Speaking up for Introverts!

The world is split into two types of people, me and everyone else.  More helpful than that, it is divided between Introverts and Extroverts.  The world is ruled and dominated by extroverts, perhaps because introverts don’t want to speak up.  Introverts make up roughly a third of the general population but are often overlooked or worse still looked down on as being a bit miserable or unsocial.

As an introvert I can say this is entirely untrue and there are a great deal misconceptions dished out to us more quiet folk.  To a degree what makes extroverts happy, isn’t what makes introverts happy.  Extroverts respond and enjoy external stimulation whilst introverts are more self reliant and self-reflective.  That doesn’t mean that introverts aren’t happy or indeed don’t like meeting people but they do often like their own company.

Introverts

As my teacher would say, an empty vessel makes more noise.

One of the basics that most on both sides of the divide can agree upon is that extroverts gain energy and enthusiasm from interactions and events whilst introverts gain their energy from solitude, peace and quiet and me-time.

Lots of people confuse shyness and introverts but this isn’t necessarily the case.  Extroverts who enjoy the company of lots of people can by shy and rather observe events rather than be the centre of attention themselves.  Introverts can be very at ease with speaking and dealing with people, it is just that they don’t require the external interactions in the same way as extroverts do.

Lots of public figures can also be introverts.  Bill Gates would happily speak to convention halls of hundreds of people but he never gave the impression that he were the life of the party.  Indeed some actors and musicians are introverts; they enjoy the craft of acting or making music but want nothing to do with the fame or the media.  Shy people fear public interaction, introvert people just don’t live for it like extroverts do.  Of course you do get shy introverts too.

Extroverts often like to talk and be the centre of attention.  Introverts talk when they feel they have something worth saying.  Sometimes they’ll like listening to extroverts talking away, other times we’ll think to ourselves better to stay quiet and be thought an idiot than talk a lot and confirm it.  Introverts generally don’t like small talk.  Partly because it is hard work feigning an interest in things that don’t really matter, if they are going to take the time and effort to meeting people then they at least want to make it worthwhile and not talk about work, the weather, your kids.  As introverts don’t like hearing other people small-talk, they also don’t like doing it themselves because either they are uncomfortable with doing so or because they know how bored other peoples small-talk is to them that they really really don’t want to do it themselves.

How upset Introverts

Funny but true!

Introverts do need their moments of quiet, they don’t just need them, they like them.  For me, often the best day imaginable is to do what I want to do, on my own.  If I had the choice to have an all expenses day out with 10 friends or have the house to myself then I would enjoying my own space every time.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy going to the cinema or eat out but in my own way I can make my own entertainment and happiness by myself.  More extroverted people tend to think this is a bit sad but this is often because as extroverts they prefer the company of people and to be actively doing things, when they don’t they feel lonely and sad.  Introverted people generally don’t get lonely at least not for much longer periods of time than it would take an extrovert to get bored stiff.

When we do meet people, introverts prefer a different style of interaction than extroverts.  Introverts tend to have fewer friends but value them and know them all the better for it.  We relate and have fun with people in different ways.  When we have people round to our home, my wife would invite as many as could fit in the house or garden whereas I’d much prefer one, two if necessary but not 6, 8 or 10 friends.  We choose quality over quantity.  Extroverts tend to have very wide circle of friends but to a more superficial level.  In a way, if you are friends with an introvert you should be honoured as that means they think you are worth the effort and energy.  All the introverts I know are the same, they all like their friends much more than the average extrovert.

Introverts cutting

Introverts hate the forced joviality of office parties. I have only ever been two 2 office parties in 20 years.

Introverts can also be great leaders.  In my experience it is the extroverts that get listened to at work.  If a manager is an extrovert and they have extrovert staff, they won’t both listening to the introverts as the enthusiasm of the extroverts makes the decision for them.  Even when they are both clearly wrong and everyone else who hears it knows it.  People like Abraham Lincoln and Gandhi were both introverts and introverts can be excellent speakers as they are more likely to prepare beforehand rather than try and rely on natural speaking talent which though they might have, often they don’t have as much as what they think they do and it doesn’t take an introvert long to pick up when an extrovert is taking nonsense.  By not engaging with introverts, companies and countries are in effect not using their people to maximum effectiveness in a similar way to how it used to be when women were not encouraged to work or hold public office or ethnic minorities were barred from certain professions.

