Sonntag, 18. September 2016

How Introverts and Extroverts can get along

I have a very close friend of mine who I have been friends for almost a decade. We couldn't be more different, as he is mostly extroverted, a persuader, a good joke teller, and I am more of an introvert who is shy and withdrawn. But despite of that, we get along very well. Heres some tipps on how (these points may pose as dating advice too).

Extroverts dealing with Introverts Introverts dealing with Extroverts

Introverts need a lot of time to process what happens around them as they feel often uneasy and overwhelmed by a sudden influx of attention, or information. Give them time to think and process what you are saying. If you overload them too much, they may try to escape and avoid any further conversation. To them, this is the natural way of dealing with things. They may be able to react better and give you more useful information the next time as they may have processed the previous conversation and prepared themselves for it. So for you when discussing important issues, it may be better to approach them twice.
They also may say something to you, but the fact they are not repeating that doesn't mean they stopped thinking that way, e.g. when you do something they do not like. They won't say anything, but that doesn't mean they suddenly started liking it. When an introvert says something to you, you should generally take it seriously - they do not say it primarily to persuade or negotiate with you, they say it because it's the way it is. But even then, they may something very clumsily and come off wrong saying something completely different than they wanted to say. It's hard for them and it's even harder to read them right, but that's why it's important to communicate.
Not everything extroverts say is objectively truthful. They exaggerate or sugarcoat things to persuade you, get you into doing something, test you, figure you out, or simply to get out of trouble. That's not a bad thing at all - just a reminder for an introvert that they may say things that seem negative to you, when its them trying to gain your support or trust. Sometimes lying is the right way for them to do this, too. This may seem wrong from a introvert's point of view. From the outside, introverts often communicate on a very factual level, and want to say whats important and true, while extroverts focus on negotiating and persuading. I think that's something you can learn from an extrovert. Market yourself better!

Introverts only say something when its absolutely necessary, when it constructively contributes to the discussion, and when they want to enhance it with meaning. They are often quiet observers. They acknowledge what is being said, but they do not chose to comment on it. They enjoy having their thoughts for themselves as it deflects undesired attention that makes them feel uneasy. If you as an extrovert want to have a meaningful conversation with an introvert, you should chose a quiet place with not too many people around you, ideally just you and the introvert. If they feel comfortable with you, they may open up and tell you their deepest secrets. Once they are familiar with you, they will not get enough from your attention.
This is probably one of the hardest to understand for an introvert. An extrovert generally carries their thoughts and emotions outwards. So if an extrovert is mad or angry, they will let everyone know they are. But that's reckless and unfair to take out your anger on others, right? As long as they aren't taking it too far, no. It is really just the way they deal with their feelings and thoughts. They often don't even know what tumult they may cause in an introvert by directing their emotion towards them. So next time you find yourself in this situation ask yourself: did they really mean that or could they not find another way of processing their emotions?
The fact that introverts are easily overwhelmed with information, causes them to require a lot of time for themselves, putting a lot of energy to reflect and process what is happening around them. Because of this, introverts do not have this much energy and often appear lazy. They also do not like it when you tell them they are lazy - when in fact their mind is in a "healing state" of daydreaming, thinking about the world, and doing mind experiments in their heads. They need this to stay sane in this insane world. Since their attention and energy is so limited, its truly a gift to be in the world of an introvert. Extroverts like attention. A lot. They like to be around people because it gives them security and confidence. They love their community and are devoted to keep it strong and motivated. They enjoy hearing praise when they did a good job, because this is the language they speak. And that's exactly the catch as an introvert: How do you compete with all these people for an extrovert's attention? How do you do appreciate an extrovert's friendship when you're directing your thoughts and emotions inward? So the best thing you can do about maintaining a friendship with an extrovert, is to show or tell them you want them as a friend as often as you can (and feel is appropriate) by complimenting them, approaching them, offering them support etc. etc. I know for one that I often have positive thoughts about people, but I am voicing that too rarely. Be more open towards your extroverts. Of course, it has to be the right person in the right moment (which can be hard to figure out as an introvert) - but they will appreciate it.

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