Extraverts and Introverts

I remember reading some where that one of the biggest differences between introverts and extraverts is that extraverts get recharged and excited from being around people (especially in large groups) and that introverts need to recharge and feel drained after spending time in large social gatherings.

I have noticed another difference on my own. Introverts seem to be very aware of the behaviors and tendencies of extraverts, but extraverts seem to be baffled and confused completely by introverts. They (being the extraverts) don’t understand how draining social functions can be to introverts (such as myself).

Extraverts want to fill their free time with functions and get togethers and parties and as much social interaction as they can find. They feel that the introverts need to be talked into going out. They will poke, prod, threaten and sometimes throw guilt at us to try and get us to come to their party. They will see us come to the party and appear to having a good time and they feel whatever effort they extending getting us there was more than worth it – because “look how much fun you had”.

So all right. Here it is for all of you extraverts who have never had this explained to you. Often the ONLY reason we are at your party is because we know that it is important to YOU. We do try to have a good time. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we just hang out for as long as we can possibly stand it (or continue to look like we are having fun) and then we go home to recover.

What you don’t see is how mentally or physically exhausted we can be afterwards. How much of a toll it can take on us and the people who we HAVE to interact with. How we sometimes just don’t have the energy afterwards to take care of the things that have to be taken care of. How after a weekend of visiting we roll into work feeling like we have had no time at all off.

So if one of us no-shows at your party (or function or get together or whatever) or comes up with what you know is a lame excuse for not coming… please stop taking it personally. Please realize that it’s not YOU. It’s not YOUR party. It is ALL of them. Sometimes we just want to be able to have the time to do the things that we enjoy doing. It doesn’t mean we are depressed. It doesn’t mean we don’t like you.

If you want to spend time with the introverts in your life…. ask them what you can do together. Invite them over for dinner with just the two of you (or two couples) instead of when you are planning on having 60 of your closest friends in attendance (keeping in mind that what you may see as a ‘few’ friends can feel like a huge crowd to someone else).

For me personally I am an introvert in an extraverts job. I work with people all day. I love them. I really do. My customers are the most amazing people and one on one I love spending time with them. But sometimes at the end of the day (or the week) I am spent. I want to spend my time off hunkered down in my studio making stuff… or reading a book… or just hanging out in the backyard with my amazing husband watching the birds (or the moonflowers)(or him).

I don’t want to offend the extraverts in my life. I love you guys too. But I also know that you just don’t understand me (or the other introverts) and when you give me a really hard time for not wanting to come to your party it tears me up inside. I don’t want to hurt you by not coming to your party please stop trying to hurt me by guilting me into coming when I have told you that I don’t enjoy that sort of thing.

So in the name of introverts everywhere… I stand up and ask you please try not to take it personally when we are not at your party (or function or get together or whatever). It’s not because we don’t love you.
Have a great time and maybe we will see you at the next one.

Silvano Gamba

I found the painting on the internet and it was credited to Silvano Gamba. If that turns out to be incorrect, please let me know. Thanks!

~ by justteejay on July 4, 2011.

4 Responses to “Extraverts and Introverts”

  1. Well said. I think I might get a few of my friends to read this post. 😛

  2. Yes!! And we are not broken and needing to be fixed. I love people, but prefer a more intimate way of interacting. When I have a conversation with someone, I want to invest my whole being into it and I can’t do that in a large crowd with many many distractions. Parties and such are too much stimulation and input, I use huge amounts of energy trying to focus in, and I am totally depleted when done.

    I also hate small talk.

    So maybe well meaning friends can understand that we can’t make it to their party, and they can tell us all about it later over coffee in a quiet cafe.

  3. oddly i was just reading about this today (elsewhere) and the simplest description i found is that extroverts take energy from from situations and introverts put energy into them. that would explain the exhaustion factor and why it would be so hard for extroverts to understand that. after all they get what they need by going out which is generated by the introverts 🙂

  4. Thank you for writing this.. I ALWAYS find it so hard to explain this to people.. I might have to share this as well.. I dont think people understand how draining the life of a tattooist can be also.. I do love my time with my clients but when Im done for the day, I dont even want to stop at a store.. I just want to run home and chill on the couch with Dave, the kitties and whatever drawing I might need to do.. But add a full day of tattooing AND then an obligation to go out and be social, ugh…..

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