As well as the negative stereotypes levelled at introverts, often assumptions are made that introverts are “more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive”.  Many, perhaps even the majority of scientists, writers and artists have been introvert from Albert Einstein to Marcel Proust and Charles Darwin to Vincent Van Gogh.  Van Gogh of course also suffered from depression which is something that introverts are more at risk from because they spend more time analysing things than everyone else.  Extroverts of course are just as intelligent and clever but sometimes their best work or inventions are done when they are having a contemplative moment.

Which one are you?

Which one are you?

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?  There are no hard and fast rules and it is possible to have a middle ground where people are similar, extreme extroverts that you either love or hate and would like to shut up just for a moment and extreme introverts who people might think are about to shut up that extrovert forever!

Extraversion (E)
I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don’t allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introversion (I)
I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

Most introverts are good at putting on an act if needed.  They can go to a function or party and talk each and everyone in the room to death if needed.  Due to societal pressure that everyone be extrovert and overtly confident, introverts often have to act this way but deep down and often not that deep, they’ll be looking forward to getting back home and having a cup of tea and some peace and quiet.  Whereas for an extrovert, meeting all these people is energising and fun, for introverts it can be a bit draining and need some time to get over.

At any company event I have been too the attendees can be split into groups.  Those who were clever enough to find a good excuse not to attend. Those who are forced to attend and hate every minute and would much rather just talk to the one or two introverts in quiet about something meaningful but they can’t because they can’t here themselves think or speak due to the others competing with each other and telling the whole room how brilliant they are.

Introvert Manifesto

Introvert Manifesto

Some of the differences could even be down to nationalities and the way people are brought up.   Being English, we weren’t ever encouraged to believe that we were the best children even if we were.  Some societies such as British, Japanese and German just have a natural inclination towards a quiet reservation. Being loud or a little extrovert can come over as overbearing or even rude as it breaks social taboos.  Many Mediterranean and Arab countries are less strict and don’t have so many societal rules to stay quiet whereas America is at the other extreme in that many people are brought up to believe they are important and the best in a way that wouldn’t happen in China.  There are also big differences between people in a city and people in the countryside.  Someone from a busy city in a quieter country like London or Tokyo are probably going to be more outgoing than someone living in a tiny farmstead in the USA.   It’s impossible to generalise though as there are still millions of introverted Americans and extroverted English.

I live on the edge of London and find it all too loud and busy even though there is a big grassy field right opposite my home. I would quite happily live in a farm in the middle of nowhere with no houses or roads in sight, especially now we have satellite tv and internet!  Being in such a busy city is torture and would be like having a vegetarian have to eat meat every day of their lives.  I can’t think of anything that I like about living in a city. What other people love about cities is precisely what I can do without.

I do think though that society and world in general value extroverts more than introverts.  Life often focuses on the extrovert side of life even to the detriment of the 30% of introverts.  Take politics for example, usually these days it is the politician that can talk best to a camera that wins an election.  Talking to a camera is great but it wasn’t too long ago where the top politicians were people who had more ability and less of the superficial chat show host talents.

Andy Murray who just won Wimbledon is quiet and doesn’t like giving interviews or doing PR.  He is probably the worlds best tennis player right now and yet lots of people badmouth him as being weird, temperamental and a loner.  He started tennis because he liked tennis and perhaps because someone somewhere thought he might be good one day.  He didn’t play tennis to be everyone’s best friend and be a party animal.  Perhaps if his critics had been quieter and spent more time on their talent then maybe they might have amounted to something like he did.

A good night in!

Of course a real introvert wouldn’t waste time celebrating he was staying inside though maybe we allow a little smile on the inside!

Television is full of people with no discernible talent.  I don’t expect television to be full of brainy types who can speak several languages though it is wonderful that we have Stephen Fry and Brian Cox.  However most of the shows are orientated towards extroverts and their strengths.  Singing contests, dancing contests.  Contests where people with no special talent try to emulate other people who have no special talent but at least they are professionals.

