I just took the Myers-Briggs personality test, and if there’s one thing that’s certain about my personality, it’s that I’m extroverted. At the same time, I like introverts — in fact, almost all of my closest friends are introverts. But I think introverted men have a tougher row to hoe when it comes to dating.
So many of the social settings in which single men are expected to meet women in person are geared toward the outgoing man who doesn’t mind talking to strangers, talking about himself, and basically talking, talking, talking. It’s not that my introverted friends can’t do that, they just find it exhausting, and most of us aren’t at our best when we feel worn down. That can result in setbacks for the introverted man, especially when he engages with women who expect the guy to initiate.
I think one thing that would help introverted men is to recognize how they’re coming across to women. An introverted guy is uniquely positioned to make good and bad impressions, depending on how he handles himself. And the more an introverted man is aware of his capacity to come across as both a hero and a zero, the more he can leverage his strengths and downplay his weaknesses as he gets to know someone.
So, men, let’s talk about three ways your introversion can come off to the ladies:
- You may come across as wise. One of my favorite proverbs is, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (Proverbs 17:28, ESV). An introverted man can come into a social situation and project a lot of strength when he plays it cool and lays low. A lot of ladies are drawn to that particular kind of guy — hence, the attractiveness of the “strong, silent type.” The problem comes, however, when my brothers never get around to speaking at all. Which leads to my next point …
- You may come across as a wallflower. Introverted men who don’t assert themselves in social situations run the risk of coming across as standoffish and timid. To the contrary, although my buddy Sam is an introvert, he ignores his natural instinct to keep to himself in social situations. He engages in a way that comes across as natural and comfortable. If he hadn’t done that with his now-wife, Cris, she might have read his reserved behavior as disinterest. That would’ve been a problem, because if a woman thinks you’re not interested, she won’t waste her time on you. However, if you open up, you have the potential to outshine the extroverts in the room. My next point explains why.
- You may come across as a good listener (but only if you ask questions). If there’s one thing introverts are good at, it’s listening. That’s huge in dating. People who listen make other people feel valued, and most people like spending time with those who make them feel valuable. The problem for a lot of introverts is that they wait for the other person to start talking, which can create a lot of awkward silence. So when you engage with women, have a list of five or so questions to get the conversation going. Then be the great listener you are, and look for points that merit follow-up questions. Trust me: Your laid back, persistent interest in listening will leave a woman feeling valued and much more likely to want to be around you more.
Introverted brothers, I’m not asking you to be something you’re not. I’m asking you to leverage the good things that come naturally to you as you engage with the women you meet. This may take you out of your element at times, but remember that you’ve got some excellent tools for succeeding if you’ll just use them. That knowledge alone may help you feel a little more confident and a little less exhausted when you’re pursuing a woman.
With every asset comes a risk, and introversion can be both. Use it well, and you may discover it’s a quality the ladies will find most attractive about you.