To My Introverted Friends (A Response Letter)

7:53 AM



Recently, a bloggy friend of mine posted a letter to extroverts, which I thought was super cool and powerful. (And yes, this is basically me telling you to go read that post right now. You're welcome.) I loved it a lot. But being the extrovert I am, I thought I'd put together a response letter, a letter to my introverted friends.

Note: None of this is intended to be harsh, critisizing, or disrespectful in any way. I have many introverted friends and family, and I love them all! I've put a lot of research and consideration into how I interact with introverts and respect their thoughts/feelings/etc., so this is nothing more than my (hopefully respectful) take on the subject. 

Dear Introverts,

I am an extrovert, and very much so. I've spent a lot of time studying both sides of things, and been close to lots of introverts, though, so I don't think I'm entirely ignorant on what it's like. I'm aware of your point of view on this, I feel for you, and I'm not always perfect at it but I do my best to respect it.

My mother and my brother are both extremely extroverted... And I'm over here as an extremely shy introvert dying everyday.

That's why things like this kind of hurt. 

Now, hear me out. I've never had an introvert say this to my face, or anything like that. Most of the introverts I know are very respectful of both sides, like I try to be. But all it takes is a quick scroll through Pinterest before I'm left feeling stereotyped, loud, obnoxious, stupid, shallow, annoying, wrong...

Here's something you might not know: I can feel misunderstood too, and often do.

Yes, I like going out. I like being around lots of people. But I'm not a wild partier, either. Most of the extroverts I know aren't wild partiers. 

I get exhausted and have to come home sometimes too. 

If you read my blog at all, you know that I'm a huge book geek. Often I would rather choose to stay home and finish a good book than go out. I know lots of extroverts who would! I also like to talk about those books in a group setting to sort out my opinions about them. 

It's exhausting for me to go out and be around people I don't enjoy a lot of the time. 

I have anxiety. Badly. I'm comfortable being in a large group setting, or around a lot of people, and I can communicate to lots of people easily, but often I get stressed out if I have to keep up for too long. Really stressed out. 

I hate the idea that I'm too clingy, really I do, but at the same time, I can't stand being lonely. 

I hate small talk. Small talk is not an exclusively extroverted thing. I know lots of introverts who indulge in small talk, actually, and I know lots of extroverts who don't. Personally, yes, I would rather sit around and talk about a book, or debate a political issue, or talk about morals, or something like that. Let me say it again: I really loathe small talk. I don't know how to keep up with it, and it kind of leaves me gasping for air myself sometimes. 

Sometimes I get so excited about an idea or something I've figured out that I want to go tell the world, and no one shares my enthusiasm or wants to listen or I scare someone with my outburst and the crash back to reality hurts. 

I talk myself through things. It's how I work them out. 

I know I'm loud - why is that a bad thing? I won't shut up for being outwardly enthusiastic about something. I won't apologize for it. I'm sorry if it comes across as obnoxious, but that's how it is. 

You process things inwardly. I process things outwardly. That's literally it. There should be no problem with either of these things, because they're both equally awesome. 

I know that people exhaust you, and having to keep up with all that exhausts you, and I know you'd rather be alone. That's totally cool. I'll respect that

But in the same way, not being with people exhausts me, and I wish more of you realized that sometimes. Does that sound harsh? It's the truth. I like spending time alone sometimes but if I can't interact meaningfully with and be around people often, I get sluggish. I get depressed. I feel tired and anxious and unmotivated. It sucks.

Please stop telling me to shut up. 

Maybe not in that specific wording, but that's the general vibe I get. Shut up, don't be so enthusiastic, leave us alone. 

Sometimes I talk to you because I'm genuinely concerned. I hate seeing people sitting by themselves, or not included in the conversation, because I hate the feeling of being left out and I don't want that to happen to anyone else. I'm sorry if you don't want that, if it annoys you, but I wish I didn't feel like I needed to apologize for it. 

Sometimes, if I ask you to do something, it's me trying to give you the inclusion I wish I had, because I know the feeling of being left out.

Don't force me to shut up when I'm excited. 

Don't make me feel bad for being outwardly enthusiastic about things and people. 

Spend a little time seeing it from our point of view, sometimes. 

That's all I'm saying. 

