Many introverts find fun and friendship in the company of extroverts. We have extroverted family members, colleagues, friends and partners. We might love the extroverts in our lives – or at the very least, lovingly tolerate them.
As much as we appreciate our extroverts, spending time with them can have a troubling side-effect. You might have noticed that conversations with your outie leave your brain buzzing and unsettled. Or perhaps you’ve come down with a familiar tickle in your throat after trying to keep up with a social butterfly friend.
Why your extrovert makes you sick
They mean well, they really do. But our extroverts operate at a different pace than us. They are like busy worker bees hungrily moving from flower to flower, task to task, person to person, in search of fulfillment. We draw our life force from ourselves. The extrovert’s way leaves us sick and tired.
Our body has many ways of telling us things that our mind wants to ignore. Could it be that our sore throat is a symptom of the suppression of our voice?
In my teens and early twenties, I got colds a lot. More often, I would get a swollen throat that never evolved into a full-blown cold. Looking back, I can clearly see that this was a side-effect of my struggle to keep up with the extroverts in my life.
I had no idea how to use my voice to set boundaries, and speak my innie truth. Instead, I would stay quiet, and try to adjust to the extrovert ideal.
I’ll be the first to say that quietness is okay, but it’s important for introverts to start speaking up about our needs.
How to feel better around your extrovert
Unlike introverts, extroverts aren’t as likely to read between the lines, and pick up on subtle cues. They need us to say what we need/want/feel out loud. You know, like, with words.
If this sounds scary to you, believe me, I know how you feel. Expressing our needs can feel like the most frightening thing in the world. It’s one of those life skills they should of taught in school, but didn’t.
Now we know how to do geometry and make papier-mâché, but feel completely ill-equipped when it comes to setting boundaries and saying what we want.
Radical Communication For Introverts
Luckily, communication is a skill that can be learned. A while back I did a fascinating interview with Brad Blanton, bestselling author of Radical Honesty: How To Transform Your Life By Telling The Truth. In the interview, Brad shares some surprising introvert communication tips for building trust and intimacy.