An Open Letter From Introverts

By June 26, 2015 151 Comments


Hi, it’s us, Introverts.


We just wanted to write a quick note to everyone to clear the air. We know that we can be hard to read, a little closed off, and even irritable sometimes, but we do love you. To help you deal with us, we have put together a list of things you should know about Introverts!

1. Weekdays Are Me Days.

“Errr…Book Club is on Mondays? Um. Ok I can’t make it. Ever. Why? Because it’s on Monday.”



We swear it’s not because we don’t like you. And it’s also not just because we want to catch up on True Detective (nightmares for days). The reality is, we don’t want to have to be “on” for three more hours. Socializing is for the weekends and the occasional Thursday (or every Thursday if you’re in college). We’re up for it then. We’re not up for it on Mondays. Of course we bend the rules for breakups, important meetings, or special occasions. So basically, if it’s not your birthday, it can wait ’til Friday.

2. If You Call Me, Have a Reason

Business? We’ll answer. News? Ok. Just to talk? Hahaha. Unless you fall into our “special human” category, we’re not answering your phone calls. And frankly even our special humans get screened (sorry, mom). Once again, it’s not that we don’t like you. It’s because we simply do not have the energy to talk for the sake of talking. Texting is our real friend. If you text us, then you have to tell us what you want to talk about, and we like that lots. Phone calls are for catching up and achieving goals. Anything else is considered a no-go.



3. People We Know Better Be There

Oh, kindergarten. So long ago, we were all shoved into a classroom and told to make friends. So, naturally, us Introverts know how to socialize just like everybody else. But don’t mistake this for being extraverted! The difference is, we legitimately feel like passing out directly after talking to other humans. And this is probably why we ask the dreaded question, “Well…who is going?” We aren’t saying you’re not cool, we’re just preparing ourselves. For what, you may ask? For talking to humans we do not know followed by leaving the party early. Sorry we’re not sorry.



4. We Are Ok Without a Bajillion Friends

Clearly it makes sense that if we are horribly rotten at meeting new people, then we probably won’t have a ton of friends. Pretty simple logic. And we’re totally ok with that. However, the friends we do have are flipping fabulous. Take me for example! If you are one of my dear friends, then one of two things happened:

1. You clawed your way in (bravo!)

2. We were confined together for a long period of time and forced to talk.

I’m not even kidding. That’s how I met all FIVE of my lovely friends.  And I’m considered to be “outgoing” (I know right? Five.)

Moral of the story? If you’re friends with one of us, we love you more than you know, and you’re flipping fabulous.

Columbia Pictures

©Columbia Pictures

5. We’re Intense



Disclaimer: we seriously DO NOT know how to “bring it down” or “lighten up.” When we are in a great conversation, it normally pertains to politics, religion, money, complicated relationships, or anything else we “aren’t supposed to talk about.” These taboo subjects are our life source at cocktail parties, and we can’t help it. Yes, your dog is too adorable and your outfit is beyond amazing, but what actually gets us going is your career buyer’s remorse or your relationship with your mother. Sorry in advance.



6. We Don’t Reach Out Well

Oh, the horror. Here’s the lowdown: we feel desperate or clingy when we ask someone to dinner, fake and slimy when we network, and self absorbed when filling in a distant friend on our lives. That’s no excuse–we have to work on these things, but be patient with us. If these things come easier for you, help a little lost Introvert out! We’re cute, and what we lack in social aggression we make up for in poignant conversation.



7. We Need You

Oh so badly. Please, please, PLEASE talk to us and text (not call) us and love us! We must have Extroverts in our lives to maintain friendships, get out of the house, and get out of our scary minds. You guys are simply a necessity. Extroverts love keeping in touch with others, they love including others, and they love talking about others (in a good way!). We need you in our lives. Befriend us. Date us. Marry us. Please. Without your energy, our little Introverted hearts become consumed and cluttered and it’s TOO MUCH. Sigh.

Universal Pictures

©Universal Pictures

We love you. Love us back!!!!!!!

Interested in knowing for sure if you’re an introvert or extrovert?

Take our very own personality quiz and we’ll even send you a free career guide!

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Kali Rogers

Author Kali Rogers

Kali Rogers is the Founder of Blush. You can stalk her on Instagram or follow her on Twitter. She loves the attention.

More posts by Kali Rogers

Join the discussion 151 Comments

  • Karen O. says:

    It causes me a great deal of anxiety knowing that I hurt my extroverted friends’s feelings by not calling all the time. I have one friend who yelled at me and told me that if I didn’t care about her enough to initiate the phone calls, that she was done with always being the one who calls. I have tried to explain to her that it is difficult for me to pick up the phone an initiate a conversation, and that the thought of having a hour long conversation with anyone several times a week makes me want to run away screaming. I wish all extroverts understood that an introvert’s need for quiet and difficulty reaching out wasn’t at all personal. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me. Literally! Thanks for the great article. I hope it helps others out there understand. 🙂

    • Kali Rogers says:

      I hope so, too 🙂

    • yep says:

      Yes. You summed up my mind right there.

      • T Villa says:

        I married an introvert and I’m very much an extrovert. After almost 20 years of marriage and at the wise old age of 40, I can now say I understand that my husband is not selfish in the least. He shows his love in other ways. Often I thought like you that those quiet introverted ways were selfish but you have to realize that you can not force a personality on to someone. How would you like it if someone told you, you can’t talk at a party? Be like the introverts. Leave early. Don’t socialize. Don’t laugh. Don’t talk. You couldn’t do that because it’s not you. It’s not that you are selfish for not being like an introvert, it’s just not you.

    • Miami Fire says:

      I understand your need for quiet and work hard to provide for you. I try to give you space and time. I appreciate you wanting to dig deep into my psyche, but sometimes I want to laugh and relax. What I hear you saying is that I need to understand your need, while you do nothing to improve the relationship with me by meeting me half way, on days other than occassional Thusdays. So, it is all about you, which I still find selfish, not introverted.

      • Blondielocks says:

        I hear you. But please be patient with us introverts, we could use your guidance, in a gentle way, or we will feel even more guilty. It’s a 2 way street, definitely, it just takes us longer to get our motor running.

      • Gigi says:

        Lighten up, extroverts! BTW: I am one of you. Not only do you have other friends to call or txt when our fantastic introverts need a break from us, but somehow, we also attract those darn introverts. Why fight it? We love them back.

        A couple of pointers-
        1. don’t invite your introverted friends to a party or a gathering as your exclusive way to connect with them. Let’s face it. Having a “few friends” over for us is overwhelming to our introverts. One on one or very small groupings (like 3 people) are way less scary to out introverted counterparts.
        2. Ask for the preferred communication times and methods. They will tell you if there is a night when they will be in their yoga pants with a glass of red wine when a short phone or text convo might be nice. It will probably be Sat.
        3. Never ever ever show up with additional unannounced humans when you are meeting up with your introverts. It could be Brad Pitt. They don’t care. He wasn’t invited or part of the plan.

        Hope this helps.

        • Julie says:

          What a great extrovert friend! Thank you for taking such lovely care of your quieter pals…your suggestions are PERFECT!

        • Thank you! says:

          “Never ever ever show up with additional unannounced humans when you are meeting up with your introverts”

          THANK YOU! An extraverted friend brought two unannounced additional people to my family birthday celebration (literally: me, my 4-member family, and that one friend had been planned for) several years back and was insulted that the rest of us saw this as a problem. They were even people I wanted to see, but they weren’t planned for and it felt like everything had been thrown out of whack. (There were other, related issues beyond that, but surprise guests: no. *At least* tell one of the family members; don’t just BRING people.)

          • Forest says:

            Bringing other people with you to a celebration that you’ve been invited to, without asking if it’s ok, is just plain rude and disrespectful. Family or intimate celebrations, many times are planned for JUST the invited guests, and usually in planning these kinds of events, the food and drink ordered or prepared for the celebration typically enough for the amount of people invited…maybe with one extra….but to blatantly bring some of your friends along with you to a private affair is tacky.

      • Gigi says:

        Miami Fire,
        Let me get this straight – you think your introverted friends are selfish because they won’t do what you want? Hmmm. Interesting. Pot, kettle?

        • Come on!! Quit bashing the person! It is their opinion! Quit taking it like it is a personal attack on you! As an extrovert, I applaud the article. If you don’t agree with it, publish your own. It was written to help, not persecute!!

      • Timothy Alan Reeder says:

        If an extrovert cant hang out with me on a particular night they miss out on having a good timethat night. If Im forced to socialize when Im not up for it it may knock me out of comission for two or three days

      • Megan says:

        I get what you’re saying. But the problem is, most extroverts don’t wanna take the time to understand why we might not wanna pick up the phone and call all the time. Extensive meaningless conversation tends to drain our life force. It’d be like if an extrovert was locked in a room alone for hours at a time. That’s how I feel when people think they should call and talk to me about things that don’t matter. If I have big news, I’ll tell you. If not, you can basically expect me to be the same as when you saw me last. If introverts don’t initiate communication, you shouldn’t take it personally. It’s simply draining for us and it’s frustrating when extroverts can’t understand and want to blame us for it.

