Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, eventually you’ll want to make friends with some of the specimens knowns as the Introvertium excellentus (in modern days known as the Introvert). Here are descriptions of the different types of this fascinating sub-species of Homo sapiens and tips for befriending each one.
The Cuddly Introvert
Everything this introvert does is just adorable. They’re probably a little shy, with a soft voice, and kind of absent-minded most of the time. They seem super likeable, awkward tendencies included. You may feel the need to hug them and tell them everything will be okay, but it is best to try to get to know this one at a slower pace.
The Awkward Introvert
Like the cuddly introvert, but with less natural grace. Fumbling with their words, forgetting things in the spur of the moment that anyone would be embarrassed to forget, and creating awkward silences are keys to this type. Chances are they have a lot going on in their mind and need you to be patient with them. Once they’re comfortable with you, you may see a different side of them. Watch out.
The Anti-Extrovert Introvert
This introvert really, really wishes extroverts would not interrupt them and ignore them and talk too much about boring things and just generally be how they think all extroverts are. You may hear them talking to their introvert friends about this, but you can still get in if you’re an extrovert! Show them consistently that you’re not like that and you could get into their good books. Maybe you’ll even change their mind about some other extroverts.
The Socially Adept Introvert
You may not think this one is an introvert most of the time. Like, they’re so chatty and outgoing. But really, every night they go home and cry into their pillow because they’re so tired from socializing.
Okay, maybe they don’t cry. But just because someone is able to socialize effectively constantly, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t tire them. So if you meet one of these introverts who can chat and chat but then refuses your party invitation because they “need to rest,” don’t assume that they’re rejecting you as a friend. They really do just need a break. Try again tomorrow. Or next week.
The Mysterious Introvert
What’s up with this one? They don’t talk too much, but you know they’re not shy. They’re like a secret agent, oozing confidence–yet why don’t they share some of their brilliant ideas? Ask them lots of questions, instead of waiting for them to reveal themselves. Maybe eventually you’ll get a straight answer. Good luck.
The Fake Introvert
Not to be confused with the socially adept introvert–this one is actually an extrovert. They may think it’s “cool” to call themselves an introvert, or they just want a temporary excuse to get out of doing something they don’t want to do. If over time you really don’t see any introverted traits in someone who claims to be one, you may be required to perform an intervention. Or just ignore them (in a nice way).
Are these types spot-on, or is there anything missing here? How do you recommend befriending introverts?
(Photo credits, in order: “Cuddly Cat,” Emanuele Longo, 2009, Attribution License; “Well, this is awkward,” Andrew Currie, 2010, Attribution-ShareAlike; “Enemies,” John Finn, 2012, Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs; “Somali kittens ready for play,” Finn Frode, 2007, Attribution-NonCommerial-ShareAlike; “shadow lurker,” splityarn, 2008, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike; “il gato carnavale,” allfr3d, 2004, Attribution-NonCommercial.)
*No cats or introverts were harmed in the writing of this post.