45 comments

  1. Confession time: As an introvert (a rather large one at that) I'm also super super clingy. I really get a lot of the things you were saying about. Also another introvert note: A lot of those overdramatic posts (at least for me, and I'd say most introverts with any sense of courtesy) don't feel that strongly. Sure, there may be the stray introvert who thinks all things related to people should go die in a hole somewhere, but I'm sure there's stray extroverts who feel the opposite.
    All the INFJ things I see on pinterest take things way too far in the "I am above all people, fear me, the INFJ" and how we're all so broken inside and all that. Pinterest is really overdramatic in that area.
    With small talk, I don't mind making it, but to get the mental stimulation I need, I like to talk about deeper things than the weather. I don't hate small talk, but I don't love it either.
    Also I don't think I could ever tell someone to shut up and mean it. If I'm excited about a thing, and someone tells me to shut up, it's over. I can't bear to think about the thing anymore without feeling really hurt and upset, or like it's not a legitimate thing to be excited over. That being said, if someone is arguing with me over the fact that I left some socks on the floor of my room, there's a chance I would say 'Shut up.' Though, never to anyone who was legitimately excited about a thing. That's just being a terrible person. I give you permission to put a pie in the face of anyone who tells you to shut up about something you love.

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    1. I experience people telling me to shut up about things I'm excited about quite frequently xD Though, I'm such a talker I can't hold anything against them, but it *is* saddening sometimes, if people say it too much so I just get lonely. Like, talking to people online is really great but I need to talk to people in real life as well so they have to let me do that.

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    2. I think we all have a problem with being clingy sometimes. xD I've seen both sides of the 'dramatic Pinterest pictures' thing...I have seen a lot of people who say they can relate to them a lot, so part of that may be a personal thing? *shrugs*
      I don't really mind other people liking small talk, but it exhausts me to even try xD I really only have an issue with it being specifically attributed to extroverts, when that's very far from the truth.
      I have a hard time actually shutting up when people tell me to, but it IS hard to keep talking about it with them if I feel like they don't care. It drives me crazy because I think that's absolutely wrong. xD

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  2. Small talk is an SJ thing. *shudders* The ignorance of saying it's an extroverted thing.... >__>

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    1. Why do you say small talk is an SJ thing? I'm genuinely curious... Coincidentally, I recently became quite irritated at a certain INFJ I know because this INFJ would always repeat these same. four. variations. of. small talk. Drove me nuts. Anyway, I understand this INFJ better now, so it's not really a problem. But as an ISTJ I am curious why you say what you do.

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  3. Ooh, I'd been interested in this post ever since you teased it. A really excellent response letter, Aimee, and I'll admit I haven't tried to think of it from this perspective before. And your note about not telling extroverts to "shut up" reminds me of a quote from (I think?) Neil deGrasse Tyson about how we teach babies to walk and talk, but after that, we keep telling them to sit down and shut up.

    And an errant thought occurred to me that I'm quite proud of: on a real-life, social level, extroverts do have some advantage in connecting with other people, which is really important, but for school or work or the like? Extroverts who can't conform to being a good, demure student/employee definitely face difficulties. Great post, Aimee.

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    1. It's always neat to get a new perspective - I had to spend a lot of time seeing the introverted perspective, and I think that really helped me in the long run.
      Ooh, I've heard that quote - I remember liking it a lot, I think.

      I really like that thought! It's definitely a struggle. I can connect with and talk to people fairly well, but when it comes to a more structured setting, I often fail pretty badly - I'm lucky enough to be homeschooled, so I don't have quite the hardest experience, but it's still difficult for me to sit down and listen to things when I'd like to talk them out and such. I'm glad you liked this post!

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  4. I think both sides (Introverted and Extrovert) are at fault with misunderstanding the other side. Everyone is different, and we should all respect that. And just because someone doesn't like the things that we like, or don't act the way that we act doesn't mean we should consider them beneath us, or judge them in a bad way.
    This was a great post! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. EXACTLY. As with lots of other things, it becomes much more of a big deal than it needs to be when people refuse to accept that both sides are totally right and okay. Introverts are cool. Extroverts are cool. We just have different ways of processing things, and that's not something to be judged over.

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  5. This was such a great response. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being extroverted. I'm an introvert myself, but I related to a lot of things that you say.

    I get really loud when I'm excited about things and when people tell you to be quiet or ignore what you're saying, it really hurts. Why is it so bad being loud when it's in an appropriate setting? And even if it's not, we shouldn't be yelled at. I'll still listen to a respectful, "I think you should be quiet now." But honestly, why is it so bad to be excited about things?