      • Billie says:

        HI Miami,

        Just think of it this way: being an extrovert is what fulfills you: the socializing and communication. To us introverts, we need alot less socializing and a lot more quite time to be fulfilled. It’s not selfish: I am a very giving person, just in a different, not so social way.

      • A Different Image says:

        I feel this… I feel this so much. This total unwillingness to meet me halfway and expectation that I completely forego my needs to respect his boundaries. That is selfish, pure and simple.

        • Shay says:

          I suppose I understand both sides as I fall somewhere in the middle; at times I feel very much as an introvert and, at others, more along the ones of a mild extrovert. I have friends and family that fall in each range. I agree that there’s this persistent message (more lately) of the “introverts needs”. I fully agree that I need to be sensitive to my introvert friends and family’s difficulty with phone calls, etcetera. However, they ARE being selfish in expecting me to respect THEIR needs and having no respect for mine. I crave hearing their voice sometimes (the ones living out of state) ~ I personally hate texting but will anyway to keep in touch. But, in return, I’d LOVE a returned phone call once in a while. It is absolutely rude and selfish to expect that I will go out of my way but they shouldn’t need to. Yes, I do end up writing them off over time as I give up on wanting a 2 way street… Relationships (friends, family, spouses) are give and take. Respecting only ONE sides needs shows a total lack of ANY relationship ~ especially a MUTUAL respect… IMHO

    • Nikki says:

      Although I understand your anxiety, it can seem hurtful to your friends if you don’t reciprocate the amount of effort that they put into the friendship. It makes it seem like they’re doing all the work in the relationship. Maybe the best thing would be to show your friend you love her in ways that are easier for you than talking on the phone for hours.

      • Jen says:

        Everyone has their different ways of receiving appreciation. Extroverts think everyone receives love by them calling all the time. That isn’t true. No one told you to call me all week. . . . hello! Friends need to spend more time figuring out what the other person wants. Yes, I will be more inclined to make a phone call every once in a while if you will agree to STOP CALLING ME SO OFTEN! LoL

        Quite honestly if that person yelled at me for that I would have no problem never talking to them again. . . . I am an introvert, it would make me quite happy in fact LoL 😀

      • Emi says:

        Yes! I am an introvert with many close extrovert friends, and give and take is definitely very important to keep a healthy relationship. I always make sure my lovely extrovert friends understand that even though I try to keep up with them, it can be overwhelming for me and every so often I’ll need a break. And when that happens, I use my favorite introverted activity, baking alone, to surprise them with an occasional sweet treat and “thinking of you” note so that they feel loved and appreciated even when I’m not socializing. There are many ways other than phone calls to express your love!

        • Kat says:

          This is an important point! Find some way, in our solitude, to reach out to our out-going friends. A sweet treat with an attached note, even a simple text message which doesn’t necessarily invite a conversation but let’s them know they aren’t forgotten.

          While they need to understand that our attendance at their social events can destroy us for days afterward, we need to understand that they require such interactions to keep from withering. Open dialogue about our needs and sincere attempts to meet the needs of our friends goes a long way to maintaining those relationships.

          • Marie says:

            Can you offer any suggestions on how an extrovert can cooexsist with an introverted child? Whom they love but don’t understand?

            • Hedydoy says:

              My husband is VERY extroverted and my son (16) is VERY introverted. As an introvert, I’ve learned to help interpret my son to my husband, and I don’t think there is one sure-fire fix because even though we are all introverts, we have many different personality traits. But here’s my tips to extroverts getting along with their introvert children:

              1. Give them as much notice as possible about upcoming plans, social/family events/outings, and the need for conversations. This gives them time to mentally prepare to be with people, even if they are dreading it. When my husband comes home and starts talking to my son about his grades, etc, my son has nothing to say and looks despondent. When we tell him that we need to have a conversation about his grades tomorrow, he actually has a lot more to say because he’s had time to think about it, and isn’t put on the spot.

              2. Develop a special language with your child. My mom was an extrovert, and we learned to talk through a teddy bear. She would pretend it was the bear talking to me when she was trying to reach me. I learned that I could pretend the bear was talking when I wanted to say something in return. With my son, we have a kind of sign language, with thumbs up or down to express how he’s feeling or how his day went. We also make faces with each other (which is partly silly but also communicative) – like, if he gives me a thumbs up but with a frown, I can exaggerate the frowning face back and question him “Really?” and he’ll give me some more sign language or sometimes even use actual words to explain.

              3. Texting, even if s/he is in the house. My husband hates this but I find it very effective. If your child isn’t old enough to read or have a phone, draw pictures, like stick figures to share ideas. Maybe get a small whiteboard that can be reused.

              4. Make sure that conversations with your introvert child include fun topics &/or topics they find interesting. I’ve noticed with my husband that in his frustration to communicate with our son, he tends to talk AT him about grades, cleaning his room, being responsible, etc. Asking questions is often fruitless, so try finding funny stories to share, or notice things you can tell your child that they will find interesting (“I heard that there’s a new movie coming out about the Penguins of Madagascar. You really liked that cartoon, didn’t you?”). We also show each other funny pictures we find on Pinterest.

              Good luck, and I hope this helps a little.

  • M. Woodling says:

    Not a bad list:
    1. Weekdays Are Me Days.
    2. If You Call Me, Have a Reason
    3. People We Know Better Be There
    4. We Are Ok Without a Bajillion Friends
    5. We’re Intense
    6. We Don’t Reach Out Well
    7. We Need You

    I would add:
    8. Some of us have developed coping skills to hide some of the items above.

    I was required by my parents as a child to master the art of polite bland chatter at parties, particularly at family events. At these events, communication is more about smiling, nodding, and saying “Good..Good.” I never discuss politics, religion, complicated relationships, money, or any taboo subject at a family event. I try to chat about what interests other people.

    I do ask people how they are doing and hope to hear details that indicate something in their lives is working well. I try to celebrate any successes in someone’s life. I want to hear about the latest fiction (SF, Fantasy, historical novel, including pop fiction that bores me, etc) that they enjoyed and why they enjoyed it. Same with movies and TV. If folks tell me sad news (break-up, death, disease, house-must-fix-it, car woes), I commiserate with them. I do this to indicate a care for their well being and happiness…not because the details interest me.

    When people asked “How’s work?” they were hoping I would tell them “I finally got a real job, rather than one in child care,” [“real job”=I make more money or do something significant or important/interesting for the rest of the world than child care] or “I’m quitting my job because I’m pregnant.”

    The relative, who *loves* crafting things from scratch–a la “Country Living” magazine and Martha Stewart style Christmas herb wreaths and garlands, did not want to hear about how my class mixed Christmas potpourri, using evergreens, cloves, cinnamon, dried orange peels, and oils you purchased with your own money. It involved my job which was glorified babysitting and noting interesting could ever happen there. In fact she found her own children’s activities rather boring, too, as was often puzzled that did anything at a school–such as the project involving leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day. When I told her that particular activity was rather well known in early childhood education and it was a “fun activity” to encourage interest in learning about Ireland and a common Irish-American holiday, she was even more confused.

    One Christmas, all the older women at the family were beaming and congratulating me, because the latest news was I had changed childcare jobs and was now working in the in the “Infant 2” room (9 -14 months; mobile infants–crawling to walking). I wondered if they thought this meant I was soon going be pregnant by means of “contagious magic.”

    I hastened to explain that I had hopes of eventually being moved into one of the Preschool rooms (3 -4 years olds). They then told me that it was so much better that I was in the baby room, because I made more money there. Now understanding their confusion, I explained that I had negotiated that increase of pay when I changed jobs. I had pointed out my level of experience (2 years), plus some rather good continuing education courses, while interviewing. I’d hoped these women who had worked on and off in their married years would be pleased.

    No, they all had daughters who had children in “daycare.” They knew that that “the day care workers in the baby room made more money,” because “it costs so much more to have a baby in day care.” In their eyes, I was such a naive little thing, not a “child care professional,” not a “teacher of young minds.”

    Politely, I explained that the only reason that it cost more to to have an infant in child care was the child to teacher ratio was one caregiver to three infants, and it was one caregiver to ten 3 -4 years olds. These ratios were required by Maryland state law. It was the amount of teachers/caregivers in a room that determined the cost of having a kid in that room. How people got paid more involved years of experience, level of education, and what types of training that employee had.

    I suppose that was about as close as I ever got to discussing a taboo subject. Unwittingly, I had squashed a cherished belief among this group of family members who had working daughters. Their baby grandchildren were safe in childcare, because the best workers–who were also the most well-paid–were the only ones who EVER took care of the little babies.

