How do I communicate with an introvert? This is a question I’ve been frequently asked the past couple of weeks. I’m hearing others talk about it to. And as an extrovert, I think it is a most interesting question and worth exploring. If you do too, read on!
Often the difference between introverts and extroverts is described as “where they get their energy”. Extroverts get their energy by being around others. Introverts get their energy by being alone. This is ONE way to delineate the two types of people; however, there is more. If you are an introvert, you already know this. If you are NOT an introvert, you may find yourself a bit perplexed at times talking with those who are. As an extrovert, you may also wonder why it takes time for the introvert to respond to your questions or volley a conversation. Let me assure you, it has something to do with how they are wired.
When an introvert doesn’t immediately respond, it is because they … are … thinking … and … processing … information. They literally “have a longer neural pathway for processing stimuli” according to Marti Olsen Laney in her book The Introvert Advantage, ” So, an introvert needs time to think. Pressuring an introvert for an answer in your time (ahem extroverts), isn’t going to work. What they need is more space.
Here are three things to do to make space for them:
Introverts, what say you? What would you add to the list above?
P.S. If you want to see something really cool to understand what it is like to be inside an introverts head, check this out right here!