HOW TO DEAL WITH AN INTROVERT
Sometimes I don’t feel like I should post because I don’t have beautiful images to share. But I realise how silly that sounds, after all, this is my blog and a few years ago I would have happily just shared my thoughts. So today I will give you a picture of some cows and some words, because that’s the best I can do.
I’ve shared many times before that I am an introvert. On the MBTI test I come out very strongly as introverted. I have also spoken previously about how quiet I was at school, perhaps even shy. As an adult I would never describe myself as shy. Quiet yes, but shy no. In fact many people have told me that they’re surprised I am an introvert. Mainly because I can’t half talk when you get me going. I’m also okay with giving a presentation or chatting to a camera for YouTube. That’s because I’m introverted, not shy. I gain my energy from my internal world, I like to reflect and think and I prefer to write to you than to talk to you. On my lunch break I want to go and have a walk on my own. It’s not because I’m rude or antisocial, it’s just how I am.
I’ve seen a few things dotted around the internet about introverts and how to treat them lately. This post being one of them. I agree with a lot of what is said, but some of it isn’t true. Number 11 for example. I’m totally up for a party, in fact I can be the life and soul. But when I’ve had enough, I go home. And if the next day I don’t pick up the phone to you, it’s because I want to be left alone. Recharging if you will. So this is my list of things to be aware of when dealing with an introvert, or more specifically, me.
1. Don’t talk to me first thing in the morning. One – I am an awful morning person. Two – I am introverted, therefore I need a little time to get my thoughts straight before I deal with anyone else.
2. I genuinely prefer to write to you than talk to you. Of course, face to face I am fine, pretty great in fact. But I don’t like talking on the phone. Every phone call I make can be a bit of an ordeal. I’m worried of being caught unawares or being put on the spot.
3. On that note – don’t put me on the spot. Seriously, don’t do this to an introvert. We genuinely need time to consider and reflect.
4. I’m probably not the person to come to with your problems if you’re looking for sympathy and some loving. I care. I care a lot. But I am very practical and because I am introverted I cannot be your emotional punch bag. I won’t be your emotional cushion. In fact if you try falling on me it will probably hurt. Too many metaphors? Apologies. Basically if there is one thing that saps my energy more than anything, it’s someone looking for sympathy who doesn’t really need it. I can only give so much. But when the shit really hits the fan, I will be there. I can promise you that.
5. I like to go to the cinema on my own. It’s not weird. I love it. I like to go shopping on my own. I like to go for a coffee on my own. Please don’t be offended if you’re not invited, no one is.
6. Perhaps slightly contradicting point 5. Don’t leave me out. You’re right, I won’t always say yes, but if you’re intentionally excluding someone from your plans, you’re not a good friend. Remember we’re not antisocial, but if I’ve seen you two nights on the trot I may well tell you to bugger off and leave me alone on the third.
7. Sometimes I just want to hang out with Pip, because she can’t talk to me.
8. You don’t need to fill silences with me. You really don’t. I’m perfectly comfortable with them.
9. Just because I am quiet, doesn’t make me a push over. Just you try it, you’ll see.
10. Give an introvert the space to get involved. I will withdraw if I feel overpowered by extroverts. Make the effort to talk to me one on one. I’m lovely I promise.