    Most of the time, if I am sitting alone in a large group of people, I would LOVE for someone to come talk to me. Usually if I'm in a large group of people voluntarily, it means I want to be around them. Usually people don't or they just ask if I'm okay and if someone asks outright, I'm usually not going to be too forthcoming with my answers. Sometimes just striking up a conversation IS the best thing you can do! I know I love it when people take time to talk to me :)

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    1. Haha, me too! I'm a loud person in general, but I'm pretty sure my voice goes /way/ up when I talk about things I'm excited about, and really, really hate being told to shut up. I don't mind being told to calm down or something (most of the time xD) but being treated like I'm annoying for having that level of excitement over something is just plain unpleasant.
      I've seen both sides...my best friend, in fact, is someone I met because I went and sat with her and I know she really appreciated that, and I've had other experiences like that, but I've also been told that people really do want to be left alone sometimes, but I try to take time to talk to everyone just in case. *shrugs*

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  6. As an introvert I'm sorry for all the times people like me have told you to shut up. Thanks for writing this, sometimes I don't think about extroverts feelings.
    It's not always you, we introverts get upset about, it's just the noise. Seriously, loud noises will turn me from being nice to a complete bitch just because my ears can only handle so much noise.
    Again thanks for this post! :)

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    1. Not gonna lie, I'm glad it made you think! I realize the noise thing is a factor...I overwhelm myself a lot too, haha.

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  7. To my embarrassment, we kind of make fun of extroverts (in our home, not to their faces) for the way they are, and you've kinda humbled me. I mean, being an extrovert comes with its own struggles and trials, and I guess that's something I sometimes I ignore. Hearing about your social anxiety pains me, too, just because I shudder at the thought of being anxious about something you need to do (be with people) to the point that sometimes you get stuck doing something you shouldn't do (be alone forever). So, that makes me sad. :(

    But, you wrote a really respectful response, and I guess it's easy for introverts to forget that after so many years of being misunderstood, maybe other people would be misunderstood, too. We can kind of suck sometimes, just because we assume that because you need to be with people "all the time" means that you can't be left out. Because OBVIOUSLY, people who are with other people cannot feel left out. (Hmph. If only that were true, huh?)

    So, this was pretty much a phenomenal, humbling response... But, that being said, I also have a response for you. Not against what you said, of course, but something else that stands to be said. We'll get to that soon. :)

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad it made you think. :P I think there's some making fun going on on both sides, and sometimes it's all in fun but there's a lot of potential for judging and nastiness on both sides. Like, both 'sides' have issues and trials and high points and low points and so on, and neither is wrong.
      The anxiety thing is definitely a struggle...I'm good with one-on-ones, but as much as I like being in crowds and get energized from that, keeping up actual conversation or making speeches or something really stresses me out. I can't do it. xD So I generally prefer concerts or the like, where I can get the energy from being around excited people and participate without having to you know, actually talk.

      I'm glad it was respectful! I was worried about that a lot, but I did try. We're all misunderstood at this point, I think, and everyone could use a little more trying to see other perspectives.

      Ooh, a response...I look forward to that. :)

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  8. Great response, Aimee. I learned a lot about extroverts that I didn't know before, which is that yes, you get stressed out and tired after being around people for too long as well. I think both "sides" struggle with the loneliness thing, too. As an introvert, I don't want to be lonely, but at the same time, I don't talk as much as others might. That's why I turn to small talk, even though I hate it. Sometimes I don't feel like talking, but I also feel like I'm being pressured by the silence to talk to other people, and then the only talking that I can do is small talk because I have nothing else to say. It's really awkward. And annoying. Still, I like being my introverted self because I love to think things out instead of talk things out.

    Oh, great. Wild partiers are a whole class of their own.

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    1. I'm glad you learned something! I'm sure there are some of us who could just be around people forever and ever, but I'm definitely not one of those people. xD A lot of these are less introvert/extrovert things and more 'people things' in general, and it would be way easier if we all realized that. Sigh.

      *nervous side glance at wild partiers*

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  9. I used to be an introvert, but I'm kind of an ambivert now. I don't mind talking to people, but I love being alone too. I do, however, think that this letter is necessary because a lot of times I see bloggers boasting about their introvertedness and whatever kool and unique personality type they have, and hey, that's awesome, everyone's unique, but I don't think we should compartmentalize our personalities too much. So thanks for writing this. And it's kool that you're an extrovert!

