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Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa)

Some simple guidelines for friendship across the personality gap.

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Seven things extroverts should know about their introverted friends:

 1) We don’t need alone time because we don’t like you. We need alone time because we need alone time. Don’t take it personally.

2) We aren’t judging anyone when we sit quietly. We're just sitting quietly, probably enjoying watching extroverts in action.

3) If we say we’re having fun, we’re having fun, even though it might not look that way to you.

4) If we leave early, it’s not because we’re party poopers. We’re just pooped. Socializing takes a lot out of us.

5) If you want to hear what we have to say, give us time to say it. We don’t fight to be heard over other people. We just clam up.

6) We’re not lonely, we’re choosy. And we’re loyal to friends who don’t try to make us over into extroverts.

7) Anything but the telephone.


Seven things introverts should know about their extroverted friends:

1) Extroverts don’t understand introversion unless someone explains it.

2) Extroverts who try to get you to loosen up usually aren’t doing it to annoy you. They mean well.

3) Extroverts produce a lot of words but quantity does not preclude quality. There's often plenty of good stuff in there for those with the patience to listen.

4) Extroverts can teach us plenty about glad-handing and small talking. These are useful skills, whether or not you enjoy them. 

5) Extroverts can’t read your mind and they’re not big on catching hints. Say what you want.

6) At parties, think of extroverted friends as a glider tow plane. They pull you in and get you started, but eventually you have to sail on your own.

7) Extroverts come in all different styles, just like introverts. Keep a lookout for extroverts with a quiet side, who make dandy friends.


My book, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released December 4, just in time for party/festive/family-togetherness season. You know you need it.

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