Being close to someone introverted can be challenging. I know that because I hear that from my loved ones: my parents, my (more extroverted than myself) friends, my partners from the past. Everyone is unique when it comes to their reactions, decision making and dealing with stress, but certain things are common to most (if not all) introverts. Being aware of those will help you understand your introverted loved ones better.
1. We are more comfortable worrying by ourselves
When I am upset, frustrated, worried or stressed, my extroverted friends would often say Let me know if you want to talk. I always feel bad turning that offer down, as I know my fellow extroverts genuinely want to help by offering that. What they don’t know is that talking about problems only makes me dive deeper into them. In all honesty, I am better off spending a couple of hours by myself, either getting lost in work, or – better- with a glass of wine and maybe a journal. I need to find my inner piece before I let my worries out (if needed, as, often, my worries would just fade after some Me time).
2. We prefer communicating in writing
It is safer, allows for processing before delivering, and does not require immediate feedback.
3. Our best ideas are born when we reflect,
not when we brainstorm out loud because, again, we need to finalize our inner conversation before letting our thoughts out. Same goes for problem-solving and decision-making processes. This is why sometimes we would request a rain check on an important conversation, or ask for a meeting agenda in advance.
4. We are more concerned about self-development, self-reflection and self-tracking
We are focused on our inner world, this is where we draw energy from. Hence such activities as journaling, solo workouts, reading, wearable activity trackers (the data from which you are unlikely to see from our Social Media accounts). Since we tend to constantly reflect and re-evaluate our own words/actions, we may sometimes exhibit delayed reactions such as apologies or thanks. If ever you hear from a friend reaching out with an apology for something that happened weeks or even months ago, you know for sure that this friend of yours is introverted.
5. We don’t take initiative as eagerly as extroverts do…
…but if you do see us taking initiative, rest assured that the cause is super important to us.
6. Our sense of self-worth is more autonomous than that of extroverts
We are more concerned about internal validation and do not seek validation from external sources (for the most part). This can be a good thing in a sense that we do not consider every single opinion someone expresses about us; yet, when taken to the extreme, this may lead to an inadequate level of self-confidence.
7. You will not find us in a crowd…
…or, if you do, we would be completely zoned out or engaged in a one-o-one conversation. Once we find ourselves surrounded by more than 2 people, we get shut down quickly and become more likely to remove ourselves from the situation. Conversely, if you are well aware of our introverted nature and find yourself engaged in a private conversation with us, you know we feel safe and at ease around you (aka you managed to win us over 😉 ).