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    1. I'm the same way! :)
      And yes, I see a lot of introvert glorification on the internet, and I get that you're more comfortable here so that's not a problem, until the extrovert-bashing starts. We're all pretty awesome, we just have different ways of processing things.
      Thanks!

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  10. This is an awesome post.

    When I finally got a Pinterest account, I realized how the extroverts tend to dominate the "real" or physical world while the introverts dominate the virtual or technological world. And it seems us introverts do come off as harsh sometimes about our introvertism especially on the internet. I'm guilty of it at times. I think some introverts are like that because they get so frustrated with not being heard in the physical world, maybe?

    But you're right. We get a little harsh on extroverts. In the physical world, we are looked down on as the strange ones, the ones who need to be "fixed" or have something wrong with us because we have little interest in socializing. So we go and look down on you extroverts? We say that wanting to socialize is bad and that enjoying conversation and actually knowing how to converse is shallow or obnoxious? What kind of messed up is that? I think I will be more sensitive to the feelings of extroverts from now on.

    It is kind of funny how the two types get so stereotyped sometimes. And ridiculous. Once I was reading something to the effct that if you like to read you might be an introvert. I thought, "heh, certainly there are extroverts out there who like to read also. And who says that all introverts read?" And who said that introverts don't get passionate? Who said that they don't small talk? I think the only kind verbal communication I give is "hello, how are you?" Bleh. It's all I know. I have a hard time verbalizing meaningful thoughts, especially with just anybody. Things that I have strong feelings either for or against I have difficulty articulating about. That is one area in which I envy extroverts. Most of them talk so freely and effortlessly. . . So it seems at least. ;)

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    1. I definitely get that introverts don't vent their frustrations and such as much in the physical world, so the internet is much more their space, and I don't think that's a fault at all, like you're saying...but I don't think it should be used as a place to bash or shame extroverts, either, just like it's totally unacceptable for extroverts in the physical world to bash or shame introverts. I don't mind some jokes in fun, but stereotyping extroverts or introverts is something that's just...not cool. No.

      I've seen stuff like that and it makes me SO mad. Like, I know lots of introverts who DON'T read. I know lots of extroverts who do. It's not really something that means you're one or the other, it's just...a personality thing???? I really don't understand all the stereotyping that goes on.

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  11. Oh wow, that "gasping for air" picture is really hurtful. I'm sorry some people feel that way.

    Your letter is very thought-provoking and shows something that people really should keep in mind more often: Extrovert or introvert, everyone is incredibly deep, and trying to fit people into a mold (especially given only a tiny piece of information out of a sea of information) is silly. We should all try to be more understanding and accepting of one another's thought processes and feelings, and avoid sweeping generalizations.

    I'm an introvert, and I do need a lot of time alone. However, I also love good conversations and deep discussions, and spending time with people. I'm usually quiet, but if I get a chance I will talk until I have a sore throat.

    I personally really like being with talkative, inclusive people, especially when I've been sitting by myself. I don't see any reason for you to apologize for trying to include others. It's a very, very nice thing to do, and I believe most people feel happy when they're included.

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    1. This, this, this. Stereotyping goes on on both sides and it's basically the suckiest thing ever, mostly because a lot of people just don't take the time to look at a different perspective. People. *sigh*

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  12. Wow.
    You probably literally just summed up most of the things I have ever felt about me being an extrovert and how people relate to that in one post. I loved this post because of that. I think the general impression of extroverts is that they're naturally loud people and get their energy of off other people. And sure yeah that's kinda true, but that doesn't mean I'm always a huge fan of humans. True, I tend to feel sluggish and lazy and sad when I'm not around people (though I guess that also depends on who I'm around. Sometimes even going to a store helps), but that does NOT mean that when I am around people, I talk till I drop. Or whatever. I like to be quiet, and sometimes, I'm the quietest one of the group. Personally, being in large groups intimidates me, and I prefer one on one contact with people. I've told people I'm an ESTP, and I've gotten strange looks and "I really don't believe that"s. Oh really, so you think I'm lying? Yeah I would definitely lie about that, wouldn't I? That's just one thing that really irks me. And I could probably go on a really long rant about that, but to keep this comment from turning into a discussion, I'll stop typing now ;P Anyways, I really, really loved this post.
    And I'm not just saying that.

