5 Things I Wish People Knew About Introverts

1. Not all Introverts are anti-social. Being in an environment with high volumes of noise, people and new information to process can be overwhelming sometimes.

2. When an Introvert wants or needs to leave an environment or conversation, it probably has nothing to do with the other person.

3. Introverts thrive on their inner life. This is why so many introverts are capable of understanding deep thought and why many introverts would rather listen and learn than talk.

4. Introverts often succeed best in familiar environments. This why they often have a place of serenity and why so many introverts are home bodies.

5. Introverts often need time away from people to love them more properly and abundantly.

 

If you are an introvert, feel free to add more. If you are an extrovert, feel free to post some experiences or thoughts you’ve had with introverts.

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21 thoughts on “5 Things I Wish People Knew About Introverts

  1. Pat Pope says:

    AMEN!

  2. April says:

    I so agree! I am an introvert and therefore misunderstood a lot of the time.

  3. Pastor Zack says:

    Spot on, and ditto about being misunderstood, April. #4 explains why I’d rather work from home than in an office, and why I always struggled working fast-food in high school.

  4. emilie says:

    I agree completely! Sometimes my husband and I have a hard time because he is very much an extrovert and wants to be with people all the time, personally I re-energize by being by myself in like you said a familiar environment!

  5. Emilee says:

    I wish I could preface every conversation I have with #2: “If I leave suddenly, without giving you any indication of why, don’t take it personally.” (then under my breath, “Unless of course you drive me nuts.”)

    Would you say you are more or less patient as an introvert? Mostly, I feel like it is circumstantial, but my patience goes way down when the atmosphere is leaning more toward disruption than calm, if that makes sense.

    • Mike Friesen says:

      I guess it depends on where I am and who I am with. My friends are gracious and supportive towards me. They know my limits, they know my reactions to when I am drained. I become impatient when I finally reach my limit. At that point, I am irritable. What sets me off the most are questions that are meant to trap me, at that point, I can’t listen or ask questions because its meant to push me into a corner.

      • Emilee says:

        Wow, you described me to a T. I find it so incredibly draining to be around people when they prolong conversations/parties and I just can’t be in that space anymore, but they don’t seem to understand that I need to just get away for a little bit.

  6. Jen says:

    Introverts aren’t snobby. As an introvert I’ve been told I come off as snobby when I first meet people because I’m quiet. But like you say in #3 I really like to listen & learn rather than talk.

  7. Leisel Swan says:

    Thanks for the support.

  8. Katy says:

    Jen,

    You took the words right out of my mouth! I got accused of acting “snobby” alot when I was younger, but I was really just #3ing it. I would way rather listen and observe and take in the scene than be stuck with uncomfortable chatter or small talk.

    But I’ve also recongnized that there are always going to be uncomfortable situations, and have really had to work on making sure I’m giving off the right body language and nonverbal cues in the midst of all the “I just want to get out of here” moments, out of respect for others who do in fact want to be there and enjoy their time

  9. Nikki says:

    I’m one of those odd introverts… Most people who know me don’t believe I’m an introvert because I’m a talker and even considered engaging. When I’m with people I’m comfortable with (close family and friends), I can be quite the talker, but otherwise, I find it extremely difficult to put myself out there…especially in large groups. Small groups aren’t nearly as difficult for me. What I have discovered about myself, is that when I find myself in situations where someone needs to take the lead, take charge, my dislike for having to engage with large groups is overcome by the need for order, and I will step up to be that leader despite my distaste for having to engage with large groups. I don’t know if I’ve explained myself all that well… I’m sure it seems contradictory.

    • Mike Friesen says:

      its not nikki. I’m one of those types too. I’m extremely comfortable speaking in front of hundreds and thousands of people. I can be the center of attention for a short period of time.

  10. Emily says:

    @Nikki – way more common than we think! I’m the same.

    The important distinction for me is to understand that introversion/extroversion are really about COMMUNICATION styles, and energy patterns, rather than personality types. Far too often our society talks in terms like “I’m an introvert”, and bam!- others make assumptions about who we are. Same for extroverts.

