My friend and I were recently discussing why it is that we react to situations so differently... Mainly because she is extroverted and I am introverted. This has inspired a list of commonly misunderstood happenings in the life of an introverted person.
Ways You Can Help Your Favorite Introvert:
1. (Hopefully this will be the only rant-like sounding point, and hopefully it won't be that rant-like at all... I don't enjoy yelling at people...) Understand that Introversion and Shyness are not the same. Whilst one might often accompany the other, introversion vs. extroversion is really about how your brain takes in information about the world and where you obtain energy. Example: extroverts are energized by being in loud environments with lots of people. Introverts are energized from being by themselves. The opposites for each, drain them of energy. Someone that is introverted may love to be around people but this sucks the energy from them and the just need a moment to themselves to regroup. It all involves the path through the brain that information takes. To oversimplify, the pathway is longer/hits more emotion centers/etc in an introverted brain. The pathway is pretty direct through an extroverted brain (hence why they need more to stimulate their brains, i.e. noise, people, crazy feats, etc) The introverted brain has enough stimulation pretty much already.
Ok, I'm done with the psychology portion of this post, hope you aren't too bored with the random outpouring of information :) Can you tell I really like personality psychology?
2. We dislike mixers. They are stupid. Please refrain from ever doing them in a small group setting. Lol. And by mixers, I am referring to that question that someone asks at the beginning of a group meeting together to get people talking or get things going and then the group goes around the circle or room, and everyone has to give their answer. We are being forced to come up not only with an answer, but one that impresses. No, just don't do this. This will ease our apprehension that already exists in trying to figure out what all is going on while taking in mountains of information that wears us out. The reason we dislike mixers is number 3.
3. We cannot think of anything to say until like an hour after the fact. Yes, quite true. I think it really has to do with our brain being in overload and processing all of the people, what they are saying, how do I appear, what is the dynamic of this group, etc, and on and on and on. There is simply too much going on in my head and I cannot think of anything to say.
4. We are not snobby. Again, I cannot think of anything to say. It's not that I don't want to say anything, I really really want to! Please don't take my silence as me thinking I am better than you. Furthermore, if I can think of something to say, I am not quite convinced that it will actually add anything to the group. In fact, I may have a great idea. I may be an expert on the subject. But I probably won't say anything. A) because as soon as I open my mouth to say anything, it definitely does not sound right. B) because I would just prefer that we all write everything down instead. Can we make that happen? I write 10x better anyway... Yes? Possibly? Ok, well it was a suggestion...
5. Read this book: The Introvert Advantage. It explains things way better than I can. And even if you are not an introvert, you will go, AHA! I understand "so and so" now! That makes perfect sense!