1. Do not point out/mention/make fun of the fact that we are introverted.
I promise, we are fully aware. Pointing this out to us makes us feel like who we are on a fundamental level is flawed (or maybe that’s just me).
If you jokingly poke fun at our lack of talking in a group, we’ll withdraw even further. We may even become angry. There are times when we’re okay with having the focus on us, but it has to be on our terms.
You may not have malicious intent with your words, but these quips can make us feel attacked. Respect our silence. We choose our words carefully and will contribute when we have something of value to add.
2. Some people are more mentally exhausting than others.
Please don’t be offended. We may enjoy your company immensely, but some social interactions completely drain us and we just need to be alone for a bit to “recharge.”
There are days where I crave human interaction, as I’m sure other introverts feel on occasion as well. However, after these heavy social days, I have to take time by myself to recover because I’m emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted.
Being introverted does not necessarily make us shy.
We don’t mean to act distant. Sometimes we just need a little “me” time. Please keep asking us to hang out. Who knows when we’ll need it.
3. Physical contact (a hug, for example) is okay when we are comfortable around you.
Personally, if a random person tries to hug me, I tense up and am very reluctant to hug back. Don’t get me wrong, I love hugs, but give me some warning.
In college, I had a friend even go as far as to ask me if they could hug me. To some this may sound ridiculous, but it showed me that she respected my feelings enough to at least ask.
Give us some time to get to know you, and we may even initiate hugs!
4. If we open up to you, you are very important to us.
We may be outwardly quiet, but this external appearance does not always reflect what’s going on in our minds. Our thoughts are flying at warp speed almost constantly. We create scenarios for every possible interaction we could have, we plan ways to survive a zombie apocalypse, we go to dark places we wish we could climb out of…
For some of us, letting you in to the chaos of our thoughts is a very big deal and even rarer occurrence. Following our thought process can be tricky, but showing us that we can trust you with the way we think means the world to us.
Keep our secrets and respect our privacy. Once our trust is broken, it’s almost impossible to get back.
5. Introvert’s can be very intense, but also some of the best friends you could have.
We can be fiercely loyal and very protective of the people we care about. We’ll always have your back and be there for you at the drop of a hat.
Be patient with us. You won’t regret it.