As we age, mature, graduate and turn into real humans who work for a living, we realize we don’t just choose our friends and partners based on the same factors we did growing up.
Now that we've reached a certain level of maturity, we notice what type of personalities work with our romantic and professional relationships and friendships.
As a textbook introvert, I sometimes find it very difficult to connect with extroverts, and, if we are too similar, bond with introverts.
We need a certain balance to make deeper connections. Some of the common qualities I invoke, like needing alone time, awkwardness and general anxiety, can come off as negative or annoying to an extrovert.
In the same vein, some of the qualities extroverts invoke, like not knowing what silence is, enthusiasm in the morning and always confronting every issue head on, are even harder for me to grasp, let alone deal with on a daily basis.
The way each personality portrays itself is not always accurately communicated to the other, and there can be a level of misunderstanding at every turn.
From the point of view of an introvert, these are 10 things we want you to know:
1. If we are quiet, it doesn’t mean something is wrong.
At times, my thoughts will be so mixed up and tangled that my quietness is literally just me working through complexities in my head.
I am not trying to ignore you, and my “resting bitch face” is usually the result of certain problems I haven’t quite worked through yet.
2. Mornings will never be an okay time to talk to us.
I am not a morning person, and I never will be a morning person. I am an early riser, but I have a morning routine.
I would prefer to not be interrupted until I have had my coffee and have mentally prepared myself for the day.
If you’re trying to talk to me in the morning and don't know where the attitude is coming from, it is probably has to do with your lack of understanding. Let me consume at least one cup of coffee before springing news, problems, questions or anything else on me.
3. Small talk will never be welcomed.
I don’t care about minute details and making conversation for the sake of passing time. It's all basically just a waste of breath to me.
This may not make sense to you, and that is alright. Just don’t make us do this day in and day out when you know we would rather not.
We most likely have to do it on a daily basis with colleagues, clients or just anyone we come across during our day, and having to keep the façade up when we get home is just not something we are able to do.
4. We are easily distracted.
If I drift off mid-conversation with you because I get a text message, something funny happens on TV or I receive a work email, just snap me back into our discussion.
It's not the end of the world, and it happens often. Introverts have a hard time focusing because we're constantly thinking, and we can’t process a million things at once. Forgive us for this, and be okay with repeating yourself.
5. After a long day, we just want to be by ourselves or do something low-key.
We don’t have the endless energy you have to be social at all times. After just one day or night of socializing, we need to recharge and reenergize our minds.
6. "Passive aggressive" is our middle name.
If we are annoyed with you, you can probably bet there is a long list of reasons why, but we are just not capable of being confrontational. We can work and get better at it, but it is the most uncomfortable thing in the world for an introvert.
Basically, we do not want to pick a fight over something little, so we let it go. Then, that one thing turns into another small thing, and all those small things pile up until we're about to burst.
We can’t help but to drop hints here and there, and this is when you need to understand this is just the way we are. We will probably need to have a long conversation or big blow out to move past it.
7. By pointing out details, we are not trying to be a know-it-all.
Introverts just have a keen eye for detail, and we tend to notice things others seem to ignore or miss.
8. “Come out of your shell” may be the most annoying thing you can tell us.
You think we don’t want to be social and come across as the fun, outgoing individual like an extrovert? Of course, we would love to, but we are not wired that way.
We have to move at our own pace, and we could care less about making connections we don’t see lasting.
The people who will take the time to get to know us are the ones we will give our energy to. They understand we will eventually come out of our shells.
9. If you ask us, "Are you okay?" one more time, we might just not be okay with you ever again.
This is a public service announcement to everyone. The question, “Are you okay?” is only ever circumstantially welcome, and even in most circumstances, it's frowned upon.
When I am okay, and I am constantly asked this just because I am quiet or don’t have the energy to socialize, I shut down.
And when I am not okay and asked it, I shut down from not wanting to discuss the reason why I am not okay.
Pretty much, you should avoid asking an introvert this question at all costs.
10. Be straightforward with us, and stop beating around the damn bush.
As I previously stated, I am an introvert, which means I am most likely overanalyzing and critiquing every detail of our conversation in my mind.
If you’re beating around the bush, we will lose our cool and, most likely, our respect for you. We like to be told the truth, and we want to make things as simple as possible. We just want to get straight to the point and move on.