With social media being so well ingrained in the daily lives of millennials, people, mostly non-millennials, tend to think we are all outgoing extroverts. The truth is that there’s a good bit of us who are complete introverts, with extrovert tendencies. As a millennial living with her parents, I embrace every moment I get to spend alone, but I do know how to let my walls down and be social. I’m far from being a social butterfly, but I’ve learned how to survive and thrive in an extrovert world. Don’t let my social media presence fool you, I am very picky and choosy about what I share and whom I share it with.
If you consider yourself to be an extrovert, you may not understand the ways of someone who communicates differently than you. We live in a world that constantly pushes us to be more social, but not everyone takes the social bait. If you want to know how to socialize with or be around an introverted employee, coworker, classmate, friend, or family member here are a few tips/suggestions:
- Let us come to you
Personally, I don’t like to be bombarded with questions; it feels like an intrusion on my personal space. I end up despising any kind of interaction after that. When an introvert is ready to talk or ask questions they will. We usually have to seriously think about what we’re going to say, as well as how and when we’re going to say it. Once we’re ready we’ll come to you.
- You are an associate until we say otherwise
Please don’t take offense to this one. We introverts take our friendships seriously and we don’t throw that term around lightly. We will not consider you a “bestie” after one conversation or one after-work outing, it just doesn’t work like that. We’ll listen to you talk all day about your problems, your issues, and your drama, because we are good listeners, but most likely we will not divulge any information about our personal lives to you.
- Don’t get offended by our “introverted-ness”
Social events can be quite draining for us, so don’t get offended if we cancel plans or decline invitations to go out. Once you get to really know us, you’ll see a different side of us. If we like you or we’re comfortable enough with you, we’ll definitely want to hang out with you. When I spend time with my friends, I feel rejuvenated and replenished in a way.
- We live in our own little world
Introverts are generally misunderstood. Growing up with extrovert parents and siblings was tough; they expected me to be just like them. They couldn’t understand why I had less than a handful of friends and I was “abnormally quiet.” What they didn’t know is that I had a lot going on in my mind. I loved to be left alone with my thoughts. I found happiness in spending time with myself and I became unhappy when I would be forced to sacrifice my “me” time.
Don’t label us anti-social, or say there’s something wrong with us. We’re not scared of people, we’re just social in our own way; we just prefer to socialize in the comfort of our own space, away from people lol. Yes, we do come out of our introvert shell; we just like it to be on our own terms. Being an extrovert doesn’t make you any more normal than being an introvert. Now I will retreat back into my introvert cocoon.