As an Internet-saavy and acculturated individual – you are reading this, are you not? – you’ve probably come across dozens of manifestos on the woefully misunderstood nature of the Introvert. A new wave of this came after Susan Cain’s TED Talk accompanying her published work Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. If you somehow haven’t been exposed to this, here’s a sampling to get your started:
- 47 Things Only Introverts Understand | Thought Catalog
- 9 Facts About Introverts Everyone Thinks Are True | Lifehack
- 15 Things Introverts Do Much Better | WhatCulture
- 6 Examples of How Extroverts Benefit From Their Social Privilege | Everyday Feminism
Introverts like me need a lot of help with all this social crap. And even though we’re awesome, we’re really quite annoying, especially now that we’re insisting on this special treatment.
So here’s how you, a gregarious extrovert, can live through another interaction – if it can be called such a thing – with the next pesky introvert you meet.
1. Approach with Caution
If you were raised right at all, you’ll have been taught that it’s always the quiet ones you gotta’ watch. That’s because, if you’re caught unawares, we’ll bore you with the details of our top 5 fandoms, recite 20th century existential poetry, awkward the shit out of you, or murder you. Probably not the latter so much, but is it worth the risk?
2. Amp Up the Volume
Introverts are much like any other foreigner; we need you to speak loudly and slowly so that we can understand you. Our ears just aren’t attuned to the native speech patterns of extroverts. It’s like a foreign language (and sounds kind of like this, actually).
3. Never. Stop. Talking.
If there’s anything worse than being around people, it’s being around people and being expected to say anything. (And making eye contact. That’s also quite horrible.) To help out your little introvert, use your god-given power of speech to fill up all pauses with your thoughts and opinions on anything and everything. And I mean anything and everything. Have thoughts on the presidential race? Please have the floor. Your favorite Kardashian is Khloe? Tell me more!
4. Interrupt as Necessary
Have you heard the social justice concept of interrupting? It’s the act of catching and interrupting oppression in the act and guess what – you can apply it to introverts! As mentioned before, we absolutely loathe having to talk, so if you see or hear us making the effort to contribute anything to the conversation, please, please, please save us from ourselves and interrupt us immediately. You’ll be doing us a greater favor than you’ll ever know.
5. Encourage Us to be Extroverted Like You
When all is said and done, here is the unadulterated truth: introverts are just unrealized extroverts. So to be a true ally to all introvert-kind, you must push us to be the best that we can be – extrovert-style. After you’ve accomplished all the previous steps and have gained the precious trust of your introvert, push our underdeveloped fledgling bodies out of the tree and into the wilderness! Tough love, extreme unnecessary measures, imbecilic lunacy – ignore the judgments about this kind of bold encouragement. Your introvert will thank you when they’re able to soar in society just like you.
Now you’re equipped with the basics of how to deal with introverts, however exasperating they might be, in a direct and compassionate way. Fly, my pretties, and spread your extroverted seed!
Mighty extroverts, do you have any helpful tips to add to this list? Feel free to chime in in the comments below! You’re also allowed to contribute, fellow introverts, but be careful – remember our delicate natures. Take care.
[Header image source: Pixabay]