    At least nobody ever asked me about my job again. I got to go back to smiling, nodding, and saying “Good…Good” about whatever they told me, as well as expressing sorrow over any problems

    • Tiffany says:

      M Woodling, the examples you gave broke my heart a little. I identify with traits on both sides of the introvert/extrovert divide. It sounds to me like the conversation issues with your family have little to do with you being an introvert and them extroverts and more to their inability to value something different from their way of thinking. Bless you for your hard work as a child care giver. And may your family learn to accept you as you are, the way you seem to for them.

    • Candice says:

      I know your pain on the childcare thing. My husband and I both work in childcare, though in management, and my family still asks when we are going to get real jobs. I have since gone back to teaching, but he is happy where he is so why get a “real” job? I wish people knew how little childcare workers made.. and cared.

    • Trudy Myers says:

      Your family seems to have the same mind-set so many people have, and it is one that drives me crazy. There is nothing more important – in my mind – than the children we are raising, and yet child care and teaching are both seen as non-jobs and not worth good pay. I’m not sure how I got through the years until my kids could fend for themselves after school (around 15 or 16), because I had to come up with the money for childcare, which wasn’t easy, but I still thought ‘these people are not making enough for what they do!’ If you enjoy your job and do it well – whether introvert or extrovert – more power to you!

    • Leslie Grace says:

      I would listen to any stories you want to talk about. My neighbour teaches young ones and she makes games for them using her own money too. It is wonderful that there are people like you in the world. Bless you Keep up the good work. Leslie Grace Swiednicki

  • Maria Freund says:

    Before interacting with others, this introvert prays fervently, like this: Father bless our fellowship. Help us feel comfortable and at ease with one another and with ourselves. Give us the power to communicate with one another, effectively and accurately, in Jesus’ name! Amen. When I trust God, like this, I actually enjoy the party, or the meeting and I seem to overcome being an “Introvert”, until the next time. I keep praying and asking and God answers my prayers. Hoping you all will try this and text it (smile) until you own it, in your Spirit!

    • Karen O. says:

      Prayer always helps! 🙂

      • Mandi says:

        Meditation seems to work for us secular folk. We don’t have to have a religion or buy into mysticism to enjoy the benefits of just taking some time to smooth out the thoughts in our heads.

        • singularsympathetic says:

          You really do not have to berate someone’s beliefs just because you choose to not follow. By the way….some believe that meditation is part mysticism as well.

        • ButMadNNW says:

          1) Prayer *is* a form of meditation.

          2) Meditation is used in many faith systems; it’s not “just” secular.

          3) Meditation, prayer, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, mindfulness practices, and related practices are all forms of the same psychological concept (hypnosis) and involve focusing the mind, relaxation, stilling troubling thoughts, calming emotion, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite system from fight/flight), etc. No one style is the best for everyone, some people use their faith as part of it, some of us prefer admiring the science behind it…

          I’m secular, too, but just a few things to keep in mind before you say something that can be interpreted as insulting just because someone else has a belief you don’t share. 🙂

          • Tricia says:

            So true and well and spoken. Keep in mind though that for someone saying prayers it is more than a process of clearing the mind and stopping crazy thoughts. It’s speaking to God with the fervent hope and expectation that He will come through for you during a tough situation. And this former skeptic has found that He always does in ways I could never have imagined.

    • Marie says:

      Is there such a thing as introvert turned extrovert? I remember praying like that as a teen and somewhere along the way I got comfortable (for the most part) in social situations….i am in my 50’s now …and spend a lot of time with people…. and it energizes me….has this happened to anyone else?

  • Jena DellaGrottaglia says:

    Or how an introvert will make excuses to not attend something, procrastinate, stall .. break a nail or a hair follicle because anything is better than interacting or dealing with people you may or may not like either way if people know you then you expect them to accept you!

    • Liz H says:

      I can soooo relate to this! I have never met the people my husband has worked with (for the last 12 years!) because I just dont know what I will say to them (small talk). He goes on nice trips where I could go along but I am so afraid of meeting new people so he goes himself. These are business trips and he has to go but I could be in Atlanta GA right now and instead I am sitting home reading about introverts! Ugh.

      • Jeanmarie says:

        Liz H, this sounds more like agoraphobia than just introversion. If you are letting your fears keep you from participating in life to that degree, you might consider this is something that you could get help for. I wish you the best.

      • ButMadNNW says:

        I disagree with Jeanmarie’s mention of agoraphobia, but to me it sounds like you might suffer from social anxiety rather than simple introversion. This article is pretty good, but some “this is what introverts are like” pieces annoy me because they describe the severe symptoms of social anxiety. Not all introverts have social anxiety and not all socially anxious people are necessarily introverts! 🙂

  • MaggieSays says:

    I feel like some of this may be specific to you, or I have just had a different path as a former extrovert or mayne an introvert who had to pretend to be extroverted for most of her life. I call it a socialized introvert.

    • Kali Rogers says:

      Absolutely! These behaviors are relatable for many, but not all Introverts. I thought I was an Extrovert for years and then realized I was the exact opposite. Everyone has their own path!

    • Blondielocks says:

      There is a wide range of introversion and extroversion, we aren’t all from the same cookie cutter. But that makes it more interesting, right?

  • Ann says:

    I had no idea why I hate phone conversations but love to text! It’s all starting to make sense… Any suggestions as to how I should spend my 40th birthday so that I can see all my friends but not freak myself out?

    • Kali Rogers says:

      Try to be as involved in the planning as possible! You know your limits, and you can define how you want to spend the day. Plan to see your friends for a set period of time, and then make room to be alone afterwards 🙂

    • steveyB says:

      i find having a specific activity that everyone (self included, obviously!) can focus on and distract from the social pressure can help. generally i avoid setting up meals and disco style nights out, but going for things like go-karting, paintballing or some such. actual structured dances (slsa, ballroom, line, ect) are a good way of getting fake social as are going to a film, play or firework display. in fact a show of some kind means you can bond with friends with two shorter social events (pre show chat and after show drinks) with a nice break in the middle.

      be well

    • Moni says:

      Hi there,
      Ah, I had my 40th birthday last year, and as an introvert, I was really pleased with what I did and how I handled this milestone that had stressed me out in the years leading up to it. Instead of a classic “40th party’, I split my celebrations into 3 separate fun events with smaller groups of people. One was a long weekend away, the other was a night at the fanciest restaurant in town, and the other was a dinner on my actual birthday at a midlevel restaurant. At that dinner I knew I wouldn’t handle being the ‘life of the party’ for the occasion which had about 18 people, so I came up with some props. I invented some games to play based around my own personal life events using ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ type questions and use of photos from my childhood/teenage years. I made them humourous and created scenarios where people had to mix and mingle in order to get the answers to the questions/match up the photos etc. It worked well because it got everyone talking and interacting and took some of the pressure off me. I really just had to facilitate it, which gave me something to do which got me mixing with the group. My creativity, one of my strengths, combined with doing something that would suit my needs (smaller groups plus the games) meant I really enjoyed my 40th :)!!

    • Yvette Edwards says:

      I have a very introvert daughter and she wanted to see all her friends for her 8th bday but shuddered at the idea of a party and how to manage that all….so she made a list of who was important to her (the list was short-only 4). I then proceeded to schedule 2 hour time blocks with each child for a play time to celebrate her day. We started with meeting a friend out for breakfast and going to the park. Then had an hour or so break then met with another friend and so on. It was the best birthday ever for my daughter. And to be honest , I think I will do this for my birthday, as an adult extrovert, only span it across the week. A little time every other day with someone special … beautiful! What I found the sweetest, unexpected gift in doing my daughter’s birthday this way was how thankful the said friend was for the concentrated time with my daughter-their friend. They all enjoyed not having to “share” her during the two hours they were allotted to celebrate with her. We sent thank yous to each kid and actually received a thank you from 3 of the 4 because they had told their parents that my daughter had chosen to spend time with just them. They were honored. Everybody wins!!!!! As an extrovert who is friends with several introverts, I would happily wait a day or week to celebrate a birthday with my introvert friend if it meant an hour or two of just us time!! Hope this helps!

  • Darren Shupe says:

    A wonderful list, Kali. I saw a little more (lot more) of myself than I necessarily wanted to see. 😉 One thing to which I particularly related was the phone call issue… I sometimes go days (unless the call is work-related) before returning phone calls because I’ve got a stack of books and newspapers in front of me and I simply don’t feel like interacting with anyone. I don’t mind such interaction – I’m good at it when I have the motivation to be. But sometimes I have to sink back into myself and recharge, even if it takes a day or two. Thanks for the great article.

