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5 Things Introverts Should Know About Extroverts

Understanding Your Extroverted Friends


Female friends having tea break
Betsie Van Der Meer/Taxi/Getty Images

Introverts sometimes feel misunderstood by their extroverted pals, but the reverse is also true. People can be good friends regardless of personality type, as long as their understand where their friend is coming from. Here are some things introverts should know about extroverts.

An Extrovert's Personality Is Stimulated by Their Environment

Parties are notoriously exhausting for introverts on an intellectual level. Introverts might wonder why their extroverted friends seem to get excited the more people they talk to at a party. The answer is that it's wired in their brains. A study from the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that "extroverts are more likely to associate the rush of a feel-good brain chemical with the environment they are in at the time" and "prefer immediate gratification and focus more on face." Introverts, on the other hand, "tend to be overwhelmed by too much stimulation and pay more attention to detail."

So instead of getting annoyed by your extroverted pal, who at a party may just wander away from you and talk to several other people, be happy that they are in their element. They get the same happy feeling at a party that you do when you have a great one-on-one conversation or read a book that taps into your heart and mind.

The More the Merrier: That's Why They Invite People Over

Introverts prefer deep topics, and from their perspective, an invitation to dinner means great conversation with their friend over a meaty topic they can chew on for hours. That's why they'll often be surprised and annoyed at the fact that an extrovert will continue to invite more people over.

Some introverts may feel that an extrovert isn't interested in them if this happens. After all, if you're having a good time with one person, why invite a few more over? But extroverts look at it the opposite way. When they get revved up by conversation with one person, they want to add more to the mix.

They Don't Deal With Pauses in Conversation the Same Way You Do

One of the most frustrating things for an introvert is getting talked over. Introverts typically think for a moment before they respond, but your extroverted friend will take that as you being done with your point, so they'll launch right into their own part of the conversation. Introverts are natural listeners. They wait until someone has finished their thought, they look for nonverbal clues to what the person is saying, and they pause before commenting. That's why they get so frustrated when their friends talk over them. It feels like their friends don't care, or are only interested in their own thoughts and ideas.

This doesn't mean that your extroverted friend doesn't care, so don't give up on them. Instead, let your extroverted friend know that you need a minute. A good tip is to say something like, "please hear me on this," or, "I need to fully finish my thought before you interrupt" so they know you really want them to listen.

Schedule Things Where You Can Take a Break and Recharge

You know your strengths and limitations as an introvert, but your friend might not. If you go to a party, on vacation, or even to a dinner that you know will be a little bit tiring for you, work in some time to recharge your batteries.

Let your friend know that you'd like a little quiet time to recharge, so show up late or leave early if you need to. If you go on vacation together, schedule a morning where you have some alone time to gather your thoughts. But talk with your friend so they understand what you're doing. Introverted readers have shared this and given more tips on how to make friends and start up a conversation with someone new.

You'll Both Need to Change the Way You Communicate

The key to a good friendship is having both people give a little so they can benefit from knowing the other person. In other words, if you can both change the way you communicate, you'll both reap the rewards of the friendship.

In the real world, introverts get frustrated with extroverts (and vice versa) not so much because they don't understand the other person, but because they themselves feel misunderstood. Friendship isn't about getting the other person to come to your way of being, but to find a mutually acceptable place where you can coexist somewhat peacefully. Talking with them might not feel as natural as talking with a kindred spirit just like you, but that doesn't mean that a friendship with an extrovert won't be fulfilling in its own way.

Are you an extrovert? Here's some things you should know about your introverted friend.


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