    Professionally, I’m a communicator. Have no trouble with crowds (usually) and can strike up conversation if needed. I can do inane small talk. I enjoy group dynamics and the energy in a classroom, for example (I’m in adult education). Having said that – I think I’ve learned to be this way because it’s what society demands. You know how most jobs require you to “work well in a team”? Well, I don’t. But I’ve learned how.

    My communication style is extroverted, and my energy patterns are introverted. I draw energy from time alone and familiarity. And I’ve learned how to be extroverted professionally.

    Hope that makes sense! I’ll end my longwinded comment by adding the most helpful book I’ve ever read about this is “The Introvert Advantage”, by Marti Olsen Lanny. Google it! Can’t recommend it enough!

  11. Nikki says:

    @Emily~ You explained it perfectly! Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll definitely be checking it out!

  12. Leah says:

    As more of an extrovert, your post helped me understand my introvert friends better than other things I’ve read… I think it has something to do with its simple yet concrete form (5 things). Thank you for posting!

  13. Christina says:

    I’m an introvert by choice or tend to lean that way more. The core of introversion for me is about discerning to trust or mistrust the people + environment. It’s being selective with what I choose to guard or let in. It’s a time saver much like the word of God, it cuts through all the garbage.

  14. Laurie M. says:

    Nikki and Emily could be speaking for me. I grew up as the only child in my house and spent hours upon hours each day alone in my room with my toys and TV. I was very frightened of social settings, but taught myself early on to handle it by pretending I wasn’t shy. Now most people would probably describe me as an extrovert. I consider myself 50% total extrovert and 50% total introvert. I am gifted to teach and have a strong desire to do it, but am also terrified of it. I don’t look forward to social occasions though I often enjoy them once I get there. Left to my own devices I might never leave the house. I can go hours upon hours without speaking to anyone and be perfectly content. When it’s time for a social event, I turn on the “on” switch when I get there, but when it’s over I feel the need to totally shut the outside world out and decompress. When my husband and I first got married it was really hard because he (a TOTAL introvert otherwise) wanted to spend all his free moments with me. I was overwhelmed by having someone around what seemed like all the time. Not having several hours a day alone was difficult. This was also one of the more challenging parts of being a parent – having people always wanting to talk to me and interrupting my “inner world”.

    All that said, my husband’s extreme introversion can be pretty awkward. He will suddenly leave the building at times without even telling me. I’ll find him later out by the car, annoyed with me for having taken so long. He’d reached his limit and was DONE. It also makes developing friendships difficult – our mutual introversion that is. Neither of us really know how to go about cultivating friendships. The idea of either of us calling someone to talk is unthinkable. This means that if someone doesn’t reach out to us, no relationship is likely – which is sad, because we really want relationships, but we want them in a quiet, very small-group kind of way.

  15. Any advice for a newlywed introvert’s husband?

    • Eden says:

      In one word: Listen.

      As an introverted female engaged to be married, i can tell you from my own experience with my extroverted fiance that one of the biggest things you should be careful about is arguments. As a couple arguments WILL happen, but introverts respond differently, we tend to think a whole lot more than we speak, and in my case, my fiance used to read that as snide defiance or deliberate disrespect, when really i just didn’t know how to respond. on the other end of that, when introverts tell you something, it’s usually something they have put a lot of thought into, so please, listen, no matter what it is they are telling you. If the person thinks you aren’t listening, it really hurts them.
      There’s a lot more i could say but if i go on i’ll wind up writing a novel haha

      This may be of some help: http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lol97uRoM51qerjfno1_500.jpg

  16. I love this post… retweeted and fb’d it. It helps me understand myself more. 🙂

    I would some insight on how to help our high-maintenance friends understand #5.

  17. Eden says:

    #4 is my life. i’ve worked in several environments but they were all somehow related to customer service. I have found my work to be a constant source of daily stress for me. #4 makes me suddenly make the connection as to why I want so badly to just be a stay-at-home-mom/housewife later in life. I love cooking an cleaning in the sanctuary of my own home

    I am such a homebody it’s ridiculous.

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