by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Relationships Columnist
Published in Relationships on 12th October, 2018
Most of us exist somewhere on the spectrum between being introverts and extroverts. These two personality types can differ rather widely, so it's important to have an idea of where you fit on that spectrum. Once you know, you'll be able to find the best ways to care for yourself.
If you find that you're more introverted, or know someone who is, then it's wise to know what to do next! An introverted personality tends to enjoy quiet alone time, or personal time with just a few close friends. In this article, we're going to provide a brief guide on making the most out of being or knowing an introvert!
What Introversion Is
In short, introversion versus extroversion essentially refers to where your energy comes from. Think about attending a party where you won't know everyone. If that idea is exciting to you, then you might be an extrovert. Meanwhile, if just the thought exhausts you, then it's likely you may be introverted.
Rather than gathering their energy from social interactions, introverts get it from spending time alone doing something they enjoy. Maybe it's gaming, or maybe it's digging into a favorite TV show or book. The key is peace and quiet, without the effort of a lot of social interaction.
How It Shows Up
Aside from the energy source, introversion can show up in a lot of ways. It may be that you're more private than others. In addition, you may also have fewer, higher-quality friends rather than many friendly acquaintences. Meanwhile, there can also be cases where too much socialization makes you uncomfortable.
There can also be cases in which you may not realize you're introverted, but you often hear the question "Why are you so quiet?". This can be a key sign that you might be at least somewhat introverted, as introverts tend to avoid talking as much until they have something important to say.
Nearly half of the population is made up of people who are on the more introverted side of the spectrum. There's nothing wrong with it in the slightest, and knowing that you tend to be more introverted then knowing that can help you to understand what makes you tick.
Once you know, you can take pleasure in doing the things you enjoy! You'll also know when you need to step away from a social setting to recharge. As a result, you'll be able to give yourself better care, and you won't need to feel badly about being quiet, less social or more private.
Learn To Set Limits
Once you know where your limits are, you can learn how to stick to them. If you're invited to a party that you know will run late, you can set the precedent that you intend to spend only a certain amount of time there, or that you'll leave by a certain time.
This can also mean knowing when to say no if you aren't feeling up to something. Don't worry about what others will think, and don't run yourself ragged just to keep up with others. When you need to take the time to recharge, give yourself permission to do exactly that.
Discover Your Best Ways To Recharge
For some, reading a book in a quiet spot is a great way to recharge. For others it's a long, hot bath or a marathon of their favorite movies or shows. Whatever your favorite methods of recharging are, make sure you get plenty of them.
Learning which are the most effective can help you to recharge most effectively when you're extremely worn down. After a big party, vacation or even after the holidays. That way, you can be ready to go for work, school or whatever it is you need to do after the event.
Don't Try To Conform To The Standards Of Others
Some people get a huge kick out of partying, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some just aren't into it, and there's nothing wrong with that either! Don't feel like you need to be hyper-social just because the people around you may be.
In addition to that, don't let others try to push you into socializing when you're not feeling up to it. It's not boring to take care of yourself, and certainly not to avoid getting extremely burnt out trying to live up to the expectations of others. What's most important is making sure your needs are met.
Love your friend for who they are, even if it means they aren't going to be the most social all the time. If you're also an introvert, then it means you can spend quiet time together doing the things you both enjoy. The beauty of deeper introvert relationships is that they can involve hanging out together without having to worry too much about conversation.
If you're an extrovert, then just keep in mind that they may not always want to go live it up like you might. Sometimes, they may just prefer to hang out with you one on one at home.
Don't Try To "Pull Them Out Of Their Shell"
There are a few things that introverts just hate to hear. One of them comes when people become intent on "pulling them out of their shell". In many cases, introverts aren't shy or in need of help. They just don't enjoy large amounts of socialization as you might.
Instead, just let them do what they do and enjoy their presence. Know that they may be the one to leave early from events, and that has nothing to do with you. Also, remember that just because they're quiet doesn't mean they aren't enjoying their time out.
Respect When They Need To Leave Early
When it comes to outings together, it's important to keep in mind that an introverted friend may be work out by the excitement sooner than you will, unless you're introverted as well. In some cases, it can be easy to feel like they might be leaving because they aren't having much fun.
If they really seem like they haven't been enjoying their time out, feel free to check in. Otherwise, it's best to give them their space and understand that they may just need some time to recharge. Don't try to make them stay out longer if they aren't feeling it anymore.
Give Them Space When They Need It
From time to time, introverts can drop off the grid. This can really depend on the individual person and how they tend to go about their lives. When this happens, it's usually just that the person needs some time to themselves. In most cases, it isn't a reflection on you or the relationship.
For the most part, it's a good idea to let them have their space when they need it. If it goes on for a while and you become concerned, go ahead and check in with them. However, don't try to convince them to get out or be social if they just aren't feeling up to it. They'll come back when they're ready!
It Can Be Done!
Introverts and extroverts have a lot of differences, but relationships between them can be fully functional. Oftentimes, it's the extroverted individual who tends to lead the relationship. However, they can easily help each other in different ways.
Within reason, extroverts can help introverts to get out a little more and have more experiences. Meanwhile, introverts can be the catalyst for a deeper relationship, where exciting outings aren't always necessary. That said, it can be possible that introverts can be easily worn out by their extroverted friends as well.
Mutual Respect Is Key
The best foundation for an extrovert-introvert relationship, much like any relationship, is mutual respect. Understanding each other's needs is going to go a long way in helping you to have a good time together, whether you're chilling out or going to a party.
On top of that, learning how to compromise well is going to be incredibly useful. There are likely to be times when one of you wants to go out dancing and the other just wants to read a book. Doing something smaller, or trading off who chooses the activity can work wonders.
Love Your Differences!
No matter how different you may be, the friendship between you is important and real. So keep in mind that the differences that occur between introverts and extroverts can sometimes cause tension, but overall you can set them aside as long as you understand where those differences come from.
It does mean making some compromises, but that's a normal part of life. Furthermore, having a variety of friends can help greatly. That way, both parties have friends who can enjoy certain activities with them without a problem. With a little time and effort, introverts and extroverts alike can find ways to get the most from their relationships.