Why can’t there be tv talent shows that respect a different way of life instead of dancing why not find the best woodcutter, farmer or engineer. Instead of singing badly why not find the person who can best assess the works of Aristotle, Mills and Rousseau.

Twenty years ago television presenters in Britain at least used to be experts.  They might have been all ugly or all old but they knew what they were talking about.  Now all historians are young and one I saw said the topic he was discussing wasn’t his speciality but they obviously chose him because he was loud, outgoing, easy to understand and yet superficial.   People who present shows are all loud and overly energetic and not only talk like a 10 year old but act like they only have an understanding of the issues that a 10 year old might have.  Why?  Because television and society doesn’t value the introvert traits of quietness and seriousness.  Everything has to be superficial and extrovert, the biggest, the best or the most extreme.  When a tv show or film comes along and is serious and substantial, usually it is a big hit as most extroverts also appreciate at least a little quietness and depth.

How long will the trend continue to feature ordinary people on news reports giving their uniformed, often wrong but extroverted opinions on unimportant matters.  Children given national air time to say how brilliant something and that seeing a z-list celebrity was the best day of their lives.  Firstly, good for them.  Secondly I really really don’t care and would much rather hear what the best day of a 100 year old life is.

Personality Type

My personality results though it can be hard to decide upon the answers to some of the questions

Job adverts all insist that applicants be ambitious, confident, upbeat, people-persons, the louder the better.  Yet there is no proven correlation between the person who talks the most and the one who has the best ideas.  Talking a lot can mean there is a lot of chaff amongst that wheat.  Personally, I don’t even bother applying for these sort of jobs which means not only am I missing out but they are too as they’d rather have a loud person rather than a qualified one. Introverts tend to get on and do the job, hard bits and all without complaining while the extroverts have their long meetings and sales lunches.

We hate being coerced into doing group activities like work parties.  If you want to spend time with me then I’d gladly do that but not you and half a dozen other people.  You chat with them and then call me next time.  We don’t want to be more outgoing, we don’t want to speak up at least not until extroverts listen up.  We don’t want to make more or new friends.  We want people we can rely on.  As the saying goes, friends help people move but real friends help people move dead bodies.

Asking an introvert to be extrovert is like asking a left handed person to right with their right hand, its cruel and it doesn’t really work.  What’s more it is really rude thinking and even telling someone that there natural character is wrong or not as good as someone elses is.  If we really are an official 33% minority maybe it is time we got our rights protected not to be told how to behave by everyone.  Yes it is saturday night but we are as happy reading in bed or watching a DVD as you are going out and getting drunk and on Sunday morning we’ll still be happier and probably richer too!

Patronising Introvet Poster

This poster is patronising and in itself is indicative of how Introverts get treated almost as if they have a disability. Though much of the advice is valid, we’re quiet NOT stupid!

Being introverted can mean you miss out on chances and opportunities or that people think you are stupid or weird whilst extroverts can be in danger of going over the top and appearing self-centred.  Of course, neither introverts or extroverts have all the answers and like most things in life, things would be best with a mixture of both sides.

Don’t feel sorry for us introverts if we are on our own, the chances are we are having a great time.  I know I never get bored and in the end whatever makes us happy, it is whether we are happy that counts.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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56 Responses to Speaking up for Introverts!

  1. kiwiskan says:

    A great article – and I suspect that there is a high proportion of us introverts blogging

    Like

  2. Very insightful, the world is going through so many changes and each of us are challenged every day in so many different ways. Bring in the thinkers and problem solvers! 🙂

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  3. mycroft212b says:

    INTROVERTS RULE! But very quietly………..

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  4. I could have written that post. I don’t even like going out to eat because I prefer a take-away in my own space. Us introverts have a big sense of space. A couple of my bosses made differing comments about me, one said I was an observer and the other said I didn’t always carry people along because I thought too fast. Did I have to explain everything? I thought what I was thinking was obvious. Did you do Myers Briggs? I was INTP. There’s another analysis which I can’t remember, it basically gives you a numerical score and lumps accountants and scientists at the bottom around the 90s and whacky arty people over 120. I was 133. The numbers don’t mean one set is brighter than the other, ie it’s not like IQ, just a difference way of putting people in boxes. It was part of my MBA and the irony was I got on really well the ‘opposing’ group.