  • Lyn says:

    I work as a receptionist. I work with phone all day long, I am in a fairly isolated area of the office, the Front office. Occasionally there is a customer that comes in. Occasionally the other workers come up to chat when they need a break or they are waiting for the bathroom to be free. I can deal with other people in a work situation, but I don’t have to have a co-worker continually next to me. I like that isolation. A lot of people don’t understand that. Not the note above that said I work with phones all day. I hate, I hate making phone calls. I don’t care if it is to my mother, brothers or sisters or my kids. I cringe to know I have to call and talk. It doesn’t make any difference if it is just a 2 minute phone call. I will have fits for hours before making the phone call. I have to force myself to get out of the house and do anything with anyone other than my husband. Together we are great, but it is a real effort to get together with anyone else.

  • Victoria says:

    Also we’re not angry or upset, it’s just that one syllable responses are how we get through our days.

  • Kate says:

    I have always been outgoing and adventurous but I am undoubtedly an introvert. I have found that social dancing is the perfect outing for me. It allows me to go out into public and interact with some of my closest friends and be close to people but I am not expected to actually talk to anyone or even look people in the eye. I can still be by myself , but also with other people. It kind of makes sense if you don’t think about it too hard :/

  • lala says:

    Thank you. This is perfect. I’m tired of being called an antisocial bitch because I’m an introvert!

    • Liz H says:

      Exactly. People think I am just a bitch or a snob because I have no idea how to make small talk. I can sit at a meeting where there is a topic (something I would maybe know something about, of course) and I would speak up and chime in but put me one on one with another woman and I have no idea what to say.

  • Cathryn says:

    I would like to know how an introvert expects an extrovert to get their fill?

    • Trudy Myers says:

      Fill of what? If they want their fill of human companionship, don’t they know any other extroverts? It’s not like extroverts are a rare animal. It is articles like this that let me realize I am NOT the only introvert in the world, so extroverts must have other extroverts they can socialize with and not demand their introvert friends be involved in EVERYthing the extrovert wants to do.

  • Kris says:

    Like other people have noted on the comments I can be very outgoing and conversational…. when I want to be.
    I have worked as a 911 Dispatcher for the last 10 years and it really drains me for more than the usual stress involved in the work. I work 10 hours per shift. When the phone rings I have no choice, contractually obligated even to answer that phone. I hear so many screwed up things in a day dealing with people and their problems. From those that really need help to those that really just need to grow up, or grow a spine in some cases.
    When I get to my days off there’s no way I am going to even look at a phone, let alone talk on one. I catch no end of shit from family and friends for that.

    • Liz H says:

      LOL I can so relate to everyone’s story! I work as a hospital switchboard operator and when I get home (after listening to some crazy stuff all day) the last thing I want to do is chat on the phone!

    • Morgan says:

      I work retail, so whenever I get home I just lock myself in my bedroom for the rest of the night. My cousin asked me why I was always in my room and why I never spent time with them, and I said that it’s because I’m with people all day. The last thing I want to do is come home and be with more people. I love them, but I HAVE to have my ME time, otherwise I become the devil.

      • Barb says:

        Morgan, you are so right. I’m not in retail, but I have phones ringing and people talking at me all day. I get home, say hello to the dog, and thank God he doesn’t talk back to me. 😉

  • Morgan says:

    I have always hated talking on the phone. This is how I explain it to my friends: when you text somebody you can avoid awkward silences and you have more time to figure out what to say next. When you are on the phone you have awkward silences while you are racking your brain trying to figure out what to say. After the phone call you feel horrible for how awful it was and then you beat yourself up about it for the rest of the day. This is why I prefer texting and not phone calls.

  • Kisumi says:

    Thank you for writhing this. This explains me better than even I can explain me. Not many ppl seem to understand introverts.

  • Ann says:

    Life has become much easier for this introvert since comprehending that most people just want someone to be interested in *them*. All that’s really required for a meaningful conversation is to ask caring, interested questions, and to listen supportively to the response. No more worrying about what *I* am going to say, or how to carry the conversation–they tend to do the heavy lifting, once primed ( . . . unless they’re a fellow introvert!)

    • Alex says:

      Yes, totally! But sometimes even that can come back and bite you in the ass when it becomes clear to certain extroverts that they can chew all your ears off without any repercussions (like sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming until you hopefully wake up). They WILL take advantage of that.
      Thank goodness for texting. At least I can keep up tabs and one of my feet in the ring that way otherwise I would be sunk as opposed to merely treading water.
      With that said, I do love everyone but please mind my five-foot pole and please don’t make me out to be a wild animal sighting when I do show up because that’s some kind of anti-self-fulfilling prophecy and ain’t how to keep me there for very long or returning any time soon!

  • Maria says:

    Im sorry but I just don’t get it. Why is everything made out to be so stressful.

    • Emily says:

      Maria, that is exactly the point. You are probably an extrovert so you don’t understand why everything she talked about is so stressful. But that is exactly what she is trying to convey. There is A LOT of stress involved for an introvert just existing in the human world, whether it’s interacting with a cashier at the grocery store, or talking to your sister in the evening after you’ve been “on” all day out of necessity. So if you are an extrovert, just be aware that there are people in the world who are just uncomfortable and sort of stressed out even though they may not look like it, and take that into consideration when you’re wondering why someone doesn’t want to go to one more bar, or go to dinner with you and a friend of yours that she doesn’t know. If we had given in to our natural instincts we would be agoraphobic, but we have overcome that to a certain extent in order to live normal lives. As she said, some may even seem like extroverts to you, because we’ve learned to socialize as necessary. But it’s like being on stage the entire time. So it’s really stressful.

      • Kathleen says:

        Thank you. I loved the term “socialized introvert”. Yes, I was taught how. I am so good at it that only my true, life long friends know that I am really shy and seriously sensitive. My Daughters and my Mother have been the ones whose company I have loved the most. Occasionally, I will meet someone who has something to say that enthralls me or touches me enough that I wish to enjoy their company or be in their presence again. Living alone is easier for me and if I want be around others I prefer to pick and choose. I am not a selfish person but have wasted enough precious time listening to nonsense. I have finally figured out that it is okay to be who I have become and let others be who they may be. This article is well written and funny. I can’t help but think that my daughters posted it just for me as I tend to want to gab about whatever with them and they have their own lives now. Introverts like me in many ways, too busy to just gab anymore. I miss them. Got the point girls…. I will however chat with people and listen about whatever in a line at the grocery store but then again, no one is expecting to share their phone # or address. Takes a load off, no expectations.

  • Ryan says:

    This really is spot on. The only thing I would change is that most of the details are directed at women. Men go through the same things. I should know.

  • Mary says:

    As an extrovert, I appreciate this article. I have never understood the introvert. I guess I’m as unnatural to you as you are to me. I do have some friends who are introverts, so thank you for helping me understand them better. I’ll not complain about picking up the phone first any more.

  • Cassandra says:

    I feel for you guys!!! My boyfriend of 3 years is an extrovert. He has tons of friends and relies on them as a “community family.” I love them all and have learned to communicate and become comfortable with them, even though most of them are social butterflies. I often find myself being (lovingly!) pushed into hanging out with them, when I really, REALLY need time alone to regenerate. Alone time feels like I’m charging my batteries. Don’t get me wrong, I love and absolutely adore our friends, but I find it very difficult to handle so much social interaction after work; it just drains my batteries so much. My job is very social. I am a salesperson at a wonderful business. I like my job, but I really dislike that I need to constantly meet face-to-face with people and make small talk, and be pleasant (not awkward) on the phone all day long. It’s exhausting. I know my sweet boyfriend tries, but he just doesn’t “get it.” Anyone else experience this, and if so, how do you handle it?

  • Sarah Blake LaRose says:

    I truly appreciated this–both article and all the comments. As a somewhat borderline extravert and both the daughter (daddy’s girl) and the wife of introverts, and someone who tends to attract introverts as friends, this is extremely helpful for me. I have learned to recognize “signs of life” in friendships where I often feel that I am the primary initiator, and it is essential for my emotional health that I keep these things in mind and acknowledge them. My husband has been a tremendous help to me in encouraging me to keep checking in with people. My introvert friends are in many ways my most treasured friends–they are the ones who have been able to handle the most intense conversations I have needed to have, and it is because of them that I have not felt alone during some of the hardest experiences of my life.

    The last thing I will say is that for those of you who fear social situations… Sometimes extraverts need you, even when it looks like we don’t. It is very easy for extraverts to compete for attention, and for some of us that competitiveness isn’t fun. For some of us the point is to enjoy the people, not to get the most attention. When it reaches a point that there is no room for us, it isn’t fun or energizing anymore and that introvert aspect kicks in. If there are no introverts hanging out in the wings, it gets rather lonely… So thanks to those who take the risks. People like me dearly appreciate the opportunity to make a new friend–sometimes I fear that I will go only to get lost in the competition and come home disappointed.

  • melissa says:

    I married an introvert and it didn’t end well. It worked when we didn’t have kids. Then his “I need to be in my cave constantly” mantra didn’t work for the family.

    • Guest says:

      I’m sorry things didn’t end well. In the first few years of having children, I hate to say that I frequently thought of divorce because of my introverted husband’s constant need for being alone and stress with being “tapped out” by kids needing things all the time.

