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6 Ways to Care for the Introverts in Your Life

What is an Introvert?

Carl Jung popularized the terms Introvert and Extrovert. Introverts tend to be reserved and solitary, while Extroverts are typically characterized as outgoing and social. These two human personality traits are thought to exist on a single continuum, each representing an opposite end. It is understood that an individual’s levels of introversion and extroversion can fluctuate throughout the span of a lifetime.  

Understanding personality traits can help people determine what type of careers and activities best suit them, and to that end, levels of introversion-extroversion are evaluated on several personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It is currently believed that extroverts outnumber introverts 3 to 1, so if you are in the extroverted majority, understanding how an introvert thinks and engages with the world may be new to you. The awareness that someone you love is an introvert can help you to realize their needs and understand their tendencies. Below are six ways you can care for the introverts in your life.

Recognize the introverted people in your life.

Recognizing the nature of your friends and family members and making the effort to try to accommodate them is care in the truest sense. Introverts think deeply about things and are likely to be very appreciative when you recognize the things they require to thrive.

Understand that after social exchanges, they will need a recharge.

Social interactions consume a lot of an introvert’s energy. After being in a social setting for a period of time, an introvert will need some quiet, solitary time to recharge. This is especially true for networking exchanges which can be extremely taxing for introverts. An introvert will shut down, feeling completely depleted, if they are not given sufficient time to recharge.

Give them plenty of alone time.

Similar to the time needed to recharge after social interactions, introverts also tend to need more solitary time than extroverts. For an introvert, quiet time or downtime is not boring, it is extremely satisfying and necessary for maintaining a feeling of balance.

Respect their tendency to be a quiet observer.

Introverts tend to be observers and deep thinkers. They will often not share opinions until they have had time to thoroughly think a subject through. Introverts often choose to think now and speak later. Not typically assertive or outspoken, they prefer to watch and listen until they feel that they have something important to contribute to a conversation. 
Shelve the small talk.
Introverts are best in one-on-one interactions where the subject matter is serious and the communication feels sincere. They typically enjoy discussing abstract, philosophical, and theoretical subjects over small talk.  Idle chatter may even cause the introverts in your life to feel stress and anxiety. Introverts prefer deep, thought-provoking conversations to casual chit chat. Additionally, introverts often let phone calls go directly to voicemail because they just don’t have the energy for a conversation.

Realize that what stimulates an extrovert, does not stimulate an introvert.

Parties and mingling with groups of strangers does not energize or stimulate introvert.  In fact, these activities can often overwhelm and exhaust them. Introverted people require a balance of social activity and solitude. And too much social stimulus can leave them feeling depleted.

Recognizing the needs of the ones you love is no small feat. If you are reading this article and it rings true for someone in your life, I hope you now feel better equipped to celebrate and appreciate the different personality traits that make connecting with others so rewarding.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to further discuss personality traits or the relationships in your life. I am available to young professionals and emerging adults who are ready to overcome their challenges on a quest to transform their lives!  My website it full of blog entries and useful content to help you along your way, and I hope you find this free content useful on your journey. Feel free to reach out to me directly if have any questions or if you are interested in scheduling a private session.

Dr. Eileen Wynne


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