Five Things You Should Never Say to an Introvert
Being an introvert in a world of extroverts isn’t easy. In fact, these kinds of people spend their lives feeling that they don’t fit in. Furthermore, they tend to feel that they should be exhibiting certain attitudes and behaviors that simply don’t come naturally to them. For this reason, if you don’t want to contribute to generating any discomfort in the introverts around you, in this article we give you some things that you should never say to them.
Some studies claim that about 50 percent of the population is introverted. However, within the modern, connected, open societies we live in, the outgoing personality tends to be both dominant and desired.
As a matter of fact, those who move away from that ideal of sociability, vitality, and communication and choose to cultivate internal space instead, tend to be stigmatized. However, they’re individuals who, if they’re respected and understood, have a great deal to offer.
Introversion is a personality trait, with an important genetic component. These people focus their attention more on their internal than their external world. They concentrate on their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, prefer solo tasks, and enjoy being on their own.
Contrary to popular belief, introverts possess a higher state of brain excitement. This means that stimulation from the outside can become overwhelming for them. On the other hand, extroverts seek external activity to compensate for their state of greater brain inhibition.
It’s important not to confuse introversion with shyness or social phobia. In fact, introverts don’t necessarily experience difficulties when it comes to relating to others. Furthermore, they may well possess good social skills and enjoy sharing their views and opinions with others without fear or anxiety. However, socialization, far from recharging them, actually drains their energy. For this reason, it shouldn’t be too long or excessive.
In general, people aren’t purely extroverts or introverts, but rather they’re placed on a spectrum. Therefore, you should always try and understand the specific needs and preferences of the individual in front of you and respect them, without trying to change their way of being.
Remember that introversion isn’t a disease or something that needs to be changed. It’s as valid a personal characteristic as its counterpart.
Things you should never say to an introvert
Now that you know a little more about these types of people, here are some things that you should never say to them if you don’t want to make them feel judged and uncomfortable.
Why don’t you speak?
In social interactions, introverts tend to adopt more of a listener-type role, especially if they’re in large groups. They don’t usually like to be the center of attention nor do they tend to monopolize or lead a conversation. In fact, they prefer to observe, listen, analyze, and draw their own conclusions.
Therefore, you need to understand that if they don’t speak it’s simply because they don’t want to. They’re not necessarily anxious or afraid to join in. In fact, they’re comfortable simply enjoying the company without intervening. When they feel they have something relevant to contribute, they will.
You seem angry. Is something the matter?
These are two of the phrases that introverts hear the most. This is because their natural disposition tends to be confused with expressions of anger, rejection, or indifference.
Many people assume that when someone is silent in a social environment it’s because they’re feeling anger, disgust, or irritation due to having a hard time or being offended. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.
As a matter of fact, introverts tend to be less expressive, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not having fun or that they’re feeling uncomfortable.
You’re so boring
This is something that you should never say to an introvert since it denotes a significant lack of respect for them. Furthermore, you’re not allowing them to be who they are.
When it comes to socializing, extroversion tends to be seen as the ideal. Therefore, those who are more calm, reflective, and silent often receive this type of criticism. However, anyone who’s taken the time to truly get to know an introvert will know that they’re deep and interesting people, with their own criteria and a rich inner world.
Not being flashy or expansive doesn’t imply that they’re boring. On the contrary, it simply indicates that they need other types of dynamics and environments, probably more intimate kinds. In this way, introverts can express themselves comfortably.
Don’t be shy, you can trust me
When meeting an introvert, you may well have made the mistake of making these types of statements. You have good intentions, you want to reassure them, show that you’re friendly, and make them understand that you’re interested in listening to them and getting to know them. However, the only thing you’re doing is pressurizing them.
You must respect the rhythms of each individual and not force them to open up more than they want to.
If you really want to connect with an introvert, have a calm, one-to-one conversation about something that interests them. They’re generally people who don’t enjoy loud, superficial chatter but you’ll find they have a lot to contribute if you dig a little deeper.
You’re so antisocial, you’ll never make friends
Being antisocial has nothing to do with being an introvert. People who are antisocial are manipulative, selfish, and not particularly empathetic people. However, introverts are exactly the opposite.
An introvert is usually noble, understanding, and compassionate. They’re also loyal and generous and make magnificent friends. For this reason, it’s a huge mistake to ever assume that no one will take the time to know them and value these qualities.
Introverts tend to have fewer friends, but their relationships are deeper and longer-lasting. Therefore, you should certainly avoid making this type of criticism. Remember, we don’t all need the same type of ties and each person makes their own decision about how to handle themselves socially.
Meeting introverts means discovering a whole new world
Although they don’t possess some of the most valued characteristics in the world of work or personal relationships, introverts are sincere and creative. They’re also extremely good analysts and great listeners. In addition, they’re independent and firm in their principles and values.
Therefore, why not give yourself the opportunity to get to know them more in-depth? Indeed, before you judge them, label them, or criticize their behavior, allow yourself to get closer and discover their wonderful inner worlds. There’s absolutely no doubt that you’ll be able to learn a lot from them.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Scarr, S. (1969). Social introversion-extraversion as a heritable response. Child Development, 823-832.
- Stenberg, G., Risberg, J., Warkentin, S., & Rosén, I. (1990). Regional patterns of cortical blood flow distinguish extraverts from introverts. Personality and Individual Differences, 11(7), 663-673.