Two different types of socializing personalities means a whole lot of miscommunication.
Introverts and extroverts seem like they're at opposite ends of the social spectrum. One needs lots of time alone, one can hardly handle themselves for more than a few hours.
One always seems to be the center of parties, one is the center of their fantasyland.
But is there real understanding of these two personalities? Or is it all a result of stereotypes?
Here were some of those answers.
Silence Is Bliss
I need to spend some time by myself. This is why I wake up so damn early, it's so I have 1-2 hours everyday where you're all asleep and I can start my day in blissful silence.
I love all of you, but not before 6AM, just go back to sleep. This is my time.
Not all introverts are shy and quiet.
I tend to be loud and outgoing with people I know and/or like, for a certain amount of time. Then I need to crawl into my hole and recharge. Interaction with more than one person at a time exhausts me, and I can't deal with more than one social event a week. The fact that I sometimes I talk a lot, I can hold eye contact and don't completely suck at small talk doesn't make me any less introverted.
These Are Not Accurate Adjectives
I remember in middle school, my English teacher had us do an activity where she would call one person's name out and then the rest of the class would have to write words describing that person on the board. The majority of mine were all various synonyms for quiet, timid, and shy. I didn't particularly enjoy that activity very much.
Always Social Distancing
I've been telling people I'm living my best life (I'm fortunately able to work from home) and I'm just mad I didn't think of calling it social distancing and claiming to be very concerned about infectious diseases to avoid human interaction before. Sigh.
Also, I REALLY love that I can finally cross the street to avoid interacting with others when I'm out on a walk without seeming like a jerk or a psychopath now.
Not A Chatterbox
I'm terrible at conversation. I have nothing to say most times because either I can't think of an interesting topic on the spot or I just feel inadequate talking in general.
But I love to listen to people talk, especially about something they're passionate about. Keep going. I appreciate you think that I may want to talk, but if I don't contribute much, know that I'm still enjoying myself!
I Needs A Break
If I haven't made eye contact in 20 minutes and I've said "right" as many times, it might be time to enjoy some silence. Speaking of silence, it's golden.
To clarify, I'm referring specifically to situations where a person insists on talking at me, where I get the sense that I'm being used to distract a person from their own uncomfortable thoughts. I appreciate company and good conversation, it's just draining at times, and I'm often not very good at expressing to people when I feel like I need a break. It's not that I expect people to read my mind, but there are such things as social cues and body language that hint at it that I feel extroverts are often somewhat oblivious to. But therein lies the importance of submitting oneself to potentially uncomfortable social interactions so that we can learn and grow together. Also, thank you for the gold, kind strangers, and the many lovely internet points. Be well, friends!
Turn It Back
The people I work with don't believe me when I tell them I am introverted. I'm not socially awkward, I'm approachable, I'll talk to anyone. This does not mean that I like it! My company is paying me interact so I do it. I have learned the ability to socially interact it's just totally draining and takes a lot of effort. You literately need to pay me to do it! On my own personal time I don't interact at all. Social distancing is the best thing to happen to me in a long time:)
My tip for fooling them is to ask them questions and get them to talk about themselves.
It's About Energy
I'm very charismatic and outgoing, and I'm one of the loudest people wherever I go. But social events EXHAUST me. Whenever I'm going somewhere social the part I look forward to most is the drive alone there when I can drink caffeine and listen to music by myself. No one believes me that I'm an introvert, and it's annoying.
Introvert: gets energy from being alone, more stimulated by their environment (therefore more easily exhausted), recharged by meaningful conversations and alone time
Extrovert: gets energy from being around other people, less stimulated by their environment, recharged by going out somewhere loud.
Literally has nothing to do with being shy or outgoing, socially skilled or socially awkward.
An Insult Turned On Its Head
Pointing out how quiet I am won't suddenly make me talkative.
It sounds like you're pointing out a flaw that you dislike about me which makes me unnecessarily uncomfortable around you. I remain even more quiet than I usually would be because I feel judged and unwelcome for simply being myself. Not to mention, it comes so out of nowhere.
It's as if I told you "you talk a lot" with a straight face. You wouldn't take it as a compliment. It doesn't even sound like an observation that should be said out loud. You'd just wonder what the hell was the point of me saying that to you.
Honestly, how do you even reply to this without sounding offended or snarky?
It's Just Who I Am
Stop trying to 'change' introversion. It's not a flaw. If I don't want to dance, don't push me saying I'm shy. If I don't want to flirt in a club, stop saying I should get over it. Stop pushing me to be 'more social'. Also, I do enjoy time by myself. I don't feel depressed or lonely. Just stop pushing in general.
Let It Be, Let It Be!
I really don't have that much to talk about because I hate being interrupted, hate interrupting, and frankly don't speak unless I have something of value to add to the conversation. Sometimes I prefer to sit on the sidelines of a conversation. Just let me gosh darn be!
It's A Need, Not A Want
A big one for me is with romantic partners: No, I don't want to spend all my time with you. I'm an Individual with individual desires. And I not only truly love alone time, but I physically, emotionally, and mentally need it in order to feel calm and happy.
I love you, and I love spending time with you, but I also love spending time by myself too.
Sad Birthday To Me
I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and effort but you don't have sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!" causing a spectacle in public and making me the center of attention every year.
Can't you see my awkward smile and forced smile, not knowing where to look?
I need time to prepare myself. My brain can often go blank when overwhelmed so its helpful if I know (as much as possible) what to expect. This includes little things like whether I need to get out of the car and approach the guy at the dealership for my oil change or wait until he comes and checks me in. And it includes big things like how many people will be at the party, who do you expect to be there, is there anybody I'm absolutely required to say hello to.
Space To Work
We hate open plan offices with their constant noise and so called collaboration. And no, putting on noise canceling headphones does not work. Silence is a beautiful and calming background ambiance that re energizes us, and we need to have time and physical space to get into a zone to work. We need to hear ourselves think. Stop pushing this crap on us, it is toxic for us.
It's Mah Me-Time
Being alone doesn't (always) mean I'm depressed or miserable.
If I respond to your question on how my friday night will look like, DON'T look at me like I'm a sad puppy because I want to stay in, read a book or just order take-in and that's it.
It's wonderful to be alone and have me-time.