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    1. *fistbump for fellow ESTP*
      I'm so glad you liked/related to this! I'm quiet a lot too, and I get overwhelmed in large groups, and sometimes it's hard as anything to make myself talk to people, especially if I don't like them. I know introverts who are better at small talk than me, haha. I've been told I 'can't be an extrovert, I'm too quiet' before, and I just...what???

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  13. Believe me, most introverts REALLY appreciate the extroverts reaching out in social situations, because most of us aren't too good at it ourselves and WOULD end up being alone the whole time - and often we want to socialize, we're just not sure how to go about it or we're not confident enough to go out and introduce ourselves to groups of strangers. So, on behalf on introverts, thanks for being a extrovert. :)
    Thanks for writing this because I agree that the internet is heavily biased towards introverts. Most people who use the internet are INs. I guess that naturally creates a sort of biased place, but that isn't right. Every type is equally important. This sort of made me think a little bit about some extrovert struggles, so thanks. :)
    And hey, look at this: http://www.in8ways.com/lifestyle/8-reasons-why-introverts-and-extroverts-need-each-other/. There are some people trying to value both, right? Though the type bigots do get annoying. :(
    Thanks for the post!

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    1. It's good to hear that most of you do...I've had mixed experiences with it, so I'm always a little cautious about it now.
      I don't really have a problem with INs taking over the internet, haha, but I do wish there was a lot less bias...this is a different sort of rant, but I especially have a hugely hard time finding specifically ESTP things online, not to mention actually accurate or nice things, and that's a huge source of frustration to me because I don't think we ought to glorify some types more than others. *shrugs*
      Oh, I like that article a lot! Thanks for sharing :)

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    2. Personally I think ESTPs are pretty cool. I wish there was more stuff for your type online too. :D Most of it seems to focus on the risk-taking daredevil reputation. Just like most INTJ stuff seems to focus on us being evil emotionless geniuses. Stereotypes. Some of it could be funny but they should never be applied to real people.

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  14. Thanks for doing a reply letter!

    This really opened my eyes to what it' like to be an extrovert. I never realised that you feel stereotyped by what labels when tend to slap on extroverts. And the social anxiety is something I really understand. I admit that my letter stemmed from some frustration, and could have been kinder, so I might have to do another edition some day xD

    I keep seeing what seems to be quite a fine line between what people think is personality, verses type. So often we fall into the trap of noisy=extrovert and quiet=introvert, when it can be the other way around. So I think it's great you called that out :)

    This letter was really humbling in a good way. So thanks :))

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    1. Oh, thank YOU! It was fun to think about. :)

      I think we've done a pretty awful job with slapping stereotypes on everyone, introverts and extroverts alike, and it's a problem that needs to be fixed. I don't blame you for being frustrated - I really liked your letter. xD

      Thanks for reading!

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  15. This touches me so. I know I'm a fairly new reader and I've only left a few comments, but I just have to say this: I admire you!
    I'm an introvert. I'm afraid of crowds. I don't know what to say when people talk to me. I get struck dumb when people just look at me.
    But I don't agree with all those things people say about extroverts. I think it's wrong. Why shame you for who you are? Why spread rumours which aren't true?
    I admire you for saying what you think. For going out and talking to people. For being at ease around people. For enjoying life properly and not hiding away, afraid to show your face.
    Whatever anyone says Aimee, I admire you and just you remember that and keep being the awesome person you are!

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    1. Well, welcome to the madness of the blog! xD *hands cake*
      Oh gosh, thanks so much! That really means a lot, and it's very encouraging. I've felt really respected and welcomed by most introverts I've personally talked to, which is amazing, soooo...you guys are pretty awesome yourselves. :)
      Thanks so much for commenting! You made my day <3

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  16. Hey! I don't really know where I fit on this intro vs extro scale - just leave me alone and I'll figure it out on my own :-)
    I'm not really a people person but I can testify, God gave me grace and enabled me to talk to just about anyone, which I did in my former life and do now all the time at the work. I mean all kinds of people, and He draws some strange people to me, and I talk to them and draw them out. Pretty neat, actually.

    Now, concerning your statements/requests. Just in case I fit in the introvert category:

    -Sometimes I talk to you because I'm genuinely concerned.
    And thank you! You are a very nice person!

