Sympathetic articles, books and lectures aside, introverts — or those with the so-called “quiet” personality type — may still feel misunderstood in a society that champions extrovert traits like non-stop connectedness.
We rounded up expert insight and responses from The Huffington Post’s social communities on the biggest sources of misunderstanding for introverts. Below are just a few things they wished everyone grasped about the personality type.
1. They don’t hate a good party.
Introverts aren’t a bunch of awkward killjoys who don’t like to have a good time. In fact, many introverts enjoy going to parties if it means interacting with people who make them comfortable.
What can be so grating about large gatherings is the overstimulation and unsatisfying conversations. As Laurie Helgoe explained in her book, Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, introverts feel exhausted by small talk and prefer more intimate conversations.
“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” she wrote. “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”
2. Craving downtime doesn’t mean they’re anti-social.
Introverts need time to recharge, but they still want to be with their friends after they’ve snagged that alone time. They’re not anti-social; they’re selectively social.
“Just because nine times out of 10, I decline your invitation,does not mean I want you to stop inviting me,” said reader Carolyn Mae Ladas on Facebook.
3. They’re not open books (and that’s perfectly okay).
Introverts rarely spout off the first thing that comes to their minds. This quiet reflection is a hallmark characteristic of the personality type
and is quite the opposite of their extroverted counterparts, who speak their thoughts affirmatively and quickly.
“I wish people could understand that I don’t feel their need to over share every little detail of my life” said reader Claire May Sarlandie-Partiot on Facebook. “If I want to talk about it, I will. If I don’t, don’t push me. It will only make me close like an oyster.”
4. Personal space is highly valuable to them…
Introverts are more likely to opt for the aisle seat rather than the middle to avoid being surrounded on all sides, HuffPost’s Carolyn Gregoire previously reported. This allows them an opportunity to remove themselves from a situation in order to recharge if they need to.
5. …But yes, they’ll give you a hug.
You just have to ask them first. A comic designed by artist Roman Jones sums up an interaction with an introvert perfectly: Let them invite you into their “bubble.”
Source: The Huffington Post | Lindsay Holmes