Okay, I confess—sometimes I'm more of an ambivert than anything, but most of the time I identify as an introvert. At the beginning of my relationship with my insanely extroverted boyfriend, neither of us were quite sure how it would work or even if it would work. It's not always easy being with someone who legitimately loves going out and socializing, feats which are usually intimidating to me. Along the way, we have learned to appreciate each others' differences. He's taught me a lot and there are eleven specific reasons why I've found his extroverted nature to be so useful.
1. He makes phone calls for me
I'm not someone who enjoys talking on the phone —to strangers or people I don't know well, that is. I've gotten better over the years but it still feels nerve-wracking and embarrassing most times. Sometimes I still have to step up to the plate, but if it's a person he knows or an appointment for one of our pets to be made, he gladly takes care of it. It takes a good deal of stress off my shoulders.
2. He knows the good places to eat at
Unlike me, who mostly stays in and eats the same meals again and again, he loves variety and going out to try new restaurants. That said, he usually knows where the good food is at.
3. He also knows the best people and employees to interact with
Since he goes out so much, he knows some of the best (and worst) employees by name. He knows who to avoid because they seem antagonist. He knows who will be friendly. He even knows who will be stingy with the liquor when fixing drinks. It pays off to know who to interact with for a positive experience.
4. He asks questions for me
I'm that person who hates asking questions, whether it's in the middle of browsing a store or at a restaurant while I'm scanning the menu. I'll just ask him my question in a hushed tone and he gets the hint pretty fast. When he sees that waitress or employee, he waves them down and asks my question for me. It's awesome.
5. He's got a guy for everything
It is astounding the amount of people he knows compared to me. I'll just be talking about wishing I had a person to complete some vaguely specific task and suddenly he'll jump in and say, "Oh, I've got a guy who does that!" It is amazingly convenient and also fairly eerie at times. Because, really, how does one have a guy for everything? Who are you, Barney Stinson?
6. He keeps me from being too lazy
Before I met him, I figured staying in and doing the same ol' same ol' wasn't a bad thing. It still isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, sometimes I just felt stuck and afraid of trying anything new or venturing out into the world. This was usually because I didn't know how to navigate it. With him though, I don't get as stuck because he helps pull me out of my funks. When I want to be lazy and stay in for days on end, I let him know and he gives me space. However, when I feel like I could use something new to get me on my feet and out though, but I don't know where to begin, he helps me out.
7. He balances out my social awkwardness
When I'm around him, the social butterfly that he is, I tend not to be so awkward. This is mostly because I'm substantially less weird around people I know well. Conversing also just doesn't seem as scary in his presence, for he makes it seem so easy.
8. He's taught me how to network more efficiently
Being terrified of going up to people I don't know very well makes it hard to network. Fortunately the social experiences my boyfriend has roped me into has helped me practice talking to new people and introducing myself. I also get to bear witness to when he does it (which is all the time) which gives me some good material to work off of.
9. He draws attention away from me
Okay, so I'm shy, you might get that by now. Although I've got a better handle on socializing thanks to my boyfriend, I also enjoy the times where he does all the talking. This means sometimes I can just stand awkwardly beside him to smile and nod without contributing my odd conversational tidbits. To me, this can be a massive blessing for I can often say the wrong thing in public. Sometimes I just don't like to talk either. It's just nice to be able to become less of a talking target every now and again.
10. He's taught me a lot about compromise
I don't always want to go out and he doesn't always want to stay in. We have to work together to come up with ways of spending time together that enable us to do what's best for us as individuals. Sometimes that means we do what one of us wants and do what the other one wants later. It's not always an easy balancing act, but it's something we've gotten better at with time.
11. He pulls me out of my comfort zone—in a good way
I've met a lot of new and interesting people since I've been with my current boyfriend. I've also learned to enjoy spending time with others and spending time outside my own habitat. I used to say no automatically to events that entailed large crowds, but now I'm able to make it through—and even get some enjoyment out of the experience. I'm by no means an extrovert now, and I still value my complete and utter introvert ways. Now though, I know that I can step outside of that shy and isolated realm and experience life in a new way.