I write a lot about introversion, because I’m an introvert.
Introversion is a personality preference, based on the way a person has been shaped by experiences and life.
In very broad terms, it means we are fueled more by our inner thoughts and reflections than a by social engagements and interactions with others. Alone time fuels us. Our idea of “fun” might be reading a book in a room—or field—all by ourselves.
It’s not that we don’t like people. You can read some of my other posts about that. It’s that if we had a preference of how to use our free time, many times we would spend it in quieter or more controllable environments.
Chances are you have lots of introverts on your team, in your church, your workplace, as your customers—even in your family. You’ll even find some people who appear very extroverted to be introverts. (Like many pastors I know—it seems especially in larger churches.)
I will often get requests to write about extroversion—specifically how extroverts can better understand introverts. (Extroverted people are seldom shy about asking for what they want!)
This is generalized. No two introverts are the same just like no two extroverts are the same. Just like no two people—period—are the same. We are all uniquely made by our Creator! And, that’s intentional on His part!
But, this is an attempt to help you understand some of the introverts in your world. And, if you want clarification if it applies to them—simply ask. We can express ourselves—often quite eloquently.
Here are seven ways that extroverts can better engage introverts:
Give us advance warning – Don’t put us on the spot for an answer or opinion. We have one, but often need time to formulate our thoughts. If you want our best answer, then you’re best not to demand it immediately from an introvert.
Don’t assume we don’t have an opinion – We do—and it may even be the best one—but we are less likely to share it surrounded by people who are always quick to have something to say and tend to control the conversation.