We live in a world, which awards extroverted behaviours. Traits, such as assertiveness, talkativeness and sociability are considered “normal”, while introversion is something to have you worry. Whether it’s work, media, social skills or sports, some introverts may feel pressured to fit in. We struggle with expectations and often there’s a price to pay. What should extroverts know about introverts?
The extroverted world forces expectations from the early school days, through the adolescence and later on in the adult lives. According to the researchers, extroverts make up almost 50-70 percent of the world’s population. Introverts often remain misunderstood and their behaviour is often viewed as snobbish, rude, uncaring and cold. It doesn’t mean that introverts should be treated like they’re fragile or breakable. Both sides should know what they can expect from each other either in social situations.
12 Things You Need To Understand About Introverts
Introverts need peace and quiet to focus and recharge. We can’t gather our thoughts and ideas in a chaotic environment. That often leads us to irritation. Our mind looks literally like a bag full of wild cats. It’s the opposite of the calm that we often represent on the outside. While brainstorming for ideas let us come up with something on our own terms. Give us some peace and quiet, because when the chaos ensues we might snap in the least expected way. It’s not a nice sight. It’s pure rage.
These (mostly) quiet people can be the most loyal and supportive people. If we care about someone or something, then that’s where you’ll find our life’s priority. We’re very passionate and intense about it. If you’re one of those few people that an introvert lets into their world you can expect fierce loyalty. While we may seem reserved or emotionless, we tend to bottle up our true feelings deep inside.
Communication is truly a struggle. Do you know an introvert who picks up the phone immediately? Or one that makes the phone call without any hesitation? One of the biggest complaints I hear from friends is that I don’t pick up the phone. Calling someone? Forget it… That’s why online food ordering is the greatest invention! Introverts dislike small talk. We need time before speaking. Rehearsal in our minds before speaking is crucial! We express ourselves way better by writing. A one-on-one conversation is always preferable to group meetings.
Quietness is often associated with weakness. That’s why introverts are underestimated. Despite that, we are observant and often see the details and connections where others miss them. We know more than we show, but if you want an introvert’s opinion or an idea – better ask. Otherwise, you won’t get to know it. Mostly.
Introverts can focus on something for long periods of time. Perhaps that’s why Ultimate Frisbee is such a great sport for us? You get to throw the disc from A to B with precision. Well, if not…then that’s something to work on till it’s perfect. It’s best to focus on one thing at a time. Focusing on many things at once means not paying attention to anything at all. It’s very easy for an introvert to focus on the inner world and daydream in the worst possible scenario. Once we lose focus it may be hard to get back to what we were doing.
- All by myself!
If you have an introvert working over something, you can be sure that they’ll get things done. Our preference is to work alone. That’s the fastest way to do it. Peace and quiet help maintain good concentration, especially while focusing on some tiny details! Delegating tasks often means that we want to know immediately if there are results or when the tasks are done. Group projects mean that an introvert will require feedback from others as soon as possible, so the project may move forward. Tasks that go on and on are seriously very tiring and problematic. Why can’t we just answer the right questions and get down to business?
- Don’t interrupt them
Interruption is one of the worst things that can happen at any given moment. When an introvert speaks or works over something it’s the worst thing you do. Whenever someone cuts into the conversation when I have something to say I’ll most likely drop the topic or stop talking. At work, there’s nothing more annoying than someone asking “Can you do something quick for me?” Intense silence. Mentally screaming.
- Need time to process
For an introvert, it’s important to think of an every option and possibility to a given problem. It’s easy to get lost in the process and overthink stuff before coming to a clear conclusion. Introverts often shift between considering, doing and considering again. Change of plans? Well, give that some time. After the first shock and a “no” you’ll get a more rational answer.
- Explanation is crucial
If you find your introvert a bit against your next great idea, make sure that they know why they should do something. Introverts like to understand why they should do something. Otherwise, it’s easy to assume that something is irrelevant. If you know why then it’s easier to be more dedicated.
- Safe space
Every introvert needs to recharge from time to time. Every introvert has a different way of resetting. It mostly involves solitude or just sitting quietly with some close friends and just being there. Most common ways of recharging are reading books, video gaming, working on a small project, painting, going out on long walks etc. The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t exactly mean that we need to be completely alone. If you understand that we need some quiet then…let’s be quiet together.
- Avoid the spotlight
Being in the centre of the attention is one of the least favourite things for introverts. It doesn’t mean that we can’t be great public speakers or leaders. It’s just easier to work on the sidelines. Be the support system. Speaking to a crowd of people drains the energy, but it doesn’t mean that an introvert may want to forget about acting or being a rock star. The person may be perceived as cold, uncaring and a snob. Remember what Lizzie Bennet thought of Mr. Darcy when she met him at the party? He’s a classic introvert.
Meeting new people may seem like a challenge. It’s quite common that an introvert will remember the face, but recalling the name? Well, that’s hard when you try to remember a few characteristic things about someone you’ve just met. It’s easier to know few people and remember details about them.
In the end, everyone’s different and you won’t find one solution to understand introverts. Some may be a bit extroverted and others will prefer more time alone than others. Sometimes you might be surprised that an introvert comes out of their safe space to join the world. The ideal situation is when both sides understand and respect each other.