22 Replies to “A Guide to Understanding Introverts.”

  1. I do love this. And shared it liberally. People often mistake me for an extrovert, but I am actually an introvert with highly developed social skills. I need to get back to my “home base of aloneness” to recharge. Just because someone is capable of looking extroverted doesn’t mean they are!

    1. Yes Angela, I am the same way. I just need the time alone to relax and do some things on my own. I wish there was a hamster ball :)

  2. ABSOLUTELY ! I’ve had people argue that I can’t be an introvert because I am “so good” with people. I just sigh and walk away.

  3. This explains a lot about me. I love my friends dearly but I don’t want to Facebook chat/text/Skype all the time. I just like to call and make plans to see them once in a while.

  4. This is SO WRONG. As an Introvert, I most certainly do NOT live in a sad, gray bubble. This is an old, dated, and false notion, which exalts Extroverts as healthy and happy and Introverts as the opposite. In fact, prior to Elizabeth Meyer-Brigg’s work, the two were referred to as Extroverts and Neurotics. However, Introverts live very healthy and happy lives, and we get along just fine in the world. While it is true that we get energy from being alone and need to pull away in order to recharge, that is only a small part of the picture.
    If you want to be prejudicial and judgmental, we think Extroverts are superficial. And in this time of increasingly seeing the benefits of meditation, visualization and yoga, Introverts, who have very rich inner lives, have much easier access to these practices. Many extroverts have trouble sitting still long enough to go inside, cannot follow a guided imagery practice, and contemplation is meaningless to them. Furthermore, there are plenty of neurotic extroverted behaviors; for example, compulsive talkers, who prattle on, without a thought for others; in fact, without a real thought of what they’re saying. They just have to make noise. Introverts, on the other hand, are comfortable with silences. There are times in life that you do have to be alone and Introverts handle these time much better than do Extroverts, who will always try to fill the space with noise or action, no matter how trivial or meaningless.
    The fact is Introversion does not = shyness, nor does Extroversion mean friendliness and, for the most part, these just different styles of gathering and processing information. Extroverts do speak on their feet better, whereas Introverts need to take new information inside, and “mull it over.”
    The most important phrase an Introverted thinker can learn to say is, “Let me get back to you on that.” Most things can wait and don’t require an immediate answer. As we go along in life, we begin to build a cache of things that we have already “mulled” and we know how we want to respond and get better at speaking off the cuff. Also, let them wait. Introverts are very comfortable with silences, so let them squirm and give yourself space to think about how you really want to answer.Similarly, Extroverts can learn to become more introspective. But one is not better than the other. They are style preferences that emerge from birth. Each has strengths which can be highlighted and drawbacks that can be minimized.

    1. The comic is exaggerated for educational purposes. On top of that, the hamster ball is just a metaphor for personal space. Calm down and relax a little. A lot of the time people need to see the forest before the trees.

    2. whoa! stop with the judgements. “wrong!”, “sad, grey bubble”. as the other reply indicated, the writer is using metaphors. and, i don’t think there’s anything healthy about having to gather your energy from your surroundings. happiness and health comes from within. get out of your head and into your heart and you’ll feel the truth in what this guy is saying. signed, an self-conscious introvert that is often mistaken for someone that actually likes being with people…i’m working on that.

  5. Social interaction => Exhaustion: Yes yes! Thank you for saying this, as extroverts, and many introverts, seem not to get this part of the equation. The only blemish on your otherwise brilliant commentary is Extrovert = obnoxious predator. Though extroverts certainly sap my energy far faster than introverts, I see the vast majority of both species as oblivious rather than obnoxious. Perhaps “unknowing predator.”

  6. ^^^ ^^^^^ – Professional Introvert! Spent 37 years in training. I grew up with 4 older brothers, 1 younger and a younger sister. – Long story short, I moved to Hawaii at one point (alone) and now I’m on the other side of the county(Atlanta). I love my family and friends I just adore personal space. DOWN TIME! I don’t mind a pet, but true social interaction I do find to be very much of a drain. There needs to be a point where it ends. I’m not a big fan of the phone or endless texts either.

  7. I don’t think the writer was using the analogy of the hamster ball to make a negative connotation about the introvert…only that for the introvert, the idea of personal space is important and the hamster ball made that invisible notion more concrete to make a point. I totally agree with the concept of introverts “giving” their energy in social interactions…it is a good article showing that those of us that are introverts don’t dislike social situations, just that we need to plan for and recover from that loss of our energy.

  8. You sound quite hostile, almost keeping score in a game of Us against Them. Get a grip…there is no wrong or right about who or what we are…we are different. Accept who you are and perhaps you will be able, without these harsh judgments, to accept who others are.

  9. I don’t see any of this as put downs, i understand extroverts as being people who get their energy from being around other people and introverts as getting thier energy from being on their own. Neither is right or wrong, good or bad…just different. In my experience introverts have great social skills, it takes a lot out of them and they need to be on their own to recharge. I alos understand that many actors are introverts. I have always thought of myself as an extrovert but as I become older I am moving toward the introvert end of the spectrum. Perhaps it is because I have a very demanding job and am always “on” also large family and many grandchildren…It’s a continuum and we move along it at different times in our livers etc.

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