How Do Introverts Handle Divorce Differently?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”


Several recent articles and blogs have highlighted a topic that many divorce attorneys and clients alike forget to keep in mind: the ways in which introverts handle issues like heartbreak and divorce differently.

Lonely man Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg Separation LawyerThis is by no means to say that heartbreak hurts any less for extroverts or more middle-of-the-road ambiverts. Each personality type simply deals with the sting of a breakup a little differently. However, the articles were a good reminder of some ways in which introverts are sometimes particularly affected by a split. Whether this affects you, a former partner or a loved one, it can be helpful to have an understanding of the following traits psychologists have found introverts are particularly prone to in divorce.

NOTE: The following traits are also experienced by people in divorce who do not identify as introverts, and are to some extent universal. No matter your personality type, it can be important to recognize these traits, know that you’re not alone, and understand how to cope with the potentially negative ones.


The automatic replay

Introverts are masters of the mental replay. Mulling over details of arguments, decisions made and lives once had can be almost second nature to introverts. While self-reflection can be a strength after divorce because it helps you learn and grow for your next relationship, in the midst of a divorce this sort of automatic replay can become debilitating. Recognizing when you’re going down the what-if rabbit hole, acknowledging it and putting your energy towards something more productive or healthily distracting can be a true lifesaver in these instances.


The “heartbreak hibernation”

Introverts don’t just want to be left alone in order to heal and process—they need to be left alone. The same holds especially true during traumatic events like divorce. Whether they’re Netflix-binging or slipping away to a meditation retreat, introverts are much more likely to withdraw in order to regroup after a breakup.

While this can be natural and productive to an extent, it can also run the introvert the risk of alienating people from their life whom they could lean on for support. It is important for friends and loved ones, especially less introverted ones, to respect an introvert’s boundaries while also periodically reaching out and connecting with them. By the same token, it is important for an introvert to push themselves to reach out to those close to them and connect with their loved ones in times of crisis like divorce.

Along those same lines, introverts are less likely to jump on dating websites after a divorce to mend their heartbreak. When a relationship ends, introverts tend to prefer alone time to devoting their mental energy to finding someone new right away.


The divorce drain

Divorce is an exhausting process for anyone. However, it can be especially draining for introverts. The afore-mentioned constant mental replay, coupled with the logistics, planning and human interaction required of a divorce, can leave an introvert especially depleted. You have to talk to your ex, your lawyers, school personnel, and mediators. You have to explain what is happening to other family members and your children, if you have any.

It can be important during this time to be especially mindful of your energy flow. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to take breaks.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.


About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.





Image Credit:

By zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel – Eating with Ravens-1, CC BY 2.0,



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