    I loved the cartoon about I’m staying in tonight. Perfect.

    About the only thing I don’t share is that I like the city. But I spend my time in my flat – and – in my head, even when I’m outside. I don’t mind chatting to strangers. I find it easier than chatting to people I do know. But I spend a lot of time on public transport and it’s cultural here to speak to people. The weather is a good starter because everyone has a view about it and it’s suitably impersonal, I also tend to speak to older people, they are much easier company. And no, I do NOT want to know about someone’s boring kids. I don’t tell you about my dog, don’t tell me about my kids. And no-one ever rushes up to hug kids in the street, but they do my dog 🙂

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    • Thanks for your great comments. I have just done the test and updated the blog with my results, I am INTJ though I found some of the questions a little difficult to decide which answer best suited me but I guess that is shown by the fact I have a moderate leaning towards some of the personality traits rather than a strong one.

      My bosses have often been the same and oblivious to the fact of all the mistakes they would make and that half of the company thought they should take on some of the introverted characteristics. We used to call one, the Tornado as he was a huge extrovert and always living his job on the edge but he didn’t have a clue what was going on except for the piece of paper in his hand had to be dealt with there and then. He would rip through our small office of four people and leave chaos and terror amongst the three introverts and total bemusement amongst the one though less extreme extrovert.

      Thats funny, I find it much easier to chat to strangers too. I have no problem talking to strangers or asking for directions or assistance, possibly because I know I wont see them again. Thats why I like backpacking so much I guess. I’d rather go on a very dodgy trip through Iraq than a 2 week packaged holiday to Ibiza.

      Yes, I find older people better too. They are less aggressive and more interesting for starters.

      I think Dogs are a great way to meet nicer people, dog walkers always say hello even in London and just about everyone comes up to ask about the dog or try and stroke them. Dogs also tend to obey the commands more than so many kids who you can hear being shouted at incessantly to stop doing something yet they never do and their awful, mobile phone obsessed parents can’t actually be bothered to do anything more than shout. 🙂

      Like

  5. NOAEfame says:

    I am one and I write poetry what do you think? Often times people think that I am pessimist.. In our world today, introverts are real people. I really enjoy your writing.I am so glad that a lot of people are now standing up for introverts. Thank you

    Like

    • Thank-you so much for your kind compliments. I think most poets are introverts and they are also the ones I find so much more interesting as you have to be able to think about yourself or the world before you can write anything meaningful about it.

      I think you are correct, introverts are the most real people. We don’t feel the need to impress people or act according to societal conventions. Generally we’re not bothered so much about possessions or doing cool things, we just want to be.

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  6. sknicholls says:

    Can you be both? I have days (weeks really) when I swing either way…maybe I am bipolar. That would explain things.

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    • You absolutely can! There isn’t really a black or white path, we adapt to circumstances. I am an introvert myself but depending on what is required from me, I can easily wear an extrovert hat:)

      Like

    • While I was quickly checking a few facts, I did find the term for people who are are both and that is an Ambivert. I think that makes you probably the most “normal” out of all of us!

      Like

  7. Map of Time says:

    “Never embarrass them in public”?! WHO would want to be embarrassed in public? Quite right, we aren’t a stupid group. In that same poster #4 is very good advice as people nowadays seem to want an answer immediately in this fast-paced life.

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    • That line is amazing, I think that it is even in there must mean that highly extrovert people don’t actually consider the feelings of others as much as introverts or even just rounded people. I used to work with a very introverted engineer and on more than one occassion, the extrovert owner of the company would come down and shout at him in public and tell him he was absolutely useless and he had no faith in him. All in front of about 75 people in an open plan office. He would do the same even in front of his clients and more than once the client turned round and said how awful it is to treat people this way and to apologise which he would do half heartedly and sometimes the visitors were so shocked they refused to do business with him.