      I truly appreciate that we all have different needs (and they really are needs, not wants in many cases) but parenting is a tough one because you can’t just explain that you need massive periods of time alone to a one year old. It’s also very unfair to the spouse.

  • Trudy Myers says:

    I was with you until you said we (all) love to talk about politics and have no interest in your dog’s antics. I will NOT discuss politics (too depressing), and would much rather compare dog antics. Or, even better, I’ll discuss comic book characters, sf/fantasy, costuming, planets/space/stars… you probably get the gist. But I’m an Independent-currently-leaning-far-to-the-Democrat-side, living in a heavily non-thinking Republican state, so I won’t discuss politics.
    Otherwise, good article. Too bad it will not make a dent in my husband’s extrovert mind.

  • Katie says:

    I’m an introvert and now I really understand why I’m having such a hard time forming new friendships after my prior best friend and I had our falling out. I do feel desperate whenever I ask someone if they want to do something. Like my need for a friend is written all over me, so I just don’t ask. And of course no one ever asks me to do anything because I’m “antisocial” but I’m so not! I love going out and doing things! Just on the weekends. And let’s not make too much small talk, ok?

  • Holly says:

    Perhaps introverts in this position also need to realize that for the friend that does most or all of the reaching out…it can feel pretty crappy and tedious after awhile. I have backed out of friendships like that. I am usually the one reaching out and making the plans. It’s exhausting having to be the lead all the time. It would feel really nice to have one of my friends call me to invite me to a planned evening, but it doesn’t happen often.

    • MARK says:

      introverts do not feel as if they are offending you by not calling. In fact introverts try to acknowledge an invisible line of respect, and they dont realize how much you like them, consider They want to reach out, but for the most part introverts connect with people when they’re around other people they know. So hang out with an introvert in a group then one on one. Then in a group again, and you will be shocked at your connection with that introvert

    • Tilly says:

      I’ve been called out before by extrovert friends about not responding or being proactive about organising catching up, and when that’s happened I have made more of an effort. But, to be honest, I can often not see our speak to someone for 3 months and not really realise, but still consider them a close friend. The fact that I get in touch at all within a year means I consider them someone I want in my life! If you have an introvert friend you really want to keep in your life, ley them know you don’t want to have to be the only one making an effort, but accept that you will probably still have to do 80% of the work. Or just give up on introvert friends entirely as expecting them to be constantly in contact is actually unrealistic, like expecting the mother of a 6 month old to go out drinking with you every weekend is.

  • MARK says:

    I am an introvert. Reading this article has refined my appreciation for my personality. I am proud to find satisfaction in myself, I pride my self in my ability to not involve everyone in all aspects of my life. I realized long time ago that being introvert is a gift, because you are thinking subjectively and not objectively. This affords the introvert a view outside the situation while allowing that person to avoid becoming collateral to any one situation. In ancient times they referred to us as nomads. most recent 90% of theCIA and secret service were introverts. We are genuine

    • Jenn says:

      “In ancient times they referred to us as nomads?” What? And what’s this about thinking subjectively? Everyone thinks subjectively, but–your nomads comment. We need to discuss this. I am just as happy to be an introvert as you are, but modern nomadic peoples aren’t all or even mostly introverts. They’re the same proportion of introverted, extroverted, and somewhere in the middle as everyone else. And in the most ancient of times, ALL people were nomads. Introversion might lead you to become a hermit, but not a nomad. I don’t know why you’re making introverts (or, equally importantly, nomadic peoples) out to be some mystical class of people, or more “genuine” than any other group. Be proud to be an introvert, by all means, but please don’t use historically marginalized groups as an accessory.

  • kate says:

    I tend to score right on the borderline of introvert and extrovert on myers briggs, etc. I tend to think I fall one way or the other depending on my mood at the time of testing – but always right near the middle. This article really resonated with me – perhaps I’m in an introverted mood tonight.

    That said – I completely disagree with the weekday evenings bit. I actually prefer to go out on weeknights. Places are generally less crowded so its easier to have a real conversation. Groups are typically smaller, so I get to really catch up with a smaller number of friends instead of fluffy, superficial conversations with a million people at a big party. Even larger gatherings tend to be more targeted – networking happy hours with people in my industry, fundraisers for a nonprofit cause (and the related conversations on a topic of mutual interest). No one questioning why I might want to go home at a reasonable hour. I would much sooner stay home on a Saturday.

  • frank1569 says:

    Nailed it, er, me, except for one thing – I’m not an introvert. Like a number of other commenters, by day, I get paid to be as extroverted as possible. And I’m really good at it, whatever that means. But once I punch out, the last thing I wanna deal with is more humans. You know, because humans mostly suck, especially in mass quantities…

  • Tricia says:

    Introversion is not about being antisocial or not enjoying the company of people. It’s about where you get your energy. The “battery” metaphor often used is entirely appropriate. Extroverts get energy from interacting with other people, often on a comparatively superficial level. They feel as out of sorts at being alone for long as we introverts do at large gatherings. Introverts get our energy from being alone; being with others, especially in large groups (oh, the horror!) drains us.
    I taught ESL for five years, and teaching a foreign language to a class of thirty students is extremely demanding of energy. In addition, there were meetings and interactions with administrators and other staff–all day, five days a week. I sometimes fell asleep at the wheel on my way home, and on weekends I just wanted to water plants and be outdoors with my dog. Frankly, I don’t know quite how I survived, except that I (mostly) enjoyed the work. But I was exhausted most of the time.
    I don’t have a smart phone, but I LOVE email for keeping in touch with my few but treasured friends!

  • extrovert says:

    I’m am extrovert, my girlfriend is an introvert. Looking for people’s opinions on getting my social needs but keeping her happy. It’s one thing if I’m just hanging out with guys. What if I want to hang out at parties I know she will feel uncomfortable at. Should I leave early, plan for it? How do you all feel if you weren’t invited. Should I ask if she doesn’t want to go? Should I ask if she cares I go?

    • MARK says:

      Introverts will always tell you ” I don’t care if you go to a party.” But bro, as an extrovert; Comparing her RESPONSES to your own OPINIONS will give you an appreciation, consider everything she expresses an opinion, and you will see. Imagine not feeling comfortable in a library, because your cell phone is going off. Not only do you feel like, you broke a rule you know it.. Now,. people are concerned as to why you are disregarding an apology as you embark on a fix to late in its efforts. that paranoia is introvert

    • Tilly says:

      I’d say invite her to come along (if it’s appropriate) but let her know when it’s OK if she doesn’t want to go or if it’s really important to you that she does. She will probably appreciate the space when you go out alone if she feels like she needs to ‘recharge’, but will also enjoy being included in your plans.
      Allow her to leave a party early if she needs to – it’s not a judgment on your friends/you or how good the party is – sometimes we are just ‘done’ and can’t imagine engaging in another conversation!
      Hope that helps 🙂

    • Lance says:

      It’s all about compromise. What works for me and an extroverted partner is to meet half way. I want to leave at 10, she wants to leave at 12, so we plan to leave at 11. Also, make sure your friends don’t take it personally when she doesn’t want to go to every single party.

  • Lauren says:

    I am an introvert and I get the whole list. However, just as I expect people to change their expectations to meet my needs, it is important for me to get out of my comfort zone to meet my loved ones’ needs. I set reminders to call my people who want to talk on the phone. It’s not easy for me to do, but I think it’s easy to use being an introvert as an excuse too often. I have to force myself out of my comfort zone often, but by doing so I my relationships with my extroverted friends and family have strengthened since I quit letting that define me.

    • Marie says:

      Thank you Lauren,

      As an extrovert, we can’t help feeling hurt when our introvert friends/family members don’t reach out to us without prompting….we can talk ourselves out of that hurt only so often…so reaching out even once in a while goes a long way!!!

  • Nicole says:

    I’m an introvert and if invited to that sort of thing, NEED an exit time. “we will stay for 3 hours, no more”. There’s nothing worse than being trapped in a social situation. Another strategy was to bring two cars and an excuse to leave. “Sorry, my girlfriend has to work early tomorrow..”.whatever. You get to spend time together, but she can leave before imploding. Hope that helps!!

  • Brad says:

    My wife and I are both introverted. The last time we were at someone’s house for dinner was sometime in the last century. We have recently attended one group thru, and may attend another. I try to call my out of town sisters at least twice a year.

    We’ve been married since 1980 and have had perhaps three or four friends in that time. Non currently if you exclude relatives.

  • Annesen says:


    To me, this is a list of rules and regulations from introverts to others about how to be a friend, communicate (no calls! only texts!), and generally behave. Introverts feel that “me” time is very important but are they there for friends who need help? Who are distressed? Or must friends text them first and await a response from those busy with Me Time.


