Typically narcissistic blogging.

Caring For Your Introvert

To my delight, this little placard has been making its slow way through Facebook and Twitter:

Designed by Becky of Questionably Late, from text taken from this.

I would like to have this little placard in card form, so that I might hand it to new friends and new lovers, since asking them to go Google introverts and INTJs is like saying, “Yeah, I’m awesome and everything, but I’m assigning you some homework before we go any further.” However, it has been made abundantly and repeatedly clear to me that such homework is actually necessary.

Three years of my life were spent in love with an extrovert, and if that taught me anything, it’s that extroverts make the social rules by default. They are the point of reference for how such things as social aptitude and behavior are measured. They are the people against whom introverts are measured, which is inherently unfair, but true.

Media enforces this. It’s the rare movie or television show that allows introverts to remain introverts; most paint it as a triumph when an introverted character is brought out of his or her introvert cocoon to become a beautiful extroverted butterfly. Introversion has become something that can and should be “cured,” somehow. It is often conflated with antisocial behavior, which is bullshit, because introverts are often very social beings. Just not within the same parameters as extroverts.

Thus, in order to make their way in the world, introverts must somehow meet the social expectations created by extroverts. If they don’t, they are often misunderstood and shunned. If they do, this means they are constantly functioning outside of their comfort zone, which just isn’t healthy. It’s exhausting, and makes social interaction that much more work. I have managed to learn how to navigate as an introvert in a sea of extroverts, and because of this I have many wonderful friends. I fake it so well, in fact, that people still respond with surprise and horror when I tell them I am an introvert. However, the extroverts among my friends are generally pretty sensitive to the needs of the introverts in their midst. I would not be able to maintain the level of social interaction that I do if this were not true.

So this placard, which offers a dozen very simple, but very essential ways to respect the introverts in our lives, to consider their needs, and to understand that they are not just waiting for somebody to turn them from sad little introverted seed pods into bright and colorful extroverted flowers, is just freakin’ rad.

Thank you, Internet.

14 responses

  1. Nicole

    This is my new favorite post. In a rather dramatic (okay, by “rather” I mean “celebrity rehab-worthy”) argument with my sister one night nearly a year ago I desperately tried to make her under stand that I Just. Want. To. Be. Left. Alone.

    It was true then. It is (largely) true now. I have never been one of those people that goes out and Does Things. I’ve spent the last nine months as a shut-in. The only person who knows what happens during my day is my dog (the cat, fond of stereotypes as she is, could care less so long as I bring home the bacon).

    But it is impossible for me to convey any of this to the people I love, or the people who love me. My mother (who works in the same office) constantly tells everybody everything about our family life. Consequently, I tell her nothing. My sister is going to Las Vegas for her 21st birthday with my parents and a few of her friends. When she called me at work to tell me she’d made the reservation, I was less than enthusiastic (in the middle of a busy workday, I am easily the least friendly person I know) and was immediately uninvited because I am “a stick in the mud.”

    It might be unhealthy, but I wouldn’t trade sitting here in my dining room writing what I hope will be my second novel for anything the rest of the world is doing.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    • Yeah, people genuinely don’t get it. It’s a shame, especially when it translates to being completely disregarded and disinvited because the need for solitude is so very misunderstood. Sigh.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    • Smith

      Definitely not healthy. Get over yourself.

      September 23, 2012 at 10:28 am

      • No need to be rude. Please get over yourself before commenting.

        September 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

    • Sister, don’t I know it! At the moment I am hiding from my friends who are trying to make me go on a “group hiking” thing now. I love hiking, but I just don’t understand the need for so many loud people in a beautifully quiet place. Am I missing something? Hope the novels continue to bring you some private joy. :-)

      February 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

  2. Ryan

    You can read who’s the designer of that graphic on this link: http://deptoflindsey.com/2012/04/10/an-introverted-retort/
    and i found the responses quite interesting..

    September 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

  3. InComplete Younique

    September 23, 2012 at 8:14 am

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  7. Kim

    Can I have the tattooed on the inside of my husband’s eyeballs?

    August 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    • What you do in your personal life…

      (Yeah. I get it. My gf is an extrovert and making her understand and incorporate the things I need is not always easy.)

      August 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

  8. Reblogged this on MzBourg and commented:
    “… in order to make their way in the world, introverts must somehow meet the social expectations created by extroverts. If they don’t, they are often misunderstood and shunned.”
    I couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

    December 17, 2013 at 10:00 am

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