Advertising
Advertising

5 Things You Should Know About Introverts

5 Things You Should Know About Introverts

The word ‘introvert’ has a lot of negative connotations today, particularly when we look at the Western culture that deifies extroversion as the social norm. In every aspects of our lives, the idea of being a hugely social, lively, chatty person who feeds off the energies of others and spends huge amounts of their free time and energy socialising.

Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone but there seems to be a bit stigma around introverts, moving from childhood ‘shyness’ into the adult moniker of being a ‘loner’ and all the connotations that come with it of being friendless, hating people, being the buzzkills of the party… and on and on it goes.

However, being an introvert is just the flipside to being an extrovert and while the modern world might not be built around us, we’ve got plenty to offer. Here are the key five things you need to know about introverts and being friends with them.

Advertising

1. Silence around an introvert is okay.

When an introvert is being silent, this is totally alright. We’re not upset, we’re not distressed, believe or not we’re kind of processing everything. Kind of like when a laptop is doing a virus and systems check, we might dip out of proceedings for a while, but then we’re fine again.

Point in fact, when we’re alone, we’re pretty silent anyway, so believe us when we say that it isn’t you. Introverts will dip into the conversation as and when we like but if you try pushing us, you’e just going to make us uncomfortable.

2. The ‘grumpy resting face’ isn’t a bad thing.

Advertising

resting face

    The famous resting face which makes people think you’re not having fun. “What’s wrong?” is the most common example of the reaction to an introvert’s expression. Believe it or not, nothing’s actually wrong, it’s just the way our faces are hanging.

    It sounds really silly, but chances are if you know a friend is a bit of an introvert, then they’re going to listen more and take in more than they put out. Therefore, while they’re dealing with processing everything, we really are listening and we’re not upset. Being quiet and having a bit of a moody expression – or if not moody, then just sort of expressionless in itself – doesn’t mean we want to be left alone or hate the party. We’re just taking it all in in our own way.

    3. Introverts do not hate people.

    We don’t hate people. Simple as that. Theres this common misconception portrayed by a lot of the media that if you’re not out every night with a new date on your arm or a drink in your hand, that somehow you hate people and hate socialising and all that jazz. Rubbish. Introverts do enjoy having fun with people and we do like actually going out to places.

    Advertising

    The only difference is that we like to be in control of what’s going on. Going to the cinema? Give me at least a few hours notice so that I can mentally schedule some relaxation time with the TV in when I get home. I love people, I really do, as I suspect do most people, but the idea that introverts are these big misanthropes is a bit of a negative cloud that affects the perceptions of introverts.

    4. Taking a break is sometimes needed in social situations.

    take a break

      If an introvert is at a party or a social gathering or whatever, chances are that we’ll need to take a break every so often just so all of our social mojo doesn’t get drained througout the evening. We’re not talking a big fifteen-minute excursion away from the party but even five minutes outside can be enough to get us already to get going back into the swing of things.

      Advertising

      Why do we need this, you might ask? Well, it ensures that us introverts don’t get so overwhelmed that we stop having fun, because we do enjoy having fun at parties. We just need a little break every so often just for a breath of fresh air, both physically and mentally, and if it gets us back on the dancefloor quickly, then surely that’s no bad thing?

      5. Introverts are all about the recharging.

      The key thing you need to remember about introverts and extroverts is this: we just recharge in different ways. Think about two different types of battery: a solar-powered battery and a regular phone battery.

      The solar-powered battery thrives from being out in the sun all day and being out doing things. It builds up its energy and keeps it going all night. The phone battery gets slowly drained out and about on a daily basis and so needs charging when you get home and you leave it alone.

      Extroverts recharge their energy by being around other people and social interactions while being alone drains them. Introverts are simply the opposite. Social interactions, however fun and awesome which they are, drain our battery limit and so we need alone time or relaxation time to charge ourselves up again.

      In short: introverts love people and parties and going out just as much as extroverts do. We just need some alone time to recharge ourselves back up to full and optimum working order. That way, we can be right alongside you when the party’s in full good-time-mood and that’s the way  I like it.

      More by this author

      Chris Haigh

      Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

      Not Enough Time? 10 Tips Of Time Management To Make Every Minute Count I Hate My Life: 10 Things You Can Do Now to Stop Hating Life Don’t Panic! 5 Things To Do When You’ve Messed Up 20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and Happier 8 Signs It’s Time To End The Relationship

      Trending in Communication

      1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 6, 2020

      6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

      6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

      We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

      “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

      Are we speaking the same language?

      My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

      When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

      Am I being lazy?

      When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

      Advertising

      Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

      Early in the relationship:

      “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

      When the relationship is established:

      “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

      It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

      Have I actually got anything to say?

      When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

      A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

      When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

      Am I painting an accurate picture?

      One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

      Advertising

      How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

      Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

      What words am I using?

      It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

      Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

      Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

      Advertising

      Is the map really the territory?

      Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

      A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

      I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

      Read Next