    -Sometimes, if I ask you to do something, it's me trying to give you the inclusion I wish I had, because I know the feeling of being left out.
    See above :-)

    -Don't force me to shut up when I'm excited.
    I would never ask you to shut up! I don't get to talk to you enough as it is!!

    -Don't make me feel bad for being outwardly enthusiastic about things and people.
    I would never do that. I love that you get excited about things and people. Of course, I think you are one of the eleven neatest people in the world. I want to know what excites you and see you thus excited. Unless it happens at a party. I don't like parties :-)

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    1. That IS neat! I don't think being an introvert means you can't successfully talk to people, or that being an extrovert means you always can - it's much more of a personal thing, and definitely the way God helps us with that and enables us to do what we need to regardless of our preferences. :-) I always enjoy hearing about the people you get to meet and talk to, too!

      Thank you for reading and commenting! Hopefully I'll get to really talk to you again soon. :)

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  17. Oh my goodness, this is such a beautiful post. I'm an introvert but almost all of my friends are extroverts, and I'm one of those people who loves sitting around listening to people talk but doesn't much care for talking myself... which is a big part of the reason why my friends and I get along so well, I think. ;)

    Enthusiasm is such a rare and incredible thing, and the best part is that it's almost contagious. I see so many stereotypes of introverts, but I've never really been introduced to the extrovert stereotype, and reading your letter, I know for sure that it's so inaccurate. Please don't ever stop sharing that lovely passion - it makes the world a much better place. xx

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    1. Oh, thanks! <3 I have mostly introvert friends, haha, but I tend to be a quieter extrovert most of the time, so I hope I don't annoy them too much. xD

      I really dislike the amount of stereotyping that goes around - it's all wrong, really, and we ought to do more appreciating each other as people. Thanks for reading!

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  18. Everyone who knows me would immediately classify me as an introvert. Not true.

    I'm an ambivert. I LOVE being around people, talking to them, sharing my ideas, etc. And I'm not shy.

    But I'm also not GOOD at talking to people. I take a lot of time to process things so I'm not so good at conversation, and I'm very quiet. It's very hard for me to raise my voice, so I get talked over a lot. I also like my privacy and quiet time.

    I think I can identify with both sides of this.

    This is a WONDERFUL letter! I can't stand it when introverts judge extroverts for being loud, and extroverts judge introverts for being quiet, or boring even. You know, someone once outright called me bland? Seriously.

    We've just got to realize that we're all different. I LOVE listening to extroverts(they're just FUN people) and often wish I could express my thoughts as easily as they seem to. But now I realize how they can be misunderstood too. Made fun of for being too loud, or excitable, or whatever. And that's not cool.

    Anyway, great post, Aimee. It gave me a lot to think on.

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    1. YES! I can so get that! I'm not shy and I love being around people but I need my quiet time, too. I spend way more time than I probably should in my room, I think. :P

      Oh, yeah, the judging is a little bit out of control and most of the time not acceptable at all. We've both got pros and cons and it's all wonderful, like I keep saying and don't think you can really say enough.

      Thanks for reading!

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  19. I'm sorry people have hurt you like that. It really isn't fair. To tell the truth, I've always thought of extroverts as a breath of fresh air. If the world were full of Introvers like myself, and only introverts, we'd have some serious problems. I always come away from taking with you feeling energized, and whenever you're really excited about something, it doesn't take very long for me to be really excited about it, too. You rock! Extroverts rock.

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  20. Wow. I'm an extrovert too, and I can't even say how accurate this is.

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  21. Thank you so much for this post, Aimee!!! As an extrovert myself, it was sooo accurate. Especially the stereotypes. I'm on the internet a lot and see a lot of stuff, and it's painful. It really, really is.

    Though I have to admit I do do small talk. The fact is, I'm completely comfortable talking about the weather, or my newest outfit, or something else trivial and unimportant, but there are precious few people I trust enough to talk to about the things that I really, truly care about.
    I try to be respectful of people who hate small talk (I know a lot) and I do try to talk about the things that interest them, but I wish that more people would return the favour and sometimes allow me to talk about things closer to my comfort zone without making jokes about "content free talk".
    Besides which, what defines small talk, exactly? As far as I can tell (and please correct me if I'm wrong), people use it to mean any topic of conversation which they consider boring and unimportant. And I'm dead serious and honest when I say I know some people who are absolutely fascinated by the weather.

