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24 ways to impress your friends

The Introvert Owner’s Manual

13 Comments

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Rachel Andrew

Thank you for writing this! It was only recently that I understood this “need to recharge” thing about myself. Understanding that has meant that I enjoy attending and speaking at conferences so much more – as I build that recharging time into my plans.

I often feel I have to explain to people that the reason I vanished and had dinner alone, was just to have some time to myself before heading into the party or whatever social thing is planned that evening. I also use the fact that I’m a distance runner to my advantage as I can get some good alone time, while exploring whichever city I am in on foot. No-one else is interested in running 10 miles on the morning of a conference so I’m unlikely to have company! :)

Brendan

Good to know theres nothing wrong with me :0) Extroverts get a lot of the attention and thats perfectly fine with me haha Thanks for this article, it spoke to me in a lot of ways and helped me understand me a lot better

Glenn

Good communication of your insights into your “condition”. My introversion has never been a problem for me. I’ve never taken what other people think of me personally. People who hang in there long enough usually “get me” and understand that I am not emotionless or withdrawn or depressed or unfriendly or judgmental or not even quiet. I prefer listening to talking. I’ve never learned anything by talking and am an avid learner. I feel no need to “add to the conversation” when I have nothing to add. Social gatherings are difficult for me simply because I become this question box when I meet new people. I am profoundly interested in what knowledge I can pry loose from them that is interesting to me and people find that annoying. I don’t blame them. Finally, I am what I am and you are what you are and I wouldn’t change that for either of us.

Volker Rose

Very well written, thank you for this. One article on introversion that opened
my eyes in the first place is “Caring for your Introvert” by Jonathan Rauch, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/.

I found out for myself over the years that my need to recharge more often than others is one of the aspects of being a highly sensitive person. There are many overlaps between these topics. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/highly-sensitive-people-signs-habits_n_4810794.html gives some insights to the idea of HSP (Highly Sensitive Persons).

PS: Lovely made, http://themetapicture.com/how-to-interact-with-the-introverted/ e.g. http://romanjones.deviantart.com/art/How-to-Live-with-Introverts-PDF-available-291305760.

Amlikcom

Great post, definitely could relate. Also would highly recommend reading the outsider by Camus, just occurred to me when I read the opening sentence.
Its also quite interesting how introverts tend to attract introverts or get along better with other introverts.

Bevan Stephens

Really great article. Like Rachel, it was only in the last year or so that I discovered that was I was a fairly extreme introvert.

Now I know how to manage my energy better, all areas of my life have improved. I used to just think there was something wrong with me.

In particular, I’ve found that working remotely at (least 50% of the time) greatly improved the quality of my work.

I wrote a little about it here: http://www.bevanstephens.com/blog/working-on-my-own-but-not-alone/

Inayaili

@Rachel: You’re welcome :) I do the same at conferences and other gatherings (no running though!): going into my room to recharge before dinners, parties, drinks, etc. Most times I’m looking forward to those, but really need to have my recharging time on my own beforehand. Sometimes it’s tricky for other people to understand that I’m not being rude or anti-social, so I hope this reminds them of that!

Inayaili

@Volker: Those are great; it’s funny how similar my article was to that 2003 one, I swear I didn’t know of it, I love it! :)
Love the illustration too!

Chris House

Inayaili, this is an absolutely fantastic article. I read all the articles here on 24 Ways, but this is the first one I’ve felt the need to comment on. I’ve always struggled to describe to people what it really means that I’m an introvert. Most people, as you mentioned, attribute it to shyness, self-consciousness, or social anxiety (not that there necessarily isn’t some of that in me too, but they’re different things from introversion). It’s not a problem, a character flaw, or a disorder. But I’ve always struggled to define exactly what it WAS. Until now. Your article kinda cleared up how I should think about it: the need to recharge after socializing. That’s just brilliant and spot-on. I feel mentally and emotionally drained after putting on my “game face” for social events. What comes so naturally to many people is a constant effort for me. I’m good at it. I fit in just fine. But what’s different about me is how much alone time I need to compensate for the social time. I get it now! Thanks for the great article.

Helen

It’s like you’re describing me! I can identify with everything you’ve described here. I find social situations tiring, and often get headache after an hour or so from working so hard to interact “normally”.

Like Rachel Andew I like to eat lunch alone, and colleagues at work don’t understand I just need a bit of time to myself. It’s nice to know there are others out there that feel the same!

Lennie

This is spot on, thanks. Getting to know yourself is one of those key life skills that I wish they taught at school. I can also recommend something like running, cycling or swimming to help find that space.

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