There’s a funny story in the news about Rapper Flavour Flav’s latest antics where he grabbed a mic during a plane descent and started promoting his fried chicken takeout joint. Apparently he then proceeded to lead the plane in chanting “Flavaaa Flaaaaaav.”
I read the story and wondered what it must be like being his girlfriend, because the odds are really high she’s an introvert like his ex Briggitte Nielsen. We tend to fall in love with people who hold under-developed parts of ourselves. that’s why noisy women find quiet men and vice versa. In the honeymoon it works so well – the quiet person is more outgoing and feels more alive and the extrovert is quieter and feels more connected but when the honeymoon drugs wear off there is the ongoing challenge of living with the cringe factor of the extrovert being so out there.
Typically the way we cope is by trying to shut the extrovert down, this works about as successfully as trying to hold a balloon under water. Often then we employ shaming, criticism, threats, bribes etc all typically to no available. Finally many introvert partner’s disconnect and simply ignore them. Relationally this tends to signal the beginning of the end for the couple.
Actually what extroverts are crying out for is warm and loving attention. It’s like the little boy banging his drum saying, “Mummy, mummy look at MEEEEEE!” What that child longs for is that warm and loving smile that says, “You are fantastic, amazing incredible,” and the child who gets that typically brings them warm sunny energy into great hugs and cuddles because that was the goal. That is likely what Flav gets in the honeymoon phase, and if his slightly embarassed lover can smile at him and say, “You are amazing, what a great way to get free advertising, and bloggers in New Zealand writing about you,” she will touch the deepest part of his soul – the part that hardwires relationship together.
In the process she also gives herself unconscious permission to shine and grow because what we give to our partner we also give to ourselves (more about this in another post).
So “Flavaaa Flaaaaaav, Flavaaa Flaaaaaav” keep on shining.