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13 Things You Can Do To Make An Introvert Feel Loved

13 Things You Can Do To Make An Introvert Feel Loved

Extroverts and introverts have different needs. Where extroverts are social creatures, introverts are most certainly not. Extroverts may love small talk, but introverts hate it. It is important to be mindful of these differences so we can treat people well and be sensitive to their needs and feelings. If you know an introvert, do these 13 things to make them feel loved and appreciated.

1. Let them unwind before you ask questions about their day.

If you’re dating an introvert and they don’t seem talkative, please be patient with them. Let your partner rest in silence for an hour or two before you ask about their day. They will be able to respond more thoughtfully after they recharge.

2. Consider their schedule before you make plans.

If your partner is an introvert, then she probably won’t want to go to the bar after a busy day. Don’t be offended if she turns down that invite. Instead, ask her if she would be interested in going out on the weekend – or whenever she happens to be off.

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3. Send them a meaningful email.

If you really want to get to know an introvert, send them an email. Introverts are bored by small talk, but love deep discussions. Most introverts are better writers than speakers. Thus, email trumps every other mode of communication for this personality type.

4. Ask for a table on the outskirts of a restaurant.

If you take an introvert to a packed restaurant, then they could feel uncomfortable due to all that stimulation. Avoid the center of a dining room. Ask the host or hostess if a window seat is available. Being away from the chaos will remove some pressure.

5. Slow down your speaking rate so they have time to process.

If you talk really fast, then you could accidentally overwhelm your introvert friends. Extroverts like to speak as thoughts occur to them. Introverts like to let a thought settle for a moment before they respond. Simply pausing for three seconds will give an introvert time to digest your sentences.

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6. Don’t call them “shy” or “antisocial.”

If you label introverts in this way, then you obviously don’t understand them. I’m an introvert who acts in community theater and there’s nothing shy about that! Most introverts love to meet people. It’s just that while extroverts enjoy small talk, introverts would rather discuss deeper issues in a more intimate setting.

7. Find out what they are passionate about.

If you think an introvert is boring, then you haven’t dug deep enough. Introverts can be profound when you get them talking about their passion or purpose. They might even care about something so intensely that they view everything else as a distraction. And yes, this could make them appear to be aloof at times too.

8. Get comfortable with moments of silence.

If you want to show an introvert you care, do it with silence. It is possible to enjoy the presence of another person without filling the air with meaningless words. Greet a friend with a smile and gentle hug. Get in the car, turn on the radio, and enjoy the music. It’s time to let go of your need for constant conversation.

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9. Be quiet during movies and television.

If you can’t resist commenting on every scene of a film, then you will drive introverts insane. Remember that they need silence to process information. Even if they seem quiet, their brain is busy formulating theories about where the story could be going. Save the commentary for after the movie. They will appreciate it.

10. Stop acting like something is “wrong.”

If you try to “fix” an introvert, then it will backfire. This especially occurs when extroverted parents assume something is wrong with their introverted children. They mistakenly label these kids “shy” without truly understanding them. Treating them like a project will only make them feel inferior. Accept them as they are.

11. Don’t leave them hanging at a social event.

If you abandon an introvert at a party, then they won’t be happy. You might be a social butterfly, but your introvert friend isn’t. It was scary enough for them to go to a crowded place where they don’t know anybody. If you leave them by themselves, they will feel highly intimidated, and maybe even go outside where it is less noisy.

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12. Do invite them to small group gatherings.

If you think introverts don’t like people, then you’re misunderstood. They might not feel comfortable at a big party, but they typically enjoy low-key gatherings that involve five or less people.This gives introverts opportunity to have deep conversations and make new connections without draining their energy as much as a big party would.

13. Explain how you perceive the world differently.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t think I forgot about you. It’s interesting how two people can experience the world so differently. Introverts love to listen, so why don’t you tell us all about it? We would both benefit if we learned from each other. Maybe it will be easier to work together in harmony when we have a better understanding of our differences.

Tell us what you would add to this list in the comments. I’m just one person, so it’s impossible to speak for all introverts. Will you help me out? Tell us what you would add to this list. If you’d like to invite your friends to the conversation, please share this article on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured photo credit: back view of lovely young couple hugging in winter via shutterstock.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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