My “too friendly,” “excessively outgoing” colleague, Alex, couldn’t help herself. She had to do it… for herself “and the rest of the crazies.” You see, she’s an admitted extrovert, and the world needed to know.
I, on the other hand, am the epitome of her opposite. I speak as little as possible, I share only what’s needed, and rarely do I strike up a conversation with a stranger. Despite my quiet nature, I feel I must speak up and come to the defense of my fellow introverts by providing a response to Alex’s list of 8 Signs You’re a Chronic Extrovert.
Here’s how to spot an introvert…
- We are succinct. Alex and her extroverted friends needed an eight-part listicle to expound on their extrovertedness. My side can do it in seven.
- We listen more than we speak. We’re often misunderstood as poor conversationalists, but we simply prefer to give our oratorical partners the microphone. When we do chime in, it’s usually with a well-thought-out answer.
- We bask in solitude. Extroverts will never understand this, just as we introverts will never get why silence can be so terrifying to them. The only way for us to re-energize and assimilate the events of day is to sit with mouths shut and brains on. We watch Cast Away alone on a Saturday night and fantasize like it’s the latest Jennifer Aniston rom-com.
- We do think we’re better than you. I’m probably going to be excommunicated for saying this publicly (but that just means I’ll have more alone time, right?). Yes, it’s true. We are silently judging you… but I argue this is a universal human characteristic. Everyone judges. We introverts just can’t hide it with small talk. Instead, by our quiet, loner nature, we make it mildly creepy and wholly apparent. I’m sorry.
- We know things… lots of things. Because we spend so little time talking, we’ve developed keen listening skills. We pick up on things—subtle clues and overlooked social cues—that sometimes make us seem psychic. Several people have accused me of “looking into their souls” with my stare. Sometimes that’s true, but only because my powers of observation are highly honed.
- We’re terrified of the telephone. Ever wonder why I never call? It’s because I’m afraid you’ll pick up and I’ll immediately develop a paralyzing stutter. Seriously. The day Domino’s launched online ordering was one of the best days of my life. If only a robot could bring the pizza to my door, life would be nearly perfect.
- Networking is our nightmare. Let’s be honest, networking is nothing more than a bunch of overeager “professionals” playing a big game of adult grab-ass. No thank you. Free watered-down drinks and lukewarm apps will never outweigh the volume of chit-chat that we’d have to endure.
So next time you sit nervously wondering why we don’t call, just remember that it’s not you. Well, it may be you, but more often than not, it’s us. Check your email or your texts… we’ll be in touch when we’ve had time to fully think everything through.