“Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.”
11 Things You Should Know About Introverts
1) We need to recharge alone
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert vs. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) — Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.
2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.
3) We don’t mind silence
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule #1 for dealing with introverts — Don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.
4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy
Introvert and shy are actually two different things. Google it! In my case, I’m a shy introvert (the double whammy!).
5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining
See #1 and #2. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But — here is the thing — I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.
6) We aren’t judging you
See #3. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.
7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans
I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? — priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.
8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts
My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100% on top of it!
9) We can be pretty bad at connecting
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.
10) We don’t like to hang around
That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk — yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.
11) We have strong opinions
Just because I have difficultly sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.
BMSS Addendum by Gregg Prescott:
BMSS Addendum: On #2, we really don’t hate people or crowds… it’s just that most of us are empaths and we absorb everyone’s energies so it’s a lot easier staying away from crowds than being immersed in them. For me, if I were to go to some gala event, you would most likely find me near the outer wall of the room watching everyone and saying very little. Some would call this “antisocial” but as an introvert I know that it’s something that’s misunderstood by those who aren’t introverted.
If you’re an introvert (which is only about 25% of the population), don’t change yourself to appease anyone else. Just keep being YOU!