I’ve decided to add a new categories of posts, called “What not to say…” It’s like a dorky writer version of What Not to Wear. (Yes, your friends have reported you. We have evidence of your actions. You’re about to get ambushed.)
And because so many people can relate to being introverted, I’m tackling that one first. So here we go. Here’s what not to say to an introvert:
“Don’t you like people?” Um you, right now, not so much. But in general, yes. Our desire to embrace solitude has nothing to do with a dislike of people. But we’d rather hang out with smaller groups and reserve plenty of “me time” so we can process everything. It’s hard for extraverts to understand that. For them, more people = more fun. For us, more people = more stress.
“You should come – it’ll be fun!” Yeah, okay. We get it. You like parties and clubs and all kinds of large gatherings. You seek excitement and fun. But we don’t seek “fun” in the same way. And the more you bug us, try to convince us some social gathering will be awesome, the lower you fall on our friends list. The last thing we need is more pressure to be sociable. We get enough of that from society.
“I hope you don’t mind. I invited a few more people.” Um. What? The last thing you want to do is ambush an introvert with people. While an extravert may be thrilled to involve more people, an introvert needs to know what to expect, people-wise. Don’t invite us to hang out one-on-one and then add, oh, half a dozen people. Not cool.
“You’re being really quiet. What’s wrong?” Unlike extraverts, we’re completely comfortable with long periods of silence. Sure, some days we want to talk. Other days, we’re processing. It doesn’t mean we’re mad at you or annoyed. It just means we don’t have anything to say at the moment. Extraverts like to talk through their feelings, so it’s easy to know how an extravert is feeling. Introverts are more covert with our feelings. We keep them to ourselves, especially while we’re processing. We’ll get back to you on how we feel.
So there ya have it. Four things you should not say to an introvert – unless, of course, you want to lose them as a friend.
What do you think? Any of you introverts have anything to add? (Feel free to process and then get back to me. There’s no pressure here.)