When does introversion become unhealthy?
March 28, 2012 12:06 PM Subscribe
Is there something wrong with my husband with regard to his introversion?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
For as long as I have known my husband he has had little to no close friends and would rather stay in than go out. At first I really paid no mind to it (we started dating in college and I was very young and self-absorbed and at the time he had 1 or two friends he'd grown up with that attended our same college) but here we are 20 years later and having moved across the country twice and he still has no real friends of his own. My husband is friendly and polite to my friends, and while he takes a little time to open up and feel comfortable spending time with strangers-turned-friends of mine, he is generally well received on the scene as my husband among my friends. I am extremely extroverted (to the point that I rarely need alone time and get very close to people very easily and quickly) and so it seems particularly odd to me now that I've really sat down and realized that in 20 years, my husband has not once pursued friendships outside of his best friendship with me and has no friends (none!) that he does things with. I asked him about this last night and he told me he isn't extroverted like I am and he doesn't "need" ppl the way I do. That he is content to have me as his best friend and the social interactions he occasionally dips into with my friends when I am present and doesn't want to pursue other friendships on his own. I observe that when I'm not around (I travel for pleasure with friends and frequently go to or organize many social events) he stays at home, alone, reading or cooking, or gardening or other solitary activities. (Note that he does come to social events with me also from time to time and he never begrudges me attending them on my own either).
Is this really objectively ok to be a loner to this extreme? It seems really unhealthy to me, but then again I am an extrovert. He doesn't seem unhappy or miserable with this arrangement (like I would be) but society is always telling us everyone should have at least a few friends (not just 1). What does the hivemind say? Have you ever known an extreme loner that was truely happy and healthy? And if not, how do I convince him this is a problem that he should fix for his own good?