Pretty much no human being wants to have a discussion with their partner that will end in a breakup. It's the worst, and you feel like the worst, so finding the courage to do it is half the battle. If you're someone who identifies as an introvert, the burden of responsibility for a breakup can feel insurmountable.
"Introverts don't tend to volunteer their thoughts, feelings, or opinions, especially if it will make someone mad," says Samantha Burns, LMHC, a relationship counselor and dating coach. They may also be more sensitive to negative evaluations from other people, she says. There are different types of introverts — some people are social introverts and others are thinking introverts, for example — but many tend to have a few strong relationships, rather than a bunch of acquaintances. "Losing a romantic relationship can be a bigger void for you than for an extrovert who has many friends and can easily spend time with other people," says Anita Chlipala, LMFT, a dating expert in Chicago.
The good news is, you don't have to go into a breakup completely blind, and with a little strategic planning, you'll be ready to find your voice and do what you want. And keep in mind that these strategies are definitely useful for introverts in new relationships, too, Chlipala says. "It's better to practice speaking up and addressing conflict with someone you just started dating, because it’s going to be much harder when you’re in love with the person," she says. Here's how to have those tough conversations if you're an introvert.