Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Introverts 101: Here is all you need to know.

Introverts are not hermits, they are not reclusive and they are not antisocial.

If you are trying to understand an introvert, this is what you need to know.

1. Introversion is not shyness

Introversion and extroversion is all about how you energise. Introversion is not about not being able to talk to members of the opposite sex or not being able to get up in front of hundreds of people and delivering a speech or presentation.

2. Introverts are better in smaller groups

Introverts can seem out of place in a huge group. You won't find them standing in the middle of the circle, holding court and telling jokes and stories that when you break them down aren't that interesting for an introvert's ear who is more into talking about and listening to stories with more substance to them.

You will usually find introverts in a small group and the is when they feel the most comfortable.

3. Introverts prefer a good conversation

In New Zealand, older men when they meet you will ask you this question, "Whayddya know?" (What do you know?) I must admit I have never known how to answer this question. Admittedly, it is just a greeting but I have never created a decent response to this greeting/question. Occasionally, I would say, "not much." For some people, that kind of conversation is enough but for an introvert it is like pulling teeth. An introvert needs deeper conversations to really bond with the other people they are talking to. A conversation about the weather is not going to do it.

I've noticed recently that I've talked more in-depth about a topic we wee talking about and the conversation has quickly dissipated. Interesting, right? Pick your conversation partners carefully.

4. Give introverts some warning

There is nothing that introvert hates more than an extroverted friend calling them up and saying to meet them in the local bar in ten minutes.

I had this for awhile. My friend would call me and ask "what are you doing?" I mistakenly said that I was doing "nothing." (which to an introvert is doing something by the way, don't kid yourself. BY doing nothing, the introvert is recharging.) Unfortunately for introverts the world over, extroverts take that as meaning that you are free and ask you out and then get offended when you say no. If you want to lose an introverted friend, this is the way to do it.

Introverts need time to ready themselves, to put it in the schedule and to prepare for it. Don't deny them that.

5. Introverts need their special place

When I was growing up, I never invited hordes of people around to my place. I had the odd friend come over and we would play cricket or basketball or whatever but not a large number of people.

Why was that?

Because I liked my own personal space and people coming over were encroaching on my personal space. In my mind they could find things that I didn't want them to find so I didn't bother.

6. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert

Introversion is not something that can be cured. It is not a sickness or illness. It is something that you can go around thinking that you can change. Not at all.

Of course, I do believe that we do live in an extroverted society and it helps to be somewhat outgoing from time to time. You don't have to change your personality, you just need to use your energy a bit quicker in social occasions.

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