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Introverts are one of the most misunderstood groups of people in the world. People often think introverts are shy, anti-social, or weird (all labels I’ve heard about myself before). This is not true! Introverts simply prefer to spend their time alone or with a small group of close friends. They recharge their energy by being alone and can get overwhelmed in large groups or social situations. If you have an introvert in your life, it’s important to know what not to say to them. In this blog post, we will share 13 things you should never say to an introvert and some things you can say instead!
Before we dive in, I’d like to start by saying not everything here will apply to ALL introverts. We are all different. Some introverts thrive on showing up on live videos (for a short period of time), and for others, it is a hard no. I’m on the high end of the introvert scale – most of my personality tests put me at 98% introverted, and I also have social anxiety.
These below all apply to me and are all things I’ve heard before, but they might not apply 100% to all introverts.
Asking an introvert why they are quiet is like asking a fish why they are wet. It’s just how they are! Instead of asking them this, try saying something like, “I love your quiet nature.”
As an introvert, we tend to think before we speak. We also tend to think a lot, so sometimes, we get caught up in our own minds before we get a chance to speak up.
Make space for introverts if you’re running an event or a meeting. Give everyone ample time to respond, share their thoughts, or ask questions.
For the most part, introverts hate talking on the phone, especially if they don’t know who is calling them. If you need to talk to an introvert, try sending them a text or email instead. You’ll likely get a much quicker response!
Um, no. Most introverts hate video calls and prefer to communicate through text or in person. If you need to have a meeting with an introvert, try doing it in person or over the phone instead of Zoom, especially if it’s last minute.
Maybe it’s just a ‘me’ thing, but I hate switching gears and needing to hop on a video call immediately. I need the notice to prepare, think it over, and get ready for it!
Asking an introvert if they are better than everyone else is a surefire way to get them to shut down. Instead, try asking them what they think makes them unique. This is one I received a lot in high school. People wouldn’t come out and ask me this to my face, but I heard many people thought this way. A lot of introverts are misunderstood.
People tend to think our quiet, reflective nature means we’re judging others, which is far from the truth. Most of the time, we are a million times harder and judgemental about ourselves vs other people.
Some introverts are not shy; they simply prefer to spend their time alone or with a small group of close friends. I’m both shy and introverted, but a considerable percentage of introverts are not shy. They are just quiet thinkers who don’t get energy from large crowds, like extroverts, but instead, that drains their energy.
Introverts hate small talk and would much rather have a deep conversation. Instead of asking them about the weather, try asking them about their day or how they are feeling. Open up a conversation with an introvert and get them out of their headspace and into the engaging conversation, especially if it’s one-on-one – most introverts thrive in meaningful conversations.
Asking an introvert what’s wrong with them is a surefire way to make them feel uncomfortable (and maybe a bit pissed off). Growing up, I always felt something was wrong because I was so quiet. But being quiet and introspective is a darn fantastic superpower! It’s not something to feel ‘wrong’ about or like you need to change.
Asking an introvert why they always want to stay in is like asking a fish why they always want to swim. It’s just how they are! Instead, ask them if they want to come out with you and a small group. Or at least respect their boundaries.
If you’re an extrovert, you thrive in large social gatherings, but it drains the energy out of us introverts. We need time and space to recharge before the next big event or outing.
An introvert’s way to recharge could be anything – reading, writing, spending a night binging Netflix, scrapbooking – it doesn’t matter what it is. Asking an introvert why they are always doing their favorite recharging activity is a surefire way to make them feel uncomfortable about it. Instead, try asking them if you can join them next time instead of going out.
Introverts are not unhappy; they just don’t feel the need to smile all the time. Telling an introvert to smile more is the quickest way to not have someone smile. Just be friendly, keep the mood and conversation light, and stop focusing on your own insecurities.
People will naturally smile and relax when they feel comfortable.
Asking an introvert if they are sure they are an introvert is a surefire way to make them feel uncomfortable. Instead, try asking them what they think the benefits of being an introvert are and how they’re feeling.
Asking an introvert why they are introverted is an annoying question. And you might get a response back like, “I don’t understand why you are so loud.” But honestly, it’s just how we are. We like calm energy, need to recharge and are usually quieter than most people. The world needs a variety of energies, or how boring would life be!
Introverts may seem like they have it easy, but they often struggle in a world that is designed for extroverts. So instead of telling them how lucky they are, try saying something like, “I’m sorry the world doesn’t always understand different personality types.”
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