I recently came across this particular site / info-cartoon about “How to interact with introverted people” [Link to page] and thought I would paraphrase it and share it in words as well.
What is introversion?
Introverted people live in a human sized hamster ball (not really, but something quite like that). The major trait of a true introvert, as opposed to someone who is withdrawn, is how they gain their energy.
Extroverted people gather their energy from their surroundings. They absorb the ‘good vibes’ of the people around them and thus need a lot of social interaction. Introverted people make their own energy and, rather than taking it from others, ‘give’ it on social contact. This means that they naturally find most interaction exhausting and need time to recharge.
Because this energy is a limited resource, they tend to see extroverts as obnoxious predators out to steal their sweet, sweet energy juices. That’s why they have their hamster ball of personal space.
How to interact with the introverted?
Just because someone is introverted doesn’t mean they don’t like company. Interaction is just expensive and they don’t want to spend it on something annoying or wasteful.
Here’s what you do:
Say Hello, be polite and relaxed, show that you recognize and approve of their presence. It is important for introverts to feel welcome. They won’t spend their precious energy on someone who doesn’t want them around.
If you have interesting/important news to mention, mention it. Just don’t press for gossip. Then go back to whatever you were doing.
Now the introverts know that you are friendly and open to interaction but will not push them into spending energy if they have no need to. That is all there is to it.
- Respect their personal space
- Energy is limited
- Don’t demand to have energy spent on you when it’s not particularly needed
- Don’t take silence as an insult – it isn’t
- Introverts get lonely too!
While I personally don’t interact with too many people on a daily basis or even once in a while (yes, I am something of a recluse offline 😀 ), am sure the readers of this blog come across more than a few introverts during their daily lives, and this post for sure will help them improve their interactions with introverts.
Do head over to the original post [Link to post] for a comic version of this
Verses for Introspection: 3
वैराग्यान्न परं सुखस्य जनकं पश्यामि वश्यात्मनः
तच्चॆच्छुद्धतरात्मबोधसहितं स्वाराज्यसाम्राज्यधुक् ।
सर्वत्रास्पृहया सदात्मनि सदा प्रज्ञां कुरु श्रॆयसॆ ।।
Vairaagyaanna param sukhasya janakam pashyaami vashyaathmanaha
Sarvatra-asprihayaa sadaatmani sadaa prajnaam kuru shreyase.
For a self-controlled person, I find no better generator of happiness than dispassion. And if that is coupled with a clear realization of the self, it brings about absolute sovereignty within and without. And since this is the gateway to the damsel of eternal liberation, for your own well-being be dispassionate, always fixing your mind on the eternal self.
Inspired by Swami Bhoomananda TirthaJi’s talks and satsangs.
25 thoughts on “How to interact with introverts?”
At times introverts are perceived as arrogant and haughty. This post (and the original link) helps to understand and deal an introvert.Sometimes I prefer to withdraw into my self and remain in a cocoon not to communicate to anyone. But am an extrovert.
@Kalpana, yes, I found the cartoon very self explanatory and that’s why I shared it on my blog as a post by itself 😀
Loved that cartoon… How one person’s idea of fun is another’s punishment. Oh yes I’ve bumped into introverts.. It’s such a hardship to hold a conversation with them. The pointers are pretty interesting.
@obsessivemom, yes, even I found the pointers easy to understand and implement and that’s why I devoted an entire post to that 🙂
Good pointers here. Extroverts need their space too – to recharge their batteries.
@Suzy, so true 🙂
Yeah that cartoon was nice. I also checked it – true to much extent. Though, I found the cultural priming of individual was missing. Like in India, under a family setting – most of the young ones will be seen as introverts while facing the elders.
@Praveen, that is so true, but then kids nowadays are not so silent and reserved as we were in front of elders, are they?
No they are not. And that is for good as per me.
I’m planning a post on the topic of introversion, Jairam and was pleasantly surprised to see you had blogged on this. Some great points here. Thanks for the translation of the Verses in the end – so much wisdom packed into that!
@Corinne, quite the pleasant coincidence regarding the post on introversion today 🙂 And regarding the verses, it was my wife’s idea and we hope to make it a regular feature on the blog going forward 🙂
Informative piece. I think the key to a conversation with an introvert is that the other person has to go on talking about things initially because most often introverts cannot think of follow ups to sustain a conversation. They are so habitual of being on their own that they need a little more time to get the hang of talking.
@Palak, that is one way, but then this technique might end up irritating the introvert and end up in making him switch off completely as well as the cartoon says, these folks get so irritated when they have to expend their energy in something they are not interested in at all.
I liked the tips you shared. Though I have a bipolar disorder and I never know when I am an introvert or not 😛 But yes all tips you shared would be helpful in dealing with me for sure in tha phase!
@Richa, this post was supposed to help you deal with introverts and not others to deal with you 😉 Just kidding 🙂
Have neem trying to comment since morning… I think this is my fourth attempt..I loved your post and cant agree more with you on the way we need to appreciate the silence and the subtle expression of these people
@Shiva, welcome to the blog, and that’s quite the lovely point you make regarding appreciating the silences and subtle expressions of introverts 🙂
Loved the article and the original post. I too am kind of introvert to strangers. When mingled, I turn to an extrovert! 🙂
@Diwakar, that’s good, not too many people recognize their own personalities 🙂
You said it. Many of us are introverts in real life. Honestly, I’m not as expressive as I’m on my blog.
@Rekha, my assumption is that most bloggers are like that 🙂 including yours truly 🙂
You know I once went through a whole session of training for how to deal with introverts/extroverts. I have till date not been able to really point out how?! But guess, your post delves into it clearly. Nice one, here!
@Kajal, well when I read this post on the web, I just knew that I had to put up a post on this topic 🙂
I’ve had some really interesting and enlightening interactions with people who are considered introverts.
I personally think the difference between extroverts and introverts is like the difference between fast bowlers and spinners.
@Proactive Indian, lovely analogy 🙂