Sometimes, being the pensive introvert and preferring to spend time alone over spending time with others may mean other people just don’t understand certain things about your personality. Paying close attention to one’s own thoughts, emotions and being selectively social may seem alien to others who aren’t used to an introvert’s ways. Here are 5 things about introverts that other people, mainly extroverts, just can’t get their head around:
1. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy, retiring or socially awkward.
An introvert gains energy from spending time alone. They prefer to look internally for comfort and answers to questions, rather than turning to the outside world. Some introverts may be shy and awkward in social situations, but not all introverts are. Just because somebody defines themselves as an introvert, doesn’t mean they can’t network like a pro at a social event every now and then, it just means they will need time to spend alone to revive themselves afterwards and time to reflect on what happened during the event.
2. Introverts can’t be around other people 24/7.
Sometimes extroverts just can’t understand why introverts don’t want to constantly be around other people and this is perhaps the biggest trait of introversion that others don’t understand. Most introverts are drained by the thought of being around others for extended periods of time, which may be perplexing to people who thrive amongst the presence of others.
3. Introverts don’t speak much.
Okay, so it’s not so much that introverts don’t speak much, it’s more that in some situations we don’t feel the need to speak unless we have something to add. In some cases, it’s in groups that we tend to keep quiet and observe. In other cases, introverts prefer to stay quiet even in one-to-one conversations and speak only when they want to input something valuable. Sometimes, other people can’t understand why we aren’t speaking more, why we don’t win over the room the same way they do or why we seem stand-offish and quiet.
4. Introverts have few friends.
When it comes to introverts, quality over quantity often reigns true when it comes to friendships, which is something those with large friendship groups don’t often understand. Choosing to be around a few close friends rather than a larger group of acquaintances is a trait of an introvert and one that others struggle to understand.
5. Large crowds are overwhelming.
To most introverts, large crowds can be overwhelming and being amongst them for long periods of time can be exhausting. Extroverts who thrive in such situations just can’t understand what the problem is and love the hustle and bustle of numerous personalities all together in one space.
Whether you’re an introvert and agree with all of these points or an extrovert who agrees that you just can’t understand why us introverts are the way we are, a little understanding can go along way when it comes to the introvert/extrovert spectrum.
art by Rosie Hardy