The Secret to Why your Introvert Friend Likes to be Quiet
I have introverted friends, extroverted friends, and those in between. But a major difference I’ve noticed between them is that introverts tend to be the most silent of the group. Although this fact can be fairly oblivious to some, it’s fairly common for an introvert to hear, “you’re so quiet.”
Introverts enjoy their space and their quietness. They hate it when their teacher calls them out by telling them they need to speak up more. They hate it when they’re told their greatest weakness is that they’re afraid to speak.
Throughout my education and career path, I’ve been told numerous times that I need to speak out more and not remain quiet. I’ve been called on by the teacher to sit in the front of the classroom because he would assume I was afraid to talk. I often get called on by presenters because I always appear to be the quiet one in the group.
Everyone else might laugh when an introvert is called out for being quiet, but to an introvert, it’s an unwelcome invitation for conversations and to be the center of everyone’s attention. When an introvert is constantly reminded that they’re “shy” or “quiet”, they get an overwhelming urge to prove everyone wrong by pretending to be someone they’re not.
I can’t recall the amount of times I pretended to be a silly clown just to prove I wasn’t the shy introvert who was afraid to speak to people. And by the end of the day, it would exhaust me because I wasted a large amount of energy speaking to people.
So if you have an introverted friend or you’re an introvert yourself who would like to relate to your own experiences, I wanted to list some of the main points that are the reasons an introvert is quiet.
They Might be Overwhelmed
Like a battery, an introvert only has a certain amount of energy before they need to shut down and recharge. They might have had a long day at school or at work where they were repeatedly forced to speak to people they barely liked.
What usually helps an introvert recuperate is to isolate themselves for a short period of time before they’re comfortable showing their faces to the world. However, a good sign that an introvert enjoys your presence is when they’re still willing to spend time with you despite the fact they’re standing on 10% battery left.
If an introvert chooses to waste what little energy they have on you, take it as a compliment because they’re doing it FOR YOU. Rather than pin-pointing their obvious quietness and forcing them to apologize for their natural behavior, accept it and wait until they gather the energy to naturally speak without force.
They Might Not have a Topic to Relate With
An introvert might not be comfortable with the environment they’re in. Maybe they’re spending time with a group of people they’re not familiar with. Maybe they just arrived to a new party and they’re observing the situation for what it is.
I, for one, like to remain quiet until I get a good understanding on how people behave when I approach a new group. I like to know who are the angry people, the funny people, and the creepy ones. I like to know what kind of conversations they like to have to determine if I can relate to future topics.
One of the most annoying questions I can be asked at a party is why I’m quiet. If the music is too loud, I hate trying to speak over it. If the conversations are boring or a topic I can’t relate with such as sports, I remain quiet to either learn or observe the situation.
To make an introvert more comfortable in a social environment they’re new to, it’s best to invite them to be in your group, but don’t directly put them in the spot-light by signaling their quietness. An introvert will open up to anyone when you give them the time to open up their shell.
Your introverted friend can either be already overwhelmed, shy, or suffer from social anxiety. Either way, don’t make the obvious obvious and make them the center of awkward attention.
They might be Daydreaming
An embarrassing feature introverts can struggle with is the continuous habit of daydreaming. One minute they’re listening to a group conversation and the next they’re debating whether life could exist on other planets.
Whenever I spend time with my friends, I get called out for accidentally thinking too deep about a subject we’re discussing. Do I intend on mind-drifting during a conversation? Absolutely NOT. But it happens and it’s a flaw I happen to love and hate.
Introverts don’t intend to ignore people, but their imaginations can sometimes overrule their primary thoughts and bring them into a world of wonder. Sometimes when they’re caught daydreaming, they apologize and move on.
But don’t make it a big deal when you have an introverted friend who has a habit of zoning out when you’re with them. They might be solving the cure for cancer in their mind laboratory.
Best to keep in Mind
Like anyone else, introverts can be quiet for a variety of reasons. They might be having a bad day. They might be depressed. They could even lose their voice. Each factor has a case of its own. But the best thing to keep in mind is that if your introverted friend is quiet, but wants to continue spending time with you, they’re more comfortable with you than 99% of the world.
By the end of the day after work, the last thing I want to do is engage with more people. But if I like my friend just enough, I don’t mind shifting my need to isolate myself in exchange for spending time with them. Sure, I won’t recharge my mentality as fast if I was alone, but I enjoy their company more than my own selfishness.
When an introvert is happily willing to ignore their irritating feelings to be with you, you’re considered a special person in their life. So rather than pin-pointing their obvious weakness, try to include them in the conversation through baby steps. Don’t force an answer, just ask for their opinion. That way, it doesn’t make them feel out of place or in the spotlight.
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