    I don’t need a list from someone on the rules of engagement in terms of friendship. Why do introverts want all this “me” time but then above she says “people we know BETTER be there”. Only call if you have a reason! Weekdays are ME days! Only expect me on weekends and ONLY for a few hours! I need Me Time! My, these people are such fun! Are god forbid, are they parents? Because all that Me time and parenthood don’t go very well together.

    Is it all about Me – are the introverts willing and able to BE a friend, as well as write rules on how others should be friends with them?

    Everyone needs to put time and effort into relationships. We’re all a little too obsessed with Me.

    • MARK says:

      An introvert is an incredible parent. They inform their children to retain boundaries needed to endure privacy, despite this public lifestyle everyone has been exposed to

    • Tilly says:

      Some of that is fair enough – introverts can be a challenge to have as friends. However, when also regularly repress our introvert needs to fit in. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been stuck in an incredibly boring or even mildly offensive conversation with a extrovert because I’m too polite to say anything or bail out when I feel intruded upon.
      The other thing is – when I do see my friends I am really ‘there’ – I’ll keep the date, I won’t look at my phone while I’m with them, and I make sure I have enough time to have a proper catch up, unlike my extrovert friends who will double book and cancel at the last minute, take phone calls or respond to texts or bring along their partner I barely know. And I am always there; in person or at the end of the phone, when my friends need me
      You may think introverts are rude and have rules for being their friend, but most of us (at times) find extroverts rude, intrusive and flakes add friends too.

    • person says:

      You may perceive it as a set of rules, but it’s more of an explanation purported to help cultivate an understanding of introverted people. In any kind of relationship, there has to be compromise. If a friend really needs you, you’ll be there. However, no one is obligated or should be expected to spend every waking moment with another person. Spending time alone is natural and healthy. “Me” time is necessary for maintaining balance. However, the amount of alone time needed varies from person to person. This is not a selfish concept. However, if an introvert does not make any effort, then they may be considered selfish.

    • Jeanmarie says:

      Introverts are not all exactly alike any more than extroverts are, these are broad strokes. I *love* to get together with friends one at a time, or in a small group where I know everyone. That is much preferable to a big party. Although I need alone time, I also need some social interaction. With one person we can get into a really deep conversation; with large groups the interaction is generally more superficial. I prefer deep connections, but I have learned to do both. It is really helpful to develop skills in what doesn’t come naturally; it is entirely possible to develop these skills, but it may never change what one finds easy or comfortable. So being an introvert doesn’t mean you won’t be unable to handle social situations, but it does mean those are likely to be stressful and draining to you, especially compared to the experience of an extrovert.

  • Dan Andrews says:

    Not sure I’d go with that last item. I don’t think I need extroverts in my life. I find fulfilment in the few friends I have regardless of where they lie on the introvert-extrovert scale.

    Introversion does not necessarily mean anti-social, but in my case it does. So I went into a career that sends me into the middle of the wilderness by myself or with one other person (for “safety”, they say, although I suspect they want to make sure I won’t just disappear and live the life of a hermit). 🙂

    Aside from that nit-pick though, loved the list, especially number 2. (and 3. And 4).

    And to the person who said that you made the list sound stressful, that is exactly what it is. I wake up early so I have a couple of hours alone so I can prepare myself mentally just to go out the front door—some days I don’t even want to see people at all.

  • Lindsey says:

    I feel so bad now! My best friend is an introvert and I’m an extrovert. Recently she hasn’t been talking to me, and I’ve been freaking out! I would get so mad at her because she wouldn’t even talk to me (which is abnormal for her). Maybe something’s just different for her or something, but nevertheless, she’s rarely been talking to me. I didn’t know how to handle it — I told myself and my sister that I wouldn’t talk to her unless she talked to me first. Well, obviously that didn’t work because she didn’t talk to me first. I was SO angry at her. I still sort of am, because I read the situation as her hating me, and not wanting anything to do with me anymore. I felt like she just didn’t like me anymore… when it’s not the case! Because I’m an extrovert, I need people to talk to me and engage in conversation with me so that I don’t feel awkward. I feel like a jerk because I was expecting more out of her than she could give me. Thanks for the Enlightenment! It helped a lot 🙂

    • Jean says:

      Introverts also tend to have a warped sense of time, as well as a tendency to become so wrapped up in our own thoughts that we’re oblivious to how much time has actually passed. It’s possible — even highly likely — that your friend didn’t even notice you weren’t speaking to her, not because she doesn’t care, but simply because from her perspective it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since she last talked to you. If you gently explain that you thought she might be mad at you, she’ll probably feel bad, but also realize she needs to make more of an effort to reach out so that you don’t worry.

  • Tom says:

    The article nailed it. Thank you so much for writing it.

  • Nev says:

    Great piece – written by an introvert pro – so there are others out there – what a relief :)))

  • Mary says:

    As an extrovert I enjoyed this list. I have two close friends who are introverted. However, one of them does improve in all areas and when we go weeks without talking it isn’t awkward. One of them will let it go months and doesn’t make an effort. I told her I don’t like being the only one making an effort to be friends. As extroverts, we feel we push people often because we push ourselves into numerous setting as activities. This introvert friend gets sad when she doesn’t hear from me and then assumes something is wrong. Twice I’ve told her she can’t leave it up to me and yet she does. But then she gets sad. I’m just saying, eventually introverts need to give extroverts some time. I’m patient and understanding but sometimes I think introverts should consider extroverts. It shouldn’t fall on one person to be flexible in the friendship.

  • Maria says:

    I would love to see the open letter from Extroverts. I’m an introvert but seriously this letter comes across as very selfish and I have to agree with some of the comments here written by mainly extroverts.

    This really is a list of rules. And to be honest I have a tonne of extrovert friends who if you go by this list are actually introverts. Seriously, how many people love chatting on the phone for hours, several times per week? Especially those who are on the phone all day at work? Do you think that would be an extrovert? Seriously? It’s like driving all day or sitting at a computer all day, of course you don’t want to continue doing that outside of work too!

    How many people DON’T get bored sometimes when talking to other people? Do you think extroverts find all human interaction energising all of the time? Do you think it doesn’t require effort on the part of an extrovert to interact? Do you think an extrovert is always ‘on’. Is that possible for anyone?

    I would very much like to see a list of ways introverts could make an effort to strengthen their relationships with people in general rather than instructions to everyone else on how to treat them. Over the years I have realised that in order to make and maintain friendships, a certain amount of effort is required from BOTH parties… I make a serious effort to be a better friend in general and as a consequence have friends of all types and personalities from whom I’ve learnt so much. Yes, sometimes that means growing some metaphorical balls and initiating contact.

  • Bridget Willard says:

    So much YES!

  • rebecca says:

    I married an extrovert. I knew he was the one because we got to dinner around 5:30 and we were still sitting there talking around 9pm. What introvert does that!!! Not me, that’s for sure. It has it’s battles though. I will go with Mr. Socialite to all of his events, but he needs to learn how to stop leaving me alone in a room full of strangers. His coworkers, and friends often tell him I have bad manners because I am totally ok with staying at the table not speaking to anyone….love to people watch, don’t love to chat it up with them. It’s not bad manners, I just simply DON”T have anything to say,

  • Lilah says:

    I like this article because it has a lot of truth, but I do have something of a response. As hard as it is for you introverts to deal with extroverts, it is just as hard for us to deal with you! My best friend is an introvert and we just got through a really tough time in our friendship. We went on a 2 week trip together a while back and by the end of the trip I had the feeling that I bothered/exhausted her. It hurt a lot. We talked and I know that she loves me, but the knowledge that your personality is literally draining to someone you love does not hurt less with the realization that it’s “not personal”. You guys, it will never feel “not personal” to an extrovert. The only way our friendship survived is that we took a break from each other. I cultivated a new group of friends. I don’t rely on my introvert friend to entertain me or be there for me because I know she can’t. The love is still there, but it is different. We’re not as close, but that’s what happens sometimes. At least we’re still friends. To any extroverts reading this, if you have a similar situation I would recommend building a broader selection of friends who can fulfill your needs. I still invite my introvert friend to things (she likes to be invited, she just doesn’t like to feel obligated to attend) but I don’t expect her to be there unless it’s something really important to me. Also, she understands that I’m not just going to jump up and hang out with her whenever she feels lonely because I most likely I have already made other plans. We’ve both made sacrifices and understanding each others needs has become an important part of our friendship. It takes both the introvert and the extrovert to make it work. You both have to make concessions and strive to understand each other. If your friend’s happiness is not important to you then are you really friends?

