Society is roughly 50/50 on the introvert to extrovert scale. It may seem like the extroverts outnumber us recluses, but that’s just because they are loud. So for every introvert who has struggled to figure out how to make your way through an increasingly in-your-face society, and for every quiet person who’s had to deal with a well-meaning parent or friend saying, “Why can’t you be more outgoing?”, and for every thoughtful person that just needs a minute before they respond, here are a few words to share with our extroverted friends.
I love extroverts‘ energy.
We actually don’t hate you, often we are impressed with your ability to work a room and be the life of the party. We just don’t want to feel like we have to be just like you. We are fine just admiring when you succeed and laughing when you put your foot in your mouth.
I actually don’t mind the alone time.
No need for you to come and keep me company. I’m good taking a long drive, running to the store, or even going to a movie alone. Introverts recharge alone.
But I don’t want to be abandoned.
I know that may seem like having your cake and eating it too, but there is a desire to know you will return, or you’ll be here when I return. You see, introverts recharge alone—so they can be in community.
Some of us are fine being in the room, but not engaged.
This is becoming known as the “coffee house introvert.” It’s the guy on his computer with his headphones on, but still wanting to see evidence of life around him. The gentle buzz of the room serves as our white noise, but it also reminds us that there is life around us. People are happy and none of it is dependent on us.
Occasionally, force me to do something.
I hesitate to even say this for fear I give license to all extroverts to drag us to a rave, but the truth is, every now and then—not often, but occasionally, force us out of the coffee shop. A good friend in college once looked at me and said, “Be a man, pick up the phone, and call her!” And I did. And 24 years of marriage later I’m still grateful he pushed me to call Lorrie Miller! Introverts need extroverts. We really are better together.