Monday, July 15, 2013

It Goes Both Ways.

This morning, after having a conversation with a few friends about being an introvert, I found myself once again thinking about how extroverts just don't understand introverts.

I know all you introverts out there have complained about it. Because it's true. They just don't understand. I can't tell you how many times I have sent my extroverted friends links to articles explaining how introverts are wired (and there are PLENTY of them, probably because writers tend to be introverted). And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

But then I stopped myself. And I thought, Wow, I sure complain about extroverts a lot and how they don't understand me. But you know what? I don't understand them either. I wonder how often they complain about me?

It's so true, though.
Sometimes I feel like extroverts think their subdued friends carry a scarlet letter. Like introversion is a disease. Like there's something seriously wrong with introverts and we need to be fixed. And that just isn't true. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert.

But that doesn't mean we're perfect.

Just because extroverts don't understand us does not make us the victim. But it also doesn't mean we need to educate them on how they should treat us. It's not our job to fix others; it's our job to fix ourselves.

So I did a google search on "how to understand extroverts." And I learned some new things about my outgoing peers that I never realized before. And now I see that while there are definitely things that come more natural to them than to us, overall, they don't have it any easier than we do.

Extroverts cannot change us into one of them. And likewise, we can't change them into one of us. But what we can do is change how we relate to them. Because just like introverts want extroverts to treat them a certain way, extroverts want introverts to treat them a certain way.

Here are some articles about extroverts that I thought were really helpful:

5 Myths About Extroverts that Need to Die | Unfettered Ink
The Care and Feeding of Your Extrovert | The Badger's Sett
Understanding Extroverts: The Survival Guide | My Super Charged Life
Pickles' Guide to Understanding Extroverts | The Shadows Keep on Coming

Extroverts, if you guys want to learn a little bit more about how to relate to introverts, here is one of my all time favorite articles about introverts. As a fellow introvert, I can vouch for the validity of his post. Take good notes; there may be a pop quiz.

10 Myths About Introverts | Carl Kingdom

Keep in mind that everyone is different, so I'm sure none of these points apply to every extrovert/introvert in existence. They should more serve as a guide to better understanding.

And remember, just because we can't change what comes natural to us doesn't mean we can't choose to do it anyway. The choice is always there, we just have to make it.