  • An Introvert says:

    As an introvert I really don’t appreciate an “open letter” being written on behalf of my kind from a single introvert who clearly has a different approach to life than I do. Weeknights are me nights? Oh, really– then why do I have a club to attend every other Monday, see my boyfriend every Tuesday, and go running and to the gym with my friends on Thursdays? And why do I have long phone chats with out-of-town friends a few times a month? And why am I somehow capable of organizing and attending social events without a Savior Extrovert to hold my hand in this big, scary world? Honestly, it’s insulting. I am an adult who can speak for myself. Social interaction may drain me, and it might drive me CRAZY when my co-workers want to chat all day while I just want to work in silence, and I may not want out go out to that third bar during a big night out, but I am fully capable of maintaining friendships, making necessary small talk, and living successfully in the adult world. Introversion is suddenly being confused with social anxiety all over the web and it’s spreading a ton of misinformation to the extroverted majority. Don’t make my life harder, please.

    • Another introvert says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head. There is a VERY big difference between being introverted and having social anxiety, which is what this article is describing. It really is insulting us people who are truly introverts to imply that we are so socially dysfunctional. If an adult cannot function in the real world without “extroverts” accommodating their needs or helping them along, then it’s more than just their personality, it’s a disorder. They would be better off seeking professional help than to try to write their problems off as just an aspect of their personality and expect the world to accommodate them.

  • DeeDee says:

    This is to the people who think this list is selfish. She did not say she didn’t meet her friends half way. I am an introvert and I am always there for my friends. Just like I imagine this person is. All she said was that we don’t make friends easily and I don’t. Any friend I have I have met through another friend. I have acquaintances but not a lot of close friends. I also do not like the phone. I do not reach out to people when in need. Just like her. I am social when the situation calls for it but again usually end up embarrassing myself because I talk about “weird” things. I, to, married an extravert, thank goodness for him. without him I wold never leave my house. I have a chronic disease and he keeps me talking and not crawling into a shell. This list is AWESOME!!!!!! Thanks so much. I will be sharing it. Take care and HEY to all you lovable introverts out there. There are more of us than you think.

  • CACkle says:

    I’m an introvert and my 6 year old daughter seems to be shaping up that way. I remember getting “in trouble” for wanting to hang out at the swings instead of socializing at parties when I was a child. I still find myself urging my daughter to play with the other kids at parties. The last birthday party we attended she wanted to sit on my lap instead of play and I made her at least go and see what the other kids were doing; I realized later that I was doing what my parents did to me. I let her stay on my lap and observe until she was ready. It took a half an hour and she was ready to play. As a parent I am going to try and allow time for her to get acclimated in the future. I think part of the problem was that everyone came over and asked what was wrong. I made excuses but what I should have said is “there’s nothing wrong, she just needs time.”

    • brenda says:

      Or, that she likes to observe first. She’s a ‘big picture” person. Your daughter’s in good company — Jane Gooddall, for example.

  • brenda says:

    As an introvert, I don’t find constant calling, constant party small talk, or inviting extra people unannounced as “stressful” or “scarey.” Rather, my mind just processes it as being as dull and bland as extroverts would find shelving electronic parts in a backroom by themselves for hours as dull and bland. (I wouldn’t like that either). Therefore, we automatically seek ways to get away from it. And the expectation of constant calling as irritating as Chinese water torture. We don’t want to call all 934 of you each day and tell you about the day we just had. We already had it and know what it was. Why tell someone.
    It’s just a different processing method. The article made it sound like we’re always scared or stressed. We’re no more “scared” of extroverts non-stop calling and insisting we call back than they are “scared” of us not returning the call. We just don’t operate the same way.
    And we don’t “need” extroverts to fix our lives for us. We can take them or leave them yet prefer to take them, just like they can take us or leave us.

    • Introverted Extrovert says:

      Thank you! Fear has absolutely nothing to do with it. I’m not scared, I just don’t want to listen to your drama! lol

    • Napol Wills says:

      As an INFJ, I definitely agree with you. I’m not afraid of those things. I just know there’s more to people than that, which is why #5 sticks out to me

  • Deadeye Payne says:

    A real introvert would never post something like this. Only an extrovert seeks out public attention.

    • Sherry Forthepigs says:

      That is a crock. Introverts are usually very good at writing, because we can go as slow as we want, think about what we want to say and delete at will. Accolades and public attention are still very much welcome, as long as it’s not face to face.

  • Introverted Extrovert says:

    This story is pathetic. Introverts do NOT need extroverts patting us on the head and making us feel like a scared puppy. Being an extrovert means living a superficial lifestyle. I prefer few friends and intimate gatherings because I like to actually connect with people on some level besides “social butterfly”.

    If anything, introverts need to be teaching extroverts how to have true deep relationships. Extroverts don’t need to be afraid to let someone in. Don’t be afraid to let someone really know who you are. Slow down, calm downs quiet down all you extroverts…look around and see there is someone else besides you in the world.

    • Tricia says:

      I do agree with a lot of what you say but feel there is also a place for banal conversation; the type that keeps us connected as human beings without having to go deep all the time. Extroverts can learn from is but we can learn from them as well.

    • Rae Marie says:

      As someone who is rather introverted herself, I don’t appreciate the things you say about extroverts. They aren’t all superficial and they are very well capable of being calm and quiet. I know plenty of introverts who are shallow and lack real relationships. Introverts process the world in a different way, it doesn’t make them deeper or more intelligent. This comment is just bad. It’s mean and judgmental.

  • Anne says:

    My advice, as an ambi/extrovert, to other extroverts is simple… leave your introverted friends to their own devices. If they contact you to chat or hang out, be minimal with your responses and indulge them. But also pick up friends who are extroverted like you. It’s really bad to set yourselves up for a relationship that is one-sided because it’s like a disease that spreads and ails your heart. I know this because I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with an introvert and I ended up extremely depressed and worn out from being on her schedule and whim. I loved her–I truly did, but being alone in a sinking friendship is deadly.

  • Amy says:

    I have the nickname “the ditcher.” I guess that is how people interpret the fact that I love my own company. That is not to say I don’t love the company of others, it’s just that I’m particular, very particular. My friends are the cream of the crop.

  • DJ says:

    I, too, differ from some of the above comments, but relate to much of the open letter.

    I’m an introvert married to an extravert, in a lifestyle that will have us moving around the country on a regular basis for the next several years. This means that I am regularly thrown into social situations with people I don’t know, and I find myself having to explain my personality a lot more often than I used to, when I was free to make friends at my own pace and of my own choosing (instead of now having to make and keep specific friends, for example spouses of friends he made a long time ago).

    Certainly every friendship requires give-and-take, especially the ones you really care about and want to maintain. I think the point of this article, however, is to point out that until recent years, introversion has been seen as a “disease” and we introverts have been expected to conform at all times to the expectations of extraverts, who don’t realize we are actually wired differently and so judge us by the same set of standards they use to evaluate themselves.

    We *KNOW* what extraverts need–for our whole lives, we have been conforming to extravert standards, in extravert situations, and we have been made to feel as though something is “wrong” with us. In general, many if not most or all of us have spent a considerable amount of time giving to extraverts in order to meet their needs without fully understanding our own. I think most of us are well aware of what our extraverts need, and have provided that to them for most of our natural lives. All we’re asking for, here, is a little equal time and recognition that our needs are different and can often explain our behavior when it doesn’t seem “normal” when framed within the context of the extravert model of being a human. We’re not asking for our personalities to be catered-to at all times, just for a little understanding.

    That said, there are times when too much stimulation (especially for the highly sensitive among us) will cause us to flat-out shut down, even at times when our BFFs may need us. This is not something that is under our control, and if forced to maintain social interaction through these periods of time, there are likely to be consequences adverse to the friendship. Sometimes retreating during our periods of shut-down is more for everyone else’s protection than even our own. And it is absolutely necessary. So we beg you to please be at least that accommodating.

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  • Natalie says:

    Here’s something that extroverts must understand:
    Most introverts are not actually as selfish as you seem to believe. We DO want to meet your needs and support you just the same. We just express our love in a completely different way that you will probably not understand. You can’t expect them to change who they are, first of all. We’re not expecting you to change. We just want you to at least try to understand or natural behavior.
    Also, an introvert thinks a lot about his/her extroverted friend. He/she is going to use much of his time trying to discover a pattern in your behavior that will help him/her understand you. They really DO care. However, if you’re always forcing yourself upon them in order to make them change or do things your way, we’ll become frustrated and feel that we have no part in the relationship and that you are the only one benefitting from the friendship that could have had so much potential.
    Hope this helps.

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  • Rochelle Dean says:

    I have this problem all my life. People always assume I’m the star and that I am being condescending or above everyone else and for a time I couldn’t understand it either. I just hung up the phone on people especially when the conversation was pointless and when we spoke again pretended it never happened. I always got well you can call too! But I always feel like I am being fake especially when networking with people because networking is usually based on friendships and I really don’t want to be friends. I’ve just got comfortable being friendless, I’m fine with that I love my down time & music and my computer make up for any people time. I wish extroverts would get it but people find it hard to believe that I am an introvert because I’m not shy but it doesn’t mean you have to be shy. I’m at a point where I only want to be with my husband whenever he comes my way. Its too exhausting to me to deal with people who are extroverts who love to socialize love to pry and will judge me because of the way they assume I should behave, when I am private and very picky with who shares my space.

