A lot of introvert behavior is very confusing for extroverts. But there is one thing in particular that leaves extroverts feeling perplexed, self-conscious, and even worried. And, to be honest, I don’t blame them. Even I was confused by this aspect of my personality for a long time.
The thing that is really freaking hard for extroverts to understand about us is how different we can behave from one circumstance to the next. Someone who meets us in our place of work, for example, might be surprised that we’re much more friendly and engaging outside of the office (many introverts find it challenging mixing work and socializing).
If you are an introvert working in a profession where you have to get your extrovert on most of the day, coworkers who meet you outside of work might be completely perplexed by your quiet, reserved nature.
Extroverts who meet us in pretty much any social situation where our energy levels are high and we are “on”, are downright stumped by our behavior when we are “introverting”. They scratch their heads and wonder what they have done to make us so quiet. They worry that something is wrong. I can’t be sure exactly what they are thinking, but I’m quite certain that extroverts are indeed OVERthinking our behavior when our energy is low.
The above scenarios inevitably lead to annoying questions like, “why are you so quiet?” and “are you okay?”. Sigh.
How to deal with their confusion
As you might already know, I’m a strong advocate for telling people you are an introvert. However, I also highly recommend that you do so when your energy levels are at their peak.
The last thing you want to do when you are feeling drained and irritable is explain to someone why you are feeling drained and irritable. Sometimes you must. There is just no way around it. But, if possible, it is much better to explain your introversion when you are feeling good and energized.
Talking about your introversion doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t even have to say very much. Most of the time, simply saying, “I’m an introvert, I feel drained and overwhelmed by a lot of socializing. I need time alone to recharge,” will do the trick.
And what about you, innie friend? Have you noticed that extroverts are confused by your behavior from one situation to the next? I’d love to hear about your experience with this!