Last week, I gave the extroverts a spotlight to explain their personalities to introverts. This week, it’s the introverts’ turn. Granted, the internet was basically built for introverts, and thus, they tend to be more understood in online communities. However, the goal of this series is to show both sides of the spectrum, so it’s only fair that the introverts get a chance to speak as well.
As with last week, I received many responses to my survey that it would be difficult to include every single response to all of the questions. Instead, I’ll be quoting a handful of responses for each question, either in whole or in part. Don’t worry though, I made sure to include everyone who participated.
So, extroverts, are you ready to learn something new? Click below to read on!
The introverts all seemed to agree when it came to describing themselves: they are people who are generally quiet and keep to themselves. Anna, blogger at The Story Scientist, wrote, “I would say an introvert is someone who recharges with alone time; we need alone time for our mental health, even though we may enjoy social interaction.”
Nowhalle, a YouTuber, added this: “I think it’s hard to describe introverts as though they are all the same because there are different subgroups… Being an introvert doesn’t mean you are quiet and reserved and like to spend time alone – that’s just the stereotype.”
When describing extroverts, the participants also agreed. Grace, blogger at Writerly, described extroverts as “Enjoying people and being in close contact with them most of time.” Kate Marie, who runs the blog Story and Dark Chocolate, added that she sees extroverts as being “Friendly and outgoing.” And finally, Kikyo wrote that extroverts are “People who regain energy from socializing and get tired out spending time alone.”
Of course, as Nowhalle pointed out with her responses, it’s difficult to generalize an entire group of people. However, based on these responses and the responses in last week’s post, they generally align with each other. One good rule of thumb is that extroverts gain energy by being around people, and introverts gain energy by spending time alone.
When asked about common misconceptions about introverts, here’s what they said:
- “It’s generally misconceived that introverts want to be withdrawn just for an effect. Whereas in reality, it’s just how we are.” – Marie
- “We’re shy and/or stuck up.” – Grace
- “We. Are. Not. Antisocial.” – Anonymous
- “That [introverts] would like to spend all their time alone.” – Kikyo
- “[Introverts] don’t care very much about other people.” – Anonymous
There are a lot of things that differ between introverts and extroverts, which we’ve already seen. This is often a cause for misunderstanding, unfortunately. Marie wrote, “I wish [extroverts] understood that saying ‘you need to be more outgoing’ and pushing us into social situations is not the answer.” Another responder added that “It’s hard for us to initiate social interaction, but it becomes easier once relationships are fully formed.”
Sometimes, introverts also just need time alone to recharge. Grace wrote that “We’re not lonely and honestly just might not want to talk.” Kraze also added that “we need you out of our faces sometimes.”
Introverts can be quite the enigma to extroverts, but never fear, it is possible to understand us!
- “Take time to slow down and just talk to us.” – Marie
- “We need space, and we hate phone calls.” – Grace
- “We think a lot, but have a hard time expressing our thoughts [to] those we aren’t close to.” – Kate Marie
- We are not judgmental (all of the time). We’re just examining our surroundings, quietly observing.” – Anonymous
- “Introverts need alone time sometimes. Don’t pester them when they’re having their alone time; they love you, but they might get crabby if you interrupt them too much.” – Anna
- “Neither of us are always right, so it’s best for each of us to listen to each other.” – Anonymous
Remember that a lot of stimuli gets tiring, and that is the usual reason that introverts will leave parties or large group activities before everyone else. Don’t assume it’s anything personal or that they don’t enjoy spending time with these people/doing these activities.
Ways to show kindness to introverts were along the same lines. Kate Marie said, “Don’t push us to open up. Let us decide when we’re comfortable,” and Grace added, “Let us be around you on our own time, understanding that we need to duck out, and respecting our home as our “safe space” where we can go undisturbed.” And, as one participant put it, sometimes introverts need you to “just listen and be loyal.”
Don’t force [introverts] to be social and don’t force them to share information with you. If an introvert seeks you out, that means they probably trust you and that means a lot. Don’t press them for information. It can take a lot of effort for them to trust their personal beliefs and ideas. That being said, be respectful of their thoughts because if you shoot them down, that will scar them and make them less likely to share again.
Kikyo also contributed a personal story, about something an extrovert did for them that meant a lot:
The kindest thing an extrovert did for me was to keep inviting me back into the group after I had recharged by spending time alone. I think there can be a tendency to assume that the fact someone left early means they don’t want to be part of the group, but it is a great thing when it is when it is accepted that the introvert can leave and come back.
As I’m sure you’ve learned, there are a lot of differences between introverts and extroverts, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be at odds. “As an introvert, I love extraverted people!” Kate Marie wrote. It may seem intimidating to start a conversation with us sometimes, since we tend to be more closed off, but as one participant put it, “If you want to start a conversation with me, ask what I’m reading.”
It’s also important to remember that just because we need alone time, that doesn’t mean we don’t like being with our friends too. Grace wrote that “Introverts can enjoy being around people and can even act like extroverts (people think I’m extroverted a lot), but we need time to recharge afterwards,” and Nowhalle added that “[Introverts] will probably be a bit timid at first, but once they open up, they are great fun and show their outgoing side.”
As I close out this post and this series, I want to say that both the introverts and extroverts were able to learn something about each other these past two weeks. Sometimes, different parts of our culture make it seem like one group is more important than the other, but really, we all just have different needs and abilities. One responder put it as, “Introverts and extroverts are equally gifted in all sorts of ways, and neither is less valuable.” If you take nothing else away from this post series, I hope you at least remember that both introverts and extroverts are important, and all of us struggle with being misunderstood.
Introverts, what do you think? Is there anything you’d like to add? And extroverts, is there any feedback you’d like to offer? I’d love to continue this conversation in the comments below, so feel free to share your thoughts!
Thanks again to everyone who helped me put this together! I’ve linked to some of the participants’ personal blogs/websites below, so go check out what they have to offer as well!
- Grace – Writerly
- Kate Marie – Story and Dark Chocolate
- Nowhalle on YouTube
- Anna – The Story Scientist
Don’t forget, if you missed the Extroverts for Introverts post, you can also go back and read that too! I really enjoyed putting these posts together, so perhaps I’ll do another survey-related thing sometime in the future. Do you have any ideas? I’m always open to what you have to say, so suggest away!
Until next time!