      So many people want an immediate answer, I think because they don’t plan ahead in the first place so they are always flailing around instead of taking 10% longer and knowing what they are doing. Someone used to do that to me until a more senior colleague said to the MD, you can either have any answer or you can have the correct answer but the correct answer will take 15 minutes or sometimes an entire day.

      At the moment there are big scandals of pay day loan companies in the UK as they are said to be exploitative and take advantage of desperate people. As someone without a job at the moment, I still don’t understand how you can suddenly find yourself needing an emergency loan at a sky-high interest rate. A bit less of the extrovert living and doing things because everyone else does them and more of a low-key in introvert way of living and lots of these money problems would go away. You might be really, really poor but won’t normally need a payday loan.

      Like

  8. Rosemarie says:

    Introvert Pride!

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  9. vishmp7 says:

    So much content, So much dedication, so much hard work. Wow, you make us introverts sound cultured and refined, and perhaps we are in actuality. Introvert pride, indeed.

    Your post? So insightful. Cheers.

    Like

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. It does make us sound good doesn’t it? It makes a change as most of the time we are told how we need to change and emulate the extroverts when really a healthy society needs to value both types of people.

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  10. jennifunzing says:

    Reblogged this on jennifunzing and commented:
    Well said!

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  11. Diane Tibert says:

    Thank you, from an introvert. I’ve never seen it better explained.

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  12. Mike Crape says:

    Great write up Stephen that really hits home (as an introvert) and provides exceptional clarity to the strengths and needs of society’s two sides. Well done and thank you.

    Like

  13. malootka says:

    Reblogged this on truthionary.

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  14. It’s a good point about the jobs. Everyone I like it says ‘you must be outgoing, lively and extroverted’ – I just don’t bother applying. It gets depressing after a while.

    I created my first blog as an outlet for the extrovert buried deep inside of me, a way to prove that I wasn’t all the things people say I am for being shy. I didn’t think it would work but many people have commented on just how shocked they are that I would call myself shy. It’s lovely. It gives you a warm feeling. It’s good because I can never be that person in public. It’s a vent.

    I’d definitely call myself an introvert. Although some have said how I dress certainly isn’t indicative of an introvert. I have no friends at all, I know many people say that and actually have one or two, but I mean it. But it doesn’t bother me. I don’t seek extroversion. I like being shy. Nothing wrong with it. I’m very happy. I’m alone but I don’t feel it. All I ask from others is that I’m left alone and that you give me a chance.

    If I were offered a magic button to suddenly become extroverted, even just one element of extroversion, I wouldn’t take it. No reason to.

    Like

    • Thanks for your great comment. I’m glad someone else agrees about the jobs. They annoy me so much, do they want an ambitious, outgoing person or someone who will actually get on and do the work instead of spending half the week talking about the weekend and the other half on the internet applying for better jobs to meet their ambitions.

      That’s an interesting point about the blogging, I wonder how many people write as a front in the same way an actor feels more at home when they are in a character.

      I am happy too being an introvert, it means you can be self reliant and make your own entertainment and so be let down a lot less by other people. Extroverts always try and tell everyone, including us, what to do, how to do it and when to do it.

      The extroverts even tell me I wouldn’t really like to live in a remote farm house in Northumberland or a tiny Scottish Island because it would be bleak in winter but that’s just how I like it. What’s really bleak is having to do things you don’t want to and don’t enjoy just because others insist that is how you behave.

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  15. Pingback: Speaking Up for #Introverts – Stephen Liddell | johndwmacdonald

  16. i think I’m a fair share of both…

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  17. yakinamac says:

    Thank you for the “like” – particularly because it brought me here. Excellent article – I didn’t realise that there was a one third-two thirds split between introverts and extroverts. Surely this must make us a persecuted minority?! Something to lobby for in the next incarnation of equalities legislation…

    Like

  18. yakinamac says:

    Hi Stephen – thanks very much for the “follow”, particularly because it brought me here!. Excellent article. I hadn’t heard the one third-two thirds split between introverts and extroverts before. Surely this makes us a persecuted minority?! We should lobby for this to be addressed in the next incarnation of equalities legislation…

    Like

  19. Ye Pirate says:

    Well…as an extrovert…….

