As an introvert, there are times that relating to extroverts feels like an exercise in defense rather than normal interaction.
- “What have you been up to?”
- “Have you done anything fun lately?”
- “Did you do anything interesting today?”
These questions strike fear in the hearts of introverts everywhere. Questions like these bring up emotional responses. They can feel too personal or we have to justify ourselves. Questions like these pop up frequently, especially on dating sites.
Normal questions can feel like a pop quiz!
We become a deer in the headlights. Totally frozen.
If we get the answer right, we get keep you in our lives.
If we get the answer wrong, we lose you and get confirmation that we are truly boring!
That feels like high stakes and we have no idea how to answer such a question if we don’t know who our audience is.
If we know we are talking to another introvert the answer is simple and flows easily. They’re part of the club and get it.
With everyone else we tend to over embellish in hopes that we sound interesting or run away from the question altogether.
Saying that you spent the day reading, taking care of family, pets, and the house, and working seems boring after hearing that someone just came back from lunch with five of their closest friends and is headed out to join more friends for the evening.
We introverts live very rich inner lives.
We do lots of things during the day and have our own kind of fun. We worry that our “activities” don’t translate as exciting or fun to extroverts. We can’t compete with an extrovert’s idea of fun or interesting. So we’re left feeling less than or we ramble on and on about some activity trying it to sell it to our listener.
We need to learn to feel secure about the way that we live our lives. We are normal and fine. If only we could stop justifying ourselves, we’d feel a lot better.
Next we need to learn to ask others if they are an introvert or an extrovert. We need to know our audience and get comfortable with them. Introverts and extroverts get along fine. In fact, we’re usually natural partners, provided that each person seeks to understand the other person. This is true of all relationships though.
Asking this question gets the conversation started and helps understanding develop.
Finally, we need to learn how to side step questions. This is where the art of avoidance comes into play for introverts.
Learn to keep answers short and redirect with a question.
“What have you been up to?”
“Redoing my garden. What fun plans do you have for the weekend?”
Be honest in your response. If you are looking for real connections, don’t hide what you love, share it.
“Have you done anything fun lately?”
“I’m reading a great book. It’s a real page turner!”
Lastly, don’t answer questions you don’t want to answer.
This is really true. You don’t have to answer. You can choose to ignore a question or just change the subject.
I would love to hear from both the extroverts and the introverts. Leave a comment!
Extroverts, what do you love about introverts and what advice do you have for us?
Introverts, what do you use to get out of uncomfortable questions? Or what questions do you always dread answering?