Can extroverts be friends with introverts? Of course! But in order for these two different personality types to engage as friends, they each need to understand the other a little better. Here are some things extroverts should know about introverts.
Sometimes They Really Do Just Want to Be Alone
Extroverts have a hard time understanding that their introverted friend isn't mad at them, they just recharge their batteries when they're alone. So sometimes they'll opt to stay in rather than hang out with their friends. They need alone time in order to fully get their energy back.
They're Bored by Small Talk
This can be a hard concept, especially when you first meet an introvert. They might look like they are bored or they may remain quiet. It's not that they aren't interested in engaging, it's that they can't understand the concept of chit chat. (Here's more about why they dislike small talk.)
They Like to Think Before They Talk
The biggest mistake extroverts make when talking to an introvert is that they fill in the silence when an introvert is thinking. Introverts can add a lot to the conversation, but you have to allow them to go through their thought process. Don't jump in with more of your thoughts, because they'll go back to being quiet in order to think about the new things you've just said.
They Might Take Longer to Process Their Emotions
In a big fight, some friends can work things through quickly and then be done with it. However, introverts by nature tend to think about things in order to fully understand how they feel about them. For them, taking a day or two to think about an argument can help them get a grasp on how to move forward.
This means making up after an argument might be delayed long enough for them to process their thoughts and emotions. It doesn't mean they hold grudges, but rather, take longer immediately following an argument to understand what happened and how they can either forgive, apologize, or accept your apology.
They Like People, Not Crowds
It's a common myth that introverts don't like people. That's just not true. In fact, introverts usually find people fascinating. They enjoy hearing about their individual stories and finding out what makes someone tick.
But crowds? It's too much noise, too much chatter, too much distraction.
Introverts Can Appear Extroverted for Certain Moments, But It Doesn't Mean They Are
There are times when an introvert will talk a lot and have a lot of energy and appear very extroverted to people. But those times are few and far between, so if you see your introverted friend acting out of character, don't expect it to stay that way. Chances are they'll need to go home and recharge their batteries even more than when they're quiet at the party.
They're Great Listeners
If you need a friend who will take it all in when you've got something to say, introverts are great at this. So the next time you need a friend who will really take the time to fully hear you, call up your introverted friend. However, remember that they need to be heard also. It's far too easy to do all the talking when you're with them and as a result they might not get a chance to respond.
Are you an introvert? Here are some things you should know about extroverts.
Do you have some thoughts on being an introvert? Share them with us.