Introverts generally have different social needs than extroverts, and the better they know and respond to them, the more relaxed and conflict-free they get through life. These expert dos and don’ts can serve as guidelines for introverts.
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Extraversion, i.e. whether we are extroverted or introverted, is one of the five characteristics of the Big Five model and, according to psychologists, is one of the essential characteristics that define our personality.
If we observe ourselves every now and then, think about ourselves and analyze our actions, at some point we will be able to assess quite well whether we are more of the introverted people – for example, need time for ourselves to recharge our batteries and not be able to do much with superficial acquaintances – or to the extroverts. We recognize the latter by the fact that we often like to surround ourselves with people and are sociable and quickly feel lonely on our own. Similar to how we can assess whether we are more conscientious or sloppy, curious or conservative.
But knowing your own personality traits does not mean that you can deal with them optimally. A slight degree of extraversion or a strong degree of introversion can sometimes be a challenge in (social) life. The author and blogger Sophia Dembling (The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After. The Introvert’s Corner) has listed the most important dos and don’ts that can help introverted people through life from their experience.
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1. Learn to plan social life
How many dates am I okay with per week? How much time do I need between appointments? According to Sophia Dembling, being able to answer these questions for yourself is important for introverted people in order to plan their week based on them. Do not isolate yourself, but also do not overwhelm yourself – finding a healthy level in social life is not that easy, but it is possible with conscious planning and self-observation.
2. Consciously saying yes and no to society
According to the expert, it is essential for introverted people to learn to feel when they want company and when not – and to communicate that clearly. And if it sometimes takes a moment to feel that: “I’ll get in touch with you” is just as okay as an answer if you don’t let the other person wait too long for the response.
3. Let social pressure and criticism of your own personality bounce off
Some people have little understanding and patience for introverts and find their needs strange or selfish – and some show or communicate this quite openly. This can make introverts feel like they have to change or are not lovable. But this feeling is based on a flawed perception: being an introvert is not weird or selfish, but completely natural, human and just as good as being extrovert. Therefore, you can safely ignore criticism or pressure that reaches you and is directed against your needs as an introvert and book it as incomprehension or ignorance.
4. Get people who mean something to you on board
In turn, if this criticism or pressure comes from people who are close to you and mean something, it is important that you try to help them understand you. Explain to them how you feel when other people’s expectations are too high for you, or how exhausted you can sometimes be after a whole day with people. If they love you, they will try to understand your needs.
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5. Ask your friends and loved ones to text you before they call
Spontaneous calls can be annoying for introverts and put them in a real dilemma because they may have to struggle with whether or not to answer. But others don’t know if nobody tells them. Therefore, the expert recommends simply informing your friends about it: Ask your loved ones to text you or to terminate phone calls. The same applies, of course, to visits – spontaneous visits can sometimes be even more difficult than phone calls.
6. As often as possible, try to answer the phone
However, if the doorbell or the phone rings occasionally, Sophia Dembling advises, if it is reasonably relaxed, to answer the call or to open the door – because in most cases this is followed by positive experiences, i.e. good conversations with friends , a nice exchange with neighbors: inside or something similar. These experiences do not have to change anything in your personality, but can help to reduce anxiety and stress and to become more relaxed.
7. Allow yourself to leave when you feel like it
When you go to a party or hang out with someone, basically allow yourself to go home whenever you want. You don’t have to hold out until midnight or at least two hours. If you notice after half an hour that you are not feeling well, you just say goodbye – after all, the others are already grown up and can manage without you. If you don’t make any demands on yourself, it will be easier for you to even accept and go, according to the expert.
8. Try to understand other people
Introvert and extrovert are two equal, different expressions of a personality trait, both have advantages and disadvantages, neither is superior to the other. Just as you want others to understand your needs, others want you to try to put yourself in their shoes and understand – or at least accept and respect them.
No thank you! 4 don’ts that are especially important for introverts
1. Don’t isolate yourself
Introverted or not – people need relationships and social contacts, otherwise we will get lonely, sick and unhappy. It’s best to get used to a social routine that you can handle, and then stick with it for as long as it feels good. And: Just as you perceive being overwhelmed, try to feel when you feel lonely.
2. Don’t keep canceling at short notice
From time to time it can really happen that something comes up at short notice during an appointment – and that can just be the mood. But if that happens every second time (or more often), that’s just stupid. It’s not working. Other people want to be able to rely on you and know where they stand. Therefore, measure your appointments, think carefully about whether you will say yes or no, and if in doubt, say no – but don’t always say yes and then continue to decline at the last moment.
3. Do not underestimate superficial acquaintances
Introverts would do well to manage their social energy and focus on the people who really mean something to them. But casual acquaintances can bring us advantages and broaden our horizons – so Sophia Dembling advises against closing yourself completely to them. Nowadays there are comparatively safe ways to network, for example via Instagram or email, it doesn’t always have to be the same phone number and address.
4. Don’t expect friends to be there for you all the time
Being an introvert is not a free ticket to a one-sided friendship that only the other side invests in. Any close relationship requires both sides to compromise, care for the other person, step beyond their shadow and show initiative. You can expect understanding and patience and forbearance from friends – but only if you are as helpful to them as they are to you.
Source used: Psychologytoday.com