There’s a rivalry that goeas back eons; the Introverts vs Extroverts. This has been brought into the forefront as a result of them being stuck together in quarantine. Introverts retreat by default so are generally fine with the Social Distancing rules. The biggest lesson about Introverts is that introversion is not a synonym for shyness and by no means should Introverts be put in a box!
Introverts are not peoplephobic, and there’s not really an Introverts vs Extroverts war, the beauty of humanity comes from the subtle differences that make us all unique.
How to have a good conversation with an Introvert
Introverts are, on the whole, not fans of small talk. Introverts get satisfaction from deep diving into areas of interest and get a lot out of expanding their horizons, thinking up unorthodox solutions to the big questions that life throws at us.
Many introverts practice the art of small talk because they see the importance of it in human interaction, I have become an expert at it.
If you do find yourself with some awkward silences (the introvert will not feel this awkwardness) here are some ways to get an Introvert to open up:
Talk about intentions and motivations
The ‘what’ that you do for a living, or in your leisure time is not usually important to an introvert, but the reasons for you choosing it certainly are. This will definitely pique their curiosity and the conversation will blossom.
Share your goals, either in life or for society, or ask about theirs!
Introverts generally react to questions like “How was your day?” with either mild irritation or become infuriated. They will always find these questions dull. Instead of asking them what they do for a living, ask them why do it and what their goals are.
Go esoteric with your subject matter.
No topic is too ‘weird’ for an Introvert, remember we spend so much time reflecting and get joy from learning. Whether it be conspiracy theories or even the existential questions of life; going big is bound to inspire and ignite conversation.
Anything creative will get an Introvert going, ususally.
Creative endeavours are, more often than not, an authentic expression of a persons very being. This makes it easier for an Introvert to connect with them because of the high value placed on authentic connections.
Talk about real life experiences!
Emapthy is not restricted to Introverts but it is widely recognised that Introverts are more disposed to affective empathy, meansing they will feel more deeply and therefore the vlaue of the conversation will increase. Extroverts are more disposed to congnitive empathy.
Throw curveball questions
Questions that are usually avoided in social situations will get an introvert to engage. Talk about politics, money and religion freely. Again, because the ‘what’ isn’t as important as the ‘why’ so generally speaking no topic is taboo.
Self awareness, development and evolution
By the time an Introvert has realised that they are, in fact, an Introvert they will have done extensive amounts of reflection and research. This makes the topic of self development a rich and fertile breeding ground for conversation.
Ask for their help, or to collaborate on something
Personal integrity goes a long way with Introverts and an authentic expression of needing help will go a long way to getting the respect of an Introvert. As deep thinking and reflective beings an Introvert would value the request to collaborate.
Recognise that they are an Introvert
I value nothing more than when someone says to me “Hey, do you need a break from all this?” because emotional intelligence is top of my respect list. Overstimulation can literally cause the brain of an Introvert to shut down; so give them the option to take a break.
Comment below if you have anything to add to this list!