about the same things and then "need" them to put together all the pieces. As things go on, I become more direct and start saying how I feel about them more, once I know it's "safe" (as in I know this isn't fleeting to them)... then I feel safe to completely devote myself.
    This is Victim behavior to a T.

    I do not think initiation has as much to do with Extroversion vs. Introversion as much as it has to do with Romantic attitudes, actually.

    I think Romantic attitudes are quite underrated in terms of their importance, to be honest. Aggressors almost always have no trouble initiating, while victims are terribly bad at this sort of thing and need that constant, sort of reassurance (direct) that the other person really wants them around.

    I'm not too sure about Caregivers and Infantiles, but I see them as somewhat like this: Infantiles do that cutesy, "nagging" behavior (imo that is) which appeals to Caregivers and they do this "play" initiation type thing, which the Caregivers than respond to and actually take action. It's the ideas about stuff to do pouring out all over the place, and then the just saying, alright, let's go try this out. It's less black and white than Victim and Aggressor.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettLux
    I'm not too sure about Caregivers and Infantiles, but I see them as somewhat like this: Infantiles do that cutesy, "nagging" behavior (imo that is) which appeals to Caregivers and they do this "play" initiation type thing, which the Caregivers than respond to and actually take action. It's the ideas about stuff to do pouring out all over the place, and then the just saying, alright, let's go try this out. It's less black and white than Victim and Aggressor.
    I found this really enlightening... in helping me understand caregive/infantile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aka-kitsune View Post
    I realize I'm an introtim, but I actually relate to this. I initiate some relationships (with both extrotims and introtims) because I feel like if I don't, the other won't. Don't know that for sure, but I'm quite impatient and don't feel I want to waste time waiting. Eventually, though, after repeated initiation with someone where I feel like I'm doing most of it, I begin to feel unappreciated. Like the interest isn't really mutual. Because I really want to stay in contact with said person, I usually begin overriding my hesitation. But it never quite works to assuage my nagging concerns. They just mount until I actually begin to feel foolish and get the persistent sense that the "friendship" is just too one-sided.

    And then I begin waiting to see how long it will take for the other to contact me, all the while worrying they won't. So, to a great extent, my initiating can sometimes derive from compulsion and fear of lack.
    I couldn't help but smile when I read this post because I feel exactly the same as you described.

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