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An Open Letter to Extroverts: What the Introverts in Your Life Want You to Know

36 Responses

  1. DogDharma says:

    For goodness’ sake, you have absolutely NAILED it! Worst nightmare: being in a mall at Christmas time. One additional thought — people who have experienced trauma can isolate or “become invisible” for self-protective reasons. A real truth — introverts can be loud and adventuresome and bawdy and boisterous when their energy level is high. I wonder if you have any thoughts on the Myer’s-Briggs types? I am an INFJ, 1% of the population.

    • Good point about the trauma.

      Ahhh, good ol Myers Briggs:) My mom used to assess my HS dates with it (including the now infamous ex). My memory is that I’m ISTJ. Something interesting – after the divorce, my results on Myers Briggs-based assessments (True Colors, etc.) changed whereas before they were stable.

      Mall at Christmas? Worst. Thing. Ever.

    • christy.michalak@yahoo.ca says:

      I’m INFJ also – and this entire article rang true. I’m married to an extrovert and his inability to understand this is difficult. I sent him a copy of the article. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m late to the party, but hey– I’m an INFP. The a absolute oddball. I’m currently married to an ENFJ. I think my brain has blown up. Yes– extroverts are so important for me to learn from… But, PLEASE do not make phone calls and hand them off to me! my favorite line is the last in your post… You made my day!! Thank you.

  2. momfawn says:

    Many of these things are truths for extroverts, as well…if they quiet down enough to think about it. – Fawn

  3. I found myself nodding my head yes throughout this whole article. My mother has never understood me, she has to have people around her all the time but as much as I can entertain a houseful of people and be the life of the party I can spend days on end all by myself, putzing in the garden, painting, taking long walks with my dog. I hate talking on the phone and if I have something important to share I write it.
    I used to be really shy also but have learned to overcome that but still need my alone time. Well, everything you said I agree with totally.
    DogDharma I am a INFJ also. When I found out we are only 1% of the population a lot of things made sense.

  4. Great post. I relate to all these 🙂

  5. I continued to nod throughout this one. I think I straddle the line though primarily an introvert.

  6. Special Ed. says:

    Reblogged this on Special 2 Me and commented:
    This post so perfectly sums me up. I want to bronze it and put it on my dining room wall with the rest of my pictures. I am so often misunderstood by those who don’t know me. I really vibe with this post. Thank you, Lessons From the End of a Marriage, for writing this. I could have written this. It sums me up perfectly.

  7. Special Ed. says:

    I had to re-blog this.This post so perfectly sums me up. I want to bronze it and put it on my dining room wall with the rest of my pictures. I am so often misunderstood by those who don’t know me. I really vibe with this post. Thank you for writing this. I could have written this. It sums me up perfectly.

  8. Special Ed. says:

    I just read the rest of the comments. I am INFJ also.

  9. wiegela says:

    Absolutely dead on! As is Quiet. Making the distinction between shyness and introversion was hugely liberating for me. I’m a raging introvert, and my extremely extroverted husband and best friend tried for years to “cure” me. Finally, they gave up and left me for each other. What a surprising relief that turned out to be.

  10. DogDharma says:

    Wow… Interesting observation — myself, Carrie Reimer, and Special Ed are all INFJ. We are 1% of the population, and 3 of us are reading and commenting on stilllearning2b’s blog. I wonder what that means / implies? 🙂

  11. DogDharma says:

    Pardon for overloading with comments… I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Because I have a vision impairment, my social opportunities are a bit more limited than I’d like, even for an introvert, so it’s kind of a necessity. Lately, however, I’ve experienced the “introvert overload,” even on Facebook! Flooded with people sharing news stories, commenting on current events, promoting causes, expecting “Likes,” or liking things I’ve posted, and then the pressure to respond or be thought rude or unsociable.

    There was just so much in this piece that resonated with me. *Hate* the telephone and cringe when it rings. Don’t have a clue how to do “chit chat.”

  12. Kory says:

    Hey Lisa , I just wanted to tell someone this , because I feel so down right now …I’m in relationship with an extrovert and it’s so hard …
    I dream my whole life of living alone and that’s not good thing to tell him , but I did ….because I fell into depression of constant touches , hugs , his neediness , his craving for intimacy so often , coming to my place , giving me presents all the time (expensive ones) , telling me to come over so often …and it’s so hard because I’m very good person and I wouldn’t ever do something to hurt him but it’s just I can’t explain him good enough that this is who I am , and not who I have chosen to be ….. He want’s to live with me one day and have kids but my introverted mind just can’t do that , and I cry every day because he don’t understand , and I cry because I feel so exhausted every day with just being around people , not even speak ….I need to be alone , I really need it , I can get all work done , I can do everything in the world I wish to do and I couldn’t do that if I live with him , because that constant feel of presence would drive me crazy and I really don’t want to go to psychiatrist again and take pills and everything ….just because someone can’t accept who and what am I ….
    I was adjusting to everyone my whole life , lived with people and it drove me to the point I fell into great depression that lasted for 13 years and almost did something to myself , tried but failed , 13 years of pills and everything ….and I can’t let that happen again ….but you know …he has his own wish and I would be glad to be part of it and live with him but I just can’t risk my health and life …
    I feel so bad for month now …. and he’s so judging …like it’s my fault for not being able to do that ..

    • Sounds like a really rough position to be in. It seems like you know your needs for solitude and that it is critical for your well-being. Honor that. Moving in won’t help either one of you if it destroys you.

  13. Kory says:

    And …I see you wrote about personalities …I’m an INTJ …

  14. bethnewman4 says:

    As the extrovert in the relationship it can hurt a bit to know that my husband prefers to be alone instead of with me. He never requests time with me, just time to be alone.

    • I can empathize with how that would feel. It’s so difficult not to internalize rejection even when it has nothing to do with you. And, as an extrovert, it would be even harder to have your spouse not want as much together time.

  15. Rosemond says:

    Insightful article about being a hidden introvert. I’ve always wondered if I was one. I’m very vocal but find that I need time to recharge. Like you, extrovert is a costume I’ve learned to wear each day. And it can be exhausting. Thanks for the insights!

  16. Patrick says:

    This is incredibly insightful and well written. I had always suspected I was mildly autistic (and my parents joked about it), but it is just a case of not having a big social interactions battery. I also never understood why talking on the phone felt like such an ordeal, since I am removed from the person speaking, but now I understand (and friends I’ve shared this with agree). It’s not about being shy; I’ve spoken at conferences in front of hundreds of people without a problem. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Navile says:

    I really needed this. My brother in law is currently living with us until he can get a job, and since he’s in the house 24/7 I have been so drained. Everytime I am trying to work in the living room (bedroom is cramped) even with headphones on, he sits down and talks; sucking up 4-5 hours of my time.

    I’m an artist by trade, and I require a lot of concentration/quiet time to function. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in this.

  18. ‘Glad to know you’re a fellow introvert. It does get hard the way they see introverts as anti-social which is totally not true.

    • stilllearning2b says:

      It is SO not true! I would call us selectively social 🙂 At least if we want to be our best!

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