I just finished reading Gore Vidal’s Lincoln, so of course I’m going to refer to that piece of pizza that is half cheese and half whatever-the-heck-Dad-ordered as a border state. And I will eye it suspiciously.
1. If you must drag them to a party, please don’t abandon them. Don’t go rushing off to catch up with your other friends without including the introvert; the inny will die in a corner.
2. If they actually call and want to talk, listen! These moments may not come often, since Innies usually work out their problems within their own brains, but that does not mean they are all Bella Swan “suffer in silence” types.
3. Realize that they do want to be alone sometimes. They may have gone to that party, and even enjoyed it, but they burn out faster than you and need time to recharge alone. The assumption that all introverts are shy really bugs me. This is not always the case. They can be charming, tell jokes, and generally be the life of the party…but for a limited time only.
4. Skip the small talk. Introverts are reflective beings and enjoy conversations about feelings and debating things like the ontological argument, and whatever interests they have. They can only tolerate chitchat with people they just met or haven’t seen for awhile. If you must tell them your entire jam-packed weekend in detail, check your inny friend for signs of consciousness periodically.
5. Introverts don’t hate people. They just find them tiring.
6. Introverts are socially aware. Yes, we are well-versed in social nuances, customs, and mannerisms; we just don’t implement them as frequently as extroverts do.