    Otherwise, I agree with basically everything you said!! Thank again, I loved this post! :)

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  22. Nice post! As an introvert reading this, I do totally get where you're coming from. I think, from my perspective, where a lot of the not-so-nice things comes from is probably more where you have one, maybe two introverts surrounded daily by a bunch of extroverts, especially the type of extroverts who are just oblivious to the fact that some people process things quietly. And while I personally think a lot of the comments you've alluded to are inappropriate and over the top, I kinda get where they stem from.

    My first couple of years in my current job I was the ONLY introvert, and I sat quietly in meetings just thinking. People kept trying to get me to talk constantly. People kept trying to get me to get out a be social, because they were worried about me. I get that, I do. But what I personally need is just some space to familiarize myself with my new environment (I had just moved across the country for crying out loud; I don't need to get out on the town to be comfortable out here; I need a chance to come to terms with it!) Or I needed time to adjust to my new role before I started making commentary on it (one person in particular figured out pretty quickly that while I was silent for the first few months of working together, I was really absorbing everything before I made stupid comments---I'm now one of the more vocal participants in said meetings).

    So I always GET why a lot of my coworkers try to pull me out of my shell, and I'm grateful for the pushing and prodding, because in all honesty, without their efforts, I would still be sitting alone in my apartment all the time talking to my cats. Instead, I DID get pushed out there to meet people, and now I'm engaged to a wonderful person who's an awful lot like me. Now we turn down invites to do social things after a long work week together :) I just want them (my coworkers) to understand where I'm coming from when I say I'm not up for going out --- I'm doing a lot of stressful things, and going out for dinners and happy hours and group events just tacks onto that stress instead of relieving it. So my 'no' should never be taken as a personal snub --- it's just my way of saying I need a bit of space.

    Thanks for posting this; it was a great perspective to get!

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  23. I just wanted to say I love what you wrote SO, SO much.

    I consider myself an introvert. But I don't fall on the extreme of the scale. Some people meeting me for the first time wouldn't even think I am an introvert, because I've learned to live in an extrovert's world. And I was a very extroverted child. So I can see the issue from both sides.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that some pins about introverts/extroverts are not only hurtful, but downright offensive.

    I want my friends to understand that when I don't call them or talk to them for a few days.... when I don't carry my phone with me and check my texts, it's not because I don't care about them. I love them very much! It's because I need to be alone. And it's nothing personal whatsoever toward them. I try to find pins that reflect that.... and it's almost impossible. Every pin or quote or picture/expression from an introvert seems to jab at the life of an extrovert. And that bothers me to no end!

    I LOVE my extroverted friends. In fact I'd say more than half of my friends are extroverted. And I love them for that. I really do. And I want them to know that.... but to also try and understand that it's nothing personal whatsoever when I need my space. I don't want to lose friends and unfortunately I do have some people in my life that don't understand the way I "work."

    One friend in particular... when we met, I tried really hard to change who I was. I tried to stay in touch very regularly, remember and ask about not-that-important-events (in the scheme of things) - - - and I felt burnt out. This person was/is a high maintenance friend... or at least that's how I feel. And I don't know whether it was the misrepresentation of myself, or the fact that she just doesn't understand, but ever since I've expressed how I really feel.... and told her how I really am... she has put a gap between us that I don't know if it fan ever be filled. And it makes me so sad... because I really value our friendship! I just can't handle high-maintenance friendships. :(

    Anyway I hope I am making sense (distracted with kids, etc) - I understand where you are coming from 100% and even though I identify as being introverted, I often feel bothered and I definitely feel frustrated when I cannot find a picture/pin that accurately reflects the person I am so that my extroverted friends understand that I love them so very much - I just need more quiet and alone time than they can probably understand.

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  24. Stereotypes are literally one of the most annoying things ever. Most of the extroverts I know are avid readers and deep thinkers, not "wild partiers." In fact, most of them are really fantastic people! Another reason I hate stereotyping is that it can make typing people really really hard. For instance I typed this ENTJ I know as an ENFJ, ESFJ, ENFP, INFP, ENTP, INFP, and finally when I stopped stereotyping, ENTJ. Whaaat? And how exactly did I think an ESTP was an ENFP? Stereotyping.
    I also really really love this post because [watch out, this is really surprising news] Extroverts have problems too and I don't think introverts realize that enough. All people are human regardless of how they get their energy.

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