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  20. Gary says:

    If you get a moment you should really check out http://www.preludecharacteranalysis.com.

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  21. Your comment…:Some of the differences could even be down to nationalities and the way people are brought up”, couldn’t be more true. My father is Sicilian, my mother is Calabrian – I didn’t even know the word shy or how it applied to a person. Our family has two levels of communication, loud and louder. We’re a passionate group, very loving, but definitely not known for our being quiet or preferring to be alone. That being said, I’m not an obnoxious extrovert, but rather, a solid extrovert with occasional introvert tendencies, lol. This article provided me with a wonderful insight on how the other side lives – I’m a little envious. 🙂

    Like

  22. charoussel says:

    Love that,thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

  23. minutesout says:

    heheh thts right! Im also introverted with everyone, except a few close frnds 🙂

    Like

  24. ipd5966 says:

    This is a great article. It makes me think because I deliver stand-up training and need to be an extrovert. But when it is over, I will have to unplug myself and recharge with a good book. I took the MBTI and had the same as you, Stephen. So I suppose I am a chameleon…extrovert when I need to be, introvert when I want to be…

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  25. I love this! I am an introvert and I cannot tell you how many times I am talked over. I think that when an introvert speaks, people need to listen, we think before we talk! Thank you for this.

    Like

    • Thank-you. It’s so annoying getting talked over especially as generally speaking as introverts speak less, when we do it is actually because we have something important to say and probably of above average importance to the general discussion being said.

      When people talk over me, I think to myself ‘why bother’ they obviously think they are right even though I know they are not. It’s hard to be treated as a second class individual but usually I console myself that I can actually do better my own way anyway 🙂 so they are the only ones really losing out.

      Like

  26. Nick in oz says:

    A very useful article – my other half is an introvert, and I’m an extrovert. I’ve learned a lot from him, including to think before speaking. Which I’m not very good at. But I do try hard to listen and encourage others to contribute, especially when the extroverts are busy talking over each other.
    However, I recognise a lot about him from what you’ve written, and maybe I’m a closet introvert, because I do quite like leaving the party early and having some ‘me’ time occasionally!
    I love that poster… and number 7 should be re-written to “45 minutes notice”… my partner is an artist and needs time to disengage from his world and come into our (joint) world.
    Good job I love him loads.

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment Nick. It sounds like you make every effort to help the introvert in your life which can be a hard thing to do.

      I think you’re right, most people have a bit of introvert and extrovert in them. You often get extroverts together who find that one particular member of their group is even more hardcore extrovert and they say things such as “I thought I was loud” and then you get people who are introverts until they see someone even more withdrawn.

      Like

  27. Anubhav says:

    I appreciate your references to the extent of similar opinions presented by myself too but the thing is that this introversion, unsociable, lonely and outrageous behaviour has kind of imprisoned me for which I have no idea how to get out of it. And due to that I’m least much interested or say concentrated in my works (as far I’m just a student but still….). Any tips or solutions? 🙂 thanks.

    Like

  28. ralph_de says:

    Reblogged this on Thy Wisdom Come.

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  32. blankslate27 says:

    Here’s another way to piss off an introvert: react badly to a crass joke their friend makes.
    I’m an animation student at Arts University Bournemouth, and I’m usually the only one in the classroom during the day apart from a group of people. And this one girl, this first year with brown hair and glasses, hates me because I insulted her friend for making a crass joke when I was in earshot. I tried to apologize over and over, and he’s forgiven me, but the introverted girl hasn’t.
    If I ever do something genuinely nice in front of her, I still doubt her capacity for forgiveness. I’ll never let her live down that remark that I’m “disrespectful as ever”.
    I live in the UK, which I guess is an introvert’s heaven. But I’ve realised as of late how difficult it is to be an extrovert in that country. I don’t keep my thoughts to myself, because I’m sensitive to certain sounds or sensations. And there is a side to me that isolates myself because my loud, confrontational nature makes it difficult for me to relate to or connect with anyone.

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