Hello there. It’s been awhile since we met. Between chasing summer sunshine and a busy toddler, it’s been hard to drop in. But here I am, ready to continue our discussion on friendship…
Today, let’s talk about the Quiet Ones. Yes, the introverts. Although not an expert on personality types, I am an introvert and have learned a thing or two about dealing with these unique creatures.
To start, not all introverts are quiet. (I simply use the term “Quiet Ones” as an affectionate name for the souls who recharge on their own.) And not all introverts dislike people. In fact, I would venture to say that many, many introverts actually love people. It’s just that, unlike our extrovert counterparts, we can only take so much of others. People may engage us, inspire us, interest us, and warm us- but they also deplete us. Seriously. We need to gear up to be with other humans- and then we need to recharge afterwards. That’s just the way we’re wired.
But don’t let our seeming finickiness scare you away! We can be some of the most loyal, thoughtful, and steady friends you’ll ever have- with all our own quirks to boot. We just need some special care. Here are a few tips:
1. Choose quiet settings. We are much more apt to enjoy a coffee date than an all-night rave. Being more sensitive to stimulation, calmer settings put us at ease. We can then let our guard down and connect.
2. Smaller is better. Although we may find the mixer event to be a fun novelty once in a while, we are much more comfortable in small group settings- even one on ones. We can better give of ourselves when we only have a few people to interact with- our energy reserves go further. Put us in the middle of too many people and we can start to “hermit” away….
3. Don’t let us hermit away! Yes, we may need breaks from people and space for our souls to breathe, but we also NEED people! Despite what we may think sometimes. Don’t give up on us if we’re quiet or seem aloof. We are probably hungering to be your friend- we just need a warm up.
4. Write us a note. Not pigeonholing here, but words mean a lot to almost every introvert I know. So try writing us a note. I bet we’ll keep it for an insane amount of years, stored away in a Rubbermaid box in our bedroom closet, waiting for our heirs to sort through all the papers someday. Not that I know from personal experience or anything.
5. Forgive us. Finally, as introverts, we need forgiveness. Often. Sometimes our need to be alone- to recharge solo and focus on ourselves- can slip unconsciously into selfishness. We don’t mean to be selfish. Truly. We just need reminders that there are so many people besides us- in the physical world outside our heads.
What about you? Do you know a Quiet One you can uniquely bless today?