  • lichila says:

    A very eye opening article

  • Professor Cher Cronican, LMSW says:

    People are born as extroverts or introverts. An easy test is to see which is you is that if you are energized by being with people you are an extrovert. If being with people burns you out, you’re an introvert. This is your temperament. It’s the basic way you perceive the world but it doesn’t rule your behavior. An introvert can learn to navigate social situations which are scary by having a motivating factor, like a guy who sees a girl at a party he is attracted to but is too afraid of approaching her for fear of embarrassing himself. Or a girl who is a wallflower at parties. This is where having extroverted siblings or friends comes in handy because they can introduce you to others. Another tactic, is to arrive early at a party, find the hostess and offer to help set out food, or offer to answer the door and take coats, forcing yourself to talk to others. Introverts have trouble making small talk but can take the plunge and just start asking someone about themselves. Pick an extrovert to get to know. The extrovert will give topics to talk about and you just follow his or her lead. I”m an introvert married to an extrovert for 36 great years. He’s a leader at work and there is usually laughter during his team meetings and he has made the work place a professional, safe and productive place to work. He’s also been in a professional band for 12 years where he gets a chance to be with talented, hard working caring individuals, most who are also extroverts. They practice every week, all year long & he says he enjoys practice more than gigs. I respect his need to play and he respects my need for writing time. We’d both rather spend our free time together at home, going to movies or meeting another couple for dinner at their house or ours. I have a group of writing friends who meet once a month to share out work and get comments. No one is judgemental. Most relationships need work to succeed so there’s room for negotiations between extroverts and introverts who are open, respectful and who listen well to the needs of the other and being kind alwa;ys helps.

  • Lolie says:

    Charmed article. 🙂

  • Claire says:

    I’m currently dating an introvert guy and it did take me awhile to learn. I’m still learning though! While I’ve been dating bunch of extroverts, it was pretty frustrating for me to understand why he would quickly stop talking and not respond to my text for a day or two. He work on a full time job as a cook and I cannot tell you how tiring he’d get after work and wanting to be alone. There were times when we hang out, he wants to do nothing but stay in his room and watch tv, listen to music, or takes a nap. We do meet up once or twice a week and usually the dates we hang out is Thursday-Saturaday. Sundays-Tuesdays are the days we go on without talking.
    However, when we do meet up on the weekends, he is in his high spirit mood, show me passions, and love.
    Not to mention, but there are a few times that he would send me a text after getting off work, asking how I’ve been and what’s news. Usually it’ll be a short conversation, which always bring a smile on my face to know he’s care to talk to me for a bit after a long, busy day.
    The thing is, for extroverts, is not to take it too personally. I know it’s hard and you feel like you’re abandoned. Because of him, he taught me the important thing and that is patience. Yes, patience. Instead of mourning and complaining about introverts not giving you the attentions you want, go out and do something! Go get a hobby or hang out with your friends.

    For a quick reminder, give them space when they need it. You can send them a quick text, telling them to have a good day or whatever, but don’t blow up their phone with bunch of texts. Just wait for them to recharge their energy and let them get back to you when they feel like it. They’ll thanks you for it.

    • chrisredding says:

      Realize that if you marry him, that you may never go to parties with him. That you may never have people over unless they are his friends. Not always ease for an extrovert.

    • Deanna says:

      Introvert I can understand but to not respond to your texts for a day or two is just plain rude. One can be a introvert and polite at the same time.

  • William says:

    I love your article. I feel as if you’ve given me permission to be me, and at my age, I finally need that.

    PS Telephones were invented by the devil. Good thing they’ve finally gotten smart.

  • HuckFinn68 says:

    Great article!

  • Angela says:

    Each of these descriptors could not ring more true in my world! YES, talking to people causes me great anxiety. YES, the thought of a social event brings me to my knees and I have nearly run out of reasons why I cannot attend. I do not feel like this letter is selfish at all, it is me. I give a lot to a lot of people as an elementary teacher and swim coach, but there are some things I need too. To say that I need alone time is not all that accurate, what I need is a break from society which gives me high stress. I am married to one of the biggest extroverts I have known, which is why we love each other so much.

    • Binge Eaters says:

      I’m 101% introverted. Every single day is a struggle. Whenever I go out or come home to our apartment, certain neighbors (especially the ones who live closest to us) ask a lot of questions. Questions that I believe is none of their business. Not that I preferred them to become hostile. What I am trying to say is, why does it feel like I owe them an explanation for everything we do? Here are the common questions they ask:

      “WHERE have you been? I haven’t see you in ages.” (Actually, they just saw us park the car yesterday.)

      “Hey, I just saw your partner leave without you in his car…” OR “Hey, I did not notice your partner’s car. Did he NOT come home last night? Is there something WRONG?” (For me, it sounded like they assumed that there was something wrong and they were eager to create an empty gossip about it just because they were itching for gossips. They are like human log books? Do we have to REPORT every single thing we do?)

      “Ooooh, there’s a delivery? What for? Where is it from? What is inside? How much did it cost you? Why did you buy it? Who is it for?” (ALL these questions were asked within the first 5-10 seconds. Lol).

      “I RARELY SEE you go out to work. WHAT do you do for a living? Is there such thing as home-based jobs??” (Again, do I have to announce everything I do?)

      “You never attend the party. You should drink to have fun. Unless, you want to be labeled as someone with poor interpersonal skills.” (This really made me laugh discreetly, because I know a lot of people who never skipped a party and drinking but they tear each other apart like crazy. So, this person’s drinking theory is a hoax.)

      “WHY aren’t you two married? Don’t you want to get married? Do you have kids yet?” (The thing is, I do NOT follow 99% of traditions. I run my own life and it has worked for me very well. They cannot just ask personal questions like that. It’s like forcing someone to love Math just because his/her parents were Math professors or just because his/her siblings were good at Math.)

      I am really bothered by these types of people. Because I am an introvert, I tend to observe more than I talk. I can easily detect the nosy ones without having to make friends with them. I am NOT shy. Introverts just choose who and when they feel like talking to. Otherwise, we shop by ourselves; We snuggle at home with our partner or our pets; We watch netflix while the rest of the world is watching fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

      Can someone give me a healthy advice on how to respond or deal with EXtroverts? My partner IS an EXtrovert. He never understands what I am going through every single day. I feel so lonely each time we argue about these situations. He has the tendency to take the extroverts’ side instead of calming me down.

      Thanks! #bingeeaters

  • Mk__Ultra_ says:

    Had a rather nasty blow up with a close friend, if she’s still a close friend, particularly about #6. She knows about my introversion and anxiety issues. The 2 are getting mashed up though. Now I’m not sure if it’s my anxiety or introversion that’s the problem. She said that I make my anxiety everyone’s problem when we’re all out. I really try my hardest to get a grip on it, and deal with it quietly so not to be a burden for anyone else. But she actually said that whether I intend to or not, I make it everyone’s problem. I was pretty incensed. And I feel I’m in a worse place now than I was before. I only messaged her because I wanted to hang out more, worried that we were growing distant or that she was outgrowing me, feel like she pretty much confirmed it.

  • ultramontane says:

    statement number seven sounds quite desperate. I disagree that I depend on extroverts for that, although I do enjoy their company briefly. I can spend much longer time with introverts and enjoy the conversation so much more.

  • Bri says:

    As an extrovert married to an introvert, I know he needs time to recharge..he needs time a lone, to read, to rest, and sometimes to get away from my over talkative extrovert self. An extrovert sometimes has to take stock of things and realize “no, they don’t hate you, they just don’t recharge the same way you do”

    On another note, weekdays are totally for me or immediate family time. I don’t want to go out on a weekday after working a long day at work..and talking on the phone is just a form of torture, I much prefer talking with friends via text or fb message, for one I’m less likely to say something completely stupid because I have a filter-issue when I’m talking face to face.

  • Purplerain734 says:

    I’m inteovertish too. So I can relate to some of this. I stay indoors mostly, don’t leave the house unless required, I haven’t called any human being on their phone in a very long time. I mostly stay with my self…lost.
    Great article! Keep ’em coming, Kali!

    • Binge Eaters says:

      I love this website. I finally found people who knows exactly what I am going through. I feel so lonely right now. My partner and I fought again because of how I am to extroverts. He told me I’m a crazy person and that I should live alone in this world so I can be feel safe and peaceful. Thank God I have fur kids. I’d go crazy without them. They understand me more than the human I live with.

  • 1st Position says:

    I always used to wonder why I felt so caved in during social activities as if I was having an asthma attact, like LET ME GO I CAN’T BE HERE ANY LONGER. Ever since I found out about my introvertedness everything just makes perfect sense.

  • […] I’m not a huge fan of networking or socializing with strangers. It’s definitely the introvert in me, and it might even be my age. I’m not sure